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I picked up some mediation books from the library last week and am feeling completely overwhelmed the last few days. There are so many details to consider. Many of them probably don't matter. There are only a few things that really matter -- having a solid foundation with my kids, and a fair financial settlement. One thing I notice these books stress is that fighting tooth and nail for everything you think is fair is not wise as one will end up spending a ton of money chasing marginal returns. And to always focus on what's best for your kids, not what's best for you (or your WAS if you tend towards conflict avoidance as I do).
Mediation may not end up working for us, but I'm feeling like it's really important for my own self-growth that we try it this way. I certainly feel like my positions are valid and fair, and I also am willing to negotiate and work together to find something that works for both of us. I have to be really careful not to cave on issues with the kids.
What I should really do is make sure to have legal counsel available before starting mediation (to make sure I don't agree to something I shouldn't).
I've learned from DB (and IC, and podcasts, and reading, and personal growth) that these stress cycles happen for me and the more I react with aversion the more they persist. It's just going to last a few days. Breathe, meditate when possible. Focus on "the next thing." There is so much uncertainty in life, but I am certain that once we come to an agreement on a settlement my life will feel much more centered.
I'm also realizing that I have always let my worries dictate my life. Before my MR difficulties, it was issues with my parents. Or work stress. It's a wake-up call to enjoy the day, enjoy the moment. I'm trying. I'm not great at it, but I'm getting better. Even today I should enjoy my Monday, and not be so worried about mediation. It's going to be there tomorrow. It's time to define the rest of my life - how I want to live it, the changes I want to make. Nobody can completely overhaul themselves. But I certainly have an opportunity to get out of "marriage auto-pilot" mode and start making decisions for myself again.
I'm having a lot of trouble sleeping. Waking up a lot during the night, having dreams about the separation, MR problems, issues with my parents. The kind of dreams that bother you long after you woke up. This has been going on for about 2 weeks now. I'm exercising a lot more to try to exhaust myself, but it's not enough to counter the stress.