Monday, February 27, 2012

On the Condition of Things.

      It's been a month now since Horus and I started corresponding.  It feels like at least a billion times longer (okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but still...), due in large part to the range of our communication, the fact that it's been amazingly easy due to similar communication styles, and the depth of our interaction.

     To be honest, though, the biggest boon to this interaction is probably getting to see Ptah in the best light possible.  He's been extremely valuable in this situation; our companionship allows me to feel comfortable talking about things, and Ptah's insights have helped all of us.  I also get to have conversations like:

Me: So I told Horus he could just walk in when he arrived.  I said he belongs here.
Ptah: Yeah?
Me: Yeah, I think he was pleased.
Ptah: Well good, because he does belong here.


Me: We've been communicating for a month now.
Ptah: Cool.
Me: It feels like so much longer.
Ptah: It really does.
Me: I think it's because he's integrated into *our* lives so well.
Ptah: Yeah, that part has been easy.
     Having a safe harbor to ruminate on and discuss what's been going on in the other side of this construction project has made it possible for me to even try... I think that if Ptah had the same kind of sensitivity about the situation the rest of us have been displaying, that would likely complicate the matter to the degree that it became untenable.  Not that he's responsible for the current level of success between Horus and myself, that is also due to effort and natural compatibility.... but Ptah really helps.

     Thoth and I seem to be doing okay for the moment.  He's working a lot, and I'm still taking care of enough domestic stuff to make life easier for him.  He doesn't have to talk when he doesn't want to, and I don't have to pretend to be into a relationship which hasn't been healthy for a long time.  I explained to him that this change in our relationship didn't mean that I didn't want him in my life anymore, but that I wanted him to find happiness, and I knew that wasn't really going to happen with me.  I think that helped, but that's at least partly conjecture. 


     What I really wanted to post about today is an entirely different thing.

     I have some chemical sensitivities.  Many things that have strong smells (especially fruity or floral, combined with chemical) give me a terrible headache and generally make me feel like crap.  A lady wearing too much perfume at the grocery store can ruin my day.  I've had to very carefully select my self- and house-cleaning products based on the way they smell for a bunch of years.  In my early twenties I used mostly homemade cleaners around the house, concoctions I made from citrus fruits, vinegar, and rosemary.  They always worked well, and left the house smelling clean and nice instead of chemical.  I stopped doing that when the first husband and I split up, but had been thinking about making these things again for several months.

     I've also wanted to find ways to clean and condition my hair using natural products, but never found the motivation to actually do it.  Until Horus gave me motivation.  In talking, I discovered that the same things that give me headaches elicit a much worse reaction from him.  So, finally pushed properly (I like to say that I am a creature of inertia, after all), I consulted the mighty interwebs.  I found several opinions on natural conditioners, but as my hair is super prone to tangles, I figured I'd go with something a little heavier than apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.  I looked around my kitchen, and merged a few conditioner recipes to create my own.  I'm sorry some of the pictures are fuzzy; they looked good on my phone.

Step one: gather ingredients.  I used three avocados, two cans of coconut milk, some limes that were about to go bad, and some apple cider vinegar.

Step two: prepare ingredients for use.  Peel, pit, and chop avocados.  Open cans of coconut milk.  Squeeze the juice out of the limes, and measure vinegar.  I chose a quarter cup of vinegar, because I just wanted it to basically make the final product wet enough to squeeze out of a bottle.  Save the avocado pits and lime peels, we'll have other uses for those.
Step three: put all prepared ingredients in blender.
Step four: blend until completely combined.  Yes, it looks a little icky.  It's actually a pleasant color in real life, and smells kind of nice.
Step five: acquire a clean bottle and funnel to pour the concoction into.
Step six: make a giant mess, and be reminded of Slimer.
Step seven: clean up mess, and find another clean bottle to put some of the conditioner into, after realizing that you made way too much.

     It works really well.  The first time I used the conditioner, I used way too much...  Since it's made from natural products which are compatible with the human body and hair, my hair just sucked it right up, and I didn't feel like there was actually any conditioner on my hair.  After drying, though, I realized that I had conditioned *too* well.  For the first time in memory, though, I was able to brush out all of my knots within a few minutes of getting out of the shower.

