A Post from the Past.

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Browsing through my stats, I noticed that I had published 76 posts in just over 2 years. Not worthy of a medal, but at the same time not too bad for a rookie. It has been fun and a challenge. I thought for this post I would go back to my very first one and reflect on the words and subject chosen.

It was titled New Beginnings, somewhat a heavy start, but yet a very personal one; a bit of a rant/outpouring, a painful bunch of words, I was angry, hurt and confused. But words that seemed necessary at the time. However, it did end on a very positive note, one that is still true to this day.

The words I chose to express my emotions back then are just a snapshot of my state of mind at that moment. I like to think if I were to write on that today it would look quite different. And well it should, or I haven’t learned anything.

To go back and review previous posts is a trip down blogging lane. To see the words chosen and wonder why you wrote them that way may never get answered. It’s done, it’s out there. No regrets. Reflecting back on a number of my blogs, that could be said of many of them.

I suppose as we stumble gracefully into our senior years, we tend to wander back more often to what was. Memories good and bad, and why not. It is time to shift gears. Memories can fill your heart with joy, or your eyes with tears. But that is OK, we are equipped to handle it. I am not in a hurry; I haven’t got all day, I have the rest of my life.

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…let no man break asunder.

Partnerships fail. Mine did. This in itself is not earth shattering news. It happens everyday and in all facets of life. But this one was personal. It wasn’t sudden, I saw it coming, but apparently I was the only one. Flags were up all over the place as to the dangers ahead; but they were ignored, possibly hoping that they were not for real.

Like travelling down a rough gravel road and believing that it would improve somewhere around the next corner, I kept going. Even though you try to find the smoothest part of the road, I finally submitted to the fact that to accomplish that was to get off.

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Travel with caution, lose gravel ahead.

Sounds easy enough, but that took me from a rough road to an emotional roller coaster. But even coaster rides come to an end, dumping you off humbled, emotionally drained and confused. The word failure comes to mind; both to yourself and to others.

Time and reflection can go a long way to prying a person from out of a rut. And so do friends. Family can help, but mine was in a divided camp. Still are; I hope time will help heal that wound.

Sunset sailing
Sailing. A new horizon beckons.

That rough road? It is a lot smoother now. There was a paved way out around the next bend. I took it. In the real world, partnerships come and go, it appears to be a way of life. And so, my adventure through life continues. A special lady I know keeps saying that “life is good”. She is now showing me just how good it can be.

I wrote more details in a previous blog. New Beginnings

Partners

New Beginnings

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Promise of a better day.
Appearances can deceive, I am not broken but emerging anew!
Appearances can deceive, I am not broken but emerging anew!

Why should it take over four decades of marriage to finally realize that it was not working and would not work going forward. That is the question I have asked myself a number of times. Why did I wait so long? That is probably a whole new blog. The boys were well settled with their own families; I was retired; we had a nice and comfortable home which was paid for; an adequate income. Yet there I was, apparently stuck in a rut. Rut – a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change. And hard to change it was indeed.

To admit a marriage is over, that it has run its course, is never easy, or a decision to be taken lightly. Regardless of the circumstances that led me there. I walked away feeling that I had failed. Failed a vow, failed my family, failed myself. Would I have done things differently over those fourty or so years knowing where I was now? How would I know? Hindsight was not going to save our union. Our philosophical differences ran way too deep. Or to put it another way; damn religion.  Our efforts at fixing the rift ended up in finger-pointing and not always handled well, on both sides.

Among the shadows there is flow and direction.
Among the shadows there is flow and direction.

Now, some twenty months later, and still waiting for a final settlement, was it worth it? Did I make the right decision? The title of this blog is New Beginnings, and that is the place I would like to continue from.

When you are living by yourself, there is much time available for reflection. This reflection exercise can take you in a number of directions, depending whether one is experiencing anger, sadness, anxiety, self-pity or joy. Joy seems the odd man out in that list, but it still can happen, and when it does, embrace it,  accept it, do not be suspicious of its presence, for it will help in getting  through the others. The pain runs deep. I tried to ignore it, it does not go away. I had to deal with it.

