The Non-Hugger’s Epiphany

Today must mark 60 days to my next birthday. I know that because today is the 4th anniversary of 60 Is The New 60 blog! Four years ago today, I got the brilliant idea to spend the 60 days until my 60th birthday posting my life lessons in this blog. And I did it. And I loved doing it. It is really hard to believe that was four years ago now and I have not been good about keeping a regular posting schedule. It’s not that I don’t have material–life is full of great material–it is that I’m making other choices. And those choices are not so great, but they are choices that I’m making right now.

About the first month or so of quarantine, I loved it. I was getting projects done around the house, I was saving a two hour a day commute, I was actually reading a BOOK, I was having more fun cooking, but I was ignoring my blogs, I was spending a lot of time on social media and watching television. I spent a ton of time on TikTok, which is not all bad because I follow some awesomely motivational people there. But I was ignoring things that required me to sit down and actually do my own work. I needed to figure out why.

I still thought I was doing great! I think the turning point was when I watched the videos of my grandson’s graduation parade that I wanted to attend, but couldn’t, and tears were streaming down my face as I was thinking about all the things I was missing in my life due to the pandemic. I missed my kids, I missed my grandbabies, I missed my friends, I missed my coworkers, and I even missed going into the damn grocery store! I missed real humans. We have done lots of virtual meetings with the kids/grandkids and with my friends and coworkers, but it is not the same. That’s when I had my epiphany–I miss hugs!

Until about 10 years ago, I was NOT a hugger (think Dirty Dancing and “this is my dance space”). But my friends are huggers and you can’t be around huggers and not become one. And that is what I miss most. Sure, I hug my husband daily (and we’ve been doing that for nearly 50 years), but that’s my familiar “I love you forever” hug. And that’s totally different from the hug of a small grandchild where you have to bend far over one day that turns into the hug of a teenager the next and the hug of a full-grown adult the day after that that means “I love you to the moon and back.” It’s different from the hug of a friend who knows all your secrets, who has traveled the world with you, who you’ve had amazing adventures with that means “I love you and will see you soon.” It is different from the hug of parents and siblings who don’t do a lot of hugging that means “I love you always.”

My biggest hugfest–my NALS conference–is virtual this year so I won’t get those hugs either. And I will really miss that. I guess I am definitely a reformed non-hugger. So trust me when I say that once I start hugging again, I may not let you go. I just want you to be prepared for that!