Year 6: Outlasting the 100 Year Old Tree

I was out working in the yard today and looked at the massive maple tree that sits in my front yard that must be 100 years old. The poor’s rotting and falling apart. And since the Main Street in front of me is a state highway, I’m at the mercy of waiting for the State of CT to come cut it down. Later in the day, a massive branch fell and nearly hit someone walking. I sent my swat team of boys out to clean up the mess.

But that damn tree…I wasn’t supposed to see it die and rot. I was supposed to be out here in Connecticut 3 years and then back to Detroit. That was the plan. That was 2007. As we all know life often throws curve balls at us. Fast and furious sometimes. On June 29, 2009 I had a huge curveball thrown at me – my divorce. I can’t believe 4 years have gone by and one of my twins now stares at me like a giant maple in the eye. Yesterday (June 29) was one of those days, we just exist. We wake up…do what we need and stare off into space without looking backwards or thinking forwards.

As Cooper cut the lawn today, I was staring at that f*cking tree. I was supposed to be remarried in April. Again, I thought I had dodged the bullet of watching that tree come down. Curveball yet again – fast and furious thrown at me.

So to have some peace with 06/29/09, 4 years later and what was supposed to be 04/16/13 – I made a truce with that old rotting tree. I’ll stay and watch you come down. Your absence will make a marked difference on how my house looks from the tree. I’ll miss your shade. I’ll miss your color in the fall. But it’s your time to move on. Curve balls even hit the poor tree.

We can learn a lot from the old tree – it’s survived so many storms, winters, bugs, and so much more. It’s lived a great life. So even though it’s rooted in one spot as I am for at least another 6 years until Mallory graduates, it can be a great spot. Truce. I get it. Uncle. It’s time for me to move forward too. June 29th will always come and go. I’ll just have a beer and toast my 100 year old buddy.

old tree

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About Steve Mitzel

By trade Steve is a consultant that helps business optimize their performance. Steve resides in Connecticut with his four wonderful children in the teens or tweens and is always looking for the next adventure. He is an avid marathoner who raises money for research to prevent cancer. As a two time grad from the University of Michigan he bleeds maize and blue and also likes to dabble with writing.

7 Responses to Year 6: Outlasting the 100 Year Old Tree

  1. M says:

    This really resonated with me. A few years ago I was in a tough spot and could come up with only one option that I did NOT want to accept as my only option. I felt trapped. I paced the cage, waiting and hoping. I finally and reluctantly accepted my only option. For about a year I looked back thinking about the shoulda’s and coulda’s. I was still pacing the cage. I was angry every day and every day I blamed myself for failing so completely. Very very very very slowly something in me changed. After a while I wasn’t looking back at the shoulda’s and coulda’s and instead I was looking forward to being with the new people I met along this path. Once I opened up to them I found myself laughing with them in a way I hadn’t laughed in years – openly and with complete joy. I had a Matrix-time-shift moment one evening when I realized that not only was I laughing because my friends are hilarious, but because of the joy of having friends to laugh with. My laughter was infused with all of the pain and frustration and disappointment I’d felt over the past year and it was in these moments of joy that all of those negative feelings were bled from me. From then on even though I was still in that same cage I didn’t mind it half as much. I accepted the challenge. I learned to respect it and it gave back 10 fold what I put into it. I closed that chapter in April and I wouldn’t go back, because there is no doubt that it was brutally hard on me, but I do miss those moments and I will always miss the people. I gave it my all and I have the most extraordinary memories to show for it.

    Ultimately I came to the same conclusion that you’ve come to – settle in, make peace and make the most of it. I think this is something that we all understand academically, but it’s different when you’ve lived it. When you’ve lived it it changes you. To have been brought low is humbling. To have faced the challenge and won is the sweetest of victories.

    Thanks so much for sharing,

    • Steve says:

      Thank you for sharing. The power, art and beauty of writing and sharing a story is that it can be relevant to so many different people in different ways. Your confirmation and advice back is meaningful and appreciated. I’m glad that you have found peace in your journey and are embracing as well.

  2. Klaus G. says:

    Leider wusste nicht, Sie wurden auf der Grundlage und Kommentar im Blog, die nicht über die Auswirkungen auf die Kinder oder Frau wollte reden Scherz. Ich bekomme jetzt. Gute Nacht!

  3. Klaus G. says:

    Wir haben ein Wort für Sie in Deutschland – Schwein!

    • Steve says:

      Klaus – Ich wollte einen Smiley am Ende meines Posts setzen. Meine Ex-Frau und ich haben eine fantastische Beziehung. Es dauerte viel harte Arbeit, um es dort zu bekommen, aber ich habe sie gekannt seit ich 9 Jahre alt war. Sie ist eine fantastische Frau und auch sie hatte eine harte Zeit mit der Scheidung. Aber ich würde sagen, sie ist jetzt glücklich und ist eine große Mutter.

  4. Klaus G. says:

    Wie Scheidung Auswirkungen auf Ihre Frau?