Archives for posts with tag: love and lovers

Good flight, so far. Lots of storms. Lightening. Beautiful. I entertain myself shooting video clips of lightening in the distance as it illuminates the clouds. The sky is “already ” beginning to show signs of the coming dawn. My brain feels confused by that; the clock says 01:14. Soon we’ll land, and upon reconnecting, it’ll be 3 hours “into the future”.

I haven’t slept. Although I often doze on long flights, it’s rare that I actually sleep deeply or restfully. I didn’t expect to. I dozed a couple times. 20-30 minute catnaps, nothing more. I will nap in the hotel, after check-in.

… time passes…

It’s evening, now. Almost 18:00. Florida “has thick air” – dense, still, humid. There has been a hint of coming storms in the air here, all day. The storms over the midwest seem to have followed me here. lol I turn off the A/C in the room. Shut off the lights as night falls. I shoot a few videos. Reliably the most “dramatic” and eye-catching lightening immediately precedes turning on the video, or quickly follows turning it off. LOL Timing matters.

I sit quietly, entertained by “nature’s lightshow”. The heaviest of the drenching rain has moved on, but the lightening persists. There was a balcony light on for a while. It’s off now. Timers? My footage would have been much better without that fucking balcony light. I stop writing for a few minutes and just watch, listen, and breathe. My cell phone is on the charger; no video right now. LOL Timing matters.

City lights in the distance seem to sparkle. Cars move along roadways. It all seems so… “fancy”. I feel lucky to see it; there are very few thunderstorms where I live.

I was so wiped out from traveling that once I checked into the hotel, and got sorted out for where things are located (like the convention I’m actually here for), I crashed hard and napped for a couple hours. Got up. Showered. Went and checked-in to the conference itself. Had another nap. Roused myself and attended the evening conference “mixer” – just a meet-n-greet of various professionals attending, and the folks who are hosting the whole thing. It was pleasant enough, I supposed. Not so much my thing, personally, but I was tickled to run into a couple folks I know from elsewhere: a former colleague, folks I’ve met previously through vendor partnerships when I was employed other places. Everyone seemed to have a good time. Once it was clear the socializing was beginning to turn into “partying”, I made a gracious exit and returned to my room, delicious but unfinished Mai Tai still in my hand. Those are fucking strong. I have one last sip as I enter my room, and put the rest in the mini fridge. (I probably won’t finish it; that’s a lot of alcohol for me, and I rarely drink.) Tasty. Too much. Like travel and conferences. LOL

The thunder rolls on. An hour ago I was unbelievably sleepy again… now, less so. I’m captivated by the lightening, and spellbound by the thunder. I’m missing my Traveling Partner. We chatted awhile, a bit ago, before the thunderstorm started. Soon, sleep, but for now, I’m just sitting here with a glass of water, enjoying this thunderstorm. 😀 …This too shall pass. Storms do. Impermanence demonstrated. I sit with that metaphor, sipping my water.

Soon enough, it’ll be a new day, and time to begin again.

It’s evening. A bit after 6 p.m., not late. I had a third coffee… and had it in the afternoon. Needed a bit of a pick-me-up when I started running out of steam. Will it keep me up? No idea, but I’m rather inclined to think not; I still feel a bit… done. lol Not in a bad way, just fatigued. Sore muscles (physical therapy seems to be helping with my overall fitness quite a lot, and in any regard in which my relative lack of fitness was contributing to my pain, that has improved). I don’t mind sore muscles; steps toward a goal. Damn, though – tired and sore muscles? I left work a bit early. I’ve got tomorrow off and plans to see a friend. Feels good to make occasional plans that involve actual other humans. lol Yeah, I said it. 🙂

I got home to find my Traveling Partner at work on a variety of Spring-cleaning-themed tasks: cleaning and refilling the hot tub, & general tidying. After I got home, even going that extra step to finish up what he had started out on the deck, doing things like cleaning the grill, and the fire pit, and re-hanging the shade “sails”. I enjoyed hanging out on the deck with him. Occasionally lending a hand when asked, but mostly “staying out of the way” and relaxing with my afternoon coffee. It was fun. I’m still smiling.

