Facing New Year’s Eve Post-Divorce

IMG_1403Divorce is particularly challenging during the holiday season. One is used to having a date for New Year’s Eve and now for the first time in several decades, one is alone. Take stock of your situation and decide if you want to be with others or hole up at home. It is nice when family members are nearby and would enjoy your company watching global festivities on the telly (as I did with my mum the first two New Year’s Eves post-divorce). Get in your sister’s good graces by offering to watch your little nephews on that evening. Get the word out among friends and co-workers that you are available to babysit. Plan something fun to do with those extra pounds earned, maybe a spa treatment or two.

Near the end of my unhappy marriage, I did taxes one New Year’s Eve.  After my divorce, I knew any New Year’s Eves would top some of the ones I had while still married. Putting my life in perspective helped me to move on and enjoy the holiday. If you want to spend New Year’s Eve home alone, you can say that you already have plans, if asked. Otherwise, well-meaning friends may want to drag you along to some gatherings with their social circle. Save an exciting new novel for that evening.

Post-divorce, I was on a cruise ship for two New Year’s Eves with my sons. There were extravagant decorations, much fanfare, not to mention the scrumptious nearly midnight buffet. The dance floor was so crowded, that a partner was not required. The festivities included a show, concerts, and a raffle on the second cruise. I won the grand prize of a cruise for two, so my evening was ever so exciting.

Consider going away, as several other divorced friends have done. One went on a group tour to India, and she enjoyed the camaraderie of the other travellers.  Another women took her kids to Sri Lanka and the hotel was decorated beautifully and her kids learned how New Year’s is celebrated elsewhere. Closer to home are lovely country hotels with holiday packages and festivities.

My divorced mother used to work on New Year’s Eve as a nurse. She was around other people and the employees had a potluck party. The patients’ families remembered the staff with more goodies. Perhaps working is an option and then you can avoid this holiday when it is painful.

If New Year’s Eve is depressing consider doing your celebrating on New Year’s Day as we do. My sons will be out and about on the Eve, and I will be with my cats. We spend New Year’s Day together. My sons and I watch the telly during brunch, then get a latte out before seeing a film. We come home and have a delicious, but easy meal. People are not paired up on New Year’s Day, as they are on the Eve, so this could be the time to celebrate with friends. If holidays seem unbearable, consider seeing a divorce coach to get you back on track. Distraction is a good method to get through this holiday when feeling lonely.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine  thedivorcemagazine.co.uk