In this last chapter, I’ve dated briefly two wonderful men, this excludes short interludes with college boyfriends. College boyfriends, for those who are not aware, is where most of us start after finding ourselves unexpectedly single. This is likely true at any age because it is an easy place to start. However, these do not really count. Dating is time consuming and it takes time to get to know someone fully. Especially one who has lived a rich full life before they have even met you.
After twenty odd years of marriage and family devotion I’ve had to relearn dating and romantic love. As an avid reader and educator I spent a good deal of time researching and reading about love, even before I began dating. I read all sorts of books on falling in love, dating, countless articles, and even poetry.
Recently, I’ve been reading my college copy of Sonnets of the Portuguese by Elisabeth Barrett Browning. Her words are as relevant today as when they were written in 1846. She believes in a deep and abiding love, “How do I love you, let me count the ways…” is hers. We can only hope to aspire to her version of love. As I read her words I wondered if this form of love is even possible today? After thinking about it I do believe it is.
Through reading and my two recent relationships I’ve learned a great deal about love. All of the best advice in these materials include the importance of self love. You must learn to love yourself first and foremost before you are capable of loving another. Motherhood is a self sacrificing endeavor of endurance. Because of this and other factors I have not made myself a priority for a very long time, so making myself one now is counter intuitive and takes concerted effort and attention on my part.
I spent the last six weeks of the summer working on myself, and spending time with my two daughters exclusively. Although, I worked very hard on my company and preparing for fashion week, all of my free time was spent with my kids. I was either helping my younger daughter prepare for college, or coaching my older daughter through her summer internship. In the evening, I could be found cooking dinner and watching movies with them and often their friends. I planted flowers, read for hours, worked on my house, and gave most of my clothes away (more on this later). It was a very enjoyable period.
By the end of September, I was an empty-nester. With large blocks of time I turned my attention to my C Corp and my personal finances. In general, I got my affairs in order. I reviewed my insurance policies, worked on my taxes, restructured investments, pulled my credit reports, and made organization my top priority. In short, I did everything I had previously put off. Surprisingly, I enjoyed these details more than expected. It felt good doing these things in the same way getting my teeth cleaned or my car detailed feels.
In the evening, I read business books. My favorite to date is decidedly, Thick Face Black Heart by Chin-Ning Chu. In this work she synthesizes Art of War by Sun Tzu and Thick Black Theory by Lee Zhong Wu. There is much to be learned from the East. I’ve also been studying the West and the habits of entrepreneurial giants like Bill Gates and Larry Ellison, both college drop outs and both self taught. Ellison learned to code by reading a book. Gates was considered a tyrant because he would check the parking lot to make sure his managers came to work, I’m not sure why this is so bad? I also did some research on what made Albert Einstein such a genius. I established better routines for my health; going to the gym regularly and making my favorite healthy foods and snacks. It was a very lovely period of zero compromise, and before I knew it my daughters were home for Thanksgiving and then ten days later for the long Christmas break.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been in my office preparing for 2020. I’m working on my business plan, reviewing contracts for Ocean SF, and preparing for my college level leadership class. As I tick things off my master to do list and adhere to my routines I am beginning to think of dating. I’m finally interested in making new friends and having new experiences again. Although, I’ve very much enjoyed my bookish six months, I do think it’s time.
Love and blessings to all.