Letter to Natasha/Michelle, Feb 14, 2005:
Whew! I finally get a few minutes to write you a blurb. Parts of this note have been sitting in my drafts folder for weeks now. Work has been retarded since the beginning of January; I'm making a concerted effort to slack off today. So, like what's new? I have some new things to report, I guess, even though I feel like I've been a shut-in since Christmas.
Where to start? Between work, training (gym 3x/wk with seven other teammates; running ~50km/wk), volunteering on my two bike clubs (Sec/Treas for racing team, Synergy and webmaster for CBTL, umbrella organization that maintains and organizes race schedule at Glenmore Velodrome -- I'm building a registration system for them right now in an attempt to get people to register online this spring, so my work window is getting smaller and smaller! http://www.cbtl.ca), and trying to have the appearance of a sociable human being, I've been finding the days pass pretty quickly!
Joe and I have been going through some rough times again as of late -- I've been torn between getting out for both of our sakes, or continuing to try and work, adjust, change as the relationship matures. I have issues with anger and frustration management that always seem to be vented on Joe - I'm tired of hurting him in this cyclical pattern that I seem to be in. I've recommended couples counselling for us -- if he's not on board, I probably won't stick around because we'll just be falling back into the same old patterns -- *sigh*. Why is loving someone so much work? Actually part of the reason I want to give us another chance is because I have found being with Joe to take very little effort most of the time. We're both very laid back and accommodating, so it hasn't been all that bad in retrospect. But I feel our paths are further diverging, and as we mature and grow, I've found that things I didn't deem important in the early days of our relationship are becoming more important, and things I thought important in the past not so much so anymore. I know that I'm waiting around in the hope that Joe evolves into something I want him to be at some future point in time, and that's not fair to either of us. People change -- I'm a firm believer that true, infinite, enduring love is only a pipe dream conjured up by Hallmark and DeBeers. In reality I'm starting to learn that as people in a relationship change, they find being with each other easy sometimes and difficult at other times, but they're in it for the long haul, so suck it up!!! Some people are meant to have several special people in their lives as they change and grow and mature.
I also realize that Joe is my FIRST long-term relationship EVER and I've been on a steep learning curve over the past four years. I sometimes feel I have the naivety of a teenager since I'm so inexperienced in these relationship thingies, and I'm starting to think that I should allow myself the chance to see what else is out there, now that I finally have a benchmark to compare future relationships to. Whether what I have with Joe is fortunate, standard, or unfortunate is left to be seen, however I'll never know unless I take the risk and gamble. I may win, I may lose, however I don't offer myself the opportunity if I don't get into the game.
So, I go through these desertion phases every six months or so, acting like an asshole to Joe, and screaming to get out, and then I realize that, firstly, there's no huge hurry, and secondly, my life is pretty good where it is right now. Shit, life is complicated. I feel like I'm so wishy-washy by not acting on my feelings, but it's obvious that something's got to change.
Anyhoo, on to more fun topics. I'm heading back south at the beginning of April for another bike camp/training week with seven other people to Tucson, Arizona. The trip was so incredible last year that four of the five that went last year are going again this year (and the fifth's not going simply because of work obligations). This year we're staying at one of the guy's parents' timeshare condo south of the city somewhere (apparently a very nice golf resort --- we'll have a pool and everything!), so accommodations will be a little nicer than the apartment hotel we stayed in last year and hopefully a little cheaper with 7 people sharing the expenses. I'm heading down April 1-10, and I'm so anxious to go -- it feels like forever since I've had a relaxing holiday! Technically my last 'vacation' was last summer when Joe and I to Toronto for a booze-soaked week of partying and Madonna-watching in July. The fall was full of Grandma-death, and Christmas was just a flurry of partying mixed in with work days. For other vacation time this year, I'm hoping to take some days to get to Road Nationals in Kamloops to compete in some of the events the last week of June, and taking a week for the World Master's Games in Edmonton the last week in July. Joe and I are planning a trip to the East Coast in September or October (hopefully with a layover in Montreal for the Black & Blue weekend!), but I'm not sure where that's heading with the state of affairs right now.
So, what about all that racing, you're asking? Well, I've gone a little mental over the past month. I've ordered a new road bike (first pic) and a new aero/disc wheelset through a bikeshop in town and also a new track bike (frame in second pic) through a shop in Cochrane. I've gotten pretty good deals on everything, and hopefully that's the end of the purchasing barrage for a few years (if I don't get hit by a car again in the near future). So, the road bike and wheelset are getting mostly covered from my insurance claim settlement, and I'm hoping to buy the track bike with our annual performance bonus coming at the end of February, plus some money I've been saving up since last summer (intended originally for laser eye surgery, but maybe we'll try for that again next year???). The entire process is probably going to be costing in the area of $8500. I get sick thinking about the cost, however I'll be getting a bike hard-on as soon as they arrive and I forget about the money aspect!!!! ;-) I figure, hey, some people easily spend that much in a year on their f****ing cars, so I can waste the money I didn't waste on a car on a couple of bikes!!! Twisted logic, I know, but it gets me through the day.
Did I tell you at Xmas that I'm going to be an uncle? Owen and Chloe told the family over the holidays. They are expecting in early July, so that's added a lot of excitement to the family dynamic! Mom is ecstatic -- her first grandkid! I'm pretty psyched to be a spoiling uncle too!
Joe and I also got a new cat in September. His name is Bandit, and him and Gizmo have grown quite fond of each other. He's super cute and WAY more extroverted than Gizmo -- we think he's a dog trapped in the body of a cat. They're sort of ying and yang in many ways, like Joe and I....I have tons of pics - I should send you a couple.
Mom and Dad are down in Texas with Uncle Irwin & Auntie Mary and Raymond and Laura McQuarrie for the rest of the month...I've only heard from them once so far. They're sure busy and have already done a ton of things. Owen and Chloe came through Calgary yesterday en route from a weekend getaway in Canmore. We were supposed to go out for dinner after my meetings, however the weather was so bad they decided to hightail it back to Red Deer before things got worse.
Anyhoo, that's about all from here. I'll be in touch soon.