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.

Recently I wrote a post about The men in my life  since my divorce. One of the “what ifs” was The raft guide. He and I met on POF almost a year after my divorce. Our first date, he drove out to my town to one of our few bars and we met for drinks. As usual, I was a bit nervous. I hadn’t dated much at this time. I had never hung out at this bar previously. It is a bit of a dive and my ex-husband and I never went out anywhere. I will always remember our first date. Oh my goodness, I laughed so much. I had a great time and could not wait to see him again. We really hit it off. Our next date, we went out to eat and ended up making out in the parking lot a bit. We quickly decided that we needed to be a couple. I actually loved every minute we had together. We would go out at times. We would play on the river. We would cuddle on the couch and rub each others feet. He was very kind and sweet BUT there was an issue. I was so damn insecure. As an avid rafter, he had trips planned before he met me. At the time, I didn’t know how hard it was to get permits for some of these trip. They sometimes are planned a year ahead. I had no idea the protocols. When he got ready and planned for a long trip and didn’t invite me, I was hurt. I didn’t know that part of the permits are who is going. I thought that he just wasn’t that into me. I needed to be the center of his world. I was so damn messed up and clingy. I ended it with him and regretted it almost immediately. We didn’t speak for a long time. He ignored my messages that I would send occasionally. Over three years, I sent maybe a dozen messages, saying hi. There were a few that told him I was sorry that I handled it improperly. One telling him I got a ducky for the river. I apologized to him and knew he would never talk tome again. I was so sad as he was so much FUN. I never stopped missing him.

When I started this job, I would occasionally run into him on the street and we would talk for a few minutes. It was always nice but I still missed really talking to him.  I wanted to be his friend and knew I had probably hurt him. When I signed back up on the dating site, he sent me a message telling me that I really am a good person. We started talking from that moment. I have no idea what the future holds. He says he is not looking for a relationship with anyone at this time but I have the friendship back. We have spent some time together, including paddling down the river this past weekend. It is nice to be hanging out with him again. I wish I had been ready when I had met him and we had taken it slower. Who knows where things would be now. I will never forget his original dating profile. He said he wanted to find someone to grow old with. He said he wanted to be one of those cute little old couples holding hands. That is really what I want, too. I do wonder if I blew it with him but his friendship is more important. He is the kind of man that is a good friend. Only time will tell what will happen here but I am glad he is back in my life. I have missed him a lot in the three years we were not talking.

The year of the divorce (2013) was the second year that Denver had a Comic Con. We had known about it the year before as a friend  of mine had had her photo taken with James Marsters and I was quite jealous but I really never thought that Con was a place for me. I knew it was something my kids  would enjoy and in 2014, when it was announced that Stan Lee was going to be there, I knew I would never be forgiven if I didn’t bring them. I had no desire to attend. I was going through the divorce. I really wanted to hide from the world but bought tickets. We drove over 300 miles to my mom’s in Denver and went to the convention center the next morning. I was sure that I was going to be bored senseless. I brought a book and money for wine. Little did I know that I would love my weekend. I hardly saw my kids and didn’t read at all. I ended up people watching the entire time. I even had a gentleman buy me a glass of wine and we spent a few hours talking. I sure needed that.

This weekend just ended out fifth Con. One child was unable to attend but the three of us that did go had a great time. We have become avid cosplayers and we all have our different things that we like to do at Con. My youngest loves to go to gaming and cosplay panels and hang with friends. I love going to celebrity panels and meeting the various celebrities. My oldest does the same as I do, for the  most part but spends a LOT more money on autographs and photos. I love getting to know that a celebrity that I like is a good person. Occasionally, we find out the opposite. My middle kiddo likes to people watch and meet people. She rarely meets celebrities or even goes to panels.

I am not a person that normally likes crowds but it is so different when you are in a crowd of nerds. It is funny how polite everyone is. Everyone is just enthralled with others creativity. We talk to so many strangers. I love seeing all the different fandoms and have developed a lot of new ones due to Con.When you bump into someone at Con, both of you apologize profusely. You do not hear about fights. You are much more likely to get a random hug than a scowl. Due to Con, I have embraced my nerdiness. I plan on sharing some of my Con experiences here, too. I definitely have some new loves after this year. None that are relationship bound but actors that I will follow after finding out what amazing humans they are. I will share in a later post.

One of the many things I love about my job is all the people that I get to see and meet. Some  of these people bring me joy, actually, most do, but there are a few that do not. I am going to try to start blogging more about the people in my neighborhood that I encounter at work.  I will say that some of my favorite people are the eye candy. There are a lot of men in this town that are very fit. We have a lot of bike riders that have amazing legs. I also love meeting some of the various tourists and students. There is always a story.

One gentleman that has caught my eye is the Barber. I have no idea why this man has caught my eye. He has a long beard, which I normally do not like. He smokes, which I detest BUT that man sure can wear a pair of jeans. He catches my eye every time I see him. He is married with a young child so he is just someone that I enjoy looking at. He always looks so nice. He wears nice jeans, nice  shirt, and a vest almost every day. He is always well groomed. We have only exchanged a few words since I first noticed him. I have no idea what his name is but I do know where he works. He is one that brings me a smile every day.

I, once again, am baffled by humans. My friend, the ex-con, dumped me today as a friend. I have no idea what happened. When he first got his parole transfer to Arizona, I figured I would never hear from him again. Not only did I hear from him but he wanted me to come visit. I was in the process of planning a trip when he told me that he had met someone. We texted a few times after that but eventually, he quit texting. I sent him a message yesterday just saying that I hope he was doing well. He responded today yes and please don’t message him again. WOW. I am just baffled. Originally, I was quite hurt. I thought that we were friends. For several months,  I was his only friend outside the halfway house. We had fun together. I felt so comfortable with him. My guess is that the new gal doesn’t want him talking to me. That is fine but he could tell me that. I hate not having closure and not understanding why. I guess this was better than being ghosted. I told him that I would leave his life but would like to know why. I unfriended him and deleted the conversation and his number from my phone. I will never beg someone to stay in my life again and I deserve better than he gave me today. I did tell him that I was hurt before I said goodbye. In the final text, I told him that I had deleted everything and that he ever wanted to talk again that the ball was in his court. I will be surprised if I ever do hear from him. I do wish him well and have missed his friendship. I guess it is over now.   I don’t understand as it takes a LOT for me to dump a friend. There are only a few people in my life that I have ever cut out and I have tried to let them know why.