You can't replace or redo the lost time. But you can grow back into your full self, into a whole parent, and be even better when they are with you.
Health and fitness begin in your mind. Can you eat better? Can you exercise 3 – 5 times a week? Can you give your own body the love you’d like to shower on a partner? Health is your number one commodity as you get older. Stay healthy by taking little steps towards a better, stronger, you.
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Fitness and health are the currency of growing old. Let’s do it with intention. Don’t hope to catch up later, get on a health kick, eat better, sleep better, love better. Your fitness and health are the most important things in your life. (Maybe after mental health, in my case.)
My ex-wife and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things. But one thing we've kept relatively clear over the last 5 years of divorce is THE KIDS COME FIRST. Always.
Your kids are learning about life from how you behave, not how you tell them to behave. So behave honorably. Be respectful of your former partner. And love them with all of your heart when they are with you.
My dream in all those years of aloneness, in all the workout-cardio tennis classes, was to get myself in good enough shape to attract a woman and get her on the tennis court. BOOM. At that moment, even before we'd struck a single ball, I GOT IT. This is what I was missing.
I wanted my marriage to continue, but it did not. And that failure has given way to such joy and happiness that it's hard not to thank my ex-wife for giving me this new opportunity for a joyous life.
I still want to get in better shape. I want my health to be an advantage in my older days. I want my kids to look up to me, and know that they are still several years from being able to beat me on the tennis court, or sprinting across any random field we come upon. I want my kids, but mainly myself, to be proud of me.
The rest is negotiation, navigation, and nurture. We've both got work ahead of us. We are always in a state of becoming. But today, I have my lifetime cheerleader beside me. And I'm always ready joyfully embrace her in all of her flaws and misdirections. We've all got them.
With this woman, I have established my new JOY TRIBE. And my two kids are basking in the renewed joy as well. By showing them what a loving and happy relationship looks like, they can begin modeling their future relationships on healthy patterns.