The 4th quarter and beyond

In sports parlance, this term indicates the game is in its final stages. That analogy is not quite what I am aiming for.

More simply, this is the 4th quarter of the year, the end of a difficult year.

It’s also been a year with some quite clear demarcations. In this post, I’m going to focus on me and not on the the girls because I’ve realized this is a pivotal point in my life.

In the 1st quarter of the year, my wife (at the time) had a short nervous breakdown, announced she was leaving all of us, moved into the basement bedroom suite, and tore holes in the family’s stability.

At the very end of the quarter, I started a blog to rant to myself and within a day or two a gentle soul with similar problems, the Lady E, found my blog (I still don’t know how) and we quickly connected online via shared misery and some similar past experiences.

In the 2nd quarter of the year, my wife became my runaway wife when she moved into an apartment a few miles away.

Life without my wife in the house was actually a little easier than when she was closeted in the basement. There were fewer tears from the girls and some sense that we had a long way to go, but had turned a corner.

Surrey Gal appeared and provided the very handy “runaway wife” term — thanks again for that. Via Surrey Gal, I met the dynamic duo, Ever Evie and Grey Goose, who have had their share of ups and downs this year. This trio of bloggers brought me into a larger community over time and then Lady E’s network expanded quite quickly and the community grew again.

In the 3rd quarter of this year, I had both a fabulous and disastrous visit to England, and it became the catalyst for a breakdown that I didn’t know I needed.

From this low, I became more determined to fight. I decided to claw my way back to a normal life, to regain some semblance of stability, and to plan ahead. At the time, the emotional waves were like the after-shocks of an earthquake: unpredictable and variable in magnitude. Honestly, this pissed me off. I don’t like being unstable and at the whim of emotions like that. Grrr!

The bloggers I followed and who followed me continued to grow. At some point the page views went over 5,000 and I accumulated more than 50 subscribers — for ME, just another guy…OMG!! This intelligent, intriguing, and considerate community of fellow bloggers provided absolutely vital support. For this, I am eternally grateful to all of you.

I realized today that we’re now in the 4th quarter of the year. I am stronger and my goal of being ‘normal’ in 2012 is still achievable.

I’m not quite ready for whatever is next, but I am exercising and stretching my ’emotional muscles’. I am pushing new boundaries and being a little bolder. I am starting to think about the dreaded thing that is next on my medium-term agenda: dating.

Yes, life is changing for me.

Over and since the summer, I have been working after hours on a video editing project for a local dance studio. I stopped completely when I had my breakdown in August. I haven’t always been able to work on it because there are practical things like cooking, cleaning, dishes, washing, ironing, lawns, and so on that come with running a house. Even with some help from the girls (emphasis on “some” by the way), there hasn’t been enough free time to finalize the project faster. But I have almost completed it now. The editing is done, and I’ve produced test DVDs for both of the recitals, including Blu-ray discs.

As part of finally getting close to finishing this big project, I’ve noticed I’m gentler with the kids (which annoys me, because it means I wasn’t gentle enough before I was this close to finishing). Again, life is definitely changing.

With this project out of the way, I’ll have more time at home to be ‘daddy’ again. I might even have a chance to turn the TV on and watch a movie… *gasp* Or do a better job of keeping up with my blog, and with your blogs.

The ‘D’ word…Dating

As dating is a two-way street, I don’t mind at all if someone doesn’t find me the right match for them (especially if they will tell me so I don’t waste time wondering). It’s not something I fret about. It might be my looks, my accent (athough I don’t have one — you do!), my sense of humor (ouch), my opinions, my lifestyle (if “super-busy” is now consider a lifestyle), etc.

I’m sure there is someone out there that works for me. Someone for whom I can be the one they need and come to rely on. Someone I can pair with. I want a friendship first. One that, if all goes well, might grow.

Since I married a penpal long before Match.com made long-distance dating fashionable, and since that budding relationship developed with one of us in Australia and the other in England, there’s few boundaries to what’s possible. Although, let’s be honest, there are boundaries to what’s practical. Those darn kids of mine: Wanting to keep their friends, wanting stability, maybe even wanting to see their mom sometimes, yada, yada, yada. Geez. 🙂 Who knows how Life might turn out next or what twists and turns are in store for me. The good news is I’m heading in the right direction, I’m looking forward, and that gives me a fighting chance of reaching a suitable destination.

Breaking News! Breaking News! Breaking News!

By the oddest coincidence, I just this minute got invited to a Speed Dating event in this area. I might even go, although I’ll be the fodder for those armed with smarmy pick-up lines and less complex backgrounds. It could be fun to report back on how it played out. This will be me with a Speed Dater: “Hi, I’m SD and I don’t know what the fuck I am doing. Do you? … Hey, where are you going — don’t we have 1.8 minutes left?” Or I could do an IQ *and* sense of humor test: “Hi! Would you like to see my wenis?” (Darn, I checked this and, although some people say it is the skin on your elbow, it is NOT an anatomical term, so no genius points for me AND I’ll probably get a slap in the face, so it won’t work. Not that it ever would, of course.) How about, “Hi, want be a star in my blog? Amaze me in some way.” OK, OK, it’s a work in progress…like me.

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About Single Dad

I married young. Now, after more than 20 years of marriage, 3 wonderful daughters, and many ups and downs, my wife has decided the marriage is over. The "About Me" and "My Background" pages on my blog have more details.
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25 Responses to The 4th quarter and beyond

  1. Lady E says:

    Aaaaw SD, you have done so well !
    And reading this also brought memories of how my own year of misery unfolded. It’s funny to realise that in some small way, we have been through this together. I realise that the blogging community you are referring to has indeed become important in a friendly-strangers kind of way.
    All I can say is good luck in your fourth quarter, in piecing your life back together and in dating. You are very brave, and I am sure there is/are someone(s) out there for you too.
    xx

  2. I rather like the four quarters reference, it’s been that way for me too – but the game has gone into OT now, with no sign of the whistle ever blowing. I liken it to a soccer game really, we’re about to go into the first 5 minute OT. I’m pretty sure it’ll end in PK’s!

