I described myself as a new version (7.0) near the beginning of 2017, as the new version of myself was launched in February when I became a solo agent after 20 years of a relationship/marriage. The feelings associated with that particular goodbye are deep and profound, and, now - after four months - are still roiling and tumultuous. Toss in a few other factors, like my son heading off to college and my daughter leaving for a year-long exchange, and I'm thinking I'm doing pretty well simply not curling into a ball and shutting out the world.
I know how weak that sounds, but hey, I never laid claim to any strength titles. My now ex-wife is far tougher than I ever was or will be. The change in our lives seems to have affected her a lot less than me, but that could just be my perception. Who knows, maybe she cries herself to sleep at night. But, after living with her for more than twenty years, I don't think so; she's tough, resilient and optimistic - and still my friend.
I've more recently upgraded to version 7.1 in April when I moved to a new city and started paying rent for the first time in twenty-five years. That part of my transition has been relatively good. It's a nice condo, small enough that I can maintain it easily (I don't plan to be there a lot) yet has room for my kids to visit when they choose. They both do regularly, since I have faster Internet than at the old homestead. But, soon Spencer will be off on his own adventures at university, as will Mikaela abroad. I'll still see Spence on the occasional weekend and holiday, and Mikaela will be back for a couple more years of high school in 2018, but beginning in August and continuing until then, it's going to be pretty stinkin' quiet.
My coping mechanism has always been getting out on trails. First it was mostly with friends, but since the divorce, I discovered that if I didn't initiate contact, I heard nothing but crickets. Huh. So you know I've said goodbye to my marriage and my house and you don't think to invite me out for a beer? That speaks volumes, "friend". I've distanced myself from that group of people (since reclassified as "running buddies"), both physically and emotionally, and now am working to finding the balance I need to accept myself as a solo agent. Obviously a work in progress, but I think I have moved along a bit. Planning to be alone the rest of my life is scary - especially at night when the demons scratch at the window, but I am working to overcome the fear. At least I don't have to worry about finances, as I have a good job, my future retirement is secure, and the kids' college educations are banked. My only "worries" are social, and how to occupy my time so the demons stay away. I am able to run still, but as I push double nickels this year, I am reminded that I am not a young buck anymore. The end of my trail running career is visible, and I need something to do. I have some ideas to fill the void though. More on that another time.