One day I woke up and realized I had been in a bubble for fourteen years. In less than a day my whole world fell apart. I didn’t have a white picket fence, but by all accounts I had the "perfect" relationship. In a moment my fairytale was over and I thought I’d never catch my breath.
Have you ever read a book, set it down, and felt like you had just been starring into a mirror for hours? My life is complicated. My regular readers know that very well. I never knew what it would look like in print until I started reading Happy Beginnings: How I Became My Own Fairy Godmother and I bet there are a lot of women out there that will feel the same way when they read this revelation!
Just like me Lorena Bathey went through a divorce from her husband. Her’s after eleven years together, mine after fourteen. When you are with someone that long there are things you just don’t realize you lose about yourself. Lorena Bathey opens a window into not only those intimate and personal details of this heartbreaking experience, but the triumph of coming out successfully on the other side!
Exerpt from the book Happy Beginnings: How I Became My Own Fairy Godmother:
"Women that have gone or were going through a divorce are a breed all their own. The divorced woman does not really have a place in the society fiber. This is amazing given that there are so many of us. However, I felt that I did not really belong anywhere. My spouse was no longer there and my family unit was blown sky high. As a divorcee I did not feel great being in the married world of school drop-offs, dinner parties, holiday celebrations and just about anywhere that I used to hang around. It was a strange feeling of belonging, yet not belonging."
Lorena Bathey has a way of capturing the feelings of the divorced woman in a complete and enthralling way. I know I never felt the same after my divorce. Now full disclosure here, I have been married and divorced four times, but my last was the only one that was long term or that felt real. It was this divorce that with the help of Lorena Bathey’s book Happy Beginnings: How I Became My Own Fairy Godmother I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore.
In October of 2012 I lost my father (step-father) to lung cancer. I didn’t take it well. I still find myself crying at toilet paper commercials, avoiding simple conversations, and zoning out in the middle of daily activities. Lorena Bathey lost her mother to ovarian and breast cancer. Losing a parent in your mid-life is different than losing them when you are young or old. It is like losing them when you need them the most. Like Lorena Bathey when it happened I knew one day I would be able to pull myself out of bed and move on, and I do just about every day. She points out that the human spirit is strong enough to pick itself up and continue on, but also like her I have my days that I still sit in bed and eat ice cream instead!
When I was still with my husband we moved around quite a bit. At some point I realized he was not ever going to get a "real job" or hold a job for any extended period of time. I was done having kids, well educated, and had a lengthy resume but had been out of the workforce for years. I had not been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) yet so there was nothing holding me back from getting a job. In the book Lorena Bathey also faced the prospect of reentering the workforce after more than a decade on the outside. It was comforting hearing someone else relating to the same issues I had relearning everything again.
I love when Lorena Bathey begins online dating. My current boyfriend (sudo hubby) and I met on MySpace and have been together almost six years. Throughout the book we follow Lorena Bathey’s dating adventures, online and off, and they are everything from Sex in the City to Girls to a scene from Dante’s Inferno! It is the world of dating all women in the fishbowl face whether they are divorced, single, or just being flirty. Lorena Bathey struggles with the idea of getting the approval of a man and being taken care of, but ultimately learns how to survive on her own and love herself. A concept that took me many bad dates, an abundance of vodka with cranberry juices, good friends, and time to figure out. When I finally did start my new relationship it wasn’t because I had to, it was because I wanted to. That was my fairytale and it made all the difference. For Lorena Bathey her fairytale is a little unorthodox. I love that her fairytale hero in this story is herself, it just couldn’t be any other way!
I have to be honest, when I was first approached to do a book review for Happy Beginnings: How I Became My Own Fairy Godmother I thought it was a children’s book. The bright colors and whimsically designed cover brought me to the conclusion that this would be a night time storybook for my grandson. It wasn’t until I cracked it open that I learned what I was getting myself into. Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. I laughed. I cried. I yelled at the top of my lungs, waking my son up in the middle of the night, and needless to say he did not appreciate that! If you are a divorced woman, you are going through a divorce, you are thinking about divorce, or you know someone who is divorced you NEED this book!
In short, Happy Beginnings: How I Became My Own Fairy Godmother is the story of how Lorena Bathey started over after her fairytale of marriage failed after eleven years. When her husband, without warning, made the stunning declaration that he was leaving she began a journey where she learned loving, loss, friends and vodka were the roadmap to finding herself. This is not a timid self-help book that sugar coats the truth and that will tell you everything is wonderful. This book is a brutally honest and open. Lorena Bathey tells about her struggles to find her inner fairy godmother after being made to start over again. She uses humor and insight into the world of the late-thirty woman beginning again that will bring chuckles, guffaws, or tears. Lorena Bathey’s story is her own but one that women today are experiencing in many ways. With this life change she stopped waiting for her own fairy godmother and took the wand into her own hands. You can too!
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