Sipping coffee and thinking about time, timing, and the peculiar fascination, and sometimes urgency, that we have with getting to a goal “ahead of schedule” or “on time” – turning any such moment into some kind of race to some arbitrary finish line. Doesn’t it suck the fun out of a drive in the countryside, if we’re so focused on getting to a destination by a specific point in time? We’ve put our experience in the hands of circumstances. Slow drivers. Detours. Traffic. (Metaphors.)

Yesterday, my morning was less about time and timing, than about enjoying a few minutes for myself, before I headed to work. I left the house at some wildly random time, rather later than I generally do, arriving a bit later than I ordinarily might, still well within expectations of timeliness, and utterly without any internal pressure to get there. No racing. No rushing. It was lovely. Sipping my coffee, I think about doing that more often. 🙂

Rain drops on roses.

In the garden, in the evening, after the work day was behind me, I took an unhurried look around. No agenda. Just enjoying the moment. I had enjoyed some pleasant moments of conversation with my Traveling Partner on the phone. The evening was a simple one; I did some tidying up. I had a bite of dinner. I relaxed with a book. I went to bed a bit later than the night before, early enough to get a great night’s sleep… if my body would have been amendable to that. lol My interrupted sleep has not prevented me having a lovely morning, and I feel decently well-rested. No harm done. 🙂

Life feels simple and mostly pretty easy, from the perspective of this morning. No idea what the day holds; it’s been a busy week at work, and a great many people, colleagues, and customers, seem to have strange priorities much more to do with external forces that drive them, than well-considered choices they have made for themselves. I grin to myself in the early morning light; not my circus, not my monkeys. I keep my focus on my own life, my own choices, and being the woman I most want to be – more so, each day. It’s the best I can do, I think. 🙂

Sufficiency is pretty comfortable, generally.

A soft rain is falling, this morning. I finish my coffee, and begin again. 🙂

This cup of hot coffee tastes well-made, and satisfying. An early hour for it. I woke this morning, ahead of the alarm clock, alone. The morning unfolds quietly, gently, without any fuss. It could be any morning. How does it feel so very different, simply lacking the (sleeping) companionship of my Traveling Partner? The subtle shift in my awareness accounts for that, I suppose; I am not dedicating a portion of my awareness to continuously maintaining consideration for another human being, asleep in another room. I sip my coffee, contentedly. No loneliness this morning, just quiet.

He departed yesterday, some time after I left for work. We’d had our morning coffee together, quietly, contentedly. There wasn’t much to talk about; the planning had been skillfully done, the car was packed, the day was ordinary in most other regards. We sat together, waking slowly, gathering our thoughts, forming our intentions, sipping our coffee. I enjoyed the moment a great deal, and it became a happy platform upon which the day ahead would be built. After an ordinary enough work day, I returned home. All so very beautifully mundane, so easy to overlook the tremendous warmth and affection that infused it, like the strawberries in the infused water in the office – subtle and mild, and quite lovely.

Work was work. Summer flowers are blooming everywhere. The day passed quickly.

…I’ve no idea how any of that was so tiring, really, nonetheless; I had little energy or interest in doing things after work. I got home, more thirsty than hungry, and after quenching my thirst with many glasses of water, and enjoying a few minutes of conversation with my Traveling Partner, (once he arrived at his destination, for the night, moments after I got home, myself) I went to bed. I don’t think it was even 7:30 pm, yet. lol I didn’t “read awhile”, or meditate, or toss and turn; I was sound asleep within some few brief minutes after laying down. My sleep was deep and satisfying. I woke gently – to the sound of a chat notification on my phone, of all things (had I really left the ringer turned up??). When I checked my phone, there was no message, no notification, no sound – and the ringer was off, phone set to Do Not Disturb, for the hours between 11pm and 6am. lol I dreamt the sound. Just time for a new day, I guess.

It feels luxurious to get up, turn on a light without concern about waking someone else, and move through the details of my morning routine unconcerned by clumsiness, or someone else’s needs, just focusing on starting my day well, and caring for myself. I make a point to savor the things about living alone that I enjoy so much; there will be ample time to “appreciate” the things about being alone that are less pleasant, and I will make room for them in my heart, too, and hopefully grow from those experiences, and learn more, better ways to love and to share space. I sip my coffee, and consider the differences between living alone, and living with someone. I take a moment to fully appreciate having a partnership that so skillfully supports my need for solitary time. My Traveling Partner “gets me”, and I feel very loved.

…I take a moment to appreciate the way we “choose” this partnership, every day.

