Today is May 1st. May Day. My former wedding anniversary.
The first May 1st that rolled around after my divorce was tough. I dreaded it, so I made sure to do something completely different on that day. I stepped out of my comfort zone, created some new memories, and ran the Warrior Dash:
The second May 1st that rolled around found me in Memphis for the Beale Street Music Festival. I never quite got around to writing about that weekend, but it was a girls’ trip with my friend Mindy and my sister Caroline. It was rainy and muddy and it was tremendously fun.
We saw a ton of music, including Jerry Lee Lewis (who hilariously stopped playing in the middle of his set to be a crotchedy old man and yell at the audience for knocking around a beach ball during his performance), John Mellencamp, and I-swear-I’ve-never-been-the-same-again-after-seeing-them-perform-live Mumford & Sons:
We ate barbecue and drank beer and got soaked in the rain and kinda froze our butts off and danced and laughed (and laughed and laughed and laughed).
The original plan for this May 1st was to go to New Orleans—see some music, get a little crazy, get out there and do something—but it didn’t work out that way. This year, May 1st is a Tuesday, and Tuesdays find me fully immersed in the Mom part of my life. I had the kids last weekend and although I’ll be kidless this coming weekend I’ll be staying in town to see a very dear friend get married to a very dear lady (second marriages for them both—and without a doubt, the right ones this time). A self-indulgent former anniversary trip just didn’t fit into my schedule this year.
And that’s ok. Because I no longer need a distraction from what this day used to be and used to mean. At this point, three years out from the collapse of my marriage, three years out from The Ex filing for divorce, three years out from feling the life I knew disintegrating under my feet, May 1st is just … May 1st. It’s just a Tuesday. It’s just a day I’ll do laundry and run errands and fill out permission slips and try to schedule the kids’ summer camps. It’s just a day I’ll pick Amelia up at 2:00 and Avery up at 3:00 and Owen and a friend up at 4:00. It’s just a day Avery has karate and Owen will ride bikes with the neighbors and Amelia will color while I cook dinner. It’s just a first-of-the-month day I’ll pay bills and change the HVAC filters and maybe squeeze in a little billable work time. It’s just a day like any other.
May 1st as an anniversary feels almost archaic. Almost, because I still know what today is, or was, but it feels as though I’m viewing it from a very removed and displaced location. May 1st as a marker belonged to another girl in another life. It belonged to this girl, who was in love with this boy, and who thought it would be smooth sailing from then on out and who believed that all the big questions in her life had been answered:
I’m not that girl anymore. I no longer ask the same questions or expect the same answers. I view myself, and others, through a different lens. My goals are different. My happiness is different. I live a wholly different life than I planned to, and I am constantly amazed by the richness of this unexpected path.
Today is May 1st and yesterday was April 30th and tomorrow is May 2nd. Normal days in my normal life. Each and every one a blessing. Happy Tuesday, everyone.