Monthly Archives: February 2012

How does dating myself limit other dating?

Sharing my new adventure with friends is proving interesting. At lunch yesterday, I excitedly shared, “I’m blogging.”

“I don’t get blogging,” came the response.

Hmmm. Where do I take the conversation from here? I had wanted a question to indicate I’d peaked her interest, “Oh, really, tell me more? What about?”

Instead, I began fumbling and trying to explain blogging, “I’m sharing with the world my thoughts and experiences, sometimes I’m just ranting in a written, online format.”

Her scrunched nose, narrowed eyes, and slight back and forth head motion indicated uncertainty.  Not to be deterred, I forged ahead.

“Yes, I’m writing specifically about a one-year project I’m doing: 52 Dates with Myself. Tighter scrunching of her eyes and nose. Still, I kept going.

“I’m dating myself for a year and writing about it.”

That’s when the pin came out and went straight for my balloon. “Doesn’t that kind of limit you from dating other people?”

For the past 18 hours or so, that question’s been rattling round my brain. I’ve begun ranting on paper. But I’d like to hear from you?

What are your thoughts on my friend’s question? How about sharing them below?

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Categories: Challenges, Commitment, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

One-dollar Roses, Sushi, $2 Buck Chuck, & Charlie Rose

Crazy busy week of travel and major work projects! Translated this means there’s not been much time for dating. Yet, there it is looming before me – the commitment to do something special with myself. 52 Dates with Myself! Good grief! It’s already Wednesday night and the rest of the calendar this week is full.

Hey, do I like this girl, or what? Well, of course, I do. Do I want her to like me? Absolutely.

Alright then, stick with your commitment and do something nice for and with me.

But the cupboard is bare. No milk, no bread, no Greek yogurt! I need to stop off at Kroger’s new Marketplace on the drive home.

Yes, a girl does have to eat even if she has to run through the rain to buy groceries.

What? What’s this? Seriously? A dozen red roses for $1.00!!!

Sure, I recognize they are Valentine cast-off’s never destined to fulfill their intended $30.00 romancing role. Never mind that. Like finding a gem at a yard sale, I eagerly snatch them up, then gently put them in the top of my cart. Perusing the rest of the store, the smug and satisfied smile remains with me. One last stop for  sushi from the deli. A special treat for dinner. Then it’s back out in the rain for the drive home.

Goodness, it’s nearly 7 p.m. Stack the pantry  and refrigerate the perishables. Suddenly, I see it. There on the second shelf, chilled and ready!

There’s a date about to happen. Me and my $1 roses, salmon sushi and a goblet of  $2 buck Chuck – Trader Joe’s famously thrifty Chardonnay. Shoes off, light a candle, settle into my favorite lounge chair, and find Charlie Rose on the tube. Ah, what a great date night!

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Dear Hostess,

I am one. I am not just one, nor am I only one.

I am one. Complete and elegant.

Yes, that seat by the window overlooking the skyline is exactly what I had in mind.

Sincerely,

A Lovely One

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Ode to Mounds

“Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don’t”

Truthfully, I’ve never liked Mounds or Almond Joy. Even though I’ve sometimes felt like a nut,  I tend to be more of a “sometimes you don’t” kind of gal. You know, the more serious type – maybe even a bit boring?

But I do love almonds, and I’ve rarely turned down an opportunity for joy. So, after years of “nut therapy,” I’m finally learning to embrace even the smallest stirring of nuttiness.

Oh, I’m just kidding about the therapy, unless you consider all that talking to myself.

But I am consciously opening up to more fun. My “nuttiness” radar now constantly scans the horizon looking for blips that just might prove to be “nutty” and fun dates that could land a spot in my calendar for the upcoming year. I’m also seeking ideas from my more naturally inclined “feel like a nut” friends.

What “nutty” ideas do you have for adding “Mounds” of fun and the ultimate “Almond Joy” to one of my 52 Dates with Myself?

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First of 52 Dates with Myself – Part II: Emma

“Well Emma, you might become better acquainted with yourself for there will be plenty of time for that.”  ~ Mr. Knightly

While Mr. Knightly chided Emma with the above advice, I’m embracing it as a personal affirmation for the coming year of 52 Dates with Myself.

