Here we are single ladies… the week of Valentine’s Day. Woohoo… There is no way of avoiding the most “couply” day each year. It’s going to happen on Wednesday.
Ironically, when I was married, I don’t remember Valentine’s Day being all that great. One year I distinctly remember receiving the ugliest “tropical” flower arrangement imaginable. It was delivered to my office and I know the intentions were good, but yikes… And I remember that mostly my ex was traveling for work on the most romantic holiday of the year. Most every year. So I should be used to spending Valentine’s Day alone, but now that I am single, I think I am more aware of the potential loneliness that happens only because of this fabricated, Hallmark, rose and chocolate-selling, boost to the economy holiday that celebrates the societal norm of being part of a couple.
The first year I was divorced, I published my book, launched it on Valentine’s Day and spent the day emailing everyone I knew and posting in every divorce group on Facebook that I could find to push the book to #1 in the human sexuality category on Amazon (which I did). That year I also had a yummy, younger man in my life who brought me flourless chocolate cake and roses and would kiss me for hours. Turned out he had MILF fetish, but hey – Valentine’s Day was lovely. Lol.
This year I am feeling a little indifferent. Relationships with men in my life have definitely evolved to quality over quantity. I am still not interested in getting married again and I don’t really want anyone in my life on a daily basis. I still adore my single, childless, 40-something freedom. But something has shifted in the last year. I have been able to let myself feel much more intimacy and I seem to be seeking genuine friendships with all people in my life, not just men. Connection has become important. To men, to women, to the Universe.
I am not sure what is happening on the 14th but on the 15th I am attending a “Stupid Cupid Party” which is a professional networking party and the proceeds benefit a domestic violence legal clinic. I am donating a copy of my book to one of the raffle packages and I am looking forward to meeting some really cool people, some of who may become part of my network of genuine friendships in my life.
Be kind to yourself this Wednesday and every day, my lovelies. Seek the kind of relationships that you want in your lives, not the ones society dictates. And fuck it, send yourself some roses. xo
Happy New Year lovely ladies!! As a single woman of a certain age, holidays – like New Year’s Eve – can be full of pressure, expense and excess. Holidays can also be really tough after a divorce and while I don’t talk much about it, last night reminded how far my life has evolved in the last 4 years.
Yesterday, I woke up with a terrible sore throat, looked at the weather (wind chill advisory of -15F) and decided my best bet was to forfeit the ticket I purchased to go out to a concert with a group of friends and stay home – cuddled up on the couch with my cat, Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper on CNN and a glass of Champagne at Midnight. As I realized I thoroughly enjoyed my evening, it gave me a little pause to think about the past few NYE’s. Here’s a little retrospective for your amusement:
Four years ago, my ex-husband moved out around Thanksgiving and I knew I needed plans for New Year’s Eve. I opted for something low-key – dinner with a girlfriend, champagne toast at midnight and home to bed. I remember getting home, reading the NY Times, popping open another bottle of bubbly and realizing I was lonely… what do you think I did?! Booted up Tinder, of course. And this was back in the day when the app allowed you to see how far away people were and if they were online. Ordering in some company was as easy as ordering in pizza. Order I did, in my impaired state… an Uber driver (I am sure he did something else impressive?), who was literally in my home in 20 minutes. We smoked some pot. Had drunk, sloppy sex. And passed out together. Not exactly my finest moment. Happy New Year 2015.
That first year of going through divorce, I realized I needed solid plans for each and every holiday so the following year, I flew to Florida to stay with a friend for the holidays. NYE was spent with a bunch of old, retired folks on the beach. A very good, safe, no chance-of-hooking-up-with-random-Uber-drivers plan. Happy 2016. Year after, I was about being low key again – dinner with friends, home early. No late night Tindering but did spend New Years Day in bed with a lovely man who I had known for some time. Happy 2017 to me!
This morning I woke up in my own bed, alone, happy, not hung-over. I grabbed my phone only to be greeted with text messages from several lovely people – friends, lovers, past, present – all whom had reached out to wish me the best in 2018. To be honest, it’s been a rough few years. Finding myself single and 40-something is not what I ever imagined in my life. But I have to say I am so, so happy and free and enjoying every minute. If you are in the midst of a transition or a difficult time, hang in there. If you have always been single, embrace your freedom. As I write this, I am sipping some champagne and enjoying the morning. Life is good ladies, life is good. Cheers to 2018!
Since my book was published on Valentine’s Day 2016, it has been a whirlwind of creating lots of content for this blog, for my Instagram account (which is nearing 12.5K followers!) and multiple podcast appearances. I have heard from so many of you and know I have grown an amazing community of single women in their 40’s and 50’s.
I am going through yet another shift in my life, which involves embracing even more freedom, and I need to take a little break from writing here. I need time for some relaxation and self-care. I need to recharge my batteries and I hope you all will understand.
Have you ever had a portrait session with a professional photographer? If you did, how did it feel? To be honest, I am in like with my body and my looks on a fairly regular basis. But having my photograph taken has never, ever been something I seek. In fact, I avoid being photographed as much as possible. I just don’t love looking at myself. I remember getting the proofs from my wedding and all I could do was feel horrible that my ass looked big and one of my eyebrows always shows much higher than the other! What should have been the memorialization of a significant day in my life was only me judging myself. I am guessing I am not alone in my self-judgement.
Recently I had the pleasure of virtually meeting Tristan Anderson, a photographer based on the East Coast, whose client base is focused on middle-aged women. He found me on Instagram and we quickly realized that we share the same mission of helping women of a certain age thrive.
As I’ve gotten to know Tris, I’ve become as much a fan of his as he is of mine. He specializes in portrait sessions for women and his philosophy and process show an amazing understanding of what women want and need. He knows women in their 40’s or 50’s have lived through some shit, had an array of experiences and have a more authentic type of confidence as a result. His process is designed to unlock this depth of life experience and capture it in beautiful photos. Tristan believes every single woman is beautiful and understands that women do want to be seen and loved. Hell YES to that!
I am impressed with the thoughtfulness and care Tristan takes with his clients. He gives each woman a tremendous amount a lot of time and energy, including several meetings before the day of the photo shoot to build a relationship and trust in advance. Getting to really know his subject is a key part of the process. He makes it incredibly convenient for his clients by giving them a packet with instructions leading up to the big day. Wardrobe is chosen in advance so you feel confident about your selections. Spa appointments are booked so you are looking and feeling your best. I think it’s a lovely process that undoubtedly does lead to feeling more gorgeous and confident in front of the camera. He’s thought through every detail to make the session an incredible experience!
I loved getting to understand Tristan’s portrait business so much that I am going to go and have a session with him soon. And I may even get a group of women organized in Chicago so he can make a trip here and photograph us all! We all deserve to feel beautiful.
Mention that you saw these deals on Anne’s blog and get:
Collection 1: $100 OFF Collection 2: $200 OFF Collection 3: $350 OFF
The images used for this blog post Tris’s amazing clients that have allowed Tris Anderson Photography to use their images in marketing and/or social media. However, may not have selected this Dating Package for themselves.