I can’t even remember the last time I wrote…
things have been hectic and crazy as a life of a divorced mother of three teenagers an a full time working elementary teacher can be.
My oldest is graduating from high school this spring, and has come to the conclusion that he needs to enlist in the Marines. I am happy he feels settled and excited about the prospect, and deep inside me I know this move is probably the best one for him to make at this juncture in his life. Having said that, I also worry for him and hope that it doesn’t all blow up in his face (literally and figuratively) but I also realize he needs to make his own decisions about the direction of his life – and this is his decision. I know in the end he will find his way and be a great man…he has such a good heart.
My oldest daughter is flowing along – continuing her academic drive for near perfection, strengthening her artistic talents, and growing her relationships with friends and a “boyfriend” that she previously felt was out of her league until they started dating a few months ago. She has been committed to bi-monthly therapy to help deal with her anxieties and she seems to be doing well. I have two more years with her until she determines the fate of her own future and goes off to pursue it. I’m proud of the good head she has on her shoulders.
My youngest is lamenting middle school. As all children do. The immaturity of peers, especially boys, and the uselessness of teachers that she feels don’t ‘reach her intellect’ in the ways that she desires. She is also voicing her disappointment in me lately which is leading to some self doubt of my own. I don’t spend enough quality time with her. She is feeling neglected. Some of it is normal teenaged drama and not true, but there is at least an element of truth because our schedules are so filled with running here and there, not to mention visitation with her dad limiting the available time to spend ‘quality’. I am looking to find time to carve out very soon.
The ex is maintaining his usual “let’s be friends” routine and even went so far as to pose a suggestion that in order for me to save money and also help him out with costs for the house he can’t afford without a roommate; that I move in and rent the downstairs from him…he must not have heard me the first time he suggested back in October that it was nowhere in the realm of possibility for me to ever consider living with him, because he again suggested it about a month ago. Some may think it’s an attempt to “get me back”, however I can attest, he has been dating a woman (I actually met her for the first time back in November) for well over a year. Though the first time he suggested the roommate scenario, he also made sure to assert that he “wouldn’t date anyone while I was living with him” – which didn’t make sense to me, (and hasn’t made any attempts to stop dating her since I haven’t agreed to the roommate situation) but I digress.
I’ve dated off and on…more off right now because it just gets too cumbersome for me to deal with. I don’t meet eligible men in the normal comings and goings of my life. All my friends are married, and even many with small children, and not in similar stages of life. I get together frequently enough with a couple different groups of these women, but there are no “men friends” to speak of in any sense of the word. I don’t even have a group of mixed men/women couples that get together. So I certainly miss the interactions of men in my life. Which takes me to online dating.
I’ve met some men, messaged many who never responded to me, and blown off several that were nowhere near good possible candidates. Of the men I’ve met, I was either not attracted sexually at all, or found that we were incompatible in maturity or expectation of dating, or saw red flags with issues of communication – a definite deal breaker for me. I try not to take the ‘not finding someone’ thing personal. I really do. But that’s hard. I definitely feel often that there must be something wrong with me…that other people seem to find common ground with someone who wants to invest in them, but I just can’t. I try to analyze how I’m going about it to make sure I don’t emit desperation (I certainly don’t feel desperate because I don’t want to settle for the guys that could be just a ‘warm body’) and I try to think of my expectations and determine if my expectations are unrealistic. However what I come up with each time is that I just want to find someone I’m excited about getting to know and spending time with who is just as excited to do the same with me. I’ve come to the conclusion that that isn’t too much to ask. But it DEFINITELY is easier said that done.
Work is challenging me enough lately anyway. I have been navigating my new grade level and am anticipating testing this spring that I hope I am adequately preparing my students for, while at the same time hating the machine that makes it necessary for me to administer said testing and squash my professional talents with unrealistic expectations of 8 year olds. I am also going for my National Board Certification, so there is that added workload as well as the questioning of whether I will achieve the goal in the end.
More often with my ‘down time’ I spend it sitting on the couch vegging out to mindless television. Not that I have much down time, mind you. Often I am grading papers or lesson planning while watching as well. However, this does wonders for my mental and physical state, thus contributing to some of those aforementioned feelings of inadequacy for the dating pool. I feel stretched thin, and long to be away from the rat race. I want my own little space and peace of mind. I want to feel freedom from my burdened thoughts and responsibilities, and to feel more joyous about my situation and free to experience life with a different perspective. Maybe someday. Small steps.
Right now, I just need to finish lesson plans for the coming week, plan something special for my daughter’s birthday, work more on my teaching portfolio to send to the Board, clean my house, and watch just a bit of mindless television before heading into another week of the same stuff.