Thursday, March 31, 2011

Final Website Roundup: Dating Sites! #love2011

OK, Love Project followers, today is my final "Website Wednesday" (and it's not even Wednesday). It's the last day of the quarter, so I'm wrapping up "Part 1" of the Love Project.

Part 2 is going to continue on with this week's theme: Dating. I want to stress, however, that this is not going to be limited to "romantic" dating or single's topics. Dating is about sharing love and attention with someone. It doesn't have to be a romantic partner. Surprisingly, most (if not all) of the dating blogs and sites cater to singles. That is one way where my focus will be different. Dating is even more important when you're married or in an established relationship.

In my Boulder Dating examiner column today, I challenged people to go on at least one date every week for the next 13 weeks. I hope you all will take the challenge as well and leave me comments.

In preparation for that, it's only appropriate that the final Website Roundup be about the best dating sites. I will continue to add these to my Love Links page as I find more. If you stumble across a good dating or relationships site, let me know.

Love Project MVP

A huge and final Website Wednesday thank you to Shirley Rivera, Girl Nutkin in the BA who is most definitely the Love Project MVP and a wonderful friend, for all her support.

Dating Blogs and Websites
(Note: I'm not necessarily recommending these blogs and websites. Some of them have content or ascribe to theories that I don't always agree with, but I always think it's good to be informed, regardless of whether or not we agree. As I have more time, I will read some of these more thoroughly and maybe give a review.

General Dating:

Online Dating


Monday, March 28, 2011

5-second Cuddle Party

This week on the Love Project we're talking about Dating. In fact, we're going to keep talking about dating because I'm now the new Boulder Dating Advice columnist at This is quite a fun new job because it means I have a good excuse to keep up-to-"date" on the Boulder dating scene.

So when I got invited to a Cuddle Party on Sunday, I thought to myself, "I should go check this out and write an article about it." But, as I said once before, I think cuddle parties are weird. I feel like I shouldn't really judge them without personally checking them out, but the thought of cuddling strangers just seems creepy to me.

However, I did ask my new friend, Armin, what he thought about the idea of "cuddle parties." Armin answered appropriately... he was not interested in cuddling with strangers, but he was happy to give me the "experience" if I wanted to write about it for my column.

We had a much less provocative date - celebrated Cherry Blossom Day by going to Sushi Zanmai in Boulder. But we did sneak in a 5-second "cuddle party" as we posed for the self-timed photo. Though I still have no interest in cuddling up with strangers, I have to say the practice session was really very nice!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Celebrate Cherry Blossoms and Joes on March 27

I really love "themes" so creating some kind of theme date is a lot of fun for me. The other day in my new column I wrote about using special days to help you design a "theme" date.

Today, March 27th, Japan and Washington DC celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival. It's also National "Joe" Day.

I was an exchange student and lived in Fukuyama, Japan my senior year of high school. I saw the beauty of the cherry blossom trees in bloom... what a beautiful sight. I have a special place in my heart for the country, and, of course, like so many others, I'm so saddened by their recent tragedy. This seems like a fitting day to take some time to send thoughts, prayers and maybe a donation to help out the victims in Japan.

It also is a great day to write a haiku. There's even a free "Cherry Blossom" eCard you can use complete with cherry blossom tree photo. Just include your haiku in the personalization section and send it to a date, friend or someone you love.

How about this one:

Today is the day
When the cherry blossoms bloom
And you can be Joe


Peace and JOEy to you
As the cherry blossom bloom
Let us eat sushi

(set against the music of "Ode to JOEy")
Note: JOEy is pronounced "Joy", yet in honor of National Joe Day, we spell it JOEy

I invite you to share your Cherry Blossom and Joe haikus with me! Or tell me how you are celebrating the occasion! Whatever you're doing, I hope you are being JOE-vial!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Assignment 13: Go on a date!

Will you go for a date?
Assignment 13: Go on a date! It does not have to be a "romantic" date. It can be with a friend of either sex, or your kid (though mine insists that rather than "date" I refer to these one-on-one experiences as "outings" or "excursions.") Absolutely, if you are married or in a relationship, go out with your significant other! If you're single, maybe take the plunge and ask out someone you're attracted to, but if there's no one in particular that you're feeling romantic about, then shower that pent-up attention on someone you love.

