The year 2020 will surely be remembered for the following: Coronavirus, quarantining, working from home, online school, toilet paper (LOL), riots, an election, and for my readers, most likely a separation or divorce. If you celebrate Christmas, and/or if you are planning to celebrate New Years, I’d like to offer you some holiday advice, and so would my Divorced Girl Smiling partners!
This past year, Divorced Girl Smiling celebrated its 8th anniversary. It’s hard to believe I started this website as a blog; a place to vent and share stories, and now it’s a well-known, safe, supportive, inspiring and warm community. I could not have done this work without the help of my partners: Katz & Stefani, Vestor Capital, The Center for Divorce Recovery, Leslie Glazier, Tiffany Hughes and Andrea Javor.
My partners have chosen to be affiliated with Divorced Girl Smiling because they all have a passion for helping men and women both going through a divorce and living life after divorce. I know each one personally, have used their services, and have heard very positive feedback from those to whom I’ve referred to my partners. I think so highly of each of them. All are smart, trustworthy, compassionate and amazing.
So, with that said, here are each of their holiday greetings and some of their holiday advice for all of you.
Greetings and holiday Advice from the Divorced Girl Smiling partners:
Elaine Moss, Vice President and Senior Advisor, Vestor Capital
I work with so many divorced women, and I have seen how hard the holidays can be for them. I always say to them that happy children have happy parents. What I mean by that is, sometimes it takes a hard choice (like divorce) to be happy, and by choosing happiness for yourself, you are doing right by your children. When it comes to what we do at Vestor Capital, our job is to put together a financial plan that will help you maintain your lifestyle and be comfortable. Information is power, which is why we want to make sure you understand your financial life, feel safe and comfortable, but also feel empowered.
Dan Stefani, Principal, Katz & Stefani
Times are challenging right now with the pandemic impacting nearly everyone. If you are also going through a divorce, the times are even more challenging. You are probably feeling stressed, alone, and scared. The message from your attorneys at Katz &Stefani is that we hear you, we understand, and we commit to doing our best to address your concerns and help alleviate your pain.
Try to remember that this will pass and things will get better. I cannot tell you how many clients contact me after their cases are over to let me know that I was right about that, they got through it, and things are much better! Try to enjoy the holidays with your children and family and friends and know that you are headed in the right direction- with your attorney’s help-to get to better days ahead.
Jason Price, LMFT and Co-Founder, Affiliates in Counseling
This year has been so hard due to the pandemic. Add to that a divorce, and it is that much more difficult. With that said, we want to wish you a happy and healthy holiday season, and let you know we are here for you if you need emotional support. This is what we do: help men and women going through a major life change. We can offer support, coping skills, and parenting advice, and we are here to listen.
It is more important than ever to practice self-care and to be compassionate with yourself. Find time for things that bring you enjoyment and connect with those who add value to your life, who make you feel good about yourself, and who you enjoy. It is also very important to develop your support system on who you can rely. The right team of family, friends, therapists, attorneys and other professionals can help you decide if divorce is right for you, and if so, to help you through the process with the best possible outcome.
Leslie Glazier, Real Estate Agent, @properties, Certified Divorce Real Estate Professional
Just want you to know that I hear you and I understand how you are feeling. Everything is going to be OK, and when it comes to the process of grieving, there is no rush. Focus on yourself, your kids and your family. Try not to think about what “he” or “she” is doing during the holidays. Not only is it time to focus on a few past holiday traditions, it’s time to come up with some new ones. You will get through this hard time and things will get better. 2021 is going to be a good year!
My real estate advice is, try to take a little time and energy in making small tweaks/updates to your home. Make it fun for everyone, whether it’s painting a room, organizing, cleaning and decluttering. My clients who are planning on listing their homes (because of divorce) are set up on searches to view potential homes. I think doing that helps people focus on the positive, on the hope of a new and better life ahead.
