Archives for posts with tag: drama free zone

This morning I woke up to the sound of rain falling in the darkness. It was already 5:30 am – still dark? The season is already turning toward autumn. I’m grateful for the rain and stand in the soft cool air flowing in through the open patio door. I love the scent and sound of rain. 5:30 am? I don’t really need to be up so early… it was late when I called it a night. I smile and shrug in the darkness. The rain won’t mind my absence; I go back to bed for a couple more hours.

I woke later, smiling because it is still raining, content because I feel wrapped in love; it’s been a lovely weekend so far, most of it spent in the company of my Traveling Partner. We suit each other so entirely well. lol Even our most human failings tend to dovetail nicely with the quirks or baggage of the other. I smile through my morning, and even the returning recollection that there is no cold brew or iced coffee waiting for me in the fridge can’t budge the smile that I’m wearing this morning. I make a french press of coffee from fairly average (wholly adequate, but nothing special) coffee beans laying about on hand from… months ago (when I more or less completely switched to prepared cold brew in cans for the summer). It’s not awesome, but it is coffee, and it is enough. I was too eager, and added the water to the coffee while it was a bit too hot, and there is some additional bitterness to it that is less than ideal, but… whatever. It’s coffee. It’s adequate. The cup is delightfully warm in my hand in the chill of the raining morning. My contentment deepens to note that the timing feels quite right to return to hot coffee. 🙂

Rain drenched roses are a welcome sight.

This morning is about more than simple contentment over routine things; my experience is saturated with the awareness that I am loved. My awareness of everything else is colored by the love I feel, myself. I feel more complete and more present. It’s not an exaggeration when people comment that love is magical or transformative – that is also my own experience of love, and loving. 🙂 I contemplate my Big 5 relationship values and consider them in the context of the past couple days spent living with my Traveling Partner. Respect, reciprocity, consideration, compassion, and openness, really do cover the basics of enjoying a good relationship with another human being. Most of the other desirable behaviors, qualities, and characteristics spring forth fairly naturally given a relationship build on these things, in my experience.

I got handed an excellent reminder of the value of my Big 5 this weekend when I returned home from work Friday to a home that was tidier than I’d left it, and a partner comfortable, merry, and eager to see me, at the end of a day of “giving back” and helping out. Our time was unscripted, the visit was spontaneous, and I’d made no requests and set no expectations when I left for work that morning, aside from “enjoy the day”. Same thing on Saturday morning; I had plans that took me out of the house for a couple hours, and returned home to tidiness, order, and the presence of love. Quite wonderful. Understanding that a great deal of my own housekeeping and self-care time can get lost to traveling to spend time to see him, he invested some of his time in my comfort at home, himself. I didn’t have to ask. (I never do have to ask, actually; he is skilled at partnership.)

We spent our time together talking, planning, playing and just enjoying each other. We caught up on movies we wanted to see together. We worked out logistics for the upcoming autumn and winter. We talked about our eagerness to see each other more becoming so much easier with both of us having cars; it’s already true, and sort of goes without saying. We enjoyed saying it. We talked about love, partnership, and our enduring satisfaction with each other. We connected and caught up, and savored our shared time. I am still smiling. I’ll probably be smiling for days. It was, admittedly, both poignant and painful to see him pull out of the driveway, headed for other places once more. Still, I was soon smiling again; he’ll be back often. 😀

A big challenge with regard to hanging out with other friends, and doing other things socially, is that because I’ve undermined the time I have available to handle basic care and upkeep of this human being I see in the mirror each day, and the time I need for housekeeping and shopping, anything else I plan to do makes all that even tougher to catch up on, and I slowly fall way behind either on the housekeeping, or on maintaining adequate social contact with friends. Because keeping order at home is (for me) essential self-care, it’s often the social contact that gets left out. Having some help while my partner was here totally erased that challenge. Human beings are social creatures, and even though I enjoy living alone, I don’t thrive in the total absence of real in-life human interactions – I need that, too. It is a lovely experience to look around, see the house looking great, observing that I’m caught up on all the things, that I am well-rested, and also see that I have still more time and opportunity to enjoy more of the company of friends – the weekend is only half over. 😀

How is it that I can miss this one specific human being so intensely? lol I sigh out loud in the quiet room, and go refill my coffee.

