I know you think this is the end of your life. You’re devastated that your marriage is ending. You’re overwhelmed by everything that’s happening. You think you’ll never be happy again.
I’m here to tell you it’s not true.
I am living proof that your second chapter can be amazing — better than you ever dreamed the first could be. You are back at square one, and you can create anything you want. You just have to know what that is.
Take today for example. A pretty average day for me (these days), but an absolutely incredible day by most standards. And far, far better than any average day in my pre-divorce life.
I took a train into New York from my lovely home on Long Island and happened to run into my brother-in-law whom I adore. We sat together and caught up. Then we parted ways in Penn Station. I walked across town to my monthly Mastermind meeting, an intimate group of like-minded entrepreneurs I recently joined. We meet regularly to support and mentor each other in growing our businesses. These people have become some of my closest friends. I chatted with them over breakfast for a couple of hours, then headed to my club a few blocks away. I sat in a beautiful room with a view of Grand Central Station and read a new book on cutting-edge coaching techniques. An hour later, my middle son arrived to join me for lunch. We talked and laughed over cuban panini. He left to go back to his office, and I made my way to the spa for a steam and shower. After drying my hair and reapplying make-up, I headed for the gorgeous library at the club where I am currently writing this post. In an hour or so, my oldest son will meet me for an after-work cocktail, then I’ll head back to the train and get home in time to have dinner with my wonderful second husband. After dinner, I’ll prepare for tomorrow’s coaching calls, meditate, then go to bed.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that this is not a dream.
Now flashback to 20 years ago, and it’s a very different picture. I’m living in a run-down, overgrown, 100-year old house that my then-husband just had to buy and restore. We’ve got three rambunctious boys all under five. I’m working from home; he’s “G.C.-ing” the renovation, even though he has no experience and certainly no certification in general contracting. Nothing worked. Wires were hanging out of the ceilings and walls. There were actual holes in the walls and gaps between the door and the floor where mice and other vermin could (and would) crawl in. If one crumb was left out, an army of ants would instantly appear. There were bugs everywhere. It was one step above camping out. But I was so completely controlled by him that I was programmed to think that this was okay. He had me convinced that this was temporary…and normal! I thought I could get through it. One morning, I was in the kitchen and I heard some weird scratching noise. I looked around and when my pre-caffeinated eyes were finally able to focus, I saw a half-dead mouse trying to unstick his little mouse paws from a glue trap on top of the stove.
Good morning, Viet Nam.
Another day, a guy was on the roof working on the chimney, but of course no precautions had been taken since there was no real G.C., so when he dropped a brick down the flue, it brought down with it 100 years (no exaggeration) of soot with it that then flew out of the hearth and settled all over the dining room floor and furniture. Instead of sweeping it, my husband/G.C.-wannabe tried mopping it up with wet rags. Now 100 years of soot was permanently etched into 100 years of scratches in the wood floors.
Every day there was another mishap. One sent our 3-year old to the hospital with burns from slipping on toxic paint remover that G.C.-wannabe had covered the porch floor in and not warned anyone about.
We lived like that for years. Nothing in the house ever got finished. Every square inch was undone. Huge projects were started, then abandoned for the next shiny thing. I finally got the joke: he had lost it. He didn’t have ADD; he had ADD on steroids.
And if I complained or made any type of threat, or even so much as a suggestion to do things any differently, there was hell to pay. And nothing would change anyway.
He was hemorrhaging money (the money I was making), and I didn’t have a voice (or so I thought).
I felt pretty hopeless. Probably how you’re feeling right now.
So hello from the other side. I’m here to tell you that you can have the life of your dreams. I want to guide you to it. Because I want you to be as happy as I now am. Together we can identify what you want and create a step-by-step action plan for how you’re going to get there.
Are you with me?