The Hell With It All Days

When you’ve been left at 50 for a woman half your age by a man you spent 25 years of your life with, some days are just “the hell with it all” days. You don’t want to think about it. You are sick of thinking about and dwelling on all the Future Life stuff. You just want to be happy without that constant “What is my life coming to?” buzz in the background.

I personally think this is awesome if it happens for you. I think it means you are feeling more confident and happy in your own skin. You are getting used to just being you. Who cares if you feel this way just for one hour of one day? The important thing is, you had the thought, and now you know how you feel about having that thought. It doesn’t mean you are taking some drastic action. But I do believe it’s a sign of progress. Wo-hoo! Baby-step-o-rama!

Don’t be pessimistic on these days. Don’t think for even a second that it’s just a fluke and tomorrow you will still feel like a dried-out old piece of crap. Why ruin your first really good day with thoughts like that? Are you that sick that you’ll actually deny your own psyche a day of happiness just to punish yourself for your current life situation? The one you had nothing to do with because you cannot control a man’s actions? Even the man you thought you knew? Who do you think you are? Some magical fairy for single gals? As much as I wish that fairy exists, alas, we must try to live in the realm of reality. Unless, of course, you want to date a Hobbit. God knows there’s plenty of them out there.

Then there are the days of deep introspection. The days you are positive you can figure it all out. You realize that what is underneath that thought is the idea that you can find a true answer as to why you were left. Surely, once you do that, you will be able to go on with your life. Your Perfectly Happy Future Life.

You know the one I mean. The life you are perfectly in control of. Where your best laid plans always pan out. Where you never get hurt again because you find the perfect man. In fact, you will probably find him tomorrow in the produce section of your grocery store. Or maybe he will be at the salon while you are getting a manicure. He’ll be getting a manicure too, because he’s one of those sexually confident older men who are into self-care. The two of you will pick out nail polish colors together and chat while your nails dry and then go out for Chinese and then—

OK, hold up. Life is not a Sandra Bullock rom-com. But if you can find the straight 50-something-year-old guy getting a mani at the salon, I’d make a move, too. Good luck. The point of this is, don’t be man hunting everywhere you go. Very few women marry the handsome gyno who is helping them through the hot flash phase of menopause. You know the story: How’d you like this side effect–free antidepressant and a date to a five-star restaurant followed by a carriage ride in the park and a walk to your front door with a gently passionate kiss and a “when can I see you again”?

I’m not trying to turn you into Pessimist Polly. But I also don’t want you to be such a Debbie Daydreamer. But who knows?

Maybe my dog has the right idea. I took him for a walk one night and he suddenly started joyfully rolling in something in the dark. I figured it was just some dirt, but when I got him away from it, I realized it was a pile of another dog’s shit. And then I realized that was exactly what I had been doing in my relationship. Happily rolling in my ex’s pile of shit.

But back then, I didn’t know that’s what it was, because at that time, I just couldn’t see it. He was cheating and drinking and everything else, but I kept myself in the dark for so long because I didn’t want to see it. I guess I just wanted to be happy. As happy as I had once been with him.

Now I know that it was an exercise in futility. For a while, I kept kicking myself for being such a fool. But like many of you, I have to let it go. It happened. It’s over. And though sometimes I still hate myself for not seeing it sooner (all those wasted years seem so precious to me now that I am over 50), if I truly want to be happy, I have to let it go. I can’t get that time back. I only have today. This day. I have to choose to be happy. And so, my lovelies, do you.

About the Author | Diane Burroughs

Diane Burroughs 24-year-relationship ended the year she turned fifty. After years of reading and restarting her life, she realized there was no place on the internet where women her age could share the hope that New Beginnings bring. Culling from her 30-year sitcom writing career, brings humor to the pathos and takes the fear out of a middle age life restart.

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