Thursday, February 2, 2017

Tuesdays at Forty: Eight Months Into Military Retirement

...And I'm still adjusting.

This month feels like it's going to be one of just kind of treading water--not drowning but not making any big headway as far as paying for the big bills.  I received a gift last month that enabled me to go visit my fella and I think that visit did us both some good.  I *do* wish I was still there, if only so that he had someone he could decompress with after work, but we're making do.

And, just a day or so ago, I decided to go ahead and take advantage of some cheap airline rates and I'm heading to Florida for Spring Break.  Never gone on a Spring Break vacation before so I anticipate some good fun.  I plan to visit one friend whom I haven't seen in many years.  We worked together, here at Dover, and gave each other a lot of shit back then.  We've given each other less shit, nowadays, but I think that was because we kind of lost contact.  That situation was remedied a few weeks ago and I'm hoping that our friendship becomes one of those that deepens in time.  Good friends are hard to find.

After I visit him, I'll be heading over to the other side of the state to visit another friend (and his family).  His place was a stayover during my trip through the south last spring.  We've been friends for more than a decade now.  I count him as one of my closest male friends.  He's married but I keep telling him "If you were in an open marriage and poly..."  lol.

More fun in my life: Physical Therapy.  Last fall, it was for my shoulder.  This time, it's for my IT Band across my left hip.  It hurts after I run which then makes it difficult to run again and I enjoy running--aside from that pain--so I need to get it fixed.

And, finally, the "best" fun in my life: Waiting for the VA to get through with my disability shit.  I called them yesterday, three weeks after they got the last little detail that they needed from me, to see about my claim.  Estimated time for claim completion: December 29, 2017.  It's February 2nd today.  Now, I realize that others have been waiting eons for their claims to get processed and I'm not minimizing their shit.  It's unacceptable all around!!  For anyone to have to wait a freaking year is ridonkulous.  I can understand a month or two; maybe three but almost a year.  Stupid!!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Tuesdays at Forty: It's Not As Easy As It Sounds

I wrote a post nearly two weeks ago about being "poly" in nature and I don't want folks to think that it's as easy as it sounds.  Being able to love more than one person at a time doesn't mean that my heart isn't aching for the one whom I can't see right now.  Granted, I have plans to see him next weekend but subsequent visits are unplanned at this point because we both know that life has a tendency to get in the way.

But, right now, I miss him so much that it hurts.  For the past month (Friday was 30 days and YES, I'm counting), I've hated not knowing that our paths will cross at the gym or that I'll see him for dinner on our "usual" dinner night or for breakfast one day on the weekend.  I miss seeing his smile in person.  I miss him giving me crap when I say something silly.  I miss so many little things.  I don't tell him half the shit I'm thinking because I don't want to overwhelm him with my emotions.

And, holy shit, emotions!!!  When you just have a crush on someone, it's so much easier.  When you're not in love with someone, it's so much easier. You can keep all those emotions all bottled up and never worry that you'll say too much.  But, when you've got this new thing going on--some circles call it, very aptly: New Relationship Energy (NRE)--then your emotions are all over the place.

"What's he doing?"
"Where's he going today?"
"How does he feel?"
"Will we see each other today?"
"Damn! He looks good!"
"Aw, he brought me my favorite beverage."

Falling in love with him was super easy but navigating the whole spectrum of emotions is not for the faint of heart.  I had forgotten how all over the place you can be.  And I do my best to not blow up his phone with "thinking of you messages".  I'm succeeding at that...most of the time.  lol.  I'm also doing my best to take things one step at a time.  In the past, it just hasn't worked out for me and I think I'm in this big hurry to get to a point of knowing whether things are going to work out for us or not instead of just enjoying the journey.  Though, the journey sometimes feels like a big waiting game when I don't have a busy day and he does and so I don't hear from him very often.

