Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.

By alison January 11, 2008 61 Comments 4 Min Read

Maisnon

If  I ever grow up enough be considered a font of wisdom, this is what I shall say:  Wait.  Just wait.  But live a life worth talking about in the meantime. Live it wholeheartedly. Live it so wonderfully, scrumptiously, deliciously well, that when that you have been waiting for finally whispers its way into your life it is but a gentle tremor in a world divinely established without it.

One day, digging around in the dirt of someone else’s yesterdays you will discover the saucer that finally completes your tea-set. Your little babba will walk, be potty trained and learn to mind  his manners.   Peace will settle upon your shoulders like a cashmere cobweb and the horror that is a financial crisis will pass. Because wait and this too, whatever it is that bothers your sleep will pass. This too will pass. This I know for sure.

In April 2006 the man I had lived with, made a home with and created a whole little life with, left me. You all know this. You were there. He went. He took up with a woman called Nicky. He wore his guilt like a straight-jacket and seemed utterly incapable of building anything remotely resembling a life worth living. My heart broke a hundred times over for him. For us. For Finn. For tomorrow and yesterday and for right now, for every moment when the sheer effort of muddling through my days, teeth gritted, seemed too much to bare.

But out of my gloom came tiny little joys. Joys that began to pile one on top of the other in little  heaps of happiness I, for a while, considered best ignored. Ah, but it’s bliss having a huge cosy, comfy bed to yourself (True.. but hell’s bells it’s cold without a human radiator to keep you warm). Heavens making decisions all by yourself is soooooo liberating (And goodness knows you are kinder to yourself than he ever would have been in the face of a crazy mistake or two). And yes, tis a thrill and seven eighths to be having first kisses and first precious moments littering your days all over again (Though be prepared to get your heart a bit smashed if you are brave enough to go dilly-dallying down that route Missus…). And on and on it goes: eighteen months filled with new beginnings I never quite allowed myself to come to terms with because I was waiting. I was waiting. You knew it. I knew it, and all those poor men I half-heartedly dated but barely entertained, knew it.

I waited. And of course he came back. He sat at my table at the end of November 2007 and said perhaps? And I said yes, not now no, yes, maybe, perhaps, oh but I can’t and oh but how I want to. I  want to live our little dream all over again. I don’t want to be the single mummy at school. I want my boy’s Daddy to wake him up in the mornings and I’d like somebody to take out the bins please. I want to make plans for tomorrow. To have someone to laugh with. To cry with all over again. Somebody who know’s me, who gets me without me having to deliver the well rehearsed lines I’ve delivered religiously on too many unbearable first dates. I’m sick of myself and would like to have you back in my life to dilute the very essence of me if you don’t mind so very awfully.

And so we danced around each other for a month or so. Without commitment. Without a hug, a cheek proffered or a promise made and it felt all  so right and terribly, terribly wrong. Who was this man taking up room on my sofa? Was I thinking about him on the dates with others I continued to enjoy? Could I imagine him sleep walking his way through my life again? Was that the ache of Mark induced exhaustion I could already feel creeping through bones? Yes, yes I think it was…

It was pure nostalgia and even I can’t build a life built on a vintage love affair. And so we declared it over before it had begun. And relief snuggled up with me.  Ate breakfast with me and poured me a glass of  wine at the end of a long day. Because I can’t fix him. I shouldn’t have to and  I don’t want too. So I’m choosing a life without compromise instead. I’m choosing a box full of memories stashed on top of my wardrobe. I’m choosing a relationship based on the kind of adoration I won’t have to share my bed with. Respect for all those years we were happy. I’m choosing life without him and though I can barely believe it, theres a bit of me doing a downright demented happy dance, because it’s over. I waited, He came back and my life had already filled the gap where he used to be.

My life. Hmmmmmm. What to say about it now?  I’m on a silly diet and my hand is in a splint. That man I adored as a teenager sat on my sofa the other night, wine glass in hand and kissed my neck and I giggled like a school girl and pouted too much and worried about whether I’d  put the recycling boxes out and everything is ok.  More than ok.

