The past couple of days have been a couple of anniversaries for me. This morning on KFOG's 10@10 show the featured year was 1980 and they played a cut from Carl Sagan's "Cosmos." I was reminded of the second LJ entry I ever made (which was technically the first). Sometimes it is scary to contemplate that that show was on almost thirty years ago. Life acquires an entirely different scale when you're in your forties. Thirty years seemed like such a long time, not so long ago. Thirty years before I was born, the Depression was in full bloom and World War II had not yet happened. Hemmingway called it being "in another country." Sometimes, it seems like different worlds.
Today is my elder daughter's birthday. Jackie is sixteen today. That's kind of a scary thing. I remember the day she was born, and I remember being sixteen myself. So much changed in my life in the ten years following my sixteenth birthday until the day that she was born. She's turning into such an interesting adult. She's still so very green. She worries about what to be, and what to make of herself. She's trying so hard to identify for herself who she is. I remember being at war with myself at sixteen. I had been very dissatisfied with the person I was as a child and determined to make something else of myself. To a certain extent, I succeeded, but I came to realize that, just as it is often the case in the literal instance, war was unnecessary. I wonder how long it will take Jackie to figure this out. She's a smart girl, and there is a wisdom in her that perhaps I lacked at sixteen. Time will tell.
I called her up this evening. She was feeling bubbly. This is a good thing. It is such a pleasure to interact with her when she is in a good mood. She's got so many irons in the fire, now that school has started back up again. Three of her friends are looking for her this weekend. One of them wants her to go to Disneyland with her. Heh. Jackie has been three times. I've not been once. One of these days, I've got to remedy that. Of course, she also told me that she wants to go shopping with me this weekend, as a birthday present. My daughter is a consummate shopper, unlike either of her parents. From where in the heck did that come? She and my mother are two peas in a pod. I am certain that they'd love to hang out together. Unfortunately, my mother hasn't seen my daughters in a few years now. Frequently, this bothers me.
I called my mother after talking with Jackie. Mom confirmed Jackie's cell phone number with me and subsequently called her as well. My dad is still recovering from having his knee replaced. I guess he had some grueling physical therapy today. Fortunately, he's up and around on it. Modern medicine is truly amazing. I would have thought that it would have been longer until he was getting around on it, but he was up after only three days following the surgery. On the other hand, it takes six months for the leg to completely heal. His surgeon had proposed a rather aggressive schedule whereby the second knee would be replaced three months after the first, if everything was healing okay at the time. I guess my father, after having experienced the first surgery, is having misgivings about jumping into the second one so soon. He said that there was quite a bit of pain involved, but he has a habit of macho understatement about such things. I figure that it has been a bit rougher in his personal estimation than he has let on.
While talking with Mom this evening, I noticed her hacking and coughing. When I mentioned it, she told me that she'd recently been diagnosed with "a spot of" emphysema. Oh, that's just great. What in the hell is "a spot of" anyway? That's not a good condition for anyone to have, to any degree whatsoever. Who in the hell is she kidding? Emphysema is irreversible and degenerative. Cripes. She was so damned nonchalant about saying it. The conversation slipped right out of the information track without me noticing. Now I'm going to have to call her up tomorrow morning and find out what is happing with this.
Yesterday marks the start of the fourth year since Crystal left. I guess that I am in better shape than I was that first year. After living in a nuclear family situation for eighteen years, being single again is a very strange experience. For about a year, I was so unsure of what to make of things and so unable to explain the situation that I didn't admit that I was single again, not that anyone was asking. Since then, I've managed to get a handle on things and right my ship. Perhaps I'm still pumping water out. I think about it, but to tell the truth, I just don't know. I realize that I'm almost certainly better off not married to my ex, but that impossible creature is a difficult woman not to love, or miss, sometimes. I realize that I am not alone in that assessment when I hear the refrain from my daughters: "We love Mom to pieces and she's great but..." Yeah, tell me about it. Heh. At any rate, the life I have now has become familiar, but I still have no real idea what to do with it, despite entertaining ideas once in awhile. I'm not a very driven person. I enjoy strolling. Over the weekend, I acquired a copy of John Lennon's "Watching the Wheels" and thought that it had a certain applicability to my own circumstances.
Nevertheless, I feel a certain restlessness. Right now, my life stands on a tripod of what I have come to know are shaky legs. The first leg is my job. It is reasonably solid, but it's really not going to go anywhere. I'm not exactly feeling challenged and useful here. Sometimes that impacts my ability to contribute my best. My problem is that it pays very well and I like the people here, and very frequently, it does manage to be interesting.
The second leg is McGuffin. We're at the make-or-break point with McGuffin, and we still aren't certain if it will do what we say it will. I'm still coding on it, almost every chance I get. Very soon now, we will find out if all of this work has a payoff. If it does, then life changes. If it doesn't...then there's always the next adventure. I have learned plenty from this one, and that is a good thing. In either case, something is about to change here.
The third leg is the bifurcated life path decision about what I want to do with regards to companionship. It's a puzzler of a question. I never thought I'd be dealing with it, myself. I've seen other divorced people on LJ dealing with this same question. There don't seem to be any easy answers. I've gotten so used to my solitude. I have questioned my faith in the benefits of having a partner, of the possibilities of successfully engaging in an intimate relationship with the possibility for longevity, and most important, my ability to find, create, and sustain such a relationship, regardless of the probabilities involved in the general case. I still can't say for certain, if the game is worth the candle. I know I certainly haven't been giving the possibility the benefit of much effort on my part. Maybe this is for the best. Regardless of the thinking though, the question refuses to close. I've been sticking to the middle of the road, playing a game of wait and see if something changes in my life. That's probably not all that productive.