     This particular concoction would not work well for every day use (or every other day, as the case is with me) over the long-term.  One of the really nice parts is that my hair, though it feels a little oily after using the conditioner, doesn't get gross after more than two days like it would before.  So basically, it feels like the day after a shower until I wash it again.  I've been using liquid castile soap with the conditioner when I know I'm going to see Horus, and my stupid mass produced crap when I know I'm not going to see him.  I frankly don't want to use the "normal" stuff anymore, but I own it, and I can't just throw it away, so that's how things are right now. 

     Soon, I'll get into what to do with those avocado pits and lime peels. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Interlude: Flirting Theory

     Today, I had an interesting conversation.  With myself.  You know, internally.

Wait, am I flirting with that guy?
No, probably not... I don't think I even know how to flirt.
But, then again, there was sustained eye contact, and we smiled at each other. 
Also, there was talk about gas-powered equipment.
And, he fixed my favorite weedeater.  We all know how much I like mechanical ability.
Yeah, but was that flirting?
Well, how the hell else would I flirt? It's not like I touch strangers, or show off my cleavage when I'm in my work clothes.
Work clothes are not attractive.
Some people might find it attractive that I like gas-powered equipment and wear workboots.
No, who am I kidding, no one would find that or me attractive.
Really, Self? When there's so much evidence to the contrary?
But those people are crazy.
No, they're not! I like those people, and shouldn't call them crazy... even though they are.
It's not like it's even an issue, I don't have time or emotional space for that kind of thing right now.
Especially when I'm a hideous sea creature.
Damnit, Self! Quit being stupid.
Besides, the question posed was not whether he was flirting, but whether I was.
And flirting doesn't mean much of anything... allegedly. 
How would I know? I don't know how to flirt.
Maybe talking about this kind of stuff is flirting for me, especially coupled with eye contact and smiling.
Those are some incredibly blue eyes.  Do people really have eyes that blue?
Do people who are essentially strangers normally maintain this kind of eye contact? I don't recall...
But there is the fact that even people walking down the street will make eye contact with me while I'm driving.
Even when I'm wearing my sunglasses/safety glasses.
This guy also prefers the safety glasses I like.
That's because they're functional and awesome.  It's always attractive when people value function over appearance.
...Maybe it's the energy I'm putting off? Am I putting off energy?
Or am I reacting to energy he's putting off?
Wait, could this be one of those "two reflectors confusing the hell out of things" situations?
Would it really matter who was putting off what energy?
Probably not, it's not like he'd ever be interested in me.
Argh, why am I still thinking about this?  IT DOESN'T MATTER.
Yeah, but I still want to know whether I'm flirting or not.


     I honestly don't get the concept of "normal" flirting.  It's kind of... coy? Deceptive? But also playful... which I'm good with.  I really don't know if I ever flirt.  I don't even like the word, and the more I think and type it, the funnier is sounds.  Flirt flirt flirty flirt flirt.  See? Sounds ridiculous now.

     Anyway, I've never really had trouble with that whole "making attraction known" thing  But there have also been points where people have assumed I'm interested because I'm being playful and shameless and doing things like making eye contact and smiling.  The particular person that I'm not sure I was flirting with, I do find mildly attractive, just by virtue of his mechanical ability.  I never noticed before whether there was sustained eye contact or not, so I'm not sure whether there was more than normal, or if it was nothing more than my own perception of the moment that had shifted.  But I could have sworn that there was more-than-usual amusement at the mention that I might need mechanical rescuing while the boss is gone.

     I really don't know.  And it doesn't really matter.  But I am curious if I've ever really flirted according to anyone's definition.  I'm pretty sure that sustained eye contact is a part of it, but there are actually other people in the world who are generally comfortable with that, not just with forming "official" connections.  Next time I'm around him, I'll just have to be conscious of the interaction, so I can take notes about myself.

     I really am such a robot sometimes.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Well, now what?

     I think I'll just start with the meat course.

