JOSEPH F. EMMERTH A LOOK AT FAMILY LAW SULLIVAN, TAYLOR, GUMINA & PALMER, P.C.
A TIME FOR SPRING-CLEANING
Giving Yourself the Chance to Move On
A change in season often brings a need for a change in people as well. This time of year, people are often picking a day to free the clutter from their homes, and even their lives, to give themselves the fresh start they need. Taking stock of the things in your life and making a change — whether it’s revamping your wardrobe, rearranging your furniture, or getting rid of some of the possessions you no longer use — can be great ways to start the new spring season. Bringing a seasonal change into your life can be especially important for people who are coming out of a fresh divorce or even for those who have been divorced for quite some time. I think it’s appropriate for these people to look at their lives and their homes; decide what they want or don’t want or what they can change; and to take action. Sometimes after a divorce, people get sucked into a cycle of behavior or have a limited outlook on the life they could be having. Taking part in the spring-cleaning frenzy is a great opportunity to change yourself and what’s around you. Getting out the gloves and preparing to clean your home from top to bottom can be an excellent way to get that fresh feeling into your life. If you’ve been putting off deep cleaning the fridge, oven, or other appliances, now is the perfect time. Go through your closet
and see what you can donate to your local thrift store and what needs to be thrown away. Doing this can be especially important if recently divorced individuals have physical reminders of the ended relationship. The act of getting rid of things that cause strong emotions to rise up often helps create a sense of closure, and in doing so, it can help you move on. I think it’s very important to point out that just because you’re spring-cleaning doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your possessions. Finding what is causing you more grief than it’s worth and moving to change it is just as important as decluttering your home. Confronting your emotions is another area to focus on. People tend to bottle, ignore, or brush off their true feelings in the hopes that they’ll gradually go away. However, confronting these feelings, recognizing them, and giving yourself the time to grieve the loss of the relationship — to experience all the emotions you’re feeling — are essential in overcoming this obstacle in your life. Finding some time for yourself, investing in a new hobby or activity, or joining a support group can really help. Divorce also has a tendency of leaving people in financial distress, which can cause high anxiety. While you’re cleaning your home and taking a look at yourself, it’s an excellent time to organize all your financial documents. Make sure you understand your current income, assets, and debts and plan accordingly so you don’t overexert yourself. Going through your finances will help reduce the amount of stress you’re feeling and help you stay efficient. Once you’re done with all your spring-cleaning tasks, it’ll be like taking a breath of fresh air. You’ll feel freer and less weighed down by the baggage of old or past belongings. Doing this now will allow you to free up your time to enjoy the rest of the year. Get ready to enjoy your summer to the fullest! –Joseph Emmerth
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