Single During the Holidays – It Really is OKAY

Today I had the privilege of taking care of one of my favorite patients. He is an older gentleman and often forgets what he asked me the week before. As a result, some of his questions repeat themselves, including his advice. It is a regular question to ask me if I am married and when I answer no, if I am dating someone, I then say no again. His response is always “and that is okay!”

But today he went on to tell me more. He went on to tell me how he has 2 daughters and that he always talked to them about waiting for the right one, no matter how long it took. He was encouraging me as he told me his one daughter had to wait until she was 30, but for both of his daughters how he couldn’t find a better guy for each one of them even if he had interviewed guys for 100 years straight. He didn’t make me feel sorry for being single, he didn’t tell me I was doing it wrong, he just encouraged me that waiting for the right one is the important fact. He assured me that where I am now as a 28 year-old-single women, is okay, in fact, that there is nothing wrong with it. He didn’t make me feel like less of a person or less interesting because I have no husband or kids at home yet.

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Some day I hope to have more than just my own feet, but I’m beyond thankful for this time of growing and learning as a single woman.

Continue reading “Single During the Holidays – It Really is OKAY”

Intentional Gift-Giving

The art of gift giving is sacred in my mind. There is joy in finding a perfectly matched gift for someone who is exhilarating to me. My gift giving strategy for birthdays and holidays does not consist of running into a store just prior to the gifting. Throughout the year, as I take the knowledge of and experiences with my loved ones into account, as I see items that would fit those individuals, I purchase and save them. When you find a perfect gift, you can’t pass it up!

Contrary to the methodology that I employ in gift shopping/giving, culture inundates the population at large with flashy “must have” items for any gift recipient. Since before Halloween, ads with Christmas gifts have been circulating in the newspaper inserts and have dashed across the tv screen. There are things that I didn’t know I “needed” before seeing them in ads (marketing works!), and many lists have been made off of catalogues in my lifetime.

What Dating Has Taught Me About Commitment

What Dating Has Taught Me About Commitment. Or rather, “What Online Dating has Taught me About LACK of Commitment.”

It’s no secret that I’m single ; I’ve written frequently about it on this blog. I haven’t always been single, but for the majority of my life I have been. To me, being single is comfortable.

That doesn’t mean I don’t desire a relationship, though. No, I have a DEEP desire to find the one I want to spend my life with. Marriage is one of my biggest dreams, and I truly do hope it is in my future.  But the journey to whoever my knight and shining armor may be, has been quite the bumpy road , but I’ve learned a great deal (spoiler: he might not be a knight in shining armor).

Heart in the woods Continue reading “What Dating Has Taught Me About Commitment”

Community is Good for the Soul

Friday night was one of those nights I sat there in awe wondering, “how can I be so blessed?” Like many people my age, I don’t have family closer than 3.5 hours away and am not married. That means that my life could be pretty lonely. It means that I could feel like I have no one to call in an emergency. But as I sat in my home Friday night and looked around, I was overwhelmed with the very fact that my friends are my family here in Chicagoland. That at any point if crisis or need I could call on a number of them and I know they would be there.

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My church Small Group’s Halloween party

In today’s society we want everything instant and we often shy away from deep. Deep means you risk the chance of getting hurt. Deep means that people won’t always see that perfect selfie, but rather people may see the tear-stained face that comes after a pretty tough couple of weeks. Deep means that your answer to the question “How are you?” isn’t always, “I’m good.” Rather at times, you can look at someone and honestly say, “you know, it kind of sucks at this moment.” Continue reading “Community is Good for the Soul”

Being You

Friday was the day of great revelries with costumes, candies, and corpses. The one day of the year when you are allowed to be what you are not. Or is it?

husband eating #baconcorndog #glutenfree #cheater #ilovefood #irony
Husband eating #baconcorndog #glutenfree #cheater #ilovefood #irony

In today’s society of electronic media and online social networking, we can be whomever we want to be at any time. Everyone has the tools to be a celebrity – perfect selfies, enlightening foodie shots, posting statuses perfectly crafted to make every moment as dramatic as possible. That is what people see. That is what we want people to see. But it isn’t everything. Continue reading “Being You”

Halloween Party Mix

Not only is it Friday, it also just so happens to be one of my favorite holidays. IT’S HALLOWEEN!

“…This is Halloween, Halloween, Halloween…” (The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993)

Halloween, for me, has so many fond memories. We would have family parties where would be contests of which family had the best costumes. The creativity really flowed. We would try to come up with the biggest and best costumes because that was totally awesome. I mean, if you didn’t have a great costume then you weren’t really celebrating Halloween properly. Continue reading “Halloween Party Mix”

GO PINK!

On Sunday, I watched football. If you know me, you know that that is an uncharacteristic statement. I fall asleep when football is on T.V.; I don’t actively engage in the game. However, this Sunday, as I spent time with my grandparents, the football game was the only thing that kept my grandpa from leaving the room; and I got sucked in.

I do have to say, the players pink gloves and shoes, etc. piqued my interest. In the recesses of my NFL knowledge, I do possess awareness that the NFL wears pink during the month of October in support of the breast cancer awareness initiative. However, on that particular day, I started to think more deeply about why they would choose to so demonstratively support awareness of a predominately female cancer (I know that men get breast cancer as well, please just follow my train of thought).

Each of those men on the field has a mother. A grandmother. Some have sisters, cousins, friends. Those big, burly men who lift weights, grunt while plowing into the opposing team, and have muscles the size of trees…they choose to wear pink in support of the women in their lives.

