Life never stands still. You can hug a moment all you want to but it’s going to pass.

Most of the time people talk about things they’d like to be done with. All this rain. Homework. Stuff like that.

But sometimes we have to let go of things we’d prefer to cling to with dear life, that is if we’re being honest.

Letting go of something you never really had is an interesting one. It takes time, because it’s really just an idea you had in your head, anyway,  and you never did get to scratch that itch.

Dating, I’ve had to let go of the idea of a few people that I wanted to go out with because it just never materialized. I’ve been around the block a few times so I know how it goes.

For a few weeks I maintain some kind of vague hope that maybe things will line up. Deep down I know the ducks aren’t going to straighten out, but there’s still a little hope.

Then at some point I know for absolute certain. Not gonna happen.

Then there’s nothing left really but to just keep swimming.

Only it doesn’t work like that for me. I swim just fine, but there’s bits of algae and some little sucker fish stuck to me.

I’m a little weighed down for a bit.

The most recent person that I let myself get excited about has delivered a hard no and I am thoroughly convinced that no means no.  Even though there is the tiniest ray of light still getting in, there’s no mistaking the complete letting go that is being asked of me.

I could go through the reasons why this particular letting go is even a thing but the most important thing to know is  – I’m a hard fit. I wasn’t always this difficult, but I’m practically undatable at this point.

The six dogs and a pig and the goofy house and the being 55 but having the sensibilities of a kid, only I’m uber responsible,  and the fact that I go deep with intimacy but also retain a very large need to be on my own for vast amounts of time…it’s just a tricky little package.

So when I can actually see a person working, when I can actually see that person in my life without getting covered in hives – it’s a big deal.

When I have to let go, the way I have to let go, because I’m me, is very slowly.

If I expected myself to slam the door shut, without so much as another thought, I’d be asking too much of me.

I mean I have asked that of myself, but it isn’t my process to turn on a dime, so I’ve learned to give me a big hug and let it all just run it’s course.

What’s going on now is that he’s in my head.

When I read something or listen to something or do something, I want to tell him about it. So I do.

It isn’t the most graceful exit, but it’s how I say goodbye.

My Maria self is processing all the things I’d like to do with him but won’t be. I’m not sad or particularly dejected. That was maybe a week or two ago. Now I just have a head full of him.

I’m not the least bit delusional and there is no reason or purpose to it. I’m not holding out any hope or promise.

It’s just that some things aren’t quite dead yet.

But they will be.

The spark I felt is already fading. I’m a sane person, and if a spark isn’t fed, eventually it burns out.

I used to be able to keep even the tiniest spark alive inside my heart longer than Hannukah. One drop of oil could get me through months and months of longing and desire. I channeled little miracles of hope. For-effin-ever.

But I’m old and I’ve condensed the whole thing and now it’s just a little while. And once the spark goes out, it’s over and done with.

I no longer carry flames. Or torches. Or live in the land of make believe.

One thing I’ve gotten very good at is letting something I want but can’t have give me a little lift. I use it as a motivator.

In this case, I had a quick and profound sense of all the things I’d like to do with this person.

So guess, what? I’m doing them myself with even more gusto.

My fiddle playing is really taking off.

And I’m becoming a morning person again.

I already was a pretty big hiker, but now the ground and the trees and the mud and the sky are even more beautiful and compelling.

I complained to him that my dogs wake me up a little earlier than I’d like to wake up in the morning and he said that it was good for me.

So now I tell myself at the butt crack of dawn, “This is good for me.” And poof, my attitude has changed. I kiss my dogs and get myself up. And I have Jeff to thank for that.

Part of me can feel a little silly that things are still popping into my head that I want to tell him. I mean it’s not like I don’t know that the Jeff part of my brain has been removed. I’m having phantom thoughts that just happen. It’s not my fault, I swear!

I might have struggled with myself over this in the past. I might have sat on every urge to reach out, or maybe sublimated with too much pizza.

But now I’m a buddha.

I refuse to struggle against anything or anyone.

I let it all wash over me, I get plenty wet and I have complete faith that it’s only a moment in time.

All the moments are the same. They come and they go and each little idea or feeling or hunch or impulse is going to pass.

So for me, now, letting go is a process that I respect. I don’t hurry and I I don’t rush. I’ll get there.

I savor the tapering off as much as the jumping in.

I cherish all the energy and new direction that every little crush, every small dream, every snapshot into the future provides.

I read something recently that said that your crushes are really gifts that remind you of what’s possible. They tell you how you want to feel.

I’ve said this to my kids when they’ve had their sweet hearts injured, and it’s something I truly  believe. Sometimes when you mourn the loss of someone, especially someone who you never really got with, what you are mourning is yourself. You are mourning the part of you that this person touched.

This person touched a part of you that needed waking up. It reminded you of something inside you that you forgot existed.

The secret to not feeling bad is, you don’t have to let that go.

You can be happy that you remembered to feel certain things or that you suddenly found yourself more optimistic and full of energy than you’ve been in ages.

The sun is shining, I’m up because my dogs sat on my face, and yesterday I learned two fiddle songs.

The Elk River Blues, June Apple and Adeline the Baker – you’re mine forever.