It’s that time of year again, when everyone is talking about being thankful for everything and you’re just thinking, “Shut up and let me drink my Cinnamon Latte in peace.” Not surprisingly, going through a divorce around the holidays can be rough. So, I’m here to spread some Thanksgiving cheer that ISN’T cliché and irritating, or so I’m telling myself. Here are your reasons to be thankful—actually for real thankful—for your divorce right now.
- No more drama. For the first time in a long time, you’ll be able to roll through the holidays with a lot less drama, on average, than your past holiday seasons have likely entailed. Time to chill out and actually get a break for once.
- No compromises on Thanksgiving food. It’s been years of accepting the traditional choice of turkey when everyone knows duck is more delicious, and foregoing the corn soufflé because “there’s not enough oven space.” No more! Make what YOU want.
- No need to visit the in-laws. No more obligation to visit anyone on your spouse’s side of things for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year, only the joy of doing so if you actually want to. And no need to buy them all gifts, either.
- Celebrating the way you want to. Feel like spending all your free time drinking mulled wine in your pajamas from mid-November to the New Year? Watching the Home Alone trilogy back to back every weekend day? Making a version of Thanksgiving dinner every Thursday so you can have leftover turkey sandwiches until you’re thoroughly sick of them (just in time for Christmas)? You can do that. And anything else you want
- Holiday shopping—for yourself. The holiday shopping season is well upon us, and now, instead of hemming and hawing over what gift will be appropriate for a partner who probably won’t appreciate it anyway, you can spend equal energy hemming and hawing over what to get for yourself. Go on, treat yourself!
6. Focusing on what matters. With all the mental energy you’ll be saving this year by not fighting with your ex/soon-to-be-ex, you’ll have space to focus on the truly good things about life, your future, yourself, your kids if you have them … Basically, the things that the holidays are actually supposed to be about.
7. Focusing on pumpkin pie. Failing that, you can always bury yourself in some delicious, warm-with-ice-cream-on-toppumpkin pie. Mmmmmm.
8. Only dealing with your own baggage. There are going to be hard moments during the holidays, let’s face it. But now you only have to deal with your own stuff—not yours and someone else’s.
9. No fights over whether or not to send out holiday cards. Some people like doing this, some people loathe it. Those who think couples should do it end up doing most of the work and resenting it. Those who think it doesn’t matter end up frustrated. Now you can do it your way, whichever way that is; this is one holiday fight that’s no more.
10. New beginnings. I saved the best for last. This is the thing to be most thankful for as you go through your divorce: a new start. As the year winds to a close, you are finishing one crappy chapter, and in all likelihood starting the best chapter, of your Use the time to focus on what’s important, who you are, who you want to be, and where you—only you—want to go next.
James J. Sexton