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After The Breakup…
The “Joy Rules” Every
Woman Should Know

by Sue Richards

It has been two years since my husband left me for the arms of another.  I had been washing the dishes and humming a favorite Temptations tune when he walked into the kitchen.  I was happy.  He was not.  His head was bent, as he cleared his throat.  These two actions always proceeded a statement he was about to make that had required considerable thought.  However, I had no idea that his words would collapse my world right there on that tile floor.  “I love someone else,” he said.  “And I need a divorce.”

I’m single now and I frequently find myself in tears at the dinner table.  My toddlers seemed to be tired by then, fighting each other, whining, hanging onto me, and incessantly tattling on the crimes they have committed against each other.  It’s times like these when Daddy is supposed to appear at the door, and both children run to their hero.

After a year of grieving for the loss of mate, companion, and the father of my children, I knew I had to do something to survive the slump.  I remembered some promises about the joy that I had cut out and stuck in a drawer years before, and I went in search.   When I found them, they were more precious than gold and healed my soul.  I now feel certain that the best is still to come.

The Joy Rules

Things Every Woman Should Have…

  • One old love, she can imagine going back to…and one who reminds her how far she has come.
  • Enough money within her control to do what she wants to do when she wants to do it.
  • Something perfect to wear if a prospective employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour.
  • A past so juicy that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age.
  • A set of screwdrivers, cordless drills, and a black lace bra.
  • One friend who always makes her laugh and one who lets her cry.
  • A feeling of control over her destiny.

Things Every Woman Should Know …

  • How to fall in love without losing herself.
  • How to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
  • When to try harder…and when to walk away.
  • That she can’t change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents.
  • That her childhood may not have been perfect…but it’s over.
  • What she would and wouldn’t do for love.
  • How to live alone…even if she doesn’t like it.
  • Who she can trust and who she can’t
  • Where to go…be it to her best friend’s kitchen table or a charming inn in the woods when her soul needs soothing.
  • What she can and can’t accomplish in a day…a month…or a year.


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