BUCKET LIST: Force yourself to make one. As a matter of fact you should probably make two bucket lists. The first list you make would contain those long term, “I want to do this before I die” items. Your second list would contain smaller scale, easier to attain, short term aspirations. Here are some ideas:
- Take a class; or
- Start a hobby; or
- Invest more time with friends (or making new friends); or
- Begin a health and/or exercise regimen; or
- Get yourself to the shore if even for the day…with or without the kids…you know you’ve been saying you want to get there this summer; or
- Read that book (or any book) that you’ve always wanted to read; or
- Start a journal (very therapeutic); or
- Revisit an activity you used to love; or
- Anything your ex hated doing…
I certainly can’t know what you would most enjoy doing now that there is no one there to stop you so these are some generic ideas, but hopefully ideas that can get you thinking…and enjoying your independence.
BY YOURSELF: As opposed to lonely is a much more positive description. It may be difficult to be alone, but it also gives you time to rediscover who you are. We can get so caught up in being a spouse, with our jobs, and kids, that sometimes we lose ourselves along the way. Take the time to remember what you love most about yourself.
This is a good time to be a little selfish! Do the things that make you happy. Treat yourself.
GIVE BACK: There is always someone who is worse off than you who would greatly appreciate what you have to offer. When you give back to others, it makes you feel a stronger sense of purpose and can even have a positive effect on your health. It will also take your mind off of your situation.
The bottom line is…after divorce you can approach the next phase of your life with incremental steps. Independence Day is the perfect beginning. Take time for yourself, reflect and begin taking some positive steps forward as your newly independent self.