I’ve arrive to the gym late today, determined to get some steps in before heading “home” to do more work. It looks like some of the other usual suspects are also getting a late start… the Man in Black (in white today), one of the Steves, and a person I *think* might be Bird Girl but I can’t be sure since she’s not running in street clothes. Perhaps she’s made it this far in the year and committed now with actual workout cloths. Or maybe it’s just not her. /shrug
It’s a holiday week but really doesn’t feel like it. Aside the temporary feeling of the city being under attack in the evenings, the 4th remains a very anti-holiday day/time for me. When I was married, it was a big deal. The biggest. Bigger than Christmas at our house. We were party central.
Family came, friends came, and neighbors joined in eventually too. We had a tradition of driving south into Missouri where there were bigger, better fireworks (at that time not legal in Nebraska or Iowa). Hours were spent planning the food, games, and wiring up the “grand finale”. It was sort of out of control actually, but it was what it was.
I had to let go of that in the separation and divorce. It meant so much to my ex that in the decree he had rights for the holiday every year, so the kids would never be deprived of the party or hanging with their many cousins. In exchange I got custody of Halloween and I was totally ok with the deal.
I missed the gathering but not the prep and fireworks. I was happy to fly solo for the day and use the time to reflect on my own life and I started my own tradition.. my annual bike ride. For nine years now, I’ve saddled up on my bike and had a great solo ride. It’s evolved over time, and taken on more tradition, such as the drinking and stop in Bellevue for snacks, and a goal to make it to the Missouri River from my house.
I tried year after year to get all the way there and always turned back because of one reason or another. Either I got too late a start, or I wasn’t sure how much longer, it ran out of motivation. The keystone trail and Bellevue loop are long and never ending. Last year was the first year I made it all the way to the river.
Oh, I still had a late start as usual and the trail hasn’t gotten any shorter, but I was super determined. I didn’t care if I was riding back in the dark. Not only did I ride back in the dark, but I was also missing lights on my bike and drunk. I totally missed the spot in the trail where I should have switched to the one that comes closer to my house and I ended up in Ralston just as their giant fireworks display let out. I had to book it home on surface streets among bad traffic and crowds (not to mention the killer hills on 72nd street). It was a mess, but I still felt great cuz I finally achieved my goal.
Above all, my day of self reflection still yielded the same result. A conclusion that I have made the right choices in my life and I’m truly at peace with all of it. That included both ending my marriage and ending now also the choice to end my relationship with Matt.
Funny I was with Matt for 5 years and he never went with me. Maybe he asked and I said no, because I wanted my solo time (seems likely), but if so he never pressed about it. I remember one year he even helped me fix a flat in my bike and instead of going to my house that year I rode to his after and we went to pepper jacks because it was the only place we could find that was still open late on the holiday.
This year will be different. I’ve told Jim about my tradition and he suggested that I hang with him and his kids and do fireworks with them instead. He mentioned it a few times now and as it stands today, we’ll be doing this at my house instead of his. That means no bike ride on the 4th and I’m really ok with that. I hit my goal last year and have nothing left to prove to the universe. My life has changed so much in the last 4 months and I’m more than ok with that. I’m fabulous.
I still want to do that ride, probably on the 5th, but we’ll see what the weather is like. My tradition has changed over time and change is good. Perhaps the new tradition is hanging with my new favorite people and then going solo when he takes his kids on their annual camping trip. Whatever it is, I have a feeling it’s going to be great.
Rolling with It,