Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentine's Day....Post Divorce

The first Valentine's Day after divorce will likely be difficult....whether you asked for the divorce or not.  It is likely to be an emotion filled day.  Try to get out ahead of this and plan something for yourself so you don't end up sitting at home having your own personal pity party.  Here are some suggestions for you:
  • Plan an activity for yourself....something you love to do or something you have always wanted to do, but your ex-spouse didn't want to do.  Get out there and DO SOMETHING!  Live your life and enjoy yourself!
  • Go the opposite route and do something that is completely unrelated to your past.
  • Consider making this a volunteer day for yourself.  Help out at a local shelter or food bank.  This should warm your heart and bring some perspective to your life.  You will see that there are problems so much bigger than your divorce.  
  • Get together with friends.
  • Don't stay home alone and feel sorry for yourself.  This will not help you.  Thinking about the past will not help you and thinking about what all of the "happy couples" are doing will not help you.  
  • Make the day about you.  Love yourself.  Love your friends.  Love your dog and/or cat.  Call an old friend that you haven't talked to in awhile and just say hi.
Life is full of little moments that you should grab and make the most out of them.  You have control of your own happiness.  There will be lots of firsts again after your divorce.  It is important for you to not dwell on what was or what could have been.  Keep your chin up and focus on the positive things in your life.  Love yourself.  You can and will recover.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Time: A Priceless Commodity

So, the life of a small town lawyer is often very interesting.  It does take some time to get to know people.  But, as my practice grows, I get to know more and more people.  I am finding this to be a very small world and I love it more and more each day.

For over 10 years, I worked in Clayton, Missouri and I always had a commute of at least 30 minutes one way.  More recently, my commute was a solid hour on a perfect weather day one way.  Now, I work closer to home and my commute is only 15 to 20 minutes.  That is so wonderful.  There are no traffic jams and when it rains, no big deal, everyone keeps driving!  So much of my life was spent wasted commuting to a job that I hated.  My commute alone is enough to make me blissfully happy now.  

I feel that I am very lucky to be able to start my own practice and that I have my husband to support me through this...and by support, I mean financial and emotional.  I am trying to make this a success so that someday, he can quit his awful one hour commute each way and find something closer to home.  It's amazing how much your outlook on life changes when you are doing something you enjoy AND it is close to home.  Life becomes so much easier and you have so much more time.  I now have more time to do anything I choose....whether it be working late, playing with the dogs, spending time with family, getting household chores done in the middle of the week, doing volunteer work....anything.  

Sometimes, you have to weigh doing something you enjoy (or, at least, don't hate) closer to home and making a smaller salary against all of the negatives of working at that high paying job in the big city.  Consider your quality of life.  Cut down on material things.  Take the time to enjoy your life instead of being constantly focused on the almighty dollar and material possessions.  I firmly believe that if you do this, your life will improve in so many ways.

Starting and maintaining a law practice is stressful.  But, I try to remember all of the positives to this small town practice and all of the reasons I wanted to have this type of practice.  It warms my heart every day that I'm able to help someone through a difficult time.  I love working in a small town where I'm able to walk not only to the courthouse, but also to the post office, the hairdresser, the flower shop, the post office, the bank and many other stores. People are friendly and nice.  It's refreshing.  I love it.

Sometimes, when I think about it, it does seem a little odd to me...I love my job, where I work, the people around me...I guess I'm still adjusting to it since I spent so long disliking all of those very same things.  This is such an improvement and I encourage everyone who has the chance to make a positive change such a this to just do it.  You won't regret it!