Tag: single life

Modern Friendshipping

So April has almost come and gone and it has been a jammed packed month. The Hallmarkies podcast has been doing great and we currently have a whole bunch of interviews and podcasts stored up ready to be played over the next month or so (or if one of us gets sick). Doing all this prep work, while still producing 2 shows a week (regular episode and tv recap) has been a bit overwhelming but very satisfying. I have also been keeping up my personal channel and had some great interviews/discussions and reviews on there.

As I was looking over the month it occurred to me amongst all the busyness very little of it was with in-person human contact. There are things I did alone like go see Hamilton so at least I was out of the house but with actual people it is pretty sparse:

I saw Ready Player One with Amber and then again with my book club friends (I missed book club this month because I didn’t have time to read it).

I saw Isle of Dogs with my friend Phaedra and that was a delight (both movie and time with friend).

I had Easter with my parents, grandma and brother.

I went to see Camelot with my parents and two of my friends were in it.

I attended study group for church (and church)

And that’s it! The rest including my job were all online. But oddly I do not feel malnourished or socially bereft. In fact, quite the reverse. In just the last week I will have done 5 podcasts including an interview with friends from Israel and Australia. I think it is pretty cool! I also posted to my movie blog and to rotoscopers.com and contributed to other social media posts.

I don’t know. What do you think? What is the right balance of in-person interactions with online? I know mine will never be close to equal but I at least try and make an effort to get outside and see friends in-person. It’s tough but I do the best I can.

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My Favorite Post

This my friends is post 999 of this blog, which obviously means my next post will be my 1000th silly thought to all of you.  That’s 7 years of writing my life.  1000 posts! Can you believe it?

I thought long and hard on what to do to commemorate such an achievement and here’s what I’ve decided  This post I am going to share with you my favorite post.  Then for the 1000th I am going to revisit the very first post I ever did called The Freedom of Joblessness.

So out of 1000 posts which one is my favorite? It’s tough.  They are all kind of my babies and I worked very hard on them. But there is one post that was very difficult for me to write.  A post where I took a real risk and probably opened myself up more than any other post (which is saying a lot!).

I didn’t know how people would respond but was overwhelmed by people who told me, mostly privately, that my story was also theirs.

It was a post called Never Fall in Love

In the post I admitted to the world that I have never fallen in love like it is some kind of disease or confession:

“I’m 33 years old. I’ve never been in love.  I’ve never been kissed.  I’ve never had a break up or a heartache.  I’ve never had anything more than a crush from time to time and I honestly do not know why.  I really don’t.”

And there it was out there for the world to see.  For a while I felt a little embarrassed but why? It’s not like I had done something foolish or wrong.  I just hadn’t fallen in love yet.

Worried I would get people trying to make me feel better I implored them to let me work this problem out to its completion.

“Now before I start this line of thought- please, don’t placate me with assurances of my finding the right person and promises in heaven and not loosing hope.  I know such things and I agree but just for a second I want to put a question I’ve asked myself many times out there for all of you-

What if a human being never falls in love?  Can you live a full life and never fall in love?”

That last question is one I am still pondering. We after all believe in eternal families as fundamental to Heavenly Father’s plan. So I don’t know if it is possible to live a full life and never fall in love.  I really don’t.

So what do you do?

“Nothing.  As far as I have been able to figure out you just wait. Yes, you can workout and go to activities, date whenever you can, but none of that is any guarantee of falling in love.  Believe me I know.

You certainly can and must always be hopeful and happy with what you can control but it will probably always be this big part of being human that you don’t completely understand”

But here’s the key that I learned from writing the post.

“I guess the only thing I can say to my fellow love-lorn is that everyone has an ache of some kind…Everyone has regrets and wishes for something they never quite experienced and never enjoyed.  That’s what the atonement is for.

After all, as far as we know, Jesus never fell in love either, so we are in pretty good company”

And then I shared a talk from Dennis E Simmons where he talks about faith and the ‘but if not’ moments of life.  Having hope yet not finding love surely qualifies as such a moment.

