Archives for posts with tag: love matters most

I haven’t been writing as often or as regularly. Are you missing me? I’m sorry. It’s Spring, you see, and this new job… life feels quite busy. Filled with tasks, meetings, conversations with my Traveling Partner about the perfect placement of “bass traps” and how best to fill the house with beautiful music. There are flowers blooming. There are others yet to be planted. Time ticks quickly by without me noticing, and days have gone by, again. 🙂

Primroses in the garden.

Maybe this is simply another step on this long journey? I sip my coffee and look around my studio, here, at home. It’s also my office, and the work day will begin shortly. I feel safe and content in this place – the space, yes, but also this time in my life. How odd. When did this contentment arrive? This odd little “oh, hey, yes, this is who I am” sort of feeling that also feels… okay? When did I find this loving good humor with which to face my relationships? This sense of loving kindness that says “it’s okay that we’re cross with each other right now – it hardly matters because there’s just so much love to be shared” feels new and enduring… has it always been within reach? Is it fragile or likely to fade in some moment of impatience? There’s part of me that wonders how one could ever be cross in the context of this much love… and I smile, remembering that “cross” isn’t really a “state of being” so much as a feeling. Emotional weather, not emotional climate – at least for me, personally, here, now.

…How much have I changed? How is it I still recognize myself at all? (And, how is it I can still make a cup of coffee this damned bad??? LOL)

I sip my coffee and sit with this contentment… contentedly. 🙂

Life is still pretty real. There is no “perfect” to attain. No A+ report card to receive. No ideal state of ease that never demands more of me. Shit breaks. Things need to be maintained. There’s always housekeeping to stay caught up on. Details. In fact, my Traveling Partner sticks his head in the door and gently pleads for assurance that I will “take care of the aquarium today, please?”; the pump is being a bit noisy, and one of the intakes is a bit blocked. I didn’t do my best work with upkeep tasks yesterday, sort of rushing through it between meetings during the work day. I assure him I’ll take care of it on my first break from work this morning; I know that sound grates on his nerves, and I also know that my fish rely on my attention to enjoy a good quality of life. So. No perfect here – and there’s always something that needs doing.

…It’s still important to take breaks, get rest, enjoy leisure, and really savor every lovely pleasant moment life and love offer. It’s a bit like an emotional savings account that is there for me “in case of emergencies” – funding, in a sense, the continued contentment and resilience when things do go sideways – and they will. I’m still very human. I don’t expect that to change.

It’s an utterly ordinary Thursday morning on a work day. This is a fairly ordinary suburban life in a small town in 21st century America. Nonetheless… there is much to do with the day ahead, and it wants a beginning. 🙂 Am I ready? Does that even matter? 😉 If I’m not – I can begin again.

More specifically, I mean to say that I find it pointlessly disruptive and uncomfortable to deal with the time changes twice yearly, and most particularly the change in Spring. I’m groggy this morning. I have this splitting headache (not the usual one, just the one that comes of messing with time/timing and circadian rhythms that I experience each year for a handful of mornings following the Spring change to DST). I’m more than ordinarily grateful for a good cup of strong coffee, and the mellow companionship of my Traveling Partner. But, yeah… Fuck Daylight Savings Time. For real. Damn. We ought to consider not doing this, as it serves literally no one. (Seriously, no one. Google it.)

The weekend is behind me. New job starts today. This morning. In fact, in a sense, it has begun; it’s Monday morning. The laptop in its neat factory packaging sits on the desk to my left, waiting to be opened. I’ve read over the instructions provided by the IT department, and those seem pretty clear. First onboarding item on my calendar is at 10:00 am. Last meeting of the day is at 3:00 pm. Between those events, my calendar is full of other meetings with other colleagues, “meet & greets” and onboarding sessions of various sorts. I’d be more excited, perhaps, if this were not also the first Monday following DST, with its associated headache and brain fog. :-\ I’ll get there; I am actually excited, I’m just not completely awake yet.