OK, Love Project Fans, we are winding down on the first quarter of 2011, and the Love Project is going to veer into a new, but related, direction in Q2, with the focus on dating.

Now, just as I said in the assignment, dating does not have to be about romance. And it doesn't have to be restricted to singles! In fact, I have much more fun dating when I'm in a long-term relationship than when I'm dating someone I don't know too well, so I don't know why we so often associate "dating" with being single.

I have decided that for my 52nd year (which started the week of my 51rst birthday) that I would go on a date a week... or 52 dates. Since I'm not requiring these to be "romantic" dates, this has been easy and lots of fun! Here is my definition of a date:

Spending one-on-one time giving attention to and receiving attention from someone I care about and enjoy being with.

My goal is to have at least one date of this type each week, going to a different place each week. I enjoy coming up with unique date ideas and spending quality time with the people in my life.

Now, of course, I do want some romance, too, so I'm not ruling out traditional romantic dates... I'm hoping to have my share of those throughout the year, too. But dating doesn't have to mean romance. It's more about sharing time and attention with someone.

And, of course, this will tie in very nicely with my new Boulder Dating Advice column on Be sure to check that out and subscribe!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Claire Dederer, author of Poser, speaks in Boulder

This week on the Love Project, we're talking about "What's Your Story?" so I thought it would be appropriate to post this video I took of Claire Dederer who spoke about her memoir, Poser, the other day at the Boulder Denver Library. Claire's book mixes yoga, motherhood, and life. I haven't had time to sit down and read it yet, but from the back cover, "It's hilarious, unflinching, and bursting with love." Just my kind of book!

I saw Claire the same day that I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Friedman! Two best-selling authors in one day!

It was very inspiring to listen to Claire and Steve. They both were able to tell "their stories" in ways that were both funny and poignant. I was really quite humbled since The Laptop Dancer Diaries seems so amateurish in comparison.

But one thing I learned in the process of writing my book. Writing your story is as much, if not more, about discovering who you are for yourself than it is about telling it to someone else.

I once read that if you have some decision to make about what you're going to do, imagine that you're the protagonist in a book. What would you do? In other words, live your life so that at the end of it, you feel happy that you have lived out your story. If it means that you'll have embarrassments or mistakes along the way, so be it. But you'll have lived. You won't have stayed back on the sidelines just looking in.

Whether you write about it or not, don't be afraid to live your story. Have adventures. Take risks. Love...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Website Wednesday: What's Your Story?

This week on the Love Project, we're talking about "Your Story."

Love Project MVP

First, of course, we have Love Project's MVP, Shirley Rivera, author of girlnutkin in the BA, in which Shirley shares so selflessly, often spreading messages of optimism and love. I am constantly inspired by her.

In her most recent post, she shared a very beautiful song by Jeremy Passion, Stephanie, about a girl with lupus.

The song reminded Shirley of her friend jengyee, who died from lupus at the young age of 25.


LinkedIn: The Blog Zone - A Community of Bloggers

If you're a blogger, you might want to check out The Blog Zone Group on LinkedIn. A couple of months ago, Mike Clough of America's Best Business Practices started a discussion thread titled: Introduce Yourself - Tell Us Your Story. So far, there are 172 responses from bloggers describing their blogs. (You can also leave a comment here and I'll add your blog to my Love Links page.)

Memoir Writing
Memory Writers Network
Top 50 Blogs on Memoirs
Write My Memoirs

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hook Up Chas Update

The other day I blogged about Chas and his idea about asking for help in getting a wife, and guess what? This morning I got an email from him! He said:

hi yvette. a friend passed along your incredibly flattering (and well-written) post about my website. can't tell you how much it i appreciate it. (really makes this experience that much more rewarding.) take care, thanks again and hope you're having a nice weekend. best, chas

Isn't that sweet? I know this guy is getting tons of traffic (even MY post about him is getting lots of traffic) so I'm sure it must be hard for him to respond to everyone. And I didn't even send him an email! He sent that to me unsolicited!

If only I were 10 years younger, could have more children, and lived in San Francisco... I would be SO there. I really do love that spunk and he is a cutie. So here is my "official" application:

Dearest Chas,

I’d like to apply for the position of wife.
I’ll love you forever or… a few years of my life.

