Being Single

Being single is not synonymous with being lonely, bitter and broken.

I’m not sure when the world decided that I need crappy advice to “get through” the holidays because I’m single, but lately it seems like I’m inundated with bad advice as each holiday approaches. I ranted briefly about this issue at Christmas when I read an article about single women surviving the holidays. I can’t remember the title. It should have been “Worst Advice for Single Women. Ever.” The article goes on to discuss things like buying yourself Christmas presents and putting them under the tree. Really? and inviting your single friends over for dinner. Great advice. In fact, my friends and I do this. We call it Wednesday. And you don’t have to be single to be involved. We don’t discriminate like that.  Crazy right?

I know.  And I’m steeling myself for more horrible advice as the world prepares for my suicide watch because I’m single on Valentine’s Day.  Which, for the record, is the world’s most ridiculous “holiday.”  I say this, not because I’m single (although I am) or bitter (which I am not).  But really, what is the point of this “holiday?”  Let’s suspend reality for a moment and assume that Valentine’s Day is not a day created by Hallmark to drive up sales in the off season.

Let’s assume for conversation purposes that Valentine’s Day is about celebrating life with the one you love.

Shouldn’t you be doing this every day?  I mean honestly, you do not need special day on the calendar to express your love for your partner.  If you need to put it on the calendar to remind you to do something special for the love of  your life, put it on the calendar every day until it becomes habit.  Expressing love is not about over priced flowers and dinners.  It’s not about getting the “right” pieces of jewelry or the perfect lingerie before February 14th rolls around again.  Love is about listening to your partner, learning what they need to feel loved and providing it.  Every day.  Love isn’t something that needs to be saved for a special occasion.

And love isn’t something that needs to be saved for just one person. Look, I’m a certified “I love you slut.”  I say it to everyone all the time.  I don’t believe for a moment that it’s meaning is diminished by over use.  I think that we all long to be loved and to hear the words “I love you.”  So say them.  I say it to my parents and grandparents, my brother, my god-daughter.  I tell my friends I love them when they’re sad and need to know someone cares.  And when they’re happy and they’re celebrating.  And when I hang up with the friends that I don’t get to see or talk to enough.  And to my dogs. They totally understand.

And I love you.  Thank you for reading this.  It makes me feel loved.

If someone wants to provide me with advice for being single on Valentine’s Day, I don’t need it.  My life is amazing.  Please don’t tell me to buy myself a piece of jewelry to make myself feel better.  I don’t need to feel better because I don’t feel bad.  I’m not lonely.  I’m not sad.

Still feel the need to give me advice on being single?  Here’s what I need advice on…  How do I not become indignant when people share useless advice because they assume that I’m dying inside being surrounded by blissful couples celebrating Valentine’s Day.  Happy couples do not make me sad or jealous.  They make me happy.  See, happiness is contagious.  So yeah, I get irritable when people infer that I need to do something to make myself happy on Valentine’s Day. I don’t.  I pretty much do something to make myself happy every day.  I’m good.

So, hold the advice and spread the love.

Oh, and speaking of ridiculous holidays and spreading affection, St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner.  Who wants to buy me a beer?  (hold the green dye, please).  Because let’s face it, Kay Jewelers is wrong.  On any given night more kisses begin with beer than with Kay.  Which is why beer wins.

Being Happy

I live my life according to the serenity prayer. I don’t really know when this happened, and it was by no means a conscious decision to do it. But I realized during a conversation with my brother that doing so is not just how I get by, but how I find happiness.  Let’s face it, for most of us, life is just not that hard. I count my blessings every day. I have a stable job, a roof over my head, lots of friends, a loving family, a couple of adorable, four legged kids and the time and tools to sit around and blog about life. Of course, like everyone, I could certainly find something wrong with my life if I wanted to and do on rare occasion. Sometimes I get caught up in the could have, should have and would have of it all.  But the truth is the past is the past and it cannot be changed.  It’s just a fact.

Now, I’ve stated in previous posts, my faith is a little scattered, so I found it both amusing and somewhat scary that my happiness is the result of living life by a common christian prayer.  So let’s not think too much about it as a prayer and just break it down.  And I’m going backwards, because it just makes more sense to me…

The wisdom to know the difference.  I started at the end because this is really the big one.  Because here’s the thing…. There is very little in life that cannot be changed.  It’s not always going to be easy and it’s not always going to be comfortable, but it is possible.  Remember that not choosing, is still a choice you’ve made.

The courage to change the things I can.  I read (and stole) a twitter post once that said ‘If you don’t like something, change it.  If you don’t have time to change it, turn off the tv.’  And this is so very, very true.  So much time is wasted doing nothing, so now it’s time to shut up and do something.

The serenity to accept the things I cannot change.  There are some things that just cannot be changed.  Learn to live with those things.  There is really nothing else to do here but deal.  You have to find a way to accept the things that cannot be changed, which again, are really few and far between.  Don’t let it fuck up your day (or week or life for that matter.)

So find happiness.  It’s yours for the taking and chances are, the good life is already yours.  It’s just waiting for you to open your eyes and realize it.