Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
Many of my friends’ and coworkers’ kids graduated from preschool, kindergarten, high school, and college these past couple of weeks. Early May for college, late May/early June for the others. The last “kid” in my old cul-de-sac graduated from high school, thereby making his parents, my old neighbors and dear friends, empty nesters. I remember my kids’ graduations from high school and college. Easiest date to remember is my middle child’s high school graduation date – 6/6/06 at 6 pm. Spooky Sixes! But that helps me remember the years my oldest graduated HS (2003) and my youngest (2009) since my kids are all 3 years apart in school. And then then there were undergrad college graduations, always on Mother’s Day (2007, 2010, 2013). Best Mother’s Day gifts ever! However, I have to admit that when my son (my youngest) graduated from college, I was not yet ready to say goodbye to Chapel Hill and give up having a child in college, so I was thankful that he was heading to graduate school there for another year. I was ready after that. Got a big raise (no more tuition)!
“Graduation is an exciting time. It’s both an ending and a beginning: it’s warm memories of the past and big dreams for the future.”
Do you remember your high school or college graduation? My high school graduation was at the Winston-Salem Coliseum. It is not one of my favorite memories as my boyfriend at the time broke up with me that night! Thankfully, my fellow cheerleader and soon to be college roommate was able to give me a ride to the “after party”. And the next day we left for beach week. (Heading down once again to see her at the beach today!) College graduation was much happier, after all, I was getting married just a couple of months later.
“Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
My older daughter and I hosted a baby shower this past Sunday for her best friend from high school, who is also the daughter of one of my best friends. She is a beautiful mother-to-be and my friend is a beautiful grandmother-to-be! Such an exciting time. Surreal to see your child’s friend, who you watched grow up, expecting a baby of her own! How did our kids grow up so quickly? Where did the time go? One friend’s child is graduating from preschool, one from high school, and one is going to become a mother. Circle of life…
This week was a full one for me. In addition to the baby shower, it was also a very busy week at work (month end financials due). Luckily, I was still able to sneak in a trip to Richmond to take another barre class my older daughter was teaching, had lunch with my “old” cul-de-sac neighbors, dinner with an “adopted daughter”, tennis lesson with my younger daughter, and got to see Smokey Robinson in concert! I offered a ticket to my younger daughter, who graciously declined, which was good, considering she would have been the youngest person by far in attendance! Seriously! My friends and I found our seats (which were great!) and looked around at all of the old people, well, not OLD, let’s just say “people of a certain generation.” The place was packed, rightly so, and Smokey did not disappoint! WOW, his voice is the same at 78 (yes he is 78 years old and still has it!) as it was in his youth. Silky smooth. He talked to and interacted with the audience in between songs and was truly entertaining. Next to You’ve Got Mail, The Big Chill is one of my all time favorite movies. When my children were little, we vacationed on Fripp Island and would always make a day trip to Beaufort, SC and drive by the house where The Big Chill was filmed. Became an annual perk to our vacation that I looked forward to. Smokey played 3 songs from The Big Chill: Second that Emotion, My Girl, Tracks of my Tears, plus all my favorites: Cruising, You Really Got a Hold on Me, Tears of a Clown. So many memories flooded over me with each song he sang. Songs do that to you. They take you back in time, reminding you of how things once were and that’s ok. Those were happy times, but so is today. It truly was a fun and memorable night.
“You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to be old.” George Burns
As this is being published, I am heading to the beach to meet up with some special “old” but very fun friends. It is a treasure to spend time with people who have known you since childhood. Such a special bond. Can’t wait to get my fill of sunshine and that wonderful salty beach air. Do whatever you can to enjoy life every day. Be mindful of every minute, because when that moment is gone, you cannot get it back. And spend time with those special people in your life, telling them how important they are to you, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.
“Live life to the fullest and focus on the positive.” Matt Cameron
PS Friday is my youngest child’s birthday – he will be 27. How can my baby be 27?! I could not be more proud of the loving, caring, wonderful man he has become. And y’all know I absolutely adore him! Happy Birthday Michael! Momma loves you!