I am older, I know, but that’s not really too odd.
After all, what did age matter to Harold and Maude?

I, too, love kids and would love to have a few for us.
I promise I’d have them If only I still had a uterus.

I do love to play Scrabble so you’re not alone.
But I live in Colorado, so let’s play by phone?

OK, it may appear that I’m not quite right.
But when I saw the photos it was love at first sight!

How could I not be smitten with a guy so spunky?
I have to ask, what’s the status of Important Monkey?

No, it’s you I love… I was just being funny.
But if you don’t love me, can I still have the money?

If it’s not me, I assure you, in your email stack
There’s someone who will love you to the moon and back.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Author Steve Friedman: "Everyone has a story"

This week on The Love Project we're talking about "your story" and who better to advise about this than New York Times best-selling author, Steve Friedman!

Friedman spoke at the Boulder Writer's Meetup Group last week about memoir-writing, in a session titled: "Me, Me, Me: The Terrors and Delights of Writing First Person."

He entertained us first with a story of the time he'd bought a new suit for an interview with GQ. He'd been quite proud of his stylish new suit, only to realize when he stepped out in the sunlight that it was lime green! And then, to make things worse, a mime imitated him, mocking his strut and his own obvious obsession with his suit. The mime was apparently so excited about this opportunity to ridicule him that he broke the cardinal rule for a mime: He spoke! "Nice suit." (I guess this mime didn't know how to act out sarcasm... Stupid mime.)

Friedman will tell you the whole story and much more in his new book, Lost on Treasure Island: A Memoir of Longing, Loss and Lousy Choices in New York City. A second memoir he has coming out is the story of his relationship with his father and the communication they share during a memorable game of golf, Driving Lessons.

Friedman reminded us that we all have a story. It's the little things - the ordinary every-day-life kind of anecdotes - that are the real stories. He told us the best stories were the type in which we revealed our insecurities and feelings, no matter how embarrassing. It's in exposing those vulnerabilities that we become human and readers will relate. (I was patting myself on the back, because revealing my embarrassing insecurities is my speciality in The Laptop Dancer Diaries.")

There were plenty of other stories Friedman shared with us, including a few about relationships! Yes, he's single and, apparently, around my age. Check out this essay he wrote about a breakup. Unfortunately, I understand only too well. (Those of us who have had to endure mid-life dating and actually write about it share a special bond.) He did have a gorgeous, blond girlfriend with him so he wasn't able to openly share his true feelings about how attracted to me he undoubtedly was...but I'm sure it will all come out in our future memoirs...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Assignment 12: What's Your Story?

This week on The Love Project, we're going to talk about feeling comfortable talking about yourself. What's Your Story?

Assignment 12: Tell me something about yourself either in a comment or a blog post. If you can't think of anything to say, then tell me one thing you're grateful for and why. If you have a blog, tell us what your blog is about. Leave a link and I'll add it to Website Wednesday.

Background: There are a few reasons I want to cover this topic this week:

1. Last weekend I heard two well-known authors, Steve Friedman and Clair Dederer. speak about their memoirs. I got some video of both of them, so I will posting that this week. I almost started a whole new blog about memoir-writing, but instead, figured I'd could work it into this week's theme.. Obviously, memoir is the ultimate "all about me" writing.

2. Intimacy and love starts with feel comfortable with yourself and sharing of yourself. Open up about who you are and share your thoughts and feelings with someone else. Reveal both what you like and don't like about yourself. When you open yourself to someone, they usually will reciprocate and that's how intimacy develops.

3. I have a lot of stuff that I've been wanting to share, but I keep thinking I have to make my blog focused on the "love project" theme-of-the-week. By making the theme be "talk about yourself" I can feel free to tell you all about what's going on with me! (I love talking about myself!)

But I also love hearing about YOU! So all you lurkers out there, I'm waiting to hear from you!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crowdsourced Matchmaking: Hook Up Chas for $10K

Yesterday my friend Kay let me know that the Boulder Examiner was looking for writers who liked to write about dating and relationships. The application asked for sample writing of a 200-300 word article to be written in the 3rd person.