I also, unfairly, test him; in more ways than I realize and I'm embarrassed that I do so.  I know that I can't keep doing it; that it really will bite me in the ass and he will call it quits just so he doesn't have to deal with my untrained heart any more.  I want him to make plans for when he'll come see me and, really, neither one of us knows what we'll be doing in four, five, six months which is the soonest that that would happen.

And I get so angry about it.  Angry at circumstances.  Angry at him.  Angry at his job that made him move.  Angry at the unfairness of it all.  Angry that he won't make any plans.  Angry that he won't do whatever it is, at that moment, that I wish he would do.

But, then, I get not angry and see the true flipside of things.  He had no control over leaving.  He HAD to go.  Him not being in my town actually makes it easier for me to focus on school work and taking the other classes that I'm taking: ballet and Tai Chi.  He works really long hours and then does stuff on the weekends so our time together was really limited but I can see me getting frustrated with that as time goes by.  And that part wouldn't change for a couple years.

I'm guess I'm also angry at the fact that he showed me what nice guys really are like (even when they have that balance of having various flaws to balance out the niceness: sarcasm, tunnel vision to the point of exclusion when focused on something, etc) and then "took it away" so to speak.  And, I gotta be honest, the nekid games were out of this world.  It's been a long time since my world was rocked so well and so thoroughly.  And now I don't have that either.

I think I may have to loosen the grip that I think I have on the situation.  I don't know how but I have to do something.  I don't want to lose him.

I just want to make it with him.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Tuesdays at Forty: Growth and Learning All Around (The College Aspect)

Last week, I started school...again...full time.  For me, this is huge.  I've been taking college classes since just after I graduated high school.  Graduated HS in June 1994, started classes in August 1994.  I think I was full time then, too, because I remember taking three or four at that time.  The regular stuff that college freshmen take: Math, English, etc.  I remember also taking the very difficult class of "Weight Lifting".  It had replaced Accounting because that shit was hard!  lol.

I took more college classes during my 20 years in the Air Force but rarely more than one at a time and almost never more than two a year.  The plus side to that: I don't need to take but one or two of those lower level courses now.  The downside: I still have to take one or two of those lower level courses now.

So...what have I noticed that might be different or the same about my classmates then and now.  Well, the biggest is that THEN we were the same age.  NOW, not so much.  90% of them are young enough to be my offspring.  But, I think this is a good thing.  They can share what they know that I don't which is much since it's a whole different world from when I was in my late teens and early 20s.  I can share my oodles of life experience with them.

I went in search of some headline topics from the 90s and here's what I found (in no particular order):
  • Tonya Harding had Nancy Kerrigan clubbed in the knee (ice skating competition was FIERCE back then)
  • The OJ Simpson trial
  • Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky ("I did NOT have sexual relations with that woman" or something like that)

2016, alone, was all kinds of topsy turvy and I don't know that there can be any sort of comparison; mainly because we're in a different mindset and have different perspectives on things than we would have almost a generation ago.

Anyhow, the differences are many but you know what we have in common: BOOKS! 

For the love of all that runs this universe, college books are getting bigger.  I swear!  I'm taking only four classes.  One requires a workbook so, for that class, I have two books.

My stack:

The spiral bound is for a computer class and the black book holds all my notepads.

The other difference between me and my classmates: I don't think they share my enthusiasm for the freedom of being able to attend class; to learn these new topics; to take in this knowledge that I know is relevant, even if only in part.

I'm excited for this adventure.

And, what's even more exciting, being able to wear anything and everything in my wardrobe without having to conform to uniform/dress code rules.  I imagine the school has a general dress code but I don't imagine that anything in MY wardrobe would be against it.  lol.  

Finally, it wouldn't have been a "Back to School" without "Back to School Pictures" so here you go:

I must go now.  I have homework.  😄
Read the other Growth and Learning Aspect post here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tuesdays at Forty: Growth and Learning All Around (The Poly Aspect)

It's been only a couple of months since I fell in love again, for the first time in years; and almost a month since that love moved out of state.  We're separated, geographically, but ours "feels" for each other are the same.  We didn't end the relationship and we're taking it as it comes, letting it go where it will like a newly forming river.  What makes this easier, for me, is that while I miss him like crazy, he's not the only person in my life or, at least, he doesn't have to be.  I've found that the polyamorous lifestyle works for me.  I can date.  I can get involved with someone else.  And it doesn't take away from my love for him.  To not have the obligation to deny baser needs of affection and touch while someone I love is so far away is such a relief.

