I was talking to someone the other day about my college days and when I mentioned the road trips with the guys in the basketball booster club, he suggested I probably had a great time practicing my flirting on them. I told him I knew nothing about flirting back then (or now) but he pointed out that whatever I was doing must have worked; I did end up marrying one of those guys, the first guy I ever dated. I also married the second man I dated twenty-some years later. So I’ve dated two men, and married both of them. I was with my first husband for a little over twenty years, and with the second one for eleven years total. I’m two for two!
I’ve been referring to myself and my marriages as failures because they didn’t last forever. But the reality tells a different story. I don’t have a long history of getting my heart broken, like so many others do. I’ve been very lucky, even if they each ended in divorce after running their course, maybe sooner than I wanted them to. Better than not ever having been happy with someone for so long, right?
I had a draft of a post that looked back at 2020 and all the horrible things that happened in my life. I was even going to make a cool infographic with it, showing the timeline of events throughout the year, from the beginning of the pandemic to now. But then I watched Netflix’s Death to 2020 and I remembered all of the other horrific things that happened this year, not just to me, but to the world. All of a sudden my troubles seemed smaller, of less significance in the grand scheme of things. So then I thought about broadening the scope of my infographic and year-end review to include wildfires, BLM, the pandemic of course, hurricanes, the election, etc. But then I thought, what’s the point? We all know this. We all lived it. I’m not breaking new ground or expressing anything that hasn’t already been said much more eloquently by many others already. And it’s so negative.
I’ve been working on getting organized and creating new routines, and while doing that I’ve watched a couple of training videos with best practices for overcoming writer’s block and improving productivity. In the middle of one of these the instructor covers meditation and gratitude journals. You know how sometimes it takes hearing it from a stranger for something you already know to resonate with you? She reminded me how negativity is addicting and just keeps snowballing until you’ve surrounded yourself with negative vibes and you’re miserable (and so is everyone around you). I was dangerously close to that stage. I’ve written about my wallowing before, and I thought I was done with that, but I was wrong.
So in 2021 I will be practicing gratitude.
I will meditate.
I will dance.
I will read. I will write.
I will step on the mat to return to the breath.
That doesn’t mean I won’t be sad, or that there won’t be tough moments. Certain songs, photos, dates on the calendar, will still make me nostalgic, or cause me to tear up. But I hope to be able to honor these memories, not just those of my marriage but of my dad, too, without letting them bring me down completely. I might need reminders now and then. Don’t be afraid to remind me, even if it’s with a virtual slap upside the head. 🙂
But considering my two-for-two record, I have to remind myself I’ve done pretty well for myself. Maybe there are more at-bats to go and I’m probably overdue for a couple strike-outs. I hope to date a few more men before settling down with Mr. Next Right Guy.
So that’s my new perspective going into 2021. Batter up!