Cinder’s 12 Days of “Divorced at the Holidays” Survival

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On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me,

There it is…a reference to “love.”  It’s all over the place during the holidays. Diamond ring commercials, couples shopping arm in arm with hot cocoa, even Hershey KISSES ring out a holiday tune.  It appears the holidays are nothing BUT true love and happiness and smiles. But are they really?

Cinder examines this entire holiday tune and gives her advice on what a woman going through a divorce can do during this “ most wonderful time of the year.”

Twelve drummers drumming,

This line is probably a bit more realistic about what everyone is feeling during the holidays.  Hear drummers drumming in your head? Have a headache? You are like most people at this time. Making a list, checking it twice, running out after work to do some shopping, eating foods you never would have before…and getting a divorce or newly divorced on top of it all?  Can you spell s-t-r-e-s-s?  Take a break. To stop the “drumming” start using that iPhone and keep your lists on your phone so you have them with you and you don’t have a million lists on post-its stuck to all sides of your purse. See if you can shop a bit over lunch so your not arriving home at 9:00 at night. Try one appetizer at the party and not all six.

Cinder says: keep it simple, and keep it in perspective.

Eleven pipers piping,

GREAT idea!  Take a piping hot whirlpool or bath if you can. Relax for a bit. Shut off the iPhone, the Blackberry and the computer AND the door to the bathroom (provided the kids are safe) and turn on some music, or just the bathroom fan.

Cinder suggests trying to think of NOTHING but maybe a beach on a desert island.

Ten lords a-leaping,

Still feel like you are trying to leap over buildings in a single bound?  Make sure you are utilizing family and friends when you can. Can you go in on that gift for your dad with your sister?  Can she pick it up and you wrap it this year?  Have a “play date” with a friend and her kids.  Have the kids play together while you two wrap gifts or make cookies. Questions about your divorce?  In the middle of it?  Call your lawyer and ask for what you need.  A big concern to you may turn out no to be so big after you talk.

Cinder always suggests talking with friends and family and others you can trust and that make you feel good about yourself while giving honest advice.


Nine ladies dancing,

Another good idea!  Grab your girlfriends and go out for a night dancing!  Doesn’t have to be anything fancy…maybe even that new cowboy bar so you can wear jeans and feel comfortable dancing goofy with your friends.

Cinder also suggests a dance party of your very own—dancing around your kitchen with your favorite 80’s tunes BLASTING can bring great holiday joy!

Eight maids a-milking,

Grab a hot chocolate made from real milk!  You need the calcium, the chocolate adds the good taste, and any warm beverage brings comfort—no matter what you are going through!  Whip up a batch for you AND the kids –they probably need it too!

Always a lover of her creature comforts, Cinder thinks anything with chocolate HAS to count as something good for you!


Seven swans a-swimming,

Go swimming, take a yoga class, or maybe try a spinning class.  Anything to get your body moving and your mind engaged and thinking about something else for a bit besides getting a divorce, being newly divorced or considering a divorce.  You do know that a brisk walk around a shopping mall counts too, right?!

Cinder may not feel like jumping into her bathing suit in 10 degree December weather where she lives, but the yoga option sounds warm and cozy.

Six geese a-laying,

Yes, there is going to come a time when you should just give into laying (ok, we know it’s lying…but we had to stick with the theme, didn’t we?) down. A nap can be so good and really refreshing.  Holidays are stressful enough, but add a divorce to it and the recipe gets really interesting! Just make sure you are at home when you are napping.  Take it from us, napping at work or while driving is NOT good!  But give in to a lazy nap on a Saturday afternoon?  That’s a winning plan.  You’ll be amazed how you feel and what you get done afterwards!

Ever since her kindergarten years, Cinder has been a proud endorser of naptime!

Five golden rings,

Hmm…if the divorce is final maybe it is time to bring in those gold rings and see what you can get for them.  You know there are gold (ring) guys on every mall corner.  We were shocked to walk away with a $200 check a few months back.  That could buy a quite lovely holiday gift for YOU!  Or think about what you could turn that raw material into – something fresh and sassy, and more in line with the new life you’re heading into!

Cinder hears that gold is the new tinsel.


Four calling birds,

Call friends, call family, and again call you lawyer if you have questions.  Remember the phone?  It’s that thing we used to use before there was e-mail!  Really talking with friends and having a laugh even for a few minutes can feel so good afterward.  Kind of like the hot chocolate, the ladies dancing, and the hot tub rolled into one! Connecting by voice actually feels especially personal in an e-mail world–try it!

Cinder always recommends reaching out and touching someone to keep herself sane.

Three French hens,

Ah the French…they sure know how to do things right.  French toast, French bread, French fries. A small amount of comfort food NEVER hurt anyone.  Indulge with a friend and split something so you both feel good and not guilty later.

Cinder believes that anything with “French” in front of it really doesn’t have any calories.  It’s practically health food.


Two turtledoves,

Let’s forget about the “doves” part right now and focus on the turtle.  Ever feel like a turtle?  Kind of slogging along through the mud and not really getting anywhere?  Getting through the holidays, and your divorce can feel like that.  But in all those fables about the tortoise and the hare who wins?  Yup, that steady-paced one who just keeps on keeping on.

Cinder has always like the quote, “Slow and steady wins the race.”  Nothing wrong with slow and steady at times especially during a divorce.

And a partridge in a pear tree!

Eat pears, apples, bananas and oranges! Fruit is GREAT for you for so many reasons. Splurge and make a mango smoothie or a banana split.  Or just enjoy an in-season citrus option this time of year; clementines make us feel like we’re having a big treat!  Mom was right—fruit and veggies—oh so good and good for you.

Cinder has never really met a fruit or veggie she didn’t like and even discovers news ones everyday like Asian pears and star fruit.  You might not only discover a new fruit during your divorce, but an amazingly new life after it!

Ta da!

You made it through the twelve days of Christmas, in song and in good spirit.  Now on to the next 12 days of your life and the next twelve and the next 12…before you know it you’ll be back at Christmas and ready for it like never before!

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