The last several months dealing with the Coronavirus Global Pandemic has taught us a lot about ourselves. It has shown us that we are resilient, know our own “risk” tolerance levels, forced us to focus on self-care and made us slow down our fast paced lives. Your divorce process may be just beginning or you are far along your divorce journey. In either case, during both the good and bad days. During this present moment, we have realized that all any of us can do is to take things “one step at a time”. We have been reminded of the things that are most important in life – health, safety and surrounding ourselves with love. This time has allowed us to take stock of our lives and reimagine a future in light of everything that we have experienced.
For some, this time has allowed us the opportunity to explore new interests or reignite a passion for art, music, literature or theater that may have been quieted during faster paced times. For others, this time has allowed us to figure out what support systems work to sustain us during this difficult time. Whether cleaning out cluttered closets or repurposing the guest room into a home office, our lives have been re-organized in a way that is designed to push us through as we forge a path in the new way forward. This is not to say that these past few months have not taken a toll on us emotionally, physically or financially. It certainly has. This is not where any of us expected we would be when we exuberantly cheered in “2020” on New Year’s Eve. And while we are “in this together,” it is unrealistic to think that we have each approached or managed this experience in the same way. This journey has, and will continue to be, uniquely our own.
In many ways, divorce is similar. It is the experience that no one imagines they will ever face on their wedding day. While divorce impacts many families, it is a unique experience for each person. The divorce process is uncharted territory often with no clear understanding of what the future may bring. Just as the past few months have been a lesson in having faith and hope that better days are ahead, so can a divorce.
The phrase “out with the old, in with the new”, is significant in your divorce process, and not just as it relates to replacing your spouse! From old habits to old furniture, divorce can provide the opportunity for a “fresh start” in your life ahead. Memories, good and bad, are attached to more than just photographs. Often there is a struggle about whether to keep or sell the marital home. The decision is both emotional and financial. Whether you keep the home or not, it is no longer the same home that it was during the marriage. You are a different person than during the marriage and your home should reflect that. If you choose to keep the home, perhaps you will reorganize and refresh a space that works for you and your children. The same is true for wedding rings and other anniversary jewelry, which represents a special time in your prior relationship that has now passed. Redesigning the jewelry into a new piece, or selling it to purchase something to signify the future ahead, can be both liberating and a celebration of the wonders yet to come.
Even as cities around the world are trying to manage the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and approaching “re-opening phases” with some trepidation, there remain feelings of hope and renewed energy for the future ahead. Similarly, the uncertainty of a post-divorce future can be lessened with the reimagining and restructuring of your life as you see fit. A new direction for your life beyond your divorce process is right around the corner.
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DISCLAIMER: The commentary, advice, and opinions from Gabrielle Hartley are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice or mental health services. You should contact an attorney and/or mental health professional in your state to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.
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