Archives for posts with tag: love matters

Change is. Taking some quiet time really mattered. Helped a lot.

Memorial Day weekend.

I’ll take weekend and try to s I rt myself out and soothe myself. Garden. Maybe paint. Get some trail time.

There are still verbs involved. My results still vary. I’ll keep practicing. Maybe get some sleep.

I’ll begin again.

I am sipping a delicately fragrant cup of tea this morning, and lingering over the recollection of a lovely moment with my traveling partner last night. He put on a love song with a beautiful tender video for our shared enjoyment. It was a simple connected romantic moment, and very much worth remembering. This morning, with headphones on, I listen to it again…then play a favorite that makes me think of loving him. Suddenly, it is a morning filled with music – love songs, mostly, and uplifting songs of pure joy. “Love songs” to life and self – don’t those matter just as much? Sure – that’s part of the point; I matter. To me. No argument, defense, or justification required.

I find my way back to romantic love songs, of course, it’s that sort of morning. 🙂 I “miss” my traveling partner as fervently and with as much yearning as if he were away, instead of sleeping in another room. Sometimes love is funny that way. I let him sleep; I love him such that it matters more that he rest well than to risk waking him with a touch or a kiss. I’ll see him later today.

Love matters most.

Love matters most.

Today is a good day to be love.

I didn’t sleep well last night. Actually, I didn’t sleep last night. I went to bed in the evening feeling fully prepared and ready to sleep. I even fell asleep with little effort. For about 2 hours. Then I woke, and dozed, and woke again. I got up around 12:41 am and prowled the house quietly. Then back to bed; there were no monsters. I woke again shortly after 2:00 am, did the trip to the bathroom. Back to bed. Heard my partner wake and move about the house. Another sleepless being. Shortly after, I got up, and got more water. I kept trying to sleep. I kept dozing off, waking, and not sleeping. I figure I may have gotten about 3.5 hours of sleep. I am not rested. I am not alert. I am highly volatile, and likely to be easily irritated. I’m not making predictions or making assumptions; this is my now.

When I got up with the alarm and recognized my state of being for what it is, I made a point of alerting my partner – still awake, himself – and letting him know I’m high risk for tantrums and nastiness this morning. He shifted from delight at seeing me, to concern and tender caution. He made it easy to retreat to my own space, where it is at least quiet, and unlikely that someone will haplessly piss me off, without remembering the fragile state I’m in.

The weekend is a blur. I took yesterday off in observance of Veteran’s Day, so that someone else on my team could take it off today, comfortably. We’re both veterans. I will work today, fuzzy-headed, slowed-down from lack of sleep, irritable, and doing my best to be patient with random people thanking me for my service. (The temptation is always to explain very carefully why it wasn’t worth it, and how the price is too high; I already know they don’t understand, and I generally don’t bother.) They mean well, and generally in the moment they say the words, they are indeed attempting to communicate something heartfelt and important to them. I try to accept it, graciously. I can’t actually offer them absolution, if that is what they are seeking. There is no way to ‘validate their parking’ ethically on matters of war.

I can hear the family, on the other side of the door, talking and laughing. I feel a surge of pointless anger. I’m so tired. The anger isn’t rational, and there is no blame-worthy object at which to direct it. I didn’t sleep. I fell asleep dozens of times, never achieving a deep enough sleep to survive foot steps in the hallway, coughing, toilets flushing, trucks passing by, occasional nose-blowing, drawers, doors, or the noises of the pipes cooling, or whatever it is that pipes do that causes that knocking they sometimes do. These are all everyday sounds. Generally they are not sufficient to keep me awake, or to wake me. Last night I wasn’t sleeping well. Returning to a calm resting place wasn’t too hard. Even if I hadn’t been actually sleeping, and tired, and very much inclined to sleep, there’s always meditation to bring me to the edge of readiness to sleep, and from there it’s usually just a choice. Last night my experience was different. I didn’t sleep well.