All of a sudden the wait is over. Because not knowing what will happen tomorrow is just part of the game isn’t it? You don’t have to be good at it, it’s the taking part that counts.

 And I’m taking part with every fibre of my very daft being. To 2008!

Other Things To Do At BrocanteHome

61 Comments

  1. June says:

    What a remarkable and thoughtful post, Alison! It shows how much you’ve grown in the time since Mark first left–and I remember all of that period. It takes courage and an honest look at him, yourself, and life to come to this decision you’ve made. You’re going to be fine, but you already know that. Something true and real in terms of love will come your way. This is a giant step forward on your path and I am thrilled for you. Congratulations!

  2. Lesley says:

    I wish you could see me, Alison. I’m sitting here, reading this and cheering you on with everything I’ve got. You go, girl! I’m thrilled beyond words that this has happened for you – all of it. Well done, my dear, very well done!

  3. kelly says:

    And that my dear is how it is done-with tons of class, a smattering of insanity, lots of tears and red wine-and most importantly-total and complete authenticity. Bravo dear friend-bravo!

  4. Sasha says:

    Oh my goodness! Never before have I read something with my heart more in my mouth – I could sense the taking your ex back thing coming (from your last post it dawned on me funnily enough…), and in my head I was screaming NO! NO! And never before have I been so relieved at your very brave decision in the end!!! Well done you. You do indeed deserve not to have to ‘fix’ anything or anyone to make it work, you deserve to be adored totally, utterly and without fear or compromise – and don’t settle for anything less!! It’s called ‘waiting to exhale’ isn’t it???? Happy 2008 to you and Fin – full of exciting possibilities!

  5. Gayla says:

    I wondered. But I knew. Oh, honey….. in your corner are your true friends and family. That’s good to know when even “you” aren’t in your corner any more. Well done, sweetheart. Been there… somewhat. Love you.

  6. I think you’re 100% right! God bless you and now on to a really marvelous New Year.

  7. You’re very wise. What a delicious, up-lifting post. Thank you.

  8. debbie says:

    Here’s to your FRESH new start in the new year!

  9. Alyson says:

    Well done! I’m so pleased you finally had the ball in your court and could choose the outcome. It’s hard to start a new life but so much better than living in the past. You will be fine xx

  10. Veronica says:

    My theory always was that if you had to be “fixing” things or “working at it” all the time..it just wasn’t worth it. I went thorough several “fixings” till I got smart. It took a long while and a lot of toad kissing..but finally I found my prince. He loves me for me..I love him for him.. we don’t have to fix anything except the house; our reno money pit… and we can even do renovations together without too much hassle… … life is good.
    Congrats on your decision.. you had me worried for a bit…who knows what is around that next corner? ……………………..

  11. Mary Ellen says:

    You seem to have found your inner compass – but here's the real trick.. you followed it. God bless you in this new year full of promise.

  12. Sandi says:

    Isn’t it so strange how we feel that we know you? I, too, have been holding my breath these last weeks thinking you were letting him back into your heart. I’m so glad you’ve decided to keep the memories but also to keep yourself. Much, much happiness in this new year.

  13. Polly says:

    Good for you, darling! I knew you could do it!!! Count them all.. Blessings, Polly

  14. mimi says:

    Oh you brave, wonderful woman you! 2008 is going to be the best you know. Hope that poor hand of yours mends soon. N xxx

  15. Polly says:

    Now that I think of it, today marked a bit of re-freshing for me too. Take a peek at my blog if you have time. -Polly

  16. You had me on the edge of my seat. Then, when the big “Nooooo” was forming in the pit of my stomach, I had to get up and go eat something before even finishing reading your post. Here I sit with the empty peanut butter jar to prove it. I’m all grins now, though. It’s going to be a great year!

