My name is Sarah and if I could to it all over again, I would. I always wanted to do things for myself but kept putting them off, and boy do I regret it now. I said I would exercise and do more things for myself like getting a new hair style, buying new clothes and taking a dance class or perhaps exercise classes just because. I never got the chance to do these things because I was busy working, taking care of the house and being a wife and mother. I wish I did take the time to make myself look and feel better because sadly I fell into the ‘mom and wife routine” and didn’t pay attention to my looks. I gained weight, rarely put on makeup and my clothes of choice were sweat pants and sweatshirts.
Dressing up for me was a pair of faded jeans with a loose sweatshirt to hide the extra pounds I’ve put on. When my husband left me for another woman I can’t say I was surprised. I was hurt and angry but I realized that my nagging, lack of affection towards him and lack of interest to my looks contributed to his leaving me. He often asked me out to fancy dinners and encouraged me to buy something nice to wear but I always declined. Our kids were already in college or living on their own when he left me which made it less painful since I knew I wasn’t strong enough to cope with a divorce and young children. After selling the house and moving into a two bedroom apartment, I finally realized that I didn’t really know what I wanted out of life and my life had changed drastically. I was always taking care of the family and now I found myself alone and it was difficult at first. When depression set in, all I did was go to work, come home, eat and go to sleep.
It became difficult when my ex-husband remarried his mistress and shortly after announced they were expecting a baby. Our three boys didn’t show any signs of resentment or hurt and they continued with their schooling and work without any signs of anger or resentment towards their father. My depression became worse when I accidentally received a thank you wedding card from my ex-husband which was intended for his sister who lived in the same area I did. Was I angry? Yes I was. My ex-husband’s smiling face while holding his new beautiful younger bride hit me like a punch in the gut. As I stared at the picture all I could think of was, ‘that was me, thirty years ago’. Now I am this sad, depressed and overweight divorcee feeling sorry for herself. I finally decided to do something for myself when my youngest, Connor, asked me if I was happy. He said he wanted to make sure I was happy because his Dad was married with a new life and he wanted me to be happy too. When he left after giving me a hug and kiss and saying he loved me very much, I stood in front of my dresser mirror and asked myself if I was happy. No, I was not. I sat down at the kitchen table that night with a cup of hot green tea and made the list that would slowly change my life. This is what my list looked like:
Things that made me happy:
– my sons
– my health, so far
– having my own place to live
– having a job I enjoyed (so far)
– the support of my family and friends
Things that made me unhappy:
– being overweight
– not taking the time to take care of myself
– being lonely
– my husband leaving me for another woman
– fear of dying alone
– feeling like a failure
I began my quest to change the things on my ‘unhappy list’ and I did it by getting a much needed haircut, new hair color and new makeup. I splurged on a few new outfits, a few because I intended on losing weight. Slowly but surely I was going to lose weight and I didn’t mean losing weight to look like a supermodel, more like to fit into a size 8 or 10 as opposed to my current size 14. I still get depressed and have seeked help from my doctor because I want to be happy and healthy and I don’t intend to let anything or anyone stand in my way.
If I had to do it all over again, I would by taking better care of my appearance, including myself in the list of things to be taken care of and not taking a back seat while caring for others in my family. The good thing about my story is that I am managing to make changes for the better in my life and one day, soon I hope, I can look in the mirror and answer my question of whether or not I am happy, and I will definitely look forward to answering with a resounding ‘yes’. Then my next step will be to rewrite my list and have more things on my ‘happy’ list and less on my ‘unhappy list.
For now, things are looking better already.
Disclaimer: Sara is a fictional character which I made up as I thought of this topic. I write about daily life and topics I feel needs to be addressed after I read an article or even after a friend mentions the changes in her life. I hope this post does not upset any of my readers since it was written as a ‘random post’ by me.
Life should be good, enjoy!