Mindful with Irene (39)

It’s been a week full of wise lessons. Lesson number one was: Releasing all your frustrations when you’re annoyed is not a very productive thing to do. Believe me, this is coming from the horse’s mouth. New Love and I had an argument about something pretty stupid. I’ll spare you the details (although, of course, these are always the best thing to hear). The argument started over the phone on Monday. I said that I really regretted something. New Love didn’t find that to be a reasonable comment to make at that moment in time. Which I then found very stupid for him to say, and eventually we both got really angry and hung up on each other. Naturally (!!), New Love was in the wrong, and I spent the whole evening waiting for him to call or text me with an apology. But none came. Which made me even angrier and – here we go – led me to unleash all my frustrations into one single text message which I then sent to him. I had originally planned to share these frustrations with him during a calm, peaceful time, when we could discuss them in a civilized way within the framework of a normal relationship. But hey, one way or another, I suddenly found that post-argument evening just as good a moment to share. Needless to say, it didn’t exactly help the current situation, and he got angrier himself and there ensued a, let’s say, “interesting” conversation via texts. One whole day of angry sms’ followed, then came another angry phone call conversation, and we were both still annoyed with each other (to say the very least).

Then came the second lesson of the week, and that’s when being divorced and older comes in handy, as you’ve already learned some valuable lessons about having a fight: We decided to meet up and talk it out face to face, eye to eye. But that couldn’t happen for a few days because New Love lives, works and looks after his children down in the province of Noord-Brabant, which isn’t exactly a stone’s throw away from my home, my work and my kids. For the first few days, my mind was full of dark clouds. I was going to say this; I was going to set him straight on that. I devised several scenarios around the outcome, but when Saturday finally came, I thought: What exactly was it all about? And when I saw him, I was happy. We didn’t even get a chance to talk things through, in fact, because something urgent came up that needed us to pull together. And later, we stood there chatting in a very cozy way and it suddenly all felt okay again.

Which brings me to lesson three. A lesson based exactly on what I wrote about in my blog two weeks ago, but which I had completely forgotten about myself (yes, that’s how the mind works): Sometimes you just have to let things be, and you don’t need to solve them. Realizing that, and also celebrating my birthday that week, made me feel tremendously wise and smart!

Irene, together with Astrid, is the founder and creative director of Flow Magazine. She lives with her children (10 and 13, co-parenting) in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Each Friday, she writes about how various Mindfulness lessons apply in her daily life.