Atlanta family law attorney and sometimes Huffington Post blogger, Mindy R. Smith posted a piece yesterday, 10 Ways To Survive The New Year Post-Split. You might find her advice helpful or you might not, especially if you count yourself among the ladies.
Break ups often rather suck, especially if they mark the acrimonious end to a long marriage, possibly involving children. (Not that I would know anything about that.)
Here are Ms. Smith’s suggestions, and I couldn’t resist—I added mine:
10. Adopt a pet from your local animal shelter. Don’t you dare do that. Seriously. Don’t. You don’t need some poor homeless creature to make you feel loved. Also, these creatures require care. You will be lucky if you can keep your plants alive, assuming you got custody of the plants. If you got the kids, too—the very LAST thing you need is something else to look after and worry about, however cute and fuzzy it may be. Also, there is nothing like a new and much-loved pet to make a set of children feel replaced. (Ex got a dog right away. Wasn’t that nice?) Ms. Smith adds, “Of course, please make sure you are well-informed and financially able to take care of your new furry (or scaly) friend.” Yeah, make sure pay your child support before you buy dog food.
9. Establish an exercise regimen. Mrs. Smith writes, “Exercise is a great stress reliever. Exercise gives you energy and empowerment over your body and spirit. Your new body will also make your ex pine with jealousy when he/she sees you next.” That’s right, Readers, get your rear-ends in shape so that your ex will “pine with jealousy.” I have a better idea: Put some time into getting over caring about how your ex feels at all. Exercise is a great stress reliever, true, but you just might want to combine it with meditation and, um…. therapy.
8. Volunteer for your favorite charity. It’s not a bad suggestion. I would take it further and suggest that you build community for yourself. Hit those meet-ups, social clubs, and churches—NOT singles groups, not until you are really ready. Get out and connect with other human beings rather than staying home to wallow.
“Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.” – Bruce Perry, MD, PhD
7. Buy yourself a gift. I personally recommend shoes and chocolate. Oh, and therapy. Seriously.
6. Pamper yourself. Okay, shoes, chocolate, therapy, and a message. Preferably one given by a tall and very handsome masseur named Sven. (That’s a joke, y’all.)
5. For the newly single or divorced man, take a trip with your friends. Yes, she really wrote that. Only men are advised to take trips with their pals. I’m not sure what we ladies are supposed to do. Perhaps attend the “annual boring party” the men have wanted to “escape” for years? Guys! “Take that sporting/adventure trip, go party in Vegas.” (In Vegas, where you can get hookers at the hotel bar.) “This is your chance to do all those things you said you would do if you could just spend New Year’s Eve the way you wanted.” (Like get hookers at the hotel bar.) What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, except for, you know, herpes.
4. If you have children, preserve your holiday traditions. “If you still have children at home, maintain a sense of normalcy.” (Unless, you’re a “newly single or divorced man, then go to Vegas.) “Children thrive in stability so do your best to preserve the holiday traditions that you and your ex-spouse held dear while you were married.” Do the best you can. It’s hard, especially with child custody agreements encroaching on time. If things are tense—so much the worse. It is important to work to establish new and meaningful traditions, those that make the children feel uniquely valued.
3. Do your own thing. Here Ms. Smith advises you to skip out on the entire New Year’s thing, to ” send a polite regret saying, ‘I’m ringing in the New Year with me and myself. See you all next year.’” Cloak yourself in a snuggie, get a box of tissues, borrow a friend’s cat if you don’t have one of your own, and go to bed early. Yes, you could do that.
2. Toast yourself. You are advised: “The night before New Year’s Eve, go to the local pub in your area and ask the bartender to serve you a pint of Guinness ™ in a chilled mug. Within half an hour you will hear tales of salaciousness, infidelity, divorce, loneliness, and other misfortunes you can’t even imagine. You will realize there are people in worse situations than you. I can personally vouch for this one.” Go hang out in a bar by yourself. (Note: There is no warning that this can actually be a dangerous proposition for a woman, but this post is primarily for dudes. What woman would waste her calories on a pint of Guinness ™, especially when she is working overtime to get her hot body up and running for the purpose of making the ex jealous?) Let the misery of others make you feel better about your own.
1. Salute. “With each sip of Macallan and each puff of your Cohiba Black Robusto, repeat after me…’that blankety-blank-blank did not deserve me.’ Drink responsibly, of course.” Drink responsibly sip after bitter sip. I’m thinking maybe that blankety-blank-blank (you) deserved much better. Just sayin’
If you are drinking, Guinness ™, or Macallan, or champagne, or cosmos, or anything at all, for pity’s sake, be responsible and don’t drive. Happy New Year! It’s going to be a great one—I can feel it in me bones.