Why am I Blogging at 11pm?

First week of the new job is behind me now, and I feel like I am settling in well. In my personal life, I have been contemplating 2017 goals, but mostly just staying busy. In the past week and a half I have met up with friends at a board game night, met a friend at the zoo, and gone to dinner with some people I haven’t spent time with since the fall. I did all this with my toddler along, and it worked out pretty well. I also went to a local developed hotspring with only the toddler on Superbowl Sunday (I am not a sports fan), and it was really nice to just enjoy hanging with the kiddo. Tomorrow I am taking him snowshoeing with some friends. Then on Sunday I *think* I will be meeting the Backpacker for a hike, sans kiddo. (Update: Yes I am. It’s finally settled.)

Speaking of the Backpacker, he is maybe the most frustrating text communicator I have ever met. Here is the shorthand version of the conversations we have had since our first in-person meeting:

B: I like you. I look forward to getting to know you better.

Me: I like you. Definitely interested in meeting up again. Hike, maybe?

B: Would like that a lot but won’t be able to see your beautiful self until next week. About to head out to the field for work.

Me: Okay. BTW, just got offered the job I interviewed for!

B: That’s great, sweetheart. I’ll have to give you a big hug and kiss next time I see you.

Me:  🙂

*The evening of the day Backpacker said he would be back in town…

B: Just got back. Congrats again on the job

Me: Thanks! Hope to hear more about your trip! Want to go on a hike, now you are back?

B: That sounds lovely

*A day later….

Me: Want to hike on this specific trail on one of these three days?

B: I am interested in a hike. *Shares opinion on location.*

Me: Great! How about location on Sun morning….

B:I like you

Me: 🙂

Me: ….. (Thinking, “was that a yes?”)

I could go on. And it did go on for a while. Backpacker showing enthusiasm but leaving big gaps when it came to actually making plans. It was a lot harder to pin something down than it should have been. But in person he seemed like a really great guy. Hope I agree with that judgement after this next date.

Employment Upgrade

I got a job offer today, and I accepted it. All this school year I have been working as an elementary substitute teacher, and I have started studying for my alt route to certification teaching exams. Everything has been going decently well, though my income as a sub is not quite enough to get by on. In addition, I have felt a little adrift since I stopped pursuing land agency work. My biology degree has felt — not useless, but not well-used. I figured (and still think) education is the right course for me, because I want to have summers and holidays that match my kid’s holidays as he grows up. I want to have time to go on big outdoor adventures, like I used to do for so many years. Teaching public school is a path to that dream. Right now, though, I am taking a detour… I will be working as an education coordinator for a local conservation-type organization. It is year round work, FT, and should enable me to pay my bills, even though the pay is not high. This will give me stability for a few years, give me some work experience that will *hopefully* make me a stand-out candidate for a public school position, and allow me to take my time in choosing what job to jump into next. I will not have that adventuring freedom, but …one step at a time. This job is a blessing. And the people I will be working with seem really nice.

This weekend I am taking my toddler to family day at a local hotspring as celebration of the new job. Between feeling cooped up with winter weather and exploring the world of online dating, I have been distracted in his presence this past couple of months. I realize how much when I do give him moments of full attention and he opens up immediately with smiles and giggles. I don’t want to take this time with him for granted, or to lose sight of how important he is to me. I don’t think I really forget, but when I am struggling to make space in my schedule for a simple coffee date and I talk to a cool new guy who has the freedom to travel and have adventures like I used to do…. It does make me wistful. Though I was there once, looking at the different life paths, and I knew parenting was an adventure I wanted to experience in my lifetime. So — am I wistful? Yes. But I do not at all regret my choices.

Backpacker is in the field until next Tuesday, so I have a little freedom from thinking about guys for a while. I could see his schedule and personal travel plans (frequent as they are) as a bad sign for somebody I am interested in, but I don’t. My ex and I adventured everywhere together for years, just the two of us, and it was lovely and I would never trade in those experiences. But we were so tight that we had nobody else, and I am really enjoying my independence as a divorcee. If Backpacker and I work out, I think some of that independence and breathing space would not be a bad thing. Of course, it is too early to know anything about where this might or might not go.