One of the typical questions I ask during an interview is, “What has been your most significant accomplishment since getting divorced?” Student Mama has been separated for just five months and isn’t divorced yet so we modified the question and she answered with two big goals for this year. Here they are:
I’m going to graduate college in the spring and that’s going to be big closure because I’ve been going to school as long as I’ve had a child and almost as long as I’ve been married. I’ve already completed my thesis – that was a big deal. I did seek some help and advice for that from my ex because he’s a chef and my project was writing a business plan for a restaurant. Now, I just have some other course work to complete before I can officially graduate but they’re mostly easy classes. I’m excited.
Then, I plan on running the Hood to Coast relay race this summer with my family. I’ve done it once before with my brother. It’s about 190 miles, in mostly three to seven mile segments and each team member does three segments so it’s not like a continuous race. But it is serious.
This year will be different because in the last few years my whole family has all gotten into running and so our team this year is going to be half family, half friends of family. There’s 12 of us and it’s a true bonding experience – you’re in a van driving and you’re sweaty, definitely interesting.
It’s going to be a healing experience for me because the first time I did it was right before I found out about my husband’s affairs. I was engulfed in this race and the completion of it was this big exciting thing but then it got linked to the tragedy and became tainted. It wasn’t exciting anymore. It wasn’t something I could look at and say, “Wow, look at what I accomplished!” It was more dreary.
I feel that doing it again now will be healing.
First, I have to say I am not a runner – a walker, yes – a runner, definitely not. So I am completely awed that Student Mama has already participated in the Hood to Coast. As I was writing this post, however, I thought what a shame it was that Student Mama was erasing her accomplishment. It reminded me of Mama J’s Is your life before divorce a void?
When I wrote that post, I realized how crucial it is not to define the entire time we’re married by the outcome of our marriages. There’s value in all the activities you did, all the friends you had, all the places you visited and part of the healing is revisiting those memories, teasing out the good and treasuring them.
I’m going to be following Student Mama’s blog to celebrate her graduation with her and to support her one Hood to Coast quest. I think doing this race again is a smart decision on her part. I hope when she completes it, she can enjoy her triumph and get double, triple, quadruple the sense of accomplishment.