I can remember living in the same house the three of us lived in, only after the divorce, and the toilet seat broke. Having a broken toilet seat is not just something you can live with, so I needed to solve the problem for myself, especially with an octogenarian landlord. I went and purchased a new seat, and installed it myself, and for the first time, I realized that I really could do this being single thing.
After dividing up our assets, I needed some new furniture. At the very least, I needed new things to look at if I had to stay in the same house. My parents had come up to stay for a month or so, to help me purchase a car and get things settled before the school year started. Enter IKEA. I think I spent $800 in one day. I had never, ever spent that much money in one place at one time, ever in my life. But as some of you may know, $800 goes a long way at IKEA.
And as you may also know, IKEA purchases are almost always un-assembled, meaning you have to put them together. It was a project, but with my parents’ help, we got it done, and it really started to feel like a different place, with my personal touches (including a duvet cover with flowers on it, just because I could).
And since that time, I have made more purchases, always putting it all together myself. And every time it reminds me of how strong I have become, how capable, and how independent one can be, even when they don’t know it. IKEA was good therapy for this single mom, and I suspect for many others out there. If you are struggling with the emotions of a divorce, get yourself to an IKEA store, bring home a project, build it yourself, and give yourself a little reminder that yes, indeed, you can do this.
For the record, this post was inspired by this story on NPR, and also for the record, not all IKEA furniture is pressboard junk.