In 2019

As I turned 50, I thought life is essentially done. I still have choices like those younger than me, but fewer and not as exciting. Then something happened that showed me I had the wrong attitude. I could go anywhere, do anything, enjoy my life now as much as I had in my younger days.

Now that I am a few years from 60, I am wondering why I feel again that nothing much is left for me. I have had a lot of fun. I have done a lot of new and exciting things. I have met many incredible people. I have been open to new experiences. I have said yes to so many opportunities. I can list a lot of firsts and accomplishments.

But so what? Am I really any different from before? What do I have to show for any of these last 7 years? I have been as outgoing and positive as my personality allows.

But right now I simply feel I am simply surviving. I have a decent place and live in a great area. I have met phenomenal friends. I have a good job. I am teaching swim lessons again. I am part of the children’s ministry at my church.

But I have an old car. I still have debt (although hopefully it will be erased by June). I am really no further along in my career aspirations. And most telling, I have no one in my life.

When I moved to Nevada back I. 2012, I focused on being open to the possibilities a new life brings. And instead of being closed to all relationships, I would be open to them. I have made really good friends, but my desire is to live for someone else because I grew tired of living for myself. I have met several amazing women and spent a great deal of time with them one after another. After a year or two, they find the love of their lives. I meet a need for them for a little while, but I know I am simply a place holder until someone else enters their lives who can meet all of their needs. It’s fun and I love them and have many great memories, but they have someone to go home to. I remain alone.

What is ahead in 2019? Can I still enjoy the wonder and excitement I have enjoyed since turning 50? I know that this ennui is partly from not teaching swim lessons or being able to run which means I have had few social interactions this month. I have moved on from being a recluse to someone needing society.

Soon I believe I will be able to start running again. Next month I will start teaching swim lessons again. I will continue serving in the children’s ministry at church. My mood and outlook will improve just by being with my kids more frequently.

So my goals in 2019:

1. Have sex

2. Have a bona fide love interest.

3. Pursue my MBA.

4. Enjoy and really live for the kids who I get to be with this year.

5. Get outside in any way as often as I can.

Of course, goals 1 & 2 have been on my list for the last 7 years. I don’t see anything changing that will make them any more realistic this year. Being myself, being hopeful and not rushing have been meaningless. I cannot see how I will suddenly become more attractive to women this year. I will forever be simply a play date for them on their way to finding the person they wish to be with.

So here is to being with my kids and keeping mentally and physically active to finish out this decade!

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Need, Want, Value

“I don’t need you” she said angrily.

Ok maybe you don’t need me, but does that mean I am unnecessary in your life?

Technically I don’t need you either. I really do not need anyone. I can get any of my needs met anywhere by anyone.

But that is not the point. Do you not know the difference between need and want? What about value?

I want to start painting my place. I want your opinion on what colors for which rooms.

Do I need your opinion? Have I never painted a place before? Am I somehow unable to make my own color choices or know the color palettes I like?

I have done a lot of painting. I enjoy painting and giving the place where I live a splash of color. I know my mind.

However I want your thoughts. I want your perspective.

I value your input. I value you.

My place would be better with your touch. And if you invest in it, maybe it will become your place as well.

But now it means nothing. I realize not only do you not need me, you do not even want me in any way for any reason. I do not mean anything to you really. You do not value me at all.

I also realized this past month that you do not respect me at all. Recently you called me a goodie two shoes. After everything we have done this past year, is that what you really think of me? That is a term of derision and ridicule. Not a term of respect.

It hurts and I am angry. I am disappointed. You meant a lot to me.

Were you only using me to meet some kind of need? You have taken advantage of me enough. No more.

I know you are going through a lot right now. You’re scared, angry and tired. I want to make allowances, but you are making me feel completely unnecessary in your life. I feel I am 4th or 5th down the chain of your other friends. I understand your family always takes precedence, but I should be a close second. I want to be there for you. I want to share in this time to support you in whatever way I can.

If I am not allowed to be, then it is time for me to leave this relationship. However, if I stay, it is on my own terms and for what I can get out of it. I will take a totally different tactic towards us than I have before.

