I had such a great birthday. The celebration culminated last night and now it is time to recover. The actual day was fabulous. I went to town and got my hair done. I like getting highlights and hadn’t done so in a long time to decided to spoil myself. Got a nice cut and felt beautiful. Afterwards, I went to Starbucks to get a coffee and read a bit when one of my friends that was joining me for dinner texted me. She had gotten into town early, too, and needed to blow time. We live in the adjoining town about 25 miles away. She joined me for coffee and then we went to Ex-bf/bff house for me to finish getting ready. The  fun was ready to begin.

We headed back into town to meet the rest at the restaurant. We get seated and are waiting for the rest of the group to show up when an older couple walk in, each carrying a yellow rose. They come over to me, wish me a happy birthday and hand me the roses. I had no idea who they were. Then someone else came in with a rose, then another. Eventually, I realized that my friend and his girlfriend (she had stayed outside) were doing this. I ended up getting 50 flowers delivered to me by random strangers on the street. I had not expected (nor really wanted gifts) but everyone brought something. Ex-bff gave me a backpacking tent. R came and brought me a bottle of one of my favorite wines. My girlfriends gave me a journal, candle, travel mug, and a flask filled with rum. My kiddo came in after work and brought in a Baskin Robbins cake. The crew paid for my dinner (also not expected) and then we all had cake. I was real surprised to have a friend that moved away show up unexpected. She was in town and did some stalking to find out where I was. I felt so loved. I realized that I will never be alone here. I have family that are not related. Next time that I feel down or lonely, I know that I can call each of those people and probably others. After dinner, most went home but four of us went out on the town. We hit a few bars and the pool hall.

The next day, I went to Ex-bf house and we went down the river in our duckies. I will admit that we did fool around a bit. I was tired and took a nap and he joined me. He wanted to give me the physical attention for my birthday, too. I fell in love with him on my birthday three years ago. I did realize that I am truly over him though. My romantic feelings aren’t there for him at this point. I do still love him and wouldn’t mind if we found our way back to each other but I realize that until HE is emotionally healthy that I do not want him.  That was very eye opening for me.

I have continued to celebrate all week. My mom and sister came down to bring my nephew his things and we had a great time together. We even ended up at the same restaurant one night and the bartenders had ice cream brought out to me and everyone sang to me. If this past week is any indication, this year will be a great one. A big part of that is my attitude. I love that I am finally comfortable alone. I keep turning down dates because I have something else I would rather do. I have come a long way in four years. My divorce was final August 23, 2013 so I also celebrate my Freedom day during my birthday every year now.

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My life has been super crazy the past few weeks. I have a lot to share and blog about but right now my focus is my birthday. I turn 50 on Saturday. I don’t know why we focus so much on decades but we do. I have been thinking a lot about the last ten years. Ten years ago was one of the most difficult of my life. We had the year of the deaths and it was when my marriage really started falling apart. I got depressed again and really had no motivation to live. I changed jobs thinking it would help my marriage. It didn’t. I started drinking very heavily and was not sure if I wanted to go forward. My children did throw me a great birthday party for my fortieth. It is a great memory. They threw me a massive surprise party. I had friends and family from all over the country surprise me here at my house. We had a band, food, and overall a great time. That was my last good birthday as a married woman. My ex-husband was never much about celebrating birthdays so there were only a few even decent ones while I was married.

I now look back at the past ten years and remember all the heartbreak I had when my marriage dissolved and several more people dying that I cared about. It has been rough in many ways but, in others, it has been great. I now look back at my divorce as one of the best things that ever happened to me. It took me a long time to realize that but I sure have. Since the divorce, I have grown so much. I am now stronger and healthier and happier than I have been in probably fifteen years. I feel better than in years. I look great. I am stronger and in much better shape than I was ten years ago. I no longer feel like I need someone to take care of me. I find my own solutions to my problems. I have a job that a love, a complete new set of friends, and my kids love me. I am lifting weights again. I no longer have breathing issues or chronic pain. I am sleeping better. I have gotten used to being solo most of the time and it doesn’t bother me. I honestly feel that IF I end up with someone, they will be so lucky to have me. I am actually better emotionally than I ever have been in my life. It took fifty years to get to where I really and truly love myself and am confident and happy.

A couple of weeks ago, I was very sad that my birthday was coming up and I was going to spend it alone but now I am not. I had one girlfriend take the bull by the horns and now several of us are meeting at the local steakhouse. I will get 50% off my meal and then we will hit the town. My ex-bf/ bff is coming as well as several others. I am actually excited for my day again. I won’t be alone to ring in my next decade. I will be with people that love ME for me and accept me for ME. FIFTY is going to be a great year and I am like a fine wine, I am going to keep getting better with age.

