My ah-hah moments during this whole divorce process have come at odd times. I never got feelings of independence from the "usual" places. I've always pretty much run the house and dealt with most of the kid stuff. I know which plumber to call when the basement backs up and the due dates of all the monthly bills. None of these things are real stretches in terms of preparing me for the single life. They're already part of my schtick.
No, my feelings of euphoria have come from more offbeat places.
Take the lawn. This may be really hard to believe, but until recently I'd never mowed a lawn in my life. In LA we rented and had landlord provided gardeners. When we moved here and bought our first house, the FX took over the job. There was plenty of griping about the mowing even before we got this house, which is on half an acre. It got really ugly then. From my perception, it was a job that took the better part of a day and always ended up with a bad mood. It was not something I felt like taking over.
But eventually the day came last Summer where I had to pull out the mower and go for it. Sasquatch had to show me how to turn it on and how it worked. He offered to do it for me, but I told him that, this time at least, I had to do it myself. I had to know that I could. And I did. And it wasn't hard at all. I put on my iPod, minded my toes and zoned out.
The second thing was an upstairs toilet that had been running forever. All it took was a trip to Home Depot and $2.99 plus tax.
The feeling of empowerment I got from those two really tiny things was huge. It wasn't about the job itself, it was about the knowledge that I could do something I needed to do all by myself. I'm not talking re-wiring the house or cleaning the chimney. Just nice, basic things that I'd never had to deal with before. It felt really good.
The last thing happened just this past Saturday. A lot of people have noticed that I never post any pictures that I've actually taken. And here's why. We've never had a real digital camera that was "mine" to use. Oh, there were work cameras and old garage sale cameras and so on. If I ever did take a picture, someone had to show me how to get it onto the computer or where the memory card was kept or the USB cable or something equally frustrating. This all became moot in June when all the digital cameras (such as they were) moved out. I have three growing kids. I wanted a camera.
So I went out and bought one. It's an idiot point and shoot, but it has all the parts. I took it out and set it up. I shot some pictures and videos of the kids. And I transferred it onto the computer. All by myself. I realize that this is a skill that 99% of the population has had for years, but I don't care.
For some reason, I feel very self-sufficient.