  17. Kali says:

    I read this and had a tear.
    If I could I’d give you a hug, and a smile…No words.
    Because this part of your journey has passed and I am so pleased and proud of you Dear Ali.
    Here’s to 2008, fresh brand spanking NEW! xox Kali

  18. Jen says:

    My very best wishes to you. You hit the nail on the head indeed: When I realised I couldn’t “fix” my then-husband of 10 years, that I couldn’t make him happy, HE had to do that by himself, that is the day when I decided to pick up my 2 yr old and leave. And I thought it would be easy but it wasn’t. And I thought I’d be remarried within a short time…. and six years (and umpteen horrible first dates) later, I met a wonderful man, ten years my junior, who was just right, and with whom I have a happy, adult relationship. You are doing just fine. Happy 2008!

  19. Susana says:

    Alison, my heart was aching reading this. I’m glad that you’re happy with your decision and that you feel at peace with it. God Bless you and Finley in this new year, and may it bring you all the happiness in the world.
    -Susana

  20. Kris says:

    way to go! Remember the good times but move on and find the charming prince who loves you for your uniqueness. No fixing required!!

  21. Meredith says:

    Hallelujah!! Well said. Well lived. I am very happy for your happiness!

  22. Barbara says:

    HOORAY!! Happy New Year and New Life.

  23. gena says:

    I am immensely proud of you Alison! you are wonderful! I really do believe, as painful as this part of your journey has been,that it will have happened for a reason,you have something utterly fantastic waiting for you in the future, be ready to embrace all manner of lovely things, for you surely deserve the happiness which is going to land on your doorstep! much love,Gena xxx

  24. Rachael says:

    Such a difficult decision, to let go of your dream, it touched a huge chord . . .
    I wish you and your dearest little boy the very best of happiness and love in your lives. Rachael

  25. Rachael says:

    Such a difficult decision, to let go of your dream, it touched a huge chord . . .
    I wish you and your dearest little boy the very best of happiness and love in your lives. Rachael

  26. Melanie says:

    I wish you joy and happiness Alison. May 2008 be a perfect year for you.
    Take Care.

  27. Do what you think is best for you.
    And have a wonderful 2008. You and your little one.

  28. Lisa says:

    Oh, I think you are already a font of wisdom. That made me a little sniffly to know you've been through so much but made it through. You continue to inspire.

  29. You're already there – font of wisdom that is.

  30. YOU ARE WONDERFUL! And Good for YOU to KNOW you don't need him. So much of change – any change – is realizing in the end that it IS better afterward, even when its change you weren't expecting but in someway you knew it wasn't working and now you are free, free from the wanting, the wishing, the 'what if'… that's a killer one… and almost worse than if something does happen. Wisdom has blessed you whether you know it or not and you are a complete person, more so now that you've 'found' you than ever before when you were 'with' someone else. To 2008, may it be GREAT!!

  31. Anita says:

    Nothing, not one thing on this sunny Saturday has brightened my day as this post did. You sound so strong… Way to go!

  32. Anita says:

    Nothing, not one thing on this sunny Saturday has brightened my day as this post did. You sound so strong… Way to go!

  33. Nonnie says:

    Oh Alison, I am so very very proud of you. When I first started reading I thought to myself that you were going to tell us that you had taken him back. I'll tell you something, I know from bitter experience that taking someone back doesn't work. Way back in 2006 when I fist discovered your blog and blogs in general, I was in the midst of my ex George leaving me and I really felt such comfort reading your experiences knowing that I wasn't alone in going through what I was going through. I followed your story and like you a began to get a little stronger day by day. Then in December 06 George told me he wanted to come back. That after all he did want all the things I did like babies and marriage and being settled. So stupidly I let him back. And I thought everything was fine. And I wrote about our happy life on my blog without mentioning the fact that he had previously left me and hurt me so badly. And all that time through last year, I kept reading you and seeing how well you were doing without Mark. Then in August George left me again, only this time it was harder because it was the second time. So I have had to go through all that pain again. All that re-building. So I am so pleased to see that you have made the decision to move on and not take him back. You seem to me to be a very remarkable person. You have truely grown since he left and out there is someone new who really deserves you. I know he will always be Finn's Daddy but he doesn't deserve you. Gosh, this is a ridiculously rambling comment. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this time round I'm sticking with you in this journey of moving on from our ex's. No third chance for mine! You really do inspire me and I'm so happy for you that you are obviously so much stronger now. I want to wish you an absolutely fabulous 2008!

