My friend came up and took my 2 kids and her 2 kids out to the lake with us for a while yesterday afternoon, and then she brought them back in town and stayed here at my house for the night. Late this morning, I came back in and got the boys so that she could get back home and get to work.
The Dude and I got the tent set up relatively easily and then started fishing - we fished until it got dark and then started the fire around 10pm. We (ok, "he") cooked dinner over the fire, we ate, we talked, we laughed...we ate some more.... We took some pictures of the moon and then we went back out and fished some more in the moonlight before we crawled into the tent.
When we got up this morning, we fished some more (surprise) before I went to get the boys. The boys had a blast playing and trying to "help" us fish. At one point The Dude got a fish on his line and he let Alex reel it in - Alex was pretty sure that was the coolest thing EVER!
Anyway, here just just a *cough* few of the 200ish pictures that we took....
So anyway....like I said - we had an amazing time. The weather was phenomenal, and other than some loud "neighbors" it was so peaceful. We got to talk about a lot of things (and a lot of nothing) and we just enjoyed each other's company. And even though the boys were not interested in sitting still and fishing, we had fun with them out there too. Now that we know how to set the tent up, we might even take all of the kids out there one of these weekends just for the heck of it!
While we were sitting by the water today, I did a lot of reflecting of my own. Today was the anniversary of a very important day in my life - the day that I finally took my life back. Three years ago today, I knew that my marriage was over. I remember every emotion from that day - I remember the fear, the anger, the sadness, the frustration, the devastation - I remember it all like it happened yesterday.
In the 3 years since that day, my life has changed dramatically. I have changed dramatically. I have gone through a lot of changes since then - and not just the outer changes that people see. As a person I have grown and matured in ways that I never felt possible.
Sitting out by that water with The Dude today, I felt so at peace. It was the kind of peace that came from within me. No longer do I feel scared, or sad, or hopeless, or helpless, or anything even remotely close to those. For the first time in many many years, I am happy. Things in my life have stabilized in such a way that I can actually say "life is good" and mean it. My kids (although frustrating at times) are wonderful, I have a fantastic man in my life who loves me for me in spite of the craziness that is my life, and for the first time in a long time - I am making plans for the future.
I don't know how I got to this point, when 3 years ago I could barely make it through each day without falling apart in some way. I have spent so much time soul searching and figuring out how I got to where I was - and then I was able to figure out what to do next. It was a long, slow, and often painful process, but honestly, at this point - I wouldn't change a thing. I am so happy with my life right now, and I know that I wouldn't be where I am today had I not gone through all of the other crap.
Life is good.