Full house this morning. My traveling partner and his son still sleeping, the apartment feels very quiet. I’ll probably be gone for the day long before they wake. I made it through the work day fairly comfortably, yesterday. I face today feeling confident I’ll manage, in spite of continued cold symptoms, and generally feeling somewhat miserable with the commonplace stuffy head nonsense slowly migrating into my chest for future misery with the congested chest nonsense next week. Maybe it won’t go that way… experience suggests otherwise. Do I have a preference? Is that even a question that makes any sense?

I breathe deeply – and set off a coughing fit. The coughing fit somehow results in looking into the kitchen light – long enough to start me sneezing, immediately after finishing with the coughing. I break out in a sweat, as though it amounts to real exertion. My fitness tracker disagrees, insisting I am “inactive”. I sneer at it dismissively, playfully retorting “you don’t know me” aloud, quietly. I smile that I’m “keeping my voice low” to prevent waking people; I ran the burr grinder for my coffee, have had multiple fits of coughing or sneezing, and closed the bathroom door on my hand earlier, resulting in quite an audible yelp of pain. So. I’m pretty sure sassing my fitness tracker isn’t going to be the thing that woke the household. 🙂 Funny human primates. Even on small courtesies we lack perspective.

Life looks different this morning than it did two weeks ago. I’ve lost 40 hours of my time each week, and gained valued resources in the exchange of life-force for currency. My traveling partner and I talk “next steps”, and about the future together. His restless heart yearns to move about his universe, exploring, traveling, seeing sights, and tasting adventure. Mine yearns for a safe haven after a lifetime of stormy seas and rootless wandering. Sometimes it sounds a poor fit, the two of us together, and this morning I savor how very well it suits me, to be here, safe, wrapped in contentment, a welcoming harbor for a traveler’s homecoming. This works for us. Later there will be stories shared, hugs, kisses (well… once I’m over this cold), and time well-spent, because we spent it together. Enough? More than enough.

In what direction will the journey unfold, now? What next steps can I see? Are there others, worthy useful others, I may be inclined to overlook? Do I want what my lover wants? Where our desires differ… who decides? Life is a solo hike; sometimes we share the journey alongside another, but it’s our hike to make, bearing the weight of our own burdens, and the consequences of our own choices. I am my own cartographer. Will I “pack light” and move quickly through life committed to a plan, without pausing to enjoy it? The map is not the world. The plan is not the experience. Will I struggle under the weight of my baggage, mile by mile, exhausted and cranky, but well-equipped for the unlikely odd circumstance? We are each having our own experience. How do I share life’s journey with skill, however briefly?

I sip my coffee, losing interest in the metaphor in favor of some distraction, already forgotten.

Where will the journey take me?

Where will the journey take me?

…And still the household sleeps. I look at my list for the day and realize I’ve overlooked meditation. Practices work best with verbs involved. It’s time to set aside the written word for a while. Today is a good day for practicing practices, and for good self-care. Today is a good day to invest in wellness. Today is a good day to slow down, and enjoy the journey. 🙂