The Wreckage of the Past

Woman buried in paperLately I’ve been making a big push to clean up the chaos that lingers from my separation and divorce. Michael 1.0 left in a hurry, and the house was not in the best condition at the time of his departure. For example, shortly before he moved out, he had replaced the flat, hollow-core doors with solid six-panel ones. Removal of the doors meant removal of the molding surrounding the doors. While he replaced the molding, he never got around to painting it or repairing the damage he created when tearing off the old molding. Lots of texturing and painting was needed to repair the walls, and even some tile work. Michael 1.0 may have been handy, but cautious and careful he was not.

In addition, the landscaping was only partially completed, and my dog did a number on the already leaky drip system after I rescued her. She and Katie worked together to damage the fire pit. The pool needed new plaster and tile. The roof needed to be replaced. The gutters are leaking and filled with leaf debris. Paperwork and files were dumped in boxes and left. Furniture, equipment, and clothes Michael 1.0 no longer wanted were abandoned.

In addition, baby clothes and gear that I had given to my sister and thought I would never see again were dumped in my garage when she abruptly moved back to Livermore for a promotion. Plus I have an entire wardrobe that is now too large thanks to a 40-pound weight loss. Not to mention all of Katie’s outgrown clothes and bins of IEP paperwork. And stacks and stacks of paper, bills, and receipts. Plus electronic data spread across four computers and two phones.

You get the idea.

It’s been four-and-a-half years since my divorce was completed and I’m still living in the wreckage of my past. The mess may be overwhelming, but I’m tired of living like a transient in my own home. I’m weary of the chaos. It’s time for a clean slate.

Since January, I’ve been sorting and purging, cleaning and organizing. To an outsider, it may not look like anything is being done, but believe me, it is. Recently I shredded nine years of old bills. It felt so good I may shred a few more. I tossed old toys and toddler furniture. I redecorated Katie’s room. I finally moved into my office.

Today I’m sitting at my beautiful post-divorce desk, typing on my new computer, and looking at my vision board that hangs on the newly painted yellow walls. My office supplies are neatly organized in the drawers. Half of the room remains in disarray, but this little corner is ready to rock and roll. Why did I wait so long?

Maybe how long it took is not what’s important. Maybe what’s important is that at long last I am leaving behind the chaos and wreckage that I became accustomed to in my marriage. I’m finally letting go of the debris of my past. It’s time for a new chapter to begin.

Until next time,
Cynthia Patton

About Cynthia J. Patton

Writer, Editor, Advocate, Speaker, Special Needs Attorney, and Autism Mom. Also the Founder and Chairperson of Autism A to Z, a nonprofit providing resources and solutions for life on the spectrum.
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