Empowered after divorce – Even on a long holiday weekend

“When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless.  But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.”  Pauline R. Kezer, Institute of Politics at Harvard

Sometimes on your journey through divorce, especially during those long holiday weekends, you may be alone or feel lonely for your Before-Divorce-Holiday traditions.  Even on a “simple” holiday like Labor Day Weekend causes sadness and angst.  For our family, even though it was often crazy-crowded at the lake, it was a tradition to have the last summer fling before getting down to the business of the school year.

When we’re dealing with either of those two kinds of loneliness, we often feel totally overwhelmed and powerless. It’s as if we don’t have enough energy to do anything.  That’s especially true if we are in our house alone while the kids are with the wasband or if we’re trying to figure out something fun to do when going to the lake (or wherever) is no longer an option.  And it’s even worse if our wasband is going to the lake with his girlfiend with her children (or she is the age of your children!), we can get so engrossed with our own situation that we have no idea what to do next to get out of the lonely funk.  We become sad and often immobilized by the sheer mental weight of the whole situation.

And for me at least, my own problems seem to take over most of my waking moments during those times.  If I’m honest, much of my down (long holiday weekend) time was spent mostly feeling sorry for myself. Eventually, after seeing that focusing on my own sadness was not working, I figured out that if I got involved in doing anything to make something better, I felt better too.

The longer we sit and do nothing except brood over our sad situation, the harder it is to get off the couch.  But if we get up and look for something worthwhile to do, especially something that makes the world better, or is simply different or fun, our focus changes.  And it can be the most simple things.

Here are a few ideas:  Go to a nearby organic farm where you can pick your own vegetables or even just buy some healthy “farm-to-market” food.  Cook up something simple, healthy and delicious and really enjoy and be grateful for every single bite.  (This is a perfect time of year to enjoy the bounty of nearby gardens.)

Write a note to an elderly relative. Make up a care package to a college student already back at school.  Or put together a Back-to-school pampering package for a daughter/niece/friend with young children.  Straighten up your closet.  Get ready for cooler weather dressing.  Research a worthy cause and make plans to help.  Fix cookies for a neighbor.  Just figure out some way to be generous and shine however you can.

Pretty soon, instead of feeling overwhelmed, sad and powerless, you will see that you have the ability and power to make lots of things better for others and for yourself… especially on these long (but potentially beauty-filled) holiday weekends.

“If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you?  I’m putting you on a light stand.  Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand –shine!  Keep open house; be generous with your lives.  By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16 (The Message)

P.S.  If you want to talk to other women who are dealing with this long Labor Day weekend  during a divorce,  go to www.midlifedivorcerecovery.com and see how to connect.  Most of our products and services include an online membership in the MDRcommunity.  Share with other women. See how they are coping with the holidays.  On the midlifedivorcerecovery.com site, under the MDRcommunity section, hit the CLICK HERE button to see different ways to access the community.  Or Order the Divorce Survival Kit and immediately log on to the community.