It was a long time comin’, the break up I mean. We were together 16 years…    wonderful, adventurous, youthful, happy, miserable, exciting, dull, intimate,  frustrating, entertaining and distant years. We both knew that our differences would catch up with us one day but wanted to enjoy each other for as long as we would/could and then move on. I don’t believe anyone else understood that about us but I certainly did and I believe he did too, especially in that last couple of years we had.

At first, our differences were wonderful opportunities to explore another  thought process, or another perspective, or another way of living. I always  bought groceries for the whole week at once because time was precious to me  as a single mother of two. The kids always had something planned and I  wanted to be in the middle of whatever they were doing. He, on the other hand,  carried forth the European custom of going to the store every day to purchase  everything fresh. Once I adjusted to this concept, I was cool with it. It took a  great deal of heat off me to plan meals. I was tired of planning and cooking  anyway so this gave him the chance to do it “his way” which made us both  happy. That was one of those things that was different that I came to like.

The fact that he was Jewish didn’t interfere at all with my Christian beliefs  inasmuch as Judaism is the foundation of my faith. I enjoyed those early years  when he would read Hebrew to me and give me an impromptu translations  extremely similar to the verses taught in King James. But, I think it was the  fact that “faith” in something “outside the box” is a greater value in Christianity because you have to “believe”  in the virgin birth,  Christ as the Son of God, not to mention raising the dead, numerous miracles and, of course, the ascension. My understanding of  Reform Judaism doesn’t “require” their followers to “believe” in anything as remarkable (except maybe the parting of  the proverbial waters, which, if not  believed, doesn’t leave your whole religious convictions in a pile of ashes like it  would in Christianity).

My small town family farm upbringing in Sandy Springs, GA didn’t really seem  to be all that big a difference until the rubber met the road about 6 years ago.  His big city upbringing in Europe placed numerous colors on his persona  pallet including loving the “confusion” of smells, noises, activities  and bustle which are intrinsic in larger communities.

He took his “father of the family” role very seriously… too seriously to my way  of thinking. There comes a time when everyone is grown up. You allow them to  be grown up and to take the hits and tumbles that life deals out so they grow so  they’re strong adults. Blame the farm, if you will, but it’s life and anything  short of  this will make them delusional about their own futures.

I was always a writer, artist, thinker of fanciful thoughts and dreamer.  However, I was able to bring forth that “other side” of my brain to live in his  world of law long enough to support my family with the lifelong dream of  retiring early so I could do what I’m doing now… traveling, writing, creating  and any damn thing I wanna’ do when I wanna’ do it. As a very good litigation  lawyer, you’re cynical by nature and only believe in what one can see, taste,  touch or prove by scientific evidence. Vive le difference!

I believe that the DNA marker for creative energy brings along with it  wonderful gifts from God including telepathic communication, a “sense” of  things (I’ve got a “feeling”), as well as an umbilicus-like  connection with  those I love that can keep me up all night if they’re in distress or dancing all  day when they’re ecstatic. Some would call this Bi-polar  behavior but that’s  because “they’ve” been taught to think anything outside the  “box” is unnatural,  scary, treatable… or not, ; I’ve been known to lift up the “box” just to see  what’s under, beside, on top as well as inside it!

Now, to the point of my ranting. A couple of weeks ago, I saw my “ex” and he  asked if I was dating. I gave him that “Victrola dog” cocked-head look and  asked why he wanted to know. He proceeded to tell me he’d seen one of my  blogs about Ava’s fund-raiser and wondered if “Randy” was someone I was  dating. Frankly, I couldn’t remember a “Randy” and later had to go back to my  blog to figure it all out. Quickly shaking off his slant to the question, I told him, “Yes! I’m happily dating… MYSELF.”

Me enjoying dinner at Lucille's in Vegas - my first date with ME!

And it’s true. I’m thoroughly enjoying taking myself on long walks by the river  every evening, dining out, traveling, staying up late crying over a love story  gone sad,  watching anything on TV or not, sleeping in or not, working  outside keeping up my 7 acres or not. It’s liberating as hell not answering to  anyone about what you’ve done with your day.

Being raised by my father on that family farm made everyone accountable to  him for everything, every minute of every day. So did my work as a title  insurance underwriter or as administrator of a law firm or as a paralegal.  Creative people are not built to withstand such long periods of time with that  extreme  structure. Yes, education is different for us. We can handle that form  of  discipline as we love learning especially about our passions. We’ll get down  right reclusive when engrossed in our passions.