Now I’ve been on about it for more than 500 words; it’s hard to think about anything but the sleep, and rest, I desperately need to function well when I didn’t get it. I dread going to work today.

Rain-drenched autumn substitute for sleep.

Rain-drenched autumn flowers…no substitute for sleep.

I hurt this morning, too. I wonder if the pain kept me awake? I don’t recall now. I know I hurt.

Lovely blossoms, just less frequent than spring.

Lovely blossoms, less frequent than spring; even pain doesn’t hide autumn’s loveliness.

I’m almost numb with fatigue. I hadn’t slept well for a few days, although I had at least slept. It wasn’t enough to prepare me for this. I giggle slightly hysterically, frustrated by the rampant typing mistakes this morning, the inappropriate expression of amusement somehow my response to the internal seething. Yep. Tired. It’s going to be an interesting day at the office.

Sometimes the truth isn't grand, or illuminating.

Sometimes the truth isn’t grand, or illuminating.

Today isn’t wasted, in spite of the rough start. There’s always more to learn, and the challenges I face – when I face them well – show my strength. When I am less successful facing my challenges, I learn more, grow more, and find new questions to ask along this journey of discovery. Today is one day I’ll do so from the perspective of great fatigue, and limited resilience. The day is far from wasted; it has the potential to teach me something truly new about what I can do with my choices and my will, and where my values really lie. Today, as days go, is ideal for putting new practices to the test, and for seeing progress and growth in action. Tired isn’t synonymous with poor treatment. I still have choices. I still hold a standard of behavior in my treatment of others – and myself – that puts abuse out of reach, and challenges me to do more, better, on a day like today. Where might that take me? No idea. I know I am loved.

My traveling partner comes to me with a smile, and although my initial reaction is one of caution and suspicion (because I am, frankly, not entirely clear-headed), he reached out with love, wrapped me in his arms and held me, touching me gently, stroking my skin, rubbing my back in places he knows reliably hurt, and folding me in his love. Am I still tired? Oh yeah. Do I still hurt? Yep, unquestionably. I am loved, though, and that goes beyond pain, and beyond fatigue, and touches my heart. Even today.

Lovely autumn roses; more beautiful because they are unexpected.

Lovely autumn roses; more beautiful because they are unexpected.

Today is a good day to do my best. Today is a good day to avoid making assumptions. Today is a good day not to take stuff personally. Today is a good day to be impeccable with my words. Today is a good day to savor pleasant moments with my full attention. Today is a good day to let small stuff go. Today is a good day to be patient with myself, and with others. Today is a good day to take care of me, and mind the basics of good self-care – even if I didn’t get enough _______. (Today it’s ‘sleep’, tomorrow I might forget my vitamins. lol) Today is a good day to build a world that cares for me, by being one person I can always count on to do so.

It’s a good question, I think. What matters most? It’s right up there with “what will best meet my needs over time?” and “based on what?”, which is another exceptional question for figuring things out.  I like ‘figuring things out’, although I doubt I’m particularly skilled at it.

Figuring things out along the way.

Figuring things out along the way.

These are important questions for other reasons, too. What we don’t know about ourselves, we can’t share.  This becomes incredibly important for me, in my everyday life, pretty regularly these days. It’s a matter of change and growth and love; I have changed, and grown, and I love.  How will my loves treat me well with any ease if they don’t know me, too? How will they know me as I grow and change if I don’t share? So. Yeah.

When we are explicit about our needs and desires, it is easier to fulfill them.

When we are explicit about our needs and desires, it is easier to fulfill them.