     I broke up with Thoth.  This has, in reality, been a long time coming.  We've had stressful periods where I wanted to leave several times over the past three years, but I always felt stuck.  Stuck because I felt responsible for him, stuck because I didn't want "other people" to be able to blame our split on polyamory, and stuck because we are financially intertwined.  None of those are good reasons to continue a relationship, but I always fell back into our old patterns because I didn't know what else to do.  A few months ago, Thoth and I went through one of these periods, which resulted in my telling him in no uncertain terms that the status quo in our relationship was not okay with me, and if there wasn't a drastic change in the way he related to me, I wouldn't be able to continue our relationship.  I've done all the work I can, but it takes two people to create, maintain, and fix a relationship. 

     Nothing has changed since then.  Well, maybe I did a little.  My relationship with Ptah has let me know that I do indeed need a real connection from my partners.  I found out that I am much happier when I feel emotionally connected, can communicate, and can express myself freely.  I found that I love the give-and-take that we have, and our relationship has let me know that much of the work on personal growth that I've done has had a clear benefit... which I was never sure about when it was just me and Thoth.  I knew that I now required these things in my relationships, and I saw myself as having a way out of my entanglement with Thoth, but I was so afraid of "doing poly wrong" that I continued to struggle with him.

     Don't get me wrong, Thoth was exactly who I needed in my life when we met.  The autonomy our relationship gave me was what enabled me to do all of this work on myself.  If he hadn't been okay with exploring polyamory, I might not be where I am now.  I would probably be less happy with myself if I hadn't met him.  But I've outgrown this relationship.  I still care about him very much, and I hope that he can move on and learn to take care of himself, to forge his own path in life, and grow and become a better person.  I hope that he can find better things to bring into his future relationships.  There's even a possibility that we may be able to spend time together as a couple in the future, but only time will tell that.

     More recently, my interaction with Horus has shone a light in all of the dark corners of my relationship with Thoth.  The fact that someone I've known such a short time has no problem expressing joy in spending time with me, putting effort into communication, and emotional connection has had a clear effect.  But mostly, I sat on the couch and watched someone else feel sad for me while I talked about my relationship with Thoth.  This wouldn't be the first time that's happened, not even close.  But this was one too many times, apparently, and I've been talking a lot lately about following happiness over fears.

     *facepalm* Yeah, how about walking that walk, eh?

     In the end, I know this is going to be the best thing for me, and for Thoth.  It will be good for Ptah, too, as he won't have to watch my unhappiness with the situation any longer.  I honestly could not continue faking a relationship with Thoth anymore, and still respect myself.  Seriously, I feel better about things, and everyone else seems to, as well.  Having a definite decision made feels better than always waiting for that proverbial shoe to drop.

     I wish I could say that it ends there, that hard decisions have been made, and the right thing has been done, and everyone will be able to move on with their lives in a happier and healthier manner.  But, alas, there is more.

     Horus's girlfriend is using this moving on, this doing the right thing, as a reason why he shouldn't date me.  This is a shame for a few reasons.  One, she clearly doesn't trust him to make his own decisions.  Two, a situation in which there was definite unhappiness and stasis based on fear would have been a much worse environment to come into.  Three, we met just yesterday and had a fine time.  I have a feeling that this break-up is no more than a convenient excuse; much of what I've seen so far points in this direction, and there is a clear lack of balance between how "poly" each of them is "allowed" to be.

     I tried really hard to extend the benefit of the doubt, but when every time the old reason to say no is dispelled, a new one crops up... it's not just coincidence.  Earlier today, before the law was laid down, I expressed to Horus that I didn't ever think there would be a "right time" for us, because there would always be something.  Some problem that needed to be taken care of before he would be free to follow his own path.  I wish I had been wrong, I really do.

     It's really hard for me to accept the idea of "I can't let you do this, because I don't think it's right for you" in general.  The possession and adversarial nature this is imparting into our interactions isn't where a healthy relationship lies; down that road leads eventual resentment.  I don't think there should be any putting Horus in the middle, and I don't see why she and I should be opposite sides of anything.  Shouldn't the fact that we both care about a person mean that we should both have that person's happiness in mind? Why should the main focus be on "sides," when all that does is put Horus in a difficult place? If she has a problem with how I'm choosing to live my life, why couldn't she just bring that to me? Ask for further information or clarification; give me the opportunity to assure her that no, really, this was the healthiest thing to do.

