Cupid Was Drunk

Cupid was drunk when he shot his arrow at me. He must’ve been. Like, stumbling drunk. I’ve not been lucky in love. Well, that’s not entirely true… I have had several long-term relationships that were sometimes wonderful, sometimes not-so-wonderful, and I have loved and learned from them all. But I’m single now, and have been for a couple years (and by a “couple,” I mean more like five.) I’ve been single for five years! I guess the fact that 5 years went by so quickly is a testament to how full my life feels without a man. Don’t get me wrong — since my last relationship ended , I’ve dated men here and there, but nothing that developed into anything serious. And for the most part, I’m okay with that. I don’t want to be alone forever — and I need to do some work around that — but on the eve of Valentines Day, I’d actually like to focus on how awesome I think it is to be single on Valentines Day. Seriously. I have nothing against the holiday in general, but I personally have never had an interest in celebrating it myself, boyfriend or not. When Valentines Day rolls around and I do have a boyfriend? I’ve always told them the same thing: Do not buy me flowers. Don’t. I love flowers. But I don’t want to get them because it’s a valentines day requirement. I want them “just because.” And you know what? Particularly with my last boyfriend — the man who, so far, has been the Love of My Life — I got a lot of flowers. Just because. Just because he knows I love them and he loves me and wanted to express that. Isn’t that better than pressuring him on one day to do what he’s “supposed to” because some random holiday dictates it? And isn’t it terrible that this one random holiday makes a lot of single people suddenly feel like there’s something wrong with them because they’re single? (Like we don’t already get that message enough.)  Yeah.  This year, on Valentines Day, I propose that single folks celebrate being single.  Even if you don’t want to be single.  Try to focus on the positive.  Live your life as if you’re going to meet your soul mate tomorrow.  Use the time to discover new passions, or rekindle old ones (for me it’s running and video editing).  Take advantage of the freedom of being without a partner.  Be happy for those who are in love and celebrating that love on Valentines Day — but remember that a lot of those couples are more lonely than you are.  Because the relationship is not what they want it to be.  But they’d rather be in any relationship than be alone.  Take comfort in knowing you are open and free to meet a new partner.  The right partner.  Look forward to feeling the spark of a new romance.  The excitement of 1st, 2nd and 3rd dates.  Try not to feel crappy that you’re alone on a holiday celebrating love.  Try to feel proud, instead.  You’re doing it on your own.  Living life.  That’s not always easy and it takes a lot of courage and strength.  Be proud of that.   To quote one of my favorite movie characters (Janet Livermore) played by a terrific actress (Bridget Fonda) in a classic movie about being single (“Singles”):  “Being alone–there’s a certain dignity to it.”

Dignity, Indeed. Happy Valentines Day everybody!

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Run for Sherry

I woke up this morning thinking I would have to run on the treadmill (snow) or not run at all (foot).  To my delight, I was able to run, and because we got about 2-4 flakes (instead of the 2-4 inches predicted), I ran outside.  I ran alone, which I thought might be lonely on this particular occasion, but it wasn’t.  In fact it was the opposite.  I didn’t feel alone at all.  I felt like each and every runner participating in the Run for Sherry was right there with me in spirit.  After a brief moment of silence for Sherry, I hit the trail for a slow, steady, quiet run.  I run these trails all the time, but today I really took the time to appreciate it all:  the weather, the river, the packed dirt trail, the fellow runners, and the fact that I could run.  That I was running.  Because a fellow runner, Sherry Arnold, lost her life doing that one thing that bonds us runners together.  Which is unspeakably unfair and wrong on so many levels.  I didn’t know Sherry.  I don’t know her family.  I know of her because of her cousin Beth who writes one of my favorite blogs.  Beth organized this event and I’m so glad she did.  Not only will Sherry’s family be able to witness the outpouring of support, but it gives all of us runners — forces us, really — to take a moment and forget about the petty bullshit.  And to really appreciate what we do have.  I hope Sherry’s family felt the love.  And I hope they continue to find support as they try to move on from this tragedy.  I felt honored to be able to be part of the process.

Wearing my "Run for Sherry" Bib

A Nice Reminder

 

Run For a Fellow Runner Who Has Been Lost

Last week there was an article about a woman in a suburb of Boston who was attacked while on an early morning run along the course of the Boston Marathon.  That article hit close to home because I am a runner in Boston who usually runs in the early morning hours.  Fortunately this woman was able to get away.

Two thousand miles away, another runner, another woman, was attacked and sadly had a different outcome.  This woman’s name was Sherry Arnold.  Sherry was a 43-year old mother and math teacher and by all accounts, was a wonderful and loving person.

Sherry’s cousin Beth writes one of my favorite blogs, Shut Up & Run.  Her posts are funny, inspiring, and very down to earth.  Beth has been giving the running community continuous updates on the ongoing investigation into Sherry’s disappearance and in turn has received an outpouring of support on her blog.

After the arrest of two men — one of whom confessed to Sherry’s murder — Beth decided to organize a “virtual run” in Sherry’s honor to be held on February 11th at 9:00am MST.  As is typical of the tight-knit running community, the news has spread like wildfire, and people all over the country — the world, even — are planning to run in Sherry’s honor. I am planning to run in Boston at 11:00am EST.  If there are any local runners who would like to join us, please send me a message at happilyeveralone@gmail.com.   We’d love to have you along.  For more information about Sherry and the virtual run (and to print out a bib) click here.

Though it is a deeply sad event that will bring runners together on February 11th, it’s a testament to the solidarity of the running community to rally around one of our own who has been lost.