Measuring

by singlemomseeking on March 29, 2010

“Someone needs to pinch you and wake you up, yeah?”

That’s what a single mom friend — whom I’ve known since our kids were tiny — told me this weekend. What she meant was: you’re still waking up to the fact that your life is changing, aren’t you?

Have you ever had that feeling in which you’re watching your life move in pictures, and you wish you could make each photo pause for a bit longer? That’s what is going on right now, as my little family grows a bit bigger. Instead of being in the here and now, I keep starting sentences with, “I remember when–” LG says that I love to reminisce, and it’s true.

How do you measure all these changes? After all, your kids are growing bigger every day, becoming more independent and pulling away. Maybe you’re putting yourself out there and making new friends. Maybe you’re dating. Maybe you’ve started a new job. Maybe you’re going back to school.

measuring_tape

You can look back and see how your life is changing little by little, but perhaps not all at once. I almost want to put a sum on everything. Do you know what I mean? You can measure cups of flour and ounces of milk. You can measure miles and inches. How do you measure life like this?

Yesterday, my girlfriend wanted to know what I’m thinking about for my wedding dress. What color will it be? Will it touch the ground? Details! It’s about time that I started to think about this: size, height, and color. Sure, I can do that part. But I’m deep in thought right now. How do you measure the depth of a relationship?

Have you ever just wanted to put a number on something so that you hold onto it?

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April 1, 2010 at 7:34 am

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angi March 29, 2010 at 10:03 am

OMG! Ijust wrote a very similar post. (http://www.worthpursuing.com/2010/03/23/planning/) I am going through this same thing. His family has asked several times about wedding plans…there aren’t any, but that is NOT a bad thing. I’m sure we’ll plan that day for everyone else here very soon…but right now, we just enjoy having every day. We enjoy creating a new “family” for the kids. One day at a time. If you figure anything out, be sure to share. ;-)

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singlemomseeking March 29, 2010 at 3:03 pm

@angi: I just went and read your post and it has me feeling all mushy. SO sweet!!

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Pippi March 29, 2010 at 10:44 am

Hi Rachel, I think you can measure the depth of a relationship by what you feel in your heart and your gut. I remember when I was going through the first year of my divorce…the feeling was horrible…my heart was hardened and my gut was filled with guilt for the pain and unhappiness I had caused my ex-husband for leaving him, as well as anger towards him for the way I was controlled during our marriage. Now, two years later, I am in a committed relationship with a wonderful man. I feel my heart has opened and my gut continues to tell me to move forward.
.-= Pippi´s last blog ..ANTIQUE hand crank Women’s Vibrating Dildo =-.

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Momma Drama March 29, 2010 at 10:51 am

Just recently found your blog – love this post.

I’ve been feeling this way lately too. Seems like everyone in my little house is having a big year this year except for me (which I’m ok with) – big birthday’s for all this year. My daughter is turning 10 and I’m completely freaking out. Already – at 10. Lord help me when she turns 16… The years just fly by. I think people should reminisce all the time – or they forget the little stories.
.-= Momma Drama´s last blog ..Big Birthday Year for 2010 =-.

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Mindy@SingleMomSays March 29, 2010 at 11:51 am

One of my daughters and I were just looking at some photos yesterday of when LO was born. It’s only been 4 years but it seems a lot longer, especially when I see the other girls looking so young! Looking at old photos is definitely one way to see how much time has passed and how much (or little) we have changed – and how much our lives have changed.

I dont feel the need to put a number on something in order to hold onto it, but prefer to let go of the numbers in favor of reveling in the experience.
.-= Mindy@SingleMomSays´s last blog ..Girl’s Weekend =-.

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Nicki March 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm

I hold onto everything. We record our life in words and pictures. I wouldn’t have it any other way. And we also have this wonderful way of unwinding at the end of a night and reminiscing about particular events. It’s so nice to share all these special moments together.
.-= Nicki´s last blog ..When did I know… =-.

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GLSD March 29, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I love reminiscing. All the little memories from the past makes us that much stronger in the present. Hubby and I sit and talk about our earlier years. When we first got married and all the ups and downs we went through and how much stronger we are now. It makes us realize how much we truly love each other and we are best friends. I’m so happy for you and LG. Keep us posted :)

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sophie March 29, 2010 at 2:52 pm

This is a question I, as a newly single mom who’s been dating a guy (the first guy I dated since my divorce, though not the first guy I slept with) for six months, think about a lot. How essential is he to my life? What if he disappears? What if I’m mostly dating him because, well, he was the first guy who really seemed worth bothering with? What if that last is a testimony to the depth of our relationship?

I don’t really know the answer. But I know that he just spend three weeks in Asia and we’ve been emailing and Skyping every day the whole time. On the one hand, I feel bad for taking up so much of his trip. On the other, I think it’s telling that we turn to each other to share all the little things.
.-= sophie´s last blog ..Sex and the Single Mom Part One, or "Like a Virgin" =-.

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Vanna March 30, 2010 at 12:37 am

I’ll always remember my first day of college, my first apartment to myself, my first girlfriend, my first job etc. I have a photograph of me when I was younger. It is the photograph on my greencard. I had just gotten to America then and have been here for twenty-two years. All I can say right now is “Wow!” There is one word that is untrue to a certain extent. That word is “consistant.” Nature is never consistant. It is always going through cycles and the natural landscape is forever changing. That’s not to say that I don’t have any boundaries or any fundamental values because I do and I remember where I came from and would certainly like to go back one day after I get my US citizenship and passport. Hell, I’ll even go back there to work.
You could mesure the depths of a relationship by starting at the fundamental grounds where you guys started with each other and whatever it evolved in to. At least that’s what seems to suit me.

