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Posts Tagged ‘divorced’

So this was a fascinating read over at HuffPo, “The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think” by Johann Hari, who’s authored a book called Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs. She spent over three years and traveled 30,000 miles researching her book, and ran across a rather mind-blowing notion:

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.

There’s a lot of good stuff in her HuffPo article so I definitely recommend reading it, but I’ll hit on some high lights from what she wrote below, along with my own thoughts.   (more…)

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Sweetie pie SillyG suggested that I do another “She’d Love my iPod” to provide some music suggestions for summer jams, and since I haven’t done that in a while and my iTunes collection has grown, seemed like a good time to do so!  Yeah, I know the summer’s almost over but still…

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The vast majority of Valentine’s Days in my life as an adult have been spent single, and yet I’ve always loved the holiday.  If you’re a regular reader – and if you are, I apologize for being mostly absent these past months (more on that later) – you know I’m a hopeless romantic.  If I’m with someone, I like to give her little mini-Valentines throughout the year (just goofy “I love ya” stuff), but on Valentine’s Day it’s time to make a special effort, and I love it.  The years when I’m not with someone, I usually spend Valentine’s Day thinking about past loves and daydreaming about some future love yet to have walked into my life.  Whatever loneliness I feel is typically drowned out by the eternal optimism that is my modus operandi.

This time around… I’m not feeling it.  At.  All.  In fact, all the shiny happy couples that I’m constantly bouncing against throughout each day and night, in person and on social media, have become oppressively irritating, rubbing away my optimism smile by smile.  Valentine’s Day this year just takes that irritation I’ve been feeling and turns it up to 11.

I think the shift in feelings is due to the realization that being alone is something I’ve got to live with for at least 3-4 more years due needing to work full and part-time jobs to take care of my kids and maintain my house (once the kids are in high school my financial obligations ease a bit).  So between working and the time I get to visit with my kids, that usually leaves one day or evening a week that I’m free to be social.  How am I supposed to meet and court someone special one weekend day/evening a week?  I tried and it doesn’t work.

So add that on top of the 4 years since my ex and I split, and the 4-5 years of being emotionally alone while married, and that’s a long fucking time.

I think my “glass half-full” optimism has always been driven by the hope that things are going to get better soon.  And while life is full of ups and downs, in general I do think things generally improve.  I’m happy with a lot of different parts of my life.  But recently I’ve had to admit to myself that romance, love, partnership is just not in the cards—that desolate stretch of emptiness goes  on for the foreseeable future.  And that fucking sucks.  It pisses me off, and makes it tough to maintain the smiles and optimism that I’m known for.

I started this blog when my ex and I separated as a way to mentally keep me from becoming that bitter divorcé that so many people fall into after breaking up with their spouse.  I used it to document and reflect on past loves, and to ponder what future love might bring.  Well, after three and a half years of writing the well of actual real life love experiences is tapped out (not that it was very deep to being with).  And except for one all too brief exception, there has been no new love experiences to write about… and it’s become hard to even imagine when or if future love will come around.  I would write “My Ideal Woman…” posts as an ode to a future love I knew would come around eventually.  Now, I’m pretty sure she’s not.  Not for a long, long time.

This blog was born out of optimism towards women, love and relationships.  That optimism is gone now.  That’s why I haven’t really been feeling up to writing.  Well actually, I’ve still wanted to write, but each time I sat down to write something it’s always been negative.  People don’t want to read negative shit, especially not from me—I’ve always felt that my positivity is what drew people to read my blog.  But I felt that I owed you guys some sort of explanation since I know from my own experiences following blogs it kinda sucks when they just… stop.

I don’t want things to stop here… I’ll do my best to think of interesting and positive things to write about going forward… but the source material for most of what I’ve written here so far is a dried up well, so let’s keep our fingers crossed I can find something else worth writing about.

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This weekend I had the kids with me.  Saturday we ran by Kroger’s to pick up some stuff to make “breakfast for dinner” — something both me and the kids love.  While we were there my son Aaron stopped in front of the sushi bin and saw one of his favorite sushi rolls was there (apparently they don’t make too many and they sell out quick).  Anyway, he pleaded with me to get it for him, and I said we could pick it up and he could have it for lunch on Sunday.  After finishing the groceries, we put the bags in the hatch and head home, unload the groceries and I start on dinner.

