I was in a writing class and we had to keep our pens moving no matter what. We were given a prompt, and then we had to start writing and not stop until the bell rang. The word was “Surrender.” (From July, 2014)

Wow. Defeat. Me, the Buddhist — and the first word that comes up is defeat. I refuse to be that person. NO! I will not, I tell you. Ok, take a breath. Surrender. Surrender to the fact that the first thing you thought was defeat.

So what does that say? Where from here? I remember Chloe telling me from her glum 12-year-old place in the passenger seat, “Jeez, Mom, you’re so negative.” Today that haunts me a little. I could have gone anywhere else — but I went to defeat.

What about defeat? What, in my life, has won? Over me? Well, I remember Harry won. (By the way don’t ever get a divorce in Wyoming if you’re a woman. I lost the house and everything else and owed him half of my income for the rest of his life.) But after the initial sense of defeat, I did perform a sort of twisted surrender.

Every month, from 1996 until his death in 2011 — what is that, fifteen years? — every month when I had to write out his check, I would repeat to myself,

“This is tuition to the best school for self esteem I could imagine.

This is how I’m investing in my freedom.
This is how I’m investing in my well being.

This is how much I’m willing to pay — happy to pay — to hear my name out loud and not get a knot in my stomach.

This is how much my unfettered wings are worth.

This is how much my walking around, free to go wherever I want without having to justify or apologize for it is worth.

All those dollars in his pocket?
They are the blessings I stand on today.

It’s a far cry from the romcom movie ending where she ends up with all the money and he goes to jail. But it’s the ending I got.

And the view from here, I gotta say…it’s amazing.

I’m a patron of Ninja Writers and this is part of the Medium Post-a-Day Challenge of blogging for 100 days. (This is Day 64.) If you enjoyed this, please let me know. Comment, or click on the clapping hands at left and give it some love, or share or follow me. And thank you so much for reading.

Writer. Yoga teacher. Musician. Buddhist. Quilter. Animal lover. Visible grownup. Hidden child. Secret dancer when all alone. Makes good bread.

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