Happy New Year, Beautiful!

happy new year

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

To end the year and welcome in 2017, I want to wish all of my beautiful readers a Happy New Year! That is what you are: beautiful!


Every morning, (most times before the sun comes up) I am at my computer with a cup of coffee, starting my day by reading the comments and e-mails sent to me by readers.


My readers are both men and women, who range in age all the way from those in their twenties to those in their seventies. Although every single one of their situations are unique, they all have something in common: they are all in pain. Not only are they seeking advice, but they want someone to listen to them, to hear them, and or to validate them.


People who read and write to Divorced Girl Smiling and Divorced Guy Grinning are either thinking of separating because their marriage has become unhealthy, or they are newly separated because either their spouse has decided he/she wants to leave or has cheated and is in a new relationship, or despite trying for several years, they are facing the fact that they are no longer in love with their spouse and don’t know how to get out of the relationship because of the kids and the guilt.


I try to answer every email and reply to most of the comments I receive in an effort to let the writer know that someone hears them. Also, I try to give the best advice I can, based on my own experiences. I am not a therapist and don’t claim to be right. My desire is to help and offer support, even if it’s in a small way.


So, whether you are thinking of separating, newly separated or broken up, in the thick of your divorce, divorced and lonely, or dating and frustrated after divorce, to ring in 2017, I’d like to offer 17 tips to helping you stay happy! Here they are:

  1. Stop doubting yourself. I received a comment from a reader today saying she isn’t 100% sure she “wants to let him go,” meaning her soon-to-be ex-husband. My dad always says, “If you make a decision, stick to it. It’s the right one.” In other words, your gut told you what to do. Don’t doubt it.

   2. Remember that you can reinvent yourself at any age. This reader also said she is in her 40’s and life is going downhill. NOT TRUE!! When I was 49, I went through a break up of a long-term relationship. I tossed in the towel and figured I would never find love again (and was almost accepting of it.) Two years later I am really in love and happy. People also think they are “too old” to change careers. My opinion is that the older you get, (despite the wrinkles, health challenges and weight gain–LOL but not really) the smarter and more efficient you get. Older people can be more daring-in a good way. They are more self-confident, smarter, and more at peace. They are more mature, less impulsive. They see the bigger picture. Getting older truly does have advantages. You just have to have the guts to change what you don’t like, no matter what age you are.

 3. Stop comparing yourself to other people. I can name 20 women whose bodies I envy or whose houses I wish I could live in. But, I know nothing deeper than what I see. I don’t know if they are happily married, I don’t know if they have health issues or financial issues, or much else. I see the surface. What seems perfect might not be. The best thing I can do is make my life as close to perfect as I can, meaning take the steps for a better body, work hard to have better finances, and thank God every day my beautiful, healthy children and all the love I have around me.

   4. Don’t be afraid of being alone. Back to my reader’s comments. She said she is afraid of being alone. If you fear that, you are wasting your time and energy. You might be alone for awhile, but what’s so wrong with that?? Nothing! Enjoy the peace. Let yourself heal. Mr. or Ms. Right is out there if you want him or her. You just have to be patient. It’s not easy, I know. Just have faith, believe in yourself and take some steps in an effort to meet people. The rest will fall into place.

   5. Love your body. You’re 10 pounds overweight, your jeans barely fit, you feel bloated and saggy. You have varicose veins and stretch marks. Fact of life—age takes its toll. BUT, you are healthy, your body has the ability to work out, to run, to breathe, to feel good. So, love it and care for it. Feed it the right foods, take it to the gym. Appreciate it. It deserves that. And, if you treat it well, it will show.

   6. Breathe. Did you know that it is impossible to engage in deep breathing and be stressed at the same time? So, when you feel stressed, start breathing deep (like the breaths they teach you in yoga) and I guarantee you will feel better. Do that several times a day!

 7. Love those kids with everything you have. Hug them. Kiss them. Make them giggle. Smile at them. Tell them they are beautiful—inside and out. Cherish every memory. Take pictures. Ask them questions. Dig deep. Tell them they can tell you anything and you will never, ever judge them. Tell them stories about when you were a kid. Tell them stories about you and your ex and how you fell in love.



 8.  Forgive. If you stay bitter and angry, you are only hurting yourself. Chalk up the loss and give in. You are helping yourself if you stop caring (for real, though.)