Spring is already trying to become summer. lol

I stopped by a local nursery and picked up some kitchen herbs to add to the front garden. Nice splashes of green foliage with real usefulness. I looked over the blueberries there, but they weren’t great looking, and I did not splurge on them just because they were there. That doesn’t really work for me – and they would not have been varieties I really want for the location I have in mind. It can wait.

Dave Matthews is still singing love songs in the background. It’s music I definitely associate with this love of ours. We’ll be 11 years married, this year, and 12 years as lovers. I enjoy our enduring love. I smile fondly when I think of him in his shop, preparing for tomorrow’s work day. I sat down here thinking I’d play Minecraft… ending up writing, reflecting contentedly on a day well-spent, and looking ahead toward the days to come. Long weekend. I’d like to spend some notable portion in the garden. I’ve also got an errand to run. Routine weekend in most regards, simply pleasantly long, and suited to sleeping in and loving. Maybe a hike? Some time in the studio? Honestly, it’s enough to rest, and be.

I’ll definitely be glad when my muscles aren’t so sore; I’ll get right back to making them sore, again. That’s kinda the way it works to get from not-all-that-fit back to “fit”. I’m not even complaining. I’m not injured, it’s just sore muscle pain. It tells me where my muscles lack symmetry. It tells me where I’m a bit weaker and could use more work, done with care. It reminds me to keep at it; we become what we practice. If I want to regain my fitness, strength, and endurance, there are definitely going to be a lot of verbs and practicing to get there, and quite a few days with sore muscles.

It sounds like the dryer is finished… there’s a bed to remake before fatigue becomes exhaustion, and before evening turns to night. There’s a new beginning ahead. There are endings behind me. The love that has infused this day matters so much more than this little bit of muscle pain. 🙂

I’m sipping my coffee enjoying a moment of fond appreciation and gratitude for the life I am living, and love I am fortunate to enjoy. There are no guarantees; circumstances change. Change is. Count on it!

Sometimes small surprises really turn a day or week around. 🙂 I got a nice little package from my cousin. I had sent her a wee note card a couple weeks ago. I think very fondly of her, and we haven’t stayed in touch very well. She replied, and sent me a couple cute quilted items she had made. They are delightful. I’m still smiling. I feel loved. It was such a thoughtful gesture.

Yesterday, my Traveling Partner surprised me with a substantial token of his affection – handmade in wood, a symbol of balance. It’s lovely, and sits here on my desk, just past my keyboard. I don’t know where I will place it longer-term. I like it sitting right here, where I can see it. On my desk, I’ve also got the desk caddy he custom made for me in his shop; holds my stuff, in the relative positions where I would place them on the bare desk, in the order I generally use them. It’s brilliant and I love it. He made a pizza peel for us shortly after we moved in. I use it any time we make pizza. Sometimes I use it as a big trivet. lol

Balance and perspective – critical tools.

I’m starting the morning in a good place. I feel settled and contented. I feel loved. Valued. It’s nice. It hasn’t been effortless getting from “where I was” to “where I am”, and I won’t say that I don’t see a continued journey extending ahead me. 🙂 I am still learning, every day, what it takes to be the woman – the human being – I most want to be. It’s not a journey about money, or material success and comfort, and I definitely don’t see value in making it a competition with other human beings on their own individual journeys. I’m just one woman on this one path of my own, enjoying a quiet Saturday morning over a cup of coffee, and feeling grateful to be as fortunate as I have been.

Spring – the pear trees on the other side of the fence have begun to notice, too.

I’m eager to be back in the spring garden. I’ve got my early stuff planted – but I’ve also apparently got a raccoon “helper” who has been rummaging around in the grow bags I’ve planted with carrots and scallions, and I may need to do some damage control. lol My space for gardening is very limited, so the veggies will mostly be in grow bags, and when warmer weather comes, I’ll add a couple hydroponic pots for things like peppers. I hope to grow some Japanese eggplant, too, but honestly I think those are quite beautiful plants, and I’ll just put them into the flower beds out front. 😀

My veggie garden getting started for the year.

