Archives for posts with tag: choose love

I’m sipping coffee and listening to videos in the background. Pleasant Sunday morning. Housekeeping on the agenda, not much else. I expect it’ll be a hot summer day. I’m okay with a couple hours of chores and a few moments for myself, and some pleasant hours with my Traveling Partner.

Our path may not always be level, the day may not always be sunny.

…Love isn’t “perfect”. Life either. Nothing really is. (Maybe this cup of coffee…) I make a lot of choices, and some of those are compromises, and some are just poor choices…on the other hand, I’ve got a lot of very cool opportunities to choose from, and fascinating people with whom I can choose to associate. Kinda neat, actually. Even our most intimate relationships are filled with choices.

We choose our path, and we choose what we consider our choices to be.

I chose my Traveling Partner a long time ago (11 years)… on a commute, I think. There was a hug involved. Hours of conversation, over time. A friendship developed. I adore this human being. He is “flawed” (inasmuch as he is quite human), as I am myself. There are days when one or the other of us seriously aggravates the other. (Just being real, and let’s be frank, one thing I know I can count on in life is that life will be, generally, quite “real”. lol) I enjoy him, as a friend, as a human being, as a partner… I smile when I think of him, and he is the person most easily able to unintentionally hurt me emotionally with a harsh word in a difficult moment. I still choose him, and yeah, even when I’m crying over a moment of hurt feelings, I still choose him.

He’s very dear to me. 😀 (bad pun intentional)

Why bring it up? It’s been a lovely weekend. This is all pretty obvious practical shit, right here, and hardly bears pointing out. Don’t we all go through it? Some moment that contrasts the wonderful qualities with the very human, sometimes much less wonderful qualities? Again – pretty real. Pretty ordinary. I dunno. I was thinking about it as I walked yesterday… “What matters most?”… “What builds a firm enduring foundation for love?”… “What does a healthy relationship look like, over time?”… “How does healthy boundary and expectation-setting look and feel in the context of a healthy adult relationship?”… “What part do I, myself, play in ensuring I am treated well based on my own understanding of “good treatment” – and how I do ensure I am skillfully, authentically, ensuring I treat my partner well based on their understanding of “good treatment” – and my own?” Big questions. (Long walk.)

Growth isn’t about what’s easy or comfortable. It’s often about hard questions, and answers that require rather a lot of real work. “Is the effort worth it?” is one question that is easy to answer, for me, in the context of this relationship: yes.

Sometimes choices seem so limited… or complicated… those perceptions are also choices.

I’ve had 3 other “long term relationships” of any notable duration. Two ran far longer than the quality of the relationship warranted. (Okay, well, all three of those, actually, were far longer than what was healthy, but I did manage to cut that last one short before my life or mental health were in complete chaos.) I’ve often been that person working at it longer/harder and loyally clinging to the carcass of a relationship that did not at all rate such a ferocious commitment in the first place. “I didn’t know better” doesn’t describe the goings on so much as “brain damage”, honestly. Yikes. That feels “too real”, right there. I sigh, finish my coffee, and let it go. 🙂 I’m rather happily in a very different place these days, different relationship altogether. “Learned my lesson”? Possibly not – more than I’ve been fortunate, and this particular relationship grew and developed largely in the context of ongoing therapy and other positive life choices (and changes) that took me down a healthier path.

Choices.

Don’t sit around miserable, is what I’m saying. You have choices. You don’t have to wait for decades of your life to slip by – you can choose change. Any time. You can begin again. Oh, I know, it’s a difficult sort of choice to make, but truly, it is yours.

Maybe what looks like a dead-end just isn’t your path at all?

So far today is off to an entirely routine and ordinary start. I’m okay with that. I woke to the alarm (even still a bit groggy, and my dreams still linger in my memory), showered, dressed, made coffee. Here I am, now, sipping coffee, writing. A few minutes further on, and I’ll be headed to the office, after locking up the house. Very routine. Very ordinary.

