Love languages apply to more than just romance; they help you learn how to make people feel appreciated and cared for in all of your relationships. What is your love language? (Take the quiz at5lovelanguages.com.) How have you learned to speak someone else’s love language? Do you find it easier to speak some languages than others; if so, which ones? How have you shown or received love in multiple languages?
The last time we wrote about this topic I talked about how my scores are different for single Beth than they are for Dating Beth. After thinking about it for awhile it makes sense. We’re obviously going to see our significant other much differently “love” wise than our friend, mom, or sister. Like yeah, we love all those people but not in the same way.
I am very much like Lindsay and Quality Time is my jam. It is also my boyfriends as well. It’s been awhile since I had him take the test so I cannot remember our scores exactly. I want to say his top two are Quality Time and Acts of Service. My top two are Physical Touch and Quality Time.
I am sometimes shocked at how in a relationship Physical Touch is super high because outside of one it’s dead last. Like if I know you I will give you a hug but it’s always this awkward hug.
And even at that, there are days when I don’t want anyone near me or touching me….especially when I am tired, stressed out, annoyed, hangry, or hot.
Quality Time has always been important to me. I want to be needed and paid attention to. I think part of it comes from being ignored and left out a lot of my childhood. My boyfriend views quality time a little differently. He says he doesn’t care what we are doing or if we are doing our own things as long as we’re together it’s fine.
Sometimes that doesn’t bother me and I’m fine doing our own things (because hello introvert recharging) but other times I want to put all the devices and distractions away and for you to look at me and talk to me.
That is why I like taking walks together. It gets us out exercising and it forces us to put all the distractions away and to just be together and talk. Which writing that down sounds kind of sad and pathetic but that is just the reality of the distracting world we currently live in.
One thing I have learned over the years even though the love languages seem kind of crazy they are pretty accurate and if you know someone else’s love language you can somewhat figure out how to show that person love, affection, and make them happy.
Over Thanksgiving, I had my sister and her husband take the quiz. It was funny my mom actually was able to guess all their answers before they even took the test (mom knows best?). My sister learned that Words of Affirmation was her husband’s number 1 love language. And then after thinking about it she said that it made sense because he LOVES it when you tell him he did a good job or what he did was appreciated or being thanked for helping her do something.
My sisters was Quality Time which my mom predicted because she says she is high maintenance. Since my sister knows this about herself and her husband sometimes gets lost in his own little world playing video games or doing other stuff on the computer she has learned to just be blunt with him and say, “Husband, will you spend time with me? Can we watch xyz TV Show? or go to XYZ store together?” And he listens and has learned to make her a priority and spend time with her.
The Love Languages are just a tool we can use to help each other learn about each other. They cannot fix all our problems we have with people but they can help us understand others better.
What is your love language and what are some tips you have learned about that love language and yourself?
Whenever I think we have written about every possible topic in the Not Alone Series they come up with something better than I can even think of! This week we are talking about Readiness. This is something I have thought about a lot but I’ve never actually written my thoughts on it down so here we go.
How ready do you think you are for your vocation? Are you ready to be committed to your vocation within the next year, or two years? That means being married (and maybe with a baby), taking religious vows, or telling people you’re not interested in marriage and plan to remain single for life. What do you still need to work on or change about yourself before you’re ready? Have you thought you were ready before? How have you become better prepared over time? Married ladies can chime in, too: how did you know it was the right time to get hitched?
I feel like readiness is something they talk for EVERY.SINGLE.SCENARIO nowadays.
There are TONS of those “list posts” on the internet about it. You’re ready to get married if, 10 ways you know you are ready for kids, 10 ways you are ready to quit your job, 10 reasons you are ready to move, etc.
But really how will you ever 100% chance know? Will you ever know? Or do you just take the leap of faith and see what happens? I think it’s kind of a combination of both.
How ready do you think you are for your vocation?
I think I am very ready to be married. I feel I have a good grasp on handling my finances, cooking, cleaning, and all the other “adulting” things.
Are you ready to be committed to your vocation within the next year, or two years?
Yes. I remember when I was 22 and still in college telling people I could see myself getting married right then. Even though I never even dated. In my 20s I just always felt ready to move on to the next step in life – marriage.
What do you still need to work on or change about yourself before you’re ready?
I know I’m not perfect and there are several things I can improve about myself. But I think we always have things to improve.
One thing I know I could improve is selfishness. Being single or even in a dating relationship it’s really easy to do whatever you want whenever you want. Which I don’t really consider being selfish it’s just how life is. But when you get more serious/engaged/married you have to put your spouse and their feelings before your own.
