How funny that this one got saved as a draft, and never published…? Strange. Here’s a peak back at 2015.

It’s been a lovely weekend, so far. There’s a bit more to it, yet, and I am smiling, and feeling unhurried. I spent yesterday enjoying me, and completing some practical tasks with a hint of the artistic to them, like hanging a few more paintings, and beginning re-organizing all the shelved books into some arrangement that is both visually appealing and allows any one book to be located…ever.

When I moved in, I simply shelved all the books to get them out of boxes (because boxes take up precious space) – in general I have no idea what books are where. Yesterday I carefully went through all the books and identified a handful that I don’t find worth keeping at this point in my life. The minimal square footage requires that I be frugal about possessions, keeping only what actually has meaning, value, or utility. Today I will begin the more complex process of sorting them by author or by topic, and re-shelving them in a more logical way that permits research, and of course simplifies grabbing a particular book before bed, if I choose. 🙂 Truthfully, sorting tasks are a favorite of mine; I find them calming, pleasant, and likely to promote clear creative thinking. I have spent the weekend sorting things…books…small parts and fasteners…canvases…thoughts. It has been a singularly self-nurturing weekend without stress or urgency.

I enjoyed the morning with my traveling partner, and he indulged my longstanding fondness for breakfast (or brunch) by taking me to a favorite local breakfast spot. Now that we don’t live together 24/7, each moment we do spend together is something I willfully and mindfully cherish. At some point during his visit, hanging out at my place and talking about books, paintings, and when to wall mount the big monitor, he made the observation (rather astutely) that I had ‘tolerated’ (or was it ‘endured’?) living with him because I adore him so, but that it has become obvious that my clear preference for myself is to live alone. It’s true. My traveling partner is quite literally the only person I’ve ever really enjoyed living with…and even so, would prefer, generally, to live alone. Living with other people has been some degree of mostly miserable, for as long as I can remember – even as a kid. Some of the broken bits, and chaos and damage, just don’t make cohabitation easy for me, and having to share day-to-day space with other people just doesn’t feel good – or easy. I end up spending a lot of time with my teeth clenched, feeling tense, angry, irritable, trying to find some space for myself in which I will not be intruded upon – and it’s not because other human primates are any more fundamentally flawed than I am, myself. I don’t know that I have a solidly rational explanation, and making the attempt holds plenty of risk of hurting feelings, or creating imagined sorrows. It is enough, I think, to say that I prefer to live alone, and that I am comfortable with solitude day-to-day.

This has been a fantastic weekend. I have spent most of it quite alone, not even venturing forth except to do a little gardening yesterday evening, and breakfast out this morning, followed by the briefest possible trip to the market for coffee beans, and dishwasher detergent. I am understanding something differently about myself, as a result of this lovely [and much-needed] solitary weekend; loneliness is not about solitude at all, at least not for me. Ah, but my traveling partner is so right about the things phrased in the negative – knowing what loneliness is not about is far less useful than understanding what it is about. Perhaps I will learn that some other day? I won’t be learning much about loneliness this weekend – I am enjoying the solitude. 🙂

Contemplating patience, incremental change over time, and the tender ongoing exploration of self that my move as supported got me thinking about the idea of ‘pacing myself’ – taking my time with things in a mindful way makes so much sense. I tend to rush. I am enjoying the outcome of slowing things down in both life and love, and investing in quality of life through careful choices, mindful actions, and a willingness to practice being present in each moment without sham efficiencies masquerading as ‘multi-tasking’. I am ‘pacing myself’. I am living my life thoroughly, and enjoying how naturally my home seems to have become a ‘no stress zone’.

Today is a good day to slow down and enjoy each task, and each moment. Today is a good day to love. Today is a good day for stillness, for solitude, and for contentment. Today is a good day to create the world I prefer to live in. [Your results may vary.]

That was quite a long time ago, I suppose. Have things changed? Sure. I live in a home in a small town. I’ve got a mortgage instead of rent. My Traveling Partner lives with me and is my fond and adored companion on life’s journey, every day. My garden is a little bigger. My job has changed (and changed again). Have I learned to slow down and pace myself? Well… a bit more than I once knew how, yes. My results still vary.

…And it’s time to begin again.