The Awesome Divorce Mix Volume 1: Songs To Help Get You Through It

They say music has charms to soothe the savage beast. Apparently those charms also work wonders on the freshly divorced.

One of my ex-husband's parting gifts to me was a shiny new pink iPod Shuffle. He'd been on a "business trip" and upon his return tossed the crisp white box from Apple onto the kitchen counter. He said all of the conference attendees had been given a little swag bag and he thought I'd enjoy this new toy.

At that point, I was swamped with parenting. The kids were little and we were always on the run...my downtime was practically non-existent and when I did get it, listening to music wasn't high on my list of things to do.

Cut to a few months after he left. I'd turned to exercise to cope with the cyclone of mixed feelings and remembered the shuffle. With the help of my tech-savvy kid, before long I had an iTunes account and it was filled to the brim with music.

Looking back at it now, that account reads like rings on a felled redwood tree. All of the phases of divorce are represented: the anger, the "how can I fix us" panic, the celebration of newfound freedom, the thrill of discovering sex again, that moment when you catch yourself smiling for the first time in ages. Divorce isn't the most fun you'll ever have, but everything is better with a kick ass soundtrack.

So, I asked the people on the Hausfrau Facebook page what helped them deal with the breakup/divorce drama. Was it a book that comforted? A tv show or a movie you binged on? Or was it a song that had just the right lyrics and felt as if the performer was speaking directly to you?

Turns out there are as many ways to get through divorce as there are people going through them. For the people on Facebook, however, the overwhelming response was MUSIC. Be it raging metal, Christian rock, country, bouncy pop, rap, whatever- music helped these strong survivors not only muddle through the murky fog of divorce but bust through the other side of it, spirits replenished, wounds dressed and hearts still beating.

Someone suggested that I create a Spotify playlist with the responses, and after I asked one of my kids to help me figure it out, that's exactly what I did. This list is HUGE, y'all, and there are songs on it I would have never dreamed of listening to...but damn. You people have the most eclectic and inspiring taste in tunes. From Roy Freaking Clark to Justin Bieber, from Eminem to Brooks and Dunn, from our beloved spokeswoman Gloria Gaynor to George Michael...it's all here and it's wonderful.

With so many selections, there are bound to be a few you don't like. I get it! Please also note that some of the songs are "explicit", if you can't decipher that from the titles (a few F-bombs) there will also be the little capital E next to them.

One of these sweary songs was my focal point for several months, during the really tough stuff. I'd discovered the affair, he had stopped paying child support and my world was disintegrating beneath my feet. He was, however, still taking the kids on his weekends, which left me alone with my thoughts...not as peaceful as it sounds, loves.

It behooved me to have something, anything to look at when the kids were gone. The temptation to get online and keep digging at the moldering corpse of my marriage was great...coupled with the margaritas and wine I'd taken a liking to on those kid-free weekends it was a recipe for disaster and regret.

So. I turned to an old love. Television. Having four kids in six years meant there was very little t.v. time, at least, t.v. that was made for grownups. There I was, with 48 hours of peace and cable. The show Weeds was one of my first binges, and oh did it help. I laughed and cried and loved Nancy Botwin with all my heart. I lusted after Andy and Conrad and yeah I'm going to admit it, Silas (but not until way later on the series, you guys. Don't judge me.). But even better than all of that? THE SOUNDTRACK. It was porn for my ears after so many years of momming and wifing and then divorcing.

The song, though, that stopped me in my tracks (okay, more likely it stopped me mid-fork-full-of-Chinese-food) was by Jenny Owens Young and is titled, oh so appropriately, F*ck Was I. As in, "what the f*ck was I thinking?" which is something I think most of us asked ourselves at some point in this wicked journey. The lyrics called out to me and patted the seat next to them and invited me to croon along, which I did after immediately downloading the song onto my now-beloved pink iPod shuffle. It's a simple song, quiet and unassuming. The lyrics, though...gutted me. Jenny sang exactly what I was feeling. This part, in particular:

Love tears me up like a demon
Opens the wounds and then fills them with lead
And I'm having some trouble just breathing
If we weren't such good friends I think that I'd hate you
If we weren't such good friends I'd wish you were dead

You mean, I wasn't the only one who couldn't breathe? Who felt torn up and heavy and conflicted? Oh man. This song was played ad nauseam and to this day I still love it.

I'm posting the links to the playlist below. If they don't work (which is highly likely given my non-existent internet skills) just search for Jenny Ball and/or "Awesome Divorce Mix Vol. 1"

Click below to discover the songs that helped a bunch of divorced people survive their dark days:


I hope you find something you love on this playlist. If you are new to all of this, and struggling to make it, please put in some earbuds and listen to these songs knowing an amazing, strong and powerful bunch of people found solace in them. We are all here for you: you are not alone. You are NEVER alone.

To those of you who contributed via the Facebook page, THANK YOU. I have several new songs on my own personal playlist now, and I never would have found them without you. I love you all to the moon and back.

AND: if you have a song or ten to add, please do so. Either here or on the facebook page.

Happy listening, my friends.


Type Casting

A coworker and I were gabbing about what attracts us to potential lovahs. He said "small and Latino is my go-to" and I, of course, said "I like them over six feet tall and thick. Basically I want an oak tree who likes kids and dogs." We laughed at how mired in predictability we both are and then got real quiet thinking of how single we both are.

Our conversation reminded me of this meme I'd seen a while back and of course saved on my phone because I'm that friend who enjoys memes way too much. The message in the meme is that some of us are willing to overlook several *ahem* red flags in order to fill that little box on our Must Have list.

We overlook other things, too, in our quest to find that special someone who fits the bill, don't we? I've mused before how it's quite possible that in my years of looking up trying to find Mr Right, several Mr Maybes passed by right under my nose. Or just a few inches north of it.

It's not that I haven't dabbled in other "types". I have. The last guy I spent longer than a single date with was low to the ground and more Michelin Man than Marlboro Man. Unfortunately he wasn't even Mr. That'll Do For Now, and my love life since then has consisted of REM stage dates with Jon Hamm and waking up with my dog.

For the record, no. I am not actively trying to find love. Not even close. In fact, one could say I am very actively avoiding it. The thought of doing the online thing chills me to my very bones, and it's not like I'm going to meet the man of my dreams at my usual haunts (work, Costco, Target, YMCA and the occasional night out with my ladies). I vowed, years ago, to put that stuff on hold while I still had kids to raise. That vow is now nearing its expiration date, however, and like a young man's fancy in the spring, my thoughts are cautiously and ever-so-slowly turning to love.

When I read a book, it never fails: I will mentally cast the movie/tv version. And almost always, I am disappointed (and funnily, for some reason, offended) when the movie/series does come out and it's tragically miscast. Until I get into it, and at the end of said movie/show I'm the one doing a standing ovation and wondering how in the world I ever thought anyone else but Reese Witherspoon could have played Madeline in "Big Little Lies". *however I still stand by my assertion that "The Girl on the Train" was cast entirely wrong*

Maybe someday I will find my leading man and just like I rolled my eyes when I heard Matt Damon was going to play my beloved Mark Watney in "The Martian" maybe I will be dubious as to whether or not he can fit the bill. Maybe he won't look like Rob Delaney from "Catastrophe", with thick thighs and a hedge-like five o'clock shadow. Maybe he'll be short or bald or conservative. 

Maybe he won't be my type at all. And maybe...it will be just what I need.

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