Summer Time Blues | It’s mid-summer and we’ve got the summer time blues. Tell us how you’re feeling at this mid-summer check in point. Do you have the summer time blues? How do snap out of it? Or if you’re still loving summer, what’s been going great?
If you’ve wondered where I have been, the truth is that I’ve spent my summer studying for securities licensing exams; dealing with a number of intense projects; preparing for hip surgery; having hip surgery. This means that I have been in a haze of learning about municipal bonds and undergoing a ton of physio and weird workouts to prepare for everything that’s been thrown at me.
In other words, I’ve got the summertime blues. Bad.
Last week was the hideous denouement in my summertime saga: Monday, I came down with shingles; Tuesday, a huge project I’ve spent six months of time on was pulled; Wednesday, I found out Andrew was getting married at the weekend. It was just a series of Serious Stuff that brought me way, way down.
And, I was scheduled for hip surgery on Monday – which I’ve spent almost a year preparing for, and which shingles threatened to postpone.
It was A No Good, Very Bad Week.
In fact, I don’t think I’ve had a week that bad since the one where Frederic called me to tell me he was getting married, and then, within 72 hours, I had been hit by a car and found out that Bill was sleeping with half of the five boroughs.
How do you recover from a rotten week – the kind of week that makes you question yourself and everything you’ve been doing for…years? How do you prepare for a series of examinations that try your patience and don’t seem immediately relevant to anything that you do? How do you fight a body that keeps fighting you?
Most weirdly, and perhaps importantly, how are you supposed to feel when your former spouse marries someone who is basically the opposite of you?
How are you supposed to feel when your ex-husband gets remarried, period?
I am not sure there’s really a stock answer to that question; I’m not sure there’s any way you’re supposed to feel. I don’t have much of a relationship with Andrew now, and we’re not close friends, but it felt like I had to do something, or feel something, or cope with something.
So my mother came into town last Saturday night to help me prepare for, and get around during the week following my hip surgery. We seized the pre-operation opportunity to see Cabaret on Broadway; to enjoy time and Thai food together; to play with Roo and just relax.
And Sunday, Andrew got married. It was, admittedly, weird to watch mutual friends post photos on Facebook. It was strange to field the incoming text messages from friends who didn’t realise they’d never unfriended him on social media after our divorce, who suddenly had his wedding photos in their newsstreams.
They refrained from asking the obvious question, which was, if your ex has a wedding that is the opposite of the one you had, and his new wife is as different from you as can be, what does that say about you?
What does that say about me?
I’m not sure it says anything, honestly. It’s not my life anymore.
Then, on Monday morning, I walked over to the Hospital for Special Surgery and had my hip put back together. What felt weird, I realised, was not that Andrew had remarried, but that I wouldn’t be running the Marathon this year. I had used running as a coping mechanism since my divorce – one of the very first things I did when we separated was obtain a charity entry to the 2009 NYC Marathon. My identity in this post-marital era had been as A Distance Runner; a Marathoner. And I was walking into the hospital to say Goodbye to All That – possibly permanently.
But what I realised, too, was that I didn’t need that anymore. I had no axe to grind, and nothing left to prove. There was nothing in the tank of bad feelings that was fuelling my racing.
I was free – really, truly free.
The surgery was a huge success, and while the recovery from the injury and surgery will be long, I feel great.
It is normal to be blue in the face of a lot of things hitting you at once. It is normal to be knocked breathless in the middle of unexpected change.
But I’m getting through it. I’m putting one foot in front of the other. That’s how you get through the blues – you keep going.