Step Away From the Laptop

There’s a new show on HBO that I love. Never would I have expected books about divorce and remarriage to line my shelves or Sarah Jessica Parker as Francis in “Divorce,” to be part of my catharsis. In one particular episode, Francis’s best friend who happens to be a therapist reveals that she has just learned that one of her clients is dating Francis’s ex-husband. For a moment, Francis sees this as the golden opportunity–oh to be privy to those details! But her best friend is thankfully also a decent therapist. She discourages the idea, citing her own experience in tracking down her ex-husband in the cybersphere, which led her only to fret over the mundane details of people she didn’t even know. The question that hangs is, “to what end?”

Whether it’s an ex or an ex-friend, we’re all probably tempted and at some point have wandered into the vortex of unsettled curiosities. Where is so-and-so? What happened to whosy-whats-it and whats-his-name? But to what end? In most cases, our interest is relatively benign, leading to amusement or relief. In the case of life after divorce, however, those energies are better directed to exploring something new and uncharted, not stewing over your ex’s whereabouts and whatnots.

There comes a point in the great beyond, not the cybersphere but, instead the great beyond that is one’s life after divorce, in which one must consciously sever ties with those curiosities. Because, after all, you can’t let go when you’re still holding on. Rabbit trails lead to potholes which lead to booby traps and sprained ankles. Nothing good comes from it. Let it go. Do whatever you need to close the door, so you can move on. Block them. Block yourself. Just turn it off and step away from the laptop! But seriously . . .

Channel your energies toward your future, your friends, your own family. It’s an exercise in self-control, but you’ll never regret those unexplored indulgences. Peeking into someone else’s future only mires you in your past. Because, as I said already, you can’t let go when you’re still holding on.

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