    But listen, when you break it down into quarters, it’s rather rewarding to see how far you’ve come isn’t it? Look at you SD – seriously, huge progress given all that you have had to process this year. 2012 is yours – there’s a date and good sex tucked into your Christmas stocking this year, it just may be crammed up in the toe and you might not find it exactly on Christmas morning…. 🙂

    Go to the Speed Dating thing! Hell if I lived near you, I’d go with you. What fun! You’ll do just fine, you’ve got that sexy accent working in your favor SD…. But keep your “wenis” out of the conversation at least until after the first date! And don’t bring any graphs or charts with you! 🙂

    Full report after though, that’s the deal!

  3. TikkTok says:

    Heh, I would actually think the graphs and charts would be funny! 😆 It has been quite the year, hasn’t it? The upside is that you are on the verge of something very good, and quite possibly very exciting. The downside is tying up loose ends…. but the upside, I think, totally outweighs the downside, for sure.

    There absolutely is someone out there for you. I think you’ll find her! 🙂

    • Aargh, the graphs again! I’m going to have to go back and edit that damning post that makes me look soooo dumb!

      If I can make it through this year on a positive note, I am sure that the loose ends — even the big ones, like divorce — will sort themselves out.

      Hopefully that special someone will have some kind of helpful sign. It’s a big world out there!

  4. Yey, you can be the new dating blogger! Even I don’t speed date. 😉

    • Well if I try Speed Dating, I can catch up with you in no time. I’m not sure, but I think it might be 16 men and 16 women at a time. How many times do I have to go? 🙂

  5. Caroline says:

    Brilliant SD – let us know what it’s like.

    🙂

  6. I totally want you to do the speed dating thing, just so that you can tell us all what it’s like! 🙂 I’ve never done it and always kinda wondered….

    You really have come so far in such a short time. I absolutely can’t wait to see what the future holds for you and feel very honored to be along for the ride.

  7. The T says:

    Good luck and i laughed my ass off at the mention of wenis… things are going to work themselves out…they always do… develop a good solid growl….look in the mirror once a day and growl… reminds you to be the animal you’ve got locked in your soul…. also lets you know you’re not going to take crap from anyone…. good to see the sleeper has awakened…

    T.

    • Thanks Thomas. After 20 years of marriage, we’ll have to wait and see what kind of animal is locked in my soul by now. Squirrel? Lion? Sloth? … You’ll all know when I do.

  8. Surrey gal says:

    Huh, only a man or an accountant could put numbers in this post (four quarters of a year. BTW, thanks for claryfying it for me, I wasn’t sure if quarter is four months or four quarters (three months) of a year).
    Speed dating, well, well, well! I think it must be boring but then again, I think one should try something before they form an opinion! So go on, go there and share your experience!

    • And here I am, a man AND working with numbers, so…big surprise!…I think like this.. 🙂

      You know, it may be terrible or embarrassing or scary, but the one single thing I am sure about: speed dating would not be boring. It’s far too intense for that!

  9. Online Dating Circus Expert says:

    1) I like your new name. Maybe at the beginning of the first quarter of 2012 it will be something more positive and more free 🙂

    2) Sounds like the 4th quarter of 2011 is starting off extremely well and opening doors to new opportunities. Congrats!!! Let the new possibilities of life keep flowing your way!!

    3) I cannot wait to hear about the speed dating! I hope you used the “Do you want to star in my blog” line! hahaha love it!

    Happy things are finally looking up for you 🙂

  10. re: 3) … It occurs to me that I’m exactly the kind of person that might over-analyze it. For example…

    Option 1. Think up some funny lines to break the ice. Use the same lines on everyone.
    Option 2: Try to find the right conversation starter with each new person–something different for each person.

    A simple decision, right? But then I think, what if everyone is close enough that we can overhear each other? Maybe I need to have TWO sets of funny lines so each person THINKS that I’ve come up with something new just for them. *sigh* Life might be easier if I didn’t *make* it complicated… 🙂

  11. anne says:

    I am so impressed! “But I have almost completed it now. The editing is done, and I’ve produced test DVDs for both of the recitals, including Blu-ray discs.”

    AND dating, AND speed-dating! Wow SD, you are amazing and inspiring. Please do teh speed dating thing and report back.

    • Amazing and inspiring? Out West, I guess you cowgals have a crazy sense of humor!

      Note that I haven’t done any dating or speed dating yet. I’m just starting to think about planning to start doing it! (Except for the speed dating, I’m totally going to try that)

  12. Pingback: Speed Dating… FAIL | Four is a Family

  13. Some lucky woman will find you soon, and give you the happiness you deserve. I’m glad to see things are looking up for quarter four 🙂

  14. Wow SD.. ready to date. That is a big step (I still don’t feel quite ready).. You have come a long way this year… I’m sorry that you have had to go thru so much, but it appears via your experiences, that you have learned so much about yourself and what is important to you. Good for you! I look forward to experiencing your progress with you!

    • Hi Paula!

      It’s definitely been a crappy year. But I appear to be through the worst of it. A combination of reaching deep lows, finishing home projects, support from friends … it all contributed to a recovery that seems sustainable. I had planned in my mind to be ready for 2012, but why wait that long?

  15. Pingback: Two views on starting anew « Poor cow in France

  16. Pingback: Speed Dating – Uh-oh, I’m running out of excuses | Four is a Family

  17. Pingback: Do you want me? No? How about you? | Four is a Family

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