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Alright – 2011 is over… the most bizarre year of my life is over… onto 2012 and back to doing what I love writing.

No more wallowing, no more lazy sad days… I am inspired to start writing again.  One chance meeting with a hockey player in my over 35 league here in Kelowna has gotten me back on my horse – he asked when I was going to update the dad vibe and start writing… he was checking the site weekly to ‘be inspired’ – so that is all I needed…

I have work to do!

2011 was definitely a TSN turning point in my life.   My 7 year marriage was over.  I definitely have lots of insights to write about and a ton of compassion for anyone that has endured the break up of a marriage – from the gut wrenching lows to soul searching lower lows… but then, the skies finally clear.

I watched myself go through the 5 stages of Grief – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and then finally Acceptance.  I grieved the loss of my partner, my family, the ‘white picket fence’ and everything that goes along with it.  This was one of life’s biggest decisions that didn’t turn out the way I had planned.  So along with the shame and disappointment, I am now finally able to compartmentalize the myriad of emotions – rage, anger or sadness.  I can really feel it, but then I need to put it back up on the shelf.  All the emotions are much too heavy to wear everyday.

Here is something that might help you or someone you know that is going through a tough time.  Aside from a friendly helpful lawyer, there were 4 things that helped me survive my divorce…

  • a true friend
  • a positive attitude
  • a simple filter used to make decisions
  • and my new mantra.

Along with counselling and an amazing men’s group, these 4 things helped me take the high road throughout my ordeal and now I am reaping the benefits of taking the high road… okay, looks like 7 things helped me.  Oh, and an incredible supportive family helps — damn, 8 things…

I am forever indebted to a dear friend who I phoned at least once everyday – seriously, you need someone you trust on speed dial — incredible and invaluable — someone to listen, someone to give you perspective, someone to be honest and call a spade a spade – oh, and someone to STOP you from sending angry emails and texts too.

My positive attitude I attribute to Victor Frankl, a concentration camp survivor, from his book Man’s Search for Meaning —  “I can always choose my reaction to ANY situation” – once I began to understand this simple truth, I found MY power again.  I choose how I feel and how I react.  I can’t control other people but I can choose what I WILL DO – for example, I can easily ignore inflammatory texts or emails – that was a tough one, but once I figured it out, my power and calm usually won.   I choose…

I constantly used a simple filter to decide my next moves… “Does this hurt or help my children?” – for example, when I seriously contemplated with the idea of seeking full custody from my then “somewhat irrational wife” – I knew that would not benefit the children and was more fuelled by my own anger.   If something hurt them, I didn’t do it.

And finally… if I was brave enough to get a tattoos, I would get the following tattooed on my both forearms – IIWII – “It Is What It Is” — that simple saying helped me more than I could ever imagine.  Just accepting the situation for what it is and moving forward…

Life has calmed down considerably – my wife and I are working together to co-parent and I have met an incredible woman that has been a great accelerator to happier times.    My life, both professionally and personally is heading in a very exciting direction.  I am glad you are along for the ride… I have at least a thousand articles and thoughts to get out of my head…

Please send along your comments and thoughts – I meant the dad vibe to be a dialogue not just ME ME ME…

Thanks for the support and buckle up — I’m back BABY…

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