My coffee is good this morning. I make appreciating it an explicit moment of delight, and I savor it. (Both the coffee, and the delight.) I make time to observe that I’m not in much pain this morning, and that my range of motion, and freedom of movement seem pretty good. I make a point of appreciating that, too. (No point in starting the morning bitching about the ordinary-ness of pain or of arthritis.) I turn stray moments of potentially bitching about the uncontrollable or everyday into moments of authentic gratitude; hard to be pissed off while also feeling grateful, and truly, most things I could find to bitch about could be far worse than they are. 🙂

My Traveling Partner returns home Friday. I’m eager to see him. This lovely bit of solo time has been enjoyable, and I’m ready to be over missing my partner. lol I feel excited about it, as if there is “much to discuss”, but I don’t honestly have more to say than “welcome home” and “I love you”. 🙂

Time keeps passing. Season 4 of Rick & Morty starts next month – almost here! Autumn has come, and the leaves are colorful – and falling. There are a multitude of small events, mileposts on life’s journey, that mark my path. Right now, the one I am most focused on is the return of my Traveling Partner. 😀 I find myself wondering if I should prepare in some explicit way… stock up on groceries so we don’t have to go anywhere over the weekend, maybe? I don’t know. It’s likely enough to be here, welcoming him home. Enough to have this lovely home to offer. Enough to be present, authentic, and genuinely loving. Only 4 work shifts between now, and his return, too… 3 nights… I mean, I’m not counting down the hours, exactly… but… about 90? Hours, I mean. lol

I take a deep breath, relax, exhale, and let go of any expectations I may be developing, any assumptions about his homecoming I may be inclined to make, in favor of being here, now. It’s a better choice. 😀 I sip my coffee, smiling. It’ll be nice to have my partner home again.

I sip my coffee, thinking about autumn. Thinking about the upcoming holiday season. Smiling. It’s enough, isn’t it, to feel suffused with joy and contentment? I think so. Finding further point to mere existence from this vantage point of contentment and gratitude and joy, seems a waste of effort. It’s that much of “enough”, as it is, and already a lovely starting point for beginning again. I sip my coffee, and finish the last bit of it more as a gulp, unintended, than as a careful swallow. Here’s hoping for a day of “effortless effort” and ease in the work day, and an evening of contentment. 😀 One day closer to the milestone directly ahead on the path, but I know there’s another beyond that, and another, and another still… each a chance to move forward, to grow, to live more fully, and begin again. 😀

Morning comes. I’ve not experience one morning yet that hasn’t arrived precisely on time. Each new day is exactly that, new. We can begin again – every morning, if we need to.

One new day, approximately infinite possibilities.

One new day, approximately infinite possibilities.

The smallest of my choices still matter, if not to the outcome of my circumstances, then at least telling of who I am. I think that over for a moment; even if the choice I make, action I take, or words I express don’t actually appear to change what’s going on around me, they are a reflection of who I am. I take time to consider who I want most to be, what my values truly are, and how I can best express them.

What matters most?

What matters most?

Last night as I opened the patio door to cool evening air, and closed the screen door, I noticed a young praying mantis hanging from the inside of the screen, about to be trapped inside. I gently coaxed her onto my hand and slowly carried her outside. I did my best to be quite gentle and move slowly to avoid stressing her out more than necessary. Initially, she sought escape, then held very still, watching me from my hand. I placed her with great care in the taller roses in the patio garden – plenty to eat, and seeming relatively safe, I took her picture while she continued to watch me. I looked for her this morning, but she had gone, or had hidden herself too well for my pre-coffee eyes.

It doesn’t matter much at all what I say about how I feel about life. (You either) Words are words. It is our actions that reflect our values. Our rhetoric is meaningless next to our vote. Our keywords are  not relevant to our choices. The books we read are not the human beings we are. We become what we practice. There are verbs involved.

Every day, I can begin again. 🙂

I really wanted to sleep in this morning. For the past several evenings I have been up later than is my general practice, not for any specific purpose just not sleepy enough earlier to make trying to sleep worthwhile. I don’t mind, there’s always another chapter in another excellent book, or some quiet something-or-other than can be done before retiring for the evening. But…it’s helpful if I can also comfortably sleep later the next day. Hasn’t been working out this weekend, I am awake with the dawn at the latest, and that has been a compromise, attempting to return to sleep after waking seriously too damned early to want to be up.

It may have felt too early, but this morning I woke to a beautiful sunrise just beyond the window. Worth it.

It may have felt too early, but this morning I woke to a beautiful sunrise just beyond the window. Worth it.

It’s been the sort of weekend that each deviation from plan, desire, or intent, has proven to be an outcome just beyond ‘enough’, and often splendidly beautiful, unexpectedly positive, delightful, or noteworthy in some pleasant way. It has been helpful that I’ve been open to each change as it has developed, finding myself moments of wonder and joy along a path I didn’t expect to tread.

