Summer of love. Summer of romance. Somehow, summer of divorce doesn't sound quite so catchy, does it? No, it does not. Summer and the accompanying heat signifies passion and love—and sometimes, fleeting hot romances.
If you're recently divorced, or dealing with a divorce in the sunshine of summer, it can feel a little cloudy and grey in your world. It may happen to sting a bit more during this period of happiness, beach days and ice cream cones.
The good news is you can, and will, get past this. With every season—temperature-wise—and every season in our life, we have roadblocks to conquer... but we can, no matter what!
Summer Vacation Without the Kids
If you're divorcing with kids, one of the hardest parts about summer is the high probability that your kids will be away with your ex, and not you. This can be quite difficult. You're probably not used to being alone, much less away from your kids for an hour. Such a substantial amount of time may feel like forever.
Instead of burying your head in the sand, or hunkering down with A/C and Netflix for weeks on end, make plans now. Schedule time with friends and family. Plan day trips. Whatever you do, it's important to try to keep busy and stay sane to help the time pass.
Romantic Vacations Be Gone
Did you and your ex always head away for a weekend getaway or vacation during the summer? All those memories may come flooding back, now that you're in the process of, or already divorced. It's okay to become emotional. This is a big change in your life.
Why not take a little trip with some friends, or the kids, if you have any? Why not set a new tradition in stone? Yes, it won't be like the romantic vacations of the past, but it will be a new start—and a hell of a lot better than crying into a beer or pint of ice cream.
Social Networks Silent
You're grieving the end of a marriage, but your friends are all away with their families or partners on summer vacations. For me, it was difficult to create social opportunities during that first summer of being separated. Most of my friends at the time were married (and still are), and so there were many family days and trips that couldn't include me.
It was hard to form new friendships and rituals for myself, and I was depressed. Don't let that be you. Get involved in a divorce support group or a single parent network. These are the people you can relate to: childless for bouts of the summer; contending with long periods of social time alone, etc.
Work Slow—Mind Fast
Yes, we all love a little break from work; but for someone recently divorced, or going through the process, a career can provide a bit of an escape from personal life woes. With summer nearing, work may be slowing down. This can mean more mental space to fret and moan over your divorce.
Instead of indulging these emotions, I recommend getting involved in meet-ups, volunteer work, family gatherings, and even taking up some new hobbies.
Losing Summer Property
Did you once have a beautiful beach or lake house that you've now lost to the divorce? Ouch. It hurts, no doubt. And it's okay to be sad about this loss of traditions. But in the meantime, while the world continues to turn, what will you do to make some new memories this summer?
Grieving can be healthy, but turning it into a summer of "mourning" will leave you with nothing but negative emotions.
The bottom line is to make new traditions, meet new people, and be open to new possibilities. Your life will not be the same post-divorce, but this doesn't have to be a bad thing. You alone are in charge of your life's steering wheel. Where will your thoughts and actions drive you, post-divorce?