Some call it mania. I call it normal.

I signed up with Netflix for a free month after being introduced to it at Ava’s  this past trip. I love all creative energy that produces good thought-provoking,  healthy understanding of people, places or things. Movies with good casting,  script writing, character development, directing and filming about real people  are the joy of my evenings now that I have them at my fingertips.  “Nicholas and Alexandra” was the first biopic I fell totally in love with. It’s that  BBC accuracy and authenticity that “sends” me.

Well, this past week, I’ve taken myself to the movies every night. I’m still not  very comfortable with taking me on a dat to the theatre so I watched them in  my own living room. This week I’ve fallen in love with “Modigliani” (early  modernistic painter), “Amadeus” (Mozart),  “Pollock” (1940’s era modernistic  painter), “Frida” (early  modernistic painter), “Mrs. Brown” (Queen Victoria’s  years after Alfred’s  death), “Secretariat” (the horse that “couldn’t” but did), “The Soloist” (true story  of a genius cellist) and so many more.

These  movies gave me insight into my own sensitive, creative self I probably wouldn’t have gotten if I hadn’t taken the time to take me on those movie dates. It also helped me sort out a few other things about my own kids and life without the arts.

Both of my VERY creative, sensitive children suffered from not having more art early on in their lives… Carl’s painting and Ava’s music. It’s a retrospective view of my own life and that of my kids’ superimposed over these biographies which lend a new perspective of the importance  of creative energy in the world and how it helps to keep our equilibrium in the  midst of world insanity. I’d have to say my “ex” (or most men for that matter) would never watch and enjoy these movies which would, in effect, keep me from my next revelation: ONLY THROUGH DATING  MYSELF CAN I FIND MYSELF AGAIN AFTER BEING BURIED IN ALL THE  RUBBLE OF MY YESTERDAYS TO HELP CREATE A NEW TOMORROW FOR MYSELF AND THOSE I LOVE.

Ava performing her Junior Recital 12/10

My daughter, Ava (the opera singer), got me to thinking about this whole  concept when she said that Sarah Palin wanted to cut out funding for the arts.  The latest insanity comes from Michelle Bachman on this same line. What’s  wrong with these people? If they’re so “Reagonistic”, don’t they realize being  an actor is part of the arts?

The question then becomes, “What value do the arts  (writing, painting, sculpting,  singing, music composition, et al) bring to our  world?”

My conclusion is: “EVERYTHING!”

If we don’t have Mozart, our brains don’t  get smarter (right?). If we don’t have paintings, we don’t work that side of our  brain to enjoy being outside the “box” hence we don’t invent new ways of doing  things. If we don’t have sculptures, what adorns our cities? If we don’t have  ALL of the ARTS available to our sensitive, creative children they die a slow, painful death. How do I know? You’ll have to read my book when it comes out.

Ava and Carl in her swimming pool 1978

Europe has had, at least, part of “it” right in that it has centuries of history in  supporting the arts as a whole. The church screwed it up but the  Impressionists broke through that barrier and dared to be artists outside the  church’s realm. They weren’t  rich like the artists who did stay within the  “double yellows” of life but the ones who broke free were truly liberated enough  to explore their own genius. Take  Van Gogh. He suffered terribly, as most  artists who were driven to be true to themselves. Thank God he lived in an  environment not  totally alien to his genius and for his brother’s love and  support of him.

I truly believe we must stop dropping important areas of growth and  development of our children in the name of economy. We’ll have an abundance  of dysfunctional people living on the streets because they have no venue within  which to express their own genius. Not everyone is created equal. Some of us  are created “outside the box”.

So, my children, lend me your ears… from the woman who thought love could  conquer all, I lied. From the woman who thought differences only made the  relationship richer, I lied. From the woman who still embraces everyone to be  true to themselves, I celebrate. From the woman who is excited to be dating  herself at 63 in an effort to continue to understand the inner workings of herself, I  celebrate and recommend it at any age.

Since my “decoupling”, I must say I’m quite happy. People are telling me how  much happier I look, think and feel. It’s true. I’m very happily dating myself  and exploring my next great adventure… myself. Would I “do” the 16 years all  over again? You betcha’ I would. I wouldn’t take all those learning  opportunities away for nothing in the world.

I’m just sayin’.

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