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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Is THAT Why I'm Still Single? ....continued

In my previous post, I started to examine why I am almost 54 and still single. I will continue it here. Will I come up with any answers to help in the future? 

Let's see...

So....I was in Philly and dating was MUCH easier than back home. Logically, there are more people so in tune, more opportunities to go out with someone new. It WASN'T that I all of a sudden became irresistible, or better looking, or anything else. It's just a numbers game. 

I met Monica at a work function and was dazzled. She was always smiling, always funny, and always VERY pretty. She was just coming out of a divorce and we were good company for each other for a while. She was a special lady that I SHOULD have made MY special lady, but again, I was too idiotic to recognize the potential in our relationship. Luckily, she made a huge improvement in companionship and has since married and had a very lucky child. Lucky to have both GREAT parents to lean on. 

I met a young lady from the Zoo who had a great job, a great outlook on life, and always kept me on  my toes. I wasn't able to keep her interested. 

I met someone who, in retrospect, got in a relationship with me because I fixed her car. Of course, I was oblivious at the time and thought she liked me for me. Oops. 

I was set up by a co-worker with a friend of hers. She was cool and cute but sparks were missing. I couldn't DEFINE the sparks, but I recognized when they weren't there. Or maybe I was just being stupid again. Probably that. 

I did the online thing and got to know a few really nice ladies. Some I have written about already. Some I have very fond memories of to this day. Some I know would have made me happy going forward, but then I met Vanessa. 

Vanessa was the ONE from the moment I met her. No. Before that. It was the moment I SAW her. She was the first post on this site so that tells you something of how she affected me. I only wished it was the same on her end. It may have only been for a short time, but my eyes were now FULLY open to the emotion I was capable of with someone I felt strongly for. 

It took me a few years to fully get over the loss of Vanessa, and now I was even more critical of a new person coming into my life. When I met a Ghanian lady that seemed PERFECT, I quickly saw the fatal flaw and moved on. She reminded me more than once that I messed up, but I don't think I did. Selfishness isn't a trait I find attractive. 

I met people from other African nations as well once I moved to DC. There were folks from all over the world in and around the beltway. I was dating from many sources. My neighbors, online chating, and work-related activities. 

I found reasons to not pursue anything with anyone for a bit. They drank too much. They were unpredictable. They revealed their "craziness" after a time. They were too needy. They were not interesting. Or I wasn't to them. 

Then I met Ciera and wrote about her here. She was special but her religion kept us from continuing. She was truly someone who made my life bright at a time when I thought the darkness would overwhelm. 

I saw a transformation in some ladies I hung out with. The change was sometimes cool and sometimes it was a deal breaker. I kept trying to settle down and be happy, but there was always a reason NOT to. 

I had to move back to PA in 2012 and the dating life reduced to a trickle. The few people I met weren't a fit. Or I didn't fit them. My heart got broken a few times, but once you got through that, it gets easier to recover. 

I'm still recovering. 

I'm also still trying to figure out the "why's" of this topic. 

I am convinced it wasn't all the women's fault. Mostly it was mine. Either my insecurities, or my lack of conviction prevented me from making a good decision about making a very special lady MY lady. 

Do I know better NOW????? 

Will I be UNstupid enough to recognize a great girl when she pops up? 

Am I open to the possibilities of FOREVER with someone I don't know today? 

I would LOVE to say YES to all the above, but as usual, I seem to find new ways to fail. The only thing I can admit to, is that I AM more aware of all of this, and more focused on what is truly important. I hope that is enough. 

If I end up single till my dying day, it won't be for a lack of trying.... or writing about it. I'll still be happy, but not as happy as I would sharing it all with my dream girl. If she stays ONLY in my dreams, at least I will have hope... 


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Is THAT Why I'm Still Single?

A running joke has been me saying "Is THAT why I am still single?" to many ridiculous statements. Things like a friend saying it's strange I don't like brussels sprouts. Or if I admit to liking Jana Kramer's songs. Or if I say I'm not attracted to someone with mental issues. 

I started thinking about this and it made me want to examine exactly WHY... 

