One of the blessings of going to church is how the Lord Jesus can touch my life and give me hope and words of encouragement. This all happened to me Wednesday night. As I wrote before about being unsettled and wondering what to do, now I feel like I can stay put and not be moved by what is happening around me.
My future is secured by the promises of God found in the Bible.
One of the struggles I am dealing with lately is whether to stay or leave where I am. I have been in this house for 20 years. Kathy and I bought it in 1997. It is fine, filled with good memories, but I cannot afford to fix or maintain it. Part of me wants to run away from my problems, and part of me wants to stay and fight.
There are things I can do to help me stay until I die. And there is the option to liquidate everything and leave. I need wisdom to know the best way forward for me.
If you are a praying person pray for me.
I have been thinking about what I wrote earlier about Why Not Me. I think the easy answer is I am not ready for a new relationship yet. The four years that I have been alone do not come close to offsetting the 40 years I was married. Yes I miss female companionship. Yes I enjoy female conversation. Yes I am attracted to a beautiful woman. In all of these things I am definitely a normal man.
But when I think of waking up after the honeymoon and finding I have to make a new life with a stranger it scares me. I don’t know if I can do that or not.
So I am going to stick to my original premise, that it is too soon and it is not time for me. Maybe someday, maybe not.
I just heard this morning that two people I know are engaged to be married. I am happy for them both. They are both 50ish and divored so I hope this works out for them.
The thing that bothers me is, what’s wrong with me that no women will talk to me much less go out with me or, gasp, marry me?
It’s not that I am in a hurry to meet someone. But when I see things like this something in me stirs and I feel the lonliness all over again.
Something has recently occurred to me. The job I am doing now, but which is about to go away, is the first job I have had since Kathy died. I started doing this particular job for this company about one month after she died, and have been doing it ever since. But we are shutting down this service at the end of January so I will have to shift to another position within my company.
I don’t know if this is significant or not. I did my current job all through the dark days of grief. I did my work while struggling on the inside. And just in the past year I have finally felt like I had come through my grief and had settled down and had begun to think about my future.
Maybe this break with this position is necessary to moving on past the things that tie me to death. Or maybe it’s a coincidence. But it is happening either way. And as I have written before, nothing that happens to me now is anything compared to the things that have happened to me in the recent past. So I am ready for a new door to open and for a new opportunity to present itself to me. I’m not going to worry or fret. I am moving on.
My how things change. We make plans, set goals, think through what we need to do, and then out of nowhere comes change.
When Kathy died it was an unexpected change in my life. From being married for 40 years to being suddenly single. One lesson I learned from this is that nothing that comes my way can compare to this one traumatic event that changed my life forever.
My work is changing. I am still with the same company, but my steady gig of the past 4 years will be in the history books come February 1st. What’s next, I don’t know. Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity. And help is on the way. I didn’t want this to happen, but it did.
I am grateful for the lessons I have learned going through these events in my life. Will I quit or give up? Absolutely not! God did not bring me this far to leave me.
What other changes will I have to face in coming years? Who knows. But with the Lord’s help I know I’m going to make it.
What will I do next? Saturday, go for a hike. Sunday, go to church. Monday, go to work. In other words, as things change around me on the outside, it seems important to not change things I have control over.
It was four years ago tonight that I hurried home from work only to find my beloved wife Kathy dead in our bed.
If I had known then what I know now I still would have been too late to change anything. Her goodby when I left for work early that morning where perhaps her final words on Earth. If I had hurried home when she didn’t answer my calls I still would have been too late.
I am sad today, but not overwhelmed by grief. Nothing I could say or could have done will bring her back to me. Besides, should and could are evil words that I rarely use.
I am sad at the loss, and my lifetime of memories are mine. But to quote the prophet George Strait, “It’s time to say goodby to yesterday”.
Normally today I would be out in the woods or hiking across the prairie enjoying the sights and sounds and smells of our beautiful national forests. Instead I am here typing on my computer trying to stay warm. I woke up to a cold and rainy day, probably snowing up on the mountain where I intended to hike.
I am a fair weather hiker. I am not going to hit the trail no matter what. No damn the torpedos for me. I do enjoy the wet, fresh scent after a rain. But not the cold wet time while it is raining.
This is one of my personal dilemmas as a full-time worker. I have one day a week to do fun things outdoors, which is Saturday. So if the weather or other circumstances interfere, I have to wait 7 more days to do what I want to do.
I used to think that retirement was being financially free to do what you want. But I am thinking today it may be having time to do what you want to do, not just what you have to do.
So for a while, I will do as little as possible and enjoy some R&R today. The sun will come out tomorrow, just in time for me to go back to work!
Have you ever had someone say something to you that you knew was not true but it hurt you anyway? You know that the person saying things is a liar or crazy or just malicious, but no matter how much you try to shrug it off it still messes with your mind.
The person I mentioned in my last post did this to me. Yes, it is a woman. She who once had been friendly now lashed out at me with hateful and bitter words. I took it personally. Until today.
This woman live in a small apartment complex where people know each other. I had another person on my bus from that complex and mentioned my experience. She told me that another person in the complex had had a similar encounter with this woman and felt the same things that I did. We were both amazed.
Words are powerful, but their power can be broken. Knowing that I was not the sole target of her irrational outbursts made me feel better instantly.
It is good to have friends. And good to have people who bring balance to our lives.
Male/female relationships can be some of the most rewarding and the most maddening relationships we have. Whether boy/girl or man/woman, the only thing easy to understand is how different we are.
In my job I interact with people all day long. Once in a while I have a customer who is actually interesting to talk to. We may find that beyond our casual acquaintance it is nice to talk to them. I have had a few of these kinds of people over the years. Mostly they were mutually satisfying, though none of them were romantic.
Last year I had a lady who shall remain nameless who seemed to click with me over the subject of hiking and backpacking and camping. In the course of our conversing one day she handed me a slip of paper with her phone number and email so that if I had a question away from work I could ask her. I did ask her but did not over use that contact.
Just before Christmas she told me she was going away and would be out of touch in the wilderness. Once while she was gone she emailed me to tell me she was in town and was catching up on communications. But just this past week I noticed what I thought meant that she was in town or at home so I IM’ed her. She got very irate with me and told me to quit pestering her. I emailed back to apologize for what I had no idea I did and she texted me this morning demanding that I cease and delete her contact info from my phone. Which I gladly did.
I think this lady has a jealous boyfriend. But I was never interested in her in any way but as a friend.
What have I learned? First, if a woman gives me her number, throw it away as quick as I can. Second, do not try to apologize to an irrational woman. It is a waste of time. Third, be professional but unfriendly with customers and especially if they are female. And finally, men can adapt much better to being alone, so we have nothing to lose by remaining unattached.