Last Book Read: 8. Quichotte by Salman Rushdie. This took some time for me to finish between having to wait for a new digital copy to become available and just took some time to get into. I love Rushdie, but the last few novels have been harder for me to get into. In the end, I liked the book though. 396 pages. (Finished 3 Mar 2020).
Last Book Read:
22. Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami. A thirties-ish painter is left by his wife and leaves his past life behind in the aftermath. Eventually moving into the house of his friends father (a famous painter in his own right), he discovers a never seen painting as well as his own desire for painting again. What happens afterwards is pure Murakami. 688 pages. (Finished 29 Dec 2018).
This year is the first year I’ve been excited about the holidays since 2015. The first year I’ve put up a tree since then. It’s been nice to have a little more Christmas spirit this year. A couple of my friends and I journeyed up into Mt Hood National Forest to find Christmas trees this year. I only managed to get my truck stuck a couple of times in the snow before heading down to a lower elevation where I found this lovely tree.
All in all 2018 has been a pretty good year. I’m really enjoying my job (even if it means I have way too many shoes now). I got a promotion in April and then in November got a temporary promotion while we work on a systems upgrade at work. Personally I’ve really focused on cultivating good friendships and letting friendships that were not as healthy fall away. It hasn’t always been easy and I’ve definitely had some missteps on the way, but I feel good about where I am emotionally as well.
I was able to do a few trips this year which were a great blessing. In July, I was able to travel to Los Angeles (proper) for the first time in probably 5 years and visit my old neighborhood. I went to watch the Timbers play LAFC in their new stadium. While there I got a great behind the scenes tour of the stadium from my friend Jimmy who has a concession stand at the stadium.
Other Timbers related travel included two trips to Vancouver BC. The first one was on official Timbers Army business as there was a possibility we’d have to hand off the Cascadia Cup to ECS (alas Seattle beat Vancouver in that match and as a result won the Cup). I also made it up for the last game of the regular season at the end of October.. The Timbers lost that match, but as always a great time was had in Vancouver (as well as lots of great food). There ended up being a little playoff magic again this year with an unexpected run to the MLS Cup. I traveled up to Seattle for a fun playoff matchup (we lost the game, but won the series in penalty kicks). I also traveled to Atlanta for the final. The Timbers didn’t get the result we wanted, but I had a great time eating my way through Atlanta with good friends.
Like you’re walking along as always, sure you’re on the right path, when the path suddenly vanishes, and you’re facing an empty space, no sense of direction, no clue where to go, and you just keep trudging along. That’s what it feels like.
An acquaintance of mine (Jenny) recently wrote this really good post about why she’s stopped dating. She had a bunch of points that I really related to as I’ve navigated dating after my relationship with H ended at the end of the last year. Her first point: “1. I find it very difficult to be attracted/interested in a picture or two and short little blurb. And so many dudes [women in my case] don’t even write a blurb.”
Honestly I just don’t really get online dating that much. The only semi-successful relationship I’ve had that started from an online dating site was H, and that only lasted about a year. My most successful relationships have been ones that started organically with people I’ve already met. I haven’t necessarily been friends with that person before entering a dating relationship, just that the initial introduction has already happened.
Unlike Jenny, I’m not ready to give up on dating yet, I haven’t even completely given up on the online sites. I don’t think my heart is really into online dating though. There are plenty of anxieties that I’m still working through regarding dating after my divorce and then the end of my relationship (and friendship) with H. I’m in a bit of a Catch-22 when it comes to dating. I want to date, but I don’t at the same time, or at my worst I don’t feel like I’m a good potential partner for someone.
Like Jenny, what I really want is to work on both maintaining and finding quality friendships. I have my friend family both near and far, those folks that you can call up after not speaking for a year or two and its like yesterday, but I’d like to have a few more folks locally. It’s not easy making new friendships in your 40s (as I talked about in a previous post). I’ve reached out to folks to do things (overcoming my anxiety about this). I still spend way too much time watching Netflix alone on the weekends, but I am getting better about making sure I do still get out of the house and see another human at least once during the weekend.