“All you need is love, Love…”
(And a beach, and a chair, and a sunset. LOL…I kid, I kid. Well, sort of…)
So Christmas happened. And in the midst of all the hustle, our mini-series of posts made some progress in our heads, but not much on paper (or screen).
While Claire was experiencing the magic of Disney, I tackled the (trite) holiday blessing of LOVE.
I will speak for both of us when I say that we didn’t want to do this one first or end with it, so we stuck it in a middle spot and have been dreading it. Procrastinating . . . waiting for inspiration . . . anything!
It’s not that we don’t have love in our lives, we most certainly do! Claire is practically a newlywed (well, from my perspective) and is doing life with her (pretty amazing) person, and I have two beautiful sons who remind me every day what life is all about.
What’s not to love?
Today, I choose love. (Now I get why this is a challenge.)
Just like in everyone’s life, mine has some (several) holes in the love department.
Divorced, two kids, almost forty (9 weeks ahhhh!), and living in the suburban south. There’s more to it, but that’s enough to paint a picture.
Dating? I’ve tried. Now I am done, officially. There will be no more dating. Online, set-up, blind, or otherwise. My love story will not start with, “Once upon a time, we went on a date . . .”
All kidding aside (albeit extremely accurate), dating really does suck. Ideally, it should be awesome at this age. I know who I am and what I want (and don’t want); I feel comfortable in my own skin; and I am no longer driven by the desire to procreate. Plus, the (only) good thing about joint custody is that I have built-in alone time that doesn’t involve paying a sitter.
So it should be easy and fun to date, date, date. Right?
Try weird and complicated.
So I have decided (finally) to just embrace being single. Or as I prefer to call it . . . just being.
And I do believe. My person awaits. “Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moon light . . .”
Okay, so I am showing my age with that one. But it just came to me (and you know you know it!).
I may be single, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have love in my life. Outside of that fleeting romantic dream, the love is strong.
The silver lining of not having a husband as my main sidekick is that I still need a sidekick(s). So I get to pour all that time and energy and LOVE into my friendships. And these friendships are awesome because all the bullshit goes away (it really does). There is no herd mentality at this age; you just get to be friends with whomever you’re drawn to.
I always say I get the best people, and really I do. It is my thing, my blessing – proof that God has not deserted me. If there is an amazing, self-made, smart, giving, talented, strong, generous, creative, fun person anywhere near my circle, they end up in a basket at my doorstep (or I do on theirs)!
When you have been through a drastic life change, you tend to get easier on yourself (and others). You expect less and accept more, and that is what friendship is supposed to be.
My friends got me through four years of a drastically declining marriage, and the three years that have followed. When my life seems quite ridiculous, they laugh and cry with me.
They never judge me.
They have fed me, helped me with my kids, given me work, given me “financial aid,” taken me places I could never travel to on my own, and even shared their home with me. When I stop to think about it, I am overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude. I truly don’t know where I would be without the network of friends and family I have been blessed with.
“But you have your kids.”
I do. Two great ones! They are my heart and my soul. But, they are also work and responsibility. They are needy and (often) gross. They wind up needing guidance in every life department (when you least expect it). They have to be places (on time), and they are always hungry!
But as women, most of us are absolutely drawn to caring for young humans. Whether we teach, tutor, mentor, foster, adopt, aunt, guest-aunt, babysit, or kidnap (kidding!), it is what we innately long to do. And the love we give is given back to us exponentially.
So that is my “love” status. Not single, just being. Not taken, but still loved.
And as the new year looms, it is about dang time I shift my focus to the most important love of all. (I will resist the urge to quote Whitney Houston lyrics here. Damn you, Claire).
Seriously. Self-love is the most important and the hardest. We commit so many years of our lives to education, but so few of us are ever taught how to love ourselves and what that truly means.
As always, it is through teaching that I learn best. As my boys grow-up (way too fast), I know the two most important things I must do are to love them for who they are as individuals and to teach them to have that same unconditional love for themselves.
I recognize teachable moments along the way, and I try to maximize them. We learn best by doing. So I like to share these kind of things when they are organically intwined in a real life situation – no matter how small.
And every time, I end up learning from the words that come out of my mouth intended for them.
Maybe it’s the failed dating attempts, maybe it’s the proverbial mid-life (kinda) crisis, or maybe it’s just the perfect timing of my journey.
But 2017 will be about accepting myself, getting to know myself, liking myself, and falling in love with myself. Because we all know that when you are in love, nothing can stop you.
Easier said than done. But here I go!
Today, I choose (self) love, and I hope you can too. ❤️️
Claire remains on holiday hiatus recovering from all the ‘Magic’, but will bring you PEACE soon.
“Love is all you need.”
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