I know that this kind of dynamic isn't for everyone.  Our society is based upon one man and one woman finding each other and being with each other forever.  Society is changing but the assumption of only two people being in a relationship is still very much there.  More recently, it's accepted for those two people to have similar equipment.  But the thought of having relationships outside of that is "odd" or "weird" or "whatever."

I do have say this: When I say "polyamorous", I'm not meaning "poly'eff'ory" in which folks are sleeping around all willy nilly.  That might play a part in it.  Someone who is poly might have an "Eff Buddy" but so might someone who is monogamous in nature.  A poly person might also have a "Friend w/Benefits" in which friends, who hang out, might also be intimately involved.  Again, this isn't just poly folks.  Mono folks do this too.

To be poly, is so much more, and can require more skills to do.  I say "skills" because time management is KEY to ensuring all parties see each other as their needs require and communication is employed to the nth degree.  I wouldn't have seen my fella as often as I did, before he moved, had we both not used these concepts extensively.  You also need to have a level of self-awareness to be able to evaluate if something is or isn't working for you.  As much as a lot of "regular" relationships run off of assumption, you just can't do that in a poly dynamic.  I can't expect my fella to know my time needs or limits without me being aware of them myself.  On the flip side, those needs and limits require a measure of respect because they are part of the framework of the relationship.

So, moving on to those needs...

I realized very shortly after he moved that I didn't want to go back to the scenario that was my life before he and I started dating.  I didn't want to not go out on dates just because the one that I'm involved with isn't in my town any more.  Someone in a monogamous relationship would have a couple choices: break up with them so that they could date again, cheat and hope they never find out, or not date at all.  I like the choices that I have which are those already stated PLUS: love them him from afar and see him when I can AND date someone else.  I'll take option D any day of the week.  You know what this does?  It takes the term "cheating" out of the equation.  In a healthy poly relationship, there is no cheating.  And why should you have to choose between whom you love and whom you might grow to love?  Do BOTH!!

Now, I'm not saying that this is easy.  There are a lot of societal norms that we are conditioned to do or not do and it takes time to learn or unlearn them.  And that's where I'm at.

The (un)learning continues...
got this from facebook

Read the other Growth and Learning Aspect here.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Tuesdays at Forty: Love Just Happened So Easily This Time

Our paths first crossed virtually.  We met online more than a year ago and messaged for months before moving on to texting.  We met in person about six months ago.  Just breakfast at a local diner.  There were no expectations.  We were just looking to meet/make a new friend.  A few weeks later, we had a late lunch/early dinner.  Texting in between the whole time.
"How's work?"  "Busy with some knuckleheads."
"What are you doing this weekend?"  "Headed out to NJ for a tournament.  You?"  "Working at the mall and then hanging with some friends."

Just everyday innocuous stuff.  Then we started seeing each other more often.  And he would say or do  stuff that was totally disarming: "You said you liked that movie so I brought you this one 'cause I think you'll like it."  Or "What do you want me to bring for drinks?" "I like X, Y, and Z." And he'd bring something of each of X, Y, and Z.  Now, I know this seems like normal, courteous stuff but the fellas that I've dated just don't do this.  They're always looking out for number one: themselves.  And they'll say stuff that makes you wonder what sort of game they're playing.  It's like Stratego or Chess in the dating world nowadays.

This man doesn't play mental all.  It's wonderful.  It's refreshing.  I don't have to wonder how he feels about me.  I don't have to wonder what he's doing when he's not with me.  I don't have to wonder if he's just in it for one thing and one thing only.  And it was so easy to just fall in love with that: his courtesy, his kindness, the fact that he digs me (in all venues lol), his sexiness, his sensuality, his intelligence.  And on and on and on.