I have a long history of it, that's for sure. I was married for five years but a few of those we were separated. I had a few girlfriends since, but most of the last 20 years have been spent alone. Or dating. Or dating and alone. 

It hasn't been for a lack of trying. 

In times before my insecurities diminished (BMID), I only required a person to like me before I wanted to hang out with them. My self-image was as low as it could be. I felt unwanted, unloved, and ugly. Luckily, it was something I could ultimately overcome. 

Unfortunately, it wasn't until AFTER I was married and divorced. It clearly affected who I exchanged vows with. To her credit, she moved on and upgraded. 

So why didn't I? 

I can look to my biological Father who was married 5 times. Since I WAS sane, it made me question if I was heading down the same path! I might have become TOO sensitive to finding the RIGHT gal to get UNsingle with. 

I can also admit that I enjoyed being single and dating - when I could AFFORD it!! It IS rather expensive.... Meeting new people, experiencing new things, and having my eyes opened to many different opinions and ideas WAS an enlightening experience. 


As I get older though, I question just how much I would enjoy my freedom going forward. It SEEMS like the daydreams I had in the past - of travelling alone, living alone, being alone - are fading fast. I would much rather have a special someone to lounge around with than have a new car or exotic vacation. 

Sooooo....

...to learn from my past, let's EXAMINE it more closely. 

The first relationship I had when my marriage was over was with Ana. She was professional, respectful, and pretty. I was smitten and it took a while to even get her to notice. I was still insecure and Ana actually made me change my whole mindset about relationships and deal better with them. I thought she might be the next MRS but she had OTHER ideas. I'm sure I was at fault. 


What followed for the next few years was a series of "fun" dating but nothing I wanted to change my newfound freedom for. Even Gail, who would have made a GREAT wife, wasn't what I was looking for at the time. Not that I KNEW what I was missing. Gail is gone now and I wonder if she realized just how much she meant to me. 

The next meaningful woman to surprise me was Aurora. She wasn't like anyone I ever met. She was from a big city and traveled a bit. She was smart, and determined and easy to like. My phone bills at the time were INSANE! Yes, I know times have changed.... So why not HER being my spouse? 

I was still a few years away from figuring out my self-worth and probably deep down, I KNEW she wouldn't want to keep me the way I was. I made excuses and it seemed so logical to explain it away, but she was a keeper. I just wasn't smart enough to do it. 

A handful of a handful of months later, I was OK with myself and the realities of life being easier to handle. This made dating even easier. The more confidence one has, the more you can just be yourself. And I was who I was. If someone didn't like it, then I was moving on. No problema.

A few years further and along comes Virginia. She was cool and we have our fun but something is missing, in my eyes. I wish I knew what. It can be frustrating when you meet a person who likes you but there is a limit to how much I like HER. She was a good Mother and cute, but.... turned out she wasn't for me. My loss.


Then, once I moved to Philly a couple years later, my dating life was wide open! It was MUCH easier to meet people and I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed some professional success, so I got to travel more. 

I met Carolyn, who would have made a life with me in a minute, but I made excuses of why she shouldn't. We are somehow still friends and I am reminded often of the mistake I made leaving her go. She has married and is living happily ever after... of course.

I met people from work-related activities, I met ladies that worked in the same industry, and I met people just out and about the streets of Brotherly Love. There were a few that wanted more, a couple that wanted MUCH more, and there were a few that I wanted much more, but THEY didn't. 

Was it bad luck or just a bad head on my shoulders, that kept me from settling down? The more I think about it, the more I know it was me. 

... to be continued












Saturday, March 31, 2018

GEORGE & GRACIE

For as long as I can remember, my mind has always thought of life as a movie. The twists and turns of the plot, mimic the variables life throws at you. The story unfolding is the meat and potatoes of living. The happy ending is like looking back at a life well-lived.  

The guy getting the girl is the same in both stories. 

The story I always used as an example of "what-if" was of George Burns and Gracie Allen. It was a classic Hollywood love story, but the wedding was in Cleveland, costing 20 cents on the parking meter. It was the typical "boy meets girl, girl is engaged to someone else, boy does all he can, for years, to change her mind, girl finally agrees to marry" kind of story, told a thousand times... or not. 