At the end of the post I spoke out to those who are struggling and I think it encapsulates well why this blog is powerful at least to me.

“Hang in there! I know I’m not the only person out there who has wondered about this.  Please share your stories”

Through this blog I have been able to see I am not the only person out there.  Whether it is something silly as finding another soul who loves You’ve Got Mail or The Book Thief as much as I do or someone with a history of bullying or someone who loves to swim like I do, it is all so valuable to me.

It makes me feel like my life actually matters to someone and no post shows that more than Never Fall in Love.

What is your favorite post? Have any impacted you or your life?

Thoughts on Quiet

On such a night, or such a night,
Would anybody care
If such a little figure
Slipped quiet from its chair —
So quiet — Oh how quiet,
That nobody might know
But that the little figure
Rocked softer — to and fro —
On such a dawn, or such a dawn —
Would anybody sigh
That such a little figure
Too sound asleep did lieEmily Dickinson

I haven’t shared with you all any poetry in a long time but I found myself thinking of this verse today. You see, my house was empty and I was trying to recover from this darn cold and I couldn’t think of anything to watch so I found myself sitting and thinking.  In the words of Gaston ‘a dangerous pastime…’ It’s just so quiet sometimes when you are alone.

And I know you Moms are probably thinking ‘I would love nothing more than a quiet house all to myself for the day’ and there is some truth to that.  But I bet you wouldn’t find the quiet so refreshing if you knew those little voices weren’t ever coming back…

This is not an ‘oh feel sorry for me’ post.  It really isn’t.  It’s just a ‘today  I was alone and I noticed’.  What’s wrong with admitting that?  We all have our lonely moments, sometimes when we are surrounded by people.  It’s part of being human.  After all, if we never felt alone why would we need to turn to God?

But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish for a companion to share these kind of experiences with.  Yeah, yeah I can hear you all saying ‘marriage is hard’ and ‘grass is always greener’.  Well, it is also ‘not meant for man to be alone’. Humans need companionship and sometimes I wish I had it. But I know God has His plan for me and I am doing my best to humbly follow His timeline for my life.  That doesn’t mean I don’t feel a little sad on those days when the house feels extra quiet. Again I’m only human…

I saw The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel this week and it is not a great movie but I liked it.  One of the things that I stood out to me is Maggie Smith’s character is a single woman who has never married.  However, she has found this place to live where she has an urban tribe of other seniors and a ‘child’ to help nurture in the Dev Patel character.  I had more of that in my 20s when sociability and friendshipping was so much easier but I hope I can get it again.  If I never meet Mr Sunshine I hope I can find an urban tribe like she does and maybe even a young person to help mentor.

In my 20’s I also had much younger siblings who looked to me for advice and guidance and family that lived nearby.  Now they are all grown up and my nieces are far away.  It makes me a little sad sometimes.

But again I am not trying to make anyone feel sorry for me.  I am greatly blessed. Mostly I have the miracle of all of you who are there to share in my silly life. Goodness knows why you have all read all these years but I am sure grateful.  I have a job I love, a social media presence that I think helps people, hobbies I love, great friends, a beautiful home and most importantly a faith in Jesus Christ that ensures I am never really alone.  That is never forgotten.

Thanks for letting me share and I love you all.  Can any of you relate to the quiet times when maybe it feels a little lonely in life? I’m sure I am not alone.  God bless.

Busy Valentines Day

ValentineHappy Valentines Day!  I hope you all had a happy time either with people you love or thinking about the many blessings God has given you.  We are all richly blessed and if nothing else I love every person reading these words (it’s really true!).

I had an interesting experience today.  Valentines can be a little bit hard for us single folk who are without a valentine in their life.  Yes, yes, I know lots of couples don’t celebrate Valentines including my own parents.  However, at least you know if you were going to celebrate it you have someone to do it with.  As far as my life companion I haven’t found him yet.  He’s still hiding (come out! come out! Where ever you are!).

Mothers Day is actually the hardest holiday for me because I feel like I am not fulfilling my spiritual calling and purpose for being a woman not having a family.  It is all laid on so thick on Mothers Day that typically I do not go to church.  The Mothers deserve having their day but it is just too painful for me.

