Divorced? Spouse Has the children this holiday? Don’t get sad; get grateful. When you are going through a divorce or separation or just a hard time, the world comes crashing down and it is difficult to see the good things that are going on around you. A custody action is even more stressful. And when you are dividing a pie in equitable distribution, even if you get a lot, you will not be getting the whole pie. So any way you look at it, you will be diminishing what you had before. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot for which you should be grateful.
Angry about having to pay alimony or child support? Be grateful that your income is such that you can pay and still have enough left for your newly frugal self. On the other side of the equation? Be thankful that you are receiving help with your expenses. Feeling bad that you no longer have the large home or the beach house or the country club membership? Stop to consider how lucky you have been in your life to have been able to experience such things to begin with.
In November, 2015, Arthur C. Brooks had an opinion piece in the New York Times in which he opined that one way you can make yourself happier is to be grateful. In fact there is scientific proof that being grateful makes you happier. And it’s just being grateful for little things that does it. If every day you get up and write down three things for which you are grateful, the research shows that you will start feeling better generally. As you sit there, instead of feeling sorry for yourself, think about how the sound of a child laughing can brighten your day, or the wild asters growing at the side of the road make you smile, or the guy in the checkout line who let you go ahead because you only had three things was an unexpected pleasure. Three things a day, and you can repeat them every day if you can’t think of more. Give it a try, there’s no down side to it.