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The Way I See It...

Publisher's Letter 

Robin Rogers, Ed.D.

Maybe because it’s been really cold this last month, with gray skies and short days, that I am feeling bummed. Maybe Old Man Winter has jumbled my circadian rhythms, and I’ve quit Diet Cokes, and lack of sleep has created a more sluggish me. For certain, every time I encounter news, I am frustrated by the conflicts between countries, political parties, neighbors, and families. News, these days, is depressing. As I opened my computer to write about the excitement of February and the topic “love,” I thought, “of all people, I am the worst choice for this subject.” So ... I closed my laptop and binge watched the new season of “Grace and Frankie.”

That’s what people do, you know, who aren’t married, tending children full-time, or dating at 48: they binge watch Netflix series. There’s great comfort found escaping under a heated blanket, with the lights off and a television on; and I do recommend “Grace and Frankie.” For a few seasons, I was opposed to watching it completely; I had never gotten over Jane Fonda’s posed pictures with North Vietnamese soldiers during the war in the ’70s. But, after my mother and my daughter recommended the show, and I read up on Fonda’s many apologies, I caved. I’m glad I did because it’s been a treat to laugh at the comedy that she and Lily Tomlin bring to the screen.

Laughing, without a doubt, is something I seriously love to do.

When I think of the things I love (not people), I never think of things anymore; it’s always experiences. Does an expensive purse make me happy in 2019? No. Even years ago, when I thought something tangible with a brand name would bring me joy, upon attainment, the new

faded fast, and there came another prize to work for. In my early twenties, I sold cars while I was in graduate school. My motto was “Sell a car; buy a dress.” I loved working and shopping. That was B.K. – before kids. Today, I find no joy shopping in a mall or buying clothes. If you know me for real, you understand why (I’m a terrible dresser!).

While things don’t rev my engine anymore, experiences are the way to my heart. Sometimes I need a push off the couch, but once up, I will book the tickets and get ready. If it’s not illegal or immoral, count me in. I’ll be Thelma or Louise in any convertible on any road to some laughter and fun. I’m counting the days to convertible weather, but don’t be surprised if I fly south to the beach before it warms up here. I’m committed to finding my fun times again!

As to “real love,” I have tried my hand at marriage, and I have failed miserably. I take the blame for the failures (plural), too. For many years, I had excuses or reasons why my marriages did not last, but after nearly a decade of being single, I know that the easiest thing to do is quit, instead of digging in your feet for the long haul.

If you know me, you know that I enjoy writing other people’s love stories. I enjoy watching Hallmark movies, hearing duets by Tim and Faith, and reading books by Nicholas Sparks. The idea of love is truly intoxicating. Today, my best love stories involve my children, close friends, work, and pets. Those are the relationships that I can work toward. Tears are long dry from the past, and the future is wide open for more joy, happiness, and love. Note: Joy, happiness, and love are the results of personal output and effort.

Recently, I bought T-shirts that I had personalized for my kids. My oldest daughter is still in Toronto, waiting to start a doctoral program in the fall. She always posts pictures on social media with a hashtag #texarkanaintoronto (so happy that my girl is proud of her hometown), so obviously, her shirt said “Texarkana in Toronto.” Emily, my middle child, is the proud dog mom to a mini labradoodle that she named after a great gal (Molly Kendrick), who used to work at Four States Living. Em’s shirt said “Molly’s Mom.” My son, Briley, who I knew would not wear anything I personalized, is going off to college in the fall. We have called him “Bear” since he was a toddler, and his new university’s mascot (by chance) is a bear, so I found him a UCA Bears sweatshirt. While I was searching for these little gifts, I decided to get myself a shirt that reflected “2019 Robin.” The words that I chose were not words that are new to me; in fact, I’ve been saying them for years. My T-shirt says “Love is a Verb.”

Newton’s law states that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” I did not want to write this editorial. Yet, as I wrote, I realized that I have more happiness, joy, and love when I am busy experiencing life with my tribe. So, thanks FSLM for waiting on me because the writing has led me to a realization. It’s time to get busy. The journey is only as great as the amount of effort each person puts forth. The Eldridges and the many couples’ stories we share this month know that theory well. Love truly is an action verb. Now excuse me, as I must plan a trip with the people I love.

As always, thanks for reading FSLM.