Newton’s first law of motion – the law of inertia: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
Newton’s second law of motion: The acceleration of an object as produced by a net force is directly proportional to the magnitude of the net force, in the same direction as the net force, and inversely proportional to the mass of the object.
Newton’s third law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
So why exactly am I discussing physics???
Well, because it can be directly and metaphorically related to our own lives.
1st law: inertia…an object at rest stays at rest, an object in motion stays in motion. If you do nothing to change the path you are on, you just keep going in the same direction. It is the inaction that perpetuates the action.
2nd law: acceleration: the speed at which you move is directly proportional to the amount of force you put into it. If you exert more force/energy, the change will happen faster.
3rd law: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Think about a high 5 among 2 people. Each raises their hand in opposing directions, shifts their hands forward to meet, and then rebounds/retracts back from the contact. If one person uses more force, the other absorbs that impact and must respond with increased force to counterbalance it.
When we look at our lives along a continuum, we see times of inertia, we see times of acceleration, and we see times of adaptation or reactions. Depending on the amount of effort we put into a task will determine where it falls on our life’s continuum.
OK, back to the matter at hand…or “What the hell are you talking about, Heidi?” Well, it’s simple really: Your life isn’t going to change until you make an effort to change it. You will be stuck in inertia until you do something to accelerate change.
I was stuck in a relationship, developing a pattern that unless I took steps to change things, was going to just continue on in that basic state of existing but not really accomplishing anything. In my last post I talked about desiring change and left you with the line “Thoughts turn to intentions, intentions turn to action, and action compels momentum.”
When I finally decided that I needed to get out of the relationship, and that I had no real future with him, lots of things changed. I gained confidence knowing the end was in sight. I still had a warped sense of responsibility – that so much of it was my fault, thus I had this compelling need to ensure that he was “set up” for being without me (self importance, much?). So I encouraged him again to “get a better job or go home to your dad.” I made the suggestion to him that maybe he should consider going back into the military – after all an E-4 is an E-4 no matter what job you did in which branch. I told him that you know, if he joined the army and did all the paperwork, we could probably be stationed together. It was step one in my acceleration plan: Get him to join, to have a commitment and a job to do that was honorable.
This isn’t one of Newton’s Laws, but you know the saying, everything happens for a reason? Well, I firmly believe this is true. I believe that people come into and out of our lives for a reason. I believe we have experiences that shape us and prepare us for future experiences. We may not always see the value of the experience in the moment it happens, but looking back, if we remain open minded, we see that we must have these experiences in order to shape our lives.
So the short story is this: He joined the military and went to training. He was supposed to fill out spousal accommodation paperwork. He didn’t. He got orders for Korea. He wouldn’t deny the orders or ask for spousal accommodation. He came back to Colorado for leave, and we couldn’t see eye to eye on anything, we fought constantly, and it was a miserable time. Bottom line we agreed that it was time to file for divorce. He took his belongings and went to stay with a friend. Over the course of about 2 weeks we completed all the necessary paperwork and filed for divorce. It was inevitable. I have never seen him face to face since the day we left the courthouse after filing the petition for divorce together (uncontested). 90 days later we would be divorced officially. He left for Korea a few days later.
Over the next couple of months there was additional paperwork to be filed in order for his personal belongings to be picked up and shipped to his home of record, and other reasons that we needed to speak and coordinate. I wanted it all to be over, his stuff to be gone, and the chapter to be closed for good. He hung on, not wanting the relationship to end. He was away from home and family, stationed in Korea, and called “just because” fairly regularly. I asked him not to call. His stuff was gone, the divorce was nearly final, I wanted closure. I wanted to move on with my life without the constant interruption from him.
I was dating, enjoying my new found freedom in being 21 and unattached. I had a social life, friends, weekend activities, my life in the Army of course. I was taking college courses and doing as much training as I could to further my career. And several times a week in the middle of the night usually, my phone would ring. He would be on the other end of the line.
“Hi, it’s me”
“What do you want?”
“Nothing really, just wondering how you are.”
“I’m not sure that’s any of your business anymore, especially at 2am”
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t think about what time it is.”
“Right, did you need something?”
“Ummm, so my dad said that the shipment arrived last week.”
“Well, ummm, I thought you should know.”
“Look, in another week the divorce will be final. Your stuff is gone. Your car is sold. We have nothing left to discuss, especially not at 2am.”
“well, ok, I just thought…”
“Well stop. You need to stop calling me. It’s over between us. I just want to move on with my life.”
We had a lot of conversations like that. Random phone calls in the middle of the night, wondering how I’m doing, if I’m ok. He just did not get the message that it was OVER. I had moved on. I told him repeatedly to stop calling. Eventually I used the strongest threat I possibly could. I threatened to call his commanding officer to alert him of my intention to file a restraining order. Our divorce was final. Our financial matters were resolved. His stuff was no longer in my possession. It was over. If he called me again, no matter the reason I would petition for a restraining order and call his commanding officer.
He never did call me again. Our divorce was final in September of 1993. I have talked to him on the phone perhaps 5 times since that day, mostly regarding the fact that he still had me listed as an authorized user on one of his credit card accounts, and it was showing up on my credit report, and his bill collectors were calling ME 15 years later. I think that I may have seen him in public one time about 5 years after the divorce, but I very quickly turned the opposite direction (in my car) and drove away. That would be Newton’s 3rd law – for every action (me seeing him) there was an equal and opposite reaction (me turning the other way and driving off).
Thoughts turn to intentions, intentions turn to action, and action compels momentum.
Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome.
Whenever I’m faced with a dilemma, I often spend a lot of time analyzing, and considering what options I have. I spend a lot of time thinking about how a particular course of action might play out, what the consequences might be, potential reactions, and how that will affect the next steps. Once I’ve analyzed to death multiple courses of action, I generally settle on one and move forward.
My life is NOT what I expected it to be when I started my senior year of high school. Life threw me a few curve balls along the way, but after many deliberations, choices, missteps, do-overs, and triumphs…I am content with my life and the continued path my life is on. I will continue to improvise on the fly, adapt to changes, and overcome my obstacles. It’s what I do. I’m an MRKH Warrior.