With November wrapping up, Thanksgiving is on the minds of most Americans. This is a time intended to give thanks for what you have in your life, and even though you might be considering, in the process of, or recently completed a divorce, there still are reasons to be hopeful and grateful this year. In the spirit of that sentiment, here are six things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season.
The process of healing:
- Divorce can often create a negative atmosphere during its planning stages. The idea that a union is over can be devastating, but in the pain of loss comes the next step: Healing. It’s not a process that will happen overnight or even in the near future. It’s about getting up every morning and putting one foot in front of another until one hour becomes one day, one day becomes one week, one week becomes one month, and one month becomes one year. Establishing a routine and creating a support group for utilization will allow you to become better equipped to face the future with a healed heart and a mind at peace.
The support around you:
- Speaking of support groups, spending time with family and friends will allow you to relax from all of the stress that divorce can manifest. Be grateful to those that wish to spend time with you. After separating or divorcing someone, individuals can feel unneeded or unappreciated, but it’s always important to feel wanted. Don’t be afraid to seek out those that you feel would want to spend time with you.
The next step in life:
- When you’re in the process of a divorce, it can feel like a never-ending cycle that you just want to end. You shouldn’t give up or give into anything your lawyer recommends, solely based on ending the proceedings sooner. However, this time will allow you to come up with a game plan for what is next in life. Now that your future isn’t set in stone, what’s next? The endless stream of possibilities doesn’t have to entail the anxiety of uncertainty and doubt. Create your own adventure.
Children, if you have them:
- Regardless of custody and regardless of the status of the divorce or separation, the most important thing is the well-being of the children. Be grateful that they have their health and future ahead of them and in regards of their parents’ divorce, be empathetic toward their feelings of uncertainty. Give them the love and attention that they need, and if possible, make sure they have the best holiday possible. For those that cannot spend Thanksgiving with their children, don’t show your frustration to your children. Show them your excitement in seeing them during your next visit. Give them their own holiday, where you can properly express how grateful you are for them and how important they are to you.
- I know as individuals, our own personal well-being isn’t always prioritized, but it’s important to be grateful for your own well-being. Make sure to take care of yourself. Eat right and exercise. Don’t overexert yourself by pushing yourself too hard. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and remember to find a hobby or activity to distract you from the stresses that a divorce or separation may entail.
The holiday itself:
- Thanksgiving, as a holiday, has so much to offer, that can allow you a momentary break. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is always a holiday classic, and the NFL has made it so there are three games on television. Additionally, the meal is always a delicious tradition, with turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and so much more. Even if you’re facing the roughest, uphill battle of your life, you can rest easy for a second at the dinner table or the couch, enjoying what the holiday has to offer.
The holidays can be rough on many, and with a divorce or separation lingering, it can feel necessary to focus on the positives of the holiday and of your life, just for one day. Even with the anguish, Thanksgiving can still be a moment to be grateful for what you have and the future ahead.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.