Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Plan B

Life is All About How You Handle Plan B

Plan A is always my first choice.
You know, the one where everything
Works out to be happily ever-after.
But more often than not,
I find myself dealing with
The upside-down, inside-out version,
Where nothing goes as it should,
It's at this point that the real test
Of my character comes in....
Do I sink, or do I swim?
Do I wallow in self-pity and play the victim
Or simply shift gears
And make the best of the situation?
The choice is all mine....
Life is all about about you handle Plan B.
-------Suzy Toronto

In one of my classes I learned about something called Cognitive Restructuring as a way to manage stress. Being a single mom has it's difficulties, one of which is not having a partner to use as a sounding board when I'm happy, sad, confused, worried, angry, etc. So when I get stressed I generally just internalize whatever is going on rather than discussing it with someone. This cognitive restructuring technique has been a blessing. It's kind of finding the silver lining in a difficult situation. But beyond that, it's modifying how I think about things.

Being a behavioral science major, the subjects in many of my classes are uncomfortable subjects, some of which hit really close to home. Some of the subjects have opened old wounds. I've been able to use this technique to say; "Ok, this happened to me and it still hurts to think about it. But instead hiding from it or pushing it aside, I can see what I can learn from it and how I can help others with what I've learned." It takes me from having a pity party to being empowered.

To be honest, I am not sad for myself that I'm divorced. I am sad for my kids that I made this decision because it affects them adversely. I worry for them every day. I didn't see our circumstances as a long term goal when Doug and I got married or when we were sealed to each other, and Ethan, in the temple. I thought we'd be a forever family. The thought of that loss makes me sad. But, one day Mckenzie brought to my attention that if her dad were still living with us, we wouldn't have Seth. People will probably judge that as screwed up logic, but I choose to look at it as my daughter finding the silver lining in not having her dad around full time. She loves her baby brother and so do I. Divorce is an impossible situation, it's never good for a family to be torn apart but it's also not good for a family to be together in dysfunction. The best I can do is move forward and continue raising my children in a warm, loving and safe environment.

Raising my six children my way is my Plan B. I'm ok with swimming, even if it's treading water for awhile. I've done my fair share of sinking.