Silence is all you know

When you’re alone, silence is all you know

From Abigail’s song in the 2010 Doctor Who Christmas special.

I spent a good part of last Saturday out in the real world. And yet I was still mostly by myself. I worked out. I swam. I shopped for a few things. Interacted with a few people of course but I was still mostly by myself.

Then I went home to be by myself for the rest of the day. I was hoping to spend the day with the woman I most enjoy being with, but she decided she needed to be on her own. I understand of course. She received some very disturbing news.

Yet although I understand her need to be by herself so she can come to terms with the meaning of the news she received, I also think it is not good to be alone at this time. Would I want to be alone at such a time? Yes but to know someone was there for me would also be comforting. I spend most of my time alone. All it brings is silence.

When you’re alone, silence is all you know. When you’re alone, silence is all you hear.

I spent a little time with her on Sunday. We went to church to watch the children sing, but then we wanted to leave for right now Christmas and God have very little meaning. We then went to her place to make protein balls which I have been wanting to make for some time now. It was a way to spend some time with her.

But making those protein balls was not the purpose of course. It was an excuse.

She opened up and expressed her darkest thoughts and feelings. We have no idea what will happen at this point. Maybe it will turn out good. Maybe her worst fears will happen. We are in that in between time.

She wanted to make her wishes known and that I would follow them. I will support her in whatever direction she wants.

She senses she is sick. She is tired of fighting. She believes she has 2 years left on this earth. But then also hopes she would be here at Christmas or for the cruise in March.

I told her again I want to put a ring on her finger. I want her to know that I am with her even when I am not there.

We spent a little more time together, but she was emotional and up and down in her thoughts. She did not want company anymore. She needed to go to sleep. She can only sleep 20 to 30 minutes at a time. I understood and suspected I would leave after only a few hours anyway.

It might be cancer for the third time. It might be something else. If it’s cancer, I know what I need to do. If it’s that something else, I really do not know how to react. I will have to wait and see. Both possibilities weigh on me.

I had given myself hope that Christmas would be different this year. Not so.

I will only see her for dinner at her family’s home surrounded by lots of people. I will stay for a couple of hours but then exit. I am in no mood to socialize. Silence is all I know.

Merry Christmas Hon

My heart was deeply wounded when you entered my life.

I was sadder than I have ever known.

I hurt more than I ever thought imaginable.

I truly could not find a way out of this despair and loneliness.

If you had not come along, my heart would have become full of darkness and my soul full of despair and hatred.

You have brought happiness back into my heart.

You have made my spirit soar and feel as life is new again.

My eyes only want you.

You fill up my heart.

My thoughts drift towards you at all times of the day and night.

My hand reaches out to take yours. To rest on your leg as we’re driving. To slide into your back pocket as we walk.

My arms link to yours to steady you as we walk after you’ve had too much to drink. Or reach around your waist to hold you tight to me. Or wrap around you tightly to let you know how much you mean to me.

My body desires you. To be where you are.

Thank you for entering my life. I am totally blessed to be with someone so caring, giving and refreshing.

Thank you for seeing me through the darkness. You helped lead me out when it was impossible for me to know there was a way.

You are the most important person ever to have entered my life.

I look forward to our many adventures this coming year.

To show you how much you mean to me. To love you as deeply and as thoroughly as I can. To support you in all you do or want to do. To honor you before all others. To be there regardless of circumstances. To share in your joys and your pain. To walk beside you along life’s journey.

I wish you a blessed year full of your heart’s desire.

You are braver than you believe. Stronger than you seem. Smarter than you think.

Love you with all heart.

Craig

You only

I know I’m not like everyone else in your life.

If you don’t feed me, I will not die.

I rarely get sick so no need for you to check in on me.

I do not have addictions I need you to help me through.

I do not need you for what you can do for me.

But ….I need you in my life.

Where you are, I want to be.

Where I am, I want you there beside me.

I want to make love to you today and every day until my heart stops.

I need you. I want you. In my life.

I may ever be as important as your daughter or your mom or even Brett. But you are important to me. You are the most significant person ever to come into my life.

I have already told you I want to put a ring on your finger –

So it can remind you that I love you and am beside you every day.

