As the post-divorce years go on, sometimes we have feelings of guilt, nostalgia or anger we thought were long dormant. It’s like a death; many years later the grief can return full-blown. But it passes. It’s all normal. The key is to make the holidays your own. Do it your way.
It’s good to take stock as the years go on. How are you doing in your new life? Or how would you like to be doing if it’s just beginning? When I look back at the blogs I wrote around the holidays, I notice differences. In 2009 I focused on helping the self (e.g., de-stressing, acceptance). In 2010 it was more about others (e.g., being social, volunteering). You may need to focus on some of these things this year.
It’s clear that of course we need both the self and other focus to move forward. Consider what your goals are for the holiday. Is it “me” time? Is it vacation time? Is it trying-to-enjoy-what-little-time-I-have-off time? Is it family time? Or perhaps it’s a combination of some of those. Once you decide on your goal(s), you can figure out how to meet those goals. Then you can plan some things.
For “me” time, get prepared with the things you need. It may be books, movies, lunches with friends or a new gym membership. Perhaps you’ll plan a volunteer activity, which also works for family time. For vacation it may mean leaving the electronics behind, or limiting them ruthlessly. Ditto that for family time. If you only have a little time off, how can you plan to make the most of that time? What will you do to make the family time fun for everyone?
The choices may be all yours to make. Relish the freedom of making your own decisions and choices. And do make choices. Don’t just let things happen and allow the creeping feelings of loss sadness to take over.
And while you’re at it, think about the coming year. What would you like to accomplish, change or begin? Start thinking about how to make those things happen.
Whatever your focus, do it in your own unique way with your own style. And have fun!
My Way. Frank Sinatra