Keeping up 2 blogs is sometimes a challenge. It feels like I just wrote in this one and then I look and it’s been 6 days! Sorry about that. Make sure to check out the other blog for Scrooge month. I think you will all really enjoy it and I would love your feedback and comments.
I don’t know if I mentioned it on this blog but this year will be my second Christmas I have spent away from my family. The first time was Christmas 2012 while I was waiting for my house to finish. That was an incredibly stressful time and honestly my family was better off with me far away from them because I was a worried mess!
Plus, it was so stressful living out of boxes and never knowing if I was moving in a week, a month, whatever (ended up closing on the house January 31st when they had originally told me 12/31. It was made even more stressful because my roommate and tenants were also waiting to move in and the weather was awful.
This year is much different. I have had a very full Christmas season. Name it I’ve done it. From watching every holiday film I can put my hands on (and blogging about many of them), decorating 2 trees, outside decor, cookie swap and baking, shopping, singing with choir and for RS party, and more. I LOVE my trees this year and have gotten so much pleasure out of looking at them and all the memory ornaments and smiling.
I have also watched my share of cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies and eaten delicious food. I have plans for Christmas Day breakfast at my home teachers and then will go see Into the Woods (can’t wait).
Things are exciting at work with lots going on and it’s been fun having my first Christmas with my new job. They are just the best!
I do sometimes feel a little sad being alone for Christmas. I’m human just like anyone else. I particularly miss having children to share the holidays with (although my presents for my nieces is awesome!). I’ve long said most of us are chasing the holidays we had as youth and it can never quite live up to that magic as an adult. That’s ok. So is life.
So, yes I am human and do feel sad and lonely on occasion but I also feel incredibly blessed. Now I am just crossing my fingers that the sore throat I’ve been having doesn’t morph into a full blown sickness like I had last year. Please no! My favorite mission companion is coming for New Years and I am soooo excited! The last thing I want is to be sick for her visit!
It’s also nice my roommate is staying here for Christmas and my tenants are also very festive (we technically have 3 trees in my house! Happy day!).
So it is a single Christmas but it is also a very full and blessed Christmas. As a single person I lose out on some of the magic of the season but I also have an ability to focus on what really matters that is tough when you have little one’s to shop for and entertain. I am grateful for that focus in my life.
What is your Christmas looking like? If you are single how do you manage the holidays? How do you deal with sadness or loneliness? What are your favorite traditions to celebrate for just you (a lot of traditions we do for other people so what’s the most important for you and why?).
I would love to hear your stories and wish you all a Merry Christmas!
(Some of the graphics on this post are just trying to have a little sense of humor about my situation. Don’t take them to seriously!)
So this might seem a little random but over the last few months I’ve wanted to write a post on the greatest myths many married people have about being single.
1. Myth #1- “You’re single so you get to hang out with your girlfriends whenever you want”. Sometimes I think there is this illusion that the singles life is Sex and the City without the sex (well without the sex for the Mormon singles!). Me and my 3 galpals hanging out and gallivanting around town at our hearts content. The truth is about 80% of my friends are married with kids and most of the time I’m so exhausted from work and other responsibilities that watching TV or heating up a microwave meal is all I can do. I would say I get 1-2 (maybe more in the summer) nights with friends in a month, which may be more than…
So I learned a lesson in the last few days, one about standing up for my writing in a new way and that by trying to please everyone I pleased no one, least of all myself.
A few days ago I wrote a post I was very proud of about the commonly believed myth that weight has anything to do with finding a life partner. This is something I have been told all my life and never really believed. I see too much to argue against it everywhere I look. As I mentioned in the post, even in Hollywood we see the movie The Heat has 2 actresses, one skinny, one plus size. It is not the skinny one that is currently married.
Anyway, I used a framing device for this piece a horrible date I had been on where I was told I was fat, needed to diet and exercise in order to attract a suitable spouse. While I felt hurt I felt the piece was fair as it disclosed no personal information and it could have easily been John Doe for all anyone knew. He also had every right to write his side on his blog, get his friends to defend him. I also had given him more of my personal information than he had of me so if anything the power play was in his hand.
Nevertheless, the post sprouted a wide array of opinions- most of the positive and I will admit many of them coming on my request, as I asked for defense (my friends are the best and so loyal). There was a small minority that felt I had been a bully and unchristlike.
This was hard for me to hear because as a bullying victim I take that type of behavior very personally. I sincerely didn’t believe that was what I had done but the idea that anyone, especially one very close person, thought that was what I had done bothered me.
