I've not been active on the board for a while. My last posts were right before the end of a "rebound" relationship where I was having a fantastic time. Unfortunately, through a series of pretty unfortunate events and a recognition of an extreme difference in the trajectory of our lives, that one ended late in the spring.
I started dating a slightly older (4 years) lady and we had a lot of fun getting acquainted taking hikes and riding bikes and going for drives and having meals together. We connected in an easy and comfortable way as we are both teachers and she is actually retired from one state, but teaching in Colorado to help her pay some big bills from the tragic loss of her son 5 years ago. She lost her youngest son to a drug overdose and as the anniversary season of that tragedy came around, she had to retreat.
I met another younger (9 years) lady and again, fun with hiking and meals but maybe just a little too eager to be in a relationship for this guy. Also, she is in another profession that considers work as a job, not as a career and simply did not understand my passion for what I do and how much I care for my students and their lives and futures.
Despite the distractions of a social life, I have been able to focus on my teaching profession and feel like I am connecting better with my students than I have in likely 15 years or so. I'm putting in long hours, but not in a workaholic way of avoiding a painful home life, but in a way of just loving what I am doing and feel like I am doing the best teaching of my career and enjoying teenagers more and more.
My very own youngest teenager (18) has just started in a full time IT internship with a local manufacturing company and already they are talking about a permanent hire since he was the top computer science student at my school's prestigious academy of computers and engineering (HS diploma is on par with an associate's degree). I'm pretty proud of him and it looks like a permanent hire may place him just slightly below me on an annual salary.
My retirement advisor told me I could retire next December, but when he showed me the pension numbers, I told him I didn't want to retire in poverty and suggested I might like to work for about 7 more years. He ran those numbers and gave me some really good news that I would basically retire at the same level as my current salary. As long as I can have students in my room and can actually teach, I'll keep doing it, but if...virtual classes come back, I'll probably bag it and figure it out later.
Over the past couple of weeks, the older lady mentioned earlier has started reaching back out in conversation as she came out of her grief time. We went out for dinner last night and had a very nice time. Conversation was easy and we enjoyed the evening on our local riverwalk. We were both still in our professional clothes, so it even felt a little fancy. We hugged and smooched a bit and both of us remarked about how well we fit together (she's 5'2" and I'm 5'10") So we're leaving it open to get together again and have had a few texts at the end of the work day.
My previous updates on my "Friends and Fun" thread talked a lot about adventures and trying new things and I think I was pushing myself to recover too quickly. I definitely needed to find out that I could be attractive to the opposite sex after the devastating end to my 32 year marriage and the resultant blow to the ego of that. I don't regret any of the things I did over the past year. But I'm more comfortable being single now and that is a good thing.