I feel over the last 2 years I’ve gotten really good at managing my money. I’ve been using You Need A Budget (YNAB) religiously to manage and control my money and categorizing everything. And yeah sometimes I overspend on stupid things and don’t save as much but I don’t feel like it’s way out of control.
Where all of that is awesome one place I worry about is income. My income is VERY LOW. It’s nowhere near the “living wage” I feel it should be…especially as a college educated person. And yeah I know college doesn’t equal a good job making $30,000/yr but it does get frustrating sometimes. I also struggle because I LOVE my job it just doesn’t allow me the freedom financially I’d like – living on my own (I still live with my mom), paying off debt, etc.
But I get torn just because you have these financial problems and can’t support yourself does it mean you should be alone and not get married? I say no. But others I know would disagree with me.
How have you become better prepared over time?
Yes. Obviously I’ve grown up a lot since I was 22 and felt ready. I’ve learned more about food and cooking, finances, jobs, resumes, and just life in general.
You’ll never be ready to get married or have kids but I think I am ready enough to enjoy life with a partner vs alone. We can help each other with all these big decisions which is always easier than alone.
Head over to Lindsay’s Blog to read more Not Alone Series Posts! Thanks for Hosting!
Hello, Everyone! I’m so excited that Rachel and Lindsay have asked me to host this week’s Not Alone Series Topic! I’ve been participating in this link-up for awhile now and way back in the beginning we did an SIcebreaker Week to help us all get to know each other. Since we’ve had a lot of new people and it’s been awhile I thought it would be good to do it again.
- Where are you from?
- Where are you living? (If different from where you are from)
- Are you in school or working? What kind of work do you?
- If you are Catholic who is your Confirmation Saint? If you aren’t catholic who is your favorite saint or biblical figure.
- What is your favorite book, movie, or television show?
- What is your favorite piece of year round clothing?
- What are you reading right now?
- What is your favorite Bible Verse?
- If you’ve done online dating, do you have any advice or experiences to share?
- What is your favorite thing to blog about?
- What is your favorite or most popular blog post?
- In 140 characters or less share your best single-lady advice. (And if you want share it on twitter using the hashtag #Adviceforsingleladies.)
Copy and Paste the above questions to your blog and have some fun with your answers!
- Where are you from? I was born in NYC and lived there until I was 12 then we moved to Dallas, TX.
- Where are you living? About 5 years ago we moved to St. Augustine, FL and have been living here since. I really like this little tourist town.
- Are you in school or working? What kind of work do you? I am working as a bookkeeper for a local restaurant. It’s really a fascinating job to see all the ins and outs of what helps a restaurant run. I love working with numbers and it’s amazing how much better your work-life is when you enjoy what you do at work every day.
- If you are Catholic who is your Confirmation Saint? If you aren’t catholic who is your favorite saint or biblical figure. St. Therese of Lisieux. Honestly. when I picked her I didn’t know how awesome she was. I picked her because I liked the name..I always wanted my name to be Teresa and my mom told me that my Dad used to pray to her all the time so I thought it was a cool way to honor my dad. I got to visit her hometown of Lisieux, France 2 years ago and it was an amazing experience!
- What is your favorite book, movie, or television show? I LOVE the TV Show The Office. I’ve watched the entire series a million times but parts of it is so true to the actual workplace it makes me feel better about the craziness I have to deal with at work.
- What is your favorite piece of year round clothing? I really love Cardigans. They can really dress up a somewhat casual outfit. Even in the summer, they are handy because some places are very cold inside.
- What are you reading right now? Men, Women and the Mystery of Love: Practical Insights from John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility by Edward Sri. So far this book is really good and I’m enjoying it and connecting with so much.
- What is your favorite Bible Verse? “Do Whatever He Tells You.” JOHN 2:5
- If you’ve done online dating, do you have any advice or experiences to share? Be open to talking to anyone. You never know what kind of connection will spark. Fill out your profile as much as possible. Answer as many questions as possible (if that is an option on that site). And send messages and respond to messages.
- What is your favorite thing to blog about? Right now I LOVE doing writing prompts and link-ups. As that is 90% of what I have blogged about in the last year. I have a heard time coming up with topics sometimes so it’s helpful to have topics to blog about given to me. I also love doing series. Like my 31 Days of Blogging Series.
- What is your favorite or most popular blog post? I took a finance class in school about 2 years ago and we had to write a report at the end of it. As part of the report I wrote this blog post on Organizing your Bills and Mail. Well it went viral on pinterest and I still get 4,000 views a month from it! So Crazy!
- In 140 characters or less share your best single-lady advice. (Share it on twitter using the hashtag #Adviceforsingleladies.)