I sip my coffee contentedly. It’s not really that bad. It’s a lovely morning, and I’m fortunate to have what I need in life to be comfortable, to be content, to be at peace, and even inspired. I’m fortunate – very fortunate – and the good fortune I enjoy in life seems tied to the love thing; the more love I invite into my life, the more skillfully I am able to share the love I feel myself, and enjoy the love expressed for me by others, the more I enjoy life itself. Love is not an inconvenience, or an add-on, it’s worth being studious and learning to love skillfully, it is worth investing my time and attention in love and loving. It is so worth sorting out where sex ends and love begins; they overlap so much, it’s sometimes easy to forget how different they really are. I glance at my calendar – I’m hanging out with an artist friend today – and I check the time.

A single exceptionally lovely weekend (rain and all) may not be enough to change the world – but it doesn’t have to; it’s enough that it change a moment, an experience, or some small piece of this long long journey. I’m content with that. It’s a place to start down the path of a grander vision, or simply a moment to enjoy in merry recollection for years to come. 🙂 It’s enough.

It’s time to begin again. ❤

I fell asleep composing coherent sentences, assembled from thoughts and words, suitable for this morning’s writing. It was, as I recall, a good idea for a blog post. Unsurprisingly, it was lost among my dreams, during the night. I woke rested, clear-headed, content – and utterly without a thought that seemed worth writing about.

I hoped the blinds in the studio to let the sunrise illuminate the room. I watched the geese on the lawn, sipped my coffee, and listened to the peculiar suburban hum of existing humanity that seems so nearly inescapable, generally. I notice that my throat is a little sore, and shuffle my weekend plans around to reduce stress, labor, and exposing others to potential contagion, in case I am sick. If I’m  not actually ill, the sore throat remains a sign that I likely need more rest than I have been getting. I decide to take care of this fragile vessel this weekend. Life is more a thru-hike along a breath-taking wilderness trail than a paved loop through a state park; it’s important to take care, and pace myself. 🙂

I hear my Traveling Partner stirring in the other room, making coffee. I smile, content and wrapped in love. Last evening was weird, infused with drama. OPD. Not my drama. I am supportive throughout, although I struggle a bit with resenting that a human being I have made a point to cut out of my life completely can still push so much toxic waste into my experience. The resentment quickly fades to sorrow that my Traveling Partner has this bullshit to deal with in another (any other) relationship. I know a lot of people who do. Myself, I tend to fairly quickly find my way to “troll blocking” and “unfriending” these days, even in real life; I have no liking of, or time for, destructive games or drama, and very specifically define “love” and “affection” as exclusive of those sorts of things. Yep. I said it. If you treat someone badly on the regular, it is not understandable (to me) that you “love” them. From my own perspective, you do not. That’s not love. There’s no room for argument, it’s merely my opinion, and how my own map of the world looks.

No drama today, I hope. I sip my coffee and smile. My Traveling Partner puts his head in the studio to tell me that there is a new season of Samurai Jack. Finally! Season 5. We share a fondness for it. I can’t tell if my moment of delight has anything to do with Samurai Jack at all, it’s all mixed up with my delight that my Traveling Partner is here this morning. I have no idea what the day holds. It is unplanned. Unscripted. I wonder what moment will define it.

Today is a good day for patience, and a good day for contentment. Today is a good day to love, and to live gently. Today is a good day for laughter, kindness, and gratitude. Today is a good day to enjoy small things, and to build a drama free zone. Today is a good day to make the choices that change the world.

This weekend I didn’t chase anything, didn’t force anything, didn’t insist on anything, didn’t apply pressure to myself, my experience, or my time. I suppose I could have. I could have gotten very stressed out about finding just exactly the perfect finishing touch Giftmas gift for my traveling partner, and blown my weekend on an unhealthy bit of hysterics when inclement weather messed with my plans. I could have held on to an assortment of assumptions and expectations of the weekend, and found myself facing Sunday with bitter regret – for both the things that did not happen, and the behavior that did. I didn’t do those things.

