Archives for posts with tag: are you going my way?

I was sipping my coffee on a morning after my Traveling Partner had returned home from some trip or another. It was quiet in the room, and in our home, and even out on the street beyond. I woke ahead of the alarm by quite a bit, and there was no hint of dawn-to-come in the sky. Not at that point. My coffee was too hot to easily drink. Based on a couple hesitant, testing, sips, it was also not very good. I pondered the variables in a cup of coffee, mystified and still groggy; how is one cup so crappy, and another so sublime? Don’t I make them all the same way? Do the tiniest subtle differences in timing or process make that much difference? (Are the differences, perhaps, not with the coffee, itself, at all?)

I sighed quietly, a measured, careful, observed exhalation, slowly released following a deep breath. I felt my chest expand as I inhaled, contracting as I exhaled. A cough interrupted the quiet. Another sip of coffee. That moment was okay, and I remained with it, centered and calm, for a while.

(This particular moment was almost a year ago – a blog post written, never published. It finishes thusly…)

It was an okay homecoming. I knew, when I arrived home, that my partner was wholly exhausted, having driven 1800 miles straight on home, then on arriving, unable to actually sleep (coffee is an excellent tool to keep one awake for a long drive, and the risk to our sleep, later, is often one we find acceptable at the time), until much later – shortly before I went to bed, myself. I made dinner. We ate it. Shared a couple of anecdotes. Managed to be contentious and at odds with each other for a moment, and got over that. We are, unavoidably, quite different people, and also quite similar. Neither of those things is an assurance of always being comfortable together, or always being in genial shared space, or even holding the same opinion about literally anything. We’re individuals.

The evening passed gently after dinner. We entertained ourselves with conversation and videos. Eventually, he called it a night, and later so did I.

I woke easily, and well-rested. I’ve already forgotten some useful habits for shared space. lol I think about the commonplace usefulness of any basic tool, whether it is a screwdriver or a habit; lacking the most appropriate tool for any given task is likely to result in greater than average difficulty, increased task complexity, frustration, and time lost to struggling with pieces that don’t fit. In the same way a screwdriver isn’t the correct tool to fit a pipe, good self-care practices are not likely to also be good communication practices (although good communication is a part of good self-care, when it comes to boundaries and expectations). It has been a common (and way too real) experience on this healing path that my own wellness does not change the general state of wellness for any one other person – and they still live their life, and see things through the lens of, their own perspective on life, on circumstances – and on the relationship we share. We are each having our own experience – and we’re not all using the same tools to get any given job done. It’s pretty complicated stuff, and a lot of human beings are barely managing their own bullshit; it’s a lot to ask that people also be kind, compassionate, patient with one another, assuming positive intent… it starts to feel more like juggling than living, at some points. It’s still worth making that attempt, in my own experience.

…It also takes practice. As with using any unfamiliar tool, it definitely takes practice, and some basic knowledge. Your results may vary – particularly where relationship skills go! (You’re not doing that job alone, and even such things as “getting along” and “communicating” and “sharing” require practice, and a commitment to learning and growing, and you can only do your own.) It can be seriously frustrating, however familiar and commonplace a task seems, to grab that screwdriver, and once already frustrated, realize that the damned thing is a Phillips-head screwdriver not a flat-head. Well, shit. That got complicated fast. True in life, love, and home repairs. LOL

So… I guess I keep practicing. πŸ™‚ Honestly, in every practical way, I only need to practice my own practices, and handle my own self-care. The relationship stuff works out much more easily when I give other people room to be themselves, care for themselves, and we’re open to both the differences, and the things we share – while still understanding that however close we are, or may become, we are nonetheless quite individual. I smile and drink my coffee; nothing new here. I struggle, mostly, when I forget to let go. Attachment to assumptions, expectations, or internal narrative can quickly sabotage an otherwise good time.

…Strangely timely as we two individuals prepare to move. I found it “by mistake” (or at least not looking for it) moments ago, as I considered writing something that, oddly, feels pretty well-covered by the draft I opened with an errant mouse-click. Helpful circumstance. One that puts me gently “back on the path” feeling I’ve understood myself just a bit better in this moment right here, right now… I settle myself into work, and begin again. πŸ™‚

Not quite a love letter. More like “a moment”. Thoughts about love over coffee.

