September 1, 2014: The Unpublished Stories

Summer of 2008 ~ before the pool was drained
Today as we drove home from the kids' various sporting events, Jake noticed that the neighborhood pool had a vacant parking lot. He asked if it was closed or opened, as he noticed there was water still in the pool.

"They probably haven't drained the pool yet" was Garrett's answer.

Although this answer was full of father logic and small talk; unknowing to the others in the car, it struck a nerve with me.

A similar comment was made to me six years ago at the close of summer that year. The timing was sometime around Labor Day as this typically corresponds with annual pool draining.

"They've got to have that damn pool drained by now" was the comment.

And I'll never forget it.

My kind counselor had tried using typical professional jargon in attempts to convince me to move on during that fateful summer. I wasn't following his good advice. In exasperation, he made this side comment.

His comment got my attention. At that moment I realized that all my pool jabbering was nonsensical talk. A circular reference. It was time to move on. Drain the pool.

As I thought more about these stories that I repeated to my counselor that summer so long ago, I laughed to myself. These pool stories I told to him were actually pretty funny now, in retrospect. But they are stories that fall in the category of un-bloggable. The ones that stay in constant draft mode, never to be published and shared.

Going through my divorce, a friend once encouraged me to write everything down. He thought putting thought to paper might help settle my brain as it was apparently in overdrive. The reality was that I probably told him the same stories over and over. Writing gave him a necessary break, similar to the drained pool to my counselor.

So I wrote. And I did it the good-old-fashioned way. I had a yellow legal pad that was in the top draw of my bed stand. I would write and write as my mind would race with stories and thoughts.

As I slowly arose from the fog of divorce, the crazy stories that raced in my mind became less frequent. I found myself forgetting about the yellow writing tablet that sat by my bed. Time really does heal all wounds.

Two years post-divorce, I received a call from my attorney. He described to me the expansive file he had from my long-finalized divorce. Was there any reason to hold on to the files? With my approval, they would be destroyed. My answer needed no reflection.

"Please get rid of them. No need for anyone to see those again."

And then I promptly went home and dug out the forgotten worn yellow notebooks next to my bed stand. Page by page, I destroyed every written work. I couldn't imagine wanting to relive these times again. I didn't read a word as I took pleasure in ripping the pages into tiny pieces. In my mind there was a make-believe fire and I was basking in the burning.

Over the last six years, I have moved on from a yellow legal pad to an Internet blog for my writing outlet. The blog is for positive sharing of experiences and whimsical thoughts. My rule of thumb for sharing is that the purpose of the story has to have a motive outside of myself. Definitely not to scorn others for perceived injustices or to simply make me feel better.

Following the advice of my friend from many years back, I have at times reverted to writing down negative feelings and experiences when my brain is spinning. My motive? Typically just to sort out my thoughts and help me feel better. So they remain in the draft folder.

I have used shocking titles like "Betrayal", "Dear Diversion Officer,..." and "Chronicles of a Mad Ex-Wife", but the publish button is never pushed. They just sit in draft.

I once told Garrett that he had my approval to print these scandalous drafted blog stories after my demise (assuming it would be before him). Later, after I thought through this idea further, I knew it was a bad one. What was my motive in wanting to do this? Revenge or humiliation of others sure didn't feel good. These are definitely not the reasons I share my stories with others.

So today probably is a good day to drain the pool. The drafts are going to deleted. I will picture the fire as I push the delete button without regret. Thanks for the reminder, Jake.

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