2018 is winding down – only 26 more days of the year. It’s two of the darkest weeks as we move toward the winter Solstice with its shortest day and longest night. The moon is also in its waning crescent phase, leading to the New Moon on the 7th. On a macro-level it’s time to wind down, to let go of the old in order to welcome the new, so it’s oddly fitting that today – after a lengthy four and a half year separation – Tom and I signed our divorce papers.

While our relationship was clearly over at the time we separated, it took us much longer to get the legal side of things completed. The papers will be submitted to the court later this week, and though we won’t get a response for several weeks, once the documents are signed by both of us, the contract is considered binding.

Our mediator didn’t have any openings in her schedule in the North Bay office, so I trekked into San Francisco this afternoon. I don’t go into the city very often now that I’ve moved, and it’s even rarer for me to go to the heart of down town – Union Square. There was traffic, of course, and construction, and so many people shopping for the holiday season. Everything felt grey – concrete, sky, buildings, even the people. 

Tom and I sat across from each other at a conference table much too large for just us. We mostly signed in silence, except for a few awkward jokes. 

“You are sober, right,” I asked as we initialed the declaration that we weren’t under the influence of any mind-altering substance during the signing. 

“Yeah, but I’m getting a beer after,” he said.

The paralegal commented that it was always interesting to hear what people did after the papers were signed. Some went for drinks. Some went home. One client had to rush out because they had a dentist appointment directly after. Sounds like a glutton for punishment, to me.

At one point I realized he and I were in mirrored positions – head on fist, looking down. I don’t know what he was thinking… part of me wondered if his line of thought mirrored mine too  – this wasn’t where I imagined we’d end up, when we got married. I thought we’d be in it forever. I certainly never imagined that I’d be the one who ended it. I couldn’t imagine living without him.  But I had, and here we are.

I came home right after – today was my day with the kiddos.  I made dinner, gave Miriam a shower, made sure Tai practiced his trombone, fed the dogs.  I lit a candle. Now it’s nearly midnight and while I feel a little melancholy for ‘what might have been’ and ‘what I imagined it would be’, I know that I am content. I am fine. I am growing.