Another unexpected outcome of the weekend’s peculiarly unscripted unfolding has been that I wake on a Sunday without plans or planning. The Friday evening I’d intended to spend with my traveling partner ended up spent on laundry, meditation, study, and art. The Saturday morning I’d planned to do laundry was spent on art, writing, and yoga. My Saturday evening date canceled for his own reasons, without animus, and I ended up spending Saturday evening with my traveling partner. Now here it is Sunday…and somehow the usual housekeeping got done between other things. I like a tidy home, particularly if I might be entertaining, but I so dislike ‘project housekeeping’ of the sort that is frenetic activity immediately prior to guests arriving that I just won’t do that. I ‘clean as I go’ generally, and on Sunday often put in a routine 2-3 hours of really detailed cleaning. Today it just isn’t necessary, and the laundry is done. The errands I ran yesterday, between the morning and evening, knocked out much of the miscellany that had been on my mind since I moved. So… now what?

...And birdsong included.

…And birdsong included.

I watch the sunrise develop beyond the window of my studio, sipping my coffee. I contemplate change, choice, and perspective. These are among my favorite themes to consider, and how lovely a metaphor is a sunrise? 🙂

…But what to do with the day? I feel a yearning for… something. Something new, but not complicated. Something beautiful, but not remote. Something precious and perhaps limited – rare? Commonplace beauty that is rare doesn’t sound easy to find, and actually it sounds more like a Zen riddle.

I could really benefit from a good hike, out in the trees. I see runners passing by on Fanno Creek Trail, which runs between the sunrise and my studio window. I recall a recent article about a neighborhood park or trails or something to be soon lost with a road expansion… looking it up I read that an uncompleted road became, over time, a neighborhood park along a corridor between back fences, where the road had been planned to be, but never finished. Apparently, the funding and approvals are now a done deal, after so many years, and the plan is to begin construction very soon – when things dry out after the spring rains, most likely. I read quotes from community members irked to lose their greenspace after so long, which seems reasonable; there are no quotes from community members who want the road completed, only civic planners; the traffic in this neighborhood is quite horrific during commuter hours. It’s not a fancy or grand destination, but it is nearby and I’ve never walked those trails – and they may not be there to be walked sometime very soon. Regrets suck, particularly when they are the result of my own choices; today I will take time to walk this mysterious soon-to-disappear trail, because it is there, now. 🙂

A pleasant hike along a local trail isn’t going to take an entire Sunday, and the day remains leisurely, unscripted, and quite delightfully rich with possibilities. Today is a good day to enjoy the day, without expectations, without demands, without insistence on or adherence to an agenda. Today is a good day to listen deeply, to be gentle with myself and the world, and to let the day unfold as it will. Isn’t that enough?

Sometimes finding a happy place is surprisingly close to home.

Sometimes finding a happy place is surprisingly close to home.

 

I’d like this to be a lovely bit of prose, whimsical and poetic, about autumn and about evening. It isn’t at all. I’m not sure what it is yet, other than distracted and interrupted…but it is autumn, it is evening, and I am distracted and interrupted by the noise and conversation of the concrete finishing crew working immediately outside my front door at this very minute, shortly before 6:00 pm.

I dislike how near to the world, exposed, and vulnerable I feel with the workers so incredibly close that I can clearly hear their conversation and see their movement through the front blinds. I feel less safe, and less private. I know that I am adequately safe, and adequately private in my day-to-day experience. I know that when the work is finished this will once again be a quiet home. Right now? Right now this is nothing that can be described as quiet and I am annoyed to have to pay rent – when I feel, fairly often, that the most important thing to be paying for with the rent is the fucking privacy and quiet. Well, if nothing else, I have learned how very much I need my home to be a quiet place – surely the knowledge will stop me from buying a place that isn’t. (I can hope.)

A leisurely shower, dinner in the oven, unhurried yoga, a few minutes writing… it is a thoroughly pleasant evening when I am able to forget, however briefly, about the noisy workmen, or at least refrain from becoming emotionally invested in moments of annoyance or resentment. It’s worth maintaining perspective; the work being done benefits the entire community, and matters to me as well. The workmen are aware of me, and there has been sufficient communication that they are – when they think to be – making efforts to minimize how disrupting this is for me (and for my neighbors). They are quite a polite and considerate construction crew, generally – it’s still work, there are still verbs – and communication – involved. No way around it, some of this shit is disruptive; it’s not a personal attack. 🙂

A lovely autumn evening; little annoyances don't have to matter. I let them fall like leaves.

A lovely autumn evening; little annoyances don’t have to matter. I let them fall like leaves.

So here I am now. Relaxed. Content. Taking time for me, making room in my heart for awareness, perspective, and compassion, and generally enjoying my evening in spite of the noise, in spite of the disruptions, in spite of the shadows just behind the window blinds. It’s a pleasant evening, and there’s really nothing ‘extra’ that I need right now. This is enough. 🙂