And That’s a Wrap

There’s no easy way of saying this so I’l just get on with it. This is the end of Positively Divorced. Don’t worry, I’m still positive and very much divorced – new name, passport, driving license, flat, the whole thing!

It’s been quite a hard decision but it’s time to move on from writing about my divorce. It’s part of my process of continuing to be positive actually. Not remaining in the past but moving on. I don’t want to be ‘that divorced woman’ anymore. I’m me, mum to Doodle & Sketch, studying for my MA, living in a new city and making new opportunities.

This blog has been a god send and I’ve been continually amazed by the support I’ve received from complete strangers. I’ve lost a lot of ‘friends’ lately – too judgemental and small minded to look beyond the gossip and their own hang ups. I feel I have very few true friends actually.

Although I could end up feeling very cynical about love and relationships, in actual fact I’m more happy with myself, my own company and my own abilities than I have ever been in my life. Plus the warmth and friendship I’ve received from people who have read this blog has more than restored my faith in people. I just realise now that I need to be myself and not give a damn about what other people think anymore because I’ve done that and it’s only left me disappointed and feeling rejected.

Another ‘problem’ I’ve encountered is the issue of self editing. As more people I know found out about this blog, the more I worried what I was writing and how it could be taken. The point of the Positively Divorced blog was to freestyle my thoughts in black and white as a therapeutic exercise.

I am a blog nut. I love writing and I still want to be part the blogosphere, so there is another blog in the pipeline. It’s a ‘Mum Blog’ about my life with Doodle and Sketch in a new city, starting my new business and finishing my MA at University. Oh yes and did I tell you: I’m dating again …. 🙂

If you follow Positively Divorced on Twitter I’ll be putting the link there very soon to my new blog and will be following my favourites again under a new name.

Finally I just want to say, it’s been a pleasure and I thank you. And that’s a wrap.

Posted in Children, General, Life After Divorce, Positive Things To Do, Single Mums, Thoughts | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Cycling & Career Coaching

A quick post. Following this mornings post I had a massive temper tantrum and shouted at the kids out of pure frustration. Sorry Doodle & Sketch. I hadn’t slept well last night due to worrying as usual and was already slightly grumpy when I woke up this morning. 4 cups of tea weren’t helping and snotty kids answering me back with smart arse answers was the last thing I needed.

So I took them to school and didn’t kiss them goodbye which I’ve NEVER done before. Goodness I’ve felt bad today.

Tearful and frustrated I resorted to making myself high. I bought myself a bike when I sold the house and despite the fact it hurts every muscle in my leg, speeding downhill on my 18 gear mountain bike is awesome. Wind in my hair, whizzing along beats chocolate and booze anyday. The pain in my leg is almost pleasurable.

Anyway so that’s my new therapy of the month that I would highly recommend.

After my 30 minute bike ride, at 10 o’clock this morning I had a Skype appointment with a ‘time management coach’ who proved to be very useful. She made me realise I have taken on far too much and need to manage my priorities, namely my children, followed by my personal health and business.

As I said this is a quick post and I have to dash because I’m reworking my business plan. Welcome to the organised new me.

Posted in Positive Things To Do, Work | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Time Management as A Working Single Mum

Phew, would someone give me a ticket to a desert island for a week. No? Go on… Oh Ok I’ll have to carry on then.

I received my shiny new keys to my first flat as Ms Positively Divorced avec Doodle and Sketch on Monday. Luckily the flat was better than I’d remembered with a good sized garden near Preston Park in Brighton. It was a sunny day so after inspecting the place Ma and I walked around to the Preston Park Tavern for a spot of lunch and a glass of Prosecco to celebrate.

I won’t actually move my stuff in until next Tuesday but I’ve set up my bills, spoken to a lovely chap at the Council Tax office who informed me I’m in the lowest council tax band plus I get a 25% discount as a single person (the boys don’t count) – result!

Feeling rather smug at how organised I was being, I sat down that night to plan my life. The great news is I’m no longer on Income Support. I’m self employed so am entitled to Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits. I’ve paid for my rent 6 months in advance from the proceeds from the house so that gives me a realistic timescale to get my business up, running and earning a decent living.

The smugness wasn’t affected too badly by my financial situation. I’m pretty good these days at budgeting and living on very little. However as I sat and planned the logistics of working and managing the boys routine, now I’m living further way from my MA and Pa and X, the slight feeling of blind panic set in.

Building a business has involved a lot of meetings, proposals, networking events. Prospecting. Turning those prospects into clients is a longer term project than I’d first anticipated. I’m working in social media, so blogging, keeping my website updated and keeping abreast of industry news and attending events is all time consuming but vital.

Not forgetting the clients I do have to manage, plus the admin, invoicing….

