When was I first separated and divorced, one of the hardest things for me to deal with was the time my boys spent with their father. During those every-other-weekend visits, I found it very painful that my family was out doing things without me. I was left feeling empty and with nothing to do to take my mind off the situation.
It took me a couple of months to realize that I had the power to use those long, quiet Saturdays alone in any way I wanted. I'd spent so many years devoting all my time to my family that I'd forgotten what it was like to have time to myself. When I finally figured out that I could take those silent Saturdays and do what I wanted with them, I began to revel in my alone time.
If you are new to the process and suffering Quiet Saturday Syndrome, here are a few ideas to help you survive — and hopefully enjoy — those alone days.
1. Pamper yourself with a manicure and pedicure. What a luxury it is to go out every other Saturday morning and have your hands and feet pampered. It's inexpensive and a great way to fill time and connect with others - much better than sitting at home with your spirits in the gutter.
2. Hit the local bookstore. This was one of my favorites — I could sit and read, surrounded by other warm bodies, and drink my Mocha Frappuccino. It was heaven!
3. Get out and meet people. I had a group at my church that went on retreats quite often. I starting joining them, and before I knew it, I had become a regular member of the group. Not only was I getting out of the house and experiencing new things, I was also taking care of myself spiritually. I was becoming a new person.
We all have the power to fill our lives with happiness, friends, and fun. Instead of sitting around missing your children, why not become your own best friend? Become someone who knows how to lift her own spirits and take advantage of all that life has to offer, no matter what's going on in your life.
Cathy Meyer is the head of About.com's Divorce Support channel. To hear more from Cathy, go to: http://divorcesupport.about.com.