     I *hate* the fact that Horus is in this position.  I just want him to be able to be happy, and able to express the poly nature he was probably born with, the way I've been able to do the same.  I would like to be a part of that, but if he decides I can't be, I can accept that.  It will hurt, but it's his decision to make.  If, on the other hand, we get *told* that it's not okay to pursue anything, that's a different story altogether.

     So now, I have instability with Horus, which wouldn't be there if I wasn't being accused of being unstable for doing the right thing.  I have to figure out how to disentangle a household and a bank account, and a shared life with Thoth... but that's going to be the easy part.  The hard part, making sure that my life is up to my standards, is all on me, and no one else is going to make me feel guilty for that.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Right now...

I'm sitting in the waiting area at Planned Parenthood with Ptah. I'm about to get my yearly exam and STD tests, and I'll walk out of here with birth control... So that Horus and I can do things right.
Probably the weirdest part is that this doesn't feel weird at all.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Interesting times, indeed. Also, the issue of trust.

     I don't want to give the impression that there's no responsibility in my relationships.  The one rule we do have in our relationships is "No penetration without paperwork.  Well, hands are okay."  I know, how fascist, right? There's a secondary rule of "Don't be an asshole.  But really, I can't prevent you from being an asshole.  Just, you know, if you act like one, expect to be treated like one."

     Rules do not really equate to responsibility, anyway.  A metaphor I've used before is a child who doesn't take a cookie from the cookie jar when Mom's not looking.  Is it better if the kid doesn't take the cookie because he knows it's not right, or because he knows Mom will get upset at him? It's basically the same argument I use for those situations where someone tries to say that the fear of punishment from God is what keeps people moral, and that people who do not believe in such god are clearly immoral. 

     I feel huge amounts of responsibility for the people around me; friends, partners, anyone whose life I touch.  This includes people who are vaguely theoretical, such as the probably awesome lady I'm about to meet in a couple of days.  My rants about rules have to do with *everything,* not just this current situation.  What it really boils down to is that fact that I know I'm trustworthy, but people have a hard time giving trust without buckets of proof.

    I made a choice a few years ago, which basically put to words something I'd felt for a long time before that.  If I trust people, they will occasionally disappoint me.  This will absolutely not be my fault for trusting them, but their fault for not being worthy of my trust.  As well, I've usually found that people violating my trust is a process, not a singular event, which happens after initial trust would have been gained anyway.  So what do we gain by not trusting? Well... we place the responsibility for that trust on ourselves, rather than on the people we interact with.  Which doesn't really make sense to me, as it is not our actions that have power over that trust, but the actions of others.  I'd prefer to put the responsibility where the ability to act lies.  When we choose not to trust, we also close ourselves to opportunities with other people, and instead place fear as our highest priority for maintenance.  I believe I've made it clear that I do not want to let fear dictate my actions, even if it sometimes does.  And for all that, we still get disappointed by people sometimes.

     If, on the other hand, we assume to trust others until proven wrong, we open ourselves for all of the possible good things others can bring into our lives.  When we extend trust, we often find that trust is more readily extended back to us.  When we believe in people, they can interact with us more fully, and be more sure of themselves and the situation.  When people feel more sure of things, it is easier for them to trust us, or at least their own position.  This isn't poly stuff, it's people stuff.

     It would be a fallacy to say that others will always deserve our trust if we extend it, and there are situations where the risk to oneself definitely outweighs the negative side of not trusting.  It's also important to listen to our intuition on these things sometimes.  Our intuition is the part of our brain which processes all sorts of information we don't have a vocabulary for, or which can be taken in with a split second, but take tons of time to prove.  Intuition reads the tiniest details about people; physically, the "energy" they put out, and it puts together patterns learned over our lifetimes, all into an instant decision.  There have been plenty of people I've met, or seen a picture of, and been able to tell that there are VERY BAD THINGS about that person, even though I can't exactly explain why.  I've been proven right enough times to know that my intuition works at better than random odds.