Yesterday was Sketch’s sports day. A lovely event but that was 2 hours out of my work schedule. Confession: I’m a terrible mother. I missed Doodle’s open parents evening because I was so busy catching up from the morning, I forgot about it.

As mums think about the time we take just to look after the kids which made me think of my work/life balance. So I’ve started timing myself:

  • Preparing 1 evening meal, cooking, eating and clearing up, average time: 1.5 hours x7 = 10.5 hours
  • Cleaning up after the boys (includes garden, meals, mess, dirt, spillages, breakages) average daily time: 1 hour x7 = 7
  • Refereeing the boys arguments average daily time: 30 minutes x7 = 3.5 hours
  • Driving/Walking/Travelling with the boys including the school and clubs run average daily time: 1.5 hours x5 = 7.5 hours
  • TOTAL weekly hours spent doing all of this: 28.5 hours – that’s an average of 4 hours a day, on top of working and sleeping without including shopping, washing, cleaning, ironing, folding clothes, making packed lunches, breakfasts, blah blah blah.

Anyway, today I’m taking advantage of a discounted (in price not minutes) time audit session with a lady I met through a mumpreneur networking event.

Oops better go, just looked at the time and can’t check my figures, spell check or finish this post. I’m going to be late for the school run again….

Posted in Children, Life After Divorce, Single Mums, Work | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Introducing Positively Divorced: Yes Really

The first sentence is always a difficult one to write so I’m just writing what comes into my head in order to break the silence and get over the intimidation of a blank page……

Good that’s done.

I’m divorced. Shout out. I’M DIVORCED. Decree absolute heard in court and signed off. I’m single, not married, un-married, a ms, a miss, divorced.

I’ve know I’ve been rather silent these past few weeks. I was ill and had to miss Cybermummy and quite frankly at the same time, thought I was going slightly crazy. I’ve had to put all my effort into appearing to be sane for the sake of my friends and family when inside I was cracking up and feeling like I just couldn’t take the immense feeling of pressure.

Physically my body aches, I’m tired, I feel overwhelmed by my responsibilities. I have moments of sheer joy followed by a plunge into depths of self doubt and despair. My gut twists and turns. I’m hungry. I’m full. I’m satiated. I could start all over again.

I’ve been lied about, lied to, lied for, lied. Lied in bed, lied on the sofa, lied in the sun.

I’m new. I’ve changed my name. I’m no longer Mrs…. Just a meaningless Ms but a Ms by my choice. Perhaps an unimportant facet to the greater good but finally, I’m a product of my own choices rather than someone else’s expectations of me.

7 months later I’m a new person. To an outsider I’m still PD. I still have my hang-ups. My moments of depression. Of feeling helpless. Battling the depression and inclination towards self harm that plague my thoughts when the going gets tough.

Being treated like the same old PD by people who have known me for a long time. I know I’m not her anymore. I’m better, stronger and even more bloody scared by life.

Tomorrow I sign the lease for my new flat in Brighton and I get the keys on Monday. I’ve rented a desk space at an office in Brighton and have a couple of new clients on board. As a result I’m no longer on income support – TFFT. I’ve paid 6 months rent in advance which gives me 6 months to make my business work. After that…who knows.

I’m wiser. More naive. I’m happy. I’m pissed off. I’m confused. I’m clear. I’m full of cliches! But if anyone tells you getting divorced is easy these days – FO it aint. It’s hard. I’ve had to swallow my pride and watch my children suffer as a result. I’ve put on a brave face when all I’ve wanted to do is visit Beachy Head. I’m fed up. I’m ecstatic. I’m not sure what happens now….

But I’m most Positively Divorced.

Posted in Divorce Proceedings, General, Life After Divorce, Thoughts | 5 Comments

The Positively Divorced Community Site

Positivelydivorced.co.uk is a community site to enable people who are going though or have been through a separation to get in touch with eachother, offer support, ask questions and get advice.

This site is a new project as a result of positivelydivorced.wordpress.com, a personal experience. I found a lot of inspiration from people who had been through similar experiences of relationship breakdown and divorce as well as those all important well wishers.

Postivelydivorced.co.uk is for families with children, married couples, co-habiting couples, same sex couples, parents or grandparents separated from their children, perhaps even people whose partners are away due to work or illness. It is also open to professionals who may be able to help with free advice (however it is not a place to advertise so spammers please find somewhere else to go).

I’m really intrigued and excited to see what you all make of this site. I will of course administer the site and make sure nothing untoward is happening. However it really is for people out there to get together and offer advice and support.

Get in touch with me with your questions, suggestions and feedback. I’ve created a few groups in the meantime to get you started.

Best wishes

PD

Posted in General, Positive Things To Do | Leave a comment

Life Changes For the Better

Can you change your life in 6 months? Change your name, career, job, marital status, future? 6 months ago I probably would have said “that’s mumbo jumbo claptrap that belongs on the pages of a woman’s weekly magazine”. However I have well and truly proven myself wrong (me being wrong is a very rare occurrence, of course).

