Enjoyable Weekend

Night in the Country in Yerington happened this past weekend. Spent it with a wonderful young lady friend who had just gotten out of the hospital the day before. She was not about to let a little surgery prevent her from attending one of her favorite events.

I can say I had a great time and was happy for 4 straight days. Much of course because of her.

We arrived between 4 and 5 on Thursday right as the wind started kicking up from a storm further east. We waited for a short time before trying to set up camp. We realized we had a camp of 20 something year old males beside us. They turned out to be the best neighbors we could have. They pitched in to help us set everything up as the wind subsided. Once we finished setting up camp, we sat down to eat and drink. Start of a great weekend ahead.

The next morning my woman made me some breakfast burritos. She overdid the bacon which tasted like burnt popcorn. She ate very little and took her medication. After breakfast we started drinking. She essentially passed out early on in the morning. She loves her tequila but with very little food, recovering from surgery and taking medications it proved to be a difficult day ahead. She slept for maybe an hour but then started tossing and complaining about being so hot.

I got her out of the sun and into our tent. I doused her with water on her head and clothes but nothing seemed to help. Realized she probably had heat stroke since she was not perspiring at all. I helped her into the car so she could be in some air conditioning. She slept for a couple more hours. The guys asked about her thinking she had already had too much to drink. So I explained about the surgery, the medications, the lack of food, the quantity of alcohol and the heat were all combining to make a serious concern.

She recovered enough to have a great time at that evening’s concerts. I got to be close to her and hold her tight and enjoy her body next to mine.

Then it was time to make our way back to the camp. She was definitely drunk so it took a little bit to coax her home, but we finally made it and put her onto her cot. How I wish I could have enjoyed her body some more that night but no matter how drunk she gets she would never lose her self control.

Saturday was fun as well. She felt a lot better and she was able to take a couple of showers during the day to keep cool. She still did not eat much but more than the day before. We explored the camping areas and did a little shopping and enjoyed some ice cream. Once we returned to camp, we started taking shots of tequila with the guys in the other camp.

Then the concerts started. I enjoyed being with her but then the evening took a turn I had not expected and could not cope with. She started coming onto another guy. She had said earlier that she had chosen not to be sexually active since her breakup a year earlier but she knew she could have any guy if or when she wanted. To me she was driving home that point. Of course I will never be the guy she wants but to come onto a guy right in front of me made me visibly upset. She asked me not to be mad, but how could I not be? Eventually I left because I did not know how and could not handle it.

I consider that my fail. Fortunately nothing happened with that guy from what she tells me. But I could have acted a lot better. I could have told him I had never seen her this way before and that I did not know how to cope with it. And then tell him firmly that he better not take advantage of her in this state. If I find out he had, we could then pursue rape charges.

She returned the next morning as I was breaking down camp. I kept conversation polite so we could continue breaking down camp and head home as quickly as possible. I was in no mood for any other conversations and really just wanted to be rid of her. But she kept apologizing for her behavior and was not sure why she acted that way. She kept saying “you know me – I am not like that”. Because of her remorsefulness, I eventually forgave her but let her know how hurt I was.

Once we got back home, I spent the rest of the day with her. I took a little nap while she showered. I took a shower then we headed to the Truckee to wade into the river and walk the dogs. When we got back to her home, we took another little nap. I kept stroking her hair as I drifted off to sleep. I enjoy her body and will take every opportunity to touch her. I want her to feel loved and cared for.

Reflecting on everything, I can say I was happy for 4 straight days. I have not stitched together that many days in a long while. Maybe an hour or two. But 4 days? It was nice.

We will go camping again in a few weeks. I am looking forward to it. We will have so much fun hiking, swimming, eating and drinking. I will continue to enjoy her body and make suggestive comments letting her know she turns me on.

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“I woke up thinking of you”

Met 3 couples this past weekend and each left a definite impression.

One had been married for several years. It was fun watching them interact and smile knowing exactly what was behind the stories being told. When one would start describing an event but leave out several details, the other would fill in the gaps with the relevant details. I thought it was so sweet. Obviously they had known each other for some time and knew so much about each other. She would look at him with love and amusement while he was talking and throw in a few tidbits to provide color or her perspective on those events. One time he went into their tent to get something only to forget completely what it was he needed. He called out to her to find out why he went in there. After a few seconds she called back what he needed and asked him to bring out her blanket. I am sure they think about the other when they wake up in the morning.

