It was a lovely weekend at home. We had a bit of a snow shower yesterday, and enjoyed a quiet day at home celebrating my Traveling Partner’s birthday; one more of the “winter holidays” to enjoy. 😀 We had a delicious stir-fry for dinner (one of his favorites; bell peppers and beef), and for dessert pumpkin pie (at his request). We hung out, enjoyed each other, and watched the snow fall most of the day, although it didn’t stick much at our altitude, and was gone as the late afternoon “warmth” was enough to turn it all to rain (and mud). I baked shortbread cookies in the afternoon, while my partner tinkered in his shop.

The first snow this year, here.

This morning, my day started quite gently and pleasantly. Good coffee. Quiet lo-fi on the stereo. I’d been up for hours when my Traveling Partner woke. He let me know he did not sleep well. He seems cross and quite out-of-sorts with the world, at least for now, and says he did not sleep well. I offer my sympathy and an expression of regret, as I head to my studio (where I generally write, and turn my attention inward, seeking – if nothing else – to avoid “poking the bear”, and hoping to give my partner some quiet time in which to fully wake up and get his shit together).

My writing is interrupted by my Traveling Partner, who is still feeling cross and annoyed to have slept so poorly. He asks me in an aggravated tone to check my oxygen (using the pulse oximeter feature on my phone). At 99% it’s better than usual, and my attentive upright posture at my desk is intended to support good breathing and also help minimize the pain I’m in. He didn’t ask that question, and yes, I’m in enough pain this morning to have taken an Rx for that almost first thing. I have little enthusiasm for dealing with relationship stress stemming from my pain and his lack of sleep this morning. My solution to the challenges of the morning? Get the hell out of the house, taking my laptop over to the co-work space I generally work from on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s a location suited to writing and there’s plenty of coffee available, too.

My arthritis pain this morning is a big contributor to why I chose to simply, quickly, and without fuss get the fuck out of the house as soon as I could; I can manage my pain and my anxiety, but I’m not likely to be easily able to also “manage” (meaning support or account for) his today, too. Seemed the wiser choice to just get the hell out of each other’s way for a while. For sure my writing does not benefit from nagging or vexed interruptions, and neither does my temperament.

…Damn, though… the coffee is so much better at home. LOL

…Yeah, this coffee is so bad it is distracting. LOL Fuck office coffee. LOL

My partner pings me to let me know he misses me. Also to ask about my recent lab results. I take a look, and find myself almost immediately stymied by the VA’s health website. Nothing unusual; their technology and user interface is not exactly state-of-the-art. Funny thing, though; even this small change to my medication (I’m already calling my beta blocker my “chill pill”) has noticeable results even with small day-to-day frustrations. My partner’s morning grumpiness? Not so big a deal – I’ll just get out of his way while he wakes up. No problem. Can’t log into this website or that tool? Meh. I’m over it already and it’s fine; I’ll just do something else and try again later. Not a big deal. Only… these are precisely the sorts of everyday challenges that could upend my entire experience and send me spinning off course, so easily! No tears this morning. No tantrums. Just… moments. Nice change. 🙂 It’s not “everything”, but it’s something – and that’s enough. One step at a time. Incremental improvements will add up. 😀

I sip my coffee and think about the holidays. The tree is up. There are holiday lights on the mantelpiece. There is a Giftmas pudding awaiting its moment. Holiday cards have been sent. The first snowflakes have fallen. Thanksgiving and my Traveling Partner’s birthday are both behind us. There’s no great pressure on the Yule holiday-to-come; we plan for it to be a moment on the calendar, enjoyed warmly, wrapped in love, and characterized more by the festive morsels and holiday cookies than any great number of gifts. We’re focused on other things this year. There will be some small budget for gift-giving, but more of a token of the holiday than a prominent feature is what we’ve discussed. 🙂 I’m even (more than) okay with that. It’s where we are right now.

Giftmas glow. Glad tidings. Happy Home.

I sit for some minutes more. I breathe in and take stock of how I feel. I breathe out and let go of lingering anxiety. I repeat this several times, slightly different iterations with each breath. I breathe in and feel a sense of place within my body. I breathe out and let go of tension I feel in my shoulders, in my back. I breathe in and listen to the quiet of this office place. I breathe out and feel my contentment spread. In. Then out. Just breathing. I “pause” (not the breathing, just the focus on it) to write every now and then. A paragraph. A sentence. A thought. I add a link. I add an image. I look the whole mess over. I resume my observations and my breathing exercise. Back and forth. Breathing. Sipping coffee. Writing. I feel my body and my mind begin to “meet in the middle” feeling more contented and relaxed as I proceed. This is what I was working on when I started the morning. It’s nice to find my way back and “finish what I was doing”.

…It would be nice if the weather were sufficiently pleasant and mild to get a good long walk in…

I think about the day ahead. It’s a day off, although it is a Monday. This feels very luxurious to me. Any time I take a Monday off, specifically, it feels so luxurious. 😀 I’ve a small number of things on my to-do list today – some laundry (just putting clean stuff away), and some tidying up. It’s planned to be a very relaxed day. I hope I succeed there. 🙂 Maybe I’ll bake more holiday cookies…? Maybe I’ll read, or study, or paint…?

I’ve already used one “do over” this morning – it’s good to get comfortable with embracing new beginnings. Useful tool in a chaotic world. Already time to begin again. 😀