08/18/2010 12:14 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Divorce Bucket List: Everything You Want to Do Now You're Single

Who were you before marriage and perhaps kids entered the picture? What did you always want to do but never had the chance once you said your I do's? Perhaps you wanted to go back to school, travel to a foreign place, take cooking classes, salsa lessons or learn pole dancing.

These thoughts occurred to me recently, while sitting at brunch with two of my favorite divorced dads. One of their daughters mentioned a bucket list that she and her friends were attempting to complete before they graduated from college. I thought this was such a great idea and wanted to hit myself for not thinking of it seven years ago when I was graduating from college. I suggested to the divorced dads duo that they should have their own bucket list since they pretty much do everything together anyway. They thought it was a great idea, but with a twist. Their response: "The Divorced Dads' Bucket List will include Everything We Want to Do before We Remarry!"

So I'm thinking, everyone should have a bucket list -- divorcees especially, whether you want to remarry or not. Now that you've kicked the marriage bucket and are reborn, what do you want to do?

Perhaps you're inundated with great responsibility -- the children, the finances, the house, the job situation, not to mention your fair share of negative energy: the fighting, the lawyers, the in-laws, etc. Even if you can't do everything you might want to right now, why not focus on something to look forward to. While you are dealing with the fallout of your divorce, take 30 minutes for yourself each day and add to your bucket list. When you feel overwhelmed, take out your list, read through it and gather strength. Keep it close by as a reminder that change can be tough, but invigorating.

Saying you are too busy or you have too many obligations is not an excuse to forgo spending time on the things you want to accomplish because they make you happy. You just went through an emotionally exhausting ordeal. You deserve some time for yourself. Maybe it's as simple as changing your look with a new haircut, beauty routine, or wardrobe. Or making the commitment to have a night out on the town once a week -- or stimulating the mind with a new book, movie or play.

And then there's the dreaded health and fitness issue -- something we all want to tackle but most of us put it at the bottom of any list, bucket or otherwise. So maybe now's the time to actually join the gym, sign up for the yoga class, or try the new exercise video you bought months ago. You might just find the energy infusion we all need in a time of transition.

Start small and then get adventurous! Run a marathon, train for a triathalon, climb a mountain, skydive, learn to fly a plane. At the opposite end of that exhausting stream of suggestions you could just call up an old friend you've been meaning to reconnect with. Your bucket list can range from the simple to the extreme. But whatever ends up on the list, it should include things that revamp, rejuvenate and reclaim the you that maybe you lost along the way.

So get out the pen and paper and start rebuilding!

For more resources on how to start over and stay positive during and after divorce, visit