Life can be a balancing act. The secret is to not topple!
Life can be a balancing act. The secret is to not topple!

Over time I came to realize that I needed a plan, a vision. It did not need to be carved in stone, but all the markers should at least be pointing in the same direction. I needed to know where I now wanted to be in life. I found getting there  cannot always be accomplished on your own. Family and friends are to be thanked for their words and encouragement, though not always welcome, nevertheless necessary.

Developing  new relationships for me, has always been a challenge, especially with members of the opposite sex.. I never was able to mix and mingle well. I was never mister personality. I would feel awkward and out of my element. And yet I new that I did not want to spend the rest of my life alone. The bar scene was out of the question. Being blessed with good health, I found walking and an exercise routine to be of great benefit to both body and mind.So as to not go stir crazy, I would get out and do a lot of walking. But not belonging to a structured walking/hiking club, everybody seemed in too big a hurry and moving in the opposite direction. I felt alone in a crowd.  But, there was still that necessary element missing – a social element. After a few failed attempts, it was suggested to me to try an online dating service. The concept of this seemed at odds to me. Was I buying love? Oh what the heck, I could always hide behind the screen. What a great opportunity to tell lies about myself!

But lies have a habit of coming back and biting, and I was never a good liar. I must admit I entered into this exercise a doubting Thomas. Happy to report that I came out the other side a believer. To make a long story short, or this blog shorter, online dating can be quite the adventure, and exercise in honesty for both body and soul!

When someone new enters into your life, you are filled with anticipation, curiosity, happiness and, fear. I did not want to screw this up. The experts keep telling us that dating at my age should be a walk in the park. We are supposed to be experienced, confident, worldly, eager,  and yet human nature has that knack of catching you off guard. I had to remind myself that this was new territory  that I had not explored for close to 50 years. Expectations be damned! The words rusty, awkward and scared came to mind. And yet a certain lady quickly allayed all my misgivings.

Whether you climb out of or up from a painful place, you must advance one step at a time.
Whether you climb out of or up from a painful place, you must advance one step at a time.

The day she called me, yes, she called me!, was cold and snowy but the sun must have been shining on me as I quickly warmed to her voice. In her on-line profile she describes herself  as “energetic,healthy,sweet, passionate,loving and a great listener.” We agreed to meet for coffee several days later. I have to admit I was very comfortable having a conversation with her. I only found out later that being a “great listener” does not mean that I get to do all the talking! Maybe my nerves were working overtime. I guess I did not scare her off, as she agreed to a show later that week.

Is there a pattern out there on how a relationship between a man and a woman should proceed? If there is it was lost on me. My mind was racing, trying to make sure I was dotting all my I’s and crossing all my T’s. Shortly after meeting her I knew that I would have to spend some time re-arranging my mind so there would be room for her to stay. I can’t believe I felt that way so early in a relationship. Speaking of my mind,focusing on tasks seemed increasingly difficult. Let nature take its course seemed to be at odds with my oh so usual methodical approach. This “creature of habit” soon found himself wallowing in a storm of emotions. Several more dates followed, eventually there was that first kiss, the joy and sence of adventure and discovery carried me forward on its wave.P1000255

The words “I love you” are just that,-words. But when I heard them for the first time in my life, the swell of emotion was too great. I wept. Not at that moment, but later in private. Scared and too embarrassed to show my emotions, to lay myself out there for all to see . Loving this lady, and being loved has proved to be my undoing. And , this can only be looked at as a good thing.  I needed a jolt of reality. For the first time in my life I can feel like I can fly. To breathe, to open up, to pursue, to feel like the pressure that was on me is finally manageable. This indeed is a new beginning; a vibrant love to sustain and share, to treat with tenderness, and respect, at a level quite possibly neglected by myself in the past.

May I be granted the wisdom and grace to be worthy of this wonderful relationship. To think that this all started with the first words of her email to me ” I wonder……”

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see your showdow.
Keep your face to the sun and you will not see your shadow.

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