My traveling partner updated my operating system for me yesterday. Change is. It has been, so far, the least stressful such change I’ve experienced. Building my first pc kept me up all night, two nights in a row, struggling with connectivity on an unfamiliar OS. Another iteration, years later in a lifetime long ago, resulted in a weekend of frustrated tears and arguments, emotionally tripping over the well-intended ‘help’ of another partner. In the more recent past, my traveling partner has endured my tension, fear, and anxiety over upgrades to my computer…what if something goes wrong? What happens to my data? My pictures? This is part of… me; I had grown to experience my computer, my hard drive(s), as an extension of self. My challenges with memory, with finding a sense of continuity and enduring self, resulted in an unhealthy emotional attachment to the machine – my computer. I could easily be pushed to panic by any perceived threat to my data. It made updates, upgrades, and changes pretty emotionally complicated.

Life does not stand still. We don't remain where we begin.

Life does not stand still. We don’t remain where we begin.

This is a strong partnership. My traveling partner ‘gets me’ more than most. He silenced the Windows 10 nagging for me, ages ago, and I forgot all about the imminent threat of change to ‘my back up brain’. He quietly went about his own business for a while, did his upgrade himself, used the new OS awhile, brought it around my place on his laptop and there were opportunities to say ‘”h hey, can you just do that while I…” . I expect someone else’s laptop or computer to be set up differently than mine; I approach that situation very openly, handling the machine and myself with care, and unconcerned about little things like ‘change’. A couple of weeks ago, he observed that support for my current OS would likely go away ‘eventually’ and it made sense to consider the new one. I agreed, in the abstract, and he suggested letting Windows have those files ‘ready when the time comes’, and turned the Windows 10 nagger back on. That didn’t sound like a big deal, and I comfortably agreed. Over the weekend, he suggested he may have the opportunity to do the upgrade for me, if I were willing. I waffled a bit, and settled on ‘yeah… okay, I guess, sure’ or something equally vague and half-hearted. He pointed out it would be easy enough to do myself – for some reason, that felt very reassuring, and I even considered doing so, more than once. The day came – yesterday – he mentioned in the morning that he’d probably go ahead and take care of it while I was at work. Years ago that by itself would have caused me huge anxiety – someone in my machine while I was away?? This is not that relationship. (Please note, throughout, his use of affirmative consent practices – win and good.)

I arrived home and it was done. New OS, new emotional experience of such; I felt eager to log on and check it out, but put it off to enjoy the evening together over dinner, and some quiet hang out time. I woke to the alarm, from a deep sound sleep, having entirely forgotten that my computer is on a new OS. My morning has been an explorer’s adventure, checking it out. Things are different. Not bad different. Hell, mostly not good different. Just different. I am rarely confronted by evidence of the quantity of small tweaks and changes to settings I actually do on my computer to be really comfortable… some of those are overwritten by this upgrade, and I am pleasantly surprised to observed that I am not stressed out by small things this morning; today they stay small.

The rain falls beyond the window. I hear traffic in the distance, and the sound of some sort of machinery humming, strange and far away – probably a train paused, idling, alongside the platform not too far from here, on the other side of the nature park, and just beyond the adjacent business park. My coffee is tasty. I wonder again how it is that my partner sleeps through the terribly loud burr grinder in the still of the wee hours each day. I disregard the work day ahead; it gets nothing from me until much later. I consider the small delights of home and hearth, and the joys of having my traveling partner staying with me awhile; I am unconcerned about small deviations from the routine – there’s always room for love here. We make the choices that welcome love home.

Love matters most.

Love matters most.

Today is a good day to embrace change and be open to what is new and unexpected. Today is a good day to reduce negative bias by enjoying all manner of pleasant things, being present for each moment, and lingering contentedly over the recollection of them; they are more important [to me] than the stressors. Today is a good day to continue to change my experience – and my world.