I'd forgotten how easy it was to really love someone.  To know that if you saw something that made you think of them and you then showed them that thing, people who care about you aren't going to make fun of you or express disdain or indifference.  They'll show that they appreciate that you were thinking of them.

And they'll tell you that they'll miss you if you guys end up going your separate ways for whatever reason.  Because they actually give a shit about you.

It's wonderful to love someone and not have to be on guard mentally, emotionally, physically.  To just love them and know that they have love for you.

I'm totally sunk and it's wonderful and delicious and refreshing.  And 12 years is a long time to have not had it.

More please.

**It's been a day or so since I wrote this but I wanted to add that I'd also forgotten how *easy* it is to love someone when you don't have to be on your guard.  He's not perfect; nor am I; but to love what I've seen and heard and experienced with this man just requires no effort.  When a person isn't afraid of your emotions and can take them in stride, even if he's not on the same page, is what I'm digging the most.  I'm able to just be and that is what keeps me drawn to him.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Tuesdays at Forty: A Week to Catch Up

I took this week off.  No work up at the mall though I'll put in a few hours at Acorn Books on Saturday.  There's a few projects that I've been putting off that I was able to make some good progress on this week.
And this:

Have become these (still in progress):

And then there's this:
That's about 500 pages of printed medical records--a task that took more than seven hours on my little printer--for my VA claim submission in two weeks.  I still have another 1200 pages to print out.  The rest will have to wait until I have more paper because I ran out shortly after typing this.

I also took numerous things to the Goodwill that had been cluttering up the house.  Yep, still purging stuff.  Sometimes, you set things to the side with plans to sell them on a local facebook yard sale page or repurpose them but those actions never seem to happen.  SO, you have to do something.  I was tired of looking at them.

I finally go the roof repair estimate that I was satisfied with and pushed forward with that.  Just need to make the down payment and then they'll order the materials.  Before winter hits, I'll have no more leaks.  I also made arrangements for further flooring replacement in the entryway, the downstairs bathroom, and the laundry room.  They'll match the kitchen and dining room floors.  That'll be done the first week of November.  One more box checked off the "Things to Repair Before Selling in Three Years" list.

Got my school application submitted.  GIBill submitted.  Just waiting to hear from each agency so that I can move forward with school and getting classes scheduled.

There were other, little things, that got done around the house this week.  It was just a matter of having the uninterrupted time to do them.  I even rearranged the living room.  Something that hadn't been done in three years.  I found nearly a dozen cat toys under the TV cabinet.  I wonder how long it will be before they're all lost again.  :)

I'm still working on getting the spare room cleared of stuff that doesn't need to be in there.  It's kind of difficult.  It's the place where I put the stuff from all the other rooms that doesn't belong in *those* rooms--kind of the last landing pad before I really make a decision.  lol  It'll get there.  If people came to my house, they would NEVER say that I have a lot of stuff.  lol.

Have a good week!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuesdays at Forty: Living Life or Just Getting Through It?

Thankfully, September has had fewer repairs than July and August so that is a distinct plus; however, now I'm just kind of treading water.  I look at the things that I need to do and then I look at my budget and the list of things to do gets considerably shorter.  I'm still making adjustments to various aspects as I adjust to my retired life.  Truth be told, it is quite difficult to go from making $4400/mo to less than $2000/mo, especially when Murphy made a two month long visit.  The good news is that I'm putting in more hours at White House Black Market--pretty much every shift that I'm available, I have a shift--which is good because that's more money in the bank BUT I need to further refine my budget to accommodate the increased gas expenses.
I did submit my GIBill application yesterday and, next week, I'll be submitting my application to become a full time student at Wesley.  Things are looking up.  It'll be good to get back into some sort of routine and learning new things.
With the strain of the finances, I continue to put one foot in front of the other and do my best to adapt to this new life condition.  And I'm grateful for the pension that I have and the part time job that augments it.