Beginnings

The agony of silence

Nine days of silence.

Wondering what it means.

Fear?

Disappointment?

Resistance?

Dislike?

Someone else?

Will I ever call again?

If so, what will I say?

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Categories: Beginnings, Challenges, Commitment, 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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