“God has a plan for you. You may not know what it is just now but he knows your future. And enjoy this season of life!” #Adviceforsingleladies
Join us next week as Angie will be hosting on the following topic:
Our brothers and sisters the saints: While I am sure we all have earthly role models, who are your heavenly sources of inspiration and why? How did you hear about this/these saint(s)?”
I can’t wait to read everyone’s answers!
This is a great topic! Parish and Community Involvement is something that I am always learning about in my current area.
Parish and Community Involvement
As a single lady, how do you find your niche in your parish, church, and community? How do you hope to expand your community this year? What are some suggestions for those of us looking for a way to find a community? Lent might just be the perfect time to try something new—what do you recommend?
I have always been really involved in my parish ever since I was younger. My mom has always volunteered or worked for our church and she used to bring us along to help out or attend whatever was going on at church. So it’s just something I grew up doing and kept doing it.
At my current parish I currently am doing a Lent Bible Study called Living the Eucharist that I am really enjoying. I also teach the Confirmation Prep classes which includes helping with the confirmation retreat.
I’ll do several other things throughout the year like help at the parish festival and participate with a few young adult activities. We usually have Theology on Tap almost every month that I try and attend. One young adult group meets a few times a month. It’s all very sporadic.
But like Rachel said your church bulletin, diocese website, and church/diocese facebook pages and facebook groups are your best friends. I check them all often to see what is going on and if I’m interested in particpating.
Now getting involved int he community can be a little tricky. Most community things I find are during the day geared towards retirees or stay at home moms. Depending on where you live you can find some groups on meetup.com but I ahven’t had much luck there.
One place I have had a lot of luck is YELP.COM. Yes the food site. But you can friend people and check the “Events” tab for events going on in the area. Depending on your city you can even attend Yelp Events or become Elite to try the food at new restaurants.
I haven’t been that active on Yelp in the last few months but it has a wealth of information in terms of the community.
If you are crafty or want to learn a new craft skill check your local Michaels or other craft store in town. I’m currently signed up for a Painting class and crochet class. I eventually want to take some cooking classes but haven’t gotten that far yet.
Another way I have not necesarily gotten involved in a particular group but I support the community by finding things in the area that interest me. For example, I enjoy seeing plays so I will go to community theatre plays, school plays, or dinner theatre shows in the area that I find interesting.
It can be a learned skill to find things to get involved in the area especially if you are new to the area but with a little luck you can find some great ways to get involved!
Head over to Rachel’s Blog to read more Not Alone Series Posts! Thanks for Hosting!
Money and budgeting seem to be at the top of many New Year’s plans. Finances can add stress to a relationship, but it’s obviously preferable that we know how to manage our finances before we are married, as well as have some sort of idea of how we want to share finances once we are married. What are some of your recommendations for planning your finances and budgeting your money now so that it will be less stressful down the road? Do you hope to share accounts with your spouse or have a yours/mine/ours system? How have you seen other couples manage their finances in a way that works well?
Money and Budgeting is one of those topics that no one likes to talk about. Many people just avoid it for MONTHS and MONTHS and sometimes YEARS. I have gone back and forth on the topic. Sometimes I don’t really want to deal with it and sometimes I like to.
A few years ago however I was tired of not being able to manage my money and basically using my account balance as my budget. If there was money in my account I was like hey I have money to spend and I wasn’t really saving much. Those yearly bills that come around once a year like car registration? Yeah, I never had the money to pay those and let’s not even start about Christmas. I wanted to get a handle of my money, how I should spend it and just more control. I started researching different programs and spreadsheets. In the end I finally tried You Need A Budget (YNAB)
I wasn’t in any credit card debt or anything (thank god). I just didn’t have control over my money. Around this time I met with this lady working with my mom and she gave us this article about money/budgeting and one of the questions was, “Are you in control of your money?” I always thought I was but the more I thought about it the answer was no.
After all that I wanted to get a handle of my money. Even though I didn’t make a lot of money it should still be able to budget it and control it. I started researching different programs and spreadsheets. In the end, I finally settled with You Need A Budget (YNAB). YNAB is a Zero-Based Budgeting System..which means you give every dollar a job. If your paycheck is $483.42. You figure out how to spend the money down to that 42 cents. It sometimes looks funny when my grocery category has 25.42 and spending money has 43.24 to make everything even out.
Looking back I’m not really what made YNAB stick. Was it the pretty program, the webinars, videos and classes offered, the philosophy, the forums. I think in the end it was all of the above. I had encouragement from the people in the forums. I was able to get questions answered easily. I was able to attend several classes to help me understand the software.
But I also think I was just ready to be disciplined about the process. In the past I would keep up with my budget system for about a month and then I’d give up as it became to complicated or frustrating. AKA losing excel files when I forgot to save and my computer restarted on me. Or sometimes I just got frustrated that there wasn’t enough money to do the things I wanted and basically throw a tantrum, do what I want, and throw the budget out the window.