So, in a moment of weakness I took the post down but this didn’t feel right either. I saw the positive effect it was having and one girl even said “I needed to read this today! Thanks for posting, sometimes I feel like the only women dealing with this. You rock!” If for this woman alone I felt the information needed to be out there. What to do? Again in a weak moment I decided to edit it to not include the date and just the weight discussion. This was a much weaker post but i figured it was better than nothing.
Unfortunately when I did this the comments made no sense so I tried to change them in nominal ways, keeping their core content but a friend rightly pointed out this was censorship and not ethical. I knew it wasn’t right when I was doing it but was down the rabbit hole at that point.
Eventually I reached a status where nobody was happy with me and for good cause. Worst of all I risked alienating readers and especially hurting my friends who had come to my defense so quickly. I reluctantly decided I’d made such a mess of things that I erased the post and moved on.
I would like to apologize for this whole episode and for deleting the comments you took time to craft. My only defense is that I learned a lot from the experience. I learned to trust my voice and trust my readers who overwhelmingly agreed with me and liked the post. If I had just let it be and not worried about it everything would have blown over and been fine.
Writing is a bold endeavor and I am very proud of the fact that I have never held anything back on this blog. It is the proudest thing I do. It is the best part of my life. In a way it is my life. I need to honor my voice and writing and feel confident in what it tells me to produce. Lesson learned.
If I can end with a plea. If you were offended on either side I am sorry. Please continue read (and thank you for the nearly uniform understanding and support I have felt in the last 2 days), share, comment and ponder. I have written 720 posts over 6 years, what I conservatively estimate is 400,000 words. If one post was handled poorly please give me a second chance. I know what I have to say is important. I have no editor but I do the best I can and I believe in my voice, now more than ever.
The greatest thing we can do in life is to be true to ourselves and serve God. Sure love ya! To 400,000 more words and 6 more years. I will keep writing. Thanks! Now on to Nanowrimo!
So I Nanowrimo is coming up and I thought it would be fun to post another section of my last book. In the story the 2 characters have spent a lot of time together but have never actually been on a date, so the male character decides to set up what he calls the ‘superdate’. This is an all day affair that tries to help the female character conquer her fears, make her feel bold and empowered.
Remember this is a romance and it is not supposed to be realistic. Dating can be anything but super but I thought it was fun and these stories require a little bit of fantasy so enjoy.
With lunch done there are a few more hours of work and then it is time for the big date. Oliver comes up to me and is visibly excited and this makes me excited!
“Let’s go!” I squeal with delight.
Oliver makes me close my eyes as we pull up to a big cement building. As he guides me inside like a blind person I feel anxious with anticipation.
“Open your eyes!” Oliver says. I look and at first am disappointed when I see what looks like an old grimy gym. “Where are we?”
“It’s called American Boxing. You can do boxing, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, whatever” he says with enthusiasm.
I give him a skeptical look. Sometimes I wondered if he saw me through some type of magic filter. “I don’t know if I can punch and kick like that” I say pointing to the all of the boxers who seem to kick and punch so hard and high.
“You don’t have to be like them but trust me you will love it. I bet you’ll become addicted to it. Give it a shot”.
“Ok. Why not!”
The teacher is named Isabella and she is a stunning athlete with rich Latino features and a big smile. I look at her and look at me in the mirror and then look at Oliver. I don’t get it. You could date her, I think, what are you doing with me? Anticipating my thoughts he gives my hand a little squeeze and a kiss on the cheek. I melt a little bit. Whatever he wants me to do I will try!
“First you wrap your hands” he says handing me a long pink roll that looks like an ace bandage for an ankle or wrist.
This looks tricky but with his help I get them over my hands until I look like a pink mummy. Then the red boxing gloves come over the wrapped hands. It feels heavy but not as awkward as I might have expected.
Isabella holds up 2 punching mitts and shows me how to do a basic jab, undercuts and round kicks. At first I worry about punching Isabella in the face but she seems to catch everything I do. After about 15 minutes of awkward kicks and punches I forget where I’m at and it all feels more natural. Kick, jab, and kick, uppercut, jab, and kick. Before I know it 30 minutes has come and gone and I’m gasping from the exertion. I’ve even forgotten about Oliver for a second but I look over at him and his mouth is agape. “Whoa! You were awesome! I think we have found your gift!”
“Really? You really think so?”
