In just two days, I will sit down for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I know for many of my New Jersey divorce clients, this holiday season is one of transition as they adjust to new child custody and parenting times that will guide them through these holidays. This probably will include some new traditions and the possibility of not celebrating with your children.
If you are not with your children this Thursday, I do hope you will surround yourself with friends and family that can provide support to you. Many of my clients have reported that what gets them through times of transition is remembering all that they are thankful for in their lives. I encourage you to take time and acknowledge all of your accomplishments and those who have been a part of your life and have helped you through to the other side of divorce.
So as I set to brine my first turkey and feed a small army of loved ones, I’ve started to contemplate the abundance of goodness in my life. Ever confident that I will plan and deliver a delicious thanksgiving meal void of any mishaps or need for the delivery of pizza, here is my short list:
First , I am grateful for my parents. My mom and dad made sure I have a good head on my shoulders, an excellent education and helped me see opportunities – despite me fighting them every step of the way for most of my youth. My parents instilled in me a rock solid work ethic of honesty, diligence, and perseverance which guides me each and every day. As my dad always said “I worked a half day today, twelve hours.”
I’m thankful my mom saw me open and grow my own law practice before she passed on. And grateful my sister will make mom’s traditional Thanksgiving stuffing on Thursday. My mom forever has a place in my heart and at my table through the recipes she passed on.
I’m thankful for my extended family, some of whom will be with me and some who are too far to travel home for the holiday. I am also thankful for my two closest friends, who at this time remain nameless for fear they would argue over the order I would list them in. These men have stood by me since our childhood and provide daily support, friendship, and guidance. I consider our long history including many inside jokes as priceless.
I’m thankful that every day (yes, including many Saturdays and Sundays) I have the opportunity to truly help my clients. It is an honor when a person entrusts their future to me and my staff. And on that note, I’m thankful for my staff. My sister Carole, our office and property manager who keeps the office running smoothly and efficiently. To our paralegal team Heather, Mariola, and the newest member of our staff Renee. And the top-notch lawyers, Megha, Kaitlyn, and Ann. I can trust these legal superstars to consistently deliver the highest level of service to our clients each and every day. As we negotiate support payments, child custody and parenting plans it is done so with great compassion and attention to client circumstances, with sharp attention paid to the law.
I am grateful my good health provides me the opportunity to attend my twenty-fifth High School reunion this Friday night so I can see friends from long ago. I’ve connected with so many on social media sites, it will be nice to see them in person after so many years.
I have come out of the other side of my divorce and have found an abundance of happiness in my life. I am thankful that on this Thanksgiving my family will meet my girlfriend’s children for the first-time. As I always reassure my clients, you can come out of a divorce and find an even better life than you thought you had before. And I am thankful for having done just that.
On that note, I’m also thankful my girlfriend likes to watch football and has no plans for us to be out shopping on Black Friday. Last but not least, I am grateful for Mike Francessa, my two French bulldogs, pizza, and Facebook.
Wherever the start of the holiday season takes you, I hope you find some quiet time to reflect on where you have been, where you are headed, and all that you have in your life. While your list may seem small remember to include your children and the others who mean so much to you. After all, life isn’t about the toys or the trips, but the people who complete our lives.