I think it was around a year ago that Teacher and I pretty much quit trying dating around and have only been seeing each other. It just keeps being a really fun adventure.
Our city/region has a fall chili festival every year and this is the weekend. They block off the major "shopping" street downtown and the farmers set up farm stands and chili roasters and there are tons of booths of various vendors and 4 big tents at some of the major streets for music throughout the day and into the night. We spent the last two afternoons and evenings out among the crowds and finding good music and dancing. We're getting more attuned to each other's dancing styles and have been having just a great time. Of course we see a lot of people we know in the form of former students or parents of students and other acquaintances. Its a great time to visit and laugh and enjoy people.
We had an incident the other night that brought us closer. We decided to go off the festival location to a restaurant for some food. Here is a little detail that is sort of important - she carries her little purse with a shoulder strap and the purse hangs on her right side, so when we walk, she always walks on my left side, whether we are holding hands or her arm is in mine or we are just walking side by side. As we waited for the crosswalk light to change, a homeless man was walking towards us and he started shouting and stomping. That put Teacher to flight and she wheeled and was ready to bolt. I quickly grabbed her left hand and just pulled her out into the street and we started crossing against the light. Fortunately, the light changed when we were halfway across and we ended up on the other side and then looked back to see that guy headed down the street raving at something only he could see.
After we sort of caught our breath, Teacher said, "Thanks for protecting me. I don't remember the last time someone saved me." That made me pause and I said something like, "Well, I was just getting us out of a weird situation." Later we talked quite a bit about how she really appreciates that I treat her well and how it reminds her of a story my Austrian daughter-in-law told about my son making sure that he always walks nearest to the traffic when they walk down the street. I guess my sons saw me treat their mother in the same way - not over protective, just making sure that she was safe - and they do the same thing. Teacher also said that she is just realizing that for the first time in over a decade, she trusts who she is with. That makes me feel really good. I told her that she just keeps giving me more reasons to smile.
She also said she had to tell me something. A man she dated occasionally 5 or 6 years ago has been contacting her and trying to get something going with her. She kept politely putting him off but finally called him and told him that she was with someone really nice and just wanted to continue with me and "see where this journey goes." She then reminded him of the reasons they quit dating and how she felt that he treated her less than respectfully. Right there she gave me another reason to smile.
After I uncovered my XW's infidelity and up to and through the attempted reconciliation and divorce and recovery, I spent a lot of time journal writing as I tried to process the upending of my life. It just became a habit. I've continued to write as I sold the family home and ultimately moved into my new home, but not as much. This month I got my writing desk set up in my new home and as I unpacked some boxes of writing stuff, I went through a couple of old journals and read some of my thoughts as I went from being in infidelity into freedom. I've been writing more since I set up the desk.
As I looked back at the older journals as well as look at some of the things I've been writing lately, a common theme is to just live life being kind. I worried a bit that "protecting" the people that are important to me might be considered overbearing by some, but then I realized that being kind can be protecting, chivalrous, funny, loving and helpful as well as just being a good way to live life.
I think I'll keep doing that.
[This message edited by countrydirt at 5:17 PM, Sunday, September 25th]