“Yes, it was awesome!” Isabella agrees. “We will definitely have to get you in here again soon. Let’s set it up!” I can’t believe that anyone thinks I can be good at something like this and that maybe I am? It’s just an activity I never even considered. It is so exciting!
“All right. Let’s set up another appointment.” I grab my phone from my purse and schedule ‘Meet Isabel’ for later that week.
I’m so thrilled by my unexpected success that I give Oliver a big kiss in front of Isabella and everyone. It feels exciting and passionate. Perfect for a super date!
“Ready to move on to the next adventure?” Oliver asks me?
“What else could we be doing? This was awesome!”
Back into the car we go and he makes me close my eyes again.
“All right. Phase 2 has begun. Open your eyes”. I look and it’s another cement building but after having so much fun the last time I decide to give Oliver the benefit of the doubt and head inside.
‘We are going to learn how to shoot! This is something I’ve never done so I thought it would be fun for both of us” he says.
“I’ve always wanted to learn how to do that! This is awesome!” I say with delight. I have always wanted to learn how to shoot. Strange I know but true!
Our instructor Ray gives us the massive ear covers and teaches us how to aim, shoot and withstand the force of the shot. Keeping the target relatively close I take aim and fire! The bullet goes in the posters shoulder.
“That’s good for your first time” the Instructor says. Oliver tries and has better luck closer to the heart. Wet a couple rounds for each of us and honestly at the end my shoulder and arms are sore (especially after the boxing!).
“That was awesome! I loved it!” Then I add “Thank you so much” I give Oliver another kiss.
“You’re kind of cute with a gun.” he says with a wink.
“Gosh I love you!” I say with a smile and give him another kiss.
“I love you too!” he says and we head out of the building. All it took was shooting and boxing but we had both said we loved each other. The big L word! This was definitely the best day of my life! I can tell that he is thrilled with the moment also. His smile says all the work on the super date was just made worthwhile!
“One more stop!” he says with excitement.
“What, no. This is enough!” I protest.
“We’ve got to eat something! He says.
Again he gets me into the car and makes me close my eyes. And again he tells me when to look.
When I open my eyes I see another cement building. At first I don’t get it and then I see it is Mel’s Wing House. What on earth?
When we get seated Oliver will not let me order but places it at the front desk away from me. The wings arrive and they look delicious but before I dive in Oliver gives me a warning.
“These are the fieriest wings they make. You’ll love it!”
With great trepidation I pick up a wing and take a bite. “Oh my gosh! That is so hot!” I grab a drink of milk and Oliver laughs. My eyes are watering and my mouth feels numb.
“Try one more and here are some lighter ones as well but the spicy really does have a deeper flavor”
After about 3 of the spicy and a few of the mild I can start to appreciate the experience of eating the spicy wing. It shocks you but that is part of the fun of it and eating above all things should be fun shouldn’t it?
“It’s delicious! Thank you. I’m so excited to know about this place. It is totally the type of place that I would never have gone to on a date before but it’s delicious.”
“Why wouldn’t you have gone here on a date?” he asks
“Because it’s messy and unladylike. I would have been afraid of spilling on my clothes. I had about 3 items I could order on a date and most of them required a lot of cutting with a knife and fork. No fingers.”
“I’m glad we met in the way we did. You weren’t trying to impress anyone and neither was I.”
“Me too. We could always be real with one another. Once you are caught crying about your mother visiting it is hard to be not be real” I say with a smile. I had sauce all over my fingers and my lips felt fiery with all the heat. When we kissed his lips felt spicy and it made my whole body tingle. It was certainly clear to me why Oliver had picked this restaurant.
As my body and mouth started to cool down I could feel the chili peppers in my stomach. I hope I didn’t get sick but luckily the wing place had frozen yogurt as well and that helped cool everything down. It was all unforgettable! The whole night was unforgettable. It really was the super date.
“So you did it. Best date in history! I only have one question for you…” I say with a flirty smile.
“What’s that?” he asks
“How are you going to top this? Setting the bar pretty high for the first date don’t you think?”
“That’s how I intend to do things! Set the bar high and keep jumping over it”
“I have one more question for you” I say with a slight degree of awkwardness. This is the big question. “Why me?” I couldn’t help for a second to think of Isabella at the gym. “You could have anyone you want. Why me?”
“I could ask the same thing of you. Why would you a master’s graduate want to be with someone who is a college dropout? Believe me I’m every bit as insecure about that as you are about your weight. “
“But that doesn’t matter to me at all” I say in amazement.