Meanwhile, my friend Shirley tagged me on Facebook with a link to, so I figured that would be the perfect story for my application (See below). Now, of course, I plan to write a "first person" application to Chas telling him why I'm the perfect candidate (or perhaps introducing him to his future wife).. but that will come later. In the mean time, if any of you lovely ladies are interested in Chas, let me know, and I promise to give you a good percentage of the $10K when you marry him... at least $100!)

Oh, and PS. I got the Examiner gig! I'm the new Boulder Dating Adviser!

Hook Chas Up and Win $10,000 Bucks

Gone are the days of settling for a local as your life-long partner. Thanks to the Internet you can search the whole World Wide Web for your soul-mate. Don’t want to do all the work yourself? Why not solicit some help from all those lurkers in cyberspace just waiting to meddle? Chas (of has come up with the idea of crowdsourcing his matchmaking services, offering ten grand to whoever introduces him to the future Mrs. Chas.

Chas says, “I work a lot and never had much luck with online dating.” When questioning himself on his “About” page about why he’s 40 and still single, he answers himself, “Thanks to a decade of ‘life coaching’ and some insightful relationships, I can honestly say I’m ready to start a family. For realz.[sic]”

Note: I feel I must explain that the [sic] indicates that I know Chas misspelled "realz," though I think this was purposeful to be kind of cool. I was not in any way judging him by thinking it was sick of him to say "realz." However, if I had been thinking it was "sick" and misspelled it "sic," an editor might add yet another [sic] as in "For realz. [sic [sic]]."

His Website sports some GQ-like quality photographs of himself in various poses. One has him reading a Shel Silverstein book in a king-sized, goose-down comfy-covered bed. In another he’s wearing shoes, wet jeans and a green polo shirt strolling through the San Francisco Bay. In a third, he’s sitting in a red chair in his backyard, wearing a 3-piece suit holding a photograph of his revered “Important Monkey.” (Could the 3-piece suite represent "monkey suit"?) There are eight photos in all, each showing Chas in his glorious uniqueness as he goes through his daily routine.

Chas clearly is not an ordinary man. Ordinary men would probably take their shoes off when wading in the ocean. Ordinary men would probably name their monkey a monkey-like name. Ordinary men would probably not advertise their email address and a $10K prize to a world which includes weirdoes, scoundrels, con-artists and spammers.

Ordinary men will find ordinary women. I suspect Chas will find just the extraordinary wife he’s looking for.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Assignment 11: Say Thank You - #love2011

We start a new week on The Love Project and this week the theme is Gratefulness.

Assignment 11: Be consciously aware of the people in your life each day who help you and thank them, either with a heart-felt 'thank you,' or by following up with an email, a card, or some other token of thanks. If you write a blog post or comment, let me know, and I'll feature you on Website Wednesday.


We hear often that gratefulness is a key to happiness. Many people keep "grateful journals," ending the day reminding themselves of things they are grateful for.

This week the Happiness Inside Book Club is talking about a book 365 Thank Yous. I don't have the book yet, but it's on my list of books to read. It's about a man who's life changed when he wrote a thank you card each day for a year to the people in his life.

Along those same lines, my friend Sonja Knaisch, just started Project Give Thanks. This is a project which will support breast cancer survivors with card art. Sonja, a breast cancer survivor herself, speaks of the gratefulness she felt from the support of so many people as she was going through her treatments.

Every day, we interact with people who are helping us... checking us out at the grocery store, (I'm referring to the people at the cash register... not the ones who are noticing how sexy we are.. but I'm grateful for those people, too.) Friends support us with a call or email... someone gives us a nice comment on a blog or Facebook. There are so many ways we help one another. Take the time to let people know you appreciate them. Thank them!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Website Wednesday: Romance Websites

Oh dear! Life has gotten busy, so I'm going to have to do a rush job with this version of Website Wednesday on The Love Project, and I really don't like to do that... especially with Romance! Romance should be savored and be nice and slow... enjoying every luscious moment. But blogging really isn't very romantic, so you'll have to excuse me for doing a rather short version this week, because my romantic bubble bath is waiting...

