One of the sweetest outcomes of the choice to live alone is how much more obviously precious time with my traveling partner is. There’s little to share about last night. It was an intimate connected evening spent having dinner, hanging out, and enjoying conversation…about life, about love, about the future of our shared and individual endeavors, about recent appointments with doctors…words, shared between lovers. It was a lovely evening, and ended gently with time left over to spend in the studio inking details on a landscape, still thinking about love.

Practice the practices that take you closer to being the human being you most want to be.

Practice the practices that take you closer to being the human being you most want to be.

One of the things I most value about a strong partnership is the mutual support for individual endeavors. So many conversations amount to “Can you…?” “Yes.”, and “Will you…?” “Sure.” – and we know that other person so dear to us isn’t just throwing empty words into the space between us; they’ll really be there, as indicated. We offer ourselves, our time, our thoughts, to each other. We nurture the best within ourselves – and the best within that person we so adore. It’s a rare and beautiful thing, and it involves a lot of choices, and a lot of verbs. Totally worth it. It also turned out to be less about finding some ideal human with whom to have such an experience, and a whole lot more about being a human with whom someone can have such an experience. (Thank you, Love. It’s a journey very worth sharing.)

Getting here was a journey - it is a journey to sustain love, too; there are verbs involved.

Getting here was a journey – it is a journey to sustain love, too; there are verbs involved.

I sip my coffee and continue to linger on the recollection of last evening. I consider where life is taking me, and what choices ahead could most benefit me while also supporting my partner’s long-term needs. I think about these things in the context of community, of enjoyment, of sustainability, and of lasting-value. Mostly, I think about love and loving. I think about retirement; timing that carefully might result in being able to step away from the corporate grind into a handful of years supporting my traveling partner’s business directly, before retiring in earnest to paint and write full time. Suddenly, the idea of buying a little place of my own – our own – takes on a new dimension for me; how best to also serve my partner’s long-term needs becomes an important question. It’s a lovely morning to think about love, to ponder a shared future with someone so dear, and to enjoy my coffee with no agenda but my own. My choices matter, and it feels very good indeed to be so well loved, so thoroughly considered, so completely respected and valued, so heard, to be dealt with so openly and with such compassion. I enjoy the reciprocity in our partnership; my needs are as important, and as thoroughly discussed and supported together, as my partner’s are.

I smile when I realize my writing this morning reads a bit like a love note to love… Seems reasonable, really. Isn’t love worth a few words? 🙂

As I near the end of my coffee, my thoughts turn towards more practical matters. I get no criticism about that from myself; there are tasks to handle, things on a to do list, and stuff to get done. I find all the fuss and bother of adulthood a bit more manageable if I organize my thoughts – and my activities. I consider my limited time, and the priorities of things needing to be done. What matters most? How important is it? Is there a matter of time or timing? I find myself less fearful and overloaded if there is more than one thing that just must get done in any one day than I used to be. (Many thanks, Google Calendar, Mint, and SuperBetter!) I even feel as if there is just a bit more time in each and every day… although… to be fair… I did move so close to work that I can walk there in less than half an hour, through a beautiful park, which cut my daily commute from a 3 hour+ round trip each day to less than a hour – I do have ‘more time in each and every day’. 🙂

Taking care of me has been a journey about choices and practices. As it turns out, taking care of love has been a similar sort of journey – fraught with choices and practices, growth and change – and enduring affection. It was the affection that was missing from my journey with the woman in the mirror, for far too long. How powerful it was to make that connection, to revitalize my experience of life with and for myself – and how delightful that the result has been how much more I am able to love, and enjoy being loved in return. 🙂

A thread in my tapestry, a color in my palette, so much of life is fueled by love.

A thread in my tapestry, a color in my palette, so much of life is fueled by love.

Today is a good day to love, to be loved, to share love – to choose love.