11/27/2013 11:54 am ET Updated Nov 27, 2013

Why I Chose Las Vegas Over Thanksgiving After Divorce

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If there's ever a time you need a little distraction in your life, it's during the divorce process. That's why we launched our Divorce Care Package series. With each post, we'll show you what things -- books, movies, recipes -- helped others relieve stress in the midst of divorce, in the hopes that a few of their picks will serve you well, too. Want to share what got you through your divorce? Email us at divorce@huffingtonpost.com or tweet @HuffPost Divorce

What does Zumanity, Cirque du Soleil's sexiest Las Vegas-based show, have in common with those geeky logic puzzles you glance at while in line at the supermarket? In wholly different ways, both helped freelance writer Deesha Philyaw deal with the darkest days of her divorce a few years back. Below, Philyaw takes some time away from the co-parenting blog she runs with her ex-husband to share with us the little things that made a big difference after divorce.

  • The Splurge
    George Rose via Getty Images
    "For the first Thanksgiving post-separation, the kids were with their dad and I didn't feel like doing anything traditional or sentimental. So of course I went to Vegas. I didn't gamble, but I did eat mediocre buffet food, danced in three nightclubs in one night, and was pulled on stage for audience participation during Cirque du Soleil's sex-themed show, Zumanity. What better way to kick-start the new memories I wanted to make in the second chapter of my life?"
  • The Album
    "I was late to the Joni party, I must admit. I was in my early 30s, a few years before my separation, when I bought Hits on a friend's recommendation. Later, during my divorce, I could really relate to that image of her lying splayed out in the street, as if she'd been run over -- or wanted to be run over. And that voice! Those lyrics! Everything from being heartsick to horny, nostalgic to naughty, Joni nailed it, and I could relate. Pair Norah Jones' Come Away with Me with Joni Mitchell's Hits, and you have the soundtrack to my divorce. A divorced friend recommended Norah's album to me, saying, 'It just makes me feel like kissing.' And she was so right. Even when I didn't have anyone to kiss, these songs reminded me of how good it could be -- and how good it could be again."
  • The Quote
    "Julian of Norwich is considered one of the most important Christian mystics, but I didn't know anything about her when I came across this quote. All I knew is that the words were a lullaby -- the simplicity, the repetition. I needed reassurance that even though I wasn't exactly sure how or when, everything would be okay, that divorce would not be the end of me. And I needed the reminder to keep things simple, that 'well' or 'good enough' was sufficient, because I have a tendency toward perfectionism."
  • The Movie
    "All of Pedro Almodovar's films helped me through my divorce, but especially Talk to Her. The same friend who introduced me to Joni Mitchell also introduced me to Almodovar's films. The first one I saw was 'Talk to Her.' As if the woman bullfighter wasn't enough, Almodovar really got me when one of the characters wakes up (literally, from a coma) after something terrible happens. 'Bad Education' was another good one. In it, Almodovar shows how something beautiful and something seriously broken can exist in the same space. I felt a parallel between these films and the end of my marriage and subsequent divorce. Despite the heavy themes, they offered a kind of escapism as well."
  • The Food
    Urban Mixer/Flickr
    "Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur. Whether in a glass of milk or over ice cream, this was my go-to grown-up treat at the end of some exhausting days. If you really want to have a mouth-gasm, combine it with whipped cream-flavored vodka, creme de cacao, amaretto, and heavy cream. Maybe cream should be the official food of divorce; it just makes everything better."
  • The Hobby
    "This may qualify me as the world's geekiest divorcee, but I love, love, love logic problems. Nothing takes your mind off having just dropped a few f-bombs on your soon-to-be-ex like trying to figure out which of five students brought in which items for show-and-tell, on which day of the week, and the distance between their respective houses and the school. I used to buy the double issue logic problem magazines. Hardcore."

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