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Before anyone gets the impression that life is all sunshine and roses now one year post divorce, it isn’t.

I lie awake nights worrying how I’m going to pay for this new, cute little car.  I lie there in the dark listening to the sound of my wounded, fragile child grind his teeth and wait for the first morning light to peek through so I can drag my tired, aching body into another day.  I swallow any pride I have left as I allow clients to talk to me like I’m ignorant.  I disregard insensitive or accusatory remarks from those who are obviously still angry that I chose to live my new life by my own standards and not theirs.  And, I paid my rent late this month.  I had a choice:  pay the rent on time or buy food.  I chose to feed my children and let the rent slide for a week.  My teenage son makes our home life unbearable as he triggers the younger children and me with his aggressive, demanding, nosy behavior.  He makes mess after mess, leaving them all for us.  And, now, he has even stopped flushing the toilet.  He leaves that for us, too.

Sometimes I yearn for a man’s touch, the warmth of a strong arm around my weary shoulders.

My recent positive, light posts are not an indication that I’m living large and flying high above those old problems.  They’re an indication that I’ve made a choice, a conscience choice, to seek out that which is light, to be thankful for the sweet scent of hope.

Every moment bestows the opportunity for a new choice.  What to eat.  What to watch.  What to do.  Who to see or talk to.  And, most importantly, how to perceive every bit of data my heart and mind receive.

One year ago he finally signed the papers that released me from my contract with hell itself.  It has been a struggle.  It has been difficult.  But, the journey has been worth it, like hiking up a tall mountain.  I’m not at the pinnacle yet.  I can’t rest and breathe the fresh, clean air in deeply through my nostrils as I take in the magnificent view from the top.  But, I can, in these moments of the climb, choose to enjoy the glimpses of a beautiful view I know is coming.  I can choose to enjoy the burn in my muscles because it makes me feel alive, and I can be grateful I’m capable of walking this journey on my own two feet.  I choose to enjoy the memories I’m making on this strenuous hike, knowing that they will be my bragging rights some day.  Somewhere out there in the future I will marvel and glory at what I came through to get to where I’m going to be.  Right now it’s hard, but I look down those craggy rocks and see how far I’ve already come and I’m encouraged that I can go the rest of the way.

It’s still a lot of stones and dark, shady places.  It’s not all sunshine and roses.  Yet.  Not quite yet.  I’m simply choosing to bask in every beam of sunlight coming through the trees.