My dad died when I was 21 years old. He was afraid to die. And he was angry at God and the world for allowing his death to happen. He was no longer angry at me. He was no longer capable of being a scary figure in my life. He was small, curled up, and very angry. But like today's man, he was no longer capable of hurting me with his anger.
I look forward to having another opportunity to learn about myself "in a relationship" at some point. I'm happy and patient right where I am. But I believe by having my priorities clear and articulated I can do a better job of finding and sorting through the process of finding that NEXT RELATIONSHIP. I wait enthusiastically.
Live your life as you would like to see your kids living theirs. Show them the adults they can be, by demonstrating the best that you can be. Anything less is a miss. Parenting and co-parenting resources come and go, theories of parenting and how do recover from divorce will change from season to season, but this truth never changes.
There are not fewer things to coordinate when you become a single parent, in fact, there are more. The things you once traded equitably, now fall 100% in your lap when it is your parenting time. This new cadence can be jarring, frustrating, and make for some upset campers on all sides unless you plan ahead and go 100% Positive.
There is no time like the present to flip your anger into absurd, cackling, fake laughter. It's a known fact that your physical body doesn't really know the difference between real laughter and fake laughter. So if you give a big ol' Pee Wee Herman laugh, your body really thinks you are laughing. The endorphins and physical joy comes back into your system, fires up the happy side of your brain, and can bring you part of the way back to center.
And at that moment, I also felt the joy of my father's love upon me. He might have left the planet 15 years ago, but his love is still within me. And each time I can really hear and connect with my own kids, my heart lights up with a little bit more healing of my 5-year-old self, my wounded little boy.
So much of co-parenting is about negotiation and compromise. We no longer have the same loving emotional ties to our former partners. We no longer have to make their urgency and priorities our own.
There will be time for anger. There will be moments when anger is the only way you can find to stand up for what you believe to be right. But the rest is up to you.