Even a simple holiday like Labor Day can cause feelings of loneliness and distress after divorce. If you’re alone, do something positive for yourself. Celebrate all the things you have to be thankful for.
“A holiday gives one a chance to look backward and forward, to reset oneself by an inner compass.” May Sarton
If you are divorced, even simple holidays like this Labor Day weekend are often a real challenge. Especially those first holidays when all of your children (and maybe grandchildren) are with your ex-husband; and maybe your friends are all with their families. Holidays can be not just a challenge but agony, pain, anguish and tears. One of the things I hated most about divorce is that it makes most holidays so unbelievably complicated. What used to be a fun trip to the lake or a family visit to relatives in another state, suddenly is an ordeal of change and survival. And in the beginning, even the holidays when the children are with you, things are different. Something is missing. Traditions are upended. I don’t have any easy fix for the holidays. I wish I did. Keep in mind that the holidays are hard for your children, too. Whether you have them or you don’t have them this holiday weekend, try to enjoy your time. Do something completely different. It’s okay that your children know this is hard for you, but the best thing for them is to see you moving forward. Tell them it’s hard for you. But then try to do something good and fun. Try to find some things to enjoy and laugh about. If you are completely by yourself, use this time to get a project done that you have been putting off. Clean the basement or garage. Get your flowerbeds ready for fall. Read that book you’ve wanted to read. Don’t put more pressure on your children if they are with him. They may not like it any more than you do, but they are trying to make this work for everyone too. You be the big person. You be the one they can count on to always want what’s best for them. If you’re new at this, I’m pretty sure there will be tears no matter what. Remember, this WILL get easier. Just stay on the high road; find some joy and find something good to do and something to celebrate. Even if it’s only a sparkling clean, organized garage.
“Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do.” Philippians 4:4-5a (The Living Bible)
Suzy developed Midlife Divorce Recovery as a safe refuge for people healing and surviving the overwhelm of divorce. Starting her first RADiCAL support group in 2003 she's been helping women navigate the journey of divorce ever since.