After going through the hell of getting divorced, you’re spent. You’re tired. You’re lonely. You feel like you’ve been hit by a car, landed on train tracks and run over by a passing railcar, then knocked into the path of an oncoming bus. Worse, these seem to be your good days. But after all that passes, the realization sets in, and you are confronted by a question:
Now what the Hell do I do with myself?
At some point in everyone’s post-divorce aftermath, this bitter but realistic question rears it’s ugly head, and idleness is the Devil’s playground. Here’s what I do to stem the tide of emotional trouble.
1. Sign up to and attend functions for Meetup.com.
Meetup.com is a website that helps you to arrange actual face to face meetings with others that share your situations, hobbies, or interests. I’ve been to a couple of meetups for a couple of groups myself. I’ve yet to regret it.
2. Attend local festivals and events.
Summer in Denver is the height of the festival season. I missed the People’s Fair this year, but if you know where to look, you can always find cheap and free events that have the added bonus of helping you to forget the ex that ran off with the waitress from the bar down the street. In Denver, you can find these amnesia-producing nuggets at the Denver.org site, and in many cites, you can look for free gatherings in your local independent newspaper of choice.
3. Spend time with friends and family.
If you are like me or a lot of the people that I know, friends and family FREQUENTLY get kicked to the curb when things start to go sour in your home life. Now that you’re divorced, there’s absolutely no reason to let that continue.
Reconnect with family and friends. In the end, they will help you more than you thought possible.
4. Read a book, then go see the authors of the books that you enjoy.
I’m way behind on my book reading lately, but if you’re so inclined, book reading is a great diversion from ex-spouse wallowing. Here’s a list of books that I’ve read in the last year or so, and as you can see, I’ve done a lot of diverting. Even better, you can get your social on and then buy the book and go to a book signing, class, or meet and greet at places like Barnes and Noble, the Tattered Cover, and even your local library.
5. Enjoy the outdoors.
As the brain becomes addled with breakups, pain, economic hardship, and all, people tend to forget about the wonder of nature – that force to which we are all connected, like it or not. When was the last time that you walked barefoot in the grass? Ran in the surf? Went for a hike?
If you find yourself not remembering when the last time you noticed a fragrant, growing and living flower or watched nesting birds fly overhead, then you haven’t been outside in the air enough. Make time to do it. You’ll feel better, I can almost guarantee it.
6. Spend time with your kids, if you have them.
Perhaps I’m fortunate here. I get to spend a LOT of time with my daughter. Plus, she’s an absolute joy to spend time with, which makes life even easier. But I believe that spending time with your progeny is extremely important.
Here’s a pic to share with you to prove my point.
I call it Grace with Bear. I believe we had come back from a fair that day.
Years from now, I will have the pictures to prove that I was there.
7. Get a hobby.
As much as I love surfing the Internet (and this site in particular,) that is not a hobby. Photography is a hobby. Scrapbooking, although not recommended, as thoughts of the ex will surely pop up, is a hobby. Mountainbiking is a hobby. These things keep your mind engaged, and will keep you from dwelling on the past.
8. Align yourself with other similarly situated people.
Shameless plug: I joined Divorce360 for exactly this purpose. I get information, support, and sympathy from people. Sometimes that helps.
There’s eight things that I do pretty regularly that help me in my post-breakup life. Perhaps you can add to the list!
Notice, though, that nowhere did I mention the idea of “exacting the perfect revenge.” I must be better off than I thought.