Today — Sunday — we’re out running a few errands and Aaron’s in the back seat.  “Oh crap,” he says.  I glance in the rear view mirror and he’s holding up a plastic grocery bag.  “I left the sushi back here since yesterday.  Is it bad now?”

“Yeah, probably.  We’ll need to throw it away.”

“Awww…” He’s disappointed.  Then he adds, “Sorry Dad” after realizing that basically we just threw $8 in the trash.

I can tell he feels bad, so I just say “Well, we all make mistakes.”  I try to think if there’s some sort of lesson to be taught here, but he knows he screwed up.  I mean, I suppose I should have caught that the sushi didn’t make it into the fridge the night before, but the kids were helping me put the groceries away and I was busy fixing dinner, so I didn’t even really notice.  I just assumed the sushi was in the fridge and put it out of my mind.  I wasn’t thrilled to have thrown $8 in the trash, but shit happens.

It occurred to me as I pondered how to respond to the incident that some parents would have screamed their head off at the kid for it.  I’ve seen other parents do it out in public.  My own father might have very well made me feel like total shit if I’d done that.  And it was a strange feeling that I had in that moment, where I was grateful that my son had me as a Dad rather than someone who would have screamed at him over something like that.  Imagining an alternate-universe Aaron having to deal with that sort of reaction… just made me both sad and relieved.

At the very least I suppose the lesson there is something that’s important in how I live my life– don’t sweat the small stuff.  There’s no point in getting upset and angry over small bumps in the road that’s just a part of living.  Save that energy for the things that truly warrant it.

I did make a mental note to myself that, one day, when Aaron’s a grown man and maybe we’ll meet somewhere for lunch I’ll order the sushi and remind him he owes me one.  Hopefully we’ll have a laugh over that.

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Two Words

Today a friend posted a fun little meme on her Facebook page, it had a picture of a blank piece of notebook paper and under it the question:

If you could write a note to your younger self, in two words, what would you say?

That was actually quite tough… just two words?  Three words came pretty easy, but this was a challenge!  I thought for a while, and then finally figured out what I would write to Bennie the Younger…

KISS HER

If you could write a note to your younger self, in two words, what would you say?

Thinking back to so many times in my life, if I would have heeded these words rather than the self-doubt that always seemed to plague my thoughts… well, I’ve no doubt life would’ve been a lot more fun 🙂

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Earlier this year I wrote a blogpost mentioning that one of the obstacles I foresaw to me actually being able to date someone is the fact that I didn’t have a decent car I’d not be embarrassed to pick up a date in.  First impressions matter, and when you meet someone and they see you’re driving a wore-out old car they probably make at least a minor judgment or two about you.

But having an wore-out old car wasn’t just a problem for potential dating… it also impacted all sorts of things.  I mean, just picking up anyone — not just a date, but a friend or co-worker — was embarrassing.  And having to constantly put it in the shop to get fixed, worrying about rides to and from the mechanic… and then the fear of breaking down on the side of the road with my kids in the car, not just for their sake but also the ration of shit I’d likely have to hear from their mother when she heard about it.  Not to mention how limiting it is when you can’t take a road trip to something fun or a family function or what have you because you’re worried about your car not making it…

Anyway, about a month ago another mechanical issue arose in my car and it was the last straw.  I’d already begun doing the research and what I wanted in a car and had narrowed my choices to a Ford Focus or a Kia Soul.

All it took was sitting in the Kia Soul to make my mind.

Yes, I am a Kia Soul hamster too

I totally fell for this thing.  I have to admit the funky box-style of some of the modern cars appeal to me, and the Soul is one of the funkier, boxier ones out there.

What really sold it was how affordable the one was that I looked at.  It’s a 2010 with some miles on it, and there’s a few scratches to the paint in the front, which all seemed to knock the price down quite a bit.  But the previous owner kept the oil changed and performed regular maintenance (thanks, Carfax!), and this was even the Kia Soul Exclaim (or Kia Soul ! ), which had some nice extra features like a sunroof and a killer stereo system.

So I bought it.

