Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Into the Gap Post-Divorce

I mean post-divorce gap in the most positive way.  In a recent piece, Jane Pauley talked about an experience gap that kids might like to fill before, or even during their college years.  She mentions empty nesters as having a similar opportunity.  It inspired my thinking about gap phases of life which I have shamelessly adapted here for the post-divorce gap year.  Like empty nesters, new retirees, or those luckily in a position to take a sabbatical, divorce also allows for a gap year.

According to Wikipedia, the gap year, AKA year abroad, year out, year off, deferred year, bridging year, time off and time out ,is typically the year students sometimes take before starting college, though some also take it after college graduation.  The time is used for travel, volunteer work, working abroad, exploring new directions and becoming more independent.   Perhaps in this economy you don’t have money or time for a break, especially after a divorce.  You can still carve out a little time to try something new.  These are a few ideas for branching out in your gap year:

-Something missing in your life?  I mean, other than your former spouse and former way of life.  Always wanted to see India, take a dance class, study sign language?  This is your opportunity.
-Back burner items you’ve always planned to do.  In marriage we all tend to set some things aside in order to accommodate partners.  This is the time to do something.  Start training for a marathon, enroll in an MBA program or try out for the new play in the local theater. 
-Meeting new people.  We all put off nonessential social contacts when we’re in marriages and other committed relationships.  Make time for a coffee or lunch with someone new.
-Having fun.  Divorce can free up time for fun.  Do something purposeful and fun.  Find volunteer opportunities, museums, parks, hikes, music in clubs, and other local options you haven’t explored.
The fact is, anytime is a great time to move into the gap, fill it with new experiences and get creative.  What’s in the gap for you?
Mood music:  TheGap.  Thompson Twins

Contact me to attend a free 2-session teleseminar, Move Into Post-Divorce Life.  Enjoy the Journey

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