As a single, I notice things that couples do together. Sometimes because they are there doing the exact thing that I am doing alone. Sometimes they are kind and sweet and I get a little sad. Or they are bickering and then I am grateful. Regardless, I don’t feel like I should sit at home and skip out on things that are important to my happiness.
I have been a little stubborn lately. It’s not necessarily an attractive characteristic. We can call it something more appealing, like determination or tenacity. Whichever. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right”. So I’ll just think I can, whatever “it” happens to be.
For example, let’s discuss Christmas trees. There’s the choosing, hauling, and decorating, often done as a family activity. Maybe even while wearing matching sweaters and enjoying cocoa and Bing Crosby. Sometimes I’ve captured that idyllic scene; other times, it was more like the Griswolds and less like Norman Rockwell.
Thanksgiving weekend is typically when we get our Christmas tree. Schedule conflicts prevented my daughter’s involvement this year, which left me to tackle the task on my own. Maybe you drag your tree down from the attic and put it together, maybe you’ve got to have a real one. There’s no judgment here, but either scenario can be tricky with a NINE foot tree and zero assistance.
And a nine foot tree is exactly what I determined our high ceilings to warrant. I am big on live trees and small on storage space, so I headed to the tree lot. Picking it out was easy – no consensus needed. The lovely Frasier Fir was trimmed, bundled and strapped to the roof of my car. It was not even a big deal to haul it to the third floor (no elevators, remember?). I just picked it up, gave it a big hug, and up we went.
Without too much difficulty, the tree is happily standing straight and centered in the tree stand. It’s the perfect size and the fresh pine aroma is exactly what I wanted. I am quite pleased with the tree – and with myself for managing it on my own. It would have been nice to have a helper, but there wasn’t one, and that is okay.
This spirit of determination continued when I concluded that Sunday was a perfect day to go kayaking. It was 80 and sunny with no wind and low humidity. My friend has a couple of kayaks that are at my disposal, so the plan was set. I extended an invitation to several others to join me, but spontaneity did not work well for anyone but me. The option was to go alone – or not at all.
Going kayaking by yourself is easily done when you have a small, lightweight kayak and a dolly and a pick up truck.
I have none of these.
What I do have is a Honda Fit hatchback, kayaks that are just a few blocks from the ramp, and lots of stubbornness, I mean, tenacity.
It took some doing, hauling it in and out alone. Upon hitting the water, the drawing of my soul there became as clear as the bay itself. The water was like glass. There were surprisingly few people out. I absorbed the peace and quiet and serenity that overtook me while paddling. The sense of restoration has continued on and provided ballast to my hectic week at work.
When I reflect on my approach of the “how am I going to do this by myself” dilemma, I am so very grateful. In my past I would not have attempted such endeavors. It would have been “too hard” and I would have missed meaningful moments because there was “no one to help me”.
The victim mentality is long gone. Thank goodness! I honored myself in doing the things that bring me joy. Gazing at a beautiful Christmas tree all month, and relishing in a perfect afternoon of kayaking are lovely parts of life. I made it work and am reaping the rewards.
Sure, those things could have been just as fun with a buddy along. They may have even been easier. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way, and I’m not about to miss out on amazing life experiences just because I’m solo.
Thanks for reading, until next time,