Sometimes our path is illuminated. Sometimes we walk our mile in darkness.

….Mmm… This is a very good cup of coffee. I find myself hoping my partner’s morning cup of coffee is similarly good, and smile at the first hints of day break showing through my studio window. So far, a pleasant morning. 🙂

There’s little truly shareworthy content in this quiet morning, beyond the quiet itself, and that’s only worth sharing if I consider it in the context of yearning for quiet and not finding it, or lacking any conviction that the quiet is worth experiencing, or… well, it’s all very subjective, I guess I’m saying, and not exciting, or the sort of thing that great adventure builds from. I’m just here, now. It is morning. I am content. By itself, quite worthwhile, and exceedingly achievable, with some verbs, and open communication, expectation-setting, self-care, and a well-chosen partnership. Nothing about that is “easy” or without effort. All of it is within reach, based on choices, generally. Real life happens. That’s a thing. I remind myself to be grateful for these easy-feeling moments, and to savor this quiet morning; life can be chaotic. Struggle is real. The wheel turns. This, too, shall pass.

…My coffee nearly finished off, I notice I’ve let myself become distracted by thoughts of work, already. I breathe, exhale, relax, and let that go – it creeps back, anyway. I sigh, and laugh out loud, disturbing the stillness. I check the time, and decide to get an early start on the day; this moment is as good as any to begin again. 🙂

I’m drinking strawberry infused water. It is cold – so cold – and vaguely sweet without being sticky. I find myself wondering why this hasn’t been “a thing” for far longer in my life? It’s pleasant, without being heavy, and I am enjoying (rather a lot) that it does not include any cucumber. Don’t get me wrong, I like cucumber just fine. Big fan of pickles, too. It’s just that, subjectively, I find the flavor of cucumber in water to be rather remarkably like very refreshing garden soil. Not really a flavor I’m seeking out by preference. lol

Now and then, on a break, or between tasks, I peek at Google Maps to see how far along his planned route my Traveling Partner has gotten. I smile every time; it feels like a connection. I already miss him, even though, on any given ordinary week day, we are not sharing this time, any way. I just know he won’t be there at the house, when I return home. I ache with the weight of yearning for his company, at the same time I eagerly look forward to cherished stillness. The feelings compete for my attention. I don’t make any effort to dismiss either one, or to diminish them, or to attempt to rationalize how one is more “right” or “true” than the other; they both exist in my experience of self, quite comfortably side by side. They are both true of who I am; I miss my partner when he is away, and I enjoy the luxury of the solitude when he is gone. My emotions are not my enemy, and I am not in any way less mentally capable for having the feelings I do. 🙂

…Still… I’m distracted. I’m thinking of him. Thinking of love. Thinking of the practicalities of life, at home, and in the world. I am waiting – for his return, for the quiet of a few solitary evenings at home, for the fulfillment and joy that both can bring. I’m also distracted, now and then, hoping that he is safe, and that his trip goes well, and brings him satisfaction and delight.

I suppose I could write more, or differently. This moment captivates me, drinking strawberry water, and watching the clock. Working. Waiting. Wistfully looking forward to morning coffee, tomorrow, then taken by surprise by a pang of something a bit like sadness, remembering this morning’s lovely moments over coffee together…and that coffee, tomorrow, will be quite entirely alone. I laugh, noticing I’ve finished off this water – and remind myself that I nearly always have my coffee quite entirely alone, in my studio, in the wee hours, while the world sleeps.

…I think I’ll refill this water bottle, and begin again. 😀

This weekend I enjoyed a hot cup of coffee – the first since my crown fell out, weeks ago. The socket left from the tooth extraction is considerably healed, although still quite tender (and I still have to be suuuper careful about bits of food getting lodged in what is left of the hole). Oh, for sure, I did not drink hot coffee while still completely hot. I, rather wisely, I thought, let is cool off quite a bit, and it was lovely even to drink warm coffee. I’d been managing properly chilled cold coffees for a few days, but hot felt like a real milestone. 🙂

…This morning, I’m finishing off the last of the canned coffee, icy cold. Tomorrow? I’ll be back to making coffee in the morning. It is a moment of self-care, ritual, and reflection, that I have been missing. 🙂

It was a rather peculiar weekend, in some regards. My Traveling Partner prepares to travel. I enjoy his company while he does so. Simple stuff. Still also fairly peculiar, in spots, with more than typical (brief) moments of (unexpected) strife. We work it out – we always do. No yelling, no raised voices, just moments when it was very obvious that our perspectives on some particular event, circumstance, or simply how we view some experiences, differ so much that even discussing them in practical terms becomes difficult. It drove home the understanding that, as individuals, we are each having our own experience, and view the world through the lens of our own understanding, defining our terms using our own unique dictionary, colored by our experiences, our values, and our assumptions.