Around the same time, I also created a Budget Binder to organize all the papers and bills and mail that come with “adulting” and managing your finances. Since then that blog post has gone viral and helped so many people!
When I get married I’m not sure what I’ll do. Right now I have accounts at 2 different banks, and several credit cards. I might use marriage as a chance to get rid of some of those accounts. We might do something like all the bills get paid out of one account and all our income goes into it but then we transfer out money into his/hers checking accounts for our spending money just to make things a little easier. Honestly I don’t really know and I don’t really have a preference. I just want to be involved in the process (which of course I will be).
I wrote about this in my comment on Lindsay’s post but want to share it here as well. One of my first jobs was working with retirees. And the one thing I learned while working there was that I needed to know what was going on with our money when I got married. Where things were, what bills we were paying, etc. etc.
We had so many women come into our office after her husband died or when her husband got sick that didn’t even know how to write a check. We had to help them create budgets and figure out how to pay bills. Honestly, I think budgeting needs to be part of every math class from grades 5-12. With the amount of financial hardship stories and credit card debt mistakes I hear it needs to be taught early on how money works. But that is another post for another day.
Head over to Lindsay’s Blog to read more Not Alone Series Posts! Thanks for Hosting!
Hello Not Alone Series friends! I am very late to this weeks topic but better late than never! It’s been awhile and today we are talking about DTR or Determining the Relationship.
Defining the relationship can be a tricky thing, but it doesn’t have to be hard. What are some of your preferred “do’s” and “don’ts” with DTR’s? What should you ask to see where the relationship is going? When do you ask (3rd, 5th, 10th date)? How do you respond when you get an answer that you were hoping to avoid? How do you reassess your dealbreakers and desired qualities? Do you re-consider your “nice-to-have’s” on your “list” of qualities you want in a guy? What else should we know for DTR’s? We all want to be well-equipped for dating this year. 😉
The term DTR or Determining the Relationship feels so middle school or high school. The only time I’d ever hear about it is back then or when other people would hound a couple about “what they were” and then after much hounding they’d give in and finally say, “Yes we are boyfriend and girlfriend.”
I have only had to DTR a few times in my life that I remember. The first time after talking to a man I met in real life once for a weekend and had been talking to online for a few months. After our first meeting I asked him what we were and all he would admit to is “Really Really Good Friends.” Maybe that was my first sign the relationship wasn’t going anywhere. He was supposed to visit me again and had car trouble. Then after a few choice words and angry emails he told me that his car breaking down was a “sign from God that we should no longer date and he hopes I have a great life….but he would be praying for me.” *Insert Major Eyeroll* He later sent an email that said some very mean things in it. After reading something I posted in the forum which really had nothing to do with him.
The second time I had to DTR was with my current boyfriend. After we had been dating for about 4-6 weeks, seeing each other several times over each weekend, texting daily, and face timing or calling when we couldn’t see each other. I finally asked him where was this going and did we want to officially be “boyfriend and girlfriend” and make it Facebook Official because apparently we are 20. HA. He said he did if I wanted to so we did. It was cute. We got many compliments from friends and family and have been happily dating ever since.
Sometimes we put too much pressure on dating. I’m sure I’ve scared many guys away. But obviously we weren’t right for each other or it wasn’t the right time. At the beginning of 2015 I was tired of the pressure and playing games and decided I was just going to date like I didn’t care. I had several dates. Dated several interesting people. I even had a date on Valentine’s Day for the first time ever which was nice. It didn’t work out with many of them but that was okay because I learned a lot about myself and other people at the same time.
When it comes to DTR the best advice I can give is to take your time. Learn about each other. And don’t put too much pressure on each other to get too serious too fast. Just let nature take it’s course and the conversation will come naturally as the relationship progresses.
Head over to Lindsay’s Blog to read more Not Alone Series Posts! Thanks for Hosting!
How are you still connected to your family of origin (that’s the one you grew up in: parents, siblings, and extended family) even as you are adulting (a.k.a. living as an independent adult, at home or on your own)? How has your relationship with your parents changed as you’ve grown up? How connected are you with your extended family? What aspects of these relationships do you think are affected by your being single? How do you think your family relationships would change after marriage or entering religious life? (Thanks for the topic suggestion,Bek!)
I had no idea that Adulting had been added to the dictionary until I read Lindsay’s post. I figured it was just a word teenagers and young adults made up as a joke and it went viral. Just like BAE, GLOMP, SELFIE, and a bunch of other random words people use regularly now. Go read urbandictionary.com when you’re bored it’s full of some interesting made up words….but it sometimes makes me not want to live in this world anymore.
