Maybe I should think about getting one of these…
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A general observation about doing nothing.
When I was married, I never minded not having plans because there was always someone to do nothing with. When you’re sitting with another person, watching TV or whatever, it seems to be more valuable because you’re spending time together – even if you’re not really communicating.
It’s interesting how my perspective has changed now that being home means being home alone. I find myself making plans well in advance just to make sure that I have them. Staying home is no longer the default; it’s become something that I made a conscious decision to do. Or not do, as it goes.
The problem is that I like being home. I’m starting to like my house; I’m exhausted from teaching all week; I have lots of interests that are home-based, such as drawing, calligraphy, painting, knitting, sewing. I don’t always want to be out, but I don’t always want to be alone.
And laughing is weird. Seriously. When I find myself laughing uproariously at something in a movie, for instance (or tonight, when I was watching the season premiere of The Office), sometimes I stop myself and thing that it’s weird that I’m laughing by myself. Like talking to myself. I know it’s not the same, but it felt strange at first.
Observations upon perusing Match.com this evening…
It’s been about a year since I signed up for JDate and Match and I spent a little time going through Match tonight. So many of the faces are the same as I saw last year, including;
• one man I emailed who responded that he wouldn’y get involved with me because I was too new to the divorced scene
• one man I emailed who never responded, and
• one man I emailed who responded to me that he wasn’t dating right now because his father is ill (and yet, that didn’t seem to stop him from logging in that evening and many times since).
What are they waiting for? Is the problem with online dating the abundance of women on these sites? Are they afraid that someone better will come along?
To log into JDate and see that the last person who looked at your profile is your ex-husband? Just sayin’
to my Jewish friends – happy new year!
I was out to dinner with Mr. Engineer last night. Now, I’m not really interested in him romantically. He’s very nice, but there’s no spark at all (even though he’s an engineer – pun intended). But I enjoy going out with him for dinner and I feel like it’s good for me to remind myself that I’m capable of speaking to men to whom I’m not related and haven’t been working with for 15 years. Not that, being a teacher, I work with many men anyway.
He mentioned during the course of our conversation that he has sleep apnea and uses one of those machines that wakes you if you stop breathing during the night. That’s why, he explained, he doesn’t travel much outside the US – he’s worried about the electricity (makes sense to me).
I have carpal tunnel and use wrist braces at night. They’re essentially ace bandage supports with metal splints to keep my wrists straight. If I don’t use them my wrists tend to bend and lose circulation and then my hands go so numb that it wakes me. I could never figure out how numbness could wake you – but that’s another post.
So I get this mental picture of a romantic first liaison. He with his sleep machine, me with my wrist braces. Not exactly like when I was in my 20’s and the only thing you worried about was whether or not your roommate would walk in. Or in my 30’s when we worried about whether or not the kids would walk in. Now I feel like I’m just one step away from worrying that he’s going to knock down the water glass with my teeth in it.
Isn’t it romantic?
We are in the month of Elul, the last month of the Jewish calendar. As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, we take time during Elul to reflect on the waning year and to prepare for the time of renewal that the High Holy Days bring.
As I reflect on the last year – and on the previous 30 years – I’m trying to use this as a road map for the coming year.
I don’t regret doing the things I did to give my children as wonderful a childhood as I could. And I am reaping the richness of doing so; my daughters are amazing individuals who live their lives with integrity, purpose, kindness and conviction. I stayed in my marriage because I thought that was best for my family and, even though the marriage has ended, I still believe that it was a good decision (btw – it’s taken almost a year of therapy to say that). I also benefited from my decision in many ways; I have a career I love, with colleagues I love, and have found ways to earn a reasonable living doing it. I developed a strength that I may not have developed in a different relationship – a strength that serves me well today.
Of course I have some regrets. I worry that the strength I nurtured will make it difficult for me to ever enter into a relationship with a real man. Not a real man as opposed to a fantasy man, of course, but a mature, responsible man with a genuine sense of self. I worry that my “guard” will be too hard to break down. But I’m starting to understand that that will take time – and the right person – to address.
My more immediate regret is that I subjugated myself in so many ways. And I see this same subjugation in many of my friends. Because we moms and wives put everyone else’s needs in front of our own, we forget who we are and ignore the things that nurture us.
In my own case, I’m talking about my creative energy. Over the last year I realized that my energy went into my family; making the best home I could with limited resources, giving my girls things like camp, and propping up my husband for thirty years. Again – I have no regrets. I made these choices as a free woman and I would do it all over again (although I do think that I would have ended the marriage five years ago, rather than working so hard to repair it at that point).
All the things that bother me about my home seem to stem from the lack of creative appearance. I want color, texture and inspirational surroundings. My wardrobe is the same – I want to wear what reflects on the outside what’s on the inside (rather than what, sadly, fits and is affordable). I want to entertain creatively and live creatively, too.
I’m going to start a creative journal – one in which I reflect each day how I’ve done something creative to enhance my home, my wardrobe and my social life. I think it may have to be unelectronic, because I’d like to use watercolors and ink, but I’ll try to scan pages where I can.
In closing, I quote the great American prophet, Tina Turner. Seriously – can you imagine anyone better to look to when transforming your life?
Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.