In the simplest terms, it is a pleasant weekend morning. I’m enjoying that quite deliberately, sipping my coffee and thinking about the many things I am grateful for. Embracing joy and cultivating contentment are worthy endeavors; in my own experience “happy” has not come “naturally”, it has taken quite a lot of commitment and work to get past all that ancient pain, all that anger, all that despair. It’s for sure worthy effort, but… it is effort. It does take attention, and practice to make changes. I smile to myself; this morning is sure damned close to feeling “effortless”, and that’s something amazing (and very much worth enjoying while it lasts).

I queue up some gardening videos. I immediately find my mind wandering to cooking… I laugh and drink my coffee. My delight is not affected; if I’d queued up a cooking video, I’d have been thinking about the garden. This is where my happy place is – here at home, where I can cook, and garden, and hang out with my lover (even in when we aren’t in the same room, I feel his presence here at home with me).

Sure, I’ll begin the day again, after I finish this coffee… nothing fancy planned. Grocery shopping. Run an errand. Get out in the garden. Love my partner. It’s a lovely day for all of that. That’s enough.

I woke in an excellent mood this morning. Some pain, nothing extraordinary. Head kinda stuffy, nothing more than any morning. I greeted my Traveling Partner before heading to a hot shower. Made coffee. All fairly routine morning stuff. It’s a Sunday morning. Not yet even 07:00 in my local time zone. I didn’t have to be awake yet; I woke when I woke, feeling rested.

The pandemic is beginning to slow… isn’t it? Is it? It’s not clear from the news. Some locales want to ease restrictions because restrictions suck. Other places yearn for the safety of continued masking and distancing, continued remote learning, and crowd size limitations. Individual opinions – both the well-informed science-based sort, and all the others – vary. There are a lot of voices that seem to have a stake in the decision-making (or at least, want to). Me, personally? I’m no expert on medical science or virology. It would be arrogant of me to make bold statements of fact based on my limited knowledge and unproven assumptions. Subjectively? I’m bored of masks, but I don’t see myself discontinuing the practice of wearing one in crowded public spaces, or during cold and flu season. I’ll probably keep doing it long after the pissing and moaning over mandates has ended.

The simplest of truths I could share from my own experience is simply that I’ve been more well more of the time through the use of masking, social distancing, improved surface cleanliness, improved personal hygiene, and not keeping company with folks who are symptomatic of any sort of obvious respiratory concern. It would not require even one hand to count the number of head colds I’ve had during the pandemic. I don’t like being sick with a cold or the flu, and it’s been quite nice to avoid so much of that. I like that sick people seem to be staying the fuck home quite a bit more; it’s rare to see someone with a serious cough in a public place. It has become uncommon to see someone come to work obviously quite sick (whether my own workplace, or out in retail spaces). That by itself seems a very healthy improvement in how our society handles being ill. We could certainly benefit by keeping that practice in place!

I’ve learned quite a bit during the pandemic about “getting on with living in spite of restrictions” – whether those restrictions are resource limitations, limitations on personal liberty, or some other sort doesn’t really matter that much, as it happens. I’ve learned to take advantage of those moments when my partner and I feel a tad “trapped here together” to take time for me. Writing, reading, listening to music, doing some fitness activity or another, learning a new skill – there are so many doors I can open in some moment when the space we’re in together feels confining. I love hanging out with my Traveling Partner. I could quite contentedly curl up cozy on the couch with him and just consume video content damned near endlessly. Truth. I suspect he generally feels the same about me. We’ve got an enduring love for each other, and honestly nothing much else going on that feels “more important” than enjoying each other. BUT – and this is true – sometimes I’m a bit much to take. Or perhaps he is. Sometimes, it’s a clash of wills or wants, and no amount of tenderness or humor really brings us into alignment for some little while. All real and normal and fine; I used to take it sort of personally. After two years of pandemic living, I think I’ve learned to take better care of myself – and us – by enjoying those moments of difference, to enjoy them with myself. I mean… it’s probably fairly obvious that this would be a suitable use of any time we spent really not quite so thoroughly enjoying each other. lol

I sip my coffee. My partner steps in and begins rubbing my shoulders while I write. Feels nice. I feel loved. “What are you doing?” I ask. “Nothing. Hanging out,” he laughs mischievously, “harassing you.” I laugh, too. Suddenly, my writing seems “second best”… I think it’s time to begin again. 😀

Queue “Love Rollercoaster“… or…maybe “Love Rollercoaster“? Love has its ups and downs, not unlike a rollercoaster; it’s an appropriate metaphor. We deal with our own challenges – and our partners’. I’m confident that my Traveling Partner loves “all of me“. I count on his enduring love, “right down the line“. Maybe ours is an uncommon sort of love story – maybe not. I know this is our love – and it’s where I want to be. Sometimes love is like dancing, and I feel like I’ve “got the right dancing partner”, at long last.

