I took my first trip away from the new house this week. I departed on Thursday, plans in disarray, leaving from a point on the map that wasn’t what I planned, running additional errands “on the way” at the request of my Traveling Partner, resenting the heat of the day, and feeling excited, fussy, and a bit irritable.

It got worse before it got better. The first 33 miles I drove, the traffic was terrible. The first 9 miles of the freeway portion of the drive crept by at an abysmal not-quite-10-miles-per-hour. I was tired from days without good sleep. I was irritable in the heat and frustrated by the lack of good visibility with the car loaded to the roof with gear. I was more than a little stressed out by driving all that equipment so far, while I was so tired. My foot was aching. I had a terrible headache, and my self-care had been fairly poorly handled and thoroughly compromised for days because my planning had been so completely undermined, I didn’t have time for what needed to be done. It was pretty shitty.

Every mile of highway took me closer to my Traveling Partner, and farther from thinking about my headache, or the traffic, or the cargo, or the time, or really anything else besides getting to see him and reconnect and chill together.

We had a lovely visit. It was quite nice to be a guest in his home. It was … beyond words, really, the deeply connected time we got to spend together met so many needs. 🙂 We slept together, and that, too, was a rare and special treat. It didn’t much matter how little really restful sleep I got, I spent the night cuddling with my Traveling Partner as he slept, feeling his heartbeat, listening to him breathe. I dozed on and off, and certainly got enough rest to enjoy the day that would follow. He had to work for a couple hours. I used that time to get caught up with the woman in the mirror, and check out how my old home town has grown (I went to high school there… that’s the house I lived in, it’s changed a lot… that’s where my grandfather’s office was…), meditate, and also made a run to the grocery store for my Traveling Partner.

The plan, when I arrived, was that I’d stay both Thursday and Friday night, and go out into the forest late Friday afternoon, help set up a music event, and sometime much later be around to see my Traveling Partner perform, listen to a lot of great DJs doing their thing, and then… sometime in the late afternoon on Saturday, I would return home. By the time my Traveling Partner got home from work, it was beginning to dawn on me that actually, if I followed that plan, I was going to be pushing myself up the highway late on a Saturday afternoon, on even less sleep, tired, noise-sensitive, and in pain… arriving home to face dishes in the sink (because of my rushed departure on Thursday), unprepared for the next work week, and having no time to recover before diving back into another week of working for a living before I could really take that time I need…

The more I thought that over, the less I liked it. Sure, I’d like to see my Traveling Partner perform, that would be amazing and awesome, but I’m equally certain that neither he nor I benefits from me doing so on terms that reduce my quality of life, or contribute to poor health and wellness! He’d crashed for a nap after work to prepare for the long night ahead. When he got up I let him know I was thinking about heading back a little early… He didn’t seem surprised, and was very much okay with that, himself, although we were both immediately overcome with that sad feeling that comes of being attached, and also choosing to part, however briefly. He understands my needs.

So… I came home. The drive back was as uneventful and smooth as the drive down had been fraught with peculiar stress. I made good time, and delighted myself to note that my estimated arrival time from the perspective of planning the drive was within 5 minutes of my actual arrival time. I pause in this moment, right now, and give myself time to really appreciate that feeling again.

It was still daylight when I got home. The house was comfortably cool in the summer heat of late afternoon. The squirrel was on the deck rail, and didn’t run when I opened the curtains to the deck and saw him there. There were really one 1 bowl and 2 coffee cups in the sink, and the first sound I heard after I returned home was the sound of my own merry laughter. I’d even gotten home in time to communicate my safe arrival to my Traveling Partner before he was out of touch for the night. It felt good to come home. I feel welcome here.

I feel welcome in my life.

The day stretches ahead of me. There’s quite a bit to do. Some of it is the everyday sort of stuff that lands on weekend days most of the time: housekeeping, laundry, gardening. Other stuff on my to do list lingers from the move. There are still boxes to unpack. Shelves to organize. Things to do to make this space more usably obviously my own. There’s the woman in the mirror, too, she needs a few things out of the day, herself: meditation, some time in the garden, yoga, good moment-to-moment decision-making, a bit of fun (Farmer’s Market?), and all the love and affection I can provide to her. Rest. She also needs rest, and good self-care.

The sun is up. My coffee is finished. The fresh breezes of early morning have filled the house with the scents of forest and summer flowers. My thoughts are filled with love. What a pleasant moment on which to begin the day. 🙂