I live in a small Colorado town where everyone is connected to everyone. If you do not know someone, they know a friend of yours. We have very little crime and most of it is minor stuff. That changed in November 2012. We had a thirteen year old boy disappear. He was a grade below my son. They were not friends but went to school together. So many of the kids hang out at the library after school and both the boys did. Dylan, his brother, and mother had moved away and Dylan was forced to come to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with his dad. He disappeared the day after he got here. He was supposed to hang out with friends and never showed up. Our community went into a stressed state. There were assumptions that Dylan might have run away to try to get back to his mom. We were all hoping that he was okay but we were also concerned about our kids. For a period of time, no one was letting there kids out of their sight alone. We didn’t know if he had been abducted (or worse) or had run away. Quickly fingers started pointing at the dad that he had done something to Dylan. I do not know either of the parents but it just saddened me to think that people were so fast to blame the dad. The parents accused each other. They ended up on Dr Phil. Eventually, this wasn’t mentioned dailly BUT it was in the back of our minds. I had such mixed feelings about it. I wanted it to be the dad because I hated the thought that we had a crazy in our town that took the kid BUT I also  didn’t want it to be the dad. How sad to live with killing your child. How sad to kill your child. The more time that passed, the more the accusations to the dad grew. I kept thinking how terrible it was if he were innocent. His life was ruined no matter what. If innocent, no one would ever believe that. If guilty, well, that is the unthinkable to me.

As time has passed, there have been many searches in the woods and at the dad’s place. Partial remains were found and his death was ruled a homicide. Occasionally, we would hear bits and pieces of the investigation but I never thought an arrest would be made. That changed today. Mark Redwine was arrested for the murder of his son. Maybe we can have some closure here in our small town. Evidence has now been released and it looks bad for the father. I hope they are right.

I wouldn’t want to be on this jury but I could be partial.  The thought of killing my child is so horrific that they would definitely have to prove it to me. My son was actually called in for the grand jury but was dismissed and didn’t know this was the case he was almost on. I just hope that this is the end of the story and the mom and brother can finally move on to their new normal.

#JusticeForDylan

Last weekend, I had a bad emotional breakdown. I had plans that went to hell and triggered this all. I was supposed to go work for a few hours and then meet a friend at the river  and play for a few hours. Earlier in the week, I had posted on Facebook that I wanted to play this weekend, either hike or paddle. This friend had said, sure. I was so excited to hang with him and get on the river. It was hot and muggy (for Durango) this past week and I had been looking forward to the cool water. When my alarm went off, I looked at my phone and had a text from my friend cancelling. I was bummed but not heartbroken until time passed. One of my feet was real sore so I didn’t feel that hiking was a wise move and you don’t play on the river alone. I asked my kids and they, of course, said no. I decided to just ride in with the kiddo and do my work when she was at her job. As we were driving in, I just lost it. I started sobbing and feeling sorry for myself. I sure hate when I get that way. For the most part, I am so happy now but when I cannot find ANYONE to go do something, I feel alone. I also have been so worried about the kiddo. She has been battling depression and suicidal thoughts for years. When I asked her the other day where she thought she would be in twenty years, she said dead. Well, that was NOT encouraging. She has no goals or dreams. I don’t know how to help her. She sees a doc occasionally. She is on meds but still has no oomph. I can barely get her out of her room except for work.  She has been through quite a few jobs in the past couple of years but for the most part has always been working. She lives with me and is supposed to pay a measly $300 in rent, her car payment, her car insurance, and her part of the cell phone, She is 22 and has chosen to not go to school at this time. Until last fall, she was having no problem covering her expenses but then her depression and anxiety got in the way and she lost a good job. She did a no call no show because she didn’t know how to deal with something going on there. Ever since then, she has been getting further and further behind in what she owes me. I won’t support her and  cannot support her. Due to her issues, I am starting to sink financially, too. She started a new job about six weeks ago and was told it would be 30 hours a week. With that, she would be able to cover her expenses AND catch up but they have not been giving er even close to that. Instead she has been working about ten hours a week. Not even enough to cover her bills, not including rent. I have been stressing about her mental health as well as my finances. I am trying so hard. I have a side job that is earning me $60-80 a week. It has helped a lot. I started this the same time she started her newest job. I have been telling her for weeks to talk to her boss about her hours but she wouldn’t do it. She hates confrontation. I try to  not let her know how much her situation stresses me out as I don’t want to push her over the edge. As I am sitting there crying, I am thinking to myself that I am pushing her with the breakdown which makes me feel worse. I have no one I can talk to about her situation. I cannot talk to the dad. We do not communicate at all. Everyone has so many words of advice but basically they do not understand her mental health.  I am feeling alone. I really wish I had a best friend here. Not having a man would be a lot more bearable. I dropped her off at work and pulled myself together for my PT job but was down all day. I did get some encouragement as she did finally talk to her boss and had about thirty hours this week. If she can keep this job, things will look up and she seems to like this one. I hope that things are looking up and we can turn things around. I am  hoping I can get out of this funk that I am in.