Valentine’s Day? It was lovely. Spent lived, out loud, and wrapped in love. There are other experiences worth having. 🙂

I originally wrote a very different post under this title (on Friday). It was hurt-sounding, and infused with strong emotion, seasoned with pointless frustrated tears, and more than a hint of self-pitying catastrophizing. As the weekend proceeded, quite differently I’m pleased to note, my thinking on the writing (and events) of Friday evening continued to morph, evolve, mature, change, and deepen. I ascribed to the events first greater significance, then less, dwindling in magnitude of catastrophe and emotional pain over happy days spent in my partner’s good company, feeling loved, and loving, and enjoying our precious mortal moments together. At several points, I re-wrote, edited, adjusted, and refined my written thoughts, as my lived thoughts of the moment themselves changed. Mostly, I focused on being a better partner, better friend, and better love, and didn’t put nearly as much into writing about any of those things.

I spent quite a bit of time in a thoughtful place, reading “You Are Here” by Thích Nhất Hạnh. You’ll see a lot of his written work linked in my reading list – or on my book shelves. This one was a recent gift to me from my Traveling Partner to ease my sorrow when I learned of Thầy’s passing. Funny, I was so moved by my partner’s gift that simply receiving it was emotional and memorable; I felt so loved and understood. Diving into the work and actually reading it, this weekend of all weekends, I could see so much of the depth of my partner’s affection; every page seems to speak to our “here”, our “now”, and the very nature of Love itself. It led my thinking onward, gently, over the course of the weekend. Like a map, it helped me “find my way”.

Yesterday, on Valentine’s Day, I woke to an entirely different understanding of Friday evening’s moment of hurt and conflict. I found myself looking at it through a very different lens – one of real compassion and empathy, and awareness of what my partner is/may-be going through, himself, and pushing myself out of the hero’s role of the narrative in my head, to view our experience of each other through a more… equitable(?) perspective. We both have PTSD – and for both of us, the majority of that damage comes from intimate partnerships (other than our own, though at this point we’ve done ourselves a fair bit of emotional damage over a decade) or familial relationships. I now find myself painfully aware how often I insist I be nurtured and supported, while also pretty reliably overlooking his triggers, and his need to be emotionally supported, also. I shut him down when I “don’t feel heard”, instead of listening deeply because I care. I could do better. For sure. Like… probably a lot.

The tl;dr on Friday’s misadventure was simple enough; I triggered him (and did not recognize that in the moment), he reacted, and his reaction triggered me. I threw a fucking fit, and behaved incredibly poorly, and had a nasty temper tantrum we both could have done without. I wrecked a lovely romantic moment in the making, and we had a shit time of things that evening. (I feel fortunate that our love endures our individual and mutual bullshit.) We turned things around together over the course of the weekend, each of us “doing the verbs” to live our best versions of ourselves, and to love each other in the most healing way we could. Win and good; we enjoyed a lovely weekend together.

I thought about posting the original writing from Friday’s moment…but reading it, and even reading various edits and footnotes, I just “couldn’t find room for it” in my current thinking – I’ve already adjusted my thinking, and made room in my awareness to be more supportive and directly nurturing of my partner’s needs, and less strictly focused on my own. Self-care is supremely important, and boundary and expectation-setting is a pretty big deal for building lasting love – no argument there – and I’m not saying that it is any part of my plan to undermine those things (I’ve worked too hard “to get here”!). What I am saying is that I’m more aware that I’ve got room to grow and improve on how well I identify my partner’s need for emotional support, and could use some additional work on those skills, too. Love is a verb. Balance is a healthy quality.

…As silly as this is likely to sound, I put a ton of study and practice into self-care, and meeting my own needs, I somehow almost entirely overlooked how best to support a partner and their unique emotional needs in the context of their PTSD. I mean… for fucks’ sake, really?? Omg. Definitely time to begin again!