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Dating Yourself...

I had a lovely staycation with myself this weekend. Seriously, it was lovely. I spent the day Saturday at home, just enjoying my home, my animals. I had a fire in the backyard and enjoyed the hot tub, then watched a movie Saturday night. Yesterday I went on a long hike in the mountains and then spent the entire afternoon at the beach. Most of the above solo. Which was pretty damn awesome.

Initially, when faced with a weekend alone with no kids, I get antsy. I feel like I never get this time and I should find someone to spend it with, but it seemed and actually turned out that this was my weekend to just hang with me. And turns out I had an amazing time. I say this while also admitting that the resting part was still hard for me. It doesn't come easily.

I was on the phone a lot on Saturday. It seemed like there were a lot of people who needed me. And I was grateful to be of service. I had several really good talks with people I care about. Long talks, uninterrupted by work and life. Just able to sit and listen and reflect back to these people I love, the love I feel for them.

I used to never want to be alone. As I might have mentioned before...but this weekend was pretty amazing and I spent it alone. My daughter was off having a blast with her BFF and I took the opportunity to treat myself to weekend enjoying my own company for a change.

I realized how much I still try to fill the space. Any space. If you come to my house, you will see that I have done that. There is not one place in the landscape of my house that is not curated, decorated. Everything has its place. It is so bad actually that I cannot even buy anything new without getting rid of something, and it begs the question why would I need something new if I already have something else in its place.

I feel like I have reached a level of stasis. Like my home is this holding ground, that is balanced and full of life. But it is manageable. It isn’t overwhelming. The care is relatively simple, the space large enough to feel not claustrophobic but not so large as its care is a full time job. In a word, it feels homey. And it feels like mine.

I sat in the backyard last night drinking tea and reading a magazine and I just looked around. And I was so happy to be living here. How much this space reflected me as a person and how much effort I put forth that I can now actually enjoy. I have never done this with a home before - I have renovated every single home I have ever lived in and then when the upgrades were done, sold it and moved on only to begin again. Yesterday, I realized how nice it is to enjoy the fruits of your labor. And I sat there, enjoying it.

The weekend felt like a good balance of togetherness and aloneness. I answered the phone when it rang, but I didn’t really make any calls. It was nice to just show up for those who needed me, but also for myself with a dearth of activity and busy. I am new to this whole relaxing thing, and I will be the first to say that it doesn’t come easy to me. But I am getting there I think, each time I allow myself to just be present and alone.

The beach was lovely yesterday. Warm and relatively unpopulated. I like watching the dogs and surfers. I would make a great surfer girlfriend. I love to watch and am content to sit alone on the beach for hours, like all the damn time. But yesterday, it was just me. Me dating me. And I took long walks on the beach, a short nap on the beach, I read, I watched the dogs enjoy the beach like no other being can. I watched the families and their babies take in the privilege of a January beach day. I was present for my life and I enjoyed the hell out of it.

I ended the day having dinner with my parents which was really a treat because I see way less of them despite them being a mile away. COVID and my entire month of illness this January has kept us apart. But it was nice to sit outside at a restaurant with them and just enjoy the pink moment as day gave way to night.

Sometimes, life slows down enough and you find that you really can enjoy it. You can just be present and see all that you are blessed enough to have, to hold, to witness. And it matters not that which you do not have. Yesterday I had it all which made me realize that I really have it all most of the time. And that gave me a new level of gratitude.

If I am honest, of course there is always this thought that all of my life would be better with someone to share it with. But I realized yesterday that I do, I have pets, and kids and friends and family. And that is really enough. Dating had mostly been an exercise in leaving for me, as sad and pathetic as it sounds. It is more true than not. And I think, maybe, I am finally at the place that I just am ok being with myself, trusting that dating is really none of my business. That I can give myself permission just to stop, and allow the universe to do whatever it will, if it ever does.

This weekend I felt the fullness of my life. I didn’t feel the lack. I didn’t feel sad or like I was missing out on anything. I felt good, solid, happy and so very alone. But it was a life affirming aloneness, and not despondent making. I know I can’t always feel this way, that loneliness or longing will always come back around. But it felt like something shifted this weekend, I didn’t try to exit myself in my habitual ways. I just was present with myself and for myself and that felt good on some new level for which I have not a great deal of experience.

I am off the dating apps and I feel oh so much more peaceful. The desperate quest to find someone in an environment that is ironically set up so that no one really ever does, done for me and I am now free to move about my life, untethered to the addictive screen where swiping reigns supreme. It felt good to take my life back, to pull it back from the cyber abyss. There is nothing there for me other than more addictive behavior and seems to me that I have had enough of that for several lifetimes.

Dating yourself may seem like a limited opportunity but from my perspective it sure beats the alternative. Going round and round and round with people that seemed doomed to touch and go. I can do that too but I know it isn’t the best use of my time. And this weekend proved that to me. I do best when I trust that all that I need will be provided and my only real task, ever, is to do whatever is in front of me. And trust that it isn’t supposed to be different and that God’s will will always lead me to the greatest high and best life. My only real challenge is to stop wanting, and begin to really appreciate all that I have.

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