I realized very shortly after I took the big leap and moved out on my own that while getting a new place has its own set of burdens, it has a pretty good bank of advantages. Sure, one must set up utilities, get furniture and do all of that maddening change-of-address stuff, but there's a lot to be said for leaving behind those things unwanted -- all in the name of leaving the previous household intact -- for the sake of the children, you know...
It was a fabulous fresh start for me. I left behind the bulk of the furnishings and assembled Casa del Mar in my patented thrifty chic style. There are few remnants of my past life in my digs -- the kitchen being the exception. The only division of property noted in our divorce decree was that I take the culinary tools and he, the electronics. I had to protect my identity, after all. I was giving up nearly everything which I had previously used to describe myself -- Wife, At Home Mom -- I wasn't about to give up Cooking Junkie too.
More than a year-and-a-half later, Mr X is now getting his own fresh start. Weary of the rental house crumbling around him, he found a nearby apartment with generous amenities and ample space for he and the kids. This, of course, meant that I would need to help with some of that final clean-up... since I had abandoned some... okay... quite a bit of stuff.
I collected a box that he'd filled with miscellany, grabbed the estate sale "treasures" that had lost their charm over the years and loaded into the van some shelves that were in need of a good home. Mr. X reminded me of the 18 year old Asbsolut we'd snagged from the mini-bar on our "honeymoon" (yes, it really must be in quotes) and suggested we finally be done with it -- down it and close the door on that part of our lives.
So we did. And it was nasty. So we headed to a local bar and ordered something a little, um, fresher. We toasted the death of our marriage and each of our new beginnings.
And then we closed the door.