Valentines Day I have a tradition of designing my own valentine and this year was no exception.  This helps me have fun with the holiday and focus on my many blessings.

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But an interesting thing happened today. I haven’t been feeling well and been sleeping even worse lately. This has made it hard to get everything done including keeping up both blogs and my youtube channel. I ended up going 10 days without a video. Yikes! I had filmed 2 but the sound didn’t work so they had to be discarded. Then today I decided to make up for lost time and filmed 6 different videos and because of audio and other problems I had to film them each 3 times!!! I ended up working on videos for 11 hours!

Here’s how they all turned out.

This is a really fun one with my Top 10 Romantic Comedies (just in time for Valentines Day!).

This one gave me my first youtube crying moment! It’s a very special movie Song of the Sea. Read my review on the blog as well. http://wp.me/p4VRGy-13p

And then some unboxings

They aren’t perfect videos but I’m proud of them especially the movie posts.  I’ve certainly come a long way in the last year and will continue to improve.

But the interesting thing about making the videos is it took all day.  All of the sudden it was 10 pm and I finished my videos and sat back exhausted and happy.  It is probably the happiest I have been on Valentines Day in a long time.  It made me realize while we are often overbusy in this world there are moments where that comes in handy!  Where the best thing you can do is put your head down and get lost in creating something.  Forget about your problems, fears, anxieties and loneliness and just work hard on something you love.

In that sense making silly videos that probably not many people will see is quite powerful.  It made me happy and if I’m lucky it might make a few other people happy who get to see them.  I got a tweet from Song of the Sea director and creator Tomm Moore today thanking me for my review.  That made me feel like a million bucks!

tweetThat’s the Valentine I needed. It reminds me of President Hinckley’s Dad saying “forget yourself and go to work”.  Isn’t it the truth!

I hope you all had a great day too.  Sure love ya!

A Single but Full Christmas

singelbells-250x166

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.

q0585I 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!).

fa ra ra ra

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!)

single christmas

No Fear of Being Alone

Recently I was talking to a single friend of mine about my Thanksgiving plans and telling him I was going to be solo this year. He seemed horrified by this notion.  Technically I will eat Thanksgiving meal at my aunts house (but wasn’t planning on that at the time of this conversation).

I told him that it was fine with me and I am okay being alone.  I told him ‘I am comfortable in my own skin’ and he said ‘I wouldn’t be.  It would kill me’.

I guess it’s a normal reaction to being alone on Thanksgiving and some years it would make me sad, but this year I’m ok. I was actually a little bit more sad to be facing Halloween alone (ended up having a great time with 2 couples my friends Danielle and Cory, and Rachel and Grant). The reason I was sad about missing Halloween is that it used to be a highlight of the year with my friends.  We would throw a big party, dress up and just have a blast.

I guess the reason I get a little nostalgic for Halloween and New Years is that I know it’s a time that is gone from my life.  My friends are almost all married.  Like seriously I have 4 or 5 single friends on my phone and they are usually so busy.  Even book club has become impossible of late.  I get it.  I understand people have to be with their little one’s on Halloween and New Years but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss all the good times with friends.

With Thanksgiving I know next year I will likely be with my family and the year after that and onward.  There isn’t a feeling of devastation because it’s just a day and like I said I do have friends and family to share the day with.

If you are alone on Thanksgiving and want to still cook a turkey dinner make sure to check out my Thanksgiving for one article I posted last year on my friend Samantha’s awesome food blog.

http://littleferrarokitchen.com/2013/11/thanksgiving-1-guest-post-smilinglds-girl/

This year I am going to order a Thanksgiving meal from Harmons (a local grocery) that make delicious food so that I have some thanksgiving food besides the meal at my aunts.  (My knee isn’t quite up to preparing feasts yet)

Anyway, this conversation about being alone at Thanksgiving and my friend being so horrified at the idea made me think about my life.  I am alone a lot.  Even though I have a roommate and tenants we don’t really get to sit down and spend time together that often.  It’s so much effort to get together with friends but I am a very social person and I do make that effort, but still I am often alone.

