Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
What a difference a year makes. I started this blog one year ago as a way to begin writing, sort through my feelings, ease my pain, and hopefully help and encourage others who have experienced a loss in life. Plus have some fun and make some new friends. All accomplished! And along the way, I discovered a lot about myself. If you go back and read my first blogs you can see my pain and heartbreak. Both a physical and an emotional pain. A loss of not only what was, but of what I thought my life would be. I wished there had been someone I could have talked to who had gone through what I had, to let me know that my pain was real and relevant, and that it would ease with time. I hoped this blog might be that answer to someone else. Has my pain disappeared? Not entirely, but it has eased. As the year and the blogs progressed, the pain took a backseat to adventure and FUN!
“Sometimes you have to go through things and not around them.”
Five years ago (3 years before my separation in 2016), I discovered something in my marriage that turned my world upside down. And I had no one I could talk to about it, because I knew we would never split up (which is why I was blindsided in 2016) and I did not want our friends’ and families’ opinion of my husband (at the time) to change. I finally told my older sister and my older daughter what had happened, only because they were afraid I was very sick. I was – heartsick. Won’t go into details, but we worked through it. Since I had no one I could really talk to, I turned to inspirational quotes. Devoured and collected them and took each to heart. Started sharing 3 each weekday with my kids. Still do. Then decided I could share my collection with others. Hence… the blog.
My sweet younger daughter (the creative one in my family) helped me figure out the details and the name of my blog. She is also my editor to make sure I keep my focus and don’t embarrass my kids! I have discovered so much this past year:
- I am stronger than I ever thought possible.
- I am truly blessed with family, friends, health, and many opportunities.
- Being SOLO is not bad, actually it is “right nice.”
- I am NOT alone in my situation – I have met so many people traveling this same route.
- My pain and heartache pales in comparison to that of so many others.
- Life is what you make of it. “We are not given a good life or a bad life. We are given a life. It’s up to us to make it good or bad.”
“We all get the same 365 days. The only difference is what we do with them.” Hillary Depiano
One thing being SOLO has taught me is that I am solely responsible for my life and my happiness. Though it was my busiest week of the month, I was able to squeeze in a lot of fun last week! My younger daughter invited me to join her and some friends for a vegetarian cooking class taught by Chef Nancy Bond of Eat Heal Glow, that included a wonderful dinner. Had a heavenly Spring Green Salad with Mint & Tempeh Croutons, delicious Vegan Eggplant, Sweet Potato & Zucchini Lasagna, and Vegan and Gluten Free Fudgy Superfood Brownies that were fabulous. I tried things I never have before – tofu, nutritional yeast, miso paste, tempeh, and so much more. Not only was it educational, it was so much fun! And I made some new friends. Win Win evening!
I also got to have lunch and visit with my older daughter, son-in-law, and granddawg Saturday in Richmond before meeting my secret crush in the afternoon. Ahhhh yes… David Baldacci and I met (with 100 of our closest friends!) as we have nearly twice a year for the past 20 years, in the aisles of Barnes and Noble where he was speaking and signing books. He graciously personalized and signed 16 books for me (I missed “our date” last time and had to get those books signed too.) My older daughter went with me and met him as well, and though I know he does not KNOW me, he always remembers me and said “We’ve done this for so many years. I didn’t get to Charlottesville last year.” And to my daughter he said, “Your mom is very special. I love that she always stocks her kids’ home libraries with my books.” Be still my heart! He is a very entertaining speaker and a great author. Saturday was his 28th wedding anniversary and he was heading to DC to meet his wife for dinner. But first he had to sign my books!
“A new chapter of life for you begins today. Say goodbye to your past, and for the future, pave the way. Let a new story unfold. Smile, laugh, share, and cry.”
I am a different person from who I was this time last year, when I was searching for my identity becoming SOLO. This year, I am happy and content and I discovered there are many perks of being SOLO. I am comfortable going SOLO anywhere, getting a beer or a glass of wine, and visiting with others or just being by myself. I now enjoy going to dinner SOLO and eating at the bar where I am always entertained by the bartender and have met some interesting people. I love going to movies SOLO on my own time and seeing what I want to. I have mastered many tasks SOLO that I never thought I could – I replaced an evergreen tree beside my house this week with a fragrant bush. I admit I did it at dusk so no one would see me – it was comical. I had borrowed my son-in-law’s big shovel (forgot to take tools in the move) and dug around the tree, then bent it over one way and jumped on it, then the other way and jumped on it, back and forth, jumping until it gave way. WHEW! Took me an hour but I did it and was proud!
“A year ago, I would’ve never pictured my life the way it is now.”
This year I realized more than ever the importance of the relationships with my children, my sisters, and my family. I am now able to focus my energies on developing new friendships and strengthening the ones I have. And I cherish the friendships with my girlfriends near and far, so thankful for all the special people in my life. Speaking of special people, my girlfriend from Kentucky came to visit this week. She has been my cheerleader from day one!
“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes…”
Thank all y’all for going on this journey with me this year. Thank you for reading my blogs and sharing them with your friends and family. Thank you for your kind comments, stories, advice, prayers, and support. Thank you for being around for a year and cheers to a new year!
And if your mother is still living, make sure you call her, go see her, cherish her, and let her know how much she means to you this Mother’s Day, because no one loves you like your Momma, and as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.