Divorce can be a real motherfucker.
At the end of July I made the very difficult decision to make a major change in my life. I walked out the front door of my house (paid for) and decided to take a new path in life.
I had been going back and forth in my mind for months about whether this was the best choice for me. Here I am over five months later and I still feel like I made the right move even though it has been incredibly difficult for a number of reasons (emotional and financial). There have been a few times in the past where my wife and I temporarily split, but none ever felt this final. In fact, this is the first time that I made the decision to leave and therefore I knew we would be done for good. In the past shewas the one who would move out for a month or two, but always made her way back. The fact that, in the past, it was relatively easy for her to bail out should have been a warning sign. In any case, I always welcomed her back. This time when I left things got a bit rougher.
During the first few months after I left I had the "pleasure" of staying at my parents house. I would have rented an apartment, but since she was eventually
planning on moving out of the house I decided a short stay with the folks would be OK. Unfortunately she took over two months getting her affairs in order so I was in a holding pattern until I good get back to my house. I should have just got the apartment.
Life with the folks
While I have the kindest, most generous parents in the world, living with them had its challenges. Other than a couple of summers during college, I have not lived at home since I was a kid. My folks are both in their late 70s, so they have some "routines" that can be frustrating. First of all, August and September are damn hot here in Houston. Hell it was 82 here on Christmas day this year!!
Speaking of 82, that is where the thermostat stays year round in their house.
One night early on I was tossing and turning, sweating my ass off so I lowered the AC down to a downright frigid 75 (haha). The next morning as I headed out to make breakfast I noticed both of my parents were sitting in their recliners wearing sweats with heavy blankets over them. LOL Just think if I turned it down to 68 like I normally do. Anyway between climate issues and very irregular eating habits, I found myself immersed in my job working even longer hours than usual. Work, unfortunately was my new safe haven....sigh
Working more has always been my best escape practice. When the "Shit hits the fan" I just immerse myself in more work. I have been trying to alter this mentality, yet I keep going back to this mindset. Work, work, work.
Unfortunately between my new found freedom and my less than desirable living arrangement, I started spending more time out with the guys drinking too much. That's a whole different subject that I will steer clear of for now.
Without a doubt I will always be grateful for the parents' hospitality, but I was very relieved when she finally moved out of my house and I was able to start putting the pieces of my life back together. This happened around the first week of October.
Echo Chamber here I come
In the spring of 2003 I removed the carpet from most of the rooms in my house and installed tile flooring. It was a huge job and have really enjoyed how much easier it is to keep clean.
I also noticed how when all the furniture is removed is sounds like I am yelling over the Grand Canyon. I guess I should be thankful for small blessings. She did leave me one recliner and a 31" TV. As for everything else, it was GONE! Well maybe not everything, she did leave a few of the tattered towels and some mismatched dishes too. LOL
In other words, I felt like I was back in college, except there was no bed. During one six month separation about 10 years ago I actually slept on my sofa with two small dogs. Unfortunately she gave that sofa away to my next door neighbor a couple of years ago when we purchased new furniture. It was the first piece of furniture I purchased when I graduated college. It's still next door at my neighbors...rats!
Like I previously mentioned, I work quite a few hours and have been hanging out with old and new friends. Despite not having any furniture, I have actually gotten rid of more stuff and have yet to add anything new. I do have a new sofa with power recliners coming next week. :-) That is going to be so sweet!!
Most of the crap that I have thrown out is stuff that I told her was junk that she refused to get rid of. I did wait until the divorce was final before I threw threw those things out. I didn't want anything else added to the divorce decree with overinflated values. :-)
Getting rid of old seldom used items was somewhat therapeutic. Especially if you can destroy a few things like Peter and the boys in OFFICE SPACE. :-)
Like I said before I am getting a sofa next week because I really need more seating and people who come over are starting to give me strange looks. If I was 25 with no furniture it would probably be ok. Now that I am 44, it is just plain silly especially since I have the means to furnish the place.
Net worth fallout
I'm not gonna lie, my net worth took a pretty sizable hit. I won't get into specifics, but obviously I had to liquidate a large portion of my holdings. Once I sold off enough stocks for the settlement I went ahead and sold off most of the rest as well. The portfolio was lopsided and quite honestly I just wanted to have the cash for psychological reasons. Also I just didn't have the desire to focus on investing too much at the time. Hopefully I will fully regain my enthusiasm this year.
The good news is I have my house back and still have a pretty decent nest egg. More importantly I have joy in my life and am eager to start building my future again.
In all honestly when I made the decision to start a new life last summer I asked myself the question "If you have to give up everything in order to gain this freedom are you prepared to do so?" The answer was and still is YES! Obviously it would have been impossible for one party to get everything especially when there are no kids involved. It did feel like I was getting screwed during the process, but I'm sure she felt the same way. Even worse, lawyers were involved and got a shitload of my money. Such is life I guess.
As I said, I would have gladly started over again from scratch. I have done it in the past and it's really not that scary. If I were 65 and penniless that might be a different story. Who knows? maybe not.
As you can see by my Dividend Spreadsheet Tab my yearly dividends are pretty fucked up right now. I own only a handful of energy companies right now. I did start adding a few new positions this past week, but I am back at the base of the mountain....that is for sure!
Onward and Upward
I believe self pity, like excuses is for losers! I know it's a brash and in-your-face statement, yet it is how I feel. I refuse to dwell on dead yesterdays and unborn tomorrows. Other than sharing this post so that some of you can see the events that altered my financial picture, I refuse to blame anyone or lament over recent events in my life.
I also know that I am behind my goals and soon will go into full BEAST MODE
and get my shit together again. Bet the fucking farm on it!