Remember the game Hot Potato?  I don't think it was strictly a countryish-farm sort of kid game.  Though it could be, as that was my only point of reference growing up.  Hot Potato is a children's game, a sit or stand still version of Musical Chairs.  A soft object is quickly tossed around in a circle of people, person to person.  A bean bag, a rotting potato (ha!), a soft ball is used - something that in the heat of speed of the game would not cause injury.  The goal is to NOT end up with the ball when either the music stops or someone yells HOT!  The player left holding the object is ejected from the game.  To win the game is to be the last one left.  It's an old, old game that DOES NOT stem from the premise that when you take a potato from the microwave it is hot and hard to hold (though that is very true).  It is a take on a game from the late 1880's involving passing a candle.  The point though is that when something is hot or uncomfortable we don't want to hold it for long.  Yesterday I was searching for a new dentist.  Doing the research to find both a top rated dentist and one that was on my insurance's list of in-network providers.  I found myself thinking about why I really needed to find a new dentist.  That I had experienced yet again another post-divorce "hot potato" moment with my dentist of the past 25 years.  I think I have run out of patience, sympathy, empathy and even to some degree, tolerance for people in my life who can't seem to move past my divorce.  Who can't seem to see me still as Nancy.  Who have changed the way they hold their relationship with me.  Who now view me as that "hot potato".  I didn't want to change dentists necessarily.  But, I have moved on with my life post-divorce and don't have time for other's inability, naivety or weirdness in my interactions with them.  The last time I went to my dentist of 25 years, a man, who fresh out dental school and in his first practice, hired me as his first dental assistant, was awkward.  His warmth and connectivity to me post-divorce and remarried was gone.  I could tell he didn't know how to view me, talk to me.  As if, somehow I was a different person than when I was married for 25 years to my first husband.  To say it pissed me off is a very large understatement.  I don't have time or tolerance for it any longer.  I dialed the new dentist's office and made an appointment.   Last week I lost all patience for my former financial advisor and dear friend's strangeness in doing business with me post-divorce.  I wanted to scream every time these "hot potato" moments occurred.  Every time someone who was a part of my past wanted to distance themselves from me, over think how they interacted with me now or just became non-existent in my life.  For the first time though since my divorce I was ok with it.  Instead of mourning and being in angst and internal turmoil over it, I moved on.  Instead of being bewildered, hurt and feeling abandoned, I was able to see all the good in my life whether those people chose to be a part of it or not.  I was a much better Nancy now post divorce.  I brought to the table all of me - a real version of myself.   I could go on and maybe even be thankful that I was a hot potato.  I did not want to be "stuck" with people who couldn't be free to be themselves around me, who didn't have minds and hearts big enough to see I was still Nancy, who couldn't allow me to be me.  Those people who couldn't process divorce against their religious backgrounds and who lived in a constant state of judgement.  I didn't need to justify myself, make people understand what I had experienced or endured to get them to love and want to have a relationship with me.  For the first time, I was more than ok.  To all the formers in my life; my dentist, my financial advisor, my former parishioners and friends, people from my past, my friend who texts me Bible verses, I wish you well in life and have moved on without your presence.  There has been a process of grief in those relationships.  I have experienced all those steps in grieving their lost relationships - shock, denial, bewilderment, pain, loss, being paralyzed & stuck, anger and finally some acceptance.  I will go to a new dentist.  I changed the agent of record on my financial products to someone else.  And, I can more clearly and seperately see the loss and not experience the pain of it. 

1 comment:

  1. Onward and upward my friend! Enjoy and seize the day:)!!!