Can’t believe it’s December already, the turning of a new year comes upon us. As I get ready to set my intentions for 2015, I always like to have an internal retrospective of the past year. This has been a year of surprises, and sweetness, but also some sadness as I figure stuff out.
Job stuff has been going well–challenging in some aspects to be sure, but also an opportunity to prove myself. The kids are sweet and a stable source of joy. I love seeing them grow and learn, and cuddling with kids at the end of the night is something I will miss when they’re adults. My friendships are something I need to work on–it’s too easy to let that fall to the wayside and cut into that time with work stuff, but that’s not a healthy balance. Scheduling more time to be a better friend is a high priority for me next year.
And there’s the last. . . what to do about dating. The cold and the early dark of winter makes me restless and romantic. In the past year, year-and-a-half, I had the opportunity to date a few really great men. I am really good at attracting men of character, but what I had to learn was how to be better at defining what it is I’m looking for.
I am so grateful for my past experiences. I’ve had the flowers, poetry, art, even a musical score made for me–it was wonderful to experience. But the grand gestures have to be balanced with the small moments, because there are more of those. And I am boringly normal in my everyday life. I like to read, surf the internet, watch birds, drink tea, take walks. I work out, but not hours every day. I have a rich inner life and don’t always like noise, I like some quiet in my life.
What I love are the surprises. I think my favorite part of this year were the overnight cuddle sessions. It’s something I could never have done with a man 20 years ago. Now I am at a point that I can choose to sleep or only sleep with a man. I know the risks of wandering hands in the night and I don’t have a problem putting them back to where they came from.
It’s a learning process, the dating thing. Rowan was asking about dating the other day and she’s a little too young to put it in the terms I that I would normally use. What I told her is that boys look for beauty on the outside first, but a boy of character will also look for beauty on the inside. When’s she 16, I will tell her that men decide if they’d like to fuck you first–but a man of character will also look for beauty on the inside. There has to be both–a measure of chemistry and compatibility. The flare of the match is bright in the beginning, but a flare only lasts a moment. It gives no indication if the flame will be fed or not, if the slow burn afterwards will die out or is the kind of fire that remains steady in its glow. Only time reveals its future, there are no shortcuts. Of course, it’s hard to practice that kind of equanimity.
It’s funny, I know that at some undefined point in my life, I will most likely remarry. There were many things I enjoyed about marriage and I make a good wife. Low key, kind, quirky sense of humor, still fun to have sex with. At the same time, I am grateful that there is absolutely no timeline. I have kids, no desire to have any more, no biological clock to heed to. I don’t need a surrogate dad either. (Their dad is perfectly awesome at being a dad). So really, the only thing I need to concentrate on is knowing myself, taking my time, and expanding my boundaries. Knowing that it’s a journey and not a job slot to be filled–a relationship is about the individuals involved, not a faceless, nameless label like “girlfriend/boyfriend”. I imagine myself as Etheline Tenenbaum, a little older, a little wiser, marrying her best friend.
That’s the great thing about being divorced. I did get to experience the married life. I had the wedding, the kids, the house. I didn’t miss out on any of that. It’s sad that it didn’t work, but sometimes people grow in different directions, and I forgive both him and myself. I learned what was important to me and even if I still don’t quite know what I’m looking for, I can enjoy my life just as it is. I can enjoy the surprises too, I can enjoy drinks with a hot guy on a Friday night, knowing that whatever happens or doesn’t happen, it’s all good. I have a good life.