Being Single in a Relationship World

Ask any one of my family members, or friends who are over the age of 4 (I don’t think I have any under 4) “who is the most SINGLE person in the world?” They will tell you that it’s me, without giving it a second thought.  Or they might just may say “my grandma is the most single person in the world”. So, I have my only grandchild whose 4 years old on an assignment to find me a man. Listen, I did not ask, she volunteered.  She is the smartest kid in the world, I will not count her out.

One of the worst things about being single and old…er; as in finer, is that everybody identifies you as the most pitiful person ever.  They say, you mean you still don’t have a man. Even if the statement is more sensitively worded, that’s what they mean.  It’s worrisome when you start to want a man, just to appease the sympathizers.  Truthfully, I think it would be wonderful if the perfect wealthy guy, fell from the sky, and swept me onto the back of the white (not racially speaking) horse, and we rode straight to the airport and flew to a romantic dinner while we sailed the gently flowing waters of the Seine River.  Since I am retiring, hopefully he would come with a credit card that came by way of exclusive invitation.    My single friends who are finer like me, thinks that this knight will arrive any day now for them.  While I try to encourage them with positive nonsense, personally, I am not so hopeful.

Then there are my friends who are either married or are in a relationship situation.  For some incomprehensible reason, these ladies believe that I am a relationship expert who can provide advice about the drama or lack thereof in their relationships.  What? That is the ultimate in lack of consideration for a single sister.  But hey, I try.

Truth is, it’s very possible that I would be much happier with a “boo” because everybody is happier with a partner.  Not only does statistics suggest such is the case, every couple that I know agrees with the statistics.  Well, maybe not every couple.

I have grown accustomed to storing my tablet, books and yesterday’s clothes, on what would be his side of the bed.  So pray tell, where is he supposed to rest?  Maybe I will clear it off when I retire.

I have been single since my divorced decades…yes decades ago.  The marriage did not work out because we were the last two people in the world who should have pledged matrimony to each other or to anybody else for that matter.  Regretfully, we really hurt ourselves and our innocent children.  I love my children always. They are my greatest.  Time heals.  Today, I wish my ex-husband the same ability to vitalize as I wish for myself.

Since then, though, there have been many romantically involved situations.  Mainly, friends with benefits.   Some long-term; some not so long.  Some benefits are more memorable than others.  Obviously while fun, these encounters wind up causing hurt feelings. Many of those tender feelings belonged to me.  Hurt feelings, however are different from heartbreak.   Heartbreak requires an investment of the heart which sadly but fortunately was never really the case.  I cannot think of any of these situations that really ended badly or with drama, they just ended. Okay maybe there was one, but it has never really ended; just changed.  We get along just as badly but in a family kind of way. Those friends to this day are good guys from my perspective; and I think that we are still friends.  At least I am still their friend, the ones I remember.  OK, OK that’s a joke.  Now they are not the kind of friend that I would give a kidney, but the kind of friend that I would allow to buy me a drink and enjoy it.   OK, OK, again that’s also a joke.

This perspective does not include the last situation though.  He deserves to have his own paragraph or two.

Not very long ago, but way too long for a healthy libido, I met a guy I really liked.  No I will not give the long version of how I met him, but suffice to say, I initiated our introduction and that was unusual.  This time I was prepared to allow him to lead.  It has been brought to my attention by traditionalist (some whom I love) that I never relax enough to let a man be a man.  But this guy had all the ingredients of a great recipe. There were 2 cups of intellect, 5 cups of confidence, a generous amount of physical capability (different from physicality) and a heaping helping of flattery bestowed upon me.  I liked it.

But then by the end of best-behavior-get-to-know you period, there was a change in the recipe.  Now all the recipe contained was about a gallon of spoiled overcooked exaggerated sense of himself.  If there was a worst person in the world (WPITW) contest, D.T. (you know him) would get first runner-up and my man would win the trophy.

If he reads this post, I am sure “he is so vain that he would think this post is about him.”  Not only would he be right, he would be proud of the honor of deserving to win the WPITW trophy. That would make me laugh.   And for that reason, I cannot be mad.

