The Divorce Bucket List: 50 Things to Do When Your Marriage Ends
by Adriana Velez
May 7 at 5:55 PM
I recently came across something inspiring: This breakup bucket list. It's a to-do list a blogger named Ali created after she broke up with her long-term boyfriend. It made me remember the divorce bucket list I'd started when I was getting ready to separate from my husband. Since then -- we're coming up on the second anniversary of my saying "I want a divorce" -- I've done so many things and crossed off a lot of items. But I think I need to update it with more fun stuff, and I need to take stock of how far I've come. So here's my very personal divorce bucket list.
- Buy a really good vibrator. An expensive, rechargeable, waterproof, do everything vibrator -- and use it.
- Paint a wall pink. I haven't done this literally, but I've made a few girly decorating changes around my home that my ex-husband would have vetoed.
- Write my will. I need to do this! I did sign up for Chanel Reynolds' "Get Your Shit Together" monthly nudge, though.
- Have a one-night stand. I got married young and Mormon, so I missed out on this before I got married.
- Have drinks with my divorced/separated friends. Mandatory, as much as possible.
- Take a trip alone. Not a single-mom vacation with the kids -- ALONE, preferably overseas, in a foreign country, or at a beach.
- Buy flowers for myself. Because they make me happy and I know exactly the kind I want.
- Go out as mutton dressed like lamb. No one will die as a result.
- Get in shape. I started with spin class and have now added running. This helps ward off depression, makes you feel energetic and powerful, and okay, maybe helps you look a bit better, too.
- Get a grip on my finances. Where is my money coming from, how much do I have, where is it all going? What are my goals?
- Meditate. I need to get back in the habit, but this practice really carried me through some tough months.
- Get a theme song. I change mine from time to time, but you need something that makes you feel like a superhero.
- Flake. I've become an expert.
- Do therapy. Can't even imagine doing divorce without this.
- Get a massage. (Why stop at one?)
- Swim in the ocean naked. (Still haven't done this one.)
- Get my cards read. Getting insight into my life from someone who didn't know me, who wasn't a therapist, either, was so enlightening.
- Learn to say no. I needed to set new limits so I wouldn't feel overwhelmed -- or guilty.
- Learn to say yes. On the other hand, saying yes to trying new things helped me move forward.
- Sleep in ridiculously late while my kid is at his dad's. One benefit of your family now living in two different households.
- Sleep in my bed diagonally. Because I can.
- Watch a movie alone. This is so fun, I'd recommend it for married women, too.
- Have sex in a restaurant bathroom. Maybe not all the time, and pick your place well, but you should go for it at least once.
- Flirt with strangers. They just might flirt back.
- Binge-watch Louie and every joke Louis C.K. has ever made about divorce. He'll make you laugh about everything you'd otherwise cry over.
- Go grocery shopping with my sunglasses on. (This is for the first day or two after you separate.)
- Spend a day in bed crying. Get up the next day and move on with your life.
- Find an inspiring divorced couple. It started out Laurie and Larry David because they still get together for family dinners. I added Etheline and Royal Tenenbaum. Who else?
- Go to a bar alone. (Um, a safe one.)
- Smoke a hookah. Not a healthy lifestyle choice, but fun to try once.
- Take a dance class. Dancing forces you to think one step ahead and stay light on your feet.
- Start a divorce Pinterest board. Yeah, I'm that big of a dork. I called it "Divorspiration."
- Make a list of everything I want in my next boyfriend. Because hope is healthy.
- Date outside my type. How'd that type work out last time? Not so great, right? Yup, time to try something new.
- Buy and wear something slinky that makes me feel hot. Just so I remember I'm still young and alive.
- Learn to make myself happy alone. Before I started dating.
- Watch Heartburn. This is the best divorce movie ever.
- Form a divorce advisory board. You know, the people who've been there and can give you advice.
- Pay it forward and talk with a friend who just separated from her husband. I need to do this more often, but it's how I show my gratitude to the friends who helped me.
- Find something about my marriage to laugh about. Remember the good times, go easy on us both.
- Become my own handyman. I now know how to unclog the pipes under my sink! I'm not saying I like doing this, but I like knowing that I can.
- Spend a week in Paris. Doing that soon!
- Kill a mouse in my house. The first time was horrible. The second time was empowering. The third time made me think it's time to gas the place.
- Read journals from before I was married. That helped me remember who I was before and why I got married in the first place.
- Eat ice cream for dinner. I did this once and was shocked at how good it made me feel. And then I never did it ever, ever again.
- Learn how to walk in high heels. Sexy and dignified at the same time -- it's possible. I think?
- Stay up all night writing about all the ways I been wronged. Consider publishing a memoir. Decide against it because my child is still living. Maybe it could just be a country song? Move on and think about the role I played in my relationship.
- Learn to forgive. That's when you're truly free.
- Get my driver's license. Still working on this.
- Buy myself an "I'm Divorced" ring. As soon as it's finalized, friends.
What's on your divorce bucket list?
Image via Mike Kemp/Rubberball/Corbis
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