I like how Gracie told it - from the book, Gracie: A Love Story, she says " I am a very lucky woman. I was courted by the youngest, handsomest, most charming, most sought after star in show business - but I still married George because I loved him."

It took some time to convince her, so I always just assumed, if someone didn't like ME at first, I should clearly TRY HARDER. This has carried me through, even though the RESULTS didn't prove to be so successful. 

I was reminded of this recently, and for some reason, I was motivated to read the REAL story of how this great couple came to be. For 30 years, I've used the cliffnotes version of this story to inspire my ENTIRE dating life. Maybe THAT is why it hasn't been going according to the script! 

It's hard to believe that things happened in the past that have been mostly forgotten. Such is the case with Burns & Allen. They made the transition from vaudeville to radio to the movies and then to TV, becoming one of the most famous couples in the world. They knew Presidents, all the iconic figures of old Hollywood, and entertainers from all over. Gracie even had a Presidential campaign that started as a joke but ended up with 50,000 votes! 

There are some that recall George from his movies later in life. He played God, which is a role that makes most actors memorable. He lived to be 100, working right up until a few weeks from his passing. He wrote other books too, and visited Gracie every month after she died. He was WITHOUT her almost as long as he was WITH her. 

I saw in them, the possibilities of romance. Yet it hasn't ever materialized into more for ME. Me being the hard-headed type, I kept at it and just believed good things were going to happen. I believed that eventually, even if my special someone didn't see me like that at first, eventually the goodness would come through.  

After reading this first-hand account, I had a surprising reaction. 

I give up on the storybook endings. 

I will no longer try again and again and again to make someone see there truly CAN be an "us" if they don't.

I will be open to finding a special someone, but only if THEY too are seeking the same. If not, then we will prolly not connect. 

I will keep my feet planted firmly on the ground and not get swept up in the artificial world of attraction. It's happened once too often for me to go through THAT pain again....

As I read this, my first thought is, "what a shame". Followed CLOSELY by "It's about time!!!" 

It will be interesting to see if the future is better or not because of it.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

UNSENT LETTERS

One of the ways I started writing was through letters. Unsent letters.

 I would express myself fully, and sometimes pain-fully in hopes I could rationalize why (usually a young lady) didn't desire my existence in her life.

 I had no plan on sending these, so I could be brutal with them and myself. I should have saved some. They would probably make me cringe now...

What is strange is, I seem to have picked up the habit once again. This time it was from the reaction of actual letters SENT, and their complete absence of a response. If I would get no reply, then why bother SENDING them in the first place???

 It was a prescription for me. I would read the letter later, and usually the reaction was "GLAD I didn't send THAT!" Time has a way of healing, all by itself.

 I'm NOT saying the letter's effect is permanent, or even long-lasting. It's like lotion on itchy dry skin. Feels good at the moment, but the itchy will return. Just hoping, a bit less irritating next time.

The source of this discomfort is puzzling. I can say, without a doubt, that LOGICALLY, the emptiness and sorrow are easily explained away.

I'm an idiot.

More than once, I felt for someone that had no feelings for me. They weren't honest, they weren't approachable, and their ultimate choice in companionship had me questioning my own judgement of people. ALL people. And me. Mostly me. Only me.

As I immediately review these lines above, I confirm this accusation of idiocy and add a little "get over it" as a sidebar.

If only it was so easy.

So why do I seem stuck? Do I enjoy my reflection of a fool? Am I THAT lost of a soul that even a phantom romance is missed, with as much, (or more than) most of the REAL ones I've had? Jeeze. I hope not.

If I detach and look at this in my usual clinical way, I'd say that I miss the IDEA of someone to love. Knowing ALL that is in my scrambled brain, there is a deeper reason. That, is the fading idea of fatherhood. It was a large part of my longing for someone that I saw as smart, respected, funny, and oh yea, stunning to look at.

I will turn 54 in a few months and know deep down, the time for kids has pretty much gone by. My sadness in not being able to pass down some of the wisdom acquired from these past decades is a constant cloud hanging over me. I failed to make the world better. As much as I WANTED to, it just didn't happen. Hell, I can't even make MY OWN world better so what was I thinking??????

