As published on Huffington Post
The summer my dad passed away, as he lay there in his final days, he taught me some life lessons in his silence. As I spent silent hour upon silent hour at his bedside, I thought of that old cliché about life being too short. As I pondered that particular one, many more clichés came to mind and how they actually relate to divorce. I want to share some of my insights with you.
We all have heard those time worn clichés so much that they seem to be just words that people fall back on when they can’t think of anything else to say. I, however, had many hours with just my thoughts to really think about the meaning behind them.
“Life is too short” and “Live life to it’s fullest.” Can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard this one at a funeral, but that day I really embraced that cliché. Life is but a blip on the screen and we tend to let ‘stuff’ take away our joy of being here. Life is too short to let some man control your happiness, even when you are divorced from him; life is too short to turn your power over to someone else so that you are unable to be the person you truly want to be; life is too short to spend one more minute crying or blaming or not setting a new dream into motion. If you are doing any or all of the above, then you are not living your life to the fullest and you will have regrets later when it may be too late.
“Live each day as if it’s your last,” because it just might be. Make that phone call to an old friend, reach out and mend relationships, hug your children, dream that dream, and live today with joy in your heart and through child like eyes. Only then will you be living life to its fullest.
“Look for the silver lining.” The key word here is ‘look’ because the silver lining is there. People just don’t look outside the box to see it or, worse yet, feeling miserable serves a need they don’t want to give up. What you look for you will always find, so look for the positive.
“Don’t cry over spilled milk.” Spilled milk is no longer usable; it gets mopped up and that’s it, it’s gone. So too should the things in your life that are over. They no longer serve a purpose and need to be mopped up. Stop crying over something that is gone. Pour yourself a new glass of milk and make it chocolate! Now, there’s the silver lining.
“Life isn’t fair.” No, it isn’t, and that and taxes you can count on. Stop expecting divorce to be fair; accept what is and make the choice to be happy because, guess what, life is too short.
“If I knew then what I know now.” Uh huh, well, you didn’t, so get a hall pass and move on. Don’t get stuck on what I call false regrets. You didn’t know back then and you made your decisions based on then not what you know now. Stop beating yourself up, which brings me to my favorite cliché:
“Don’t worry, be happy.” You know why you shouldn’t worry and be happy? Life is too short.