Another couple are newly engaged. It was cute watching them as well. They enjoyed each other’s company and constantly thought about the other. They had a quick banter. And she constantly called him babe. He called her babe as well, but I do not believe as often. She was quick to laugh at his jokes and mania. She was also sweet. She also impressed me with an innocent gesture. She sat down next to me while I was sleeping on a chair in the middle of the day. The sun may have been encroaching where she was lounging at the time, but it was still sweet of her to sit right beside me when she moved. I am sure she thinks about him every morning as she wakes up. I am sure he does too, but he is definitely a character and do not have as much of a sense of him. But he definitely better think of her each morning upon waking. I hope he realizes he has a special young lady.

The third couple is elderly and have been together for decades. I would not be surprised if they have been married or at least together for upwards of 40 years. I suspect she may have dementia. He was always attentive to her as they worked out at the gym. He would get her set up on her piece of equipment and then he would go to his equipment. When she was done with her exercise she would signal him with a whistle. She needed assistance to get out of the apparatus and to steady herself getting up or before walking. I am sure it is a system they worked out so he can hear her no matter where he might be in the house. Instead of yelling or hand signals or her having to wait until he happens into the room, a whistle can get his attention. And it was really cute when he was going into a different section of the gym to walk on the treadmill, he said he would be back in 5 minutes. She responded so it would be about an hour? She may not have heard him or she may have been teasing, I cannot be sure. However, I am sure they think about the other each morning as they awake.

I am glad to see these loving couples, but it also shows I have missed out on that special someone who would think about me or I her. I have had one girlfriend and one marriage in this life, but they both were a long time ago. I still long for a relationship but have very little belief that it will ever happen again. Each day it shrinks and withers. It makes my heart glad to see people in a loving relationship who visibly care for the other.

Then I go home to an empty, quiet house.

146 Years

My license plates read 146 YRS. People ask why I have that particular plate. Did not request anything special; it was simply assigned. But I will jokingly say “That’s my goal!”

Near my 57th birthday, I came across a quote by a 102 year old gentleman:

“Old age is a privilege denied to many,” he writes. “As always, its all about attitude. A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”

Shortly after that, I read about a 106 year old gentleman who wished to end his life. Nothing wrong with him. Just simply tired of living.

So my question: when is it a good age to die? Is it 106? Maybe 102? Generally I have given myself 20 more years of life. Dad passed away at 78 from a very aggressive form of cancer. Is 78 a good age to die?

I have been pondering end of life and it’s exit for some time now.

Attitude is something important for daily living and longevity, but I have no desire to live a long life. I have reached 57 and even that age is denied to many. When I was much younger, 100 sounded like an awesome goal to reach now that I am on this side of 50, it does not hold much interest. Being alone the majority of my life, the prospect of even 20 more years of being alone is disheartening and unwanted.

Being alone is only one objection I have to living 20 or more years. The other is that I am very active and my body remains capable of many fun activities. I can run, swim, cycle, hike and climb. I feel strong. I am moderately fast. I enjoy challenging myself and overcoming my limits.

But one day it will fail. My body will go south on me. I fear my body will give out before my mind does. I will be able to see the degradation. How will I act or react then? I see people on walkers or in wheelchairs or scooters. I do not want to use any of them. What will I do when my ability to move becomes impaired?

I am fairly sure I will not tolerate it. Unless loved ones intervene, I have an exit strategy. I am resolved not to become feeble. I will not hang onto life at all costs. For me quality of life trumps quantity of life. Especially if no one is there to miss me. Living one day longer or dying one day sooner would barely impact any of my family or friends.

I cannot give an intersection at this point when quality of life line descends below quantity of life line, but I know it will happen. As I mentioned before in a recent post, moments of happiness punctuate my general sadness and malaise only when I am with kids or being physically active. When even those moments start going away, I know it will be time to leave.

Nothing is imminent but I am ok with pondering a future end date and planning for that eventuality.

Rarely Happy

Definitely had a lot of fun the other night. After 2 weeks off, I started teaching swim lessons again. During the summer I alternate between teaching a 2 week session & then allowing myself some play time. Classes are 4 days a week during the summer and I usually have early mornings so it makes for a long week when I am teaching. Still I love it so and definitely eager to get back to be with the kids again.

As soon as I entered the building that night I got an earful regarding the last session & the instructor. The parents were happy to see me return. And the kids of course were great. Most I have taught before but always have some new ones. Truly enjoy being with them whether it’s their first time in my class or they have been with me for several sessions. I definitely get to know my kids and tailor a program for their specific needs. They work hard and we have a lot of fun.

