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Today is Day 2 of “12 Days of Single,” a self-imposed blog challenge to share the joys and struggles of being single during the holidays. With all the romance in the air, it’s not always easy to walk these snow-covered streets alone, but I’ve done it before and I’m doing it again… and you lucky readers get a small glimpse into the experience.

I’m not going to lie: Day 1 was pretty amazing. I spent the day in New York City with a good friend, taking in the glory of snowy Manhattan in the hustle and bustle of Christmas season… whilst simultaneously testing the limits of cold weather that my body can handle before succumbing to hypothermia. I believe I set a new record on that second one! All in all, Day 1 of “12 Days of Single” left me happy for friendship, appreciative of my independence, and blessed to be able to see the incredible sights around me.

Day 2 started off with a challenge far greater than this little blog challenge. To make a long story short, I was offered this piano, free of charge:

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What a beauty! I’ve always wanted to own a piano, because I love the look of an old instrument in the house and because I’m starting to feel occasional tinges of guilt when I think of all the money my parents spent on piano lessons when I was a kid. Then I suddenly find myself standing face to key with this beautiful musical instrument just begging me to come tickle its ivories. I don’t use the word fate lightly, but, well… fate.

As in all dramatic cliffhangers, there is a catch: If I want the piano, I need to haul it away myself… and quick. The house it lived in for many years is about to go under a major renovation and they need the piano out pronto. If I don’t move fast, I’ll lose this incredible opportunity. I mean, how often does someone give you a free piano?

So I did what I normally do when I’m faced with a tough challenge — I went to Google.

How much does a piano weigh?

An upright piano the style of this one tips the scales at 300-400 pounds. Ouch.

How many men does it take to move a piano?

Most forums that came up said 3-4 men are needed. Definitely don’t try this with only two guys. (Many disaster stories are chronicled on the internet about such tomfoolery.)

Are men that move pianos generally good looking?

I digress. This always happens with Google!

As a single gal, I don’t have the luxury of just calling my strapping boyfriend or fireman husband and saying, “Honey, can you pick something up for me?” (And by something, I mean a 400-pound piano. Love ya!)

I have to figure things out on my own. I don’t have a choice. If I’m being honest, this reality can be daunting. It makes me feel all alone in the world and I can grow jealous of my friends who can easily call on their special someones for help.

But today wasn’t one of those sometimes. It’s Day 2 of “12 Days of Single,” after all! Today is one of the days when I stare fear in the face and pull a Big Bad Wolf — blowing that fear right to the ground. I was offered a free piano and I am going to get that free piano — husband or not.

Of course, I have a few things working in my favor.

      • I have a really cool dad.
      • Said dad often helps me with stuff.
      • I have really cool family friends.
      • Said family friends have handy furniture dollies and belts, and a big van.
      • Said dad and family friends are so quality that they come to my aid at a moment’s notice… on their days off from work.

So I set off on my conquest, mere hours after six inches of snow covered the ground of the Garden State, and even fewer hours since I was offered this free piano.

Sometimes in life you have to let go of the pressure of doing everything yourself and you have to tap into the muscle and resources around you. (Particularly when icy stairs and 400-pound musical instruments are involved.)

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Sometimes in life you have to seize an opportunity for something great instead of wallowing in self pity or depression over something you wish you had. I’ve heard crybabies don’t get far in life anyway.

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Sometimes in life you have to look at a difficult situation as a challenge, as something you can accomplish and something that will make you a stronger person. (I was carrying the piano bench the whole time, people!)

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Sometimes in life you need a creepy white van filled with men who work for pizza.

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Sometimes in life you need to stop and smell the roses that make up the community of people around you. Some family, some friends, some neighbors — it all weaves into a beautiful tapestry of love that’s ours for the taking.

So I did it!

[Insert cheers, applause and pats on the back!]

When faced with this challenge, I could have easily said, “Thanks for the offer, but it’ll just be too hard to move that piano.” I could have justified it by saying, “I’ll find another piano one day when I’m more prepared for it,” or “A piano probably makes more sense when I’m married with kids, anyway.”

I’m learning, though, that life goes on, no matter how you choose to live it. Or as they say in Jersey, life don’t stop for nobody.

Instead of bowing out, I grabbed that beast by its proverbial horns. I made a few calls, put myself out there, pulled at least 17 muscles shoveling snow, nearly killed my dad by way of piano smooshing, and managed to make my dream of owning my very own piano come to life. And I feel pretty darn good about myself right now.

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And in case Google is wondering, piano movers are very handsome indeed.

~Ruth

{Stay tuned for the remaining installments of the “12 Days of Single” blog challenge. I’ll be posting a new blog every day from now until Christmas!}