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June 18, 2005 - Saturday, 1:02 a.m.

It's good to be alive...

Itís hot tonight. The house isnít cooling off very fast. Itís already late and I should have crawled into bed a while ago, but Iím restless. I finished ďThe Time Travelerís WifeĒ last night. I really enjoyed the book. It was quite captivating, definitely worth the read. I started on ďThe DaVinci CodeĒ today, already about 100 pages into it and really enjoying it so far.

I skipped the jam session on Thursday, was just too tired to go out. I slept like a baby last night, was good for me. Phil and I are continuing to talk to each other quite a bit and things are progressing. He called tonight and we visited on the phone some. Heíll give me a call Sunday to let me know if he is going to Wayfarerís. We are going to go hike on Wednesday. Iím going to drag myself out tomorrow morning to see if I am still capable of hiking. Itís been a while. Thursday evening I went out and bought some new tennishoes, as Iíve been thinking about hiking now for a couple days. Really need to get out and exercise more.

So much on my mind, and yetÖ nothing is spilling out. Iím actually doing really well, just not getting enough sleep. Terribly restless, sometimes I just go out and drive around for hours. Some times I go and visit people; sometimes itís to the jam sessions, itís just out. There seems to be a drive to just get out of the house. I know that Grandma and Lois dying this spring have really impacted me in ways I never expected. I can hardly stand to just do nothing, and very much feel the need to be out experiencing the world.

Phil has been good for me. Iíve gone outside of my comfort zone so much with him. I doing things and going places that I am really enjoying. I never dreamed Iíd enjoy bars as much as I do. Which I am sure is just amazing coming out of the mouth of a non-drinker. I am not tempted to drink at all, but I love the people watching, and I enjoy the music so much. Iíve been so brave. Iíve walked into so many places I never could have gone two years ago. It really feels good. It feels like I am running my own life for ME, probably for the first time in my life.

I have lived so much of my life for other people. Looking to fulfill their expectations, or what I assumed were their expectations. I took on responsibility so early in my life, that I can hardly remember a moment when I didnít feel responsible. I had a hard time asking for things when I was growing up, it worried me that there wouldnít be enough to go around if I got what I wanted. I could hardly bare to have my parents buy me stuff. Is that crazy or what? I remember at about 16 my mother bought me a coat. I really liked it, but it was $50, and I could hardly stand to let her buy it. She had to convince me. Why I worried about whether or not there would be enough to go around I donít know. It wasnít like my parents ever said ANYTHING about money, I donít even recall them hinting at things costing too much. I paid for my own college, worried that if they paid for me to go to school, that maybe there wouldnít be enough for my sisters to go to school. WHY?!? I spent an entire marriage taking on all the responsibility of everythingÖ everything from raising the kids, taking care of the house, yard and cars, to finances, to finally a full time job to provide medical coverage for my boys and a constant income I could count on. THEN I got divorced and it was REALLY all my responsibility. Iíve spent so much of my life worried about what people will think of me. After forty-five years I am just plain tired. I am doing a hell of a lot more of what I WANT to do and it feels really good.

Will I make mistakes? Most likely, but I feel really strong in myself. I donít feel desperate or crazy, I just feelÖ strong. Iíve been afraid of so much for so long, and I donít feel afraid right now. I donít know the road, Iím not even sure where I am going, but I know I can face whatever comes along, and I am not going to fall off the edge of the world. I am going to be okay no matter what flies up off the road. It feels great!!

Thank you, Phil, somehow from somewhere you inspired this strength in me, somehow helped me to find it myself, and you donít even know thatís what youíve done. Heck, Iím not even sure exactly what he did. Somehow it is just my reaction to him. Itís good. No matter what happens down the road, I learned this about myself; itís made a difference in me.

Iím gonna sleep good tonight. Sweet dreams.

M.

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