Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
Ever had to say goodbye? To a family member? A friend? Your home? Car? Spouse? I am not fond of goodbyes. Is anyone? I remember saying goodbye to my family, friends, and neighbors when I moved 21 years ago from my hometown of Winston-Salem, NC to Charlottesville, VA. There was a going away party given by my friends and a big dinner with my family. Chances to say goodbye. Then moving day arrived and friends stopped by the house to say goodbye again. I remember the movers asking if I had allergies because my face was splotchy and my nose was all red and I sniffled constantly. I responded, “no, I’m moving away from all my family and friends.” One of my dearest friends gave me the best advice that day: “When you get in that big blue van heading North to Charlottesville, don’t look back, look forward. Plan how you are going to decorate your new home and make a new life up there.” Wonderful advice. I took it to heart. Also comforting that my Momma was traveling with me to help with the move and I did not have to say goodbye to her that day.
Goodbyes can run the gamut of emotions. Some are heartbreaking, some are maddening, some are confusing, some are a relief, some are happy! You have to get over the hurdle of the goodbye and look for the positive. Yes, I hated leaving my hometown of 40 years and moving to a place where I knew no one. But it ended up being good for my family. And for me. My children received great educations, we all made wonderful friends, and learned that it is possible to adjust to change.
“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Winnie the Pooh
One of the hardest goodbyes was when I had to say a final goodbye to my Dad. He had a stroke in 2000 and was in the ICU for 10 days. Part of that time he was awake and communicative. But by the end, he was not. However, I truly believe he could hear us. My sisters and I told him we loved him, we would take care of each other, and goodbye. And he was gone.
“The only time goodbye is painful is when you know you’ll never say hello again.”
When my next door neighbors of 16 years moved to Kentucky, I gave them a going away party and left town. Went to the beach. Could not bear to say goodbye to my dear friend and her family and did not want to see the moving van in front of their house. She was (still is) such a dear friend to me. She and her family took my family “in” when we moved here and knew no one. They became our family. We were room mothers together for our boys every school year and had so much fun planning parties and working in their classroom. So instead of saying goodbye, I opened my house to her family so they had a place to stay while their house was being packed up. I did not say goodbye. Luckily, I still see her many times a year and talk to her often. I can now say goodbye to her because I know we will always be in close touch.
“Good friends never say goodbye… they simply say ‘See you Soon’”.
I usually have a loving relationship with my cars as I love road trips. When I was in college, I talked my mom into co-signing a note for me to buy an MGB convertible. I had the best time tooling around town and going to the beach in that little convertible! I thought I was so cool! Owned it (so to speak) for 6 months before realizing I could not sell my Monte Carlo (gas guzzler during gas shortage) to pay for the MGB. So, I had to sell the MGB, which, of course, was very easy to do. Oh how I loved that car and how I hated saying goodbye to it. One day I will have another convertible! I must admit I also hated saying goodbye to each van I owned (I had 3). I lived in my vans, carpooling my kids and their friends all over town for practices and games. When all of my kids finally had their licenses, they informed me that it was time for me to give up driving a van – it was not “cool”. Goodbye Van, Hello SUV. Love my SUV!
Saying goodbye to each of my homes was bittersweet. My first house was your basic brick ranch, very special as all of my children were born while living there. And I loved my neighbors. It was hard to say goodbye to that house, but I was so excited to say hello to the new, bigger house in a wonderful neighborhood. I was then heartbroken to leave that house and move to VA, away from all that I knew and so many memories, but loved the new house and neighborhood where my kids could walk to elementary and middle school. As you all know, I recently moved SOLO into a new maintenance-free neighborhood. As I was packing up 19 years of memories in my old house, I kept thinking how hard it was going to be to say goodbye to the house where I raised my kids. I loved that house and my neighbors dearly. But I was so broken on moving day (finding out I was becoming SOLO), that I needed and wanted to say goodbye to that house. And have not been back. Luckily, as I said goodbye to that house, I also said hello to my new home which I absolutely love!
So, what started these “Goodbye” thoughts? Our fitness club is losing one of our General Managers as she is starting a new chapter in her life. I have known her for 15 years and she is a friend. We will miss her smiling face and happy outlook around the club. There have been several “Goodbye” parties for her, all lots of fun! Like I said, not all goodbyes are sad and not all goodbyes are permanent. The good thing about this one is that we are not really saying goodbye to her, just see ya later! She is not moving. She will still be a member of the club. And I’ll see her at Bunco.
What is Bunco? Well I had the same question just last week when I was invited to join a fun, social group of ladies to play Bunco. It was nothing like what I expected. I thought it involved cards and I LOVE playing cards! But no, Bunco is all about rolling 3 dice, trying to score points. Tables of 4 players with one head table. Oh, and there is a tiara involved! Sounds interesting right? I am looking forward to February’s Bunco night. And I want that tiara!
Goodbyes can lead to new opportunities. One door might close, but trust me, another one will open. Walk through that door and try things you never have before. Like me! I was pushed through the door but am so thankful. I have discovered there is a lot of fun to be had after a goodbye – travels, Moscow Mules, Bunco. And many adventures to come. I always hate to say goodbye to the beach, and find myself immediately planning when I will say hello again.
“It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.” Ernie Harwell
So go out there and find your happiness after a goodbye. Look for that door and throw it wide open! Find your adventure. And make the most of every day of your life, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.