“Baby, What a Big Surprise…” Chicago 1977

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Could this be the “last” SOLO at SIXTY?  I mean, I am going to be 61 next Tuesday. SURPRISE! Remember when 60 (and 61) seemed so old?!?! When I was younger picturing my life at 60, I never pictured it like this. Y’all know I got a big surprise in my life: the end of my 35-year marriage. Changed everything. But that surprise taught me that we are all stronger than we can ever imagine, and life does go on and can be much better than ever expected. And surprise: 60 isn’t that old at all! I have a new outlook on life. Ready to embrace these “golden years” with grace and gusto!

“Life is full of surprises, but the biggest one of all is learning what it takes to handle them.” Deborah Wiles

I am surprised at how much I am enjoying being 60 and have no shame in telling anyone my age. I feel good, I am having fun, I am still able to go out and run 5+ miles if I want to. As I have said before, 60 is the new 40, but without all the responsibilities that are there in your 40’s. Yep, 60’s are good y’all! And no surprise here – like me, SOLO at SIXTY lives on!

“Embrace life’s surprises. Enjoy and relish the good ones and accept the bad ones.”

Do you like surprises? Good ones, I mean. I love surprises!  (Hate bad ones – doesn’t everyone?!?!) Love surprising my kids, like when I show up at my older daughter’s cycle class an hour away at 6:15 am. Or taking a smoothie to my younger daughter when she meets me at the gym. Or stopping by Charlotte to see my son on the way home from the beach. And of course I love surprising my mom – any time I show up there it is a surprise to her! I mean, every day is a surprise in her world.

Last week was full of surprises. I was in Williamsburg, VA on business. Arrived early, pleasantly surprised to find that my room looked out over the James River. Not the ocean, but water is water and the view was beautiful. Getting there early meant I had time to go for a run on the beautiful property before dinner. In shorts and a tank top no less! (Yes, what a difference a week makes – shorts last week, bundled up this week!) But while I was running, a cold front came through. The wind picked up, and rain pelted me. Thank heavens I had a hat on that kept the rain out of my face (wear one every run). Yes, the rain surprised me, right in the middle of my run. Still, I was outside, running in shorts in November, and surprisingly, the rain felt pretty good! Thankfully, the weather cleared up before dinner.

“The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.”

Perhaps to no one’s surprise, after my last meeting on Thursday, I headed to the beach. The weather was surprisingly nice. Sunny and 70’s Friday, sunny and 60’s on Saturday. Even the water was surprisingly warm. I spent hours on the beach, walking the shoreline, looking for shells and renewing my soul. However, it began getting dark around 4:45… Gosh I hate the shorter days. Saturday night I met an old high school (cheerleader) friend for dinner. What fun we always have! (No surprise here!) Love catching up with this girl who leads a most interesting and fun life. Plus there’s just something about being with someone who has known you forever.

“Life will surprise you in the most unbelievable way if you let it.”  Roxana Jones

It should be no surprise to anyone that I am an extrovert (ESFJ to anyone who has taken Myers Briggs tests!). But what has surprised me most is learning that I love living alone. Wondered if I would be scared living alone in a new house – solved with a security system. Worried it be too quiet – never with Hallmark movies on! Would I be lonely? That was the biggest surprise. I don’t find it lonely in the least. So it was nice coming home alone midday Sunday, but even nicer coming home to find even more SURPRISES! A friend had been in town and dropped birthday and Christmas presents by my house. (Haven’t looked in the bags yet – want to be surprised on my birthday!) AND I had another gift in the mail from my sweet old friend Jeff (the one who introduced me to Carolina basketball in the 5th grade). I did open this surprise – a great book on the unrivaled rivalry between UNC and Duke, “To Hate Like This Is To Be Happy Forever”. I cannot wait to read this one! OH I love surprises!

SURPRISE! Presents!

“What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be.”  Ellen Burstyn

Everyday is full of surprises. Take time to realize that surprises can be wonderful gifts. Look for them everyday, and be thankful for them. As I tell my kids, the best things in life tend to happen when we least expect them. Surprises. And surprise those you love, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.

“When you least expect it, life may surprise you. It might turn out even better than you’d hoped.”



PS Heading back to Carolina Saturday to tailgate and celebrate my younger daughter’s birthday. What a great surprise it would be if Carolina won a football game!


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