Sometimes I think that the past year plus a few months, since a separated from my exhusband, have been a long period of letting the dust settle. I picture it more like mud settling in water, slowly allowing the water to become transparent. "Slowly" is the part I hate. All my life I have been able to grasp concepts quickly, and anything I have to absorb or process slowly makes me crazy (crazier?).
I have used the time to ... well, in large part just recover. It took time to stop thinking a thousand thoughts a minute, trying to make sense of insanity, trying to keep up with everyone's needs. It took time to realize that the only person whose thoughts and judgements need to concern me are my own. In short, it took time to catch my breath and be able to think again.
For a long time, I have known that I want to work on this house, to get it organized and begin to work on painting and other projects. It is hard to imagine that it has taken so long to be able to step back and see what needs to be done and how much of it I can do. It was therapeutic to start working in the old, incredibly dingy bathroom. The day I told my ex that I was filing for divorce, my sister came over to help me start pulling down the weird half-wall covering under the wallpaper. It was a long project, but when I was most unable to think, it was a tangible process assuring me that things really were changing.
Months later, I purchased with new bedding for my room. That was important. A friend has helped me start cleaning. Next will be paint: a job that was looming over me, inconceivable. It seemed there was a sudden break, that I could pick up paint booklets and start to look at color samples on the walls.
The frustrating thing has been accepting that nothing I could do or can do would speed the process. Stamping my foot, trying to be ahead of where I am, tackling projects that I wasn't yet able to see clearly - all just muddied the waters over again. I have gone through small jobs in spurts, like really cleaning out my room then not doing anything for weeks or months (anything apart from daily survival - work, feeding and clothing the kids, getting them to school, still participating in an abuse survivors group, etc.).
Wisdom has been learning to know when to just let it be, and not telling myself or believing anyone else who seemed to think I should be doing more. No one else has had to be me and do the things I need to do. The waters are so clear now, finally calm. I can envision the next things to do in the house and make a plan. I am getting both kids the different supports they need, and myself, too. I have recognized that what I really want to do at this point is not go to graduate school for writing (though maybe at some time in the future), it is to train to do life coaching. I am not certain how I can get that plan funded but at the moment, I am content with the clarity of my vision. Once I can see it, I know that sooner or later I can make it happen.