Flowers – Date #11

Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow– John Lennon

Early on when I started this self-dating adventure, I decided at one point that I wanted to send myself flowers, and in dreaming big, I wanted to be surprised to some extent when I received them. I hoped that in ordering them in advance, I would forget not only what I had ordered and possibly even when they would be delivered. At some point, I did order myself flowers to be delivered and I was delighted that when they were delivered, I had completely forgotten what I had ordered.

Flowers delight me, but I don’t often indulge in buying them for myself. As I write this post this evening, I am taken back to times in my life when flowers have been such a source of joy, and surprise. One of my past partners loved giving me flowers and loved it so much that he committed himself to providing flowers to me every month, and he did that from the beginning of our story until about 4 months before the end. Sometimes the flowers were fulsome bouquets filled with vibrant pinks and purples and leafy greens. Once the flower was a stained glass iris, with shades of rich purple glass and muted greens and it hung on the wall of our bedroom until after he moved out and then I took it down and smashed it against the patio stones in my backyard. That was a bad decision because I spent months finding shards of glass with my bare feet every time I walked outside and onto the patio.

I remembered the time that my biggest crush sent me flowers. She is married to the most lovely woman, and I still crush on her knowing that we will never cross that boundary with each other. She is a dear friend and a trusted colleague. One year when I learned that I had been successful in being offered a significant job that I really wanted, she sent me a bouquet of flowers, of roses pink and white and something else of a delicate shade of mauve. They arrived at my office with no note on them. For days I had no idea who had sent them to me, but I kept them on my office desk and they greeted me every morning with a silent acknowledgment that somebody had been thinking of me. One day she called to wish me congratulations on my new gig and asked me if I liked the flowers. She told me that she had sent them because I was someone who deserved to have flowers sent to me. Funny, I had forgotten all about that until I started writing tonight.

So, flowers are a date of sorts and are a kind of gift that has come to mean a whole variety of things in the gift giving realm. I wanted the surprise of flowers… I had not totally forgotten when they would be delivered, but in a fluke of not really paying attention to dates, I had ordered them to be delivered on the Friday before Mother’s Day. This ended up being a lovely treat for me, because while I am a mother, as a single mother I regularly downplayed any attention on Mother’s Day while my daughter was growing up. Her father did not assist her with planning anything for me for mother’s day when my daughter was younger and she would feel upset on the day of Mother’s day that she did not have a gift or anything special for me. I would tell her that the only thing I needed from her was a big hug and anything else was not required because her hugs were the only thing that mattered. As a result, celebrating Mother’s Day has always been low key and I just made myself okay with that.

Perhaps on a subconscious level, I knew that the weekend was Mother’s Day, but it was not front of mind when I ordered the flowers. I was delighted with the flowers when they arrived and even more so when I saw the note that I had included for myself – “I love you more and more each day. Me” What was really interesting to me is that the order somehow was doubled and I received a duplicate order of flowers. I was only charged once, so I am not sure how it got into the system twice. So, a double bouquet of rich vibrant spring flowers!

I am on this journey of deepening this love for myself and exploring what my needs and interests are, and how I want to spend my time. I am learning what activities really engage and inspire me. What things I might have ignored doing because they weren’t of interest to my past partners and now I am reminding myself of things that I enjoy doing, like art galleries and theatre.

And, so, I am sending myself flowers because I want flowers in my life. Perhaps this time I will order them a little further out or maybe ask my daughter to order them and pick a date so that I can be well and truly surprised.

Flower delivery – $78

Rating – 10/10

A Lull

It’s been a while since I have been able to take myself on a date. I think it has been well over a month. A few things happened along the way. I went to Calgary to visit a friend for a week and that was a lovely distraction. We splurged on a weekend away in Banff at the Rimrock Resort Hotel, with not only a room with a mountain view, but a mountain view with a balcony. While it felt luxurious and decadent, it was most definitely a get-away with a friend and nothing like a date for myself. We wandered around Banff, Lake Louise, Canmore and along river fronts for two full days.

I came home to a very full work schedule and I learned that when I don’t plan ahead for dates for myself, I find it harder to make happen. I get caught up in the hurley burley of my days and I put myself and my relationship with myself on the back burner. I thought it didn’t matter so much, because 10 days after coming back from Alberta, I was headed away for a weekend with my mom and sister.

Again, I loved the time with my sister and my mother. We met in Cobourg which is somewhat in the middle between London (where my sister lives) and Ottawa (where I live). My mom lives in Sault Ste. Marie and she headed to London and traveled with my sister to Cobourg for the weekend. We had a wonderful time together, including some pampering time with a day long spa visit together, but again, it wasn’t date time.

Then, I took a day and went to pick up my daughter’s new service-dog-to-be puppy from the breeder and drive her home. I spent a full day driving and picking up puppy and taking her home. Her name is Dolly Parton (again, my daughter’s dog, and her name choice for an adorable yellow labrador puppy) and she is a beautiful but busy and active labrador puppy. Between supporting my daughter with puppy care – including waking up every two hours to let the puppy out – and doing my day job, I felt exhausted. I knew it would be for just a couple of weeks and it would start to balance itself out.

And then a huge part of Ontario and parts of Quebec were hit with a storm, a kind of storm I never knew existed before. A derecho storm that was 1,100 km in length whipped through the region and Ottawa was very badly hit. At one point, there were over 160,000 customers without power in the Ottawa area. The whole Ottawa Hydro outage mapped was red with a few white spaces indicating those who had power.

My neighbourhood was particularly badly hit and we were without power for 7 days. We were without internet and cell service for 9 days. With a new puppy. It was exhausting and it was survival mode. I emptied fridges and freezers and tossed out hundreds of dollars worth of food. My daughter and I juggled the puppy, her other dog and ourselves to get showers and food and moments of electrical connection.

Well, with the good and the challenging times over the past month, time for myself got rather crowded out and I have missed that intentional time. And, as is my pattern, I found my schedule packed with work, family and friendship obligations and interests and not enough time for me to date myself. The reason for starting these adventures in dating myself remains the same – I will allow the demands of everything else in my life to fill in the crevices without realizing that I am not taking the time to pay attention to my needs, interests or time.

While I don’t have a juicy, or mild date planned for myself in the next little while, I do have a plan to make some dates for myself. I now have the daunting task to fit 39 more dates into 30 weeks! Although only 10 dates are posted, I do have an 11th date waiting in my draft posts to finalize and post. So, a few more weeks with a couple of dates extra per week.

It remains my commitment to be in relationship with myself and I will get back there. I miss me.