Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
I am often asked about regrets. Are you? Of course, I have been asked this more often in the last 3 years than ever before (if ever before!). Do you ever think “what if?” I mean, what if I had not transferred from UNC to Wake Forest? Wouldn’t have met my ex, wouldn’t have my beautiful children, wouldn’t have met the godparents to my oldest child. What if we had not moved to Charlottesville and instead, remained in Winston-Salem? We would have been closer to my family (physically), my kids would have grown up with their cousin (Jack’s dad), we would have paid in-state tuition! But I never would have found my “tribe” up here, my kids would not have gone to true neighborhood schools where they could walk or ride their bikes to school, and I would not have this job I love with people I love to see everyday.
“Never regret something that once made you smile.”
Speaking of my tribe, my former next door neighbor of 17 years came and stayed with me last week. It was like therapy as we stayed up talking, and talking, and talking well past 1 am every night (and could have gone on for hours more)! Obviously, we had a lot to catch up on. Late night sessions are not unusual for us – we planned many an elementary class party and school event late at night – we are both “night owls.” And more of our tribe (our “old neighbors”) came for dinner one night – easier to visit here than in a restaurant. Wasn’t until I had invited everyone that I remembered I am limited in fixing dinner or even setting the table! But everyone brought appetizers, salad, dessert and I ordered pizza to be delivered, and we had a great night (and my younger daughter came earlier in the week to set my table and to check the upstairs bathroom to make sure there was no ring in the toilet since I cannot go upstairs!) Though I miss my old neighbors, I don’t regret moving to my new house – the old house held too many memories and would have been too much for me to handle SOLO. No regrets there.
“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.”
So what do I regret? Well, maybe I should have made my kids be more responsible for things that I did for them. My younger daughter and I discussed this last week. She was talking about a friend who took himself to college and moved himself in. Heaven forbid I could NEVER do that! I mean, I didn’t even want to leave them when I moved them into college. My oldest didn’t want me to leave either. Middle child was ready for me to leave, didn’t even need me to help make up her bed! And youngest was fine with me leaving (I was NOT!). Maybe I should have given them more chores? They had to make up their beds every day and clear the table after dinner, but truly, their afternoons/nights/weekends were spent filled with homework and sports. I felt it was their “job” to be successful in school, extracurriculars, and sports. Did I make their lives too easy? Maybe. But I don’t regret it – I loved doing things for them. Someone left their cleats at home? Mom went back home to get them and took them to school. Someone forgot it was spirit day and they needed a flower bouquet for school? Mom went to the store searching for a perfect bouquet to drop off at school. Forgot a lunchbox? Here it is. Homework left at home, no problem. I know, I know… But that is me. And that is how my momma was. I would do it all over again. And still do! No regrets there.
“I never regret anything I’ve done in my past because it led to who I am today and who I’ll become tomorrow.”
In my “typical mom” fashion, I always want to see my children on their birthdays. Last week’s blog ended with a birthday shout out to my oldest daughter. My younger daughter and I headed to Richmond Friday night to celebrate with the birthday girl, my son-in-law and of course play with sweet Paige. We had a great dinner and visit, but we went through a terrible thunder storm on the way home (while singing Elton John and Billy Joel songs at the top of our lungs!). No regrets there.
And Saturday, since it was such a nice day (sunny and 90!), and my younger daughter was working there, I went out to King Family Vineyards to get a glass of wine, people watch, and work on my blog. It was packed! Remembered that it was UVA graduation weekend and I watched as families celebrated with their graduates. Even made friends with 2 moms of graduates, one from Chicago, one from California. Being on crutches brings lots of people to you, especially when you cannot carry your own wine glass! No regrets there – not letting these crutches hold me back!
“Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence & face your future without fear.”
The biggest question always goes back to the demise of my marriage. Do I regret my marriage? Never, it was really good for a long time. And I have my beautiful children. Would it have ended had we not moved up here? Honestly, I don’t think so. Not that it matters now! But do I regret it ending? No. And I can honestly say this now. Maybe not 3 years ago, but now. If you follow this blog, you know how far I have come and how much fun I have had these last 3 years. And how much I have discovered about myself, from loving living by myself to knowing I will survive SOLO. Plus I have spent more time with my kids, reconnected with my “tribe” far and wide, visited many, many vineyards, gone to a ton of movies, and traveled a lot. As my kids always comment to me, Mom you would not being doing half of these things if your circumstances were different. So true.
That’s my favorite thing in life: having my family around me and watching my kids talking, laughing, just enjoying being together. So I cannot think of one thing in my life that I regret… well, maybe ONE thing. I regret driving my new car into DEEP standing water. Lesson learned… turn around, don’t drown (or total your new car)!
“Just because something doesn’t last forever doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.”
Don’t waste your time regretting things in your past. They are just that, the past. Concentrate on the present, and make the most of each and every day, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.
PS Only 2 more weeks on crutches y’all!
“No more regrets. No turning back. I’m moving on!”
2 thoughts on ““I Will Survive…” Gloria Gaynor 1978”
One of your best Blogs. SO enjoy reading your words of wisdom.
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Leslie, not only have you learned lots about you during the past 3 years, your blog has caused me learn lots about myself, family and friends! I am a much better person due to you. You’ve caused me to look within & without, causing me to always look for the good, using it as a growing process. I’ve also learned not to risk driving thru the flooded roads! I cherish you and your friendship! You are a uniquely special lady🤗.
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