I am often a culprit of using the word and hashtag #ADULTING when complaining on twitter. Often it comes when I am doing really mundane tasks my mom no longer does for me like paying bills, balancing my budget/bank accounts, or making doctor appointments (I hate doing this one the most for some reason). And doing all of these alone when you don’t have a spouse or someone else to bounce ideas off of can be super lame.
Adulting is hard..it’s even harder when you’re single. You have to make all these decisions alone. No one to bounce ideas off of. No one to ask opinions. I do ask my mom from time to time and granted I still live with her but she really wants me to be independent and make my own decisions and not influence what I do..which is great and all but sometimes it’s frustrating when I.HAVE.NO.IDEA.WHAT.I.AM.DOING.
Which leads me to the 2nd half of this post. I am still pretty connected with my family. Even though a lot of them live far away I still talk to some of them.
Basically no one seems to bother anyone about getting married. Out of all my cousins (I have 15) 3 are married, 1 is engaged, 1 is living with his gf (but they had a baby together so they are basically kind of married), 3 are minors, and the rest of us are all young adults trying to figure out this world.
A lot of us are introverts (I know that doesn’t excuse our problems but I think sometimes they have trouble dating over others). A lot of us don’t want to play the “dating games” some of us may not be interested in marriage at all I’m not really sure. I have one uncle that probably bothers his only daughter about getting married but I’m not sure how much everyone is pressured to get married. I know my mom would like to see me in a more stable work environment so I can be more financially stable and move out and live on my own.
I do think some people think I’m too picky when it comes to dating and marriage. Others say I shouldn’t settle. So somedays I’m just totally confused and overwhelmed. I often struggle with the whole “marriage discernment” box. How do you know what love is? How do you know you are not settling? How do you know you are making the right decisions in life? So many questions that movies and TV make look sooo easy and in real life cannot be solved in 90 minutes and don’t always end with happily ever after.
I’m not really sure I solved this “ADULTING” thing or question with this post but it was cathartic to write all these things down and get my thoughts out of my head and on paper.
Head over to Lindsay’s Blog to read more Not Alone Series Posts! Thanks for Hosting!
Welcome back to another week of the Not Alone Series. This may be my last one until November as I’m doing the 31 Days of Blogging challenge in October. Depending on the topics in October I may be able to merge my NAS posts in with my 31 Days posts as each day I am blogging about different words for 5 minutes…and technically you can change the words to whatever you want.
This weeks topic makes me laugh a little as we are talking about Flirting.
Flirting is the special attention we give or receive from that special someone. Flirting is our way of showing the other person that we like them. There is verbal and non-verbal flirting, as well as appropriate vs. inappropriate flirting. What do you do or say to let your significant other/boyfriend know that you like him? What are ways that you like to be shown interest? What are the pros and cons of flirting?
I have a confession to make I had no idea what flirting even was until I was probably in late high school or college. I can remember going to six flags as a kid and seeing shirts and hats that said “FLIRT” on them with pictures of bugs bunny. I LOVED bugs bunny and would want them and my mom wouldn’t let me…she once told me that meant you were a trouble maker. LOL. Being the naive 10 year old I believed her and bought something else.
I remember as I got older kids talking about “flirting” and not really even understanding what they were talking about. I was kind of a loner and not “boy crazy” like most girls. I liked learning in school and all I cared about was getting good grades. I remember as I got into college and my early twenties and trying to navigate this whole “dating” thing. I’d talk to guys when I met them but it was always awkward.
I remember people told me I needed to “flirt” to get guys to like me or know that I liked them but I had no idea what that really entailed. I’d go on dates and lean in, listen, learn about them, etc. Sometimes I think it worked other times I think it just confused the both of us LOL
Even now I think flirting is this thing that you do when dating or trying to date but no one really understands it or knows why it’s done or what you should or shouldn’t do. The thing I always feared with flirting was to give off the wrong impression. I didn’t want to try too hard and look desperate as no one likes that. I didn’t want to not try hard enough. It’s def. a hard balance to find. I think sometimes we make Flirting and Dating WAY more complicated than it needs to be…and I think women especially tend to overthink/overanalyze things (I know I do).
In the end I’m not sure I really understand flirting so that is the perspective I’ve shared this week.
They have picked a great topic this week that I LOVE talking about with other people. This week we’re talking about the 5 Love Languages.
“Dr. Gary Chapman has outlined five ways people give and receive love in his book “The 5 Love Languages.” Take the quiz at 5lovelanguages.com to discover yours! What is your love language? How does that affect your approach to romantic relationships, family relationships, and friendships? How do you give and receive love with people who have different love languages?”