 But maybe...

Maybe it WOULD for my offspring. Maybe by learning from my MANY mistakes, the son or daughter I WOULD have had, could have done what I couldn't.

Combine those thoughts with the unending loneliness that I go through, and it's a battle that is sometimes won.

Mostly though, in my deepest and enduring truths, I look back at life with a profound sense of wasted opportunities.

My lack of good judgement brought me here. It certainly wasn't a lack of good people. It has brought me wisdom. Learning from my mistakes. But for what purpose at this stage in life?

To some I am an even-tempered, kind, and compassionate soul. To others I'm a stupid fool that didn't know how good I could have had it. To myself, I am a flawed, tormented, and emotional warrior. One that is in a constant battle with the demons of the past and present, the unknown (but clearly dark) future, and even surrounded by the best of friends, achingly alone.

My world is missing that irreplaceable person to share my soul with. I wish I knew why...



PS - Obviously, this letter didn't help much. Questions remain unanswered. Pain still cleverly disguised as a smile. No end to the solitude in sight. Darkness still surrounds.

So why NOT share it? Does that still make it "unsent" though...

Great.

More questions....


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

MARCH 8, 2018

Tomorrow is Mom's birthday. She will be 75 years young, yet she has no clue....

I've written a bit on her in the past few years, all of them under the label of "MOM" [here]. The change in her in that time is well documented there, as well as a project I wanted to do, but waited too long to finish - the interview on her life. 

What was interesting about asking her specific questions was that some of her answers were unexpected. Part ONE is [here] and part TWO [here]. I RECOMMEND it to anyone to do the same with your own relatives. 

Does any examination of the past help with dealing in the challenges of today? Not really. Those difficulties we have are minor compared to the stories I hear from other caretakers. There are some folks that endure a horrific existence with their loved one. I certainly don't. I can't imagine Mom feeling anger most hours of the day, or her imagining a conspiracy in her life that I cause. I can't begin to think how I would deal with bad health, a mountain of medication, or a bedridden condition. 

She is not the same person I knew growing up. She doesn't eat the same foods. She doesn't do the same activities. She doesn't have the same view of life. In a way, that might be why she is happier now than before. She has no spouse that makes her life miserable. She has no money pressures. She has no time clock to punch in every day. She has no chores to do. Plus, she has an entertainment committee (ME) to help keep her smiling and happy. 

Time is meaningless to her. That could be quite a gift. No deadlines, no expectations, just living in the NOW. It makes MY perspective change that's for sure. 

We didn't celebrate birthdays for quite a long time. The idea we discussed many years ago was, if that is the only day people get in touch with you, then there is no reason to make a big deal on that day. We tried to celebrate much more often than that. 

She has few recollections of the past. She doesn't bring up Germany much any more. She doesn't mention to me her only surviving sister any more. She doesn't recognize her house that she lived in for over 35 years or any of the others that we called home. 

The ease of living in a world so small and simple in indescribable. I won't say that the one thing I hated was routine, but it was. It is overlooked now because she finds joy so often now. Some of the joy IS routine. Some of the joy is that she doesn't remember my jokes no matter how many times I say them.

What does the future hold? 

No clue. Despite our advancements in medicine, this thing she has chipping away at her is mostly unknown. Each person has their own journey to follow. They may or may not have the "classic" symptoms, and they may or may not progress the same. That's another reason why every day is a day to reflect and enjoy. 

How can I complain about THAT? 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM.... from your only son, that you don't remember... the one who will never forget the sacrifices you made for me. 


Thursday, March 1, 2018

MOM: MARCH 2018

The good thing about March is that it is usually beginning to get more and more like spring. It's also Mom's birthday month, and one that we usually didn't celebrate much, even when she was aware of the day. 

She isn't aware of much for very long these days. 

She is beginning to forget things from just a few minutes previous. She is making up more words because she can't find the ones needed. She has very few things she can actually do without supervision. Even the trash that she has taken care of for a long time, she sometimes questions where it goes. 