I took time to reread “How to Love“. Another great starting point in any moment of growth. I followed that with “After the Ecstasy, the Laundry” – both great for perspective, and for reflection. I smile, now, in happy consideration that I have the sort of home life, and partnership, that allows for time to read, and supports discussion, without yelling. It’s nice. It’s very much worth the shared effort.

I step away from my writing for a moment to add something to my backpack that I’ll need later today, and notice that most signs of packing for travel are now missing from the living room landscape. Realizing my partner likely packed the car last night (and that I slept through that), I feel a brief twinge of loneliness in advance, that seems to want my attention. I breathe, exhale, and relax, letting go of the momentary pain of deep attachment being disturbed; we benefit from the time away from each other, having other experiences. I’m even looking forward to having a few days of solo time. I smile softly in the darkness, heading back to my studio, to finish my writing; it feels good to be so well-loved, and to love so deeply in return.

…Strange week for this adventure to play out. I’ve got a team member out on vacation, but somehow also committed myself to completing a major piece of analysis by midweek, while training a new member of my team (who won’t be able to help much with a day-to-day routine he does not yet know), and oh, right – I’ve got an appointment today! I feel time suddenly contract, folding in on me, building a sense of urgency and pressure (that, admittedly, I neither need, nor find “motivating”, at all). I correct my posture. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. I let all that go. The next couple days will be, perhaps, a bit longer than I’d ideally prefer. Sometimes that’s a thing. Reliably skillful boundary and expectation-setting, and general good self-care, means it isn’t a big thing – and will remain very temporary. I’m okay with that. The first couple days (and nights) without my partner will be the most emotionally difficult for me, and being quite busy during that time will serve me well. 🙂

…He leaves tomorrow. “Tomorrow?? That’s practically now!!” My brain sets off alarm bells in my head, and I feel somewhat breathless. Again, I breathe through that. Exhale. Relax. Let it go. I laugh at myself to both yearn for some solo time to catch my breath and really reflect upon the small changes that come with cohabitation, and also yearning to remain close to this human being I love so fondly. So human. There is literally no way to have both, in the same moment. 🙂 He has carefully planned his trip, and shared his itinerary, knowing that I find comfort in the planning, and the details, however poorly he may end up sticking to those due to, you know, all the real life and stuff, that so easily could occur along the way. I eye my clock warily, sensitive to how quickly tomorrow morning comes; I’ll go to work, and when I return home, tomorrow, it will be to solitude. Wild. So soon. 🙂

The weekend is over. The new week is ahead. One Monday of many, and it seems a good one so far. I finish my coffee, check the timing on the train for my early start to the day, and prepare to begin again.

So human. Of course. It’s bound to happen now and then. I think I’ve got a head cold. :-\

I’m doing my best to take care of myself. I crashed ludicrously early yesterday – couldn’t actually stay awake. My head was already stuffy. My body had started to ache all over. I gave up and went to bed. I woke once during the night – shortly after 1 am? I remember drinking cold water, thirsty, feeling sort of “dried out”, standing in the puddle of light from the open door to the refrigerator. I went back to bed. It was hard to wake when the alarm went off, and even half an hour later, I feel sort of clumsy and uncomfortable in my skin.

I’d hoped it was “allergies” (which I don’t actually have) but… no. Head cold. I can’t tell if I feel better, at all, this morning, or not. I sip iced coffee and iced water, in alternation. I don’t notice any particular difference, this morning. Cold is cold. One tastes a bit like… bitter garden soil. LOL I don’t really care about that, and just keep sipping one, then the other.

I’m not really complaining… head colds happen. Human beings can be fairly gross, and a lot of them don’t wash their damned hands, or cover their sneezes and coughs. I work in a call center-ish environment, one with an “open office” floor plan. Contagion spreads quickly, and there’s nearly always someone walking around sick. So, I work on self-care, and getting well, soon. There’s not much else to do about it, other than avoid spreading it around.

I finish my coffee, and my morning routines. I try to “get my head right” for the day ahead, and let go of wishing I were “just okay, for fuck’s sake” – since that does nothing to actually help. Another day ahead, full of potential. Time to get started on enjoying that as much as I am able to do so, today. 🙂