This has been an interesting year for me. I am finally able to think straight or I thought I was able to until I bought into a couple of relationships that I now see as toxic. I am one of those people who accept everyone at face value. If you come up to me , smile and say: "I am pleased to meet you." I will be pleased to meet you too. But not all people improve with getting to know them better. I have found out that a couple of my acquaintances really are sweet to me so I can do them favours, It seems as if they need a small loan, need a lift because the car is getting serviced (saw through that one as the car was parked just up from me in a parking area) they also said they would love to help with something and never turned up, all of it is nothing very major but enough for me to see them as not being very consistent.
I got to know a man who had friends in common with me, we didn't go out but he was friendly whenever I met up with him. Then I overheard him in a conversation with a friend saying: "S... is quite well off, has her own home and all I could do worse." And this was before he had even asked me out on a date. Ouch! that hurt my feelings as I didn't see it coming. I thought he was genuine. Well silly me. Luckily when he did ask me out I did genuinely have another appointment so I said sorry and I thanked him and nothing else has happened since then. I think it was a close call. I do understand that I am no beauty and so a future suitor would have to see an advantage in getting to know me, but it does not have to be that blatant.
I went to a widows group from my church and we went out to lunch together. I loved it as it filled in my Sunday and that was a real bonus. At first it was really good, then some of the older ladies dropped out, died or moved away. When we were down to a small number I realised these were the gossips, the people who were always ready to run someone down. I knew that when I wasn't there I would be the subject of that too so I slowly moved away from the group. It was hard at first as I really did like a couple of them but on consideration decided that I would be better off leaving the group.
The last couple of incidents were a real learning curve for me as I realised also that I had been leaning on the leader of the group and really shouldn't have been. I wonder how long it will take me to really stand on my own two feet? If I do go out on a date that is different, I am more alert, looking at the person with different eyes I guess.I don't think I am critical but maybe I am. Maybe I am looking for too much both in a friendship and in a relationship. But honesty would be nice and maybe in the case of the gentleman getting to know me first before assessing the assets I might have. And it would be nice to find someone I am comfortable being with just as I am.
Apart from that life has gone on with the usual ups and downs. I paid a visit to my daughter and her family down south, had a good time with the grand children, went to see my Grandson become a senior solider in the Salvation Army, went to his presentation of an award for Food Technology at his High School Presentation night. I am very proud of him, he is academic but I think headed for some hands-on career. We also went out to dinner for his 16th birthday. My grand daughter is sweet and we had some talks together. I have enjoyed travelling down to them on buses and trains but it will be so much easier when they come north to within an hours drive of where I live.
For the last couple of days they have been staying here as a family and using my house as a staging post to go up and see the house they will move into in January. That way they have been able to see both new schools, the house they will be living in and the worship centre Shirley will be running. It doesn't make it any easier to move, they have loved living where they are for the past six years and have so many people they will miss when they move. What it does do is make it seem more real I suppose but also in a way is reassuring as the place they are going to is now more known to them. I loved having them here, it is good when there is laughter and happiness around the dining table and through the night the boards creak and let me know part of my family is under my roof again.
Today we had a chain of thunderstorms and plans to do some visiting of the nursing home residents had to be cancelled due to heavy rain. We did need the rain and there are still a couple of days left when I can do the visits. I am beginning to form some kind of relationship with the staff of a home I go to often now, people on the staff recognise me and some even call me by name. It is a tenuous relationship as of course people do come to the end of their life in a nursing home so the relationship with resident and staff has a finite end. This is one of the things I have got use to over the years. I meet people, I get to know them and like them and then they die. But I figure it is better to know a nice person for a short time rather than never having them in my life. As a mature woman I can be a surrogate for daughters, sisters and others who do not visit. It is a sad fact of life that many I get to know really don't have any relatives left and so my visit is welcome. I guess to some people that sounds morbid but it doesn't seem so to me.
My links to the groups I used to belong to with Ray are slowly fading also. If I do drop by I find new people have joined, others I liked have left. I seem to still be in contact with one or two from each group so do at least have that. My relationships change and evolve and I guess I have to be happy with that.