The house has sold but it’s been taking a while to organise the finances and agree terms with X. Basically he wanted more money than I could afford to give him from my share of the equity, after the receivers had taken his half. My argument is X has a full time job and only has Doodle & Sketch to stay every 2 weeks. I have to re-home myself and the boys, pay off all the final bills from the old house (because X sure as hell won’t give me anything extra), plus a few of HIS business debts whilst trying to support my family financially.

Look at that! There I go again. Feeling like I need to justify myself. But that’s just it. I don’t have to anymore. Hoooo-ray.

I saw my solicitor today. I had to sign the papers to enable the remaining funds from the house-sale to be released, now that we’ve finally agreed. The decree absolute is scheduled for the 12th July. So I asked on the off-chance when I can change my name after the divorce. Well apparently I don’t have to wait. So I’ve made an appointment to see my solicitor tomorrow at 4.30 – I couldn’t make that appointment quick enough!

After some signatures, a witness, a declaration and about a hundred quid, I’ll really be on my way to being a whole and new person.

Yes a Whole person. This might be very Opera Winfrey, but it’s only when you find yourself, that you realise a massive part of you was missing.

More good news! This week I have also secured my first two regular clients for my new venture. I can come off bloody Income Support! I have to say the tax credit system is fantastic for somebody like me and I will be relying on it. Tax credits will top up my income until I can earn enough to support myself and the boys entirely from my new business.

Plus from the 1st July I’ll have a fantastic desk space in a seafront office in the heart of Kemptown, Brighton. It’s all so incredible.

I’ve got an amazing friend who has been a life savour to be honest. He’s helped and advised me whilst setting up my new business. More importantly he has been a shouting and sounding board during all my personal challenges. Advice and guidance you would pay a fortune for. He’s been priceless to be honest so…

To my rather dashing and gorgeous friend, Mac …THANK YOU. You’re an inspiration 🙂

Onto the future. I’m also currently in the process of securing a rented flat in Brighton as well as negotiating the temperamental school system. I’ll be able to pay 6 months rent in advance which gives me the breathing space and timescale to settle the boys into school and make my business work. It’s a challenge. Scary and ‘real’ but I’ve never felt more ready and more positive about anything before in my life. For the first time in almost 15 years I’ll be in control: of my flat, my car, my business, my life with my two boys. I can’t wait.

Posted in Children, Divorce Proceedings, Finances, Life After Divorce, Thoughts | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

My New Life As A Boomerang

My Life as a BoomerangGosh, it feels like ages since I’ve been here in my WordPress world. It’s Saturday morning, the boys are with their Dad and I’m reflecting on the last week.

I think it’s been a couple of weeks now since I blogged about exchange on the house. Since then I’ve packed and moved out of the house. The boys and I are now temporarily living in Ma’s two bedroom bungalow. Cosy but nice. The sitting room has been transformed into a bedroom and I feel like a teenager again, only my possessions now include two boys, their lego and an XBox.

Ma’s house has always been my bolt hole when I’ve been feeling the pressure. It was difficult for a while when she lived abroad, in Menorca. I became very good at travelling on my own with two small children for respite with the sun, sea and gossip over a gin and tonic.

Now she’s more local, it’s fantastic. Although she has worryingly described me as a boomerang – I just keep coming back! I know you’re only joking Ma….

Now the house has sold, the emotional and physical bond with X feels as if it has disbursed. It may not be official yet but I actually feel ‘divorced’. My dictionary informs me divorce means to “dissociated or separate from something else’. Exactly how I feel. (Note my new category ‘Life After Divorce’)

I still haven’t agreed terms over the division of money with X so the proceeds from the house sale are still sitting in a bank somewhere. I’m homeless and jobless but  I have my beautiful, crazy boys and I’ve now started on a road of self-employment.

I feel fresh and alive again. Full of hope for my future. Ma & Pa say they have the ‘old PD’ back again. Yes, perhaps I am like a boomerang, I’m back to my old self.

After 13 years of marriage I feel I have a lot to prove and a few bridges to mend, since I tucked myself away in an emotional black-hole for a very longtime. My new challenges include my new business and finding somewhere to live. It’s very exciting actually because this will be my first flat on my own. I’ll have my own car, my own home, my own money and I’ll be in charge of my life. Wow what a feeling!

In order to make my business work and to carry on with my MA at University I’ve made another big decision. I’m going to move to Brighton permanently. It involves moving further away from Ma and Pa so my support network won’t be so readily available. Plus the boys will have to change schools. So onto the next adventure!

Anyone one know of a nice 2 bed garden flat suitable for a professional women with 2 lovely boys in the Brighton area, do let me know 🙂

Posted in General, Life After Divorce, Thoughts, Work | 2 Comments