What does wearing pink on the football field do in the long run? On the national stage, it causes people to think and become aware of an issue. You can’ t do anything until you have awareness.  Donations for research are prompted from awareness. Research leads to new medications, treatments, knowledge…which in turn lead to steps forward in the fight against breast cancer.

Although it may seem somewhat insignificant, the color pink carries weight in the fight against breast cancer. Go Pink!

Take a seat. Let’s chat.

The warm wind was gently blowing across my shoulders as I sat on a bench under a tree at a beach on Lake Michigan. Contentedly, I was sitting and reading a book, enjoying the fact that I had just taken a day to explore some of Western Michigan (I went berry picking and tried to rent a scooter, but they didn’t have any left!).

An old, foreign, male voice interrupted my concentration as he said, “May we join you?”. Kind eyes stared back at me from a man and his wife, to which I replied, “of course”. He then proceeded to say, with a mischievous look on his face, “ok, my wife and I and our twelve grandchildren thank you…”. A burst of laughter came forth from me as I could clearly see he was joking, and instantly I knew I liked them (even though I instinctively clutched my purse tighter…just in case!).

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For the duration of the next hour, Brenda, Saul and I chit-chatted about various topics ranging from the weather, flowers (Brenda kept having me smell a rose she had gotten that morning) and jobs to Apartheid (they are South African). Internally, I was relishing this interaction. Increasingly, I felt privileged to be invited into conversation with such interesting strangers.  I suspect they were trying to set me up with their son (an early forties CPA), but I chose to ignore the not so subtle hints they were dropping. At one point, Saul asked if he could buy me ice cream, and I obliged. The smile wouldn’t leave my face, and my heart was tickled that this was actually happening.

Culturally speaking, we are a connected people. Social media has enabled individuals to connect in ways and capacities previously unobtainable. Yet, many find themselves craving connection on a personal level. I’ve heard that humans need around eight hugs (or physical touch somehow) a day to increase physical and emotional health. Sitting on the bench with Brenda and Saul was actually like a hug for me. The interaction was pleasant, meaningful, and enlightening. They gave me a hug and lifted my spirits without ever touching me. Through my short time with them, I have been challenged to share “hugs” either physically or verbally with at least one person  a day and would like to encourage you to do the same!

 

 

Young adults-we need to stop judging each other

I remember it clearly. I had been e-mailing with this guy for weeks. We had met online and though I wasn’t initially that interested I wanted to give it a try. In these lengthy e-mails I hadn’t hidden anything from him. I am who I am. I don’t hide it.  As we sat there though, he start asking question after question that made me feel like I had lived my life wrong. The questions themselves were not the bad part, it was the tone and then the sudden departure and facebook defriending that followed.

“Are you done with school yet?”

“Are you done moving yet?”

then 5 times over “I can’t believe you don’t drink coffee, why don’t you drink coffee?”

Source
Source

I haven’t lived a steady all together life, but I love my life. I love every education experience I have had.  And I especially love every locations to which I’ve lived. Each experience I have had has taught me something new. Every location I’ve lived in has given me a collection of amazing friends. Every decision I’ve made has been thoroughly thought through, prayed through, and planned out then executed.

We all do it. We look at other people’s lives and either out of jealousy, not being able to understand, or simply it just not being the way we live we judge. We wonder. We talk. But why?

We as young adults are blessed to live in a time where we can have all sorts of life paths. We can travel, we can live transient lives, we can buy houses and stay put, we can get married young or get married later in life or never get married and that is okay, we can excel in our education and our careers. We can live a life that is unique.

So how about this… how about instead of looking and judging… we start looking, learning, and listening. Because the truth I’ve found is when I stop to learn about others and their life stories I learn and I appreciate their life path so much more. My life is richer and I stop looking at social media as a comparison tool, but rather I can then use it as a tool to love and support those in my life. To cheer them on.

We were made to live. Let’s help each other live life to the fullest!

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And one single remains….

On Friday I had the privilege of celebrating my little brother’s engagement! It is hard to believe he is old enough to be headed toward marriage, but he is. With his official proposal that means I am the last child and the last cousin single. I’ve always been the single one. I’ve dated some, but the majority of my life since I became of dating age has been single and honestly, I’m thankful.

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I called to talk with my aunt yesterday because she has some medical issues going on and my aunt being my sweet aunt she is asked “how are you doing with the engagement?” Tears filled my eyes, not because I’m single, but because I know my aunt. She loves me where I’m at and is okay with me being single, she just wanted to make sure I was okay with it. The hardest part about being single for me is when other people aren’t okay with me being single.

Let me be honest (confession here), my biggest dream is to be married and have a family, but its not my only dream. I’m incredibly grateful for this time being single. I’ve obtained 3 degrees, 2 certifications, 1 license, lived in 3 new states, gotten to develop my own decorating taste, continue to figure out more of who I am, had time to volunteer… the list is endless.

And now I am checking another thing off the list, I am getting a dog (which has been an adventure in and of itself!). I don’t want to not live because I don’t have a significant other. I am planning out finances to buy a place because I don’t know when or even if that person will walk into my life. But I do know this, I was created for a purpose and my purpose is not any less because I don’t have a significant other.

So let me be honest, I am perfectly okay with where I am at. I am excited for what I can do in this season. It isn’t always easy, but I want to make the most of it so that when Prince Charming does walk into my life I can say I’ve spent my time well and I am the best person I can be for him.

Let’s be thankful for the different stages of life together!

Great blogs on this recently:

1. http://convergemagazine.com/26-unmarried-and-childless-8736/

2. http://shaunaniequist.com/significant-without-significant/

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