And without further adieu:

Love Project Participants:

girlnutkin in the BA - Very interesting story about Joshua Bell and a reminder to slow down!
Justice Jennifer - Aspiring author. Passionate Reader

Romance Blogs and Websites
Romance Tips
Love Romance Passion: List of 50 Romance Novel Blogs to Watch
Romance Coupons
Loving You

Happy Romancing!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Love Drop Update

Part of my role in the "Love Drop" is to spread the news of what that group is doing, so here's the latest from The Love Drop Team:

Last month the Love Drop Team raised over $13,000 (and 3 iPads!) to help two little boys with autism receive a service dog. They were beyond touched, and we did this in only 1 month - that's it. Everyone came together and gave a few bucks each to impact one family's life. If you were a part of it, THANK YOU!

This month we start all over again and rally behind Katie, a single mom out in Dallas battling not only two brain tumors so far (she's knocked out one, and currently working on the other), but who's also dealing with hydrocephalus. We'd love to bring the community her way, and make a huge dent in her medical bills.

Wanna help? Here are 3 ways we could use you:
Give $1.00 - This is the best way to help out and join our team at the same time.
Join our blogger network - Blog about our Love Drops each month like I am :) It's easy, it's rewarding, and it REALLY helps spread the word (which in turn helps our families). Love Drop will give you all the content you need.
Give a gift or provide a service - Gift cards are always helpful. Places like Target, Safeway, gas stations, etc would definitely help them out.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Assignment 10: Do Something Romantic

This week on the Love Project we are going to explore Romance.

Assignment 10: What does romance mean to you? This week spend some time making a list of what you find romantic. Then pick one of those ideas and experience some romance either on your own or with someone else. Write a comment or a blog post and I'll feature you on Website Wednesday and on my Love Links page.

Background: A couple of days ago I wrote about the "romantic" relationship I had with an old man I'd met by volunteering in a nursing home. We tend to think "romantic relationships" must be "sexual relationships" but they don't have to be. Romance can be experienced with friends, family, or even on our own. Of course, most of us associate romance with "romantic love." If we're at a beautiful, romantic place, we want to be sharing that with a romantic partner and it can be kind of depressing to be on our own while we see all the other love-birds around us, being all inappropriately smoochy. Instead of enjoying the romance and beauty, we can sit there pouting about how we are "all alone." To that I say "Bbrerrrsr" <- This is the sound that goes with pursing your lips and blowing... kind of like sticking your tongue out, but with sound. (I'm going to have to research the word for this action and the correct way to spell the corresponding sound, but basically it means, "Stop feeling sorry for yourself and enjoy the romance!")

We spend so much time in this life wanting to be validated by others. We feel in order for romance to be real, someone else has to tell us we're beautiful. We need to get flowers or attention. We need to be holding hands or kissing. Sure... those things are wonderful and we all want them. And if you have a romantic partner in your life, then take full advantage of that. Lavish your partner with the kind of romance they most enjoy.

But, if you don't have it... if you're single... it doesn't mean you have to give up on romance. Romance others, romance yourself... Gaze at the moon, the mountains, the ocean and feel the love in the world and know that you are part of it. Let a breeze embrace you, giving you tingles. Let snowflakes fall on your face. Let the smiles from strangers fill you with a sense of peace. Know that you're loved, with or without a romantic partner.

And last, but not least, tell those annoying love-birds to get a room...

Friday, March 04, 2011

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Old love: Romance never dies

This week on the Love Project we're talking about Celebrating Age so I want to tell you a story about the oldest man I ever had a "romantic relationship" with. His name was Guy (pronounced "Gee" with a hard 'G') Goyer.

I met Guy in 1999 at Boulder Manor Nursing Home. I was still married at the time, about to turn 40, busy with 3 kids and getting ready to run my first marathon. I volunteered through my church to help bring the Mass to Boulder Manor on Sundays.

If you ever want to feel young, spend some time in a nursing home. Compared to people in there, you will be a regular spring chicken even if you're 80! As long as you're healthy, you will feel a whole lot younger than the people there, regardless of your biological age. Yes... most people there were very old, very sick, and very... confused. It is not the kind of thing that makes you look forward to getting old... it's downright scary. At first.

But, once you go regularly, like any community, you start to get to know who's who. You start to figure out who will talk gibberish, who will be constantly worried about being near a bathroom, who is shy and who is spunky.