I glance at the clock and notice it is “7:04 am” (my body says that’s a lie, and that it is “really” 6:04 am, and while a perfectly reasonable time to be awake… it feels “too early”, because I woke up “too early”). I think about expectations and assumptions, and look out the window into the pre-dawn darkness. I know I’ll feel more awake when the sun rises. I take a couple Ibuprofen for the headache. I make my second coffee much earlier than usual (and consider whether to indulge in a third once I finish the second one).

Every year I go through this. I’d prefer not to. I’ve seen some encouraging news articles this year that suggest I am not alone in my desire to be done with this bullshit fairly arbitrary twice-yearly time change. Maybe we’ll do something about it instead of just pissing and moaning about how unpleasant it is? 🙂

I think about the weekend. Sip my coffee. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. Pull myself fully upright, again, and smile; my Traveling Partner has been helping me improve the ergonomics of my workstation at home (for which I’m very grateful, since I’m less able to see where things are off, and it really matters since I now work full time from home). I’m delighted with the most recent changes. I still have to make the effort to maintain good posture, but the placement of my gear now makes that quite comfortable, almost effortless aside from needing to be aware of my body in the first place.

It was lovely to return home, yesterday. We enjoyed a splendid day together, relaxing, playing video games. The house looks amazing. Tidy. Welcoming. It was definitely worth putting in the effort to tidy up my spaces before I went to the coast, because on top of the work my partner did (before and after), the homecoming ended up being sooooo relaxed and comfortable. No housekeeping pressure. 😀 Worth it. I’m fortunate to have a partner who is also very committed to our quality of life, day-to-day. I already know I don’t have the energy reliably available to do it all myself. 🙂

…Damn this is good coffee. Definitely better than the utterly dreadful hotel coffee of yesterday. 🙂 A good start on a new beginning. I see daylight developing beyond the window. Looks like time to begin again. 😀

The morning is off to a slow start. I don’t take it personally. I slept well, woke easily, and it’s a new day. I start the morning with some exercise, then make coffee. It is a work day.

I sip my coffee feeling grateful for how well my work-station suits me. My Traveling Partner has supported my needs with great care, and together we’ve chosen equipment that really appeals to me, and also suits my physical and cognitive needs. It matters. I’m fortunate, and I smile as my fingers float over the keys of this keyboard. During the work day, it matters, too; I can see the screen easily, and am less prone to spending hours hunched over my desk, squinting at my monitors. I feel relaxed, sitting here, with my coffee, as the day begins. 🙂

My partner put my needs ahead of his own, to get me back to work promptly after the move. He’s finally getting to spend time on his own needs, and getting his workstation set up, too. It’s been challenging to deal with shipping delays caused by the pandemic (I mean, probably?). It’s nice to see him getting to start enjoying his computer, again. When I look around, it’s clear that the last space here at home that is due for a real investment in time, effort, and thought to be wholly “moved in” is my partner’s study/game room. In all other respects, we appear to be entirely moved in, here, and simply living life. 🙂

Yesterday, things went a bit sideways at one point. His frustration (with some set-up details that were preventing him making use of his computer) exceeded his ability to manage it easily (frustration is my “kryptonite”, so I totally “get it”). His strong emotions began to overwhelm me, even though they were not at all “about” me – not his “fault”, or really any “issue” of his at all. That’s all on me. I wasn’t managing that very well. The moment of emotional badminton was a bit difficult for both of us. We have the tools for that. We managed to get a grip on ourselves, each of us, individually. I keep returning to a critical moment of success in my recollection; in that instant when I was teetering on the edge of a PTSD “flashback” and at risk of a full on meltdown, my Traveling Partner stepped out onto our deck for a moment to “get a grip” and take a minute to calm himself. When he came back in, although still stressed, he simply asked me “What do you want out this right now?”, with measured deliberate patience, and a very gentle voice. I took a breath and answered “I want a calm house, contentment, and to be able to simply converse, even when we’re stressed out”. His reply really got through to me, too. “Then work with me and let’s make that happen.”