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Bonnie March 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Relationships ebb and flow. Sometimes you go deep sea diving with someone for a while, but eventually you have to come up for air and go with the normal ups and downs of the tides and waves. From someone that has also gone through merging lives, homes, animals, children, and created a new family with someone after an amazing romance, I suspect you are finally coming up for air and facing the reality of making this relationship and family last forever. Everybody freaks out!! Totally normal. Stop. Breathe. Close your eyes and picture your family.

What will it look like on a Monday, Wednesday, Sat, and Sun-morning, noon, and night. What about holidays? Ask M, and LG to do the same. Forget dresses and wedding planning for a week. Sit down with LG and talk about what this new family will look like, how you want it to feel, expectations, and some basics about really living together. Then try on that dress, close your eyes and picture your new family. If it feels right then proceed. Stop breathe enjoy. Repeat.

FYI NYT motherlode blog has had some really good merging families posts lately.

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singlemomseeking April 1, 2010 at 7:23 am

@Bonnie, I really needed to read that. Wow, thank you so much.

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Kat Wilder April 1, 2010 at 6:58 am

Last weekend, it was the Little League parade in my town. I saw some of my neighbors rushing their kids, dressed in crisp white baseball pants (they won’t stay that way!), to get downtown in time. The kids looked so proud and excited, the parents looked so young (and stressed!), and I started to get nostalgic. My kid is waaaay past Little League age — he’s taller than I am, 6-1! He’s planning for college! He’s driving! He has whiskers! And I keep wondering, where did all that time go? But, one of the best parts of him being this age is seeing who he’s been becoming all along — the one cup toddler, the 2 tablespoons “snakes, snails and puppy dog tails,” the pound of teenage angst.

While he was doing all that, I got divorced, changed jobs, dated, had boyfriends, spent many nights and weekends alone, cried and laughed, read great books, saw wonderful musicians perform, met new friends (like you!) … a wealth of experiences.

If you must measure life, it’s in increments that keep adding up to the great big, uh, souffle, in the end.

And in the end, the real end, when we’re on our death beds, we only really care about how much we loved and were loved.

So, we have to keep adding that into the mix …
.-= Kat Wilder´s last blog ..What’s jealousy got to do with love? =-.

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T April 1, 2010 at 7:28 am

I love you Rachel. I always will. But I crush on Kat. Hard.
.-= T´s last blog ..PMS, Processing, Powerful intention =-.

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Kat Wilder April 1, 2010 at 11:35 am

I’m blushing. ;-)
Love you both, too
.-= Kat Wilder´s last blog ..What’s jealousy got to do with love? =-.

NewSingleTweenMom April 1, 2010 at 11:30 am

As a new single mom (my ex just moved out-of-state) who is also madly in love, I have always found myself measuring our lives in terms of pre-divorce and post-divorce. But lately I have found us measuring life based on court dates and deadlines. When it comes to our commitment to one another, I base it on how much the kids and I have been through with him by our side…6 CFI interviews, 1 failure to return the children, 2 missed birthdays, 1 emergency court hearing, etc. As awful as it is to link him to those events, it is also a bold reminder that he has the glue it takes to stick around.

I used to dream of the day when things would stop changing quite so much and just let us be. I didn’t want any change, good or bad, to happen. But, I have learned to stop taking that step back and looking at our life in that way. I now measure my family in terms of the number of good days we have in a week. I deal with legal issues and ex issues as they arise, but don’t take that step back to see where we stand in the big picture. If I focus on having more good days than bad, it gives me a clear measurement and a smaller amount to fix at one time.

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amy April 3, 2010 at 7:19 am

birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, the seasonal cycles. time is a human construct–we all know that, but we still feel bound by time.

a question that has puzzled me right now is, “how long does it take to get over a breakup?” it’s been two months since a seven-month relationship ended–well, it was really three good months and four up and down (mostly down). and i’m still cycling back on the pain. when will it end?

i refuse to accept those “rules”–getting over it takes as long as the relationship lasted, or half as long, or twice as long, etc. because i can’t set a deadline on healing. it’s my own pace, my own process. i don’t want to rush it because i want to really heal this time and be ready for the “real thing” sooner than later.
.-= amy´s last blog ..talk about the passion =-.

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singlemomseeking April 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm

@Amy: I’m not sure if you feel this way, too, but it seems like the older I’ve gotten, the longer it took me to “get over” someone. Why is that? Good for you for listening to yourself, instead of following some “rules.” Big hug!

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Jack April 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm

My blog has been one of the tools that I use to mark the passage of time. Combine that with 1 millions pictures and a dozen moments in time that are burned inside my head and well…
.-= Jack´s last blog ..Passover 2010- Grandma is Gone =-.

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Lovebabz April 7, 2010 at 3:11 am

I am not so sure this is about measuring as it is about capturing and keeping memories. Your blog is a time capsule of sorts, and those of us that write…journal…blog have captured our lives in words and pictures.

The past is only in your mind anyway. Regardless of what you write or photograph. We only have right now… the sweetest of days.
.-= Lovebabz´s last blog ..THE NEXT TOP SPIRITUAL AUTHOR: ME…VOTE FOR ME! =-.

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