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A few random notes about interactions with W over the last week...
For Halloween I went over to trick or treat with the kids and W at the house (remote area, with about 100 houses in a community). I had a great time with the kids, and there was zero awkwardness with W (meaning, we were in full parenting mode, no R talk). I'm glad I went to enjoy the night with the kids.
W dropped them off the next night at my house for the weekend. She was telling me about S7 having some behavioral problems during the week, but almost lecturing him within earshot so we are all "on the same page." I wanted to say "I think it would be best that you and I discuss this privately first." I didn't. W was riled up as she was talking and I wanted to end it quickly. Strangely, she gave me a tight hug when she left (I sort of half-hugged back). It's something she's been doing a few times recently.
I had been trying to organize some dinner time with the kids in the next week (this is one of my long 10 day gaps), which W had agreed to long before. I think I asked 4-5 times over text in the past 2 weeks to confirm a date. Yesterday morning, before W came to pick up the kids, I said, "Can you please confirm which of these options works for you? I feel it is unfair to me and the kids to leave the schedule up in the air until the last minute." W responded with a date, I said "Great." When she came to pick up the kids, she said, "Oh by the way that wasn't intentional or personal I've just been very busy." This coming from her is a major improvement.
I also texted her to say I would like to reach out to mediators. She said "OK" and did not seem emotionally reactive. It's time to get the ball rolling. The status quo does not work for me.
Anyhow, this post violates DB rules because it focuses heavily on W... I notice a general thawing in her attitude. I'll leave it at that and not speculate as to the cause, because of course it could be anything. It's noticeable enough that I know it is intentional on her part. I imagine things are going to get worse during mediation. That's okay. I'm trying to get my mindset straight --I know my needs, and although I'm willing to negotiate I will not give way just to be nice and pleasant.
We also have a couple birthdays for the kids plus Xmas coming up, and planning to talk about how to handle gift-giving, etc. given that we are not financially separated right now.
For me: I bought some home gym equipment in September and finally kicked my workout into gear at home. I'm feeling great physically and looking great. Work is picking up and I feel more productive. I've been cooking a lot when I have the kids. Last week I went to a live concert for the first time in a long time. I love when I have the kids -- they do complain about having two houses, and ask frequently when I am moving back. Mostly I think I'm doing the best I can, trying harder than ever to focus on the present and let go of both the past and the future to a degree. Control what I can control. I could probably do a better job seeking social opportunities in my free time.