     Listening to intuition versus our learned fears can be a tricky thing.  Our learned fears try to protect themselves, and will try to convince us that they are, in fact, the instinct and intuition which has been honed by thousands of years of human development.  But these are clearly not the same things.  One is (often irrational) learned behavior, and the other is what has kept our species alive long enough to invent lasers and spaceships and skyscrapers and blogs.  If one really hasn't learned to differentiate between the two, perhaps it is best err on the side of fear until the difference has been made clear.  I suppose that for me, it's been a part of the general growth project I started several years ago.

     Because of the way I feel about trust, and my feelings of responsibility regarding my situation with Horus, I did something most people would not be willing to do.  I extended an invitation to his lady to come to our house, and offered to make dinner and let her get a feel for our home environment.  Perhaps because I was willing to extend that trust, she decided to return the favor by being willing to come here by herself.  Because we've already extended trust, we've been able to connect a little, and everyone seems to be feeling better about the situation.  If I had approached everything with suspicion, I can guarantee that the results would be much different, and the process of getting to know each other would be greatly hindered. 

     That said, if she hadn't been willing to do the same, the results would also be much different.  Trusting people gives them the opportunity to do what they really want to do, even if it is sometimes a nerve-wracking process.  I have a lot of hope for this new adventure, and while hope is also complicated and seen as dangerous by many people, that's another subject for another day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Enter Horus. Also, "dating" is AWESOME. Basing the importance of a relationship on time served, is not.

Even more awesome: coming home from said date. 
Ptah: How was your date?
Me: Awesome.  *blush*
Ptah: What did you do?
Me: Pretended we were teenagers.
Ptah: *smiles*

     But let's rewind for a moment.  I wasn't looking for anything when I received that first message, but I knew there was potential.  I wasn't looking for anything at all, really, but I was open to it or I wouldn't have maintained my OKCupid profile.  Many people believe that time is the prime indicator of many things when it comes to interaction between people: the strength of someone's connection with another, the success of a relationship, the importance of those ties.  And while, yes, time generally does increase knowledge of and connection with another, it's not the thing that does the work.  Putting our own effort into sharing honestly and fully oneself is what does the work.  We can do this unconsciously and slowly over time (like most people do), or we can do this consciously and essentially speed up (as well as deepen) the process.  It's not actually the time spent with a person, or the months and years that go by with an official title, it's the effort.  It's how much we allow ourselves to be connected, and how we nurture that connection.  Usually, this gets easier for people with time.

     Sometimes, though, we become capable of really opening ourselves fully to that connection.  And sometimes, that doesn't take very long.  Sometimes, we can be brave and vulnerable, and feel amazing things in the process. 

     I have allowed myself to be open, to feel, and so Horus is already incredibly important to me.  I don't mean that I'm placing expectations on the duration or labeling of our interaction.  I am not feeling this solely because of the wrens flapping in my belly, or the hummingbirds in my heart.  I feel connected to a person I know I can give good things to, feelings and actions and opinions which foster growth and happiness.  I know I can receive the same.  I know that I have already experienced very good things from our interaction, and I look forward to continuing to explore the possibilities.  If our interaction ended here, it would still be a positive experience.  I do not want it to end here.

     But, alas, that choice is not entirely under my (or his) control.

     When I chose to rid myself of the standard relationship models, I also chose to rid myself of the control and rules still present in most poly relationships.  I feel that most of these rules are nothing more than holdovers from the mono world; controlling to some degree the actions of our partners (and by extension, the people they interact with) imparts some sense of safety and security.  If time is the important factor in relationships, and our relationship is already here, then our relationship is more important, and we must protect it.  And any unknowns, or any experiences you might have that I might be uncomfortable with, are clearly a threat to our relationship.

     Taking time out of the equation, and replacing it with the happiness of ourselves and those we love, resulted in a much different train of thought.  If the happiness of myself and those I love is most important, then encouraging them to have experiences which enrich their lives is not a threat, but a good thing for me.  If I encourage them to find joy, then I am giving them something of incredible importance, which they will return when they bring their joy back to me.  When I trust my partners to be kind and loving, I do not need rules which "make" them do so.  When I do not trust my partners to be kind and loving, no rules will give me that trust.