Instead, I allowed the weekend to simply take its course, embracing events as they occurred, and making the proverbial lemonade where lemons seem to have been provided…although…sitting here sipping on a tangerine mocha, made with fresh-squeezed tangerine juice from tiny sweet juicy tangerines so perfectly ripe they were not going to keep over days of eating, it’s hard to taste lemons. I made a fire in my fireplace, last night. I made another today, and contentedly kept it going through the gray rainy afternoon; it crackles in the background now. It’s been a weekend of contentment and satisfaction. It’s been lovely in spite of the rain.

Welcome in my own experience.

Welcome in my own experience.

The weekend is almost over, and a new work week unfolds ahead of me – the last before the Giftmas holiday. I’ll be out of the office for a few days (the week of Giftmas), and for a few days the next week, too. I pause, for a moment very aware how badly I really need this rest. I recognize that I am tired on a number of levels. This was an emotional year with a lot of complexity and change, and there is much to consider about the year to come. For now, I am content with contentment and that is enough. I sip on my mocha, making a mental note to finishing putting away the laundry that finished up just before dinner. Dishes, too. A box by the front door is my reminder in the morning to take it to the recycling bin; it arrived late in they day, during the pouring rain, and I didn’t take it straight out as I ordinarily might.

I've been very busy relaxing.

I’ve been very busy relaxing.

The evening is a quiet one. The lifestyle, too, is a quiet one. I’m not sure I knew sooner that this is what would suit me so well, when I looked ahead from many years younger. The mundane details aren’t dull to live; it’s peculiarly difficult to describe the luxury of hot laundry pressed to my chest as I dash back to my apartment in the rain, or the deep-down relaxation of finishing yoga and relaxing with my feet near the fire… just… relaxing, head back, gazing into the lights of the Giftmas tree… or emoji smiles and kisses from a partner I know is busy with other things, but values me such that taking the time is worth it, throughout the day.

This is a quiet life, and rich in excitement, delight, pleasure, contentment, joy, wonder…and moments of pure humanity; the difficult bits provide perspective, and comparison – reminders not to take what is so good for granted, not even for a moment. So… I enjoy the quiet weekend wholly and without reservations or concern, or trying to make it something more… or something less. More and more I am finding poetry in the ordinary, and lifetimes of love in moments of joy. Yes, there are verbs involved, and practice. I’m okay with that; I’m okay right now.

Small details are meaningful when we take time to notice them; small pleasures can fulfill our needs when we take time to enjoy them.

Small details are meaningful when we take time to notice them; small pleasures can fulfill our needs when we take time to enjoy them.

I don’t think I’ll chase anything today. Living life is enough.

 

I’m enjoying the day. It’s winding down. There’s music I love on the stereo. The lighting is precisely the way I enjoy it best in the evening; lights down low, strategically selected to create a muted warm glow – too dim to comfortably read a bound book, or do fine needle work, but quite enough to relax, meditate, do yoga, write (at the computer), or just sit quietly with a coffee or a cup of tea. I’m wearing comfy clothes that I favor for time at home. My dinner will be food that appeals to me, without any regard for other people might prefer. I am unapologetically simply this woman who I am, nothing more, nothing less – and no stress about it.

It's a beautiful sunrise, I'd like it to be more meaningful, or significant...do the things that are precious need to be anything more than what they are?

It’s a beautiful sunrise, I’d like it to be more meaningful, or significant…do the things that are precious need to be anything more than what they are?

