Light me up a pumpkin spiced candle, let my feet crunch as I walk over brightly covered leaves, and zip me into a parka when the fall wind nips at my nose. I love all that is fall. I love this season, and in particular, this week of Thanksgiving, where with it brings reflections on gratitude and abundance. During times of transition or grief, it may be difficult to feel gratitude or see the silver linings, but perhaps take pause and really look.
Why I Am Grateful for my Divorce
Did I just write that subtitle? Did it just get quiet in here? Do I really mean that? Divorce is complex and it creates this unique dichotomy wherein people have to pick themselves up from the bottom and work hard to get back to themselves, hating it all the while but also experiencing gratitude for it along the way. So while my divorce was the hardest thing I have been through in my life, interestingly, I am grateful that it happened to me for the following reasons:
My divorce made me a better parent. My best friend takes issue when I say this arguing that I have always been a good mom. But the truth is, post-divorce, I am a more present mother. I value my time with my daughters because there is considerably less of it. I soak in the time I spend with them in a way I never did, or had to, prior to being a divorced mom. I am more mindful of the privilege it is to raise my daughters and grateful that my divorce exposed what I previously took for granted.
My divorce made me financially independent. I do not mean that my divorce made me wealthy. What I do mean is that I am solely responsible for my spending, saving, and budgeting. Like most divorcing couples, there was a division of debt that occurred as a result of divorce. It was up to me, and my income only, to develop a plan to reduce the debt. I was no longer part of a dual income household to support me financially. I felt empowered as I clipped coupons, starting eating lunches at home, and chipped away my debt until I was in a debt-free place. It was all on me and I am grateful that my divorce caused me to face my financial realities.
My divorce made me see my authentic self. While in relationship and marriage, couples often find themselves constantly compromising. If balance isn’t maintained during the course of years spent together in ensuring that you stay true to who you are, you can wake up one day like I did, and wonder where you went. Being single as an adult is something I had not experienced prior to my divorce. My life pre-divorce had not required that I take inventory of who I was in my adult life. Divorce changed that. I am grateful that as a result of my divorce, it forced me to reevaluate who I wanted to be now that I was grown up. My divorce allowed me to align my adult self in an authentic way.
Beyond these things, after experiencing a jarring life event like a divorce, inevitably and gradually comes gratitude and appreciation for the life you have left. There are moments where you are forced to reflect on and chose which direction to take next. I am grateful that my divorce emphasized for me the need to appreciate my abundance in all things big and small.