catching up

11 weeks. that’s how long I’ve been in Tucson. it feels like longer, but maybe that’s because before I got here, I had been moving every few days for 13 weeks. and really those 13 weeks felt like forever. I keep acting like I lived in the trailer for months and months. we did cram a lot into a short amount of time. and I wasn’t ready for it to be over. I keep hoping it’s just on pause. I mean, I guess it is on pause, til I figure some things out. speaking of, I miss that sexy silver traveling home of mine. she just got a lot of [free] warranty repairs done by the kind, albeit slow, folks down at Lazydays. and now she’s parked in a lovely spot at my friend’s Dog Days Ranch patiently waiting for my weekend visits.

really should have had them swap the spare tire back out, the rim isn’t as purty and shiny

so why am I no longer on the road, or living in the trailer you might ask? well, that’s a much longer and more complicated story than the answer I’m about to give, but basically, I needed to make some money. who doesn’t right? well, a lucky few I suppose. my whole just-work-tax-season plan didn’t pan out because I was sick and holed up at Judy’s house the beginning of January when I should have been securing a seasonal position. beauty from ashes though: a friend who was trying to help me land a CPA gig actually had a full time position open on her team and voila, here I am training for what will eventually be an entirely work-from-home role on an accounting-ish team. could that sound any more vague?? well no one actually cares what my job is so no point in trying to explain it. it pays money, will provide healthcare in another month, and can be done from absolutely anywhere (with internet) by mid summer.

all good things right? yes, of course! yet still so many unknowns. now I’ve strewn out my belongings between the original Charlotte storage unit (entire townhouse worth of furniture etc.), a Portland storage unit (don’t even remember what’s left there besides my amazing painting from South Africa!), the trailer now out at the ranch, and the condo I’m renting month to month from a friend near my not-for-long office. for a girl who’s been trying to travel light I still have entirely too much stuff that I apparently don’t need or use that I’m paying good money to never see. hence I really want to make it a goal to have a more permanent home for me (and at least most of my stuff) by the end of 2017.

the big question of course is where?

potential locations include:

  1. southern homecoming to Charlotte
  2. family bonding in Cincinnati
  3. sweating it out here in Tucson
  4. braving the cold in Bend
  5. daring greatly on Maui

and that’s just a short list. the possibilities are endless. well, I need to stay within a few hours of the west coast time zone to avoid a really bizarre work day schedule. realistically limited to the western hemisphere. a lot to consider though (cost of living. good thing I have lots of long ironman workouts coming up during which I can mull over my options.

and hey, I’m single (again), so I can be pretty selfish. or is my selfishness why I’m single?

hmm… we’ll leave that to another day. time to ride my bike in the desert with a new friend!

 

 

My new dating pre-screening questionnaire

You don’t get to be 38 and single without a few good (or not so good) dating stories, am I right? I’ve had my share of Jerry Springer episode moments and it’s just about led me to quitting altogether. But I do happen to have a few friends/family members with excellent spouses and good marriages so all hope is not lost quite yet. After a particularly eye opening experience recently I went for a good hard run and my creative juices got flowing and this little nugget was born.

This is really just a mental checklist as I’m getting to know someone, not an actual conversation specifically, but who knows, maybe one day it will come to that. It might seem blunt, but here’s to keeping it real.

Connection: How did we meet? Mutual friends? Hobbies? Employer?

Red flags include online/dating apps, no mutual friends or hobbies, co-worker status.

Background:

Employment: Are you employed? How long have you been employed? Have you ever been terminated? Do you have large gaps in your employment?

Red flags include prolonged lack of employment, termination for cause.

Education: Have you completed a post-high-school program? How long did it take you? Did you attend multiple colleges?

Red flags include failure to complete programs started, mid-program switching.

Family: Living relatives? Parents divorced? Previous marriage? Children? Want to marry and/or have children?

Red flags include weak/non-existent family relationships, divorce for adultery or physical violence, no custody/visitation rights, not keen on marriage.

Friends: Do you have them? Can I meet them? Are they married/single/dating?

Red flags for none, secret, all single.

Spirituality – Were you raised in church? Do you attend church regularly? What type/style/brand?

Red flags for lack of moral compass, acceptance, forgiveness, joy, family values.

Finances – Do you have a plan? An advisor?  Have you ever declared bankruptcy? Do you pay taxes? Do you give money to others (charities, not your mooching friends)? Do you talk about money a lot? Do you expect women owe you something because you bought them [fill in the blank]?

Red flags for stability, intelligence, misaligned priorities, chivalry or lack thereof, manipulation, generosity.

Other:

Were/are you in the military or law enforcement? For how long? If left, why? Serve overseas? Active combat?

Red flags for oh so many things.

Have you ever been in a fight – knife, gun, hand to hand combat? Have you been wounded or inflicted wounds requiring medical treatment.

Red flags for violence, PTSD, anger management.

Do you own guns? Conceal carry? Hunt? Maintain gun skills regularly?

Red flags for extreme views, mental instability, unsafe practices.

Hobbies:

Travel – Do you have a passport? Have you left the country? Other than to tropical islands?

Red flags for lack of cultural perspective/world view.

Sports – Team or individual? Competitive or recreational? Obsessed or easy going? Extreme or mainstream? Financial commitment within your means?

Red flags for egomania, inappropriate spending, adultery, strava obsessing, or cross-fitting (sorry friends, personal preference).

Social habits – Do you drink, frequent bars, use recreational or performance enhancing drugs? Are you a foodie? Do you stay home all the time?

Red flags for alcoholism, drugs (obvi), excessive instagram posts, possible hermit/loner.

Living arrangement – Have you ever owned a home? Do you currently? Is it on wheels/water? Is there a housemate? Pets? Is it clean? Does it smell?

Red flags for commitment, responsibility, independence, hygiene.

 

Bonus categories:

Do you have any interesting or unique talents, interests, hobbies?

Extra points for travel, boating, cycling, vegan cooking, foreign languages.

 

End note:

Some of these may seem obvious, some extreme, some not your style. That’s okay. Like I said, it’s born from my experience and my expectations. If you’re reading this and you’ve dated me, don’t try to find yourself in there, or do, personal development is good. Lord knows I need it too! And of course some of my comments are tongue in cheek, no hate mail please.