Back in 2010, this human being (who became, over time, my Traveling Partner) and I began hanging out. Colleagues. Friends. Commute buddies. We became lovers. We became partners. Family. He moved in. We moved on – together. We married in 2011, for mostly fairly practical reasons. Other lovers came and went. Other relationships developed, and failed. We continued (and continue even now) to travel life’s journey together.

Today is our anniversary. I’ve got a lingering headache that has been with me a day or two, and although I took the day off I am awake quite early. He was up later into the evening than I was. He sleeps in. It’s a quiet, lovely spring day, during the time of pandemic. It’s also our anniversary, and I am smiling. πŸ™‚

…I may not write more this weekend. I am more inclined to spend some time just existing, and pausing the routines for harmonious love, and a persistent feeling of joy – and gratitude. This is a pretty special love. If love ever faded, I doubt I’d walk on; this human being is also my best and closest friend. It’s hard to imagine a life that does not include the both of us, generally together.

We have sometimes lived apart, by choice, sometimes by circumstance, and we live together, now. Our choices for habitation have not marred our affection for each other. Actually, they’ve had nothing to do with love, or loving each other.Β  Love thrives when we thrive. It’s not about who lives where. We’re very human, each struggling with our own baggage. Each having our own experience. Each with our own taste, our own hobbies, our own hard moments, our own private joys. We have individual competencies and individual short-comings. We share the journey by choice. It isn’t always “easy”. I haven’t noticed either of us complaining about the effort that is sometimes involved in lasting love and a healthy partnership; it’s very worth it. (For me, for sure. Hopefully for him, as well.)

I pause and reflect on Love. “Love doesn’t pay the bills.” This is true. I’ve lived without love. Often. Hell, I’ve been in relationships in which “I love you’s” were frequent, but fairly meaningless, or filled with subtext and conditions – looking back, I recognize that those were not honest authentic love, as I understand it now. I’m okay with it; those experiences helped me become someone who is willing to work for what love offers. I learned a lot. I’m a better lover, a better partner, a better friend, having grown considerably through problematic relationships. Long honest looks in the mirror taught me much about the role I play in a partnership, as a human being, and the nature of reciprocity, openness, authenticity, and consideration, and how very necessary they each are to sustaining lasting love.

I’m a better woman – and human being – than I was when my Traveling Partner and I met. I feel less “broken”, and more capable. I am far more willing to “do my share” – and I recognize that an equal partnership does require that everyone involved do the work to create, maintain, and deepen that partnership. I sip my coffee contentedly. Are we perfect? lol Of course not. Is love perfect? Is life perfect? Ever? Hell, is perfect “perfect”? (Hint: there is no “perfection” to reach in life or love. There are processes, practices, experiences, and perspectives – we can choose contentment, and enjoy the journey, or… not. There is no “perfect” out there to achieve. The journey together is the destination, and the goal.)

Yeah. I’m smiling. I’m okay with “us”. I’m okay with this moment, together. I sit quietly awhile longer, before the day really begins. It’s enough. πŸ™‚

I’m watching the sky slowly change from dark to dawn. I am, in a sense, “late to work”; I usually start earlier. This morning, it mattered more to start the day gently. I’m in some pain, and also feeling rather fussy in a vague way that persists, beyond my attempt to “troubleshoot” my experience. I mean… “everything” is fine, for most values of “everything”, and for most values of “fine”. Life in the time of pandemic is feeling a bit confining, at times, but my sanity project is keeping me sane, so… that’s working.

The RGB lights in my computer tower twinkle and chase merrily, over, around, back again. The aquarium light slowly begins to brighten for the day ahead. I am awake. It is a new day, well-suited to all manner of new beginnings. It’s a good place to start. πŸ™‚

…Shipping delays make me feel vaguely impatient with life, generally… I breathe, and exhale, and let that go. This is not a unique experience. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity and resources to order this or that, and have it delivered. I sip my coffee and focus on my good fortune, my opportunities, and… the gratitude. Also a good “place” to start the day.

Life is a strange journey, is it not? One step at a time, down a path I can’t clearly see, to a “destination” that is simply an ending, eventually. How will I want to be remembered? What do I want the tale of my life’s journey to say about me, as a human being? Questions worth reflection, and a few minutes over coffee, on an utterly ordinary (for some values of “ordinary”) Tuesday morning, on a week in Spring time, in a year of pandemic.

