I type the word “pieces” into the title field, and immediately get distracted wondering why it appears to be misspelled. That’s the way of things sometimes, isn’t it? We puzzle over things that are not especially puzzling, mislead by a mistake in our thinking, or an erroneous “observation”. It’s pretty human that we do this – we are imperfect creatures with a persistent notion of being “better than” other creatures in some noteworthy way. lol

My coffee is good this morning. It’s a quiet Saturday. I had planned to sleep in. My Traveling Partner woke me. All good; he woke me sufficiently late in the morning to totally count as having slept in, and truly there is a new day ahead and plenty to do. It was nice to start the day with a few minutes of meditation, then coffee together until the point at which he began finding me less comfortable to hang out with (perhaps due to my fidgeting, or perhaps the pattern of my breathing had become irregular making affinity behaviors uncomfortable, or perhaps nothing really to do with me at all, but nonetheless ascribed to something to do with me). I give him some room to breathe, and take my coffee into the studio.

As soon as I sit down at my desk I feel uplifted and lighthearted; my Traveling Partner built this lovely space for me. Well, I mean – it’s a room in our house, and he outfitted it with this desk, built my computer, and installed the acoustic treatments. So, yeah. He had a lot to do with this space that wraps me in comfort and inspiration. The paintings on the walls are mine. I am surrounded by things that encourage and delight me. It’s an important space in my home – and in my experience. A piece of a bigger puzzle.

There are so many “pieces” in being this human primate that I am. My love of writing. My compulsion to do so. My willingness to share it. My fondness for my partner. My delight in this home. The enjoyment I take from the sound of rain. The pleasure I find in a cup of coffee – down to the coffee beans, and the cup itself even. I can spread the pieces out quite far and find value in distant forest trails, paths that wander the edges of a marsh, or suburban sidewalks that meander through neighborhoods filled with other human primates living other lives. I can focus on quite tiny details and find myself in the sensation of bare feet on carpet, deck, or lawn, and the sensation of fabric on skin.

There is so much joy and pleasure to be had in a single human lifetime. It’s easy to overlook all that when things go wrong and when I face challenges. There’s sorrow in this life, too. Pain. Hurt feelings. Lost opportunities. Vast choices such that the mind is overwhelmed and shortcuts just feel… easier. There’s so much to learn, and so many things to fail at before mastering anything at all. In years that I have focused too much on the difficulties, the joy in my life was diminished and life was dismal. In years when I have focused on hedonistic pleasures with a devil-may-care disregard for any moment but “now”, I’ve failed to grow as a human being – and also somehow failed to thrive. I find it a peculiar balancing act to find a comfortable middle ground, somehow settling on seeking calm, contentment, and joy – without “chasing” happiness. It seems to come to me often enough when I take this approach, though, so… I’m good with it. 🙂

I’m rarely deeply unhappy anymore. It’s been a long journey. It’s not over. I still struggle with the hardships I face. I still have challenges and fight the internal battles with my personal demons daily. It’s a worthwhile endeavor – and the conviction that this is the case is one major victory among many. I’ve come so far! Sure, I still have some rough days. Still struggle to get adequate restful sleep. Still have nightmares. Still have this headache, and this arthritis. Still deal with lasting effects of early life trauma, my TBI, my PTSD – but what a difference it has made to select my partnership(s) with more care, and to properly take care of myself! Meditation has proven to be a long-term value. Simple health-improving steps have also “given back” more than it feels like I have had to put in. Totally worth the “effort” to drink more water, to take my medications on time, to eat a calorie-and-portion managed nutritious diet, and get more exercise. Hell, those things are working out so well, I’m motivated to “do more better” and take things further. I keep practicing.

Nothing fancy or particularly unusual about today. It’s just another day. A sunny weekend Saturday with no explicit agenda unfolds ahead of me. Where will my path lead? If it’s not too chilly, it might be a good day to do some garden prep and tidy up spaces for Spring… Certainly looks like a lovely one to get a nice walk in, too. Maybe I’ll paint? I could work on my manuscript. I could bake some cookies, or finish tidying up and reorganizing the library (which is also our guest room, and presently a bit cluttered). What I do with the time is actually less important than that I do something, and that I treat myself and my partner well. The quality of the experience matters to the outcomes. I reflect on that and sip my coffee.

It’s a lovely day to begin again. What will I do with it?