     But now, I am interacting with someone who has a partner who believes in rules.  This is difficult for me.  As I told him, I feel that temporarily subverting my core beliefs will be worth it in the long run, provided it is only temporary... and very temporary at that.  I am not a threat to anyone's relationships, but a real human being with wants and needs of my own, as well as valuable things to offer to someone she loves.  I would much prefer to be treated as such.

     Part of the issue, I'm sure, is that the girlfriend and I have not met yet.  She has requested that we meet so that she can make sure I'm okay before the rules are lifted... or loosened... or possibly not changed at all, depending on how she feels.  Meeting is something I wanted to do, and still want to do, but now we will both be coming to it from a defensive place, and I find that sad.  I don't want to feel defensive any more than I want to be judged. 

     This whole experience has taught me a few valuable things, though.  I do not want to subject the prospective partners of my partners to my feelings, and my rules.  I want to be able to approach them expansively, and as the (probably lovely) people they are.  I want to experience all I can, and sometimes that means being open for hurt.  I want us all to live in the way that brings us the most growth, happiness, peace and comfort.  That doesn't mean we'll always agree on how to do that, but we do have the choice on how to deal with it.  I want my partners to be with me because they want to be with me, and I want to trust them to make decisions which nurture our relationship.  I do not want to tell them that they must. 

     I want them to be free.  And if that means they still want to be with me, then our relationships will be all the stronger.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Blue Heaven

     I tried to find a good copy of the Smashing Pumpkins cover of My Blue Heaven to link here, but all I could scrounge up was a poorly copied version, and a bunch of live versions on YouTube.  It's the only one I've heard which properly imparts the feeling of calm and comfort I'm going for here.  So, if you have a copy of The Aeroplane Flies High boxed set, I recommend giving the song a listen while, or before, or after reading this blog post.

     Yesterday, I went on a "date."  Like I said, I don't like the word... but like I told my "date," it is what the cool kids call spending time together to try to figure out any relationship potential.  I suppose I could say that yesterday, I spent time with someone to try to figure out any relationship potential, but that's rather cumbersome. 

     Of course, I just said it anyway.

     The date, though, was awesome.  I got a gluten free sandwich and my hair brushed, talked about important subjects, and learned about dry water.  Dry water! It's a thing.  I know, what the fuck, right? I love knowledge, especially seemingly random knowledge, and I enjoy being able to share that with people.  I came home, walked into the bathroom, and realized that the girl in the mirror was smirking. 

      This morning, Ptah and I snuggled on the couch, talked about my date and relationship probabilities, and reveled in what is known as RRE (renewed relationship energy).  That was awesome, too.  He also helped to alleviate some of the guilt which keeps popping up at the idea of starting another relationship.  Not that I don't think I deserve to, but I am prone to guilt. 

    Part of this new relationship adventure will be discovering new things about myself, in many contexts.  Expanding what I consider my (flexible) boundaries, and engaging in activities I've not experienced before.  It's also going to involve expanding the network of people who may be affected by my actions, which will be an interesting change, but probably pose no actual difficulty to me.  It's much easier to be excited (and *admit* to being excited), because the person I'm dealing with isn't afraid to show his own feelings.  Life is so much easier for me when people can be clear and open without being sappy or demanding.

     So now I sit on the couch with my husband and my consort, while the guy who has yet to gain a title spends time with his girlfriend and discusses boundaries for behavior with me.  My life has suddenly turned into a bunch of poly tropes.  And that is also awesome. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Yet another position I never thought I'd find myself in...

     If you thought this post was going to be about sexytimes, I'm sorry but that's not the subject at all.

     Now you're thinking about sexytimes, though, aren't you? *cough* Annnnnnyway... here's a blog post all about me.

     For the majority of the time I've thought about the idea of multiple relationships happening concurrently and with full knowledge and consent, I had the idea that I would probably have two guys in my life, and that would be it.  As things have turned out, though, I've discovered that the switch which says "Okay, we're done seeking relationships now." hasn't flipped itself.  In fact, I don't know that it ever will.  I think that a part of this is that I find so many aspects of people interesting and attractive.  It is literally impossible for any one (or two, or probably even five) people to contain *all* of the traits I like in a partner.  Physically, emotionally, intellectually...  And, let's be completely honest, sexually.