And yet....

She is more affectionate than ever. Even to strangers. 

She tells people she loves them, as she sees only the good things in a person first. She always tries to find a reason to smile... and succeeds quite often. 

Her energy level fluctuates, as it can be a good day and she wants to stay up late, or she could be ready for bed at 6. I have to make sure she doesn't overdo herself in the morning and afternoon, and working has a way of entertaining and limiting what she has to do. Plus she enjoys the rides. 

One of the crazy things that happened lately was her saying my NAME the other day. I almost ran off the road! I haven't heard her say my name in years.  It reminded me of how annoyed I was when she recalled the DOG's name and couldn't bring up mine. That seems so long ago now. 

Our world has shrunk and I am not able to step out for very long. Accepting this wasn't that hard, as not much was going on anyways. My hope of having a social life has evaporated into the realities of our days and the constant decline that continues to surprise. 

I still wouldn't trade this time for much anything. Seeing her happy and laughing is all I need to keep me going. The memories that she can't have, I will, for as long as I'm able. 


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

PERSPECTIVE (AGAIN!)

This week can be a bugger for some single folks and I am no different. It's easy to get grabbed by the blues monster, and after all these years dealing with it, I am mostly successful. 

Today COULD be the worst. Seeing all the flowers being bought and imagining everyone, but a few of us, is living happily-ever-after with someone terrific. It sure can make this holiday one to loath if you don't have counter-measures in place. You can't even talk to friends today, because they are busy with the romantical crap. 

That's why I am compelled to write tonight. 

The previous week has made me very aware of "perspective" and the need to focus on the positives. Just in the previous 140ish hours, I could have bathed in self-pity. I have been challenged by more than a few instances of things not going as expected. 

(In no particular order...) Things like:

- Mom needing more help with personal care
- breaking the glass on my phone that covers the camera lens
- the car breaking down 70  miles from home
- "black screen" on my phone, making it unusable
- no special someone on this bleeping holiday
- flat tire... again
- engine light comes on, after a repair was done 3 days prior
- item I was going to buy was sold out when I got back to it
- Mom having issues with me, if I want to leave the room
- finding so many negatives in such a short time

Years ago, this mountain of misery might have dropped me into a depressed state and I would have needed a weekend of sappy movies and bawling like a baby to "correct" my mood.  

Luckily, I have evolved.

Mom needing help is expected and for a moment, disappointing. It's always sad that the decline is so constant and measurable. The GOOD side is, my own memories of time with her are overflowing with goodness. The assistance she now requires brings back my own past when she did the same for me. It is not always a good time, but the positives are right up front and happen often. She is happy and can easily come out of a stress-filled situation smiling, if I deal with it in a calm manner. 

Breaking my phone seems to happen way too often. Is it the quality of manufacture or just me being an oaf? That's up for debate. It was TRULY annoying since I already had the screen fixed, returned a defective phone, and in general, don't like my cell since day one. 

On a positive note, the repair will only cost a few dollars and doesn't require a professional to fix. this, for sure, isn't a huge negative, but in the larger picture, it added to the slew of things going on. 

The car breaking down was a real downer. I was not close to home, and the repair costs were over $700. It interrupted my work time so it cost more than the actual bill. 

The positive side of this was I broke down in a safe area that had a heated office to make calls (since it was a BAD cell area) and a safe area to keep the car until the tow vehicle arrives. The car actually started after a while, and I found my way to the nearest dealer for repair. The dealer provided a loaner car to get home and they were very nice to deal with. I got to sleep in my own bed. All in all, while the costs are a bit hard to swallow, the bad was far outdone by the good here. 

Do you get the idea yet? 

Whenever there is a bump in the road, there is ALWAYS something positive to offset the crap. If you focus on THAT, the negative will always seem a lot less imposing. Fill your head with positive thoughts and the bad will have no way to settle in. 

Besides, in six months, you will probably already have forgotten the event and the annoyance. Isn't THAT the test of just how significant a situation REALLY is?? 





Tuesday, February 13, 2018

MOM: FEBRUARY 2018

Another month rolled by and there were a few surprises.

