“Single” Is Not A Dirty Word
I’ve been single for most of my life, and unless I live until I’m 100 years old when I die I will have been single for most of my life. Here’s what I have to say on the matter: being single isn’t as bad as most of us think. This is not a new idea, based on a new, bad marriage. I have been happily married for about 10 months now. I’d be lying if I said it’s been a walk in the park. How could it be when two adults get together, with a personal lifetime of doing things “their way?” My husband thinks it’s easier on him, since he’s been married. He’s probably right, he certainly seems a lot more relaxed and grounded, and for that I am very grateful. I’m a bit of an emotional live wire, so it’s a good thing I married someone much more stable than myself, but I digress… Being single has infinite opportunities and joys associated with it. True, I would rather be married, and I would rather being married to Simon than to anyone in the world, as I tell him daily. I don’t look back on my single life with longing in my heart, because I am too reasonable to want something just because it was easier at times. But, I have been thinking a lot about my life as a single woman, and toward the end of those last 10 years, it was quite special. So here’s three bits of advice for single people.
First thing, make the most of your life as a single person. Don’t wait for life to “start” when you’re married. Start it now. Do those things you’d like to do with a husband (or wife), except have babies. I always wanted to learn how to play golf. This is not a game for the fainthearted… I went for it, I joined a golf club patronized by ALL married people, most of them much older than me. I had a grand time and no one seemed to care that there was just me. I made a point of playing with the ladies, not a good idea as a single woman to just play with their husbands. And a few of the older guys took me under their wing. I went to the social events, even when I felt awkward. Everyone appreciated my love of the game and that I didn’t let being single stop me from participating in group activities. It was an amazing experience. Some of the best games I had, though were on my own. My club was on an island with rugged green hills, ancient oaks trees and the smell of salt in the air. In the summer the light alternated between a shimmering gold and a moody, overcast gray. There were seabirds from Argentina and in the evening little rabbits and foxes and deer would venture out to play. It was a bit of the dream and I loved walking the course, just me and me, trying to perfect a game I would never really be good at, and loving the aloneness and solitude. I’ve had equally good times in the city, stopping into a little Korean bar, ordering a wine by myself and watching the cavalcade of smartly dressed people pass by. If you can embrace this season of your life you’ll find the magic in the exceptional and the mundane. The first time I really spent time with Simon was Christmas Eve—I hosted his family in my apartment on Fifth Avenue. It was a lovely time; he has the MOST incredible family. But the best part was waking up the next day on Christmas, alone, in my pretty apartment, just feeling relaxed and thankful for my life. That cup of coffee on your own in the morning can be one of the best moments of your week, you just have to see it that way.
Second, be thankful for what you DO have. So often, we focus on what we don’t have and forget all the lovely things in our world—our friends, our health, the benefits of where we live. Just take a moment and consider those less fortunate than yourself and hopefully that will set your head straight. Single or married, I have to do that everyday. I’m embarrassingly self-focused, at times. It’s SO easy to get caught up in our own world, little or small, and think what is important to us is the most important thing. It’s usually not, a sobering reality. Yes, I was single and a bit lonely, but I had gorgeous friends, people who really cared about my wellbeing and had my back. I’d be surprised if you don’t have the same. And if you don’t, start putting yourself out there and help someone else, that will create a friendship.
Third, remember you are not alone. You might feel alone, but you’re not. Once you’ve made Jesus the number one thing in your life you do have a friend—for life. Now, I know my blog is read people who don’t believe what I believe, but I’m going to say it anyway, he really makes a difference. Through all my really dark days I never felt alone. I’ve been through some perfectly tragic moments in my life. Some perpetrated on me, some that I willing walked right into. When I met Christ, even when I was desperately sad, when my heart was breaking, when I woke terrified in the middle of the night, I knew that no matter what, I truly had someone who had my back. Call it what you want, I call it the best reassuring force in the universe. I call it someone who knows me much better than I know myself. And more than anything, I call it a lover who will always love you, no matter what you’ve done to push them away. If you don’t know him, I’d say give it a try. If you do, please don’t forget someone loves you more than you can ever imagine. “The Lord is my shepherd, I will NOT, NEVER, EVER be in want.” He’s got you covered. Especially when you’re on your own.