I miss my traveling partner. I am thinking about him while I cook, while I write, when I’m in the shower, when I’m walking from there to here…he’s on my mind a lot. Tonight I spent a considerable time appreciating a particular quality he brings to our relationship; his comfort with who I am, and his encouragement that I be the woman I most want to be – even when that means I am doing my own thing some evening when, perhaps, with planning we could have been enjoying each other. It’s not even that he is resigned to missing me because I’m doing something, or that he accepts it that I may be unavailable – it’s beyond that. He loves me being me. He loves me living my life. There’s real joy in conversations about things we do as  individuals – we have so much to say to each other when our lives are not consumed entirely by each other. I confess, when we live together, I tend to be… available. A lot. I adore my traveling partner, and there are qualities [for me] of love and loving that are damned near drug-like. It’s hard to say no to him in order to say yes to me. This is no more comfortable for him than it is for me. I am enjoying this evening when it’s not even an issue – because I am loved and valued as I am, not as property, a prop, a tool or a resource; freedom is a powerful quality to bring to a romantic relationship. We’re human people – partners, making life work together. It’s quite lovely to be so well-loved, and so valued.

Love.

Love.

…I still miss him. 🙂 I’m enjoying being in a truly supportive partnership that encourages growth…and I miss my traveling partner most of the time that we are apart. That’s okay, too. There’s a yearning to missing him, and anticipate in the yearning; seeing him again is a thing that will happen. These aren’t ‘bad’ feelings – they’re feelings, though, human feelings that tell me something about what I value (and who) and what I need (and want) and what hurts (or heals) – I’m pretty sure I’d miss out on a lot of life to give up on all these feelings. My heart will soar to new heights with wings – not forged in the fire of passion, but crafted tenderly of memories, and tears cried when I am lonely; there’s perspective to be had in feeling the feelings, and wisdom to be gained in experiencing life. I’m okay with that – it’s enough to love and be loved, it doesn’t also have to be effortless, or without discomfort.

Over-reaching for a good metaphor...content to watch fish swim.

Over-reaching for a good metaphor…content to watch fish swim.

Dinner is just about ready. I am eating dinner alone, watching new fish getting acquainted with their home, and enjoying a quiet solo evening. Tonight is not one of the lonely ones; I am enjoying the evening with the woman in the mirror. This, too, is enough. 🙂

I woke very early this morning, minutes after 4:00 am. It’s a work morning, so making any effort to sleep longer isn’t likely to be very satisfying. I get up, and linger in the shower, while I take the chill off the apartment by pre-heating the oven. I’m up early enough for a proper breakfast. No idea what I’ll make, or whether it will actually require the oven. It’s definitely autumn, now; I am no longer making any effort to cool off the apartment. I have been here in my wee place long enough for the seasons to change. 🙂

Enough.

Enough.

There is very little drama in this experience. I sip my coffee and let myself wonder what ever kept me in any abusive relationship, ever, in the first place? Love? No – because that sort of treatment doesn’t qualify as being loved, and doesn’t tend to produce love as a reaction. I learned that the hard way. Fear of being solo, of being unqualified to adult all alone? Could be, at least the first time. I was very young when I married my first husband, and mostly did so because I earnestly wanted to move out of the barracks and ‘didn’t know how’ otherwise…and… it seemed expected, culturally, that I would marry. Now that, right there? That’s a shitty reason to get married, or be in a relationship of any other sort. Loneliness? I suppose loneliness is an important reason people may stay in an abusive relationship – loneliness sucks that much, sometimes – so much that self-care and good decision-making are undermined in favor of the mere idea of love.

Be love.

Be love.

Living alone? Not so scary, honestly. By far better than living with chronic mistreatment, neglect, disrespect, deceit, evasion, misdirection, or physical, emotional, or financial abuse. Do I get lonely? Sure. I’m human, and I miss touch, and the everyday intimacy and connection of living with someone I love dearly – but I’ve got to be honest, I’ve only approximated that experience in most relationships, generally very short-lived during the newest weeks of the relationship, and with only the most superficial level of connection, and very little real intimacy – because I didn’t have well-developed skills, practices, or understanding of what relationships take to build and maintain in the first place. My own ignorance and lack of personal development definitely limited my ability to forge the bonds I didn’t know I was looking for in the first place. Now I have the skills, the desire, the partnership – but we are separated, day-to-day, by 14 miles that sometimes feel infinite. Now… I am also learning that however common love can be, when we live from a loving place, a love like the one I share with my traveling partner is on another order of magnitude entirely, and it is not affected by the distance between us, even in lonely moments, when I yearn to be near him.

