Over at Living Single, I just wrote about the highs and lows for people who are single during the year that’s transpired since the last Singles Week. There have been some personal singles-relevant highs and lows as well.
Actually, I thought I was going to list personal events here, but most turn out to be interpersonal. One of the highs for me this year (as has been true every year since I started writing about single life) is hearing from other single people. It has been nearly 4 years since the first version of Singled Out (the hardcover edition) appeared in print, yet I still hear from new readers just about every week. I’m still touched by how positive the responses have been. (Of course, there are searing exceptions.) Since I started blogging, even more people have been sharing their stories, either on the blogs or in emails.
Each year, the group of people who write blogs and books and who comment on blogs seems more and more like a community. I don’t know if this is true of all e-mail programs, but with the one I use to get notices of the comments that are posted at Living Single, I see only the comments and not the names. (I have to go to the original post to see the names or nicknames associated with the comments.) By now, I can sometimes tell who wrote the comments before I look them up.
I’ve even gotten to meet some fellow singles in person. Some have been in the Summerland area, and others have shown up at various talks I’ve given. That’s been great.
I appreciate how some topics have really seemed to resonate with readers. The concept of “single at heart” has been one of them. I like that, too.
I’ve also had lots of thoughtful and spirited conversations about singles and single life with authors and reporters. Plenty of writers really do get it about singlism and such. In the past, their proposed stories often got nixed. Now, more of them are making it into print.
I love digging into intellectually engaging topics. This year I was asked to write a chapter (I’m still working on it) about family in the lives of people who are single with no children. I am happy to have this oft-neglected topic represented in what will be the new edition of the Handbook of Family Communication. I was also surprised at how absorbing it has been for me to dig into this matter. As with other explorations into representations of singles, what I have found has been both exasperating and fascinating.
This next point is such a given for me that I almost forgot to include it. I love my single life. I’m still renting a warm and bright place with an ocean view. I never tire of the views, the hiking trails, the farmers markets, or the life of the mind in and around the university. I do miss my East Coast friends and family, but I’ve made new friends whom I cherish, and it is not too difficult to entice visitors, especially in their winter season. I’m not one who obsesses about health matters, but whenever I stop to take stock, I feel immensely grateful that I am healthy.
Now that I’ve reviewed all these personal high points, I can’t really call anything from this past year a true low. I’ve had disappointments, but not the kind worthy of real complaints. Because blogging is one of my favorite things to do, I’m always wishing it would pay the bills, but I’m happy to have the opportunities even without any great financial rewards.
Several times a year, someone from another country wants to translate Singled Out into another language. Because of some inside-publishing matters that I do not completely understand, that has never been possible except for a Chinese translation. So that’s been disappointing, but still, the English-language version is the most important.
I’m trying to come up with other disappointments, but if I have to think that hard, they are probably not worth mentioning. Ever onward.