And to show everyone that even when I am not with you, I am with you everyday.

I need you. I want you in my life always. I love you.

I may not be as important in your life as some others, but you are the most important person ever to enter into my life.

I choose you.

Season of Discontent

Now is the worst time of year. Just hate it really.

Everybody happy or pretending to be happy.

Thanksgiving. Thankfulness for things, family and friends.

Christmas songs. Christmas movies.

Ugh.

As I said before, I am happy with some aspects of my life. But during this time of year, what I do not have is all around me. I have family but far away. I have friends, but they have family. I have friends who say I am family. Nice sweet thought. But not true of course.

I am also thankful for many things. I am extremely grateful for the kids in my swim classes. And their parents are always encouraging. I am grateful for my little buddy. I am grateful for what I do. I am blessed to have so many wonderful friends, food on the table, a roof over my head and clothes on my back.

I have to remember these things, but during this time it is difficult.

In this season, all media shows are two people who come together in unlikely circumstances and become their true love. I cannot get away from it. Songs, movies and shows on TV let us know that everyone – all walks of life, deserving and undeserving – can get the desire of their heart.

Ugh. Roll my eyes. Make me barf.

In these past six years, I have actively sought and been open to finding someone who I can love with all my heart, soul and body. All for nothing. I have lost any hope of finding my heart’s desire. Six years ago, I thought just maybe I could. Now I do not believe. Others may find their loves, their heart’s desire. Not me. Not in my best day, month or year.

I will be happy for those celebrating and pretend to join in, but silently I hurt and wish to get away as soon as possible.

A season without the desire of my heart.

A season without hope.

I have no use for it.

I am here

I enjoy my life or at least aspects of it.

For instance, I have been teaching swim lessons for coming on 2 years now. I always have fun with the kids and they take to me completely. Although I am generally liked and receive great feedback from the parents, I have enjoyed some particularly great comments and encouragement from them these last couple of sessions.

One parent of 2 daughters came to me at the beginning of the last session to tell me how the front desk staff built me up in teaching his kids to become much better swimmers. Over the course of the session I believe he became genuinely impressed with my teaching style and how his daughters improved.

At the end of the session I found out my teaching schedule would be changing. When I told him, he immediately switched his daughters to my new schedule. It was nice of him to do that and happy that he wanted to change. Then on the first day of the new session, I found out he had to rearrange his afternoon schedule so that his kids could come to my class. I am extremely flattered and want to make sure I meet his expectations.

This new session started and I will have several new kids. One of the boys is new to level 5 and I briefly met his mom before class. Then I met both parents after class and they were quite pleased with how much improvement they saw in him even after one class. Evidently though the parent of the 2 daughters mentioned above talked to these new parents about me and how I coach. So part of their enthusiasm was not only seeing their son’s immediate improvement but also that I am now teaching their son. I am definitely greatly gratified.

To top it off, that same evening, the head swim coach asked if I would be interested in coaching. Another parent of 2 girls I have been teaching off and on for sometime had been encouraging me to start coaching as well since her girls are now starting swim team.

Then on a recent Friday I saw another coach who commended me for getting my kids ready for the swim team. My purpose in teaching level 5 is to prepare the kids to go into the swim team if they choose. I was really flattered to hear her comments and happy to know I am preparing my kids to be ready for swim team. It was extremely gratifying.

Why am I writing this post? Because I am here. Right now, the only way I have to communicate my thoughts and feelings is through social media. Most particularly through these blog posts. No one on Facebook wants to hear your personal thoughts and raw emotions. Instagram is visual and I do not care to read the lengthy posts many people write when posting their pics. If you want to write a blog, then write a blog. Instagram is not a blogger site. I have few people to talk to especially about these little triumphs. But they are important to me and I want to tell people these little triumphs.

I appreciate that I have a forum here on my blog. Although few people see it and no one has left a comment, when a blogpost resonates with someone, I feel gratified and heard.

I try in turn to read a few posts or follow a few bloggers so I can let them know I appreciate their thoughts and identify with them. It is difficult for me to do more than that because I am very active and constantly out in nature. I am much more active than creative but I enjoy reading people’s insights and creativity.