Then another parent came up to me after classes to ask me about my teaching schedule. We chatted for a few minutes. She noted she had been watching me and said I had to be the best level 5 instructor. I appreciate all the gratitude the parents show me. I let the parents know I have high expectations and that my intent is to get their kids ready for swim team should they choose to go that route. I have been pleased with how often the parents are on board with my approach. I can be stern but we always have fun. And I genuinely appreciate how the kids always work hard for me. Truly grateful I have been able to start teaching again after being away from it for so long.

And it turns out to be something of a godsend for me right now. I work out and participate in various events so I see people or interact with many over the course of a month, but since I was summarily dismissed from a certain person’s life, I have been floundering for a purpose or even an outlet.

I willingly gave all my time to her and her son. That’s not going to happen any more. I may get to spend some time with him, but it will be minimal.

So what to do with my time? Working out and watching TV or reading can only occupy so much of my time. I can write more but it is a lot of work creating and editing text. And I want some down time where I can have fun before holing myself up in my house at night.

I am not truly a loner anymore but have very few friends to spend time with. They have their own families and activities. Adding me to their busy schedule is not ever going to be a priority. I do not want to feel lonely or be alone all the time.

I am rarely happy anymore so I have learned to cherish the time I get to be with kids during swim lessons and even in the children’s ministry at church. (I have been teaching in the children’s ministry for 9 months now. I refuse to attend church services, but I want to be with the kids.) I derive some happiness during these couple of hours a day.

Without

Nature hates a vacuum. Not sure if a vacuum even exists. I mean can you really remove everything from an enclosed container or space where nothing is present? Of course that presupposes that nothing has no substance. (Some theologians argue about that when the Bible mentions God created the heavens and the earth from nothing.)

Nature hates a vacuum. Idle hands do the devils work or something like that. The Bible is very good at calling out what we should not do, but then also informs us what to do. I am a Christian but not trying to preach. We simply will not cut something out of our life without replacing it with something else. Something does not simply end, but something else will begin. Love the sci-fi series Doctor Who and the Doctor once remarked,

“Everything ends. And that is always sad. But everything begins again too and that’s always happy”.

Right now I am without. Without her. Without a purpose. Without a relationship. Without someone to talk to. Without someone to help process ideas, thoughts, plans, direction, or even chat about the mundane everyday things. Without someone who can help me see the world through a different lens. Without someone who knows my mental state by hearing only a word or can read or intuit my thoughts with a single glance. Without someone who knows my heart. Of course that also means without drama.

I am aimless. Nothing fills this void. I can distract myself, but only so long. At the end of the day, I remain empty. I am without.

I am groping for a new someone, a new purpose, a new connection. Something.

I do not want to live for me. I want to live for someone, or maybe something. I am coming to believe it may no longer mean someone, but something.

I enjoy being active but cannot live for it. I enjoy my friends but cannot live for them. They have their own families or lives to lead. I am reading and watching a lot more TV and really want to learn Spanish but will not live for them either. I seriously doubt I will find a lifelong partner at this point to love and cherish and live for.

Maybe it is something I recently started again because of all the happiness and gratification I experienced long ago. I have been teaching swim lessons for a little more than a year now. Mostly to 1st and 2nd graders. I have also been working in the children’s ministry for about a year. Also with 1st and 2nd graders. I am coming to realize I really enjoy this age. They are energetic and inquisitive. They are full of life and happy. They can be the opposite of me and I can gain a little happiness while with them.

Can teaching 1st and 2nd graders be my new something to live for? My new purpose to pour my life into? I was not there for my children and will not have grandchildren to play with or be with or get to know. Maybe I can satisfy that desire in these outlets. They may be there for a season or a year, but new ones always appear. Maybe I can live for them and impart a little knowledge along the way before they move on. They may barely remember me, but I will remember a lot of them and the fun I had while teaching them.

Maybe committing myself to teaching – swimming or children’s church – especially or only to 1st and 2nd graders will be my source of possible happiness and purpose.

I do not want to be without any longer. I need to replace it with something and be open to the possibility I will never find someone to love and cherish and devote the rest of my life to no matter how much I may have wanted it in the past.

The talk

Not about THAT talk really, but it still gets to the notion of sex.

Act my age they say or I hear. I do not know how to act my age. Besides I have not met many people in their 50’s who I like. They are fat and flabby (or maybe less harshly out of shape) or have been doing the same activity for 20 years! I am active and I like lots of different activities. Outside of swimming, all the other activities are fairly new (within the last 6 years) with an ever expanding list of things to try.