     But the other part of it is that I *really* enjoy starting new relationships.  I don't so much like the distracted and frenetic nature of NRE.  It's fun for a bit, but what I really like is discovering a person.  I enjoy getting to know people emotionally and physically.  There are so many fascinating aspects to every one of us, and I love the process of discovery.  I also really enjoy established relationships, though.  I like comfort and security and sharing my life and watching others grow. 

     Clearly there aren't a lot of ways to have both at the same time, so I feel so fortunate to have found my path.

     I've been open for possibilities since soon after Ptah and I felt that our relationship was secure and stable.  I haven't actively been looking for additional relationship opportunities... I find that never really works for me, anyway.  Historically, my pattern has been:
     -I am actively NOT looking for a relationship
     -I meet someone I find attractive
     -That person finds me attractive
     -We immediately start spending all of our time and focus on each other
     -We are in a relationship

     Now, by ethical necessity and my own self-interest, the protocol has to be much different.  I have to be more cautious, so as to not screw things up in the relationships I already have.  Not to mention the relationships the other person involved might have.  By following this path, I've committed to do things as carefully and ethically as I can. 

     And so, I'm going to be doing something I've never done before.  I'm going to test compatibility with another person, always mindful of the things I have to lose as well as the things I have to gain.  I'm going to date.  I don't even like the word.  Except referring to the dried fruit... those are delicious.

     As always, I am constantly monitoring my mental and emotional state.  I'm collecting much data about myself, which I'm sure will come in useful at one point or another.  I'm sure I'll eventually start writing about the results... but then again, maybe not.  I do tend to slack off on writing when I intend to do more of it.


Holy Rollercoaster

(I'm about 2.5 weeks late actually posting this; I had forgot that I'd even started it until I went to write a new post.  Admittedly, it's neat to go back and read how I felt at the time.)

    Today, something I never would have thought would happen to me happened.  The car I was driving was repossessed.  It wasn't legally mine, but it was the only car the three of us had.  Ptah signed the loan when he was much better off financially, and thought that things would remain that way.

     While I understand that the repo guy is just making a living, and it's certainly not his fault that we haven't been doing well financially... it seems like there should be a better way to start the process than walking up to a lady who just got out of the car and saying "Sorry, but I'm going to have to take this." 

      So yeah, at first I thought he was trying to steal the car.

     My sister, who is visiting, and I got all of the personal stuff out, (fortunately, we had plenty of shopping bags to put the crap in), I had to give him the key, and we found ourselves at the thrift store where we were about to go spend some time and maybe twenty bucks but instead ended up carless and bewildered.  During the walk to Ptah's work to let him know what had happened, I had a few minutes in the cold air to think, and instead of focusing on that which I didn't like about the situation, I figured out what to be grateful for and made some semblance of a plan.

     -I was glad that we had not gone grocery shopping yet, as that was our plan.  Being stranded in town with a bunch of groceries would have been much worse.
     -I was glad that it hadn't happened during the snow and ice we dealt with for several days; at least our walk wasn't dangerous and the temperatures were not below freezing.
     -I was glad that the repossession took place early enough in the day that we could have taken the bus to somewhere near home if we'd had to.
     -I planned to see if a friend was available to take us home, and if not, figure out the bus situation.
     -I planned to talk to my boss and see if I could borrow one of the work trucks for a couple weeks.
     -I thought about how the lack of car payment would free up a lot of funds which would enable us to buy a cheap car faster.
     -I thought about how Ptah will receive his income tax refund soon, and Thoth and I will get our taxes done in a few weeks, also leading to a refund.
     -I was glad that Thoth recently got a full-time job and is able to carpool to and from it, so the lack of a car would not affect what will be the biggest paycheck in the household.


     I felt much better after focusing on the good parts, and managed to get home just fine.  A week later we found a cheap car which needs some work, but has a good engine and some things I never thought I'd get to have in a car... like a sunroof.  I love the sunroof. 

     I do really wish I had finished this post back when things were fresh, though.