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Published on September 24, 2019

Continuing life after divorce

By Edward A. Forbes / The Bulletin

There is life after divorce. It just needs a jump-start. It doesn’t have to be much, just enough to get over the grayness and immerse oneself again in the real world.

Knock, knock.

The sound came from the front door even though I had clearly posted a “please ring doorbell” sign. Irritated, I went to answer the door and flung it open with every intention of giving some peddler a piece of my mind for ignoring the instructions. Imagine my surprise when the face that greeted me was that of a friend.

“Sam, how the heck are you? I haven’t seen you in ages. Please come in,” I said.

The truth was I hadn’t seen much of anyone since my divorce. I continued to work for a couple of years. I retired, and with the exception of my children checking up on me to make sure that all was well, I pretty much had been left alone. Social media provided some contact with the outside world and the status of friends. In the male society, a singleton in a world of couples is awkward and generally avoided. Serious one-on-one contact was minimal in this post-divorce world, except for this unexpected contact with an old friend.

Sam replied: “No one has seen or talked to you in a while, so I thought, as I was in the neighborhood, I should check up on you and see how you are.”

We visited for about an hour over a mediocre cup of coffee. As I bade Sam goodbye, I promised myself that I would start leaving the house more often.

It seemed like a cycle. The first months after the divorce was final, I left at every opportunity. I went to coffee with friends, two different groups at two different locations. I went to the grocery store at least once daily, and if I found a quarter in the parking lot, I went in person to the bank to deposit it in my account - that may be a slight exaggeration.

I briefly dated a nice Vietnamese lady. Everything was getting back on track, and then one morning I slept late. I got up, fixed my breakfast and turned on the TV. It was getting late, so I decided I would just bathe tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow came, and I didn’t get out of bed. I just turned on the TV in the bedroom and watched and napped for the rest of the day. Fortunately for me, school started, and I was needed to provide transportation for my eldest grandchild.

This small part-time job rescued me from what had become a torpid reality. I awoke in the morning, took a bath and cooked breakfast for me and the grandson. I then took him to school, visited my coffee groups, went home, washed dishes and paid bills, etc.

I promised myself that I would start visiting old friends, read and do things that would stimulate my mind. Exercise was in this mix somewhere. I, as of today, have not achieved these goals with anything approaching regularity, but as with all works in progress, we shall see.

The little job of transporting my grandson to school rescued me from the trap of lethargy. It is easy to see how the aging population can fall into a depression if they lack motivation. Man (used in a unisex sense) can’t exist without a purpose.

The purpose doesn’t have to be earth-shattering; it can be as simple as working in the garden, tending a yard, chauffeuring grandchildren or writing to amuse. The important thing is to fill your life with some activities you love.

(Send comments by email to editor John Toth at john.bulletin@gmail.com. Or send regular mail to The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX 77516)