We were listening to the radio the other day and there was a promo about a Johnny Cash musical called "Ring of Fire". It came on many times while we had the station on and Mom made a comment that shocked me. She said how could there be a show when he was DEAD??? 

Now, Mom doesn't may much attention to the here and now too much. She lives in her own little world that doesn't extend much beyond what she can see. So for her to recall that Johnny passed away a few years ago, it was completely unexpected. 

That wasn't the ONLY time I was stunned. 

We were riding around in the car and she seemed quieter than normal. She doesn't usually say too much, and much of what she says is bits and pieces and seemingly in code. Over the last few years I went from knowing what she is trying to say to sometimes having no clue to what she is talking about. 

She turned to me and asked a simple question - Do I think I am making a big mistake having her around? WHERE the heck did THAT come from??????

I didn't know exactly how to respond at the moment but I questioned why she would ask that, then changed the subject to one that I knew she would smile about. It never came up again, and hopefully it WON'T! 

It got me to think, since I always am, and I HAD been comparing Mom's situation to others I heard about. One of the things caretakers talk about is when their loved one is "here" and "back from the void". This is not the type of struggle Mom has. She doesn't have clarity of childhood or any hood for that matter. She is shrinking pretty evenly from all her past. 

She doesn't really want anyone around, although she acts happy when we visit anyone. It makes it confusing to decide what is best for her and limiting the negatives that could pop up. I've talked to professional caretakers and got advice that worked for them. The trouble is, every person experiences their own journey through these difficulties and it's hard to put a plan together that is set in stone. 

Mom's personality has changed and continues to evolve. She started tucking her socks in her pajamas for some reason. She wears double socks now, although she never did before. She has pretty much retired from dishes, not because she doesn't WANT to do them but because I saw she wasn't using soap to clean them. OK.... basically she got FIRED!!! 

She is starting to need help with almost everything now, and I'm happy that she doesn't mind asking me. She sometimes comes and gets me at 3 in the morning for something that, at that moment, gets her upset. It usually can be fixed quickly and without much trouble. 

I know it will only get more complicated, so that is why I can enjoy these days and not dwell so much on the foggy future. There is no way to know what challenges we will have to deal with a week from now, a month from now, or a year from now. I feel fortunate.....


Sunday, February 11, 2018

VALENTINES DAY 2018

Here we go again. 

Another year, another romantic holiday I get to ignore. And survive. And write about, like I did a few years ago [here].

This wasn't supposed to be happening again, yet here we are. I'm alone and talking about it. 

Does it help? 

Not in the least. 

What WOULD help?  

It's not so simple. 

Just finding someone isn't enough. I am changing, as we all are, and I find that the "learning" process gets shortened as time goes on. Why?

Wouldn't it be nice to spend the day (and night!) with someone and NOT be alone? Yes, but only if they are TRULY special. How does one recognize the specialness so quickly?

Often, it is more about what qualities the person DOESN'T have, as opposed to what they do. If they aren't interesting, it's almost instant death. If they are not a thinker, there's not a good chance at a second date. If they are self-absorbed, I don't know how I didn't see that to BEGIN with. That's a trait I rather run away from. If they are not compassionate, I am not going to think much of them. 

I realize, after dating for decades, that these are glaring, easy to see if one is paying attention, and not good for ME. I'm not saying these should be qualifications for EVERYONE. We all like what we like, and it is NOT the same for all of us. 

There's the OTHER side of the coin, and I found those very desirable qualities in people before, but if I am not what THEY want in a man being in their life, I can't complain too loudly. I can be SAD, and I still am. 

I can ALSO be a bit down. That's OK too. Every day can't be a great one or even a good one. Some you just have to plow through, get to the next, and hope to make it better. 

So in anticipation of the 14th, I am sitting here, not with a smile, but not in tears either. I am going to be just fine and so are the MANY others that are in the same predicament as me.... 

....but I can be finer if that very special mate of mine would use her GPS and find me already!!!! 

Until then, I hope you can keep smiling through the pain, through the misery, and know that this situation is VERY temporary. 12 months from now, or 12 weeks from now or even 12 DAYS from now, your life could be exponentially better and more fulfilling.... and have as much love in it as you can handle. 

