“I’m a Survivor, I’m gonna make it…” Destiny’s Child 2001

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Well, we survived the hurricane. Hurricane Dorian that is. Thankfully. Have not seen it for myself (will next week though!), but thanks to my sweet (and brave) neighbors, who rode out the hurricane, all is well in our little beach community. They said it was pretty scary with the wind blowing and rain pelting, nothing like the experience felt in the Bahamas, but still, for our area, they felt lucky we dodged a bullet. Me too!

Is there anyone who did not see the red jeep stranded on Myrtle Beach last week during the hurricane? Oh my! I promise that was NOT me y’all! But boy do I know that horribly helpless feeling after doing something so stupid. I did survive driving my car into water after last’s year hurricane… but my car did not. Scariest experience of my life. However, all ended well with a new car, exactly like the drowned car. Survival… life goes on.

“Struggles are required in order to survive in life, because in order to stand up, you gotta know what falling down is like.”

We also survived the Hurricanes… as in the University of Miami Hurricanes, who traveled to Chapel Hill for our first home football game last Saturday night. And what a game it was!  We won 28-25. Best game I have ever attended. Truly. Kenan Stadium was sold out, packed with over 50,000 fans in Carolina blue with a sprinkling of orange and green, and the vibe was electric. Our freshman QB is a campus hero (and rightly so) after going for it on 4th down, in the waning minutes of the game, with 17 yards to first down. He threw a perfect pass. Game changer… and we won. Carolina is now 2-0, winning as many games in the first 2 games of this season as we won all of last season. Hoping the run continues! It’s the topping on the ice cream of our tailgate when we win!

“What’s coming is better than what is gone.”

Speaking of our tailgate, first one of the season was last Saturday. Even though the game was not until 8 pm, my daughter and son-in-law left Richmond at 0 dark hundred to get to Chapel Hill and secure our tailgate spot and shop. I got there around 10:30, parked beside the tailgate, and walked up to Franklin Street to meet them at Top of the Hill (our favorite restaurant) for brunch. We had the prime table on the patio overlooking Franklin Street. Such a perfect day! As they headed back to the tailgate, I spent some time shopping and walking around campus, just enjoying being back in Chapel Hill. My younger daughter arrived mid afternoon, and the cornhole contests began. My kids are pretty good, I am not… but it is still fun! Also watched several ACC football games on TV (yes there is a big TV with DISH satellite at the tailgate) and visited with our tailgate neighbors. Cooked out for dinner and headed to the game. Our seats are even better than last year – 45 yard line. It was a perfect day and such a fun night! Plus I got to have a sleepover with my younger daughter before heading home early Sunday.

“From every wound there is a scar and every scar tells a story. A story that says I SURVIVED.”

Survival. We were the underdogs in the past 2 games. Predicted to lose. But we proved the naysayers wrong, and proved to our fans that we can fight back and win. Just like life, every day we survive, most days without even realizing it. Three years ago, I was thankful to survive each “dark” day. Thankful I had a job that got me out out of bed with a purpose for the day. Thankful for the family and friends who kept me going. Learned a lot about myself and how to survive SOLO. And now, I am still surviving daily, in a good way, and I realize it. My best plan for survival is to have fun things to look forward to. UNC football games with my kids for one. Trips to the beach. Dinners with friends. Visiting wineries. Last Sunday morning, I left Chapel Hill with plans to meet a friend to visit a winery I had not been to before. But I called an “audible” and changed plans. My younger daughter had asked if I would pick up her wine from her 2 wine clubs, and of course I said yes. Which meant, 2 free wine tastings, since she is a member. Not turning that down! Told my friend this one was my treat! Perfect September Sunday afternoon weather – sunny and not too hot. Perfect day for a drive to the wineries made more perfect in a really nice convertible, top down, music playing… and me driving! We survived my driving and oh what fun that was. Since the driving was offered to me, I said that I better drive BEFORE having wine. Been a long time since I have been in a convertible… high school maybe? (yes, that was a LONG time ago!) Wow… I have been missing out!

“Remember that time you thought you wouldn’t survive? Well you did and you can do it again.”

Another survival plan for this weekend – UNC vs. Wake Forest football game in Winston-Salem Friday night with my kids (tough since I went to both UNC and Wake but my heart is Carolina Blue!), followed by celebrating my sweet Momma’s 90th birthday on Saturday before heading to my happy place! Many fun plans for next week as well. And more down the road all the way to Christmas. Did I mention I am a planner? But that is what works for me. I am flexible enough (kinda) to change my plans, but still, I like knowing what’s coming. What works for you? How do you survive the challenges life throws at you? Do you plan time with friends? Or do you need solitary time?

“Don’t lose your present to your past.”

I cannot end without remembering that on this day in 2001, almost 3,000 people lost their lives in the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. Families and friends were heartbroken. Lives were changed forever. Senseless acts. If you have not visited Ground Zero in NYC, you should. It is an emotional experience. So today, remember all those who left home that September morning, never to return. And remember their families and friends. And make the most of this day and every day, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.”  Walter Anderson

Best,

Leslie

PS – Name change is a done deal at work!

Name officially changed at work!

 

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