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I have always been of the belief that everything in life happens for a reason - even though the reason may not be immediately clear.  It is this belief which has carried me through the past six months as I rebuilt my life following the collapse of my marriage.  Whilst being a solo parent isn't the life I had chosen for myself, and I certainly never ever wanted my child to be the product of a broken home, I have come to realise that I am far happier today than I have been for many, many years.  I will even go as far as to say that as a whole, our daughter is better off too.

Needless to say, I have learned a tremendous amount about myself.  I continue to smile at the naivety which surrounded my teens and early twenties; I have shed tears for my loss of innocence in my mid to late twenties; and have grieved for the hopes and dreams I once held for the future which will never materialise. 

Just as marriage, the loss of my father, the birth of my child, and learning to manage my illnesses were pivotal in shaping the person I am in my thirties, so too has separation shaped the person I am today and will be going forward.  I am more self-assured and no longer desperate for the validation of others; I spend less time worrying about the future and more time enjoying the now; I feel more in control, yet more willing to accept the things I cannot change; and whilst I have always been a kind soul, I feel more compassion and tolerance towards others than ever before. 

My heart is ready to love again.

So on that note here's what I've learned in the past six months:

One Month On:

  1. Living without a partner is less lonely than living with an absent partner

  2. No matter how much of a drag dishes are, I still prefer to do them myself

  3. I can kill cockroaches with nothing more than a tissue separating my hand from the pest

  4. Ditto to daddy-long-legs (I am yet to encounter any REALLY scary spiders)

  5. Picking up takeaways is less convenient than cooking

  6. In the absence of grocery supplies, picking up takeaways is STILL less convenient than a trip to the supermarket

  7. I am quite capable of putting petrol in my car

  8. Things that go bump in the night are highly unlikely to be sinister

  9. There are just two things I miss about living with a partner - the first is having someone to take out the rubbish

  10. The second is intimacy.

Two Months On:

  1. Living without a partner is less lonely than living with an absent partner

  2. Once in a while it would be nice to have someone else do the dishes

  3. Birds are paralysed by fear and are very easy to pick up and carried outside

  4. Rosie isn't the smartest of cats

  5. You can find the most purest of friends in the least likeliest of people

  6. Open and honest communication at all times is a must

  7. Petrol is expensive

  8. Separation can be good for your health - I have suffered noticeably fewer migraines and have lost 5kg

  9. Taking out the rubbish isn't that much of a chore - even in the rain

  10. Sincere, powerful, all-engulfing, nourishing, and caring hugs are delicious.

Three Months On:

  1. Living without a partner is less lonely than living with an absent partner

  2. It takes less energy to just do the dishes than it takes to complain about them as you still end up having to do the mundane job

  3. Preying Mantis spend considerably less time praying then they do tormenting pets and children

  4. Cat fur does not camouflage well on polished wooden floors

  5. You never stop learning from the people around you

  6. Open and honest communication at all times makes for the most interesting conversations

  7. Stepping outside of your comfort zones is incredibly exciting and satisfying

  8. Separation IS good for your health: fewer migraines, blood pressure and cholesterol both back to normal, and I have now lost 8kg and counting

  9. You can never have too much of a good thing

  10. Once you find peace with the present, you no longer feel concern for the future.

Four Months On:

  1. Your partner (or absence there of) does not define you

  2. Maintaining a clean and tidy kitchen all on your own is immensely satisfying

  3. Spiders should be admired for their perseverance in spinning webs

  4. Houses with polished wooden floors and no carpet are cold

  5. You never stop learning from the people around you

  6. Specialists are human - just like the rest of us - and not to be feared

  7. I am stronger than I have ever imagined myself to be

  8. Walking in the rain is soul refreshing

  9. Never settle for less than what you deserve

  10. Smiles - like happiness - are infectious.

Five Months On:

    1. Your partner (or absence there of) does not define you

    2. Washing dishes is absolutely divine on a bitterly cold wintry night

    3. Rain-drop encrusted cobwebs are exquisitely beautiful

    4. The silver box underneath the TV is in fact a heated bed for cats (and you thought it was a decoder - ha!)

    5. You never stop learning from the people around you

    6. Regular exercise - of any form - is vital to maintaining both physical and emotional health

    7. I am stronger than I have ever imagined myself to be

    8. Walking in a heavy down pour is soul destroying

    9. Never settle for less than what you deserve

    10. Smiles - like happiness - are infectious.

      Six Months On:

      1. Your partner (or absence there of) does not define you

      2. Dishes will patiently wait for you until such time when you're in the mood to do them

      3. A photographer's desire to capture an image can overcome most phobias

      4. Never underestimate the value of investing in the right kind of heating for your home

      5. You never stop learning from the people around you

      6. Regular exercise - of any form - is vital to maintaining both physical and emotional health

      7. I am stronger than I have ever imagined myself to be

      8. Walking in nature is at once grounding and uplifting

      9. Never settle for less than what you deserve

      10. Smiles - like happiness - are infectious.

      Clearly, the lessons are becoming fewer and further between.  So I will take a wee break and post the next update in three to six months' time.

       

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