Monday’s Dose of Inner Savvy…
I don’t remember ever spending a Valentine’s Day alone. It wasn’t really meant to be…it just sort of evolved that way this year. And that was okay!
My two younger kids had gone to their dad’s late Saturday afternoon to spend the night and were supposed to be coming home Sunday afternoon. I was busy working on the computer all day Sunday…surrounded by piles of paper with all the tax info I needed to complete the FAFSA forms for my older two sons in college. My plan was to have the forms submitted by the time the kids got home so we could go out for a little Valentine’s dinner.
My head was sort of spinning with numbers when the phone rang. It was my 13 year old daughter asking if she could spend the night at her dad’s and go to a dog show in NYC the next morning with her dad’s girlfriend. I could have been upset because I had made plans for us that evening…or because she was going to do something with her dad’s girlfriend…or because it was Valentine’s Day. But the thing is, I didn’t feel any of that resentment. My daughter loves dogs…she begs me every birthday and Christmas for a cute, adorable one so it didn’t even occur to me to say, “No, I have plans for us.” It would have made her feel badly and put her in the middle of pleasing her mom and doing something she’d really enjoy.
I wasn’t surprised at all by the next call. About two hours later my son called to ask if it was okay for him to stay at his dad’s too. His dad had said he would put him on a train if he wanted to come home, but my son didn’t want to take the train. I could have predicted all of that!
Knowing that I hadn’t made other plans with friends and that I was now alone on Valentine’s Day I could have been hurt and resentful…but I chose not to be! Instead, I enjoyed some “me” time…a quiet night at home, ordering my favorite gournet pizza (which my kids really don’t like anyway) and watching one of my favorite chick flicks, “The Holiday.” The perfect dose of relationship optimism!
As divorced women and single moms, we will always face situations that test our emotions. How we react is really a choice, and sometimes we won’t react the way we wish we had. I could have chosen to focus on not having a Valentine and played “the victim,” but instead I chose to be grateful for the relationships I do have in my life and took advantage of some new-found quiet time. Working through the bitterness from a divorce takes time and some significant personal development work, but life after divorce truly can be better, not bitter…it’s all about your perspective!