“Love of Life”… CBS soap opera September 24, 1951 – February 1, 1980

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

After moving my kids the previous 2 weekends, I was a bit thankful there was no move scheduled for this past weekend. WHEW! Instead, it was time to have some fun! And there was a party involved. After driving to Short Pump to take my daughter’s 6:15 am cycle class on Thursday morning, I went back Saturday afternoon to spend some time with her, shop a bit, get mother/daughter mani/pedis, and then attend the All Team Party for our Short Pump club. The club closed early to allow the team to go to the party on the rooftop (where the pool is located). Weather was perfect, food was great, music was good, entertainment was amazing – a magician performing some unimaginable tricks, and there was a photo booth. Plus the General Manager (my son-in-law) made sure there was a very cold Bud Light Lime for his favorite mother-in-law. So glad I went!

“Stop looking for reasons to be unhappy. Focus on the things you do have and the reasons you should be happy.”

Last week a friend (and co-worker) brought me her daily calendar quote saying, “This is you!” What?!? It was about romance. Does she know something I don’t know? Have to admit, after reading it, I had to agree with her!

“I think it’s a misconception that you can live a romantic life only if you are in a relationship. In my humble opinion, some of the most romantic people I know are not married or even dating. These single women refuse to let that detail diminish their capacity for romance – richness of experience, enjoyment, love, and fulfillment. They are true romantics without men…”

I took this as a huge compliment. I admit, I LOVE romance… probably more than most people. Why do you think I love Hallmark movies and watch them over and over? They are so romantic –  always a love–ly story where the couple always ends up together, they’re always happy, and they always end with a kiss. What could be more romantic? And romance novels…Oh, I have always loved reading a good love story. (I also love mysteries!) And I love life. Truly love life. I find enjoyment spending time with my family and my friends and also just by myself. SOLO. So yes, I guess I am a true romantic!

“Learning to be alone and enjoying it is the most empowering gift you can give yourself.”  Steven Aitchison

What about you? Are you a romantic? What does romance mean to you? Romance is different for everyone, and different at different stages of life. Honestly, it holds a whole new meaning to me these days since becoming SOLO. WAY back in the day, in high school, romance was having my boyfriend decorate my locker on my birthday. In college, romance was riding around in my convertible MGB with my special “friend” before he became my boyfriend. And the day he became my boyfriend, he brought me flowers. We would talk on the phone (landline) for hours when we were not together. We became inseparable (until 3 years ago!). But as a young, busy mother, instead of flowers, I always appreciated having my house cleaned! Now that was romantic… I have shared this tidbit with many young husbands – forego the flowers and have your house cleaned for your wife. She’ll be forever grateful. Or vacuum the house, do the dishes, take the trash out, offer to pick up dinner. These little things mean so much to a busy wife. Not only will she appreciate you, she will find it very romantic. It’s called being thoughtful and is evidence that you realize and appreciate what all she does.

Romance is found in many little things. For me, it used to be a text, a phone call, a shared look, holding hands. Ever heard of the “5 Love Languages”Words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, gifts, quality time. Which of these resonate with you as romantic? I guess I am a words of affirmation or physical touch person. The goal is to find which language is most important for you and for your relationship partner, and follow through. Prime example? One person may be happy to vacuum the house, if it means you will spend quality time with them; while another is thrilled you took it upon yourself to vacuum for him/her. That’s romance for you! So another tidbit of advice to couples – if you want to be romantic, treasure your partner and let them know you are thinking about them in the way that matters to them. And of course, flowers are always nice. An “old” friend I knew before moving to VA is dating a man who sends her flowers every Friday. EVERY FRIDAY y’all. Even when they are on vacation. If that is not true romance, I don’t know what is. Oh, and he has been doing this for more than a year. (Where do you find a man like that?!?!)

“The sweetest things you can do for a girl are the little things that let her know she’s in your heart and on your mind.”

Being part of a couple is wonderful and special. Someone to share everything (romance) with. But there is nothing wrong with being SOLO either. As I have said time and again, I am enjoying being SOLO, discovering life in a new and different, yet very “romantic” way, and only answering to myself. The dictionary defines romance in many different ways, but one I can relate to is “a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.” I find romance in having fun. Meeting friends for a drink after work (did that last week). Meeting old neighbors for dinner (did that too!). Even having dinner out SOLO and eating at the bar is romantic to me. You bond with the bartenders and meet very interesting people at the bar. Walking on the beach? Of course that’s romantic!  Even moving my kids! I am having a love affair with life y’all! And why not?

“Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy until you decide to BE happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you.” Ralph Marston

A sweet couple I know from church stood up Sunday and shared that they were celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary. Kudos to them! They obviously know what it takes to make it. As do my in-laws, who are celebrating their 65th anniversary. True romance! I recently saw a sweet post on Facebook of an elderly couple holding hands with the caption, “I want to hold your hand at 80 and say ‘we made it’.” These couples made it. I wanted that too, but as we all know, that is not going to happen. And I am ok with that now. I realize there are worse things that could happen and many better things that have happened.

“At some point in life, someone will love you more than what you’ve expected. Be patient and learn to wait, because sometimes a patient person receives the best love story.”

So go out and find that “Love of Life”, the romance in your SOLO life, your marriage, your relationship. Never let it disappear. Romance makes life exciting. And remember, you can be SOLO and lead a romantic life! Make every day a romantic day, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.

Best,

Leslie

PS – We lose an hour of daylight in the month of August… an hour y’all! It’s downhill from here…but it is uphill for me as I move up to 3 minutes of walking followed by 3 minutes of running this week for 30 minutes. I’ll take it!

PSS – Did any of you ever see “Love of Life” on CBS? I know my mom watched it so I must have as a kid as well.

 

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