01/12/2011 03:23 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Tornado Called Divorce

The utter destruction of divorce cannot be underestimated. It comes in like a tornado and hurls the house, the contents and family members literally out the door. That my life has been a mad scramble in the last three months is an understatement. House closed, moved, storage bins, holidays, gift wrap, forget cards, flying, driving, writing, interviewing, bill paying, unpacking, de-boxing, loading, unloading, holding my breath until my life is in some kind of order again, please. I amuse myself with the absurdities that you find yourself in. For example, before the D, I had a life, a purpose, a home, a definable rhythm of schedules and vacations, now my purpose is suddenly how to fit what was my life into my new rental apt. How after spending years building, decorating, choosing, investing in favorite fabrics, sofas and chairs, etc., not even my half that I ended up with fits into the apartment, so now this is where my focus is:How do I fit my life into this random rental apt., and the question is, is that the right question? Am I supposed to sell, consign, give away all those things, chairs, furniture, plates, glasses, vases, books because they don't fit into my random rental apartment? How long do you carry on the financial load of storage bins? The consensus says get rid of it all. The kids will want new stuff or will want to buy their own things based on their taste later. By the time, they would want any of it, too, the storage fees will be more then the value of the things in them.

This is where I am left after the tornado, picking up the physical pieces of our life, all the things we built around our family, the physical manifestation of a home. Divorce tears through like a tornado ripping my chintz curtains off the wall and hurling them into a heap, sofas got heaved out, antiques pulled away, lamp shades torn, drawers dumped into cardboard boxes. Moving is one big mess. What was once a beautifully appointed home that friends and acquaintances would remark "what a great job you did", that my children and I loved, and found comfort in, the destructive force of divorce came in with the terror of a twister and has strewn everything all over. Now in the aftermath, I go through, picking through the pieces that were our life, and choose what will fit into my random rental apt.

That my ex emails me wanting something that was mediated over as going to me, or wanting a salt and pepper shaker, as I wade through the rubble, is back to the absurdity of it all. The tornado doesn't know its effects.

Practical will win over desire. Cost will determine what's doable. The truth is my life will not look anything like it did before and it will be some time before I have a home again, one that I own and planned for and feel rooted in. When you get hit and thrown by a tornado, and you don't have the financial where-with-all to go out and buy a new place, you settle and make a home where you can. Wherever I am, that is home, for me and for my children, and that always will be true.

So back to the task at hand: How can I fit my life into this random rental apartment? Okay, coffee table, out, I love it but can't fit it. Blue chair, out. Dining room table doesn't fit. Hmmm. Oh well, who needs it?