…It’s almost daylight, now. Some time a bit later. Meditation. Coffee. Yoga. It’s unavoidable, at this point… I glance at the time. Yep. Time to begin again. πŸ™‚

I am drinking my coffee this morning with that certain feeling of satisfaction and relief that comes from completing a task I wasn’t looking forward to, or may even feel a deeply anchored reluctance towards taking on the task at all. There are quite a few things that fit this category, some pretty ordinary things: vacuuming, filing my taxes, tackling a sink full of dirty dishes, raking or sweeping leaves, weeding the garden… sometimes it’s just pure resistance to the discomforts of manual labor, sometimes it is some sort of strange mental “block” that holds me back. So human. Tasks toward which I feel anyΒ  sort of resistance or reluctance can prevent me taking on the rest of a to-do list of needful things; hard to get past that one thing I just don’t “feel like” doing. Very human, indeed.

This morning, I’m smiling because I’ve finished off one such task, and entirely overlooked even feeling the weight of any reluctance, at all, during that process. Almost… pleasant. Definitely emotionally neutral, if nothing else. No baggage. I grin to myself, and have another swallow of almost-cold coffee, and considering planning a spring camping trip for myself. I wonder, contentedly, if my Traveling Partner will want to go? I keep my planning sufficiently open to permit it, without any concern or sorrow that he likely won’t go; our outdoor preferences are enough different that we truly don’t enjoy all the same things, done the same way. That doesn’t bother me at all. We need some time apart every bit as much as we enjoy (and need) time together. πŸ™‚ The bigger question is actually… April… or May? LOL

I let my mind wander to my walk, yesterday, instead of indulging my desire to plan an outing…

It was a lovely morning to walk along the riverbank.

Camping, hiking, walking… it’s about that moment of solitude and contentment, a moment of stillness, in the trees, on the seashore, along the riverbank… time spent walking, breathing, and contemplating. Time spent awake, aware, and present in the moment. It is about sufficiency, and perspective.

I woke to rain, today, and I am feeling restless, and eager to put a few more miles on my boots before the weekend ends. I had planned to work in the garden, but it was too early for it when I woke, and too rainy. Later, maybe. The rain dampens my plan to walk along the riverbank, again, too. I’ll still get a walk in… but when? Where?

I think about distant mountains, and waves lapping the shore. I think about Spring approaching.

I think over my short list of things I committed to doing this weekend and take a few minutes to sort it out in my head. It’s not that much to do, really, and mostly very routine sorts of things setting up the new work week that begins tomorrow, plus a creative task that gives me a measure of real joy, and a task I’d like to get done to make the house more comfortable. Putting my walking near the top of my list this morning makes sense; my Traveling Partner is still sleeping, and noisy housekeeping would be unkind.

I smile contentedly. I’ve got a good plan for a pleasant day, and it’s enough. It’s time to finish this coffee and begin again. πŸ™‚

I woke smiling when the alarm went off. I got up and was through most of morning routine before I realized I’d forgotten to put on my glasses. Most especially hilarious, because without them I really can’t see much at all. lol Nonetheless, I contentedly went through the motions, showering, choosing clothes, dressing, making coffee… then noticed, when I was watching the pour-over process, and the dense brown foam on top of the grounds seemed… sort of fuzzy. I thought then to ask myself that important “why?” question, and realized I just hadn’t done this one specific small task I generally do, immediately upon waking, every day, since…oh… like… “always” (since I was about 8? 9? My near-sightedness was identified fairly late).

…I’m still having an excellent morning. πŸ™‚ Enough is, as the definition suggests, enough.

I sip my coffee. Check my email and unsubscribe from some things I no longer read, or care to have clogging up my inbox. Have a quick look at the news. Write… nothing of great consequence, or momentum, just a few words on a page.

What a lovely weekend it was. My smile deepens. I think about love. I think about home cooking. I think about contentment and joy. I think about movies, and sharing them with my Traveling Partner. I think about how it is definitely the sharing that matters most, it’s less about the movies. Another smile, another sip of coffee. Another Monday. πŸ™‚

A handful of healthy practices may not save the world, however much they have transformed this individual human experience of life. I’m still fuzzy on the “save the world” plan details, anyway. I’m sometimes not at all sure we actually can… but… I’ll take contentment over misery, any Monday it’s offered to me. It’s enough. I’ll work on what’s in front of me that needs my attention, and then, when the time comes (and it always does), I’ll begin again. πŸ™‚ So far that’s been working out nicely, in general. πŸ˜€

…I glance at the time, and finish my coffee.