I've tried the therapist approach back when my first marriage was dying, and it didn't work for me (except to validate my feelings: it was o.k. to accept that I was miserable and therefore to dump Sherry. In retrospect, it might have been more helpful to address what was really bugging me; divorcing Sherry didn't really make me a happier person so Mission Not Accomplished. Sorry about that!)
What can I learn from the google machine?
WikiHow had a nice article helpfully titled How to Be Positive. I plan to work through its 15-step program, one a day. Today step 1:
Avoid negative influences. Even if it's a family member or close friend, we must not tolerate anyone's bad behavior. Steer clear from it so that it will not rub off on us.Well, ok. Being around Kris' negativity is a negative influence on me, so my job is to avoid it. I resisted avoided her because (A) I used to love her and (B) I dislike surrendering to a bully's demands. But this is not surrender: this is helping myself, and if it happens to coincide with the bully's wishes, or not, I don't care.
Off I went to the morning yoga class at Fauntleroy. The lady at the front desk actually snorts when she laughs, which leads to more people laughing. The yoga itself reminded me how long it's been since I did serious stretching, so I'm keeping this component. This was an entirely positive thing!
I had a bunch of email/phone audits to do; I guess I must do o.k. with them since they keep getting passed to me, but I could use a little time off this week to deal with the personal stuff. Or maybe not; maybe work is the best medicine.
Kris was civil, pleasant and even friendly most of today. When I got back from my round of in-person audits, she expressed surprise, as if she'd thought I'd been below all day. I enjoyed the moment but didn't risk prolonging it; besides, I have work to do and that doesn't include humoring her.
She told me she was going out with co-workers, so after 5 I assumed she was gone and went upstairs to get something from the fridge. She was still there, in the chair-and-a-half (and years ago I should have felt alarm when she stopped sitting there with me) and looked at me with the set gaze of wine. I turned on the cloaking device and went back to work in the office. Eventually she announced she was leaving. A little after, I determined to do one more in-person audit in Tukwila, and took a little drive. I had hit upon a song from the past and listened to it weepily via youtube.
Coming back, I decided I really did need to work on finding friends, since so many had been lost in the divorce. Big Al's is not a great source but it's a start, and I parked. Going across the lot was unpromising; a couple of regulars ignored me (unfortunate but a bearable loss) and when I hit the tap room, who did I see but Kris?
I tapped her on the shoulder and apologized, saying I didn't want to disturb her but I didn't think she'd be here. She explained that she'd met her coworkers and ... some bullshit or other. Maybe they did have a five-minute meeting or whatever; it didn't matter. I was not sneaking out, I was leaving on my own terms.
The girl she was talking to was cute though!
I stopped by Saar's for salad fixings and as I approached my house I was waved at by Atty and the Friday baby crew. What the heck, they're fun so I joined them. I don't have a baby to contribute to the party, but they do like to talk with me and the pleasure is mutual. This all cheered me up considerably.The salad did too; I suppose real food can have that effect.
As I finished up one more project, some impulse prompted me to look and music of my youth - one of the founders of hard rock. I not realize that I was wasting my time with romantic partners that didn't appreciate this stuff, and I won't make that mistake again:
This music is a positive thing for me!