“See, I feel the same way about you. Will you finally believe me?” he says
I look into his eyes deep inside. I have to know for sure and I finally I know. He is the real deal. He really loves me as much as I love him. Wow. I still can’t believe it!
“I meant what I said earlier. I love you! I’ll never be perfectly secure but maybe if I am loved by someone as great as you it will get better. It’s been such a long year I don’t know what I think about myself. On one hand I feel strong and the other it has been a very weak year. Panic attacks, anxiety and more”
Another kiss and I look down and ask one more question “What would you think if I still quit my job?”
He looked surprised but nodded “Even with all the changes Rich has installed you still want to change?”
“Yes, I just keep getting this feeling that God needs me somewhere else. It won’t be right away but maybe at the end of the summer? Who knows why God wants us one place or another? I couldn’t tell you but I keep hearing the direction to ‘make a change’. I’ve been hearing it for three years and I can only ignore it for so long. Believe me I know what it feels like to push against what God wants you to do and it is not a pleasant experience.”
“If that is what God wants you to do than he will prepare a way for you to accomplish it? Go for it!” he said with more enthusiasm than I expected.
“It seems crazy to quit a job with benefits and good pay in this economy but I’ll end up having another panic attack if I don’t follow what God has in line for me.”
“Who cares what other people think? Your family and friends will support you and that’s what matters.” He says
“You are right.” I feel like this was the lesson I have to keep relearning again and again throughout my life. “Don’t’ care so much about what other people think” my mother used to say. Caring what others would think of me had caused my panic attack and yet I couldn’t quite get it out of my head. Perhaps nobody can but I will try and do better at it. I know my life would be a lot happier if I could figure out that one thing.
“I’m not sure when I will make the announcement but it will be such a crazy day. I think I will talk it over with my Dad while he is here because the last thing I want to do is appear ungrateful”
“That’s that caring what other people think thing again…” he says.
“Oh yeah, darn it but it is good to be considerate of other people’s feelings” I say in response.
“True. Just be cautious and don’t use other people’s opinions as validation for your own self-worth. That is the most important thing. God should tell you who you are and your value not any person, even me” he says.
“Do me one favor” he adds “give me a couple days heads notice when you are leaving. That might be a good time for another super date!”
“Deal! If it’s anything like this night I am in for a treat. It has honestly been the best night of my life! Thank you so much!” I say with glee, giving him one longer, soft, still a little spicy kiss.
“By the way, I think it might be a good idea for us to implement a new rule, I will call it the 20 seconds in heaven rule.”
“What is that?” he asks with a questioning expression.
“It’s that we cannot kiss for more than 20 seconds especially when we are alone.” I then explain that I made a promise to God years ago that I would remain morally pure until marriage and it’s just too darn fun and exciting to kiss him. “I don’t want to risk breaking a promise to God.”
“That’s going to be hard but I agree. Most of the married couples I know who waited seem to have the best marriages. I think if we work together on this we can do it.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever loved you more than at this moment. Let’s do it!” and then we kiss maybe longer than 20 seconds. It will take some getting used to! At least we are heading in the right direction and on the same page.
“Life is certainly going to be interesting the next few months. I’m curious to see how it all turns out” I say with a sigh.
“Me too. Curious and excited! Let’s go home. I’m exhausted. “
So that was the end of the super date. The great thing was each part of the date was repeating many times in the months to come. I started going to the boxing gym at least twice a week and the wings joint became a regular favorite. I would certainly never look at hot sauce the same way. Probably the greatest blessing of the super date is I learned ways to release adrenalin, aggression and frustration in healthy productive ways. It was so exciting and I was so grateful for Oliver to introducing me to every part. My rapid heartbeat lessened with each balanced happy day and I became all the closer to being an anxious free, happy person.
Here’s the deal- being single is hard. People can pretend like it isn’t and want you to talk about rainbows and butterfly’s but it is hard. Why do you think people cry at weddings? It’s a primal urge to find someone who loves you and can share a life with you.
From the beginning of time marriage, love, companionship was defined as a part of human nature. God told Adam and Eve ‘it is not good for man to be alone’.
So where does that leave us singlites? We have to set the primal needs aside and most of the time pretend like they don’t really matter, like we are strong enough, independent enough to not need them. Sometimes we even fool ourselves into believing we are better because of our defiance of human nature but this is mostly lip service for an ache that is always there. It may cause us to feel defensive because like any wounded creature we bark back at those encircling us.