I am here. Because I enjoy this community.

Unhealthy?

I feel I need to set boundaries with the woman I spend most of my time. But would that be counter productive?

I mean we have so much fun together but we are not a couple and never will be. Why should I spend so much time with her when it will never mean anything as a couple? And yet is that important? Why is that important to me?

Doing so much with her means it takes time away from possibly finding someone else who might be interested. Of course, honestly, I do not believe I ever will after 6 years of being in Nevada and meeting amazing women who have absolutely no interest in me more than palling around. Yet latching onto her and pretending I can keep emotionally detached is self defeating.

We have lots of plans for the remainder of the year so cannot change much until first of the year. But should I? I crave female companionship.

Of course, she craves male companionship and has lots of options and continues to seek out more even while we are together at an event or doing something. She can. Any male would go after her. And she lets them know how much she is attracted to them.

She constantly talks about how men desire her or who she could have. Of course meaning I am not one. And since I know she talks about me to her male friends, I am sure they think what a fool I am to spend so much time with a woman he will never get to be with. It dampens any weekend we spend together.

I think she may be sleeping with her ex and her boy toy. Maybe more with her boy toy. No way to know and not about to confront her. But if she is, then why should I do so much with her? Even if no sex, I would love to sleep with her and have her warm body next to mine. Do you know how long it’s been? Mostly self imposed but over the last 6 years I have been vainly seeking female companionship.

Once she acquires a boyfriend which I expect to happen within this next year, then of course I understand she will be enjoying her sexuality, but until then it is simply an affront to me when we spend so much time together. I want her so much and it is really difficult for me to accept being just friends even best of friends.

Probably should say no more weekend jaunts. Maybe only spend one weekend a month with her. Downside? I will miss being with her. Upside? I can start focusing on my other activities and interests which hopefully allows me to meet other women.

If/when she asks why we do not spend as much time together maybe then I can present these issues to her. If I present them now, I will simply create drama. And she likes me so much and wants to spend time with me because I am drama free.

I believe God laughs at me for trying to start any romantic relationship with any woman and mocks my attempts by showing me I truly have no qualities which any woman would desire. He knows the desire of my heart and yet refuses to allow it.

And yet I have 4 beautiful women in my life who love me. Tiff and ML here in Reno and Natalie and Tee in Las Vegas. Should they not be enough? Why is that not enough?

And of course by 4 I mean 4 amazing friends. Again not one of them ever had the faintest thought of being romantically inclined. But they love me. They would stop everything and come to my aid if ever I call. I would drop everything to go to them in their times of distress whenever they need me. I have done it a number of times already. They love me for who I am and we stay connected and make time to see each other. I am very blessed to have them in my life.

But again, is that enough? Why does it appear that it is not enough? Why does the desire to be with someone to love them both emotionally and physically hold such power over me now? Why am I not content with having these amazing women in my life without feeling I need more?

But that is it! They all have someone else they go home to. Tiff is kind of the exception but she has one or two options of being with a man at night on her terms. I want to tell her I would make love to her today and every day until my heart stops. Where she is I want to be. Where I am, I want her to be. Although amused, she will politely decline or simply smile and move onto another topic.

So where does that leave me?

Alone in my bed, in my house as I always am while they enjoy the companionship of their loved one. I am a friend they love however deeply but they have a man they love. I love these women deeply but at the end of the day, I have no one.

Since my current gal pal has no other interest in me, I need to keep it on that level too no matter how much I want her sexually. My love languages are proximity and physical touch. I know to spend more time with her will simply increase my sexual desire and so I need to part company once that activity is done. Then my mind and my heart will remember she is simply a friend even if the best of friends.

My little guy gone

Of course he is not mine. He is a friend’s son. But I love him as my own. Actually sad to say better than my own.

I knew this day was coming.

I prepared myself for it.

Now it’s here. I will not be seeing him again.

I enjoyed being with him. He was so much fun. He is so smart. He is a cool kid. He was always ready to try new activities. We are so much alike. I was able to be a boy again having fun, not having a care in the world.

I wanted him to know that an adult male loved him and wanted to be with him.

