Divorce Recovery – A Time to Reinvent

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” 
George Bernard Shaw

Step One:  Regroup

So your Judgment was signed, and you are officially divorced.  Now what? While it’s true that divorce seems to be about everything you knew falling apart, it’s equally true that it is the perfect time to reinvent yourself.  If you weren’t the one who wanted the divorce, that makes it tougher.  You may feel like just retreating from the world and grieving.  Luckily, Life doesn’t let most of us do that.  We have to keep going because, for all but a few, divorce is also a time when you must find a new source of income. 

Since there’s no avoiding it, why not see this as an opportunity to do both?  A 2009 “recareering” study done by the Urban Institute reported that of people who changed their jobs and changed occupations, about 31 percent went from working for others to working for themselves.  But working at what?  When you’re free to do whatever you want, what do you do? 

Probably some version of what you did before.  Remember, it takes years to learn who you really are, after a divorce.  But you need money coming in more quickly than that.  So take stock of your talents and skills in a positive light.  You might say, “I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 20 years.  What skills do I have?”  A lot!  A friend of mine just told me about a 70-year-old woman he knows who runs a day care from her home.  She has 20 clients, and a waiting list.  She makes a great income, and pays 2 assistants to do the actual care, while she runs the business like, well, a business.  This came from her experience in caring for her own children as a stay-at-home mom.

Studies show that businesses that succeed usually stem from doing some version of what you did before.  Starting an errand- running business for seniors, writing family biographies, planning parties, acting as a personal secretary for small businesses that don’t have assistants, doing social marketing for small businesses that can’t afford a marketing department; these are all businesses you can start for less than $5,000.

When I got divorced, I was a lawyer who didn’t want to be a lawyer.  But I was a huge Louise Hay fan, and became certified to teach workshops based on the author’s books.  Then I enthusiastically set out to change careers.  In a very short time, however, I learned that I could not support my children on love offerings!  So I went back to doing what I knew how to do – practicing law.  This time, however, I decided to do it in a way that had meaning for me, and from that came my incarnation as a holistic lawyer.  Suddenly all the things I hated about law were gone, and it became an enjoyable experience where I truly felt I was helping clients on a multitude of levels.  I began practicing divorce law, and found my dharma helping families see divorce as the catalyst for an extraordinary life.  Sometimes the Universe gently guides us into the direction we should go.  So be receptive to the signals!  If you are feeling happy and satisfied with the direction you’re going, keep going.  And if not, sit quietly and be receptive to your inner guidance.  It is speaking to you all the time.  Sometimes outside noises keep us from hearing the important message it has to share.

More to Come!

 

Mindy L. Hitchcock (Michigan Divorce Lawyer)