I have a love/hate relationship with the “On This Day” memories on Facebook now that I am newly divorced. This time last year were pictures of family time, marriage dates, stories from what we had conquered, birthdays celebrated together, trips that were taken as a family and a married couple, etc. This season of life is completely different and not at all what I thought life would be like one year ago “today” as Facebook likes to say.
The holidays are quickly approaching and this is uncharted territory, so I am not quite sure yet what this will look like. Creating a new normal isn’t the most fun but it isn’t horrible either. The venture is whatever you make of it, and I have started learning once again in my life that time doesn’t heal, it’s what I do with my time to heal that matters and makes the most impact.
The holiday season is near and dear to my heart and I love everything about Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it’ll be different this year. New traditions will be made, a new normal in how our time is split up with our kids will be worked through, going through the Christmas decor and deciding what I am bringing to my home and what stays in his home, making new stockings for my kids to have here in my home, creating a smaller meal.
Actually, making a meal … OH MY WORD … As I’m writing this I just had a sinking feeling and my heart is beating … I’VE NEVER MADE A TURKEY IN MY LIFE, NOT ONE TIME … HE ALWAYS MADE THE TURKEY … THE TURKEY WAS HIS THING … I made the sides, I set the table, I put up decor, I took all the pictures throughout the day and evening … I’VE NEVER MADE A FREAKING TURKEY! See what I mean … UNCHARTED TERRITORY! I am in a place of uncertainty in regards to the holiday season, the not knowing is kind of nerve-wracking.
What now? What’s next? How will I have my Miracle on 34th Street moment? How will I create new traditions for myself, and my kids? Is this what Friendsgiving is all about? Is this why people have an entire Pinterest board on traditions? I’ve always wanted to do Elf on the Shelf, maybe I will do it for my dog and use dog treats, I’ve always wanted to go out for dinner on Thanksgiving and then come home and bake, I’ve always wanted to try traveling somewhere I’ve never been and celebrate Christmas there. I don’t know what it will be like this year, but there are some things I know for sure.
I may be divorced. I may be single. I may be vulnerable. But … I am grateful. There are many blessings to count, and adventures to be had. Mindfulness in a state of gratitude is key. Toxic negative energy and thoughts cause harm to my mind, body, and well-being. Gratitude has to be cultivated, and my thinking about the holiday season will dictate whether or not my season is filled with joy and peace, or sadness and loneliness.
I decided to be proactive in making this within in eye sight everyday and to make sure it’s right in front of my face. I have a standing chalkboard that I moved into my living room with a bowl of chalk, so that when the mood strikes me throughout the month, I will write what I am grateful for in order to guide my mindset for the holiday season.
2. Green Grass
Not the Willie Nelson kind, but the metaphor of the saying “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.” is different for me now. I will be honest, the green grass that people looked at before my divorce was our grass, our marriage, our fun dates, our adventures, our family, but it’s different now. The saying refers to the way we look at other people’s lives and other things we don’t have.
Well … I don’t have that marriage, a whole unit of a family, and family adventures, but I do have the ability to water my new grass and the attitude of resilience. One of the things I am finding out as a single person is that it’s not that fun anymore to hang out with married people in a couples setting. There’s a disconnect and the conversation is different, and it’s hard not to look at their grass and get sad.
It’s also been interesting to be around single people too, I’ve found you have to be real careful what kind of single people you choose to be around, because some of them are pretty bitter and negative individuals who have burnt their grass and it’s not fun to be around them either.
I decided to be proactive in making this green grass of mine just that … “MINE”. I choose who I want in my life based on attitude and balance, I choose the watering schedule of my grass, I put serious thought into where my time is going and who it’s with. This will help guide my heart for the holiday season.
The “woe is me” mindset is not in my DNA. Do I have my struggle bus days? Yes, absolutely. But I literally cannot function in life like that if I stay there too long. The holiday season brings out the best in our hearts with our talents, time, and resources. Getting outside of my own head and giving to others is key, it’s about nurturing our best selves. It’s a win win situation. You are blessing someone else but in return you are blessed by the pure goodness from seeing a person feel special and loved at that very moment. I will be brainstorming on what this will mean for me personally for the holiday season, but it will guide my being and energy this year.
Whatever the holiday outcome is for me in this new season of life, it’ll be up to me to decide if joy, peace, and happiness will be had and cultivated. We would love to know what “new” traditions you formed after divorce, or as a single parent. What kind of “new normal” holiday things or events did you love the most?