  34. Katherine says:

    That kind of relief is such a wonderful feeling. I am so happy for you!
    :)Kat

  35. Katherine says:

    That kind of relief is such a wonderful feeling. I am so happy for you!
    :)Kat

  36. Karen says:

    I came to this website in the middle of your bad time, having done that situation about a year before, I was ready to give in and think this is not my type of gal – how wrong I was – yeah you – be loud and proud – How does it feel to be you as you?

  37. Julie Brandt says:

    Alison….
    I too started to read your blog just as you had started your painful journey, and as others have stated…I waited breath held these last few weeks, knowing that temptation to turn backwards was baiting you. I worried, I thought…I said to myself…Alison…don't do it, PLEASE don't take him back. It would have been a raw open sore to work through, to mend.
    The concern I felt, as I read your latest posting, and said to myself….Nooooooo….she's done it….he's back, but as I read further… a great smile crossed my face….Ahhhh sweet relief!
    What a strong, remarkable woman you are. So couragous! Couragous in laying bare your pain to us all. Courage to carry on, to laugh at yourself. Courage to become the beautiful lady that you are! Congratulations Alison, you are an inspiration to us all.
    Luvs to you and Finnley,
    ~Julie~

  38. Julie Brandt says:

    Alison….
    I too started to read your blog just as you had started your painful journey, and as others have stated…I waited breath held these last few weeks, knowing that temptation to turn backwards was baiting you. I worried, I thought…I said to myself…Alison…don't do it, PLEASE don't take him back. It would have been a raw open sore to work through, to mend.
    The concern I felt, as I read your latest posting, and said to myself….Nooooooo….she's done it….he's back, but as I read further… a great smile crossed my face….Ahhhh sweet relief!
    What a strong, remarkable woman you are. So couragous! Couragous in laying bare your pain to us all. Courage to carry on, to laugh at yourself. Courage to become the beautiful lady that you are! Congratulations Alison, you are an inspiration to us all.
    Luvs to you and Finnley,
    ~Julie~

  39. Amy says:

    I thought you'd perhaps taken him back too but thank goodness you haven't. i'm so glad your backbone has sprouted. You SO don't need him! you are a wonderful person without him.

  40. Bramble says:

    Bravo for learning that you are the prize in this equation and you are not to be squandered on a perhaps, a maybe or another dose of I am not sure. YEAH! I hope the journey opens to reveal joys yet unimagined and always know that you must listen to that inner voice that asks not what is easy, comfortable or familiar but what is best for you. Be happy, know joy and be at peace. A remarkable life continues to unfold!

  41. Bramble says:

    Bravo for learning that you are the prize in this equation and you are not to be squandered on a perhaps, a maybe or another dose of I am not sure. YEAH! I hope the journey opens to reveal joys yet unimagined and always know that you must listen to that inner voice that asks not what is easy, comfortable or familiar but what is best for you. Be happy, know joy and be at peace. A remarkable life continues to unfold!

  42. Julie says:

    it can be so hard..the heart wants what it wants..good for you that you realised your heart wanted your life from 2 years ago, and youre just not there any longer…moving on, moving forward..good for you 🙂

  43. Oh my word! This made my day!! My adult daughter told me about your blog and I'm loving it…your writing is fantastic and you're bloomin' brilliant!
    thanks for sharing who you are.
    Karen

  44. Tina says:

    best wishes to you.

  45. Tina says:

    best wishes to you.

