One of the most dreaded days of the year is fast approaching. You know the day I am talking about – the day all of the holiday decorations get taken down and packed away until next year. The soft glow of the twinkle lights come down, the cozy holiday throws come off the couch, and the sentimental ornaments collected over the years get packed up. Everything feels empty and your surroundings look stark.
Such is the feeling when going through divorce. Whether you physically move spaces or not, it feels like you pack and put away all of your sentimental belongings or memories, you take away the coziness of the space to which you had grown accustom during your marriage, and your surroundings suddenly feel bare and foreign.
During divorce you effectively get a “do over.” Similar to those days in January when you may find yourself rearranging furniture in a room, painting a wall a different color, or hanging a picture in a different spot, divorce also presents a time – an opportunity, if you will – to reassess your life. It is a time when everything gets taken to a basic level, without the cozy fluff. It is a time to look critically and with a new eye at what changes you want to make to your space, to yourself, to your life.
I often find that in my moments of grumbling and grieving over the loss of “how it was back then,” that I cannot help the inevitable twinge in my stomach of a small excitement growing. It is the excitement that comes from a chance to create something anew – to get an actual “do over.” The feeling will come, it always does, and the key is to not ignore it. The key is to harness up the energy from it and immediately capture in writing or on a to-do list the part of the change that excites you. To seize the moment to make a positive change during a time that otherwise feels bleak.
So what will you do with this blank slate? What is the one thing that you would have changed during your marriage, but couldn’t because of compromise or too little time? What do you see anew in your different life that brings with it a tinge of excitement? I encourage you to ask, look and then press firmly your “do over” button.