This weekend proved to be a bit cathartic for me, though I’m still working on sloughing off past hurts and self-doubt. I know I have a long way to go, but any progress is better than none, right?

I celebrated another birthday on Friday. The day started off on a downbeat, though. I’d like to think it was just exhaustion, but that’s probably not all it was. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of sadness, and all I wanted to do for the first couple hours at work was cry. A few people around the office wished me a happy birthday, and that always brought a smile to my face. Then my best friend did a fine job of banishing my blues with a bright and fun bagful of birthday goodies. I still have to upload photos, so perhaps I’ll edit this post a bit later to add them. The bag itself looked like it was knitted, with a pretty butterfly in the center. And while all the gifts were fun and thoughtful, it was the soft & floppy monkey that immediately became my favorite. He looks like a white-cheeked gibbon, with a pale face and gangly arms and legs. The hands join with velcro, so he makes a really nice necklace. 😉

I only worked a half-day so that I could relax and enjoy my birthday, even if it was by myself. And I did enjoy the afternoon, sitting & knitting. The rain that came through didn’t dampen my spirits at all. I was content. A friend met me for dinner, and she treated me. Then we both went to a scrapbooking crop for the rest of the evening. I filled the remaining pages in my adventures album (volume two).  I started this series to showcase the various adventures I’ve had beginning in 2009. After the death of my beloved Aussie, Dixie, in March 2009, I have taken many opportunities to venture out and travel, much more than I had in a very long time. After twenty years as a dog owner, this was a new freedom for me. Granted, my dogs have brought me immeasurable joy over the years with their unconditional love, and I look forward to finding a new furry friend in the not-too-distant future, but for now I am taking advantage of the opportunity to come and go as I please.

I have ordered my next album, but I won’t be waiting for it to continue my adventures! There are lots of plans on my calendar to see and do and photograph! Saturday morning was quite an adventure as I sat in the biting cold wind at a soccer game. My scrapping friend had invited me, and I’m sure she was glad that I was snapping away through all the action on the field while her hands were snug and warm underneath the blanket we were sharing. I had another photography session in the afternoon, this time out in Springfield, Ohio. My son and his girlfriend will be celebrating six months of dating later this week, so I offered to take photographs of the two of them around campus to compile a collage that each can keep. They’ll be separated over the summer, though I’m sure they’ll talk/text frequently, and they’ll probably spend time visiting as work permits.

Sunday was the challenging day for me. A test of faith in some respects, and a turning point for me on a number of levels. I will do my best to hold true to my “if you can’t say anything nice…” while still explaining the chain of events….

Flashback: July 31, 2009 – A few weeks shy of three years into what I thought was a wonderful relationship, the man I loved and hoped to one day marry announced that our romantic relationship was over. He had determined that he couldn’t see us being married, so there was no reason to continue as boyfriend & girlfriend. He said he wanted to keep the friendship aspect of our relationship, as that was important to him. His actions certainly belie that statement, from that day forward. And he has had innumerable opportunities to redeem himself on this count, as we see each other as much as twice a week since we both play guitar and sing in our church choir.

Return to present day – Sunday morning we exchanged “hello’s,” but literally that was the only thing either of us said. At no point did he make mention of my birthday, and this hurt me very much. And to add insult to injury (oh so literally), he had brought his new girlfriend to church that day. It’s good that he made no attempt to introduce her, but really, that’s no reason to give him credit or anything, at least from my viewpoint.

I vented to friends, a couple we have both known for a number of years. They consoled me and encouraged me, and their words were precisely what I needed to help me heal. For too long I have been tearing open the scabs of these hurts, wishing to return to happier times and find the point in our journey where he stopped walking with me. But it’s time for me to acknowledge that he has time and again demonstrated that he is no longer the man I fell in love with. He has changed, and not for the better (my friends’ words). Have faith, Ann, they told me. And in time I will find a man who’s worthy of me, who will appreciate the gifts I have to offer, and with whom I can share my life in joy, peace, happiness and love.

So with that wake-up call, I am stepping away from that closed door and looking to the future. I have adventures planned, and I know that God has so many more wonderful adventures planned for me, and so I press on.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:18-21

Knit on.