Project Awesome

Making my life more awesome

Shifting

on December 19, 2013

I have just made contact arrangements with Ex-Husband.  This is something I have been doing on a regular and frustrating basis for almost two-and-a-half years.  His random shifts at three weeks’ notice have meant that I’ve been constantly living with one set of arrangements while discussing another, leading to frequent confusion and weariness, as well as frustration over Ex-Husband’s apparent lack of understanding about Big Girl and Small Girl’s needs and his unwillingness to believe anything I say about them.

So his text today saying that he had a temporary shift pattern from January until September was incredibly welcome.  And we now have a fixed arrangement which suits both the girls and me.  I am so relieved.  I can now plan ahead.  I can plan to see people with the girls.  I can plan to see people without the girls.  I can buy tickets to the theatre without risking wasting my money.  I can book in work events in the evening.  I can do all these things as much as I like, with the proviso that the temporary shift pattern may become permanent in March, but may shift a couple of weeks either way in the process.

But the astonishing thing is how easy it was to agree the arrangements.  He texted me his shift pattern.  I emailed him a suggested contact arrangement, along with my reasons for it.  He texted me with a couple of alterations.  I said ok.  It was done.  Reasonable and civil.  No angry texts going back and forth.  No sitting at my desk swearing for five minutes.  No dread at each incoming text.  No anger and grief at being unable to make the arrangements my children need. It gives me some hope for our ability to work together in the future.

And not just that – I posted a status on Facebook expressing my happiness and relief and watched as ‘likes’ and congratulations piled up.  I feel overwhelming gratitude – that my life is becoming workable; that there is a tentative sense of control; that perhaps I do not have to continue to suffer a painful relationship with Ex-Husband; but most of all the knowledge that I have so many friends who care about me, who support me and who are hoping for good things for me in the coming year.

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