My first date took me to a presentation Jane Austen’s EmmaThe endearing story was presented by all for One productions, inc., a not-for-profit arts organization whose home theater is the Auditorium of the Allen County Public Library. The 230 seat venue provides an intimate setting for their annual series.

Emma is both witty and charming and provided me with a number of reflective moments. Set in a small town in Regency England, it tells the story of a privileged young woman. Many think highly of Emma, yet there opinions are often exceeded by Emma’s own opinion of herself and her ideas and insights into their lives.  As her friend, Mr. Knightly claims, her main fault is that “she feels qualified to direct others’ lives.

Captured by her charms, yet not deceived by her folly, only Mr. Knightly, a bachelor and neighbor of Emma’s, has the strength of character and loving concern to confront her misguided opinion of herself. Knightly’s honest challenging of Emma’s oft-foolish behavior or guidance to others helps her to recognize the error of her ways. Not wasting the lesson, Emma soon finds her own strength of character and develops a true sense of grace and wisdom.

My reflections from Emma, and my first of 52 Dates with Myself:

  • Embrace getting to know myself, taking advantage of every opportunity, whether sought or brought, to do so.
  • Find and cherish a friend who will speak truth to me out of a heart of loving kindness.
  • Direct my own life.  Welcome personal change and growth.
  • Trust that others can direct their own lives, just as I can direct mine.

What’s one of your favorite plays? What life insights have you taken away from it or another play or movie?

Categories: Date Ideas, Date Night, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

First of 52 Dates with Myself – Part I: all for One

The full irony in the title of this post only now hit me. My first of 52 Dates with Myself began with a stage play presented by all for One productions, inc.

This past Sunday while searching for ideas for my first date, I stumbled upon a list of events scheduled for the Allen County Public Library. Among those was a production of Jane Austen’s Emma. The last of six shows was set for that very same day at 2:30 p.m.

“Shoot,” I thought, and continued scanning the list. But I came back, clicked through to learn more, called the telephone number given for tickets, and in a spontaneous moment asked, “Why not?” After all, it was Jane Austen’s Emma!

The curtain would go up in 90 minutes. I had to decide quickly to throw aside the work I’d planned for the day – sitting on my bed developing a training workshop for a client– and put myself in good form for my first date. A sense of excitement surged through me even as a bit of guilt staked claim in the back of my mind asking, “Are you sure?”

I recognized this mental tug of war. Hadn’t I played it out on other date opportunities? Should I? Shouldn’t I? Like plucking petals from a daisy, “He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me….” Only this time, it’s, “I love me. I love me not.”

“No! I will make this choice for myself. With clear and intentional purpose, I will decide that I am choosing this opportunity, that I am selecting this activity, that I am setting aside something else – at least for these particular moments of my life.  I will enjoy that I am open to spontaneity. I will recognize that the arts speak to my heart, that stories capture my imagination and emotions. I will pluck the last petal and no matter what end with, ‘I love me.’”

“Yes, I am sure!”

A cold but gloriously sunny winter day greeted me on the drive downtown.  A uniformed security guard greeted me at the front door of the Allen County Public Library.  It was only my second visit to this main branch in the 3 ½ years I have lived here. I was surprised as I had been the first time by its size, scope, and the guard.

When the elevator door opened on lower level 2, I stepped into an unremarkable, windowless, industrial tiled, room furnished with an assortment of tables. My heart sank a little – not quite the elegant theater atmosphere I’d imagined.  “Keep going, you’ve only stepped out of the elevator,” I encouraged myself.

Within three or four steps, a woman with a broad smile greeted me warmly and introduced herself as Sharon Henderson.  Ticket in hand, I relaxed a bit and glanced around to take in my surroundings. A colorful display off to one side caught my eye, and I headed toward it.  A tagline in the display center read, “…impacting our culture for God through the arts.”  Colorful brochures explained in detail various programs of the organization, all for One productions, inc. or afO.

With Sharon Henderson, Executive Director of all for One productions, inc.

Sharon returned to my side and began sharing with me the story of afO. Her warmth and inviting nature made it easy for me to reveal this was my first of 52 Dates with Myself and that I was blogging about it.

Our conversation was interrupted numerous times as Sharon excused herself to personally greet each patron as he or she stepped from the elevator. Nearly all of them she knew by name. Once when she returned, she explained to me that relationships were one of the highest values of all for One. Clearly, she lived this value.