Guy was a spunky one. I remember the first time we met. He came into the room where we held Mass with his motorized wheelchair, oxygen, and sporting a debonair beret. He asked me my name and when I told him it was "Yvette" he was very excited. "Are you French?" he asked. "My mother is part French Canadian and loves French names," I told him. He was from Quebec and he wanted to talk (or should I say flirt!) more. A regular lady's man, despite the very advanced age. I sat next to him during the service and we talked more afterwards about our families and backgrounds.

After that, Guy was my new best friend at Boulder Manor. He always parked his wheelchair next to me, and held out his ever-shaking hand for me to hold during the "Our Father." He was always ready with a smile and told me the news of the day or teased me in some way. One day he asked if I could come back to his room to visit and he showed me his photos and mementos in his small semi-private room. This wasn't creepy or scary at all. He didn't act disrespectful or in any way like a "dirty old man"... more like a romantic gentleman who wanted to "court" me with old-fashioned charm. So, I started visiting for 30 minutes or so after Mass each week.

He asked me for my address once, which I thought was odd. Why would he need that? But that week I received some poetry in the mail from him. It was very hard to read. Guy's hands shook so badly that the handwriting was practically indecipherable... but in those squiggles I saw a romantic soul and it touched my heart, bringing tears to my eyes.

I knew Guy wanted me to visit him more often, but I was busy, and, honestly, I was a little worried that he was becoming too attached to me. Obviously, he knew I was married and that there would be no... um... physical intimacy of any kind... But he was lonely. He was this beautiful man with love to give and just wanted someone to give it to.

I missed the last Sunday I would have spent with Guy because I was in San Diego running that marathon. The next Sunday when I returned, anxious to tell him all about it, I heard that he'd died. Whatever service they'd had was over. I didn't know any of his family or friends to send condolences to. I had no one to grieve with. I wanted so much to see him again. I wanted to tell him something I'd never told him... That I loved him.

I know this love is different from what we all want. We want a partner, not a nurse. We want someone who thinks we're sexy and desirable, not someone who sees us as old and sick. But inside that old person is a heart and mind who still wants to love and be loved. I wish I had given that to Guy.

I have been thinking a lot about this lately... Can we continue to love people even when we are old, sick, and dying? Will they accept it and love us back? Many won't. I know this. I didn't even make the time for Guy... I was worried he would become dependent on me. I had other people in my life. Did I hurt him? I hate to think about it, but I know I may have.

By giving love to others when we don't get it back, will we set ourself up for rejection? Will we just feel more lonely and hurt? I don't know. But I do know that Guy didn't let age or sickness keep him from giving love. His poems taught me that we're never too old for romance and love... (and who needs sex when you're 90, anyway?)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Website Wednesday: Must see sites that will help you celebrate age!

Today is Website Wednesday and the theme of the Love Project this week is Celebrating Age. I bring to you Websites and blogs that have to do with aging, birthdays, or dating at an older age. If you write about age (or the theme of the week) on your blog or know of one that should be included, let me know, and I'll add your link!

Love Project MVP
girl nutkin in the BA: (There may not be many people participating in The Love Project, but Shirley makes up for it.. She's worth 1000 people!)

#love2011: week 9 on being over 40
#love2011: random thoughts for week 9
#love2011: week 9 on celebrating age

Blogs and Websites about Mid-life Dating / Living
Family Goes Strong
The Savvy Boomer
The Dating Goddess: Adventures of Delicious Dating over 40

Note: There are also tons of online dating sites targeted for seniors or boomers. Just google "Boomer Dating" or "Senior Dating." Since I haven't tried these yet, I can't really offer up recommendations, but if you try any, let me know what you think!

Blogs and Websites about Celebrating Birthdays
Birthday Freebies
Birthday Calculator - You give your birthday and you'll find out all kinds of interesting trivia!
The Site to Remember - Will help you remember birthdays and other important dates.

Blogs and Websites about Aging
Adventures in Old Age - Psychology Today
Planning, Preparing and Peace with Kay Diller: Getting Older-It's not all it's cracked up to be
Wordpress Blogs about Old Age

Now, let's all have fun getting old!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

51 Ways I Celebrated Turning 51

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I have to admit... I started out last week feeling depressed. When I was newly divorced I remember thinking I would definitely be remarried before 50. There was no way, I still wanted to be on the dating scene after that! Yet here I was... turning 51 and still single.

