Being single during the Valentine season can often be a bit of drag. Between online and TV commercials, Facebook posts and cut flowers showing up at every conceivable (and some not so conceivable) locations, it is hard to escape the fact that you are flying solo. It is my goal today (and tomorrow) to turn this time of your life into one of adventure and personal growth.
I want to spend just a few minutes today on some suggestions to help you create the best “single” version of yourself. These ideas are not limited to single people by any means, but I personally find it helpful to have a purpose, with goals and activities to keep me motivated, relevant, and inspired.
I have started for myself what I like to call “The S Files.” We all understand the value of a good filing regiment, the storage of important information to pull out as needed. I would like to encourage all my single friends out there to develop their very own SOS (Soul Organization System). A directory of progress during these wonderful years where possibilities abound.
Here are my suggestions for your Single Files, and ideas on how to get started.
The Friendship File
There are few things more valuable or rare than true friends. One can usually count high the number of friendly acquaintances in our world. Glancing at the number of our Facebook friends, it would appear we are quite famous, but the presence of genuine and loyal friends is quite a different story. I hope there are a few people in your corner whom you count as true friends, and I trust they feel the same about you. We need these people in our lives to guide us through the dark places and laugh with us in the sunshine. A friend can be someone you met decades ago, or someone you meet tomorrow. There isn’t a time frame or expiration date. Just to be kind and loyal.
I would like to share a quote that I have grown to truly love. I have used it in a previous blog, but I think it is very relevant today as well.
A flower does not know it is beautiful…but the butterfly does.
Our true friends are the butterflies in our lives and in turn, we should strive to become butterflies for them. We truly do not know or accept our true worth. We cannot see ourselves as a beautiful flower. That is where the butterfly comes in. It is the butterfly who appreciates all the flower has to offer. The butterfly seeks out the flower for just being itself.
The Bro Code
I do not want to leave out the guys. While I do believe that women find it easier to develop and cultivate friendships, men need this bond as much as we do. It may look and sound different, but it is no less vital. Most men were raised to live up to a certain “code.” They are taught and encouraged to be competitive, always in control, independent, and even distant. They are told to keep their emotions in check and trust very few. It can be quite a feat to battle through those barriers, and when men find a true friend, they tend to stick with them through life even as time and distance take a toll. As adolescents, many young men find it easy to form a circle of friends with common interests such as cars, sports, and girls. As they grow into adulthood and possibly marry, those friendships tend to suffer and some guys even leave it to the women in their lives to orchestrate their social calendar and events. When they find themselves alone in their later years they discover they have fallen out of practice at the art of friendship.
The good news here is that human nature is versatile and forgiving, and the emotional support and like-minded companionship that you need is certainly all around you. I read a quote recently that said you do not need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain about. Do not concern yourself with the volume of your friends, just the value. Align yourself with men of genuine character and integrity. Develop a resource for companionship and advice with a few men who accept you and have your back.
The Friendship File is one both men and women will go back to many times in their lives. They will pull out encouragement, laughter, motivation, and support. The good ones also understand that for every friendship that is gathered and placed in that file, someone has a file with your name on it as well. Be the type of friend you hope to find. Give the best of yourself and expect only the best in return. Be gracious, forgiving, and compassionate.
Tomorrow I want to cover two more files that I believe are very important; your Enrichment File and your Dream File. These, like the Friendship File, are expandable files and limited only by your imagination. We will learn how important it is, regardless of age, to never stop learning, growing and pursuing our passions.
I want to close out today’s blog with some suggestions on how you might want to spend your Single V Day. I know it may be tempting to let it slide by without acknowledgement, but I love celebrations, and believe we should all make the best of each one.
#1. Offer to babysit for friends who may not get out very often. If you know a couple who would like to celebrate Valentine’s but have small children, offer to watch them. It is a nice gesture and being kind always makes us feel a little bit better.
#2. Have A Spa Day. Take the day (or evening) and devote it entirely to the beautification and restoration of YOU! Spa treatments offer physical as well as mental health benefits and it is nice to simply relax and let your cares drift away for a while.
#3. Go out with other single friends. This is NOT a misery loves company event. This is a gathering of lovely and fun people who come together to celebrate each other. You can even start a tradition! It is important to believe that we are not alone.
#4. If none of the above appeal to you, then there is always Netflix and a junk food binge. This can be especially cathartic if you watch shows and eat food that you love but your ex hated. The point is not to soak in self-pity, but it is ok to occasionally spend a little time away from the rat race to re-balance and reconnect with yourself.
I hope some of these suggestions were helpful and I also hope that you have the beginnings of your own awesome Single File.
Come back tomorrow for Part 2 in the series where we talk about our Enrichment and Dream Files.
Hope With Abandon
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