Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Life Files ~ What’s My Age Again?

Today I turn 43. Not a milestone by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s significant to me this year. My circumstances found me facing the most radical lifestyle change I’ve faced in over a decade.

When I bought my farm, I worked from home. I found it easy to handle the day to day responsibilities of taking care of so much, because I managed myself and my time to suit the lifestyle I always dreamed of recognizing.

Nothing lasts forever. Perhaps the saddest cold, hard truth of our existence remains this one fact. This Spring I received word my work at home lifestyle would be nearing its end. Blame it on whatever you like, I had to find myself quick and land on my feet.

I am on my own and I have grown very lax over the last ten years of easy living. I chose this life and all the responsibility for ten acres, three horses, two mini donkeys, six cats (I never said I was sane) and one dog falls on me alone. By the end May, I had no job. I’ve been on exactly one interview in my working life and I suck at the process. I had to file for unemployment for the first time in my working life. WTF may as well have been tattooed on my forehead. This seemed it could be my toughest year yet.

Cue fantasies of a condo in Bali and a penchant for something more manageable. Cue regrets. Only one other time in my life have I been lower. I found myself lost in a sea of change and concern. I immediately updated my résumé and started applying for every job I could find remotely fitting my skill set. Twinkies may have gone by the wayside, but I was shitting them daily.

Thing is, it all worked out well in the end. I found a great position after only a month of unemployment for a great organization working with people among the most brilliant in my state. I commute now, but after a few months I’m adjusting. What looked like it was shaping up to be one of the worst years of my adult life may turn out to be one of the best yet.

I believe significant change happens at certain times in our lives because we are ready for it or we have reached a time where we need it to continue to grow. Whether we need to learn from something, grow out of something, or simply enjoy the moment, however fleeting it may prove to be, the best and biggest changes will come at the right moments in life.  When I study my own personal history, I realize everything has come to me when I needed it the most. Even though I worried earlier this year how things would ever be ok again, here I am four months later…getting by, albeit some days by the skin of my teeth.  Timing really is everything.  Shakespeare, despite writing the most depressing love story in history, was spot on about timing. 

Timing is everything. There is a tide in the affairs of men which when taken at the flood leads on to fortune.” – William Shakespeare

So 43, insignificant as the number may be, finds me taking stock of what I’ve done and what I am yet to do. I enjoy a wonderful life. I’m in a great place, surrounded by the right people, and I’m still doing what I love. It may be time to scale back a bit and it’s certain more change is on the horizon, but my accomplishments can’t be disputed. This change came at time I needed it the most, saving me from the quagmire of complacency I was hip deep in and failed to notice. I’m a lucky woman, even if there are times I don’t feel like one. Turns out 43 could be one of my most significant birthdays to date. I would have never seen that coming. 

So cheers to the years,
may they not pass to fast,
the only constant is change,
things forever rearrange
But with good friends by your side
And a fast horse to ride
All the love you can stand,
A random helping hand
Make the best of every day
Be sweet in what you say
Don’t scoff as time passes
Just get off your asses
There is fun to be had
Waste no time being sad.
The good times will always follow the bad.

The Dating Game ~~~ The Relationship Files

There is a fine line between too much and not enough, especially when you’re boxing in the dating arena. From a women’s perspective, it’s quite a challenge to show interest without being labeled clingy. I’m no dryer sheet and even I have trouble knowing when I should initiate and when it’s best to remain aloof. Let’s face it; all the really good prizes at the carnival are the hardest to win. Who the hell wants a four inch tall fabric dinosaur when they can win a four foot tall stuffed Shrek donkey? I want the big prize. I’m the girl who comes home with the donkey…sometimes literally, and sometimes figuratively. So this should be difficult, right? After all, what the hell do you have in your life that’s awesome and was easy to obtain? I can’t think of a thing.

And men, well let’s just say, they are no easier to figure out than we are. They step it up and slow it down, pull you close and then push you away. Getting to know someone can be likened to dancing with a new partner. You are unlikely to step in time with one another until your individual styles emerge, but the urge to protect your feet is immediate. How do you make it through all that dancing out of time in one piece without breaking your foot? If you figure it out, let me know. *limps to the kitchen to freshen the java*

So how do you know when it’s ok to let your guard down? What about showing interest? When is it safe and to what degree should you let a guy know what you feel? How do you trust what you feel is your heart speaking and not your vagina? Good questions which sorely lack good answers.  If you ask for too much, you may get nothing at all. Ask for too little and you risk losing his interest to someone more demanding. As for which part of you is speaking, well if you want him to want to be with you no matter what the day’s agenda holds, it’s probably your heart.  Otherwise, silence your lips, vagina. 

When I am training a horse, it’s easy for me to intuit how quickly he learns.  I set the pace of the lesson to his ability.  I can’t find a way to apply this logic to human interactions.  Our ability to learn and grow, like and love ebbs and flows according to our past experiences and what’s currently going on in our lives.  How do you know if you are too fast or too slow when the response remains inconsistent?  Save a horse, ride a cowboy, but don’t expect to figure him out right away.  It’s like Kramer’s version of movie phone, ‘Why don’t you just tell me what movie you want to watch????’

No matter what you do, too much, too little or just enough, you begin playing the dating game the second you start asking yourself the questions. The moment you no longer engage in coupled activities to kill time and you do it because you really want to;  you, my friend, are in the game. The stakes grow exponentially when you develop an honest desire for someone. And you better step lightly, especially in the forty something muddy puddle we are forced to date in, because most of us only have a few feelings left. The emotional cost is high when someone steps on one of them.

Once upon a time, I built a mental list of rules. I would not call or text first, I would not accept anything but a properly requested date and they would be fetching me and taking me out, proper, etc. Aloof was the word of the day, every day. I followed a strict dating construct and I found myself disappointed to discover my rules didn’t improve the quality of my dating experiences. Like any crazy girl who is not yet totally insane, I ditched my rules and I’m going to do what feels right. I’m throwing my last few feelings on the tracks. I can only hope the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t a train.

I’m left to question; did relaxing my rules and following my feelings leave me more open to even bigger disappointments or did ‘changing it up’ open doors to bigger and better experiences? One day, perhaps, I’ll be able to let you know. Until then, game on.