It's not neon green, it's "alien"

It’s not neon green, it’s “alien”

So I’m going to share some pics from my baby…

<3

Approaching this every morning makes me smile…

IMG_1003[1]I just love the back of this car, it’s so weird looking and cool

My iPod has a little bit of everything

My iPod has a little bit of everything

The stereo is freaking amazing.  One night after work not long after I got the car I went out into the driveway and sat in my car and just cranked the stereo.  It made me realize how much I love music, but that I really don’t have much opportunity to just kick out the jams anywhere except when I’m in my car driving, so having the option to really turn up the volume and feel the music is awesome.

The stereo can also communicate with my iPhone via Bluetooth so I can make hands-free calls and hear the other person through my speakers and there’s a mic in the roof that picks up what I say.  To activate, I hit a button on the steering wheel and say “dial” and then either a number or a person’s name that’s in my contacts list.  I realize that this technology isn’t exactly new– this is a 2010 model after all — but it’s new to me!

The other weekend a friend came into town on business and needed someone local to drive him around the city, and it pleased me to no end to be able to do that for him.  To pick him up in a nice ride that I didn’t have to worry about breaking down at an inconvenient time.  And I’m stoked to be able to take the kids on the road to visit with family during the upcoming holidays and not even think twice about it!

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The last post I wrote about my first date in forever, how much we clicked and how much I enjoyed meeting her.  Since then, there’s been some good developments and a not-so-good development.

On the good developments, we had our first kiss the second time we got together and it was wonderful.  She’s a great kisser, and it had been so long since I’d really kissed someone that I floated home that night.  Did I mention it was wonderful?  The third time we got together, we shared another goodnight kiss that left me feeling all warm and tingly.  Yeah, yeah– maybe it’s not macho gushing about kissing, but I’ve made no secret how much I love kissing (…She’d Savor Smooching, 3 First Kisses).  I even lamented one time being bummed by the thought that if I got run over by a bus one day that my ex would be my Last Kiss.  Thankfully, that concern has been erased.

Our fourth get-together was cancelled because she was not feeling well, and unfortunately for the next ten days my insane schedule left few opportunities for us to see each other, and on those days she had prior commitments.  So our next date was going to be this Friday, and I was really looking forward to seeing her again.  I considered some options and wracked my brain for something particularly fun to do to make up for the time we’d spent apart.

Unfortunately, that’s where the not-so-good development comes in.  Over the course of a few emails back and forth we converse a bit about what we’re looking for in a relationship, and she tells me that we’re not really working out for her.  She’s looking for someone who can go and do many of the things she likes to go and do, but my time constraints make that difficult.  I work two jobs to support my kids and have visitation with them as often as I can.  Her kids are grown and on their own, and she’s fully enjoying the empty-nest phase of her life.

It totally bummed me out to hear but I could totally understand.  She’s a great woman and deserves to have a partner who can spend more time with her than I can.  I appreciated her honesty, and was glad she was bold enough to speak up about it sooner rather than later, and not just let linger, building up resentment along the way.  She said she still enjoyed my company and hoped that we could still get together as friends, and I was glad to hear that because I really liked chatting with her about a wide variety of things we both enjoyed talking about.  I proposed we still get together Friday, meeting at this cool Mexican restaurant that makes this incredible fresh guacamole right at your table, to share guac over margaritas, and she agreed.  You can never have too many friends, and she’s a friend who likes to go and do, which are particularly good to find in this stage of my life.

So what now?  I don’t know.  One worry I had about getting back into dating was concern about my time constraints, and that was the very thing that sank this relationship before it really got going.  She mentioned that dating me was like having a long-distance relationship, which seems like a pretty good analogy.  Maybe that sort of thing will be appealing to someone down the road, someone who might have similar time constraints as me.  At least we wouldn’t have the travel expense of a long-distance relationship!

At this point I think I’ll get back to checking in on OKCupid, maybe modify my profile a bit to emphasize my time-constraints to make it clear what I can and cannot offer at this stage in my life.  Sure, interest in my profile will likely shrink further, but it’s only fair to potential partners who run across me.

I’ll also keep trying to expand my social circles, find people who want to go and do stuff when I have the time to go and do.  And I’ll focus on my health, exercise and healthy eating.  Who knows what the future may bring?

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