I Don’t Know Much …. Relationships Past & Present

I am sixty years old .. well into boomerdom … and have “completed” two long-term relationships in my life … Not too bad by today’s standards, is it?

I met my first husband when I was sixteen years old (mid-October, 1966 to be exact) and a Junior in high school.  My dad was on his way to Viet Nam for a year.  Had he not been, I think the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing would not have gone on for so long.  Being a military brat, I moved between my Junior and Senior year and somehow the relationship continued and he followed me to Hawaii in June of 1968 (when I graduated) and we became engaged, and we were married a year later in August, 1969 when I was eighteen.  We were married for twenty-three years until he died unexpectedly from a heart attack in May of 1992, at the age of forty-three.  He was my first love, high school sweetheart, and though our marriage was somewhat tumultuous (a whole story in itself) we loved each other deeply.  Our nineteen year old daughter and sixteen year old son (who was home alone with him when he died) and I joined forces and helped each other through the worst of it.  Time passes, and while the hurt and missing does not go away completely, I found that place in my brain to tuck it away.

It took a few years before I was ready to that those tentative steps to dating again.  It was intimidating because I never really dated much in high school.  I eventually met someone in 1995, were married in 1997 and divorced in 2007.  I realized early on that I’d married for all the wrong reasons – but being the nurturer/fixer that I am figured I could love away the problems.  Can you say “WRONG!”?  One cannot “fix” substance abuse problems for someone else. The relationship ended much earlier than the paperwork was finalized.  Need I say more?

I met my current “relationship” in January, 2008.  He is divorced and then lost his second love to cancer in a very short period of time after she was diagnosed. We have taken our time in getting to know each other, and to each work through some of our own issues.  We have at times been friends, at times lovers, at times “in a relationship” and at times not. We lived together for a year, and we have lived in our own spaces for the last year.  We both have had some very high fences to break down in learning how to communicate better with each other.  What we have come to realize over the last six months (or maybe less) is that in spite of our ups and downs, comings and goings, we have now been very happy, unintentionally exclusive, committed but not wanting to admit it, best friends for the last three and a half years. And through being friends, we have come to accept each other for who we are (and we’ve seen pretty much the best and worst in each other) with our crazy little quirks and nuances … and we have come to love each other.

I am not afraid of committing to him or to our whatever you want to call this friendship but I AM terrified (after a first tumultuous marriage and a second disaster ending in divorce) of the big “M” word …  for all my talk with him about being vulnerable enough to fall in love again at the risk of hurt or failure or success? …. I am the squeamish one.  There are more conversations to be had, I guess.

That being said, with all my heart I can say – I don’t know much … but the words say it all …

Aaron Neville & Linda Ronstaadt

And I would love to hear from others who have braved the vulnerability and trusted yourselves to love yet again at “our age” …. is it possible that the third time’s the charm?

Namaste …………

Sometimes we look so far to find happiness ..

Sometimes we look so far to find happiness when we don’t even realize that happiness is in our hearts, waiting patiently to be released. ~ Anonymous

A  “Boomer” friend of mine has been searching for happiness for as long as I’ve known him (over 3 years) – maybe forever … he went through a bitter divorce some years ago. Then he found new love (in his tentative way) a few years later and two years into their relationship, she was diagnosed with stage 4 leukemia and pass away a few months later. When I met him, he was just reaching out from the loss of his sweetheart.  His relationship with his kids was rocky at best.  He was seeking “happiness” through a variety of destructive behaviors.  But there was a sadness and a sweetness about him that I could neither ignore nor resist.

Over the last few years I have watched him work through some very difficult times.  The common thread in his struggle has been searching for that which will make him happy – fulfill him.  He has a career that will shortly be providing him a reasonable retirement; has been financially responsible in providing for his & his children’s future; has a profitable home-based consulting business; owns a comfortable home – a comfortable life and future by anyone’s standards.  And yet he has spent a lifetime of searching for happiness … to be released from his emptiness.  I have seen a successful man who lacks social self confidence and is afraid of being vulnerable – as if allowing himself to “be happy” or to “surrender to love” will guarantee being hurt and abandoned again.  He has had no idea what a sweet and loving person he is, or what is “enough” … our friendship has been held at bay as “just friends” because if we are “just friends”, he could walk away if it got uncomfortable for him.

Lately he has been evolving daily in wonderful, positive ways – finally realizing that he has all the “things” he needs to be comfortable. He is becoming more comfortable and happy with himself, trusting his intuitions.  He is realizing he has the love of someone who accepts him for who he is with all his imperfections who is not going to hurt him.  He is opening up to the vulnerability of surrendering to love – to trusting someone else to care for his heart .. and that the comfort and contentedness and happiness he seeks is actually right under his nose and in his heart – just waiting patiently to be released.

Why do we so often search for something we feel is missing in our lives when in reality it is within us already?  If that which we seek we cannot find within, we will not find it without.  Looking inward is hard work – searching our selves for the answers we seek is work – but so much more rewarding than the endless seeking “out there” where no answers lie.  At any age.

