Sunday, September 15, 2019

Alone...A Different Perspective

Today I went to the Picnic by the Bay Car Show.  Went with my friend, Sir, who's a car aficionado.  It's nice to do things like that with people who get it.  When I veer off to go look under the hood of some sweet looking 56 Chevy pickup, there's no eye roll and in fact, he answers my questions so that I become even more knowledgeable.  

But here's the thing.  As I walked through the car show, I had pangs of jealousy.  I'd love nothing more than to fix up an old favorite; to work in a shop with someone who could guide me through what to do.  A labor of love..  

The jealousy part comes in for all those couples who are able to have this amazing hobby because of dual income.  There's more freedom when it comes to that.

I know my last post was about my appreciation for being single.  That's still true.  However, I'm also keenly aware of the limitations that come with that - on the financial side.

My salary in IT allowed me to raise Auburn Aries on my own and we were, for the most part, comfortable.  I don't know how moms do it who are raising kids on income from working in fast food.  We've been blessed.  The downside is there was never excess to be able to have some hobby that I adored.  Like rebuilding an old truck or car.

Admittedly, that's an expensive hobby for anyone.  But I watched those couples today, lingering around their beautifully restored cars and trucks and there was so much pride.  One woman even said "when we build MY car..."  Must be nice to be able to say that and know it's true.

A dear friend, someone I've known since I was 16 and who I was roommates with in the 80's, heretofore referred to as Dr. Bock, recently received a 60th birthday gift of a 2020 C9 Corvette.  It was one of the rare times I felt jealousy.  Her situation with her husband is such that they can do something like that.  Just "here babe, you're on the list to customize your Corvette."  List price $59,995 and once she's done it'll be up around $80k.  What must that have felt like?

I've been on my own for so long, doing and providing and worrying that I let time pass without thinking about the "me" part.  What did I want and how do I get it.  Now I'm at the age where if I don't have it, I likely won't get it.  I'm 56 years old and in my next decade I'll be looking at retirement where a whole new stream of doing and providing and navigating will ensue.

I wasn't one of those women who was thinking of the next relationship or the next marriage once I was single.  And I don't mean to sound like the only way to achieving nice things is by having another person around to help do it.  Dual income is only one way.  Spending 27 years in IT working for the man sure as shit wasn't going to do it and if it was, I sure as shit didn't figure out how.  

I guess in looking back, if I'd had that longevity gene - the one that makes people live in the same house for 30 years or stay married for 30 years - things may have played out differently.  I just don't have it so I guess things played out exactly the way they should have but it certainly didn't keep me from getting "the wants" today.  

As much as I dig living alone and I'm happy with where things are at, I couldn't help but look at all those beautifully restored cars and trucks and want, and dream, and feel a little jealous.  Because I live in the moment, it never occurred to me to think about that fact that some things in life are easier when there's two.  My independent brain just didn't go there.  Now I'm at the point in my life those things would be cool to have and to think about how fun it would be to have someone with similar interests to share it with.

One of the things I mentioned to Sir today was how great it was to have been around when all of the cars on the roads were Camaros and Chevelles and GTOs and cool trucks and Chargers and Challengers and Cudas and Impalas and Mustangs and Corvettes.  I'm sure you're picking up what I'm putting down.  Auburn Aries will never know what that was like.  

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Time Alone

Kid moved out earlier this summer.  Things sure have been quiet.  I miss her but I appreciate the solitude.  It's no reflection of her, it's just I've had people around me for 30 years and the ease and freedom that come with only considering yourself are a nice change from participating, managing and guiding other peoples' lives.

When I met her dad, it was 1990.  We were together seven and a half years when we decided to have her.  Then as things would have it, I ended up raising her on my own.  So add 22 years to that (with a year break while she was away at college in LA) and in the blink of an eye, it's almost 30 years later.

It sounds like a long time.

It isn't.

It went by without it feeling like it was 30 years.  Admittedly by the time Auburn Aries flew the coup I was ready to be alone though.  Just as I'm sure she was.

You put two strong women in one house and things can get heated from time-to-time. Feelings get hurt, tempers flare.  But even during those swings between my menopausal moments and the kidlette's adjustment to adulthood, I couldn't have loved another human more.

My summer has been quiet. 

Off all of "My Boys" from the Portland days, the only one I keep in touch with is Golden Boy who is now married with a son.  And I keep in touch with The Professor once a year, on his birthday.  Relationships I thought I'd never lose in a million years have fallen by the wayside.  It's been an adjustment not having certain friendships anymore.  There are days I feel lonely but those are rare.

Here in San Diego, moving back after being in PDX 24 years, I didn't have the friendships I thought I would.  Everyone is settled into their families, grandchildren, their circle of friends.  At first I didn't get it...why people didn't really call to grab a glass of wine or go do something.  But I realized I have time I don't want to forfeit either. Mine just comes in the form of solitude.

I've had people tell me that I have it made.  I live alone, I don't have to care for anyone else, I don't have to share my bed or be on the hook to cook for someone else or do their laundry.  Overall, I'd say that's true.  My time alone isn't making me sad... That's for damn sure.