I wanted to show him how a man loved his woman. To say I love you. To care for her when she was sick. To clean the dishes when the sink was full. To cook meals for her. To be available whenever she needed help.

Until she met the love of her life.

Then I could hand him over to her man and know my mission is complete.

I will cherish the memories of these last couple of years and be thankful I got to spend as much time with him as I could.

But it is still a loss. He is gone. I will not be seeing him again.

Ever.

I miss him.

Two Women, part 2

I have a new woman in my life. Although I will not pretend she will be in it forever as I had assumed or expected with the first one, she is in my life now and am constantly learning from her. That is the first lesson: I no longer expect someone to remain in my life. It is simply for a convenient time. Life moves on eventually.

I met her sometime in July 2017 when she started working in the same office. She showed interest in me from the outset and I returned the favor. We simply talked at work for a few months but then started to hang out together. We enjoy much of the same things.

She invited me over to her place to help with baking some goodies right before Christmas last year. She had also invited other folks and her nieces were there. I ended up doing most of the baking along with her oldest niece and I was perfectly happy contributing in this way to her gathering. That way she could play hostess and attend her guests. We spent much of Christmas together with her family.

During the winter we played board games, ate and drank. Then as she healed from a fall and winter very slowly turned into spring, we started to do outdoor activities. Then during the summer we went camping frequently. She is an amazing cook and we ate and drank a lot as well.

I have spent many nights at her place but always on the couch. While camping we slept on opposite sides of her very large tent. In one respect she is very modest but she also is quite open about her sexuality and past. She has had several partners and the most recent one ended little more than a year ago.

She enjoys being with men but prefers them about 10 years younger than her. I am the exception in that I am 14 years older than her. She refuses to date older men yet she complains about her exes having addictions to sex, porn, drugs or alcohol. Figure that is part of being a young immature man, but it is ego boosting for her to turn on a younger guy. No way to change that.

During the last camping trip, she took me to a local clothing optional hot springs. She was adamant she would always wear a bathing suit, but as soon as we got into the water off came her suit. This last weekend we went again and she did not even bother taking her suit. She feels comfortable enough around me to sense I would not take advantage of her like the other guys she has gone there with.

Should I be flattered or just understand that as a man I will never turn her on where she might lose her self control and want to have sex with me? Regardless I get to see her naked and am glad for any opportunity.

I let her know after the first time being naked together that she was the first woman I had been naked with and fully aroused with since my divorce in 2004. That is another lesson: she allows me to express my sexuality in some way which is important. No other woman since my divorce has ever let me do that.

What I have learned so far

  1. She cares for me deeply and I care for her greatly as well. However, I am going to protect my heart. She is an amazing caring gregarious woman. She is fiercely independent and demands a man love his woman more than she loves him back. In my mind, not a good scenario.
  1. I am a convenient friend. Want to go to the hot springs? Sure! Want to go camping? Absolutely! Want to go mountain biking? I will be right over! All of her other friends would wonder how that would be fun or say yes and then back out as the date approaches.
  2. I am only one of many options for her. If she does not ask me to do something, then she is probably not interested in doing anything with me that weekend. Do not text. Do not suggest an activity. She will ignore it. She will let you know when your number comes up. We spent a lot of time together recently but I should not expect it to be the norm. She has family and friends who need her as well.
  3. When we are together we are not a couple. We are 2 people in the same place. She has a wandering eye. When she sees a man in his 30’s and attracted to him, she can easily ditch me and make a play for him. It feels like a slap in the face to go after another man when we are together. In my darker moments, it confirms I am not and never will be special to anyone.
  4. She is my best friend. Maybe it will be forever. Maybe only a couple of years but I will enjoy her company as much and as often as I can. I just also must be realistic about her character and our relationship.
  5. She allows me to express my sexuality. She at least acknowledges I am a fully equipped and functional man. All other women I have met since moving to Nevada seem to believe I am asexual or a eunuch. I am a man who desires to be with a woman. She allows me to show her and tell her how much I desire her.

Maybe nothing will happen with her, but maybe as I gain confidence in being playful with her then the next woman in my life might show some attraction to me romantically. Probably not, but at least I can pretend it’s possible.