Archives for posts with tag: homecoming

What a delightful homecoming! I enjoyed my Traveling Partner’s return, and we spent a delightful, and most peculiar, weekend together. Peculiar in the sense that it often felt like a time warp – back to that first year together. Exciting to spend time together, exciting to get to know each other more deeply, and occasionally challenging as expectations collide with reality, or miscommunication confounds a moment. It was very… real. 🙂

I spent a lot of time talking about potential futures, with my partner. Longer-range planning, and very long-range planning, a future that includes a comfortable retirement, and a home of our own. We shopped together – wow I have missed that so much! He takes suggestions, inspires new thinking, and accepts gifts with humble & practical delight. I overcome my surprise at his suggestions, and accept moments of change both large and small, with eyes open to the value of his perspective, and a heart full of love. The result? I definitely feel more future-focused, more aligned on key details of our shared planning, more certain of our mutual commitment, and so well-loved. 😀

It was, in brief, a lovely weekend spent in the company of someone who loves me, and who I love.

I’m sitting here sipping my morning coffee before dawn, nothing new there. Another work day ahead, also pretty routine. New boots on my feet, a new sweater wraps me in warmth – and love. I’m smiling. Hell, I don’t even hurt much, as I sort out my thinking to begin a new day. Even hearing him breath or sigh as he turns over in the other room is enough to deepen my smile. I’m definitely entirely in love with this particular human being. I’m okay with that. I’m even okay with how very much love asks of me, as a human being – all the growth is worth the time, consideration, and numerous additional verbs. We are both, each, better human beings for loving each other. 😀

…I could be more skillful at love, I know. Plenty to learn. Plenty of opportunity to practice. It’s a lovely morning for beginning again. 😀

Saturday is finally here. It was a longer than usual work week, with longer than usual days. I intend to set very firm boundaries about over-work, but it’s a small team, and vacation time gets covered whatever that takes. By the time I got home last night, I was exhausted, and ready for a quiet night. I managed to push myself through laundry and self-care basics, and spent the rest of the evening quietly, reading. I crashed pretty early, and slept through night – hell, I ‘slept in’ more than an hour past the time my alarm usually wakes me, and woke feeling rested, the work week finally behind me. 🙂

This morning there are a couple of light chores to take care of, and I’ll spend some time in the garden before the heat of the day. I may hang a painting that is nagging my consciousness for a place to be. Sipping my morning coffee, I wonder if it fails to satisfy because I am looking forward to having coffee with the wanderer, later this morning.

A change in perspective is generally  worthwhile.

Looking forward to Saturday in good company.

I dither a while over my rather mediocre morning coffee wondering if I should go back and check every use of ‘traveling partner’ – should those all be capitalized? What about ‘the wanderer’? Capitalized? No? I wonder if I have been consistent – it’s the potential lack of consistency that grates on my nerves most. Do I yield to the sensation and let it drive my behavior? Do I allow myself to react to it? If I do, how far back ‘should’ I go? Any? lol I quickly move on to wondering why I am even allowing my consciousness to pick at this point – do I actually even care one way or the other? Well…maybe….if it results in not being understood…am I being understood, I wonder? I sip my coffee and wonder how I managed to make such a relatively poor cup of coffee on such a lovely morning. Then I wonder how important it actually is for each reader to clearly identify the wanderer and my traveling partner in this narrative as specific people identified thus…maybe that’s only important to me? (It isn’t likely I’d forget.) I sit here considering a trivial point of grammar (yeah, I said it), and realize that it is more important to me that the choice be mine, whatever the outcome, and since I already have that I lose interest in the internal discussion and move on.

There have been a lot of things lately where the outcome of some choice was less important to me than that the choice be my own, in the moment. Sounds a tad child-like in some fashion, and I don’t allow myself to be berated (by myself) over it; it also seems a natural enough developmental step to find myself taking on this journey. I am flexing my will a bit, perhaps, but after a lifetime of over-compromise and de-prioritizing myself and my needs, it seems appropriate to take the opportunity living alone presents to live my own life, and the outcome of my own choices, more fully. Sometimes it plays out predictably enough; perhaps I find myself wanting cookies, I bake cookies, I over-indulge on the cookies, I find myself annoyed with feeling over-full on cookies, and moody from too much sugar….all my choices, all my actions, definitely no potential for blame-laying, or being annoyed with someone else, but the actions/reactions lack the developed control and will an adult might ideally show. I continue practicing specific practices that focus on self-restraint – learning skills that limit the effect of having a disinhibiting brain injury, and do so without resulting in frustration or discontent, and rely less on habitual behavior than good decision-making. Yesterday, in the morning, I made cookies, because I wanted healthier sweets on hand. I did not over-indulge. This morning there is a container full of cookies, and they may last days, although I made batches appropriately sized for solo-living. Practicing good practices results in improved outcomes. I like that phrase better than ‘practice makes perfect’, although it is less quippy, and no doubt less effective as an aphorism or ad slogan than the old stand-by.

Sometimes the journey is an uphill climb.

Sometimes the journey is an uphill climb.

