There are a whole lot of milestones you hit as you pass through the post-divorce aftermath. Some good, some bad. On the bad side ... telling the kids. Spending weekends without them. Spending Christmas without them. Handling the first multi-kid vomit fest solo.
But some of them are of the good, life-affirming, independence-asserting sort. Managing your single-income budget. Actually getting divorced. Reclaiming your name. Going on that first, scary, post-marriage date.
You're taking back control. Moving from a life shared to a life defined by no one but you. You set your own path, create your own future.
For me one of the biggest of these affirmational milestones came about two weeks ago. After nearly a year spent taking charge of my finances, cleaning my credit rating until it squeaked, and making copy after copy after copy of every obscure corner of my financial life, I refinanced my house. And in doing so, I became its sole owner.
I own my own home.
And then lightning struck.
I am so totally not kidding about that. Sunday night, I pulled into my driveway in the middle of a torrential downpour, was startled by a shock and a flash and a smashing boom, and the chimney cap and a handful of bricks flew off of my chimney and into the backyard.
My house, to which I have held sole title for not quite two weeks, was victimized by an act of god.
The lightning went through the phone lines. It blew up several phones, two DVRs, and whatever makes my barely-past-its-warranty desktop computer connect to the internet. It also blew something called a "board" in my heat pump, which is a nice way of saying, "Ha! We know you live in the swampy morass that is the Chesapeake Bay watershed so we are stealing your air conditioning!" (Cue evil laugh.)
You would think that after losing the manny (I don't think I ever posted about that, but the manny is long gone: I was so totally wrong about eventually coming to love him), running through a field of poison ivy, and other assorted disasters, ailments and random folderol that make life just a little more annoying ... you'd think, after all that, the rose-colored glasses would have gone slipping off into oblivion somewhere.
You'd be wrong. Though the poison ivy did test me.
You'd be wrong because all that other stuff, all those milestones, all that empowering control over your own life ... well, damn if it isn't downright cheery making.
Odd how a little empowerment can make you immune to lightning.
(Yeah, yeah, I know. Keep the bad puns to myself.)