 9. Focus on today: not tomorrow or yesterday. Looking back is unproductive. Worrying about the future is unproductive. Living in the present is very very productive. This day and every new day is a gift. Treat it that way.

 10. Open your heart. Get to know people before you judge. You don’t know the whole story. Don’t be afraid to let someone love you. Don’t be afraid to love someone again. He isn’t your ex. She isn’t your ex.

 11. Stop the fight. A divorce lawyer said this to my friend, “Do you want to be right and spend a ton of money? Or do you want to settle?” Think practically.


Katz and Stefani Family Law Attorneys


12. Verbalize gratitude every single day. I started doing this in 2016 and it works. Every morning when I wake up, almost as a form of meditation, I talk to God about what I am thankful for—my kids, my parents, my siblings, my boyfriend. I give thanks for our health and safety. I’m telling you, it works. It sets the tone for the day. Can you think of a better way to start a new day?

 13. Be a little selfish. Buy what you really want. Eat what you want (sometimes). Go to a place you’ve always wanted to go. And, don’t’ feel guilty for doing for yourself.

 14. Carve yourself a piece of enjoyment every single day. If it’s 10pm and you are getting ready for bed and you haven’t had any enjoyment for the day, shame on you. I know you had to work all day, feed your kids, bathe them, do chores, run errands, etc. But ANYTHING you can do to laugh or feel good for some of the day is very important. You deserve that!


Want Financial Security After Divorce?


 15. Talk to God. He is listening. You don’t have to be in church or synagogue. He is everywhere. Express gratitude and ask for stuff! He is listening.

 16. Give. Philanthropy and random acts of kindness are good for the world, good for others and good for your sole! Giving makes you feel like you can fly, doesn’t it?

17.  Love yourself, Beautiful! And if you don’t, then start doing things so you will. We are all so hard on ourselves. No one is perfect. We can only set expectations of ourselves and try to stick to them. You have inner and outer beauty. Do you see it? If not, you need glasses.

 Happy New Year, Beautiful! All the best in 2017!!

Like this post? Check out my blog, “Women Over 40: What’s In Your Purse?”



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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

7 Responses to “Happy New Year, Beautiful!”

  1. Hilary Stewart

    I am trying so hard. I wanted him out after a number of unhappy years, with good times in between the bad. I was so calm and happy when he went, getting through milestones, loving being on my own and having my independence again. We had managed to maintain a civilised ‘friendship’ because we have so many mutual friends. I had been chairman of a local organisation of 300 members until very recently, known and supported by everyone. Small community. We have no money or family complications as this was a second marriage. My family were so relieved it was over (I had never discussed with them the problems in the marriage, they had seen it for themselves) My daughter’s first words when I told her – thank goodness, Mum. Then he he told me (after 4 months of separation) that he had a new relationship. I wished him well – genuinely – but was amazed when he told me who it was. I immediately got him to admit adultery and give a date so I could put in the divorce forms. Posted the following day. Just a formality. I wasn’t particularly interested, just relieved I could get him out of my life. Or at least will do so when we can sell the flat and I can move away. But from the moment he went public the following day in a very public forum with a dowdy woman (He just wanted to get his end away and humiliate me in public and show he could still get a woman at 67) I have been gradually going to pieces. I don’t want him, he repels me, he is the most arrogant, insensitive, crass, narcissistic man I know. I do genuinely feel sorry for her as I am sure he is just using her. She is exactly the antithesis of what he always said he liked in women. He loved my slightly off the wall eccentricity, my sense of fun, my style, my shapely figure. He didn’t like skinny women. He took a long time to accept it was over and I really had to goad him into letting me escape. She is a dour serious, almost mannish skinny woman. We are all in the same walking group. People rarely see her smile. She had told me weeks ago in general conversation she likes her own company and is happy alone, doesn’t like being in groups of people. She has been divorced 16 years. Her friends dislike him intensely. They have told me (unasked by me!) . It has led to some very public uncomfortable atmospheres when he is out with her and her friends are around. So many people have now had the courage to tell me – unasked – how unpleasant he has been to them. I know many people can’t believe how insensitive he is being to me now and it just reinforces their view of hm. He sat in my home and told me how lovely she is, what a lovely time they are having and the holiday we were planning, they are going to take! then he said my home (which he had left) didn’t look like a home, it looks empty. Ridiculous, one chair and two paintings are missing and he has the nerve to look round dismissively and say it doesn’t feel like a home. I’m not jealous because i don’t want him. she is just being used. She was fourth on his hoped-for conquest list, can’t she see?? His public humiliation of me nearly worked but I am such a well-known figure in the community with many genuine friends who were horrified at his behaviour and frankly amazed at her. I have been fending off a couple of chaps (there are always more women than men in our age group) I have a slow burning relationship coming to boil and will take it very slowly and carefully and privately. I do not want the kind of publicity he sought. This person has made me feel again that I could be attractive. So why do I feel so wretched? I spent most of new year’s eve – Billy no mates – in tears, alone. I am not sleeping. I am angry. I just want to get over this. It was my choice to get him out. I don’t want him. why should I feel this way?

