As we begin the holiday season, the idea of a divorce gift-giving guide crossed my mind. I started to brainstorm and think back to the best gift I received after my divorce. Was it the new stationery embossed with my maiden name? Or how about the ‘new lease on life’ music mix? Although I genuinely appreciated all my friends and family’s efforts, one gift kept coming back into my mind.
Years after my divorce, my parents presented me with a small Cuisinart on an Easter Sunday. It was the gift that brought my experience full circle, and I began to close the chapter on the chapter in my life entitled “Divorce.”
A dear friend named me ‘Martha.’ It’s no secret that I love to cook, entertain, decorate, etc., but I am not Martha Stewart. I don’t feel that it’s my feminine duty to perform these tasks; to me, it’s an expression of my creativity and an exercise in problem-solving.
Divorce typically can leave you with a mishmash of household items. You get all the dishes but don’t have any silverware. Although I held onto most of my household wares, I did lose my Cuisinart. We are not talking about the mammoth chopper that most self-proclaimed household chefs have on their countertop; just the mini version, but mighty on its impact. It was a gift from my parents in my early days of exploring the art of cooking and transformed my abilities.
If you are familiar with my story, I will recall moving back in with my parents during separation and divorce. I moved internationally with my ex-husband, and as a result, my stuff was all over the place. Part of my household was living in storage in Florida, my former residence. Other items were still in my last apartment, outside of the country, and then there were the suitcases I brought to California. After moving eighteen times in my life, I find that ‘nesting’ provides a sense of comfort. I unpack with lighting speed to gain the sense of calm and order needed to transform a new environment into a home. For months, I lived in my parent’s house with only two suitcases of stuff. A new Cuisinart was the last thing on my mind.
Why did a small kitchen appliance mean so much?
If you or any friends/family/colleagues are going through a divorce, ask them if they lost a particular item in their divorce. You might be surprised by the answer. It could be as large as their house or something small and seemingly insignificant like a Cuisinart. By the way, the model I was coveting goes for $39.99.
To break it down, it wasn’t about the physical item; it was the story behind it. When you go through a divorce or breakup, you lose a dream and plans. Your body and mind have to create a new story, and as we all know, change is hard, even if you are the one to instigate it. The baby Cuisinart represented the loss of my home, independence, and dreams of building a life and family with my ex-husband. It was a chocolate cake made painstakingly from scratch from the Williams Sonoma Newlywed cookbook. (Horrible outcome, by the way- I would not suggest that recipe).
What material item do you miss? What does it represent?
I think my new baby Cuisinart came at the perfect time. I had moved into a new apartment, healed through a lot of my pain, and built a new life on my own. The gift prompted me to start cooking again, which I gave up for a while because it brought back memories I did not care to revisit. I learned that I could incorporate the good from my past life into my new life with a twist.
I encourage you to gift yourself the time you need to heal and move forward during this holiday. I encourage you to journal and ask yourself, “Wouldn’t It Be Cool If?…. (Props to Marie Forleo, author of Everything is Figureoutable for that one). How do you want your life to look moving forward? What small appliance/item do you need from your past to make your future whole?
Sending love and well blended dressings,