I have palled around with people mostly in their 30’s and 40’s since moving to Nevada. And when I say people, the vast majority are women. It’s been fun and I have gotten to do a lot of fun activities with them. Sex is never involved. To be sure none of the women in their 30’s and 40’s want a relationship with a guy who is now in their late 50’s.

One of the 30 year olds asked me to join her and others on a ropes course later in July. I know I would have fun. That is not the issue. I am sure all the rest of the participants will be in their 30’s. I told her I would go, but now question that decision. Why do I want to be the only person in their 50’s to be part of this group? (She is the one who devastated my life at the beginning of the year who told me never to speak with her and that she would be blocking my number so I could not contact her. Through input from others she is at least allowing me to see her son so he and I can do fun activities. Love him dearly and in a way his absence has hurt more than her complete disappearance from my life.)

I can be comfortable going to activities or doing activities with her son because most everyone thinks I am his grandfather. I do not need to correct them, but I can pretend to be a grandfatherly type for a few hours and do as all grandparents do, drop him off with his parents when we are done. He loves me and I love him.

She called me unhealthy or at least our past relationship. She is now hot and heavy with a guy so she must feel comfortable with me reentering her life in this limited fashion. But is it not unhealthy to be with this group and appear so out of place in the midst of people who are at least 20 years younger? Have I not learned my lesson? I am not going to find any possible partner in this group. In any group picture, will people not ask why is that old guy even there?

I may still go, but I will remain on the perimeter of the group so as not to interact with them or get into much of any interaction with her. If she ever invites me to another event, I will decline and explain my reasons that I have learned my lesson and it is unhealthy for me to participate with such a group.

Since the above person kicked me out of her life, I started palling around with a woman in her early 40’s. We started doing a good amount together and spent a lot of time together on the weekends. Since January or February, though, it has cooled off dramatically. Much of it due to her having an accident in the kitchen in December and now hypothyroidism as well as allergies. Maybe we spend one hour a week walking around the office.

It’s been difficult for me because I enjoy spending time with her and would enjoy spending more time with her. But I am only one of many options for her. She has to take care of her health of course and she has a close knit family in the area. We are planning on camping 4 days out in Yerington, NV for a country music festival at the end of July. Lots of drinking will go on, but I am sure she will not succumb to any temptation for sex.

I am sure nothing will ever happen. I am sure she is not interested in me at all. And I believe she has a boy toy somewhere in California. For me, “boy toy ” means an older woman having a sexual relationship with a younger man. I will not ask her about it, but that is what I believe. Even if she is not having sex with him now, it does not mean I have any more of a chance of developing a relationship with her. Why would she want a man 15 years older than her instead of someone closer to her own age or even younger?

I was thinking I should politely decline and allow her to take someone more fun or enjoyable with her.

I am coming to believe I need to avoid groups consisting primarily of 30’s and 40’s and start hanging out with more people in their 50’s. Maybe I will start liking them more. The cycling group I ride with and one of the running groups I run with have people in their 50’s. I really need to participate in more of their activities. Maybe that will be the way I finally have a chance to find a partner.

Personally I really do not want to go through the rest of my life without sex. I feel God has decreed an eleventh commandment that says, “Craig will not have the possibility of sex for the rest of his life”. I do not understand it and am very angry about that eventuality. I will not tolerate that prospect. Yes I keep to myself much of the time, but I crave a significant relationship and devote myself to her for the rest of my life.

Stop

I’m tired of thinking. I’m tired of having my heart hurting all the time.

I need to stop thinking. I need to stop feeling anything at all. All emotions are bad. None are positive. Love? Happiness? Please. They are the most fleeting and soon leave a bitter and repugnant aftertaste.

I need to quiet my brain. I need to have my heart stop wishing for something it cannot and will not ever have again.

Love has actually become numbed. That will not revive again. I need to have sadness and envy and longing to become numbed as well. But how? And I simply do not have faith they will ever disappear. I feed them too much. Hope is gone. Love is gone. Joy is gone. Maybe I need to whip myself like an ascetic monk to beat sadness, envy and longing out of me. I want to be neutral in all things and banish all emotions.

Want is not hope. Will withers on its own. I’m so tired.

Last Four Weeks

These last 4 weeks have been a great blessing to my heart. I have gotten to be with my little buddy usually a couple of times each of those weeks. I could pick him up from school and take him to Chuck E. Cheese as part of our birthdays or to the park even though it turned out he was really not feeling good at all. Then on a couple of Saturdays I got to watch his soccer game and take him to the pool. I truly enjoy spending time with him. Oh and we went rock climbing! So much fun and he is really getting good.