You just have to believe... and so do I. 

Good luck and Happy Wednesday! 



Tuesday, January 9, 2018

MOM - JANUARY 2018

Well, today started off interesting.

When I got up, MOM of course, was already awake. Nothing unusual there. She seems to wake up early, but stays in bed, until breakfast is served.  I usually check on her a little early, just to ease into the day.

Today was typical and she appeared happy and wide awake.

Unlike a few days ago, when she had a spell that I will just explain as a brain-short-circuit. She gets dizzy and confused and can't talk much. I have luckily been around when they happen. This was the third time as far as I know. We went to the Dr after the first one, but nothing conclusive came of it. That first time, I thought she was dying, but now I realize what is going on. Although it took a bit longer to recover, she did and forgot about the ordeal quickly.

Back to this morning,  I went back to my room for a last few minutes of alone time. It's a good way to start the day. It gives me some time to not worry about her and do whatever I need to do for ME. This is one of the steps that gets lost when you are a caretaker. You give, and give, and give, until you lose yourself in the task. I am trying to NOT let that happen.

When I got up to put on my cook hat, Mom was walking down the hall in a daze, complaining about something. Without going into too much detail, what was upsetting her was the fact that her pants legs were inside each other and she couldn't figure out how to fix it. This is one of the downsides of her memory issues. Reasoning and logic are gone.

 Yesterday, I had asked her to get a cup and she pointed to all sorts of things. Things that WEREN'T a cup. That sort of thing happens more and more. Enough that it's difficult to have her help with almost anything. 

The pants issue was a quick fix. Getting her to feel better and not stupid took a bit longer. She is at a stage where she's still aware of her challenges. She can easily be distracted thankfully, so I just find ways to take her mind off her mind. It made me pause for a moment though.

She won't be any better than she is TODAY. Tomorrow she will wake up a bit less than she is. And the next day. And the next day. It is relentless.

 THAT is the reason I can keep going. THAT is the reason I can (mostly) smile through the little things that pop up. THAT is why I live for today more than I wish for tomorrow. I'm so proud that my Mom has lived through a difficult life and is now happy, if a bit confused at times. She continues to teach me how to be a better human being and strive to be a better son.

 I hope I can make HER proud....


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

39,000

Yes, its an odd number. I would usually wait till 40,000 but I fear it may take a while to get that last 1000 readers. My enthusiasm for promoting this site has just about run out.

I never expected to be "discovered". I only hoped more folks would enjoy and even possibly be helped by encouraging words. I wanted the readers to enjoy it enough to share. Some did and I appreciate it.

Since July of 2016, when somehow 30,000 visits was crossed, I've written about a variety of things. [Mom], of course, has been a common topic. [Relationship] crap ( yes, I'll say CRAP - at the moment.... subject to change I HOPE!). Choosing LAZY as a temporary goal was fun in [Lazy vs Working]. People, such as [Tom Petty] and [Glen Campbell], that have passed away were topics both sad and glad - a nice reminder of why I enjoyed their work. Not so famous was my step-Dad, that I mentioned in [this] post and a new friend [Beatrice]. I wrote about [Fatherhood], my wishing for fatherhood in [An Open Letter To My Unborn Child], and another open letter, this time to the [Girl of My Dreams].

I have a few new favorites. I know writers aren't supposed to favor one over another, like children, but [The Last Song] and [When The One You Want Don't Want You] speaks to my own heartbreak. It's a strong emotion and one not so easily recovered from. All the reason to write about it, right? Hoping to help others and trying to pour out the pain to the screen..... in hopes healing would hurry up and heal!

I wrote about [luck] and my solitude in [THIS] post. I wrote about [Quitting] because sometimes you just SHOULD.[Motorcycles] were a different subject, as was [school pictures]. [Politics] popped up a few times, as did my [favorite book] and some of my [favorite movies].

My attempt at humor didn't exactly get me invited to do Saturday Night Live, but I laughed at {The Family Shame] even if few did. I balanced out the funnies with a look at what was remaining to do in my life, hoping not too much loneliness in closing out 2017. With my own disappointment in love, offset with the shining light of hope in a few stories of students at a local college.