Maturation brings understanding; and understanding allows for self-awareness.  I know exactly why I am single.  I am different in a crazy kind of way.  My favorite male friend (not from a situation) once told me, that two people who are different in a crazy kind of way can make a couple.  However, he further explained, there are many crazy frequencies.  The two people must be on the same frequency.  I think that I agree with him.   Maybe I will get to check my frequency when I retire.

The Retirement Journal-The Decision Part 1

 

1/1/2017

It’s always, always about the money, but then sometimes it’s not…. just about the money.

 

I am planning to retire at the end of June at age 57.  I guess by today’s economic standards, that’s considered early retirement, at the very least it’s retiring early.  This decision has captured much of my thought process for months now.  I discuss it more than enough to my friends and family.  Whether they have already retired, or are not ready yet, they have pretty much heard enough about my retirement plans.  Can you afford it financially, all of them often asks?  Of course not, is my most honest answer.  This job must be stressful; and you just can’t take it anymore some openly assume.  Of course not, again, is my most honest answer to that assumption as well. 

 

After thirty years of government service, I am emotionally mature enough, intellectually crafty enough and just plain already crazy enough, to not allow work related stress to force me into financial suicide, as would be the case if I were retiring for reasons related to work stress.  For the record (and the sensitive), I believe work related stress is real.  It’s just not a significant factor in my current decision.

 

Admittedly, however, there are inevitable, but not well thought out changes to the system and changes  to the work environment, from a psychological point of view, that I would have preferred not to have happened.  But that darn inevitability of change did not contribute in a primary way to my decision to retire at this time, even though I often complain that it does.

 

Perhaps that change to the work environment, in terms of psychology, caused me to take notice to how much I have changed.  A lot of life happens in a thirty year span of time.  Thirty years are a long time by any standards.  The job is included in that life in big part; but in no way is it the whole.  It is simply more about what I do, than it is about who I am.

 

In terms of the career, if I net my bad days against my good days plus my benefits, I have more than won.  It has been a good run.  And while financially, I am not now, and probably never will be fully, or partially for that matter, ready; it is my time.

 

In terms of explanation, I relate it to high school, an earlier and much simpler time and space.  For me, and most middle-aged (to older) people, high school was great fun, if only in hindsight.  (It really was fun, GHS class of ’78.)  But there came a time to graduate; to commence to a new phase of life. I can imagine that being 22 years old in the 12th grade would NOT have been fun if the time to graduate had passed three years earlier.  I guess I am starting to feel like it’s time to graduate before I age out of the environment. 

 

So just like in high school, it is time to commence to a new phase in life and a new space in time.  I hope to reflect back on the highs and lows of my more than 30 year professional era with clarity and appreciation.  There was fundamental fairness and blatant disregard; happy times and sad news; good friends and bad co-workers (some definitely); and long drives and short memories.  But I guess all is fair in love and a thirty year government career. So I will choose not to expend my current energy on my perceptions, memories and observations on specific regrets, particular times I was wronged,  or “could have, would have or should have beens”.

 

On any given day when I reflect, I may feel like I have accomplished the highest mountain climb; or I may feel like I survived the most raging storm. But I believe I will feel grateful, above all.

There is still a question in my mind.  Will l feel regret after retiring in June?  Like always, should I have made it about the money?  Will I chicken out, defer retiring and work longer?  When June comes will it always, always be about the money, or will this be that sometimes when it’s not?

First blog post

This is the post excerpt.

1/2/2017

Vitalize-Live is this almost 57-year-old African American woman’s version of the process of recognizing the beauty in the fall foliage of life.  That particular recognition was something I had a little trouble with in the soft pastels of the spring time and in the radiant summer sun.   Hopefully, it is the time in space when there are few major mistakes left to make, even in the middle of life altering decisions.  At this point, the consequences of my mistakes will simply be accepted as just another factor in the aging process.  For example, should by chance I decide to retire too soon; or just happen to work too long, the impact will reflect in too few dollars; too few healthy days; or both too few days and too few dollars. Whatever the result, chalk it up to life.  I will vitalize because there is always that bucket list of named and unnamed goals to achieve, people to meet, and places to explore.  All of those things I have deferred until now to harvest.

Vitalize-Live is my space to energize!

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