So we did. And we lived happily ever after.

Well…okay… being real? We did, and it worked out well, and we were able to get back on track and really “be there” for each other. Heartfelt apologies were exchanged, hurt feelings were acknowledged, and each of us took unflinching ownership of our individual baggage and bullshit. It was pretty fantastic. 🙂 I’m proud of my partner’s ability – and willingness – to take a step back in a moment of stress and work together to improve an experience. It’s a shared journey because we don’t leave each other to carry our burdens alone. 🙂 It’s not always easy, and it is very human. That’s okay, too.

Love means us no harm. There’s value in treating it that way. 🙂

Happily ever after is not actually a thing. Let that go. The expectations and assumptions that infect our thinking when we chase “happily ever after” are definitely going to sabotage our joy in every moment that reality can’t measure up to the perfect romantic daydream of “happily ever after”. Trust me; reality can’t live up to our cherished daydreams. lol Let that go. We’re too human for that – and honestly, in its best moments, reality is quite splendid, after all.

I sip my second coffee. My Traveling Partner, now up for the day, drinks his first cup. I consider a dip in the hot tub before work… it’s a nice start to a busy day. 🙂

…Certainly, it’s time to begin again.

 

Life in the time of pandemic is sometimes hard on love and lovers. Those among us who want, need, or enjoy a lot of solitude to support their wellness may be feeling “trapped” at home, in the inescapable company of others. Those among us who want, need, or enjoy a great deal of community and many shared experiences to feel supported and fulfilled in life may also be feeling “trapped” at home – alone. There is variety to human experience, even in the time of pandemic. It is, at this point, sometimes a matter of real will, and endurance, to accommodate the limitations we’re each (all) faced with, and sometimes it isn’t “easy”. Tempers flare. Conflict develops (sometimes where no conflict truly exists). This shit is hard sometimes, to the point that otherwise (probably) rational people protest in the streets over the restrictions they face due to the pandemic, without any regard for the reason those restrictions are actually place. 0_o I mean, I get it, I’m frustrated too.

Let it go. It’s not personal. We’re each having our own experience – and we’re all in this together.

This morning I sip my coffee and remind myself that love matters most. I make a point of letting my (recognized, known) bullshit go. The moments of strife and discord are, in many instances, as imagined as any other bit of narrative we’ve created out of the bits and pieces of cobbled together fears, insecurities, doubts, assumptions, and personal baggage. Add some stress to that and it’s quite a poisoned cup of noodles, is it not? I remind myself to let that shit go, and to refrain from taking some one moment personally (that most likely is not personal at all, it just feels that way). Assume positive intent. I mean, for real, though? I’m not talking about assuming positive intent with regard to a stranger approaching me in twilight with a weird look on their face. I’m talking about love, here. I’m talking about my Traveling Partner; why would I assume anything but positive intent?? I know he loves me. I know I love him. We’re on this incredible journey together, building this beautiful life together, sharing these precious moments… how is anything but an assumption of positive intent appropriate? 🙂

…Silly human primates, always making up drama…

I smile and sip my coffee, grateful for the human being asleep in the other room as I start my day. Sure, it takes practice to be the woman I most want to be. There are a ton of verbs involved. My results definitely vary. You may as well assume positive intent, though, with regard to me, my words and actions, and my intent, with regard to love and loving and this partnership right here; I’ve no other sort of intent in mind, moment to moment. 🙂 Doesn’t make things easier when some moment goes sideways unexpectedly, and that’s just real.

Sometimes I’ve got to rely on my own recollection that we love each other, and trust my partner to do the same. If we both set down some of our baggage, and both work towards being the of who we each are, we can trust each other’s positive intent, and go from there. 🙂 Isn’t that enough to begin again, as often as we need to?

Another sip of coffee, a journey without a map, some perspective, and a lot of love; definitely enough on which to begin again. 🙂

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. 😀