Here I am sitting in my den with my dogs, alone, on a holiday. The kids are at work. There are events going on, of course, but I really didn’t feel like going to these alone.  This is such a family day. My friends are with their families and I have my dogs. I guess this is a good day to get some  things done around the house and get some blogs written.

It is funny how most of the time I am not lonely anymore. I am truly content being alone most of the time.  can do what I want, when i want. Read, watch TV, take a walk, ride my motorcycle. Eat dessert for breakfast. cook if I choose, I really do enjoy the freedom BUT there are times that it is super lonely and things that I really miss. I miss family meals. For twenty-three years, we had a sit down meal almost every night. We would laugh, talk, share our day, dreams, etc. I miss that so much that it sometimes hurts. Now I get that rarely. I eat by myself most of the time. I am most  lonely when my emotions are high. When I am super sad or excited about something, I miss having a partner to share things with. I miss having someone to run things by before a decision is made. I do not miss them telling me what I can do but advice and a helpful ear is definitely missed. I miss having someone to share fun and bad times with. I miss having someone that is my best friend in all ways. Good thing that my pup listens well. 😉

Today I am lonely. I wish I had someone to BBQ with, to drink a beer or two with. To snuggle with and watch fireworks. Instead, I am home….alone….. and will be until I go to bed. I tried to stay up and positive today but as the day goes on, it is getting worse. Oh well, this is now my life. I need to get used to it.

http://thoughtcatalog.com/holly-riordan/2016/06/my-world-would-be-so-different-if-you-were-still-alive/

My ex-husband was the youngest of seven kids. He was raised in Iowa. His mom was the oldest of thirteen (I think). In other words, he was from a big family. We got married without meeting each others families and I thought for most of our marriage that if I had met his family first that I wouldn’t have married him. I had nothing in common with most of his family. I got along well with many of them in small groups but when everyone was together, I always felt like an outsider. My ex-husband would not stand up to me when his brothers or parents treated me poorly and there were a few times that I was treated TERRIBLY. I don’t know how many times I would leave family events in tears due to my treatment. It eventually became a big issue for us. The only “vacations” he ever wanted to take was to visit his family in the little town of 750 in Iowa. I was bored and lonely the entire time I was there. His dad was obnoxious and rude and a pig. The TV was on 24/7 so there was never any quiet or music.  Even after 23 years, I never felt like part of the family. I did love a couple of his brothers but since the divorce, I am definitely not family again. I was right in my feelings. Except for my mother in law, I never hear from anyone in the family. She and I were not always close but we got there after lots of bumps.

When I met R I found out that he was the oldest of many children. I don’t remember how many right now but I think there are fifteen of them. Five are full siblings, the others are half. He had a unique isolated childhood. This scared me to death. I was tempted to run immediately when he told me this. I figured the chances of anything going anywhere were nil so I went out with him again. Within a couple of weeks of our meeting, I was at his place and it was his birthday. Four of his siblings called him on a video call. I decided to stay out-of-the-way so they could have their family time. Almost immediately, I was being introduced and was part of the conversation. I was welcomed immediately and felt comfortable with them but I still was nervous about the large family. The next day, the eldest of the girls friended me on FB and I found out that I have a lot in common with her. He and I quit seeing each other as a couple but remained friends. His brother-in-law works for him so I had met him and eventually met his wife. Super nice couple. She is a singer and into aerial dance. This weekend, one of the sisters that I met on-line was in town and we met in person. I immediately felt comfortable with her. She told me how she had a good feeling about me immediately. Tonight, we had a family dinner and by the time I left, she and I were hugging, exchanging numbers and talking about next time she is in town. When I offered to babysit his son so they could have brother- sister time, she insisted that she would want me to join them. I have so much in common with his family and feel so embraced and welcomed by the ones that I have met that his family no longer scares me. I wonder if this was one of the things holding him back. He actually wanted me to stay the night tonight with his sister there. I feel we are dating again but it hasn’t been said. I will continue one day at a time and not rush things. It has only been fifteen months since we met. No one can accuse us of rushing……

I find it interesting that I was terrified of the large family but I guess is depends on the family. W have so many common interests, even in our families. His sister has heard of my sister and her husband (dancers). A few of his sisters are into Aerial dance. My middle kiddo used to do that. I have always been a singer as is my son and a few of the family members are singers one is even touring and has a few CDs out. Maybe the size of his family or any one elses doesn’t matter. I feel I could belong in a family like this though I never belonged in the other one. This was a big aha moment for me this weekend.