Well, I was inspired recently, to host a 65th birthday party for someone I have known for 35 years. As we have many mutual friends which include people from both of our families, coming up with a guest list was easy enough. Because I have had all of these folks (except for the out of town relative who tagged along with some invited guests) to my home previously for other parties there was already a knowledge of everyone’s eating preferences and who doesn’t love a birthday party, right? So what made THIS party special? This person’s age? No not really although it was a significant reason for choosing to do this in the first place. All right, I shall simply tell you as guessing would require a lot of back and forth where emailing and posting are concerned. The guest of honor was my ex-husband of nearly twenty six years. Shocked?
Now most people might still be connected to their ex because of children, which in my eyes means you will be connected throughout eternity because there will always be something going on related to those children. This is not pertinent in our case as there were no children as a result of our nine year marriage. Some might be connected to their ex due to work related scenarios such as being in the entertainment industry and having to work together from time to time. Strike two here, not the case for us either as we have never worked in the same industry. So rather than put you through the guessing game, it boils down to this, it was a nice thing to do for someone else.
Our marriage was not perfect and the break up came as a huge shock to most of our family and friends. It was just something that needed to happen and I leave that explanation as the formal response to questions I still get to this day from those who knew us when. Regardless of what transpired, when I left I made it my mission to NOT allow myself to take a road of hatred or bitterness. After all, just because I could not be married to a person was no reason for me to ask anyone else to choose sides. I simply decided to choose happiness above being right.
That wasn’t always easy for me to do as I had a boat load of garbage to dig myself out of and of course there were times I wanted nothing more than to make that someone else’s issue, so why not the ex? But in coming around it, through it and rising above it all, I got to see where the responsibility for my own happiness was housed and of course it was within my own heart. This knowledge was huge for me and the turning point in healing and moving on for I ‘got it’ that if this were true for me, it have to be true for Dan too.
We live with the perceived truth that others can make us happy or that others can make us unhappy. Just take a listen to even casual conversation at your place of work, in a grocery store or read the posts on social media to hear this being played out by millions of people each and every day. When people have nice things ‘done for them’ they are happy and conversely when they have not so nice things ‘done to them’ they are not happy. Well, the decision to be happy is totally the responsibility of the person making the decision because happiness is a feeling and only we can determine our level of happiness. Happiness is not a noun; therefore it cannot be made by someone. This means it has nothing what so ever to do with what someone else does or doesn’t do; it is all based on how WE internalize the actions.
So, while that really doesn’t explain why I decided to host the party exactly, it has helped me come through the dissolving of the marriage relationship and into establishing and maintaining a friendship with Dan. As he is one of my friends, I chose to celebrate his life and invite about a dozen others to congregate for that same purpose. Why not, I see birthdays as happy things for me, cake and ice cream are components of a major food group (in my world) and who doesn’t deserve to have a 24 hour time frame devoted totally to them! For those hours of food, laughter and candles, life was all about happiness for each and every person in attendance. It wasn’t about ignoring the reasons we are divorced, those are as valid as ever. No, this was about being inspired to share some happiness, choosing to be happy and as it turned out, that was the right choice!