Fifty-One : Our Job Is To Not Make Love Work So Hard

Today is going to be a bit casual, I so intend it. I do have some work to attend to, but it will not be intense. There will be time enough for that.

I finished my run before 9 a.m. this morning and the temperature in the shade had hit 80 degrees already. It was the same on Wednesday morning. Though tired from my forced-march schedule, it was good to get out and feel the heat and the sun.

I run about three miles, three times a week, averaging about 25 or 26 minutes a run. It is not so fast as to run my legs into the ground, but fast enough to make me sweat and to breathe deeply. The first part of the run is all uphill, as is most of the first half of the run. The last part returns me home, completing a circle, and is mostly downhill where I can pick up some speed and get that deep breathing in (though I do pant pretty good on the uphill section). I have a number of courses that I use, all in a circle of some kind, and all about one and a half to six miles. Mostly I stick to the three-mile course.

I am actually feeling pretty good. My health seems fine, I’m not overweight (at 6′ 2″ and 195 pounds, I’ve been told I’m too thin), my heart rate is good, as is my blood pressure. My only real physical concerns are about my cholesterol and my skin.

For the last few years I’ve had problems with my cholesterol. I don’t want to be on statin drugs, so I’ve been trying to control it with exercise, diet and the use of vitamins and minerals. I think the real issue is stress when it comes to cholesterol, though I don’t really know. I presume that stress just goes into the manufacture of cholesterol. In any case, I don’t have any other risk markers in conjunction with my cholesterol, so I’m not especially panicked, just watchful.

My other concern is my skin. I’m fair skinned and was severely sunburned when I was 14. I’ve had a half dozen basal cell carcinomas removed, but so far it is nothing more serious than needing to pay attention. On the surface of it, I seem to be fine. I don’t deliberately go into the sun for color, but get enough from running and working outdoors that I seem to have some color without inviting damage.

So, between running and working out ever so briefly with light hand weights, along with yard work (including wielding gas-powered machinery for trimming, etc.), diet, vitamins and minerals, my physical body is doing about as well as could be expected.

All right, so I’m running and thinking about my health, my life, my relationships, my career, and I’m wondering how are all of these things supposed to come together in a new way–especially with a woman?

With few exceptions, the longest period being about a year, I’ve had a woman in my life since the time I was about 16. I like them and have much preferred the presence of a woman than hanging out with men. Men have their place (oh brother), and I do like the male stand-offishness version of intimacy, but there are so many more possibilities in the presence of a woman than that afforded by being around males (I’m cracking myself up here–again).

So I’m now better than two months without someone to talk with regularly (and you can bet it wasn’t going so well before that, dating back to my mother’s death). I truly miss that. I love commiserating, I love going places, I love the touching, I love the shared experiences, I love so much that comes with having a woman present. Whether it is real, personal, or cultural learning, it seems as though the older one gets, the less likely is the possibility to find that magical combination of intimacy, passion, and commitment. Okay, so I’ve not found it when I was younger–actually it didn’t work out, but at least I was in the presence of the possibility. It’s a little like the lotto, the odds of winning might be astronomical, but they go up dramatically from zero if you just buy one ticket.

I guess I’m going to have to get out more. For whatever reason (maybe that’s been the problem), I’ve done all my work on relationships once I was in them. With the exception of my initial relationship 38 years ago with my first love, somehow, relationships have just seemed to find me. For some reason, that seems like a poor strategy at this point (not that it was a strategy before). Though I’ve had four dates (if that’s what they were), there has been zero chemistry (and I’m not talking just pheromones). So, there have been no possibilities and I found myself feeling a bit lost about it all during my run. Certainly I’ve been here before while I’ve been writing this, but it has returned this time with a little deeper and calmer twist. I know I won’t die from it, and if I spend the rest of my life alone, I’ll not be alone. But I do want to have a woman/lover/friend in my life.

The fact of the matter is that I’ve been processing the past, both long- and short-term, and I feel pretty clean about it all. I’m not hanging onto anything as near as I can tell, there are no possibilities in what has been, it will be starting anew and that means all the phases that come with that territory. But that’s where I’m at and that’s where I want to go.

No, I can’t go and round up the usual places or the usual faces. So, I guess that means I’ll have to get out of my usual pattern of work and home, but I will still have to trust to the “fates” in one degree or the other.

Kahlil Gibran said that when you are worthy, love finds you. I guess my job is to not make love have to work so hard–the rest I’ll have to relax and leave alone.

One way or the other, I keep finding challenges. I’m very unclear how anyone could ever be bored–there is just no such thing. And in that knowledge, I guess it is clear that gifts abound.

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