These 4 weeks were important to me because he is off to his dad’s for the summer. I will not be able to see him until early September probably. I hope I can see him this fall anyway. It all depends on his mother who can wake up one morning and decide I am not a good influence on him or that he needs to spend time with her boyfriend more than he needs to spend time with me.

I am ok with the last scenario of course. I feel strongly that he needs to have a male role model, an adult male who loves him and wants to spend time with him.

Any other reason will just cause bitterness and strife. I am ok with his mom now although I really only want to interact with her because she is his mom. She ended the friendship/relationship back at beginning of the year and as far as I am concerned it is still over. She says we are friends. I will be pleasant and do things with her as long as it is part of a group because I want to remain on her good side if that is possible in order to have the best chance to see him in the fall. But I know now nothing is a given with her. She can abruptly end things without reason or explanation.

I hope I can have another year with him. I fully understand that if her new Love is the love of her life, he needs to bond with him. He does not need to compete for attention with me. I can support that development when it comes. I would enjoy seeing him grow up into being a young man – and he will be a terrific young man! – and see him graduate from high school but I know that is unrealistic. A year is what I hope for.

Anyway, I enjoyed the last 4 weeks and will survive these next 3 months. At least it is summer and I have many opportunities to occupy myself. But I am looking forward to seeing him again when he gets home.

Be a Father

I really would like to yell at you. I need to let you know how much I hate you and what you did those many months ago. My heart still hurts. My soul still wanders aimlessly.

But that would do no one any good. You are the last person I want to speak with. You have honed your sunny disposition very well, but it simply hides the darkness that resides in your soul. How easily you discarded me tells me more about the real you than anything else in the prior 2 years of interactions. So it’s time to express my feelings on this page which you and my friends do not access. I realize some healing has occurred but it has definitely been a slow process.

Although I can get over you and our time together, it is not being with your son that impacts me more. He awakened in me a desire to be a dad. I am ready to be a father now or I guess at my age it would be a grandfather. When you abruptly ended our time together, it also meant not seeing your son who I enjoyed being with and caring for. I miss him everyday. I want to be with all the time. I want to take him places such as the pool or the rockwall center or run an event with him.

No way to see him until now. I have been teaching in the 1st and 2nd graders at the noon hour at church for a few months. The coordinator asked if I would switch to the Saturday evening service which I knew you had been attending although I was not sure you still attended that church anymore. As a curtesy, I wanted to give you a heads up on it so you would not be mad or surprised to see me or field awkward questions from your son. When you mentioned he had been asking about me, this switch gave you an opportunity for him to see me for a brief period and allow him to satisfy that desire. Convenient for you.

It was nice seeing him and gave him a big hug. We could only spend a few minutes together since you were running late, but I enjoyed this short time.

Of course I want to spend more time with him and take him to the places we used to visit. But I am sure that is not appropriate especially since he says you have a boyfriend. I am sure you want your son to bond with him. Seeing him on the occasional Saturday evening in High Country will have to do.

But I really wanted and had expected to spend so much more time with him. I wanted to see him grow up into a young man. I wanted to see him graduate high school. I wanted to participate in more events with him.

I was not a good dad at all to my boys. Too many stresses. Not being emotionally ready to take on that responsibility. Not accepting who I am. But now I am. I am more relaxed. I have more fun. I enjoy life more. I was ready to be a good dad to him. Or at least an adult male role model who willingly wanted to spend time with him.

And you took that away. I hate you. WHY?

We were not married or even “together” as you put it so it is not a divorce and I cannot ask for visitation rights but wish I could. I do not want to disappear from his life. I want to be there for him even if no longer for you and him.

I am sure that is why I enjoy teaching in the children’s church and swim lessons. I get to be with kids in 1st and 2nd grades. They bring me joy which nothing else does. They are so full of energy and eager to learn. I love it and it meets a need for me. And if I get to be with him upon occasion in children’s church during the school year that is a bonus.

I cannot be a dad to him or anyone else for that matter. Maybe these activities will help satisfy my need. Maybe seeing him during a random Saturday evening service will keep me from completely disappearing out of his life and I get one more year to watch him grow. Maybe it will help my heart to mend.

I want to tell him I love him even if I cannot be with him.

Delight and awe

It is said

“Some people make things happen, others watch what happens, while others Wonder what has happened.”

I am sure I do not make things happen. Maybe I watch too often what is happening, but then I am sure many times I wonder what has just happened.

But mostly I want to keep in wonder and enjoy the wonders around me. I enjoy being my 9 year old self. I get to enjoy the simple pleasures and smile at the sunrise or the snow falling or the beauty of the mountains and water in this region. Read more