“What’s Going On…” Marvin Gaye January 17, 1971

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Can you believe today is January 29th? The first month of 2020 is almost over y’all. Time’s a-flying! January is usually a blur for me – it’s my busiest time of the year at work, finalizing financial statements for 12 clubs, so that means a lot of working through the weekends. Luckily, I like what I do and who I do it with. And usually, January is a frigidly cold month, so being inside working 7 days a week is not the worst thing in the world. But there still needs to be some time for fun, right? I mean, all work and no play… well, we know that is not a good combination.

So, I met a friend at a cute little Italian restaurant last week for dinner. Oh my, the food was wonderful and of course we shared a great bottle of wine. I think I found my new favorite restaurant! We got to talking about life in general and the suggestion was made that I write about adversity this week and finding the bright side, past and present. Like me, this friend has experienced adversity in recent years, but in a much more major way. Started me thinking. When I look around, I realize there is not one single person I know who has not experienced some type of adversity in their life, many facing adversity on a daily basis. It’s how we respond and act in the face of adversity that defines our character.

“It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Which leads to “finding the bright side, past and present.” It seems like an impossible task, but trust me, it is possible. I know in my own life, the adversities I have faced opened several doors to new friends and opportunities that would not have happened if my life had not changed so drastically 4 years ago. One big one? This BLOG! I never would have started writing my blog. I wanted to share my path, so that others could see that life goes on no matter what, and it can be good even after life-changing events. My relationships with my family and friends became so much stronger and more important to me. And, I do not take anything for granted anymore. So as hard as the adversity of becoming SOLO was for me, many positives came out of it and continue to appear daily. Same with my knees. As frustrating as dealing with 2 surgeries and recoveries have been, it forced me to slow down a bit, change up my activities, and focus on other forms of working out – one being cycle classes. And as you know, I LOVE to go to my older daughter’s 6:15 am cycle class (which is about 55 minutes away) as often as I can. Made that trip just yesterday morning! This is definitely a perk of not running 5 or 6 days a week – opens up those days for cycle, athletic conditioning, and hot yoga. Of course I am still holding out hope that my knees will heal and heal soon, but I will never be running as often as I was before. And I am ok with that. Think about your own life – when things have been difficult, have you also experienced something positive? A new opportunity? Did someone cross your path that probably would not have otherwise? Maybe you did not realize it at the time, but looking back, do you see any positives?

Here’s a positive I experienced while getting my car washed this week, Rainbow of colors! And good music!

“You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” Mary Tyler Moore

I see people I know and love get up, dress up, and face the world day in and day out with an attitude of gratitude and purpose, while I know they are struggling on the inside. But they are making that effort to overcome adversity and get through the day successfully. Don’t get me wrong, we all have those days when we just need a good cry or just need to get our B#$%H on. But we can’t park it there for too long. Cry, scream, stomp, whatever it takes to get it out and move on to the next day. The sun will come up tomorrow and you will still have to make that choice once again to be happy. Happiness is not a given, it’s a choice. Look at the bright side of life – that too is a choice. Honestly, I believe there is something good in every situation and in every day, even if we have to look hard for it.

“Character cannot be achieved in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, and success achieved.” Helen Keller

Speaking of adversity, my Tar Heels have faced major adversity this season with injury after injury. Although we did get a BIG win last Saturday – on my son-in-law’s birthday! It was a beautiful day, and not just because of the win. It was 60 degrees, folks! So I was more than happy to take an afternoon break from those weekends of work to head to their new house in Richmond and celebrate with a great lunch and ice cream cake. While we were there, his mom told me they had to cancel many of his birthday parties when he was a child due to snow. That’s a problem with January birthdays. That and the birthday being so close to Christmas. But often he gets to celebrate his “half-birthday” in July, thereby celebrating twice! Hmmm… seems like a positive there! Oh, and our Tar Heels won again Monday night, just to drag out my son-in-law’s birthday celebration!

 

“Everyone goes through adversity in life, but what matters is what you learn from it.” Lou Holtz (I have always loved Lou Holtz, just saying)

On a much more somber note, I cannot end without acknowledging the incredible loss that rocked not only the basketball world but the world in general Sunday, when Kobe Bryant and his 13-year old daughter, plus 7 other people, lost their lives in a helicopter crash. Like everyone else, I could not believe what I was hearing and reading. How could this be? So heartbreaking for his wife to lose her husband and precious daughter instantly. And just as heartbreaking for the families of the other people on that helicopter. What a horrible loss these families have to face and overcome. None of those people woke up Sunday morning with the thought that it could be their last day on this earth. But it was. Let this be a lesson to us all – tell those you love how you feel, and never take a day of life for granted, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

Best,

Leslie

PS – Know what Sunday, February 2nd is? Groundhog Day of course. Wonder if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow or not. Hoping for NOT! I am ready for Spring y’all. OH and Sunday is also SUPERBOWL SUNDAY!  GO ??WHO?? Geez, I don’t have a real preference this year. No pressure!

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