I welcome author Jackie Pilossoph as my first guest blog contributor. I met Jackie through a work colleague, who connected us for her to do a feature on my business for Wilmette Life, a subsidiary of the Sun-Times Media. I immediately thought Jackie was fabulous. We chatted about her divorce experience and my work as both a therapist and mediator in this area. Since then, I have followed her blog, Divorced Girl Smiling, and recommend it to everyone. She gives honest, down-to-earth and funny advice that applies not just to divorced women but also to divorced men and everyone in general. This guest post is a great example. I know that with the exception of #3 and #4 below, I need to carry these things in my purse! So happy reading and check out her book too!

Jackie Pilossoph

10 Things Every Divorced Woman Should Carry In Her Purse

By Jackie Pilossoph

I’m one of those women who carries a ton of “stuff” in my purse. Mints, gum, business cards, dozens of pens, a phone charger, my wallet, check books, female “items,” sunglasses, reading glasses. I could go on and on. You wouldn’t believe how heavy my purse is. Sometimes I wonder, ‘Do I really need all this “stuff?”’ Maybe I should travel lighter. The following is a list of things you CAN’T leave out. Here are 10 things every divorced woman should carry in her purse:

1. Business cards: You never know where you could be when you meet someone who could really make a difference in your life. You could be in line at Chipotle, or in Walgreens or at your child’s school and you could start talking business with someone, and he or she could end up offering you a job, or giving you business, or yes, asking you out on a date. A visual (meaning a card with your company name and number) is a more powerful way for someone to remember you and follow up! Writing your name and number on a napkin gives you much less of a chance.

2. Courage: Divorce is scary, especially at the beginning. I remember feeling very alone in the world and unsure of my future, both financially and emotionally. Keep some courage in your bag at all times. Remember in The Wizard of Oz when the wizard gave the cowardly lion the medal to give him courage? If you need to do the same, carry an old medal or something that symbolizes how courage caused you to win something in your life. It could be from sports, or it could be an old sales ranking report where you are in the top 10%. Anything to help you believe in your ability to roll your shoulders back, take a deep breath and forge ahead.

3. Photos of her children: There is nothing more powerful than looking at a photo of the people you love most in your life. If you are nervous about something, look at a picture of your kids. If you are sad, look at a picture of your kids, if you are angry or you feel cheated, look at a picture of your kids. Basically, any negative feelings can be neutralized by looking at a photo of your kids.

4. A copy of the last page of her divorce decree: This only applies to people who change their name. If you keep a copy of this in your purse, you always have proof that you are the same person as the other name. It makes life so much easier!

5. Faith: This might be the most important thing you need to carry with you. Having faith and believing in God and in yourself is beyond powerful. I believe there is a big difference between religion and spirituality. You don’t have to go to church or temple to feel the power of God. Talk to Him. Pray to Him, and believe. It will make a difference.

6. Dental floss: Not just divorced women but ALL women need to carry dental floss in their purses! If you are out at a business lunch, do you really want to be picking out that piece of lettuce between your two front teeth with a toothpick?

7. Acceptance: The difference between those who get over their divorce and those who don’t lies in acceptance. It’s not easy, but acceptance is the key to a happy post-divorce life.  It stinks that it happened to you, but it did. So, accept what you have, focus on your new life, that will only get better and better with time.

8. Tissues: You can buy an eight pack of travel size tissues at CVS for $2.19 and it will be the best $2.19 you ever spent! With divorce comes lots of crying (unfortunately), and lots of crying from other divorced women you might meet. Always good to be prepared.

9. Lipstick:  I think I heard somewhere that men are nicer to women who wear lipstick. Ladies, use it to your advantage! Plus, don’t you always feel better about yourself with some color on your lips? Lipstick gives confidence. That might seem shallow to some, but I say, “use everything you can!” Lipstick makes women feel pretty. What’s wrong with that?

10. Self-love: This is something I learned from my dear friend, Silvia Friedman, guru therapist and author. Love yourself!!!! How do you get self-love? Treat others with kindness, forgive yourself for your mistakes, do the best job you can every day, don’t blame others for your mistakes, accept your part of the blame for your divorce, and most importantly, take pride in what you have accomplished.

Jackie Pilossoph is the author of the blog, Divorced Girl Smiling (www.divorcedgirlsmiling.com). She is also the author of the comedic novel, FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE about life after divorce. Pilossoph is a weekly business features reporter and columnist for Sun-Times Media. She lives in Chicago with her two kids. And she’s divorced (obviously.) Learn more: www.divorcedgirlsmiling.com