I’m sitting here on this plane and it was dark when we boarded. I can’t say I ever really have a strategy for picking a seat, other than the fact that I like to sit next to the window and probably as close to the front of the plane as possible and not in an exit row. After this morning, though, I think I will likely pay more attention to which direction the plane is headed and if I can, position it so I can see the sunrise or sunset if the time of day is right. This morning I’m headed south and I am on the west side of the plane and would like to have seen the sunrise, but I was not on the right side of the plane for that. Instead, I got a haze that just grew lighter as the sun came up on the opposite side. One minute it was grey and dark and the next it was grey and light. Most of the people on the opposite isle from me have their windows closed anyhow. It amazes me how people can go from a loud, bright, crowded airport to a dark cold plane and then just fall asleep even if it is still very early in the day All things considered, I guess I’m glad that’s not my super-power. How boring.
Whenever I am traveling by myself I have these strange stretches of time where I feel like I don’t know what to do with myself or the time. My brain spends more time trying to decide whether I should read a book or write or play a game on my phone or just sit back in silence. After enough time passes, I actually start to get annoyed at y inability to make a decision and commit to something. Then I think of my ex, Matt, who spends his whole life doing that and it makes me feel sad for him.
At least I can eventually make up my mind and commit to writing or something else and then actually do that and feel good about what I’ve accomplished. The last time we met he remarked about how things never changing give life the illusion of standing still. I ddidn’t want to respond out loud because I didn’t want to make him feel worse than he already did, but the thought in my head was “well, yeah, and then before you know it you are 50 years old and what have you done with your life?” He should have made some different choices along the way, but he knows that now. He doesn’t need me to rub it in.
THe last time we met for lunch was a complete disaster. I thought he knew I had started dating someone but he didn’t and then we both proceeded to break down in tears. Tears over salad right in the middle of the stupid Panera Bread. It was pathetic and bordering on torture. We were barely able to get ourselves back together enough to carry on a conversation and then say good-bye. As we parted ways, I remember thinking it was the last time I would ever be seeing him on purpose and was shocked to hear him say “let’s do this again soon”. I just smiled and nodded and got in my car and left. Not likely.
I’m not sure if I ever had any intention of keeping our lunch date when he offered to buy me a cheeseburger for my birthday. I only said “yes” because I felt guilty I guess. Guilty isn’t exactly the right word, but I don’t know what other word would fit better. I think back to two years ago and September was about the time I broke up with him (3rd time was the charm). I began spending more time with Josh right about then and quickly fell into the state of feeling like I had made a mistake. Charms being what they are though, and he wouldn’t have me back even though I basically begged. It’s extremely strange to think about all that now. It could have turned out very differently and if it did, where would I be now?
Not engaged, not happy, still working at the same crappy job, perhaps miserable and still trying to make things work? I may have had to make compromises and sacrificed my own kids’ happiness too. Would I have done that? I’m not sure. The kids and I talk openly about a lot of things. I’m glad to hear they like Jim. I’m glad he has kids and knows how to talk to, help, and at times deal with teenagers. His kids are great too and I previously thought I would not be able to bond with someone else’s kids, that I didn’t have room in my heart for more children, but it turns out I do. His kids are great people too.
Last Saturday night my kids and I went over to his house to hang out for the evening. Jim ordered pizza and we had dinner together and then proceeded to all work together to accomplish the goal of the evening. They have a pond in their back yard with a stream of running water. This past spring, a few weeks after turning the stream on, they bought a baggie full of gold fish at Wal-mart. It was about 20 fish at 20 cents each. Those fish have been living and growing in the pond all summer. It’s actually quite amazing to see how they have grown, eating algae and other things from the pond. They all seem to have survived and have grown to about 10 times the size that they originally were, which is incredible.
It’s Nebraska though and goldfish can’t survive outdoors when the temps drop so they needed to have a new home. Inside the house there is a giant aquarium that was not being use (well, previously used but not currently). It had fish in it before but it also leaked and had been empty and out of commission for quite some time. Jim fixed the aquarium and him and his boys got it ready for some new inhabitants. That night, all six of us netted all the goldfish out of the stream and followed a process to transfer them to the tank inside. It was a great success and the kids had a good time. That was only a couple of days ago, but so far, there have been no casualties.
The next year is going to bring a lot of changes for the kids and I and though I’m excited about it, I recognize that change can be rough on kids. They at tough and resilient, but I want to make any transition as positive and smooth as possible. I know Jim agrees. We’ve talked a little bit about our living situation and given the state of things, it means we will be moving into his house. That’s a big step for us all. That whole topic is something I could and should write a whole lot more about sometime soon.
Last night Jim stayed at my house overnight which was a first. It just made more sense to have him over to take me to the airport in the morning than me going out west to his house, especially considering my kids were still at home and won’t go to their dad’s until tonight. He’s such a good sport for getting up with me at 4 and driving me. He didn’t complain one time. Not that I need to be in the habit of reminding myself how great he is, but no one I have ever been with has been that thoughtful or kind.
We are descending into the Houston area now and I’m glad I was able to commit to writing and using my time wisely. The sun is completely up now, of course, and the view out both sides of the plane is very much the same, Blue sky and a blanket of clouds. Any second now we are going to dip down below that white cotton candy puff and the scene is going to change again. That’s life, you know.
Next Stop .. Mexico!