Survival Guide

This fall, when we were teaching co-facilitating our Divorce Care class, the class members agreed that a city-specific “Divorce Survival Guide” would be very helpful for the newly separated/divorced. Most singles guides are oriented to people looking for dates, or people without children, or people who aren’t suffering the forced austerity that frequently accompanies separation and/or divorce.

I understand this. After I left my ex, I spent a few weeks holed up at home, not venturing out. When I was ready to leave my Fortress of Solitude, I didn’t really know where to go. I didn’t have money to take Tyler to movies and out for dinner. I didn’t have any interest in bars or parties (not that I got invited to any!).

No matter where you live, the best place to start is the good old local newspaper. They usually have a section on upcoming events, and many of them are free.

In Tallahassee, we are blessed with 1) year-round nice weather and 2) one of the best Parks & Rec departments in the country. If you live in Tallahassee and are looking for something to do outside, I suggest starting there. The parks have walking trails, tennis leagues, disc golf courses, playgrounds, mountain bike and BMX courses, and team sports. You can spend a few solitary hours exploring the Elinor Klapp-Phipps trails, or join a softball league if you want company.

Not outdoorsy? Look for First Friday events at the super-funky Railroad Square Art Park. Treat yourself to a latte and a magazine at Books-a-Million. Attend a wine tasting – some places have free tastings, others charge $5.00 or so.

A Tallahassee transplant named Lily started a blog of “365 Things to Do in Tallahassee” when she moved here from Austin, TX. Her blog is full of ideas for things to do. I’ve lived here for six years and I found dozens of untried adventures in her posts.

The biggest barrier to getting out of the house is you. The prospect of crossing the threshold can turn a person into a whiny 4-year-old. “But it’s haaaaard and I don’t waaaaaanna.” “There’s nothing to doooooo.” “Everything’s so expeeeeeensive.”

A word on that: a cable/internet subscription starts at $70 a month and can run into the hundreds of dollars. A gym membership at Gold’s is $15. A smartphone with a data plan will run you $100 a month – that’s 20 wine tastings (this is called Windy Math).

Only one person can get you out of those yoga pants and out the door. And it’s not me. It’s not your mom. It’s not your friends. It’s you.

Go forth and conquer.    


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