  46. DamonD says:

    I was so scared you had taken him back. Mine left me on my Silver Wedding. I took him back and he was gone just after my 26th Anniversary. I rejoice that you made the right decision and know you will find true happiness with someone decent who deserves you and Finn.
    Much Love Chrissie. xxx

  47. anna marie says:

    Good for you! You realized you deserved adoration and listened to your intuition. I wish you a very happy 2008!

  48. anna marie says:

    Good for you! You realized you deserved adoration and listened to your intuition. I wish you a very happy 2008!

  49. Charis Griffin says:

    Ther's not much I can add to the above except DITTO!There will be wonderful times ahead-and fairly good ones, boring ones and probably,life being what it is, some pretty awful ones-but at least you will know that you are facing life on your own terms, not someone else's and you will cope and find beauty and joy in all of it.
    My husband left,completely out of the blue,after 20 years of marriage,leaving me to bring up 2 teenagers with absolutely no input from him.It has been extremely difficult and I have made lots of mistakes BUT- my son has just sent me a Christmas card thanking me for helping him become the man he is now and my daughter is at Uni,is my best friend and we can and do talk about anything.So it has all been worthwhile.I may still have days when I am not sure where my life is headed but the joys of living life my way are great.I have discovered I love walking miles in the country with a good friend,reading blogs and NOT watching or hearing about cricket!
    PS -and my ex?he is just going through his second divorce in four years, very expensively and acrimoniously,and at the age of 50 is going out with a 28 year-old so I think perhaps he has not yet quite found himself!I am sad for him BUT he is not now part of MY life and for that I am glad!
    I look forward so much to continuing to read your blog and about all the things that make life worth living.
    Well done!!

  50. Danielle says:

    All I can say is… I knew it! I knew it would happen and I knew you'd make the right choice. You can have peace at last! I'm so proud of you you and so optimistic for your future. Brilliant!

  51. Liz says:

    I read your blog faithfully, but, and I hate to admit this – I have never left a comment– until now– Thank You for being strong for you and your sweet little boy. I wish only happiness, peace, laughter and joy for you both. You truly are a font of wisdom and inspiration for countless readers of your journey.

  52. Lisa (the librarian) says:

    Alison, you waited…and we waited…and it was all worth it in the end, sorry…not the end, the BEGINNING! Sooo pleased for you all really and I wish you all the best for 2008. Know that you are a ray of sunshine in all our lives (sorry to come over all mawkish and sentimental but I really do mean it!) Your blog continues to bring so much loveliness into our homes, your warmth, honesty, authenticity, fab book and e-bay recommendations and general all round fabulousness make the blog such fun to read. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us – you're such an inspirational person, why are you not famous yet!!??!! Or should that be infamous! Ho Ho. All the best, Lisa x

  53. I am so very proud of you! For hearing your heart, for knowing your mind and for not compromising.
    One of my favorite quotes ever is by Yehuda Amichai and it says "Behind all this some great happiness is hiding." Very appropriate in this case, I'd say.

  54. I am so very proud of you! For hearing your heart, for knowing your mind and for not compromising.
    One of my favorite quotes ever is by Yehuda Amichai and it says "Behind all this some great happiness is hiding." Very appropriate in this case, I'd say.

  55. Jade says:

    How strong you are ! Good for you ! How painful and confusing it all must have been- I was holding my breath , reading, wondering…I am so very proud of you.

  56. Okay, so you had me on the edge of my seat–wondering, until the end of the post, what your decision would be. Your strength and confidence are inspiring!

  57. Okay, so you had me on the edge of my seat–wondering, until the end of the post, what your decision would be. Your strength and confidence are inspiring!

  58. lazy h says:

    Congratulations, Alison, on what must have been a very difficult decision.
    For you and to all those who have written their stories below, I have nothing but admiration. Good luck to you all (not that you need it I'm sure) and much happiness.

  59. Barbara Jacksier says:

    I'm glad the wait is over and you are ready to dance with any and all comers — or even just in front of the mirror. Be brave, be foolish, be YOU.
    Barbara

  60. farncharm says:

    goodluck and best wishes.

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