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The storm before the calm

I'm starting to breath a little. Maybe all the stress of the storm and worrying about other people's LIVES has put things in perspective for me. Maybe I've just finally cracked. Either could be true. But I feel at ease today despite it being the usual hustle and bustle of work and kids and dogs and cats and such. The usual fighting and frustration has been less palpable lately. I feel like I have a partner who's starting to look for compromise more and more often. More and more she's coming back to me after a blow out and rewinding things, making apologies, recognizing fault. At the same time I'm trying not to hold onto the past. I'm trying to hold onto all those "buts"; the "but you said...", "but you did...", "but remember that time when...", "but I didn't..."

I'm not saying things are perfect. Far from it. I have a ton of stuff I still have to fix and make right. I need to look to some of my friends for how to be a better parent. I see these pictures of AJ and Gil and their family on vacation or Gil playing with the girls or Amanda taking the girls to ballet. Then I look back to pictures of my own kids and remember what fun we used to have and how long it's been since we really had those regular interactions; the city museum, trips, camping, the art museum, exploring parks together, crafts, anything really that doesn't revolve around some electronic device.

Tavish graduates this month and I've lost so many opportunities with him and it makes me a little sad. But I also think about the fact that I've been here for him for 18 years. I made it. I did something a lot of father's fail at nowadays; I stuck around and I worked hard to give him a life most of his friends don't have, filled with two people who love him and are always here for him. I hope he realizes how precious he is to me and how hard I've fought. I'm sure he won't until he's older and has his own kids. Such is the way of the world. The girls will likely be the same, not recognizing the things their mother did for them until they have bratty little teens of their own.

I still need to fix my relationships. I need to be better about not ducking out or losing track. How many blog posts have I said that in. It's a struggle. But I have to try harder. I made at least one step today, by reaching out to some old high school friends that I've really been bad about keeping track of; Michael and Jesse. They're good old D&D buddies and I'm sure we'll pick right up again where we left off. But 15 years is a long time, so I'm uneasy.

But I see a path now and feel like maybe that light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train. Kelly and Kat are talking now, more and more regularly. Kelly has come over twice, although the results were mixed, it still feels like progress. It's hard to have gone so long without her here and I feel like when I even get the hint that she's coming, there's a little bit of my own over-eagerness showing through. We're focusing on our friendship, we need to better understand what it is that draws two unlikely people together, and if that's something that has a chance at more or if it's just a temporary infatuation. I don't doubt for a minute that the friendship is long lived. Given everything that we've gone through this last year I don't think there's anything that could keep us from being friends for life. She's family now, she's taken her stripes, and no one can take that. But we have to delve a little deeper and see if that spark of desire is something more than two people's hormones. I want to say for me that it is. I mean it's been almost a year and even though I'm 40 I still get the same giddy feeling every time I see her or talk to her and that same excitement when she touches my hand, an I want to dismiss it away as I"m a goofy romantic... but I've been picking at this relationship for months now, trying to pick it apart, listening to other's disect it, and that's not to say that it's a bad thing. I need that healthy dose of reality from my friends especially knowing how unrealistic I can be. But how long do I pick at it before I leave it alone, let it heal, allow it to grow stronger. I feel like that's where I am. That I'm ready to give it some breathing room. Stop introspecting so much and maybe let things grow a little. But I can't speak for her, and that's the scary part. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. I will keep on planning for a grand and glorious life and hopefully, maybe I'll get there someday. My utopia :) (or harem, depending on who's definition you use :P)

So I'm just going to take things one day at a time. I need to keep taking inventory of who I've missed, who brings me joy, who I want to model my life after, who I need more of, and keep working hard to draw those good people back into my life. I need to keep focusing on the positives and get away from the self-doubt and blame that's been a wedge between me and a happy life. I have so many good people in my life that I take for-granted and that I don't show my appreciation for nearly enough. I intend to change that. So here's to good friends and loving and lasting relationships.