I spent the better part of today marveling at how quickly things can change. It’s like you’re moving along just fine, thank-you-very-much, when WHAM! suddenly you hit a bump in the road that spins you around and leaves you sprawled across the pavement.
Earlier this week, I wrote optimistically about how different this trip to Cancun was going to be from previous years… how I was finally happy in the important ways and ready to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing and rejuvenating week with my children and family. Sure, work was unbelievably stressful, but every other part of my life seemed to be falling into a really comfortable, productive, healthy rhythm.
Or maybe not.
For nearly 13 years, my emotional life was mostly predictable and constant. It wasn’t good, but it was definitely not uncertain. These days, I feel like I genuinely and without exaggeration never know what the day will hold. I suppose that could be exciting, but mostly it just feels puzzling to me. The last couple of days have left me once again shaking my head at the perpetual uncertainty of my life these days, because, apparently, life’s little twists don’t take a vacation. Even when you do.
Not all of life’s surprises are bad, of course. For instance, this week my work situation has improved dramatically in my absence, alleviating an enormous amount of stress that had been plaguing me for weeks and interfering with my sleep and health and relationships. It is an unexpected blessing and one for which I am very grateful.
But, almost simultaneous with that improvement came the disintegration (yet again!) of my parenting relationship with my ex. After a couple of months of peaceful negotiating and working together on parenting issues for the children, he resumed his “Me First” stance and then became petulant when I pointed out to him that by ignoring a suggestion of the girls’ therapist, he wasn’t thinking in the best interests of his children. He often becomes petulant with me these days when we argue. I think it’s because after 13 years of me quietly going along with whatever edict he forced upon us, I am finally standing up for myself and our girls. This unfamiliar territory can’t feel good to him and his verbal tantrums call to mind all variety of toddler behavior.
So, it would seem that even when he is not here in Cancun with me, my ex-husband still knows how to ruin my Mexican vacations for me. How comforting to know that some things never change.
But, in fairness, he is not the only man of my acquaintance causing me to reach often for a margarita refill. Just the other morning, while missing him terribly, I managed to get a phone call in with James. But instead of leaving me with the warm gooey feeling of butterflies and yummy infatuation, my dollar-per-minute conversation left me cold and deflated after hearing that I apparently wasn’t being missed to nearly the same degree. So instead of happy and warm and appreciated, I simply felt ridiculous. Again.
And then there’s Annie’s latest boyfriend, who ended their relationship this week with a single, formal phone call and who is now mysteriously unavailable for any further information-gathering or understanding of what, precisely, went wrong. I will simply never understand how anyone goes from “I think I’m falling for you” to ignoring a polite voice mail asking for further clarification in the span of a couple of weeks. I just don’t get it. Once I’m intimate with somebody, I don’t start treating them like they are disposable just because they go from “current” to “ex” boyfriend. It’s called grace, people. Use it.
The only upside to all this drama is that I know the pendulum will swing again. I’ve no idea in which direction or with what outcome, but I’m pretty damn sure I won’t spend much time in this particular emotional space — even if I wanted to. The only predictable thing about my post-divorce life is its chronic unpredictability.
Oh, well. At least I can pass the time waiting with another margarita.