2016: The Longest Year of My Life Today, much to my dismay, I read that timekeepers at the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service will be adding a “leap second” to 2016 (which was already a leap year) on December 31. The article explained that without the addition of an extra second at carefully calculated intervals, atomic clocks become out of sync with solar time. Apparently, this is because the earth’s rotation is not constant, but at times it slows down and speeds up ever so slightly. This may sound like scientific trivia to some people, but to me it feels like adding insult to injury. 2016 was figuratively the longest year of my life. It was the year my spouse of 16 years gave up on our marriage, carried out a two-and-a-half-month affair with a coworker, and thus inducted me into a sort of secret society, what I’ve come to call the Betrayed Spouse Club. It’s a club no one wants to join, and if you are part of it, few want to admit that they belong. The experts at Affair Recovery tell me being in this club is like having a full-time job that you didn’t ask for. I can vouch for that personally, as I know many of you reading this blog can as well. My spouse and I are now 8 months out from D-Day, living in recovery from day to day. Some days are easier than others, some are downright excruciating. On those difficult days, the thought of adding even one more second to this horrific year of my life is almost unbearable. Time can feel like my enemy as I face days filled with unrelenting thoughts, questions, and overwhelming hurt from the affair. I’ve learned at Affair Recovery that typically it takes at least 18-24 months to overcome this, and that can seem an eternity to me. I can be tempted to tamp down the feelings, push aside the questions and thoughts, and avoid facing the issues in an attempt to simply let the passage of time heal my wounds. However, I have also learned that these feelings and hurts don’t just disappear and more than time alone is needed for successful recovery. It matters how I spend these days and months and years. When I face my feelings, address the questions, focus my thoughts, and allow myself to recognize the hurt, I am taking responsibility for my own recovery. I am being proactive and making time my laborer and no longer my enemy. Doing that work is daunting, and it takes (I believe) a dependence on a Higher Power to face it from day to day. In my EMS materials, C.S. Lewis is quoted, having said “The thing is to rely on God. The time will come when you regard all this misery as a small price to pay for having been brought to that dependence.” As 2017 approaches, this year it can be hard for me to see it as anything but an endless stretch of miserable days and nights to come and New Year’s resolutions can seem futile. However, in the midst of this, I can choose to rely on God, to rely on Hope, to rely on Love, and to make time work for me by committing to recovery work one day at a time. I hope each of you reading this blog can join me in that resolution, and I wish all of you a blessed New Year.