Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
Hello October! Fall… I truly am not ready for you.
Ever find yourself in a funk? No, not the hip hop dance kind of funk! I mean a mood you just cannot shake easily? A fog that surrounds you no matter what? I did last week. The weather really affects my mood, and it was not cooperating. Had not for a while. Drizzly, gloomy days. No sunshine. Traveled to our club in PA in the rain. Good trip with fun teammates. Traveled home in the sunshine (finally) thinking I could get back to Charlottesville in time for an early evening run since I had been in the car for over 5 hours. It was sunny on our drive home, until we got closer to Charlottesville… the clouds increased, the drizzle started, and there was a chance of thunderstorms. Went to the office since that is where I always start my runs. Waited and worked an hour or so and decided it was not happening after all. In my mind I needed that run to get me out of my funk. Now my funk was stronger. Woke up the next morning to rain as well. Geez…I heard on the news that our area has had more rain than the Northwest!
“Each new day has a different shape to it. You just roll with it.”
(Working in our GM’s office at our PA club – she is a Villanova Fan – Just could not look at this any longer! Villanova beat my Heels in the NCAA finals in 2016… Sorry Beth!)
What I really needed, was to get down to the beach house to make sure all was good. And to breathe in that wonderful, healing, salty beach air. So I decided Thursday night I would get up and head to the beach EARLY Friday morning! My sister and brother-in-law were also going to the beach Friday. I called them about 4 hours into my trip only to discover that they were about 2 miles ahead of me. With my heavy foot, I caught up easily and followed them as we took a different route to bypass one possible flooded area into the beach. We couldn’t have planned to meet up any better!
I was so thankful to finally get to the beach and see for myself that all was good and safe. Unlike my last attempt to get to the beach (did you read that blog?), this trip was totally uneventful – thank heavens! Unloaded my rented “Mom Van”, hung all my art and pictures I had taken home in case the house was damaged in the hurricane, and put all of my deck and porch furniture back out. Life returning to normal at the beach. Uncovered the golf cart, blew all the leaves and “trash” from underneath the house, set the grill back out and oops, found a 2 foot friend – a snake! He did not bother me and I certainly did not bother him. But I did turn the blower on him full blast and he slithered away. WHEW! Did not see him again (though I looked every time I came down the stairs!).
Changed and headed straight to the beach. I knew this was what I needed to get out of my funk. It was a beautiful beach day – sunny, lower humidity, good breeze. I was tired, which is not unusual for me. But I also felt so restless, which was unusual for me. Could not settle down for some reason. Could not nap on the beach (never happens). Could not get interested in a book (also never happens). Just stuck in that funk. No point in just sitting there stewing, so I got my red SOLO (haha!) cup out and went in search of shells which is always calming for me. (Remember I am addicted to shells.) Over an hour later, my SOLO cup runneth over! As I bent down to pick up the big shells, I started looking closer and found so many tiny, perfect shells – many more beautiful than the bigger ones. And I realized something. While looking for the bigger flashier shells, I was overlooking the smaller beautiful shells. Made me realize that I need to look more for the smaller but beautiful treasures in life.
Still, that restless feeling would not leave me alone. Could not settle down and just relax. I mean, I was at my special place but could not turn my mind off. Too many things nagging at the back of my mind. Since the afternoon was sunny and warm but not too hot, and I could not settle down, I decided a late afternoon run might do the trick. Surely raising endorphins from a hard run would get me out of my funk. Sweating out that good hard run, going further than I have in a long time, did help, but the fog continued to swirl around in my head. And I was struggling to put my finger on what exactly was really bothering me. Went to dinner with my sister and brother-in-law and talked to them about it bit. That is the thing when you are SOLO. Who do you vent to? What shoulder do you cry on? Sometimes you just want someone to listen, not to judge or give advice, but to listen and agree with you. To sympathize with you. Maybe that was part of the problem? I have had to make some bigger decisions lately without that “other half” to weigh in on the decision. Thankfully, I have a great support team in my family, kids, and friends. But now that I am SOLO, the ultimate decisions have to come from me and me alone. My responsibility.
“You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward…just take the next step.”
I was so tired that I slept pretty good Friday night and woke up to a cooler Saturday morning with less humidity. Decided another run was in order, though a shorter one. Met my sister on the beach afterwards for a couple of hours until it clouded up and rained. Just what the beach area (and me) needed – more rain! Luckily, the weather cleared up in time for me to go to North Myrtle Beach for a dinner to celebrate the 60th birthday of a girlfriend I have known since elementary school. We were cheerleaders in high school. What a fun night, with special people, at such a wonderful restaurant. My friend has more fun than anyone I know! I live vicariously through her.
Sunday was a perfect beach day with sunny skies, 80 degrees and low humidity. My daughter and son-in-law were down for their last week of “summer” vacation. We spent the day together on the beach. I love having my kids at the beach with me. Got me out of my funk a bit. We talked, napped, searched for shells, and enjoyed our day on the beach. Stayed until we needed to go up and fix our traditional beach dinner of grilled shrimp, corn, and okra all on the grill. Invited my sister and brother-in-law. It was wonderful. The fog seemed to be lifting from my head.
I said goodbye to the beach 5:30 Monday morning and drove straight to work – going my normal route with no delays or closures. Arrived at noon. Thankful and sad, realizing my summer may be over. I started the summer saying I wanted no regrets this year. I would go to the beach every opportunity I could. And I did. But I am not yet ready to say goodbye to summer this year. To the serenity I feel at the beach – the sun, the heat, the stifling air at times, the shells, the fresh seafood, the dinners out. I have plans for every weekend in October so I do not know when I will get back down there. But I will. It just won’t be summer…it will be fall. Realized that was part of my funk. I hate goodbyes, even to a season (my favorite season!).
“Maybe it’s not always about trying to fix something broken. Maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better.”
My funk was still present, though not as bad and I realized I needed to rid myself of this feeling. As much as I love the SOLO life, every now and then it is hard. But we have to take the hard times with the good times and realize that the good will always outweigh the hard. I mentioned to my daughter that I was struggling with this, and somehow, just acknowledging it again, bringing it out in the forefront, seemed to help. I ran Monday evening, had some tough conversations with myself, and finally cleared my mind of the funk.
“I’m starting over… a new pattern of thoughts, a new wave of emotions, a new connection to the world, and a new belief system in myself.” Leticia Ray
Is there anything you need to clear out of your mind? Worries? Concerns? Feelings? Don’t let it simmer too long and take away your happiness, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.
“I trust the next chapter because I know the Author.”
PS – Did you know that last Friday (9/28) was the last sunset after 7 pm until March 10th? UGH… another reason I was in a funk – shorter days are coming much too quickly!