The 5 Love Languages is something I learned about in college. My mom went to a family and marriage conference for work and went to a session where they talked about them and she brought home the books. I didn’t really understand what she was even talking about but she really liked the session.
A few years ago they came up again and the way they were explained made a lot more sense. Someone sent me the link where you can take the test online so I took it. I took it as a single person. Then I took it when I was dating someone and was very intrigued at how DIFFERENT the results were.
When I was single I always thought I’d HATE physical touch things like cuddling, holding hands, pda, etc. I really didn’t care for it as a single person but in a relationship I’m okay with it. I’m weird. I guess it goes with who I want to be close to me.
Quality Time has always been SUPER important to me. I like being with those I love and care for. I hate how busy people get and it goes months before I am able to see someone sometimes. The nice thing for me about quality time is as long as we’re together we don’t even have to be doing anything. We can be doing our own things on our computers or phones. Or reading our own books or playing our own video games. I’m happy as long as I’m with them.
Even though Words of Affirmations is in the middleish for me on both types it’s still kind of hard for me. It always seems awkward complimenting people and expressing my feelings. I think part of that goes with my introvertyness and shyness.
I’m looking forward to reading about others experiences with the 5 Love Languages. Stuff like this fascinates me.
On Sunday we ended the Easter Season and celebrated Pentecost. And in celebration I shared this awesome youtube video on Facebook that I will also share here:
Over the past few years I have come to LOVE the Holy Spirit. When I began teaching Confirmation I really began to understand it. We all receive the Holy Spirit along with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Baptism. Yes Baptism.
But here is the thing about gifts. We can all receive a ton of gifts but if we don’t use them they are useless. I used to do this activity with my confirmation students about the holy spirit using Chocolate Milk.
When you are born you are given flesh which is the MILK. Then you are baptized and given the gifts of the holy spirt aka the Chocolate Syrup (I always put in a TON of chocolate syrup for a good visual aid/reaction from the kids).
But what happens to the chocolate? It sits at the bottom…you need Jesus and prayer (the spoon) to stir the chocolate and the holy spirit within your faith life to live a good christian life.
I’m a big visual person so I have always loved this activity/demonstration even if it’s kind of cheesy. The Holy Spirit is one of those mysterious things that is awesome because it’s just there and it helps us even when we aren’t sure about our faith. Looking back on my life I can see the really bad times and how the Holy Spirit helped me when I thought my life was ending (yes I can be a bit dramatic).
Oh life as a single person. I always thought my life in my twenties would be much more glamorous that it really is. I watch TV shows with characters in their twenties and it’s nothing like reality. They have glamorous jobs making tons of money, have tons of friends, clothes, things, and NEVER have money problems. Often the women have 3 dates a week and have to sometimes REJECT dates or “schedule them in.” Oh how I wish my life was like that.
Have you ever seen the My Friends Are All Married tumblr? Man I read it for comic relief but it is SOOO TRUE! It’s full of truthful quotes and gifs.
When my friend tells me that married people have different priorities…and I’m like…
Growing up I wanted to get married but I never knew when that would happen. Sometimes I think I would just wake up married one day like magic..not in the I got drunk in Vegas and married a random guy kind of way. But in a getting to skip the drama that is dating and just skipping to the married part.
One of the biggest things I hear from others about being single is people seem to think we have a TON of free time. Since I don’t have children or a significant other I have tons of free time to do whatever these other people need me to do like volunteer, help with errands, work on projects, etc. Honestly, I like doing these things so really it doesn’t bother me but I just don’t like the assumptions that I don’t have much of a life and can drop everything to help out.
I hope this post isn’t sounding mean/rude/ungrateful I have a hard time putting my feelings of this into words sometimes.
Really I know I should treasure these years and being single IS NOT the end of the world. I have learned A LOT about myself in the past 10 years. I’ve learned how to go to events by myself. I’ve learned how to be accountable for my faith life. I’ve learned how to cook, clean, and pay my own bills.
Yeah I struggled with some of these things…heck I still struggle with some of these things but I’m pushing through. I’m still alive and haven’t been to jail yet. Those are all wins right? Help me out here people!
I can say my moms really good about not hounding me about my singleness. Although it helps that she is also single. My sister it depends on her mood sometimes she doesn’t really care and sometimes she’s super nosy and interested in my dating life (or lack there of).
Thankfully a lot of my cousins and friends are also single and we can commiserate with each other. It’s nice to be able to commiserate with other singles so you don’t think you are INSANE. Even some of my married friends understand the frustrations which is super helpful. I know this season isn’t forever and I am FOREVER GRATEFUL for that!