There is no room in my day-to-day experience for guilt, shame, or emotional self-flagellation over the picayune details of everyday life. My rules, my home, my way…and I take a moment over my gradually cooling mediocre morning coffee to consider how long overdue this experience is for me, and how little self-possession and consideration I’ve allowed for myself, from myself, for so many years. Better to indulge, to err, to learn, eyes wide to what my experience can teach me, and prepared with self-acceptance and rational accountability to grow and move forward. This may mean the occasional mediocre cup of coffee – but it also means fresh cookies, sleeping in, long showers, and happy laughter when I master a new yoga pose. Choices matter a lot – giving myself the freedom to enact my will through action is pretty huge, too.

I am finding my way home.

I am finding my way home.

This is a much less anxious place to be. It’s a much less angry place to be. The undercurrent of subtle continuous resentment and the sense of being imposed upon almost continuously by rules external to my own thinking and practices are dissipating. Instead, I smile a lot, and I feel content much of the time. I make my own choices – and sometimes change my mind with new information, or experience a less than ideal outcome, or find  my understanding of circumstances has changed. I don’t rush myself to get a faster decision made to avoid inconveniencing someone else. I don’t think I know how to have this experience in the context of living with others – not yet – but I have the glimmer of an idea of what that might require of me. Realistically, cohabitation may not be ‘for me’ with the issues I have – I’m even okay with that, from the vantage point of a lovely Saturday morning, content, calm and smiling over my coffee. For now, this journey is about will and action, action and reaction, and practicing the practices that help me on my way to becoming the woman I most want to be.

Today is a good day to practice The Art of Being – and there’s no doubt in my mind that that needs to be capitalized. 🙂

 

My weekend in the trees over the Autumnal Equinox was lovely. It was not as quiet as I’d hoped; two troops of boy scouts had occupied the same bit of forest available to me for the weekend, and were actively exploring it in the way that boys of that age are active like no other creatures. lol. I was not distressed by their activity, or their presence. Apparently, I may have grown some while I wasn’t looking. 🙂

Forest: the view from my tent.

Forest: the view from my tent.

Friday was still and quiet all day, and Sunday from the moment day broke through the milky predawn sky and the boy scouts fled the trees in a moderately orderly fashion (at the behest of their leaders), until I myself departed at noon, was again quite still and quiet. I mean, as quiet as forests get. Certainly, the forest has music all its own that rarely really ceases. I got plenty of quiet, certainly enough stillness to calm my spirit and nourish my soul, and oddly several very good nights of sleep. On that, it wasn’t that I didn’t wake in the middle of the night to pee – I did, and honestly the walk in the dark, and cold, to get to that destination – and of the sort it is when camping – did nothing to add pleasantly to that experience – it was simply that the sleep I got was simply exquisitely restful. Naps or nighttime, either way, the sleep I got over the weekend was of amazing quality for restfulness, depth, and pleasantness. I am a big fan of good sleep.

Friday, I hiked 10 continuous miles, and met a goal set for 2015.

Friday, I hiked 10 continuous miles, and met a goal set for 2015.

My weekend in the trees was spent hiking, studying, meditating, focused contentedly on me, on the ‘now’ I exist in, and on solidifying recent lessons from life’s curriculum. My Granny would have called it ‘sorting shit out’ and made an annoyed face at me for my ‘grand words’ (although she loved my writing, even my poetry). I found time, this weekend, to walk in solitude wrapped in the affection and memory of cherished friends and loved ones no longer walking a living path. I never felt ‘lonely’, even in those poignant moments when loss felt visceral and heavy as I walked the trails.

I had plenty of company, too, from this guy and his sibs.

I had plenty of company, too, from this guy and his sibs.

Some important things occurred to me this weekend, perhaps short of an epiphany, but the evolution of useful ideas and worthy of further consideration and study. I learned quickly that I don’t understand these new ideas well enough to communicate them to others, without stumbling over things important to them. Sharing ends up being for some other time, rather than now.

Some of this has been about a change in perspective...

Some of this has been about a change in perspective…

...I mean, seriously changing perspective.

…I mean, seriously changing perspective.

My last weekend solo camping ended feeling very ready to head home. This one, although I felt the absence of my loves and dear ones in a significant way, ended feeling vaguely as if no amount of time in the trees could ever feel ‘too much’ given adequate supplies, and a secure tent. I wasn’t quite ready to come home…until my traveling partner pulled up in the parking lot. Just seeing him took my breath away such that I very nearly didn’t give him the usual hug and kiss; the moment was so intense with the wonder of loving this being. This man of flesh and emotion, of thought and action, of will and tenderness standing before me just then for that one moment seemed an ‘everything’ unarguably enough to come out of the trees for.  My partner.

What followed was a quiet evening at home, each contentedly (it seemed to me) doing our own thing, sharing space and time, and now and then conversation. My partner made a point of bringing some healthy groceries home for a simple and nourishing evening meal. I cooked. My generally-at-home partner tidied up after. Teamwork. A partnership. It was a lovely evening of family and warmth and contentment. It was enough. This morning…it still is.

Sometimes the path is paved, pleasant, and a beautiful experience.

Sometimes the path is paved, pleasant, and a beautiful experience.