I hope you find your happiness in your heart ….

Namaste …

Enjoying Life’s Detours

“Enjoy life’s detours. They often provide some of life’s greatest memories.”  Anonymous

At the moment I am in Brooklyn, helping my son and daughter in law with a health crisis My daughter in law was struck by a speeding bicyclist on June 11, in Prospect Park, near where they live.  She ended up with multiple skull fractures (temporal, basal, orbital), 2 shoulder breaks and some broken ribs – along with some other issues.  After 25 days in King County Hospital Center (watch for a future blog on “Groundhog Day At King County Hospital”), she is now finally starting physical and occupational rehab.  She is mending quickly and well, and there will be no long-term, permanent issues as a result.

The accident is not the impetus for my musings … but rather the DETOUR I find myself taking this summer.  I flew in to NYC on June 23, and will likely be going home at the end of July or first few days of August … six unexpected weeks of visiting with my son and daughter in law!

They moved from Sacramento in 1998 and have lived in Brooklyn since.  They have both finished their college educations, and have worked on establishing their careers – he in the world of hedge funds and she in the world of performance arts.  They make it “home” a few times a year for a few days or a week at a time; I have been here to visit them 3 times in 11 years …  visits either way never long enough.

Because of “the accident” and my situation of being time-flexible, and them needing some assistance at home with walking their dog, getting DIL to doctors appointments, filing paperwork and retrieving medical records for her, I offered to stay as long as they need the extra hands. It has been an unexpected treat!  I have loved getting to know my DIL one on one; meeting their amazing circle of friends who have been so incredibly supportive and  helpful; seeing windows into their day-to-day lives here in Brooklyn and New York City – and spending TIME with my son.

We’ve been to improve comedy events in support of their friends, a flash mob event in Battery Park attended by 3,000 people, a Scottish feis in Rockland County where my son competed with the Martin Duffy Memorial Band (he’s a celtic snare drummer), we’re going to Connecticut for his company’s family pool party …. and hopefully to Coney Island to go to the beach … I’m loving it!

Except for Dana’s injuries, I wouldn’t trade this DETOUR for anything in the world.

“Enjoy life’s detours” … I ran across this little tidbit on one of my facebook “like” pages this morning and it just was one of those “smack up-side the head” moments.  How often do we forget to either take the detours, or fail to enjoy them for all of the incredible memories they offer us? I don’t think I ever will again.

As “Boomers”, many of us have the opportunity to take life’s detours more easily than we could at other times in our lives.  Do you take the time to enjoy them or let them pass you by?  You know what I hope.

Here’s to detours and my daughter-in-law with so much love and respect …

Sweetpea Daughter In Law

Namaste …

Female, Single, Unemployed and In Love With Life at 60

Lesson one – when writing a blog, make sure you save it todraft frequently.  Lesson learned … twice.

My excitement this week – attending a FLASH MOB EVENT in Manhattan!  3000 people!   Here is a photo of the MOB from a nearby high-rise – I’ll tell you the details later …. who wudda thunk – at 60 I would go to a Flash Mob?  Why not???

So to start off my adventures in boomer blogging, let me first say that I know there are millions of boomers out there who have happily reached their goals for retirement and their future – and I am absolutely delighted for you!

I also know that there are probably as many of us who, for whatever reason, are not where we thought we would be – no white picket fence, no comfy 401K or IRA or otherwise investments … life circumstances gone off on left turns rather than thestraightforward path … being tossed into having to be sole providers for our families because of the death of a spouse, taking care of aging parents in end of life journeys, helping our children with their special needs children …  being fired from jobs because the economy played havoc with a budget created by other people and didn’t materialize and someone had to take the blame for it (why not you?) … a  hundred thousand reasons why our lives go off in directions we never would have imagined .. real-life issues.

But we simply handle those situations and keep on going the best we can– and find joy in what we have and humor in the next crisis … and as my mom used to say – pull up our big girl panties and deal with it!

I am 60 years old – with 2 adult children (one single mom with 2 teenagers who tries her damndest but never seems to be able to take a step forward without taking 2 backwards and a son who is an over-achiever who will succeed if he doesn’t wear himself out getting there)  – no job but
am trying to establish a home-based business based on my life career skill set –live with my daughter (recent studies indicate the massive increase in multi-generational families again due to the economy) – have been in arelationship for the last 3 ½ years which some days is and some days isn’t a relationship – and because of my “life circumstances” live check to check –knowing it would never happen because of family and friends but understanding the fear of being one step away from homelessness …

AND YET … in spite of that, I am grateful for all the wonderfulness in my life and know some day this all, too, shall pass.

AND I believe there is enough humor – real life – you can see yourself in me –  I can maybe teach you something about love and life – to keep you entertained enough to keep reading my adventures.  Life is an incredible adventure – and I hope you keep joining me for mine!  It’s never a dull moment … come along for theride – and peace and love to you –