How is LENT almost over?!!? I feel like it just started?!!? The last month or so has just flown by! I wrote a little bit about Lent in one of my Quick Takes last week but let me do some expanding today.
Lent is going. I always feel like Lent is just this time of drama. Not in a bad way just in a way that there are a lot of things going on but because it’s lent we’re always thinking about God, Church, Jesus, and Easter.
As a daughter of someone that works for the church I always tell people that from Lent until May are the busiest time at church and most people never understand it because they never see the behind the scenes things that go on in parish life. Between RCIA, sacrament prep, retreats, the Triduum, the easter vigil, sacraments, first communion, and confirmation it is a very busy place to be. On top of all that our parish is currently closed for renovations set to open on Saturday!
So in the midst of the busy what have I been doing this Lent? I have been doing A LOT of praying. A LOT. I’ve been trying to go to adoration 1-2 times a week and it has been pretty crowded when I go which is AWESOME! I love going when others are there. I’ve also been going in the evening for the closing of Adoration for Benediction and have been enjoying learning/saying those prayers.
A few weeks ago my diocese had a Eucharistic Congress. That was an amazing event. We had a young adult track on Friday night that had some great speakers to relate the eucharist to everyday life.
The bishop came in with the Eucharist for adoration and he even gave us several tips for enjoying mass as a young person when we have all these secular things that can be more entertaining than mass at times. And they were very simple things like reading the readings before going to mass, listening to the homily and applying it to your life, participating in the singing, and even volunteering to be a lector or Eucharistic Minister. Like anything you need to put the energy into mass that you want to receive from it. He also said that people have tried to tell him that the Eucharist is a Devotion (similar to the rosary) and he has to correct them that the Eucharist is not a devotion but the Eucharist is THE LORD.
I have also been reading the book, Saint John the Great: His Five Great Loves by Jason Evert. I’ve been enjoying this book and hope to finish it by Easter….yeah that probably won’t happen but I’m a work in progress.
I’m using a Lent Calendar to pray for different people and things each day. Sometimes I get behind and pray for several people and things all at once. Which is what I’m going to do tonight since the calendar is currently buried under a bunch of mail on my desk.
I LOVE the Share Jesus videos. There is a new one each day and each one has a different speaker and a lot of “famous” Catholics that I have heard before in other videos, books, or conferences. I also love that they are all less than 3 minutes long and they are set up in a way that it is really easy to share them on social media. I usually see them shared a few times throughout the day on social media.
The Best Lent Ever Videos are on the long side but full of really good information. Last week the video about How to Read the Bible was full of a ton of great information I even took notes!
This week my parish is having a Parish Mission that a Deacon and his wife are speaking at. I’m hoping to make it a few of the days especially on Wednesday since they are also having Confession during that night.
I always feel Lent is a good time of year for us to refocus our faith life. Also check-out my link-up if you need some meatless recipes for the last few Fridays of Lent. There are a lot of great ideas there.
How do you travel as a single lady?! Any tips or tricks you’d like to share? Do you have anything fun planned for this year?
I LOVE this weeks topic because I LOVE to Travel! I joke that when I get bored I research vacation destinations that I can’t afford to visit….but I really do this.
My parents LOVED to travel and they would always take us places. My mom always laughs at people who say they don’t travel because they have kids because they would take us everywhere as kids. They never stopped living their life because of us…they just worked around it….yeah a lot of our trips weren’t all that glamorous but they were fun and full of laughter and stories we STILL talk about today.
I once sat in this timeshare presentation and the guy on the video said, “When you look around your house or office you have pictures of you on vacation traveling…not pictures of you working!” I always laugh when I think of that quote because it’s SO TRUE! (I’m not promoting timeshares just thought that quote puts travel into perspective)
I’m a big proponent of taking trips within driving distance. As kids we basically drove everywhere on vacation. It’s also a more affordable way to travel.
You can also make fun pit-stops on the way like to the worlds biggest ball of yarn. Totally kidding but did anyone watch that episode of The Middle?
I love to fly but it’s just more affordable to drive and I prefer going somewhere affordable than nowhere. Right now my mom is on this big “I want to take the train somewhere on vacation” kick. But she doesn’t really know where to go and sadly the train is 2x the cost of driving or flying.
Over the past few years I have traveled a lot. We take a lot of weekend trips down to Orlando to visit Disney, Universal and conferences. Most of those trips are with family, mostly my mom and sister.
Last Spring I went to Europe for the first time partly with a study abroad program with school and partly with my mom. It was so cool to see so many of the places I’ve read about and seen in movies in real life. Traveling really makes the history books come alive.
This year I actually have a TON of trips planned. Last year I didn’t do anything for myself retreat or catholic conference wise and that is a priority for me this year. So far I’m going to St. Louis in May for the Stubenville Young Adult Encounter Conference (I actually just booked my airfare today and registered for it a few weeks ago).