Many people have a fear or social anxiety about eating alone or going to the movies alone . Eating I get a little bit because you don’t have anyone to talk to but I do not understand why people care about going to the movies alone? You can’t talk in the movies so unless you are there with your honey and can snuggle I don’t see the value in having another person accompany you to the movies?  Please someone explain why that is such a social faux pas?

In fact, I realized today that all the movies I have been to this year have been alone.  I have seen in the theater- Boyhood, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Ghostbusters, Meet the Mormons, Edge of Tomorrow, Guardians of the Galaxy, Book of Life and The Boxtrolls and Big Hero 6. None of those experiences were hurt by being alone? I don’t get it?

But anyway, I feel like there is this anxiety many feel about being alone.  My Mother gets very nervous being alone .In fact, she has probably spent under 5 nights in her whole life alone without family of some kind with her.  That blows my mind.  She’s very fortunate that life has worked out that way for her.

I would love to have my own family and fall in love but that’s not the cards God has dealt me.  My job is to be as happy as I can be with the life I have. And never forget I am surrounded by amazing people.  Whether it is reaching out to someone on phone, Facebook, twitter, this or my disney blog, my channel, or someone in my ward there is no shortage of people who care and love me.  That’s the great part about being single in this day and age.It is so easy to not feel lonely even if you are alone.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days.  I do.  I have days where I feel sad and bemoan the fact I may never have my own children or a great love story.  It may happen but it may not.  I’m a human being just like anyone else and I express the full range of human emotions at different times of my life.

But I can confidently say being alone is not a fear for mine. It is the reality of my life and I always know that with God I am never truly alone.

So if you are alone this holiday season know that you have a friend here at this blog and on social media who knows how you are feeling- both on your good days and bad.  I get it.  I love you and we can support each other.

Take care my friends and god bless!

Btw thanks to Emily and Megan today for calling me out of the blue and cheering me up! I’ve got such great friends and family to support me.

European Style Grocery Shopping

veggies

I’ve spoken a number of times on this blog about food, cooking and the challenges of shopping for one.  Lately I’ve been trying a new strategy that has been working out very well.

This article explains the shopping philosophy and how it saves money, gives the best food http://www.wisebread.com/buy-your-groceries-european-style

Basically the idea is instead of buying in bulk or cooking large quantities, you go to the grocery store every day and buy what you need for that day or perhaps for 2-3 days.

This is smart for the following reasons

1. You get the freshest ingredients

2.  It avoids waste saving money and time

3. Fresh, seasonal ingredients typically are the least expensive

4. For a single woman who eats out a lot it makes it easy to eat out without spoiling food or meal plans waiting to be made.  You can just plan on eating out instead of shopping.

5. With a grocery store in walking distance of my house it isn’t really any  more work to shop everyday.

6. Less groceries and less mess.  Today I dirtied a few pieces of silverware and 1 plate instead of tons of pots and pans.  Of course, I can plan an everyday meal that uses a lot of pots and pans but at least I know that’s what I am doing and can plan accordingly instead of just having ingredients and trying to make something good out of it.

7.  It allows you to order what you are in the mood for on a particular day.  Not stuck eating leftovers or ingredients that sounded good a month ago.

Today for example I went to the grocery store purchased a rotiserie chicken, a kale salad and twiced baked potato they make at Harmons and stuff to make easy crepes for dessert

The other day it was a tub of chili, another it is chicken and sauce.  A lot of items are hard for me to purchase because I just can’t eat them fast enough.  A loaf of bread for instance is hard for 1 person to polish off before it is either stale in the fridge or moldy outside.

With European grocery store I can  buy just what I need for that meal and be done with it.

It may seem like this type of shopping would be more expensive and while I haven’t done the math I don’t think I’ve spent much more if any.

I know that such shopping might be impossible if you have a family but if you don’t, give it a try.  I bet you will love it!

Plus, you get to sound all suave and debonaire with your European shopping trip… 🙂

How do you shop for evening meals?  What strategies work for you?