He looked down and
hesitated. “Good. I’ve been good, “ he replied, appearing a little anxious. “I ask because I know how hard
you work,” I said. This observation was easy to make about my fellow attorneys
who are prone to working long hours and skipping vacations. “But are you having
any fun?” I persisted, having forgotten my coach manners.
“You’d be proud of me,” he
said, looking up for the first time. I’m trying to keep Fridays open so if a
friend invites me to do something fun I’m free to take the day off.” Apparently my inquiry left him feeling as
though he needed to explain the actions he was taking to improve his life.
I ask people to think about
their enjoyment because, like so many wisdom lessons, for many years of my life
I failed to get a passing grade. I was the woman with a manila folder labeled
“FUN” filed away with the relative importance of the warranty on my electric
I thought that fun was for
people who didn’t have lives like mine. After all, my lawyer brain
rationalized, who expects to have fun when you are trying to build a business
or when your marriage is unhappy or when you’re going through a divorce.
The truth is, we need
enjoyment throughout our lives. And we need it more than ever when we
experience hard times.
During a divorce, you may
not have the same amount of time, money, or physical vitality to have fun like you
do in other times of your life. After all, your energy is being pulled in a lot
of directions. But the need for
enjoyment in your life remains.
There are countless ways you
can find enjoyment, and that remains true whether you are in total marital
bliss or the saddest days of divorce. It may have been so long since you had
fun that you may have forgotten. If you
are an introvert you might enjoy the solitude of an afternoon museum visit and
if you’re an extrovert you might have a blast cooking a meal with a group of
friends. And as fall comes down around
us, don’t forget that almost everyone will experience enjoyment when connecting
with nature, which provides some of the cheapest thrills on any divorce budget.
Like the fun size candy at
Halloween, it doesn’t have to be big to be yummy. It can be as small as
listening to a half hour of your favorite music or allowing yourself the luxury
of a time to pet a cat or to talk to a friend uninterrupted about __________ something
other than your divorce.
Finding enjoyment during divorce
doesn’t mean we escape in unhealthy ways. No one is recommending heaving
drinking as the gateway to improving your quality of life during divorce. But
one bite of fun size fun during your divorce will give you a taste of what
enjoyment may be in the future.