Ok…who am I kidding? There’s absolutely nothing funny about divorce. It’s terrible. Hands down, it’s in the Top 5 Most Horrible Things I’ve Ever Experienced. If you’ve never been through it, take my word for it. It’s…Terrible. (With a capital T—that rhymes with P for ‘Please make it stop!’)
That being said, I never thought I’d find myself in this position and there’s no way I was prepared for any of it. There are several things that have helped me walk the toughest road of my life. The thing I want to talk about here—is laughter.
I remember the first time I laughed after separating from my husband—like, laughed from my stomach. It was about 5 months after making the final decision to pack up my kids and walk out of my home. (I’m not ready to share why it had to happen, just trust me that it did.) Laughing with friends, old and new, felt like a balm that was being smeared over all the broken pieces inside of me. I don’t even remember why we were laughing. I just remember that they were funny, I felt funny, and we were laughing.
So, today I share with you some moments of levity along the way. Maybe more appropriately deemed, ‘times I learned to laugh at myself.’
Am I losing my mind?
Oh man, if I had a nickel for every time that thought swam through my brain. I’ve lost 3 sets of keys since going through this ordeal. One day, I locked myself out of my house once, and my car twice—in ONE day. Add to that the jewelry I’ve lost, work badges I’ve misplaced, 40-minute commutes to work only to realize I left my computer at home, and the countless times I’ve upturned my bedroom searching for my cellphone that I’d inevitably find IN MY HAND.
I continue to tell myself that I’m probably not actually losing my mind, and I’ve learned to laugh at these little twists in my days.
“You should go to Reno.”
Wait, what?!? Yes, someone said this to me. My divorce has been an unusually long one. Thanks to this random aside from an equally random person, I now know that apparently in Reno you could get a divorce in just 6 weeks due to their very lax residency requirements. Apparently, this was all the rage back in the day. People even referred to getting a divorce as “Going Reno.” You could book your stay at a divorce ranch (glamorous!), and in the 1940s they even named a female undergarment “The Reno” because it claimed to “separate and support.”
If you’re wondering, yes, I looked into going to Reno, and no, I don’t think “Going Reno” is still a thing. I’m also sad to report that divorce undergarments seem to have gone the way of the dinosaur as well.
Prior to this, I’d never actually been to court, or even to a lawyer. Of course, I HAVE watched a lot of court TV. I have a friend who casts movies in her head…one way of coping in court is to create my very own mental Law and Order…or better yet, Night Court! I watch the people around me and figure out who would play them if we were all characters in a show! In case you’re wondering, I’m always played by either Jennifer Hudson or Drew Barrymore, depending on how the day is going.
She’s hilariously no-nonsense. Nothing phases this woman. She has a framed cross stitch in her office that says, “Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead.” Admittedly it’s a non-traditional cross stitch, but it seems to suit her very well.
I have been to an amazing amount of counseling since my divorce journey started. It has completely changed the way I talk about things. I talk about self-care, taking deep breaths, and I’ve become the queen of self-affirmation. When someone’s having a bad day, I’m liable to say, “Let’s reframe that. How about an affirmation?” I sound real weird.
Of course, there are less traditional routes of self-care, like eating a whole pan of brownies or going on a full-on Rent karaoke binge with a good friend. I’ve learned that self-care is absolutely essential care!
My friends are gifting me through this!
They say money can’t buy you love, but do you know what it can buy?? Faux pearls and sequined mermaid pillows! Who knew that a mermaid pillow could bring so much joy to a person in their mid-to-late-30s?!
I never realized how much I relied upon spellcheck until I spelled the word ‘subpoena’ wrong for the 12 millionth time. There’s a whole vocabulary out there that I don’t have to use a regular basis, and this experience has taught me how nice it is to have the modern conveniences of things like spellcheck and autocorrect!
Each of these things help me, in some small way, to not take everything so seriously. Is this divorce a big deal? YES! It affects everything in my life. But I’m certainly not the first person to get divorced, and I definitely won’t be the last. I will cope and grieve my way through all of it. But I will also remember that there’s grace for the things that seem most irreparable. There’s redemption for the pieces that feel most broken. There’s forgiveness for the places where I have messed up along the way, and there’s life to be lived after it’s all said and done. So even though it’s not a very funny thing, I will look for ways to laugh my way through this difficult time.
They say that laughter reduces stress, boosts your immune system, an increases your resiliency. It sounds like a pretty powerful tool for someone to use while going through a divorce. Come to think of it, it sounds like it could beneficial for just about everyone. How will you find some time to laugh today?
This post reflects the views of the author, and is intended to start a conversation. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
Or, if you’d like to hear some overall thoughts on divorce from Christians at THRED, you can find those over here.