Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
Who doesn’t love Kelly Clarkson?! The first American Idol winner in 2002 at the age of 20. Such a beautiful, strong voice. In our cycle classes, the penultimate song (next to the last song – I have a friend who loves the word “penultimate” and uses it every chance he gets!) is called “the Reflection song” – the instructor cuts all lights off and you are on your own, riding as fast and hard, or as easy and slow, as you want or need. The song is chosen to set your intention for the day, week, month, or year to come. Sunday morning found me at the club early, taking a cycle class from one of my favorite instructors, and the song she chose for our Reflection was Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger”. I had a lot on my mind Sunday morning and this song reminded me of how strong we all have to be to make it in this life. Inevitably, life will throw you curveballs and you can either let them hit you, catch them, or hit them out of the ballpark. I prefer to hit them out of the ballpark! And anyone who knows my athletic prowess, especially with softball, knows I mean this figuratively, not literally, as I honestly cannot hit a softball – just ask my boss!
“Life has knocked me down a few times. It has shown me things I never wanted to see, I have experienced sadness and failures. But one thing’s for sure, I always get up.”
What defines us as being strong? If you watched The Bachelor Monday night (after the UNC basketball game!), it was all about physical strength. But that does not define strong in my life (though I wouldn’t mind being stronger physically!). Being strong to me means standing up for myself, and for others. It means looking for the good in life. It means being there for those who need a lift. It means continuously moving forward, no matter how hard it is to put one foot in front of the other. It means being confident and content in my life. It means going for the grace and gusto in life, not wallowing on the sidelines.
Once you discover your strength, it is easier the next time you are faced with a challenge, because you know you will survive. I wish someone had told me this 3 years ago, so I am telling you now. Know that you are stronger than you ever imagined. I mean, look back at all the obstacles you have overcome in your life – 100% success rate, right? Because here you are, standing tall!
“Being strong doesn’t mean you’ll never get hurt. It means even when you get hurt, you’ll never let it defeat you.”
Last week, I did not let Movie Pass defeat me! I used my Movie Pass (which FINALLY offered a good movie) to go see The Upside with Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston and y’all, it was great. I cried and laughed out loud with the other 2 people in the theater. Based on a true story of a strong, yet unexpected relationship, and what a heartwarming story it is. Go see it. You won’t be disappointed.
And did the temperatures drop in your area? Ok, I am not strong when it comes to cold weather – I am a WIMP and I admit it. Holy cow it was frigid up here! And especially on the night of the Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse. Did you see it? I set my alarm to get up at midnight, bundled up, and went out on my back deck, looked up at the clear, starry night, marveled at the beautiful moon, and texted my kids “if you are awake, go outside and look straight up.” And they did. It was so awesome! And more so, knowing my kids were doing the same thing, at the same time.
“The weather went from 70 to 30 like it saw a state trooper.” (more like 50 to 10!)
Had a fun Saturday! My younger daughter and I met my son and his girlfriend, and my younger sister and sweet Jack for lunch at The Feedbag, this wonderful hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Mocksville, NC, right down the road from where my sister used to live. When we were choosing a place to meet for lunch that would be near Mom’s, my younger sister suggested The Feedbag, telling me their food is great, atmosphere Southern and homey, and that they had been written up in Southern Living. I was sold! We all had a great and fun lunch before going to visit Mom (one of the strongest women I know). As I have told you, Mom’s Assisted Living has a cute self-serve soft ice cream shop where you can have chocolate, vanilla, or swirled ice cream in a cone or bowl. We treated mom to ice cream and were entertained by Jack and his new tool bench complete with tools, that my sister had just gotten him. What fun Jack had hammering, nailing, and especially using his saw! And what fun mom (and all of us) had visiting and watching Jack. Nothing tops a child’s laughter!
When my sister and Jack headed back to High Point, and my son and his girlfriend to Charlotte, my younger daughter and I decided we would visit a couple of wineries before going home. We started at RayLen and ended up at Medaloni where there was a birthday party complete with snacks, cakes, and live music for all to enjoy. We had a tasting, me with white wines, my daughter with reds, got a glass of wine along with some cheese and crackers (since I was driving us home for 3 ½ hours), and sat in these adorable Adirondack chairs with slats cut as wine glasses and a wine bottle, and just talked. Oh, and people watched.
“You have within you, right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you.” Brian Tracy
So realize your true strength. Stand tall and proud and strong, knowing who you are. Lift up those around you who are struggling with finding their strength. Have fun, love life, and live it to its fullest with all the grace and gusto you can find, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.