Daughter Summer is losing her playfully-sarcastic edge. Last week I sent her this text: “Today I moved my wedding ring to my right hand.”




Summer: “Wow. Big step.”

I’m not sure who this girl is. The daughter I know would have shot back with something like: “Does this mean I’m getting a new dad?!”

In my last blog, I mentioned that moving my ring to my right hand didn’t mean I was interested in dating or remarriage.

But I did recently draft a list of 22 qualities I would be looking for in a date. Should I ever consider dating. Which I won’t. Ever date or remarry. But just in case. Even though I’m not planning on it. Ever. But just to be on the safe side …

There are selfish items on the list. Like this one:

#18. In good health and physical condition

I wouldn’t relish going through the widowhood thing anytime soon. Hence, the guy would need to be in good physical condition and health. Selfish, yes?

Here are some important items. Not deal-breakers, but certainly important:

#5. Dry sense of humor

#20. Enjoys hiking, snow-shoeing, kayaking, other outdoor activities

#17. A good cook; can work well in the kitchen with me

In fact, he can even take over the kitchen from me. I haven’t been doing any serious cooking since Hubby died. Because who cooks an entire meal for just themselves? And so I’m sort of forgetting how to cook. Unless it’s popcorn. If he wants popcorn every night for dinner, I can do popcorn.

And then there’s #9 on the list:

#9. Romantic in a thoughtful way, and not necessarily in a spend-lots-of-money way

Years ago, I had a kitchen sink faucet with two handles. I ruminated out loud once: “Someday it would be nice to have one of those single-faucet-thingies.”

Not long afterward, on Valentine’s Day, I came home to a new kitchen faucet installed by Hubby. Talk about winning a girl’s heart. Right there.

Some women like spendy items. But I think a good deal of us like the sweetly thoughtful things that say, I was actually paying attention to what you said. You are special to me. I went to the trouble of giving you what you wanted. Because I love you.

Yes, the kitchen faucet was rather wordy, but it said all that.

(Guys, this is not an excuse to do something you need to do anyway — like rotating the tires on her car — and call it a Valentine’s Day gift. I’m telling you right now, you’re not gonna get away with it.)

And of course, there are the non-negotiables on my particular list:

#1. Strong and quiet leader, Christ follower

#3. Not an accumulator of things, but an accumulator of people and experiences and purposefulness

People of a certain age marry into a life. Retired; master of the Barcalounger and remote control; house decorated by previous wife on street where every house looks similar; RV parked nearby.

This life would drive me crazy. I would want to keep company with a man on a mission. A man with purpose, making a difference in the world, causing someone else to breathe easier.

The point of this blog—not that I can’t ramble on and on with no particular point because after all, it is my blog—is really three-fold:

1. Know what you want. If a rather large door of opportunity should open for you to take an adventure, change careers, do something more purposeful with your life, would you step through it? Have you ever thought about incorporating more meaning into your days? Yes, it’s safer to stay with your current career choice. Safer to stay on the ground and not fly off to make a difference in another part of the world. Safer to never date and remarry because then you can go on eating popcorn for dinner. But do you really want safe?

How do you want to spend your one beautiful, gifted, blessed life?

2. Be prepared. Prepare yourself as much as you can for adventure, for the unexpected, for more purpose and meaning. And the best preparation—speaking from experience here—is to pare down. What accumulation of stuff is keeping you tied to the same dull sameness?

Maybe it’s not stuff, but fear. Be willing to be shaken out of your complacency and comfortableness. Because complacency and comfortableness aren’t showing anyone else how to live fully.

3. Never say never. Don’t be afraid to keep heart wide open for the unexpected. As much fun as I had sharing some of the points on my *dating list* with you, I truly don’t want to date and remarry. Because I’m very content—and grateful and at peace—where I am. But I want to stay open-hearted and vulnerable and available for whatever God unfolds.

How about you? Are you up for adventure? For heading in a new direction? How prepared are you to be shaken out of your comfortableness? 

P.S. If you found this post inspirational or helpful, please share, tweet or pin!