  2. Don McCombs

    Thanks Jackie Your writing always strikes a cord. I’m a Guy but find your posts so helpful for me as they keep me grounded — I understand I contributed to the divorce, but I’ve been able to keep the relationship with my two daughters alive and close — I find that’s all that matters right now. They are the most beautiful things I’ve done in my life.
    Thank you for your thoughts and inspiration. It helps more than you know.


    • Jackie Pilossoph

      My pleasure and thank you for the kind words. I wish you a happy, healthy and beautiful new year!!

  3. Newly Divorced and Distraught

    Jackie – I am in the midst of this horrible process and just can’t cope with the reality that our hopes, dreams and future (post child rearing) were really only goals of mine (she wants the divorce). We just started the divorce proceedings and with each meeting with the lawyers I feel sad, depressed, anxious and filled with panic. I can’t see how I am going to survive this mentally or financially. And more importantly, and unfortunately, my children (who are barely teens) have been my entire universe, and now I have to find a way to live without them on a regular basis. I have so much work to do on myself and with re-gaining my independence. It truly is daunting. But, I know I will survive and have just today stumbled upon your blog. I love your positive attitude and suggestions. I plan to tackle one “task” at a time – in consumable chunks. But, if you have any advice for a complete green-bean, or where to start, I’d appreciate it. I am seeing a therapist, and that helps. I also have an AMAZING network of supporting friends and family. But, they can’t be with me 24/7 and this is the path that I alone have to face. I guess I am in the process of resurrecting “me” and learning to love “me” and be happy in my own skin. I never realized how much of myself I put into our marriage, family and home until now because I realize that I haven’t put any effort into me in a very long time. Very sad. Thanks in advance and sorry for the rant.

  4. Cathy Stoner

    I am newly separated and just found your blog. I am a Christian and God has helped me SO much. I resonate with every point you have made here, in fact it’s funny, I have been purposeful in doing almost everything you have stated already (3 months).
    I will now bookmark your website and look forward to reading more.
    Thank you!
    Cathy 🙂

  5. Recently Separated

    Hi Jackie – My husband left me last Friday (1/6) and these past few days have been the roughest days of my life. We’ve been struggling with marital issues for the past 6 months and while I was thinking things were getting better, he’s been out getting himself into anything and everything he can (hanging out with other women, some drugs, not coming home at night, etc.) It’s appalling. We’ve been together for 14 years and it’s breaking my heart the way he’s treating me (and the way I’m letting him treat me). I’ve made mistakes in our relationship in the past, but have spent the last 6 months going to counseling every week to get through those issues and devoting every second of my free time to trying to fix our relationship. In the meantime, my husband has been verbally and emotionally abusive, refusing to seek help for his depression, and only going to counseling on occasion.
    On Friday he told me he was leaving and that “we couldn’t be together right now” and that he needed space and time to figure out what he wanted. The behavior he’s shown in the past 6 months is totally uncharacteristic of him, which is why this is all so heart-breaking. We didn’t speak all weekend, and I saw him this morning at a meeting we had with our realtor (our house is for sale) and he proceeded to tell me he still loves me and that he doesn’t want a divorce, but that he just needs time to figure himself out.
    I feel like a doormat at this point and am getting so many different opinions from so many different people. My family wants me to leave him after all the crap he has pulled recently, but some of my friends and my counselor say to try to stick it out if the marriage is really worth saving.
    I just wonder if he’s really just that confused about what he wants, or if he’s just screwing around on me. The fact that he went out and got an apartment without speaking to me makes the situation seem very bleak. I just don’t know what to do. I know I need to take care of myself and start moving on and make myself happy now, but this is the only relationship I’ve ever been in and I don’t even know where to start. This is all I can think or talk about. I miss my husband, but I know giving him space is the only thing that could possibly bring him back to me.


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