A book reviewer recently called "Single File" an advanced course in Life Engineering, and the name fits like a glove! Because once you tune in to the opportunity that comes with singleness, you become Chairman of the Board, responsible for every decision big and small. Once you get the hang of life unpartnered — and, yes, these are times of trial and error — you are certainly well-equipped to live any way you choose. (And that choice may well change with time, as age dictates its own priorities.) With that preamble aired, some nuggets to use as only you decide:
— The only power that counts in the long run is personal power, the effectiveness we have to make our imprint on the sands of time. It is developed by harnessing our talents and our strengths, using them to expand the floating sea of helpfulness that lies around us.
— The phone (whichever model is yours) is a magic wand. It can transport you out of lonely moments, tough times, the crunches that come to everyone, single or married. But as a single person, they often feel worse without a buffer to soften rude shocks of the outside world. This is no ad for Apple, believe me, but when things look bleak, reach out and touch someone. By phone.
— If you find yourself becoming rigid about your home and your routine, it's time to shake things up. Let a whole day go by without washing the dishes in the sink. Leave the bed unmade over the weekend. (I'll never tell.) I promise the sky won't fall if you even play mess-up for a week! Ask a friend to spend the night with you, and promise yourself that you'll see the next-day disorder as a sign of life. (It is, you know.) Don't lose the ability to bend.
— Loneliness in singleworld is usually written off as part of living alone, part of its solo aspect, but to me that's cheap and too-easy reasoning. The truth, for me, lies in the nagging feeling of being different, out of the coupled mainstream. But the longer you and I dish, you will find that misconception dissolving. That's a promise, me to you. (Life Engineering, remember?)
— What are you doing to put your personal solutions into your life? I strongly suggest starting a file of resources — a single file — of the professionals you will need to make your life easier. The phone numbers and addresses of doctors, all-night deli, bank officer, dry cleaners, attorney, drugstore, post office, consignment store, dating agency, your folks' vacation cabin and anything — everything — will mean less stress for you. Organizing means less agonizing. Make individual cards — a Rolodex or some other filing system — and do get into the habit of taking names and making notes to yourself. Don't even think of stopping the project — ever. Not for a new marital status or a new partner. It works!
— You can't imagine the strength of positivism until you see it in action. Thinking in upbeat ways, being solution-oriented and doing instead of worrying. Plucking out negative, fearful worries and replacing them with eagerness to find solutions all has a positive impact on results. You can and will do it.
Write for your free signed copy of the "Declaration of Undependence" on parchment. Send your request to: Susan Deitz, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at [email protected]