Party of One
Holiday travel wasn’t as dreadful as I thought it would be. It was just another busy day at the airport. I think TSA has clearing security down to a science. Going to my destination, it only took me five minutes to go through security, coming back, only twenty-five minutes. I was expecting more than that, but thankful it wasn’t a nightmare! With bags packed, plans made and a book in hand to read on the trip, I was ready for my adventure. But little did I know there was something else looming in the small, dark corner of my mind.
This time of year is tough for a divorcee. Last year was bearable. I had my son with me, and we celebrated all three holidays together with my roommate and her family. A very unlikely group of people brought together by our circumstances, but it was fun, and it helped keep my mind busy. My focus was to make it a great holiday season for my son. Mission accomplished! However, this year, as I traveled solo, I became extremely self-aware of my relationship status.
I had time to kill at the airport before my flight, so I sat at a restaurant to treat myself to some drinks and a meal. Texting friends and family, laughing to myself and having a great time, I was oblivious. Until I started to notice the others around me in the restaurant. Three people each sat alone, much like me. A few couples were in the dining area, then I watched a group of friends laugh and chat as they sipped on their drinks. Although I was enjoying some ‘me time’, I couldn’t help but feel a little lonely in a crowded airport.
The gate at boarding time was teeming with couples and families. I then started to pick out who was traveling solo and who wasn’t. I’m not sure why I did that, but I want to say because it was a tactic I used to make me feel better.
When it was Thanksgiving day with family, I did notice I wasn’t the only one there who arrived solo, but I was in the minority. My youngest niece and one of my sister’s whose husband had to work for Thanksgiving.
A few days later, I went to a car show with my other sister and her boyfriend. I had joked about me being the third wheel and knowing there was going to be another couple meeting us for dinner later, I then called myself the fifth wheel. Again, it was all in good humor, until we went to sit down. Two and two across, then an extra chair at the head of the table. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t think anything of it. But as soon as I saw this set up, I couldn’t help but feel left out, and a little awkward. I tried my best to be myself, but instead I listened and observed, enjoyed my meal and would occasionally join the conversation. My sister did tell me later on that it was the quietest she’d ever seen me.
I’ll be honest, it was unsettling to see couples and families together, especially this time of year. But it made me realize I still need more time to heal. That I need to give myself grace and allow these feelings to happen and to not deny them. If you feel like you’re in the same boat as me, please know that it’s ok and that you still need time to adjust to your post-divorce life.. Chat with a friend, watch a silly show, have a mug of comforting hot cocoa, and get in some sleep. If your child custody plan includes having the kids every other weekend, knowing that you’ll see them soon makes everything right again. Tomorrow is a new day to make some progress and to be better than you were the day before!
If you need a top-notch team to assist you with your journey, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation about Colorado Springs divorce, child custody and family law at 719-344-5523.