Update from Southern Colorado
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.
165 comments posted: Sunday, September 12th, 2021
No Longer Kicking the Can down the (country) road...
Well, like many on here, the actual divorce was a bit anti-climatic. The hearing with the magistrate judge was a telephone conference and lasted less than 10 minutes. The longest time was spent with the XW dithering about having back her old name.
I truly thought I would be sadder. Sure I cried a little, but not much. After it was done, I went to the gym and really worked my ass off. Fortunately, it was leg day, so getting to use the biggest muscles helped. One of the old broads, as I lovingly call the ladies my age in the class, commented that I was really working hard and I just smiled and told her what happened earlier in the day.
My former SIL called to ask how I was doing and I honestly told her that I was doing fine. I've known the SIL for almost as long as I knew her sister so we are and will remain friends. Her daughters and husband are pretty devastated about it.
On a more positive note, my adventure friend and I will be going to a hot springs tonight and having a little relaxation.
9 comments posted: Wednesday, January 13th, 2021
Friends and Fun
I had no idea that life could be fun again without my STBXW. I've made more new friends in the past 3 months than I had in years. I have been going on a group cruiser bicycle ride every Thursday night with a group of like minded folks. 7 or 8 weeks ago, a nice lady riding really fast passed one group and caught my attention with her lighted wheels so I caught on her back wheel and pedaled away. I had to work at keeping up with her. After about a mile, we turned a corner onto another street and looked around and saw no other cyclists! We realized that everyone else had turned off on another street and headed back to the starting point, so we just pedaled along and visited for the couple of miles it took to get back to the planned route. During the latter part of the ride, all we exchanged was first names.
Later, after all the bike apps synced up, her name appeared on my Strava app and my name appeared on hers. Just first name and last initial. We had not laid eyes on each other before that night. The next day she found me on facebook messenger and sent me a message asking if I wanted to go on a ride with her that afternoon. So of course I did! We had a nice 20 mile ride at a nice pace and had a nice visit.
We got together a couple more times for longer bike rides and then went on a group ride in a city about 40 miles away - 28 miles in the wind. Needless to say, the drive back to our town was sort of quiet as we both were sort of wiped out, but enjoyed each others company. I knew I liked her, but warned her that I was separated and the divorce wouldn't be final until December and that I was likely still pretty fragile but thought that I could be a friend, if nothing else.
Later, she invited me on a lunch time ride, then called and asked if we could change it to lunch. Of course I said we could and we enjoyed that. Another week or so and then she asked if I wanted to go grab dinner and have menudo. Of course I agreed and we met at a local restaurant and had a nice time. The first of October, she invited me to go on a full moon kayak adventure at our local reservoir.
I'm pretty dense and oblivious to 'signals'. I told her that I would really like to go out with her. She said, completely deadpan, "What exactly do you think we are doing?" and then grinned at me. I Homer Simpsoned it and grinned back.
Her custody with her 3 children is somewhat complicated so we have to arrange times when they are with the dad. Last night she was flying solo, so I asked her to dinner. We had another really nice time having some pretty spicy Indian food. This weekend we are going to a wine tasting (she knows that I don't drink) and listen to some live music - if it's not shut down due to the rona.
I'm sure having fun. She is too. We agree that the first priority is to just get to know each other. Conversations have been easy with very little awkward pauses. We are dealing with a couple of elephants in the room about the age difference (14 years) and parent stages (my youngest is graduating high school this year and her oldest is an 8th grader) by talking about it and recognizing the challenges. I act and feel younger than I am and she acts a bit older than she is yet is very active and outdoorsy.
If nothing else, we have a developing friendship with common interests and separate professional lives (she's a small business owner).
I had no idea life would ever be fun again. She did say that I could be a little bolder and not worry so much about offending. So I might try that.
[This message edited by countrydirt at 7:55 AM, October 30th (Friday)]
83 comments posted: Friday, October 30th, 2020
Moving into Separation
Well, I think this might be more of a blog/vent spot for me over the next period of time. Moving on with the initial separation and figuring out details. Next 6 months ought to be a real adventure. But, my heart has callouses and my attitude is improving.
I don't drink (thank the Lord - I am a recovering alcoholic without a drink for nearly 5 years) or imbibe in anything else except ice cream. I've lost about 7 pounds over the past few weeks. I go to the gym 3 times per week and lift weights and workout. I also ride my bike for 5-10 miles each morning and also walk 2-3 miles per day.
Fortunately, I have enough work to keep my mind occupied for parts of the day. I decided to always wear headphones when I walk because it is simply too much time inside of my own head. It does get ugly in there, so that's that. I'll also hit a couple of AA meetings every week to keep my spiritual compass calibrated.
96 comments posted: Tuesday, June 30th, 2020