It was a good period for writing, as in the last 18 months, I posted 54 times and have around 20 that are started. The positive, in my eyes, has been the enthusiasm that seeped out of me from July onward. It was no coincidence that the exact time I was exposed to the possibility of drowning  in July. Sorrow from the reality that the woman I wanted in my life didn't want me in hers.

When STRONG emotions run me over, words come out so easily, it seems it will never stop. That's the positive of being crushed. Yet it does stop. Too often and for too long....

I have no delusions of this site ever being more than a repository for my thoughts and malformed sentences. If it was suddenly popular, I couldn't imagine what I would do or write about. I always felt like I was a minor character in my postings and that the reader should be recognizing him/her self in them instead. Maybe that is why promoting is such a chore, and why I have pretty much stopped.

I doubt I will get to 100,000 visits, but if it occurs, I will write about that journey as I did with this much shorter trip. With memories of the first day and the first 10, then 100 readers still firmly planted in my mind, imagining so many folks stopping by for a "bag of chips" is both humbling and gratifying.

You will never know how much it is appreciated to hear back from those that my words touched and know that strangers have seen a value here and shared with others.

Thank you and hopefully you will come again!

UPDATE: January 28, 2018

FINALLY got to 40k... a bit fast than expected. Does this mean I'll keep trying to promote and expand readership? Well.....

I'm dipping my toe in Instagram, so I guess I'll keep up the effort to entertain. If you stopped by and enjoyed the time here, let me know! All writers love hearing from readers...

Thank you one and all for visits!


FRIENDS......AFTER

I was watching the Steve Wilkos Show the other day, and it made me think of a few things. One is Friendship.

I know it's been all of 3 days since I wrote about this topic, but it's is a different kind, with a different history. 

I'm thinking specifically of friendship after relationships. Or even dating. 

A little reminder of my past. I have dated. I have dated younger than me. I have dated older than me. I have dated same age and dated outside my race. Let's just say, I have been lucky to meet many extraordinary ladies, and even luckier to call a few of them friends to this day. 

Then I did the math. 

Holy cow. 


If I go by percentages, the number is low enough to make me question why. Why can't people stay friends after a failed romance? Why, if there was enough interesting about the other, wouldn't you want that person in your life? 

Maybe I am just a bit sensitive about this subject lately. 

As I go back memory lane, there have been opportunities to be forever friends. There have been people I WANTED to be forever more-than-friends. There have been some that wanted the same out of me. There are some that were content to get the free meal. 

The hard part of this examination was this - 5%.

5% is the number of real "friends" I maintained past a relationship. That seems like a very low amount. Super low. Really, Really, low. Right? 

I remember once upon a time, folks thought it was strange that my ex-wife and I were still speaking. Nothing awful broke us up. There was no violence or disrespect. Just two people who should have stayed friends. I couldn't imagine why, a person whom I enjoyed being around, enough to walk down the aisle, why would I NOT want to be able to keep her in my life? Turned out, she was concerned about how her new husband would react and closed the door on THAT. 


Ok.... maybe there would be some jealousy. Perhaps the chance there would be old flames rekindled might bother some. There might be some disappointment still festering from one or another. 

There is so much history that just gets tossed aside and forgotten and I think that is a shame. Who was to blame in my situations? 

Mostly me. Yeah.... no surprise there. Most of my struggles rest squarely on my shoulders. I was horrible before my 30's, been called a serial-dater (among other things) in my 30's, bearable in my 40's, and pretty good in my 50's, but who wants the old fat guy?? At this rate, I should be the perfect husband at around 77....Ugh.


To still be unmarried at this age, and with the ladies in my past that would have made wonderful wives, I can't imagine messing up worse than I've done. And cap it off by staying unfriendly with 95% of them is completely embarrassing in my mind. 

I thought I was a good guy. 

The ones I still know a bit about, made major upgrades after me. Their spouses are better for them in every respect. Their kids are amazing and their lives are rich and full. 

Maybe I should be rethinking this idea further...