The story of all for One productions, inc. fascinated me, as did my new acquaintance with its executive director, Sharon Henderson. I felt like I had made a wonderful discovery within my hometown and the “show” had yet to begin. So far, I was pleased with my first date.

(For more about all for One productions, inc. and their upcoming performances visit their website at www.allforonefw.org. Current programs include the Character Counts Series: educational assembly programs for schools, Young Playwrights Festival: an annual competition for students, Home Stage Productions: an annual series of stage performances, and The Spotlight Series: an annual spotlight performance of an explicitly Christian work.)

Categories: Beginnings, Commitment, Date Ideas, Date Night, Planning | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unexpected First Date Jitters

Spontaneity ruled as I rushed to dress and get downtown in time for the first of my 52 Dates with Myself. Less than two hours earlier I’d been perusing the internet in pursuit of planning a great event for myself. Now here I was rushing around, dumping my plans for the day, and actually on my first date.

Actually, this wasn’t quite what I had imagined it to be. I was excited to be on my way to a special activity. Yet, the spontaneity of it was also setting a bit of an undertone I’d not expected. First, there was the rushing itself. Then, there was the dumping of the other plans I’d had for the day. A doubt lingered – was I romancing myself or was I procrastinating? Would I be able to set aside these thoughts and enjoy the time with me?

 

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Spontaneity

Just came across what I think is a great 1st Valentines date for my 52 Dates with Myself adventure. Except, it starts in 90 minutes – not on Valentine’s Day and not on my originally planned schedule for the day. Never mind that.

With decisive abandonment, I’m scurrying to make myself presentable for a public forum. With every turn of the curling iron, my heart is getting lighter and more excited. Oh, Scarlet, I’m with you – we’ll worry about all that other stuff tomorrow….

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Second thoughts

Panic

What have I done?

Already I am nervous about this new commitment – a year of dates with myself? Sharing the journey with the world?

Seriously?

Am I really going to start on Valentine’s Day? Do I really think I can pull off this affront to Cupid? How does one go about shooting herself with his bow and arrow?

Begin.

” A journey of 52 dates with myself begins with one.”

Really?

That’s all you’ve got? Some pithy play on a quote from a Chinese philosopher?

Ok, then. Ready. Aim. Fire.

Excuse me, but that should be ready, aim, date.

Categories: Beginnings, Challenges, Commitment, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Date 1: Let the Romance Begin

Two weeks ago today I turned 55. Double nickels

From what I can tell that phrase was coined back in 1974 when the national speed limit was reduced to 55 miles per hour by the U.S. government. I was 17 then and just about to experience my first date.

The lucky fellow was 18, the son of a preacher, and the object of my adolescent dreams. We had long been an “item” in our church youth group, but he had only now reached the age of permission for dating from his father.

There were awkward moments, just as there nearly always are with firsts in anything. Awkward was not knowing where we were going and realizing I was the only overdressed teenager standing in line at the Ponderosa Steakhouse for a ¼” ribeye. Awkward was realizing it doesn’t take all that long to eat dinner at Ponderosa and having no plans beyond that.

There were fun points, too, though. We finished off our high-class evening at Dairy Queen, downing strawberry milkshakes. And we were alone for the very first time with the freedom of a car to take us wherever we determined to go.

Fast-forward 38 years. My dating list isn’t long, but there were a few: Mark, Bruce, Mark again, Paul, Mark again (yes, I hear you snickering), Robby, Tom, John, another Mark – who would be my date for the next 24 years.

Then, at 50 years of age, I am suddenly eligible for dating again. A bit wiser, a bit wizened, a bit awkward still. I boldly brave the old world that has become new again. I discover online matchmaker sites and a number of dates, even if no romance. No preacher’s son this time, but I did find a date at church.

Yet here I am at double nickels.

Life and dating are different at 55.  Or is it just that I am different? I look in the mirror and ponder this question.

The woman in the mirror gazes at me knowingly and with a sense of deep appreciation. She captures my imagination as she tilts her head slightly, smiles slyly, and with a gleam of adventure and fun in her eyes invites me out on a date.

I hesitate, then smile broadly and accept her offer. Quickly, I write it down in my calendar. Then I go back and frame it in a heart – perhaps an emphasis of some meaning yet to be discovered.

February 14th, 2012 – Date with myself.  Let the romance begin!  

Categories: Beginnings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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