"You Always Have My Heart"

“You Always Have My Heart”

I sip my coffee and think about love, and loving. Is there some magic, mystical secret to this powerful love we share? I suspect not. It’s quite probably part chemistry, but I feel fairly certain that the larger portion of it is simply that we treat each other truly well. The Big 5 are pretty consistently in play (respect, consideration, reciprocity, openness, and compassion). We’re human, there are moments that challenge us now and then, but day-to-day, moment-to-moment, I can count on my traveling partner to treat me well, to support my growth, to encourage me, to listen deeply, and to be connected and really with me when we are together, and he can count on those things from me. It’s quite lovely, and it’s all in spite of being quite human (the both of us), with our own baggage, our own chaos and damage, and our own view of the world.

"Cherry Blossoms" 12" x 16" acrylic on canvas 2011

“Cherry Blossoms” 12″ x 16″ acrylic on canvas 2011

There are other reasons to build a relationship than for love, even marriage is not always built on love. Even the most practical, logistical, or political basis for a long-term relationship benefits from The Big 5, and suffers without them. I think so, anyway. I think a lot about treating people well, and what that means, and how I get there. How we treat people changes us. What we endure in our relationships, and the treatment we receive at the hands of loved ones, changes us. We become what we practice. When we treat someone poorly, however valued we may say they are to us, we change them over time; the damage piles up and changes how we are treated in return. Living alone, I have only one person to count on to treat me well day-to-day – and I’m still learning a lot about taking care of me, and treating myself truly well…but I’ve got a lot less drama while I do, and I’m not having to expend precious resources, or waste valuable time, healing fresh wounds.

"Communion" 24" x 36" acrylic on canvas w/ceramic and glow. 2011

“Communion” 24″ x 36″ acrylic on canvas w/ceramic and glow. 2011

I know you want to be treated well. I think everyone probably does (in the way they define that, themselves). This morning, I’m not thinking as much about how I want to be treated – I’m thinking about how I treat others. How about you? Are you treating your loved ones truly well day-to-day, or do you let your temper get the better of you and say vile things you regret later, then expect people around you to ‘stop taking things so personally’ or ‘grow a thicker skin’? Maybe you justify the terrible hurts you deliver with your words by rationalizing the truth of them, or the necessity of hearing them said, or because you are ‘right’? Do you excuse your own bad behavior by saying it’s your hormones, or you had a rough day, or you hurt or don’t feel well? Are you aware you are still causing someone you love pain, and maybe even tearing down something you built that was once beautiful? Treating someone you love poorly is like spraying political graffiti on a precious work of art, or painting over a mural, or… well… it’s actually just not okay, and is entirely unpleasant, and doesn’t show any hint of love. Just saying. Even a heartfelt apology does not make the words unsaid, or take away the experience of being hurt – and no one forgets those things, not really. In a good relationship, it’s simply that the good moments outweigh the difficult ones a lot.

"Contemplation" 11" x 14" acrylic on canvas 2012

“Contemplation” 11″ x 14″ acrylic on canvas 2012

I am humbled by the wonder in the realization that I am good at love. (I wasn’t always, I’ve worked to get to this place.) This is a powerful place to be in life. Practice matters, even on this, and it isn’t the bit about being loved that needs the practice, generally. Loving isn’t just a word – it’s a verb, and one that requires quite a lot of things, like kindness, and deep listening, and attentiveness, and authenticity, and vulnerability, and compassion, and patience, and surrender, and tenderness, and being comfortably wrong as easily as being right, and laughing, and touching, and sharing experiences, and eye contact. I enjoy how many verbs there are from which to choose to show love. Practicing them is both entirely necessary, and highly rewarding… I mean… If you want to love, and be loved in return. Some people only want to be loved (or maybe just worshiped, adored, or served); it’s much less work, but eventually love dies when it isn’t nurtured.

p.s. I love you.

p.s. I love you.

Today is a good day to love well, and to deliver on the promises made by love. Today is a good day to treat every heart well, not just my own. Today is a good day to make eye contact, to be kind, and to really listen when someone is talking. Today is a good day to practicing loving. The world could use a little more love, and we become what we practice.