Let’s talk specifics. I headed home with eagerness some nights ago, and had built expectations of being received with similar eagerness, based on earlier conversations via email. I was excited to be heading home, and looking forward to the evening at home. I punched in the door code, stepped over the threshold and called out a happy greeting to… silence.  I stalled a little, emotionally, and felt real disappointment; there was no one there to greet me…but…I was expected that similar eagerness for the evening, and had in my recollection explicit expressions of desire to enjoy  my company. I felt a little hurt, and foolish over that on top of it, because it seemed rather a childlike level of heartsick disappointment for so small a thing. A closed door at the back of the house quietly advised that my loves were busy with love elsewhere. No stress there, I was focused on getting settled after work, and content but for the poignant twinge of sadness over not being welcomed home. Over a few minutes, as it lingered, I felt irritated with myself because I was also unavoidably aware I’d never said to any partner, perhaps ever, that the moment of being welcomed home after being away – for a day, a week, for work, or play – really matters to me. It’s meaningful. For me.  Having not said so, and given my partners a fair opportunity to choose to meet that need, I left my heart out in the cold. Sad. It got me thinking about how I do or don’t communicate what matters, and why I make the choices I do, and other partners, in other times, whose choices were different from my own, and what the outcomes where of those choices, too.

From lattes...

From lattes and hardbound journals…

Who am I? Do my partners know me, really know me? So much growth and change in less than two years –  hell, over the course of a lifetime! black coffee and blogging.

…to black coffee and blogging.

I took a work seminar, based on some Franklin Covey material, many years ago. It was called ‘What Matters Most‘, and was structured around the huge day planners so many of us carried at the time, and using that tool to really live life well. I remember being surprised that it was considered ‘work-related’ – afterward, I really wanted to head right out, quit my job, and live unfettered by professional concerns, sleeping late, painting, making love, sipping espresso and watching the world go by. lol It didn’t enhance my work productivity in the slightest, but it was an early warning that I was on a path heading for change.

I am still contemplating ‘what matters most’ to me, about me, in my own experience, myself.  What matters most to me has changed, as I have changed myself. I think it makes sense to communicate more of that than I do. I’d rather not mope around feeling wounded because something of great importance to me is overlooked, and I don’t see that there’s much potential in some of the little things that do matter having their day if I don’t actually say they matter.  (Am I stalling? It could appear that way, and I did grow up in circumstances under which the fastest route to losing something loved was to say it had value or importance; it would be immediately used a resource for punishment, point-making, or torment. Then is not now, and there is no reason to fear, now.) So, for practice, some simple things that matter to me a great deal, in my now.

I enjoy being welcomed home when I return from work, or from traveling. It feels warm, loving, and inclusive. It matters to me very much.

I enjoy sharing my rose garden, showing off the latest blooms, talking about plans, or sitting quietly and breathing the scents of the season, and watching small birds at play. This too, really matters to me.

I enjoy hugs, long, close, lingering hugs, body to body, timeless moments, no rush. They feel amazing, and fill most of my day-to-day needs for contact and closeness. Oh yeah, also – matters a lot. I wilt without it.

I enjoy walks. Long walks. Short walks. Walks through floral gardens. Walks through industrial areas and construction sites. I love what my thoughts do while I walk. I enjoy conversations about life and philosophy and love while I walk.  Very few bad moods survive a pleasant walk, in my experience. Walking matters to me beyond the mechanics of movement, like sleep, it restores and heals my soul.

I enjoy being touched, but loathe the unexpected touch of strangers. This one, explicit about touch, is implicit about boundaries – and perhaps it is my boundaries that ‘matter most’.  I am only lately learning to respect them myself.

My loves matter to me, and that they are easily able to love me in return also matters to me. I love to delight them unexpectedly. I love to devote some measure of time to humble service to hearth and home, to nurture our family as a family, to build a solid foundation for life together – a long life together.  Indeed, this one matters so much to me, that small everyday frustrations that threaten my sense of family cohesion and harmony easily leave me feeling damaged and alone.

Now… it matters, too, to share what matters with the ones who matter to me. 😀  There’s a lot of matter in the universe. lol (Thank you, I’ll be here all week…)

Today is a good day to take the time to see what a good day it is.

Today is a good day to take the time to see what a good day it is.

Today is a good day to love, to love well, to love wholeheartedly, to love fearlessly. Today is a good day to change the world.