Tiffany Hughes, Founder, The Law Offices of Tiffany M. Hughes
The holidays can be a time filled with mixed emotions. This holiday season, think about what you are thankful for. Focus your energy and emotions overall on the good, and remind yourself of the positives in your life. Although the divorce process can take a lot of time, you’re one step closer to starting a new chapter of your life with many great things to come.
Be patient, be grateful that you, your family and your friends are healthy and that overall (even with all things considered), life is good. With a new year comes new beginnings. New Year’s resolutions can seem cliché, but truthfully, the new year is an opportunity; a time of reflection for what we want to change, what we need in our life and what we need to remove from our life. You deserve happiness and love, and if you are not in a relationship that gives you this and more, you should start considering your options and next steps for moving forward.
Here’s my divorce advice: If after the holidays, you realize that what is best for your family is moving forward with the divorce consider the following:
1. Start gathering documents related to all debts and assets that you have. This needs to be done for the divorce, but it’s also a good time to evaluate what has been accumulated during the marriage for financial planning after the divorce.
2. Consider your long term goals relating to parenting time and decision making for the children.
3. Try to work amicably with your spouse going forward. Being bitter or angry won’t help trying to settle (although it feels good and is usually warranted)
4. Always be careful of what you put in writing to your spouse. This applies to trying to settle (which you should never do unless you speak with an attorney and finalize strategy for the same). However, it also applies to things that you say that can be used against you.
The holidays are meant to be enjoyed and yet right now it might seem as though the world is crumbling around you. You are not alone. My message to you this holiday season is to summon your very best self at the (real or virtual) holiday table. Close your eyes and imagine yourself TWO years from now … THREE years from now … where you are, what are you thinking, wearing, feeling, experiencing? What would it look like if that woman showed up for the holidays this year? Would you enjoy it more?
I don’t know anyone, divorced or not, who is likely to look back and say 2020 was their favorite holiday season. Summon that future you, that best self, and bring her to the holiday table to make the very most of it. I promise you there will come a time when you are not feeling the same way you are today. Imagine your best self this season so you can look back and be proud of how you showed up to the holiday table.
If you are considering divorce, my assignment is to get a handful of post-its. Write at least 3 specific things you want to manifest for yourself in 2021. Then write at least 3 specific things you want to shed or unburden. You can write down anything you want, and remember this is about you living as your best self in the new year. Revisit your post-its on January 31st. Do you still feel the same way you did? Has anything fallen further in or out of place to make it happen?
Love, Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling
Not the best year I can remember, both because of what happened in the world and for personal health reasons, I am happy to say goodbye to 2020. But that said, there were some really wonderful things that happened. We have a vaccine, the riots ended (for now), the stock market is still good, and hopefully, you and your families are safe and healthy.
I want to thank all of you for making Divorced Girl Smiling what it is: a big, huge group of people who are here for each other, who are rooting for each other, and who are learning from each other. I could not be more proud of what I’ve created, and I couldn’t have done it without this community and my partners.
My holiday advice is this: Instead of remembering and thinking about how crappy some of 2020 was, or about how your divorce went down, or how happy you fantasize your ex is, or how sad your kids are at times, or how stressed you are about finances, or what’s going to happen in the future, just spend the holidays being in the now.
Looking at the past is depressing, looking at the future is scary, but being in the present is peaceful and enjoyable. If you’re eating a Christmas cookie, enjoy it instead of worrying about the calories. If you’re watching your child open up his new Xbox, look at his face instead of thinking about how much it cost. And if you’re feeling lonely and wondering if you’re ever going to find love again, look in the mirror and ask yourself if you’re lovable. Yes! You are!!
All my best wishes for a wonderful 2021. A NEW year means NEW plans, NEW habits, NEW outlooks, NEW relationships, and NEW memories that will be made. You deserve them to be the happiest ones yet!
Like this article? Check out, “20 Things I Wish I Could Have Told My Newly Separated Self”