PEACE [pēs] (NOUN)
“Freedom from disturbance; tranquility.”
Yes, I know we’ve heard just about everything, good and bad, that has come as a result of the pandemic. There have been an abundance of disturbances to our daily life. There have been hundreds and thousands of deaths. Now we add back in the schedule of our kids being back in school (most of them at least). It’s been slightly maddening.
However, despite the upheaval of our lives, the constant change in the air, I have been able to find my peace. It’s not necessarily the peace one would consider a positive outcome of the pandemic in all reality. It’s not like I’ve come to terms with the onslaught of news stories, rising positive COVID results, job insecurity, or financial disparity. No.
I’ve found my peace in getting a divorce.
I know. That’s not necessarily what one would deem as a positive outcome from this turbulent time. But in my case, and for a multitude of reasons, I’ve found MY peace in this particular circumstance.
Of course, it’s not a simple decision that comes quickly, but rather after much time of reflection and discussions. It’s a decision that has far-reaching effects, on family, financial stability, on emotions, just to name a few. And the guilt. The guilt that I’ve been feeling has been sometimes unbearable. I feel like I’ve failed myself, my ex-spouse, and my children. Guilty that another marriage (yes, this is my 2nd and decidedly my last marriage) has ended.
But here’s the biggest thing I’ve learned. Not one of us is perfect. No one. We all fail. We all make mistakes. We all are going to make decisions that ultimately turn out to be the wrong one. Decisions that, at the time, seem like it’s the absolute right choice. But then situations change. Circumstances change. And the decision you made is no longer good.
It can become toxic.
It can make you mentally and emotionally exhausted.
It can turn into something that no longer serves a positive purpose.
I’m a mom of two boys (13 & almost 11). We have always talked openly about everything in our lives; good and bad. We have been honest about our feelings, in all situations. And when I approached them with the news, they had nothing but support and encouragement for me.
Yes, my kids encouraged me. They knew how they felt. They sensed something was amiss, and they knew, despite their age, what had to be done and what was coming. Kids have a simple perspective that we as adults often overthink and complicate. This is what I did. Time and time again, without seeing the signs and red flags. But in the end, it all spiraled out of control.
Then, the pandemic hit.
On top of my personal life being shattered, the world was being catapulted into chaos. My anxiety skyrocketed. I was working full-time from home, and depression set in. Lost wages, cut work hours, at-home virtual school for my kids, and now, divorce. This was all starting to be too much and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through to the other side in all honesty.
But somehow, through inward reflection and support and guidance from my therapist, friends, and my mother, I slowly found my peace. I discovered that ultimately, the only person or people I need to be concerned about is myself and my children. Their safety and happiness in life is my ultimate goal. Their well-being, as well as my mental and physical wellness, is tantamount to anything else. It was only then that I was able to see through the muck and mire of the pandemic, and found my peace.
And the peace has been amazing. Physical ailments that I’ve dealt with for over 20 years have all pretty much been in remission the last couple of months. I’ve felt the best I have in that regard in as long as I can remember. My relationship with my children has gotten even better, closer, more honest, and real and focused. I got a promotion at work, which I hadn’t even seen on the horizon, and it’s exactly the kind of position I want. The overwhelming sense of peace honestly astonishes me, but I’m there.
I’m almost 43 years old and I’m sad to say that it took a pandemic and a divorce to bring me to the place I’ve desired to be most of all. A place of tranquility. A place of contentment. A place of being totally torn down, only to be built back up to where I am today. I discovered a lot about myself in the last year. Even more so in the last couple of months, and I can’t say that I would have been in this place had I not been through the worst of it all. But finding my peace, amidst the pandemic, has been the life-altering change this mom needed.