It didn't help much that I started the week by reading a blog post by "Private Man" in which he listed "6 choices for Entitlement Princesses over 45" including the one I found the most offensive:
4. Give up, become completely enveloped in the life of your kids and your grand kids while you wait for death. Bonus, they will hate you for it as you wait for death.

Now... I don't think I'm an "entitlement princess" (more on that topic some other time) but I do have to face the fact that I might not end up with another husband. Even if I do get remarried, there's a very good chance that I'll outlive my husband (I'm in excellent health!! A good reason to marry someone younger... again, another topic for another day.)

But I will tell you this... with or without a husband, I plan to be a big part of my kids' and grand kids' lives. I hope Private Man was making a poor attempt at humor or perhaps trying to be over-the-top or provocative with this statement, because it would be sad if anyone really believed that they would be "hated" for being part of their family's lives as they "waited for death."

Anyway, I decided it would be fun to celebrate at least 51 things during my birthday week, so I took notes each day of mini-celebrations that brought me happiness. I actually came up with a lot more than 51 but I've winnowed it down for your viewing pleasure. By the end of the week, I wasn't moping about my single status any more. I was thinking, 'I may be single, but this is a whole lot more celebrating than I ever did when I was married.' And the thing is... these are typical days! Other than the birthday greetings and gifts, many of these "celebrations" are the kinds of things that I enjoy every single day.

How do you celebrate each day? See if you can come up with a list with as many items as your age.

Yvette's List of 51 Ways She Celebrated Her Birthday Week:

1. Highlands Church: Love the music, love the message
2. A delicious dinner with Dee Dee and friends to Celebrate Rebecca R's BD
3. Sharing a ride with Rebecca R. and having a good girlfriend chat
4. Chocolate Cake

5. Chloe doing a "happy dance" when she saw me in the morning.
6. Beautiful sunny weather.
7. A nice long phone call with Rebecca M.
8. Lunch with Ravi and Jim and sharing my Yellow Scene fame
9. Scrabble (Words with Friends) with Scotty
10. Watching Benjamin Buttons with Scotty
11. Making cookies with Scotty

12. Lunch with Kathy M.
13. Watching Parenthood with Scotty
14. Happy Hour at The Village Tavern with Rebuilding group
15. Yummy salmon salad and margarita

16. Started back up with Jazzercise after 7 years (and Kathi remembered me)
17. Lunch with Rebecca R.
18. BD card from Mom
19. BD card from Michele

20. Sushi and ice cream with Pat
21. $30 off at Benihanas
22. Recognition from boss about the good work I'm doing
23. Got working
24. Email from Kevin about romance
25. Prepare for Nic and Neely's Dating Marketplace Show to promote my book!
26. Early Birthday Greetings on Facebook
27. Scotty wins awards at wrestling banquet ... I'm so proud

28. Starbucks with Michael A.
29. Getting dressed up for lunch with Valerie at Baker St. Pub
30. Flowers from Valerie with an "I Love Ya" vase
31. BD Cards from Mary, Aunt Nancy, and Bill
32. Wearing new, comfy shoes that Mom bought me for my BD
33. Learned to Zydego at the Avalon
34. Met new, friendly people from other Rebuilding classes
35. Great music and lots of fun dancing!
36. Invitation to Sunday lunch at Bloom from Tim

37. Woke up to LOTS of Facebook Happy Birthday Messages
38. Text messages, emails, and eCards wishing me Happy Birthday
39. Invitation to lunch from Tom K.
40. Coffee with Tad
41. Bottle of wine from Tad
42. Sushi with Scotty
43. Special Häagen-Dazs Shake from Scotty
44. CU Art Museum with Scotty
45. Lasagna Dinner and MOM cake made by Meg and Chris
46. Celebration with all the kids at Meg's
47. Playing new game
48. Hearing Diego laugh and say 'night-night'
49. BD phone calls from Mom, Neal, and Michele

50. Brisk morning run in my new running clothes from Matt
51. Post from Shirley with Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy video