The Host With The Most: Enjoying Life Post-Divorce One Dinner Party At A Time

I’ll admit it: I absolutely love my alone time. I find myself just wondering the grocery store looking at products I would never buy, just out of pure curiosity. I’m a busy person, with two children, so perhaps the constant whining coming from my kids is one reason I cherish being by myself, but I just can’t get enough of it. They don’t mention when you get past the divorce itself that the alone time is where the healing process of the heart, mind, and soul actually begins.

I do, though, love to be around great friends and family. The loudness of laughter, storytelling, sharing jokes, venting about work politics or family drama – it fills my soul to the brim to be around people that I love.

While married though, this was never an option, like, ever. My spouse was an introvert, and was not a people person. The statement of, ‘Let’s have people over for dinner this weekend!’ would put him in pure agony, followed by a series of excuses as to why being social was off the table. After 10 years of this, I soon realized that my love of being social faded over time and was no longer a part of me. I lost the interest to think of creative ways to cook a roast, or decorate the house for special occasions, because simply put, there was no one there to appreciate it.

Following my divorce, it took me some time to get settled into my new home, but once I was comfortable, this new journey started to unveil things that I was not expecting.

I love – and I mean love – to cook.

While married, cooking was more of a chore, or at least, it became that. There was no interest from my spouse to explore new cooking methods, recipes, ingredients or flavors – cooking had become this monotonous task that I honestly dreaded – until now.

Being apart from what I thought was a constant barrier to food exploration, I now had an opportunity to do things the way I wanted to, without the applied judgement from my partner criticizing my every move. I began to cook – like, really cook – and loved it so much. I’ve always been a fan of cooking shows, but now I had an opportunity to apply all that learned knowledge in a way that fulfilled my curiosity and resulted in something delicious!

Building a Community Through Food

I was now able to take this newfound desire and couple it with something that I missed dearly: being surrounded by friends and family! I made an effort to host regular dinner parties and get togethers at my home – and I swear it has given me such a new outlook on my personal life. Planning, cooking, decorating, talking – it has been something that’s filled my life with so much positive energy, while also allowing me to get to know my friends on such a deeper level. Sure, I had ‘friends’ before, but we really didn’t get a chance to engage on a deeper level, because, frankly, they weren’t invited into my home, nor was my spouse into going out – like ever. That certainly limited my ability to engage with those around me, which realizing now, became a depressor. I often times looked at my social life while married and thought, ‘Is this it? Is this what my life has become, and will be until death do us part?’ That, my friends, was a wake up call. So take this time to become the cook you have always wanted to be and don’t be afraid to explore with new dishes from far away regions.

I think of it like traveling to different countries from the comfort of your own kitchen. Plus the benefits of exposing your children and friends to new flavors and aromas is truly a gift you can give to those you love.

I cherish the memories one laugh and one hug at a time

The biggest realization that has surfaced since my divorce was the lack of laughing that occurred in my life. Sure, my kids crack me up – all the time – but the belly laughter that comes from great storytelling, fabulous friends and a glass or two of wine – is irreplaceable. We’re adults. We bust our ass. We try to take care of ourselves. We try to succeed in our careers. But at the end of the day, laughter is what fills our soul and erases the stupid day-to-day stresses that can easily envelope you if you’re not careful. Living in the moment vs for the moment is so important – and sometimes, a fresh perspective is all it takes.

Do something different that makes you feel uncomfortable, and step outside your normal routine. You might just find that you’ve stumbled upon your new passion that will forever be life changing. Remember it is a journey, but you can define the direction your path takes.