My body and my heart have returned from the forest. My feet will carry me to work today, and I’ll harness my mind to my employers goals and do what I do. My thoughts, generally, are still out there…in the trees…in the autumn forest…listening to the fall of pine needles in breezes…the guttural insistent croak of a frog somewhere in the distance…the squeak and chatter of the nearby chipmunks and squirrels…on the edge of an awakening, on the edge of understanding something more today than I did last week, and in the midst of becoming. Surely, there will be more words on this another day.

Today is a good day to be.

Homecomings are special moments, at least for me. Even the small everyday homecoming of arriving home from work is a potentially beautiful and deeply connected moment with loved ones. When a homecoming goes wrong it hurts so much more than it probably requires, once considered with a full measure of perspective and compassion. I know this, because I have ruined a number of them, over the years. Along the way I have learned some things about homecomings:

1. Everyone is having their own experience, and has their own emotional investment in the outcome; making assumptions about exactly what it is, is a proven poor choice.

2. Unstated expectations are highly likely to be a factor in a homecoming going awry.

3. Everyone wants to share what’s been up with them during the time apart.

4. Being attached to an expectation, an outcome with an emotional investment behind it, or an internal narrative that no one else shares, is a shortcut to an unpleasant experience.

5. Even homecomings are about some very simple things: being accepted, being heard, and connecting.

Last night the travelers returned, and somehow managed to be unexpectedly early. Rather than being stressed out that I didn’t get to the house ahead of them to clean frantically (and mindlessly), I was delighted that they were home and safe. I arrived minutes later, and enjoyed my usually-at-home partner’s appreciation that I had stopped for cat food along the way (and she would not have to do so). I kept The Big 5 in play while they were away, and truly my partners are rarely far from my thoughts; the house was decently tidy, and small details matter. All weekend, I sought out little things to do that might result in a comfortable pleasant experience when the traveler’s returned.

It was a lovely homecoming evening, filled with laughter and shared stories, new art, and quiet conversation. I didn’t spend my solo time wracked with anxiety about housework; I painted. They didn’t come home to a disaster, because I also made a mindful effort to take care of things like dishes, and laundry, and routine chores (hey, I do have to live here, too! lol).  We didn’t ‘lean in’ to each other, allowing the greetings to be natural and comfortable, and the evening to be relaxed and leisurely. It was lovely.

The evening was short, of course. Both their arrival, and my return home from work occur slightly later in the evening, and once the car was unpacked, and calories were handled, showers finished… it was well into night. I spent some precious loving moments in the arms of the traveler returned home, too meaningful and valued to overlook, to personal and intimate to share further. I know I am loved.

Quite a nice homecoming.

I also slept incredibly badly, restlessly, and drenched in sweat – hot flashes? Misery. I woke with a headache, stuffy sinuses, and arthritis stiffness that renders my movements almost puppet-like. Still, no complaints from me, because those are not the details that define my experience.

"The Stillness Within" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas with glow.

“The Stillness Within” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas with glow, 2014

Today is a good day for love. Today is a good day to change the world.

After numerous flight delays, I finally reached my destination, and a taxi. I was one 40 minute cab ride away from home.

My driver made the trip in a heart-stopping 24 minutes!

My driver made the trip in a heart-stopping 24 minutes!

My homecoming was delightful, warm, loving, supportive. I know we hung out for a little while, I know souvenirs were brought forth, shared, discussed. There may have been an anecdote shared, or two.  I think we ‘got caught up’. I didn’t stay  up late, but I didn’t rush to bed, either; Las Vegas got me used to just going and going and going…ending the evening and going to sleep was challenging, in spite of obvious signs of exhaustion.

Yesterday happened. Most of it involved sleeping. I woke in the morning, too early, had coffee and started an argument. It hadn’t been my intention, and in-the-moment I wouldn’t have described the circumstances that way, but looking back, the step-by-step process of ‘starting shit’ was evident, and well-followed with considerable precision. I was still so incredibly fatigued that I was highly volatile, and that’s a poor moment to attempt conversation about political matters –  important or otherwise. This was not ‘important’. I was just killing time, waiting for an entirely other sort of moment, actually, and my choices were poor.  (Not surprising, really, my decision-making when I am fatigued is often quite peculiarly poor, and I suspect it is due to the specifics of my TBI.) I went back to bed, once it became clear I just wasn’t rested enough yet to be fit to interact with human beings.

Yesterday I slept 16.5 hours, waking 4 times for various reasons, and durations of time. I managed to drink about 128 ounces of water (thank you Hello Kitty water bottle!). I even managed to fit in some meditation, some yoga, and a couple short walks.  Apparently that is what it takes me to recover from 4 days in Las Vegas. lol (I think we could all have done without including a nasty tearful temper tantrum, next time I’ll try that.)

I am excited to be home. I am rested. Life feels very good.

Today is a good day to garden.

Today is a good day to garden.

Today is a good day to notice small delights.

Today is a good day to notice small delights.

Today is a good day to enjoy simple things.

Today is a good day to enjoy simple things.

Today is a good day to love without reservations.

Today is a good day to love without reservations.

Today is a good day to change the world.