In June I am hoping to go to Atlanta for the Eucharistic Congress and the Catholic New Media Conference. In October I’m going to Denver for the #CathSorority online women’s group retreat/meet-up and I’m hoping to get up to either NYC or DC for a Papal mass in September if I can get a ticket. That is a whole lot of catholicness for one year! I say I’m doing a good job at making up for last years lack of retreats/conferences.
Personal travel-wise I went up to NYC a few weekends ago to visit family and in June/July my whole family is going on a cruise and then renting a house for a few days over the 4th of July. I think that is most of what I have going on this year…it looks like it’s going to be a busy year for me! HA! The only other travel I may have is some weekend trips to Orlando to go to Disney, Night of Joy or a conference for work.
In 2016 I’m going to Poland for World Youth Day so I’m thinking that is going to be probably the only travel I do. Which is kind of how last year was. I had the one huge trip and didn’t do much else.
Here are a few Travel Tips:
Even though I normally travel with family I have done my fair share of traveling alone. It’s really not as scary as they make it out to be.
You just need to learn how to be safe, look like you know what you are doing and not PANIC.
My number 1 tip is to make sure you print anything you might need before you leave. Don’t rely on pulling things up on your smart phone because sometimes it just doesn’t work. Service in airports is sometimes AWFUL. It’s just easier to be old-school.
Also if you are flying research the airline to see what the baggage requirements are, what you can and cannot bring, and pay for your luggage before you get to the airport..it’s cheaper 90% of the time!
A great tool I use is tripit.com. You can even link it up with your email address so any type of travel arrangements will automatically get updated into it (or you can also forward emails to it).
It’s a great app/website for managing all the details of your trip. Between flights, rental cars, hotels, and attraction tickets it can get insane.
I’m a planner so I am always researching and planning things to do for places I visit. I’m not one of those crazy people that when I get there I have a detailed itinerary and tell you where to be at 11:02am. Once I’m there I’m pretty good at going with the flow and by then I’ve usually memorized everything I need to know.
My family and my Aunts family take family vacations together every few years and we joke that my cousin and I are the “tour guides” and they never have to worry because we’re always making sure to plan our vacations!
My biggest tip when traveling is to just HAVE FUN! Forget about work, life, drama, and just enjoy yourself explore, get lost and have fun!!
We all have times when we feel alone. What are ways that you combat loneliness? Pray? Join a group? How can we encourage each other to stay positive?
Thanks to Laura P!
Oh Loneliness….this is a good topic and I’ve loved reading through all the posts this week.
Loneliness is something I really struggle with on and off. And yes there are times when everyone is lonely no matter what phase of life. However, I think for singles it just seems to be more obvious. Granted I’ve never been married so I can’t really speak for them.
I moved to Florida 4 years ago and it’s been a struggle to find local friends. This blog was started partially due to the lack of community I had locally. There are times I go to events and socials and feel like everyone already has friends, and significant others that it’s hard to get a word into their conversations and get to know new people on a deeper level.
I also feel like it’s really hard to talk about being lonely to other people because it freaks people out. People aren’t sure how to react. Should they feel sorry for you, pray for you, or give you unsolicited advice as to why you are lonely..which then leads to those awkward “You’re such a great person why are you single?!!?” conversations.
There was even a period of time last year when I HATED going to mass alone amongst all the families and couples. I actually ended up switching parishes due to this at one point as well. I DREADED going to mass for a period of time because I hated feeling so alone at the one place I felt like I shouldn’t feel alone.
So what do I do when loneliness creeps in?
Honestly, first I usually cry. Yeah I’m not very good at handling this feeling. Then I try to get out of the house. Even if it’s just to go to Starbucks and surf the internet and people watch. Usually changing my surroundings helps. I also try and go to Adoration. Even if all I do in adoration is argue with God in my head it’s usually really helpful because Jesus is there.
For awhile loneliness was really creeping in on the weekend when I didn’t have any plans. So I started going to my moms house and having dinner with her and my sister and spending time with them. They aren’t girlfriends or dates but they are family and fun to be with. We all recently purchased scooters we leave at my moms house and ride them around town, which is a lot of fun!
Sometimes I’ll browse meetup.com groups but lately I haven’t seen anything interesting on there. I think this time of year a lot of things tend to slow down. I’m hoping things start to pick-up. I did an Advent study at a parish during Advent and I’m hoping they do a series for Lent as well. I really enjoyed it.
I’m really thankful for the Not Alone Series and all my online, twitter and blogging friends that has gotten me through this period of time. I honestly am not sure how I would have made it through some of the days without them.