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.