50 Fun Things as A Tool Post-Divorce
“Fun doesn’t have to mean “Wahoo!”-screaming-on-a-rollercoaster-fun. Fun can be your favorite cup of tea greeting you in the morning. Fun can be the simple things you look forward to each day.” – Sharole T Hawkens, 50 Fun Things alumna and divorce thriver
Divorce comes with painful and negative connotations and often the positive side of divorce is overlooked. As I’ve adjusted from my own divorce and observed how others have successfully managed life post-divorce, there are several tools and “life-hacks” that helped. Transformation can come in all kinds of easy and affordable ways. I’ve observed several participants in 50 Fun Things who have used the 50 Fun Things tools to re-imagine and reclaim their lives post-divorce. I’m including helpful tools I’ve personally used and that others have shared. Here's my list of 50 Fun Things for a vibrant life post-divorce.
When I first met Sharole (quoted above) at a 50 Fun Things workshop, she shared she was recently divorced after a 32 year marriage to her childhood sweetheart. It was her first time being single as an adult and she seemed a bit shell-shocked. She attended as a way to step more into the world and to discover and be more of herself. Fast forward a few months later when she participated in the workshop again. This time, she almost seemed to be a different person. She emanated joy, assuredness and inspired all of us in the ways she was moving forward. If you missed it, you can read Sharole's article here.
In a delightful call with Sharole, I found that we both appreciated how focusing on 50 Fun Things is mostly about appreciating the simple joys and experiences that provide hope and fulfillment.
Without further ado, here's the list:
FUN Things (you used to do or wish to continue)
Find a local Meetup for people with similar interests
Delve into a hobby or something that interests you
Create a list of “ideal qualities” your dream date would have (and maybe a list of the “nope, no go” qualities, too).
Develop and enjoy platonic relationships. Look at potential dates as potential friends, too! Even if there isn’t chemistry, you could be great pals and help you gain helpful insights into dating.
Practice flirting. It can be as simple as a heartfelt, “You have a great smile.”
Choose to stay on the “high road” and notice how much better the view is from there.
Watch movies by your “celebrity crush” and notice what qualities you most admire. (Mine are Steve Martin and Ben Stiller which tells me I’m attracted to humor.)
Paint your bedroom your favorite color.
Take yourself on a personal date. Is there a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, a movie you want to see, a musician you want to hear or a place you want to visit?
Decorate your home how you want it to look!
Create a 50 Fun Things chart of what you want to experience in your next chapter of life! (A past 50 Fun Things workshop participant used her list to inform what she included in her online dating bio to attract dates with common interests—and to at least have a fun outing even if the date wasn’t a match.)
Read a steamy novel.
Create a vision board and hang it someplace you’ll see it regularly. Play and get creative by tearing out images and words about how you want your life to feel.
New to You
Try a new cuisine.
See what it feels like to sprawl out and enjoy your entire bed! (It took me years to realize I was still staying on “my” side. It felt great to spread out and even try the other side.)
Go on a day-trip to an interesting small town
Give someone a chance who isn’t your typical “type” and see how it goes
Try a new style (hair, makeup, clothes, home decor)
Check out a different type of exercise than you usually do.
Reconnect with friends you haven't seen in a while
“I love yous” don’t have to be reserved for a significant other. Let your best of friends and family know how much they mean to you.
Enjoy a nice tea or coffee and be present to the moment.
Notice and appreciate the simple joys of life.
Get together with friends and make freezable meals together.
Create a cozy spot with the plushest blanket you can find.
Treat yourself to fresh pillows and bedding.
Hug your huggy friends. If you aren’t a “hugger” maybe you can at least share and accept warm compliments.
Make time do experience things that take care of you, even if it’s a simple Epsom salt bath)
Try a floral remedy
Develop greater Resiliency
Try participating in an outing just for singles
Practice writing your signature in a way that feels more special and more “you”
Un-frumpify your wardrobe. This can be done on a budget. Host or attend a clothing swap with friends, visit thrift and consignment stores or simply re-organize your wardrobe down to just the pieces you feel good wearing.
Pick a garden bouquet for yourself. Inhale the beauty.
Choose a power song (e.g. for me, I chose “Stronger” by Britney Spears – a funny story in itself).
Find a different ring to wear in commitment to yourself. After my divorce, I felt a strong need to wear a non-metal ring. I went through one made of shell, one made of wood and one made of glass. Each one felt special and when it wore out or broke, the specialness of its time was not lost (much like how the marriage had been special and then eventually broke)
Write a description of an alter ego or character representing your best self
Try a new nickname or entirely new name
Find a bracelet or talisman
Observe the stars
Read your horoscope
Walk a dog
You may have noticed I’ve just listed 49 things. When I lead 50 Fun Things workshops, I guide participants to choose a guiding theme as their 50th Fun Things that helps to inform everything else. For this topic on divorce, I suggest this theme: Divorce can provide a chance to reclaim or re-invent yourself and how you live your life. Choose joy in ways that help you be more of YOU. To learn more about 50 Fun Things and tools to create your own list and identify your own final experience, click here.