Fortunately most of us have to function so we bottle up that ache and only bring it out from time to time when we feel pricked or particularly bruised. You try to remain hopeful but then you’ll have a moment where you are driving and you realize ‘I haven’t been on a date in a year’. How did this happen? It’s hard to feel hopeful in those moments.
That’s where this blog comes into play. The fact is I can only get so far by myself. Think about it- in the rush for self improvement I will only improve those things that are the most natural and pleasant for me to address. There is no companion or helpmeet to give me a dope slap and say ‘shape up’.
And friends are amazing but typically not present enough on a daily or even weekly basis to provide the type of feedback a girl needs for true change and growth. They are the happiness in life but as far as life coaches they can fall short. Even parents as great as they are can find it hard to relate to the worries and fears of a single, solitary life.
So, you put on your happy face and you share your feelings in the one way you have. Sometimes I feel like this blog is my spouse and that I’m wondering what he would say and what suggestions he would offer. I wonder what movies he will like and if he is a reader or thinker like me. Does he like sports? Is he good with kids or a bit of a mess like me? For a second you can suspend belief and talk to him through the great mass of internet blur.
I’ve always said that the greatest compliment I could receive is if someone read my blog and then wanted to go on a date with me. It would be like someone seeing my heart and then saying ‘I like that. I’d like to learn more’.
At least I know for sure that God does understand. And he has His reasons for any challenge. If there are things I need to improve He will tell me. I do not have to wait until heaven to get the dope slap from deity. Believe me. I’ve felt it and I’ve lived it. That makes all the difference.
But…you still miss and wonder and cry a little. And then you talk to Him and write to the world with hope and gratitude.
That’s what its all about.
Here’s the deal- Being alive is hard and no matter who tells you to think of butterfly’s and rainbows it is but there are outlets and hopes. He does make a way to not be alone.
Nobody ever reads my thoughtful, pondering posts so if you agree or learned something let me know. 😉
ps. If anyone wants to set me up I’m totally game. See I’m still hopeful. 😉
pps. Hopefully this post isn’t too depressing. I just have to share my feelings in the outlets I have. Thank you!
So I have an idea for my next nanowrimo that I think will be really fun. I won’t give it all away but it has to do with a single and married woman, so I need some feedback (especially for the married woman). Having never been married I’m not sure what its really like. I only see it from an observer.
You can email me the questions below or use the following links. There is one survey for single friends and one for married. I would really appreciate your feedback. Thanks tons!
Tonight I am exhausted but wanted to give you an update on my last weekend.
It all started on Friday with my most recent 8 at 8 singles activity. I was expecting around 15 people and to my shock 56 people came. I felt kind of bad that I wasn’t more organized but luckily everyone was easy going and the restaurant was very good to us (especially because I had been confused over the reservation). I am also very grateful to a girl in the group named Carly who took a leadership role on the activity and saved the day. I still can’t believe that so many people came! Who knew speed dating would get such a crowd?
Saturday and Sunday I spent with my sisters Megan and Anna. Meg was in town for the weekend on a special discounted airfare from a an airline called allegiant airlines. I think her ticket was around $100. Just as a point of contrast my last ticket to California was nearly $400, so its a tremendous bargain.
Sometimes I think the small breather of a trips are the best and most refreshing. Doesn’t give you enough time to be sick of each other and you don’t have to do as much bending to change work, school and other schedules around to accommodate visitors. We kept it pretty simple but went to my favorite bakery Bake 360, watched Best in Show and then Sunday took a walk on Draper trail, taking a photo by the dinosaur a resident has in their backyard (random I know).
One last update, I have been having success in my work and in preparing for Slam the Dam. I feel confident in both. Just today my boss said I was a ‘lifesaver’. It meant a lot to me especially given I was gone for so long. The other great thing was that I truly took a vacation and hardly worked at all for the 10 days I was gone. I haven’t done that in nearly all my adult work-life. I’m not exaggerating with that statement. When I worked for JWA I worked so much my boss had to tell me to get off the computer and enjoy Hawaii. The same when I was doing the rentals full time and definitely true when I worked for Grabber.
I’m not trying to sound ungrateful for my past work experiences. Far from it. I’m just grateful to Poler for allowing me to take a real break from work. It may also be that I am learning to let go and relax a little more but I doubt it? Either way, I’m grateful for my job.