"Daddy, I want it now!" whined Veruca Salt throughout the 1971 classic film, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. I often wondered why Salt couldn't wait a day and just ask her dad to give Mr. Wonka a call to talk about the golden egg. If she'd have just had some PATIENCE and enjoyed the day, she wouldn't have ended up in the garbage chute. Salt should be a lesson to men and women going through a divorce.
Why? Because patience could possibly be the biggest thing you need during your divorce; a time that is probably the most devastating, fearful, stressful and depressing in a person's life.
In Mark Manson's latest post, "Shut Up and Be Patient," he offers this advice:
"Life moves at the pace it wants, not the pace you want, bucco," Manson writes. "Change is going to come slowly, often so slowly that we don't even notice it's taking place."
Having patience isn't easy. I know. I might be one of the most impatient people I've ever come across. In fact, those who know me personally and who are reading this are laughing out loud right now because they can't believe I am giving advice to other people about being patient. But what I'm trying to saying is, I get it. We all want it now, Veruca. And, our society has become a place where a lot of times we get what we want now.
Think about it. If you want to know something, you either Google it or ask Siri and you get it NOW. If you want to go somewhere, you punch in the location onto your GPS and you get directions NOW. If you want groceries? You order via Pea Pod and they come NOW. Even people. If you want to talk to someone, you text or email the person and you expect a response within 30 seconds or you are annoyed. Because you want it NOW.
So, when it comes to divorce, we want to be able to pick up our Smartphone and say, "Siri, give me a divorce now." But, the thing about going through a divorce is that it takes time. It takes A LOT of time. From the time one or both people decide to get divorced up until the time the papers are signed and it's final could take years. And, like Veruca, we don't have patience. WE WANT IT NOW! So, we whine and kick and scream and cry and our fury makes Veruca look like a pussycat.
When going through a divorce, some people lack patience for the following:
The divorce process. Whenever I think of divorce attorneys (and I've had a few different ones -- two were really good and one was awful) I still get stressed, annoyed and even a little bit angry because I feel like you pay, pay, pay and things move at a snail's pace, and months and months -- sometimes years go by and you're thinking, "I can't believe this is taking so long!" But the thing is, it's not the attorneys. Because even if you have the best attorney on earth, the process takes time. It just does. Hearings take time to get and things can get delayed in court. For example, one of my hearings got moved twice -- two months later because my judge had hip replacement surgery. Another reason divorces could take so long is that the divorcing couple's relationship keeps changing due to life circumstances. For example, you think you might have come to a deal (an agreement for a settlement) and then one person loses their job. Now it's back to the drawing board. Or, one of the people finds out that their soon-to-be ex is in a serious relationship. This changes everything because the person is so upset and angry, that they decide the deal they made isn't fair. The whole process is maddening frustrating because decisions can be made based on emotions.
Getting over the actual breakup. Again, I want to quote Mark Manson. He says in his post, "Sometimes I get emails from recent divorcees who spent ten or twenty years with the same person, bought their first house with them, raised kids with them, shared half of their life's most important moments with them, and after being single for two months, they want to know how to get over them. I realize these people are in a lot of pain, otherwise they would realize how absolutely irrational and unrealistic they are being, but the fact of the matter is that you were sailing in the same direction with one person for a very, very long time, and many of your habits, and therefore, your identity, is now tied up with that person. It takes a long time to turn around and set off for new waters." I can remember crying and crying and thinking, 'When am I going to wake up and not cry?' and then one day I did. But then I cried the next day. But, my crying every day became less and less frequent, until it didn't happen anymore. BUT, I had to be patient because it took years. Sorry, but it did.
Meeting someone new. He's out there! But you have to be patient. You are going to meet him when fate decides you are going to meet him, not on your timetable. Do you know why there are so many divorces in second marriages? Because the people lacked patience. They wanted to be married again, so they rushed into it before healing from their first marriage and before really knowing the person.
Patience might be one of the hardest things to manage. But, if you are wise enough to find it, your divorce journey will be a lot smoother. AND it will have a happier ending. Instead of ending up in the garbage shoot, you'll find yourself polishing your golden egg!
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of her blog, Divorced Girl Smiling, and the comedic divorce novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase. She also writes feature stories, along with the weekly dating and relationships column, Love Essentially" for Chicago Tribune Media Group local publications. Pilossoph lives in Chicago. Oh, and she's divorced.