Archives for posts with tag: mindful loving

I drove home through miles of choking smoke yesterday; Oregon is on fire. Scary. Not as scary as some of the alarmist images being shared on social media. So, I re-calibrate my understanding of what is real and true with something more reliable.

Fighting fake news with real data works nicely.

I arrived home to a very different homecoming than I might have experienced at the apartment, in a number of small but important ways. The house was comfortably cool in spite of the heat of the weekend, thanks to having A/C and a good thermostat. My new place also feels very safe – emotionally and physically, which is a win. Because I had closely followed a carefully managed “deployment plan” for the weekend, I also returned home to a nicely tidy apartment, suitable for really relaxing as I unpacked. It was a delightful homecoming with only one fairly obvious flaw. I already miss my Traveling Partner dreadfully. More than I generally do for having so recently been wrapped in his arms, and lit by his smiles. Manageable, fully human feelings of loneliness competed briefly with the all over ease of living in my own space. 🙂

A lovely misty looking view from Sunday’s hike. The mist isn’t mist at all. It’s smoke from distant wild fires.

I drove home as quickly as I safely could, and it became clear it was a safer choice to eschew breaks along the drive in favor of getting to the other side of the worst of the smoke of the many Oregon wildfires currently burning; the air quality could easily be called “not safe to breathe”. My burning eyes, irritated sinuses, sore throat, and the cough I quickly developed in spite of having the a/c set to “recirculate”, were all the confirmation I needed that breathing more of that air more deeply at some “rest stop” along the way was just not a great idea. Visibility much of the way was down to only about a thousand feet. So I drove continuously, content to find relief from stiff joints on my yoga mat when I got home, with only one very brief stop to pee.

…And of course, there was traffic as I got closer to home. It was, after all, the end of Labor Day weekend.

None of the details of the drive are actually particularly relevant to my experience of the weekend, except to observe that the air down at my Traveling Partner’s current address was already pretty shitty from the smoke of the Chetco Bar fire. I got in one decent hike, over the weekend, but didn’t push myself because the air quality was so poor. I stayed on a well-maintained local trail, got some miles while he worked, and took some pictures of the local wild flowers. We stayed indoors and enjoyed each other.

A hike-able trail, a yoga mat and meditation-cushion waiting for me when I arrived; I felt so very welcome. I felt at home.  🙂

My heart is still beating to love’s shared rhythm. It was a lovely intimate connected weekend with just enough hours in it that he had had to commit to work that I also got plenty of “me time” for meditation, yoga, and reading that I felt quite at home. I’m eager to find the perfect balance of proximity and distance and be close enough to spend a great deal more time together, more easily. I definitely want to spend more time together. 🙂 I already miss him.

The details of the weekend itself aren’t really built of anecdotes to share, or life lessons of note. It was time spent on love and loving. That’s enough. It needn’t be anything else; love matters most. 🙂

I sip my coffee contentedly with a soft smile of satisfaction. It’s a good cup of coffee. It’s a pretty nice life. I return gently to weekday routines feeling wholly loved and appreciated, and ready to return to work for another week. Eager to begin all manner of things again, and follow threads and paths wherever they may lead me. There are verbs than want doing. Lessons to learn. Improvement to make. Calories to burn. Choices upon choices upon choices – all of which will likely result in changes. I still don’t know what the future holds, and I am unconcerned; I have now. 🙂

I check the clock. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

 

It’s not yet dawn. The sky is dark. The busy street I am on is still and quiet. No traffic. The neighborhood sleeps. Well, except for me – and of course, anyone else who is quietly up before the sun on a Saturday morning. 😀

My “bug out bag” is packed. The morning suddenly slows to a chill and relaxed pace; I’m already ready. I smile thinking about the drive ahead. On the other end of that drive – Love. Road trip!!

I sip my coffee and check off the last-minute details. I’m up early enough there is no need to skip any of the self-care niceties, and I am hopeful the drive itself will be pleasant and relaxed. It’s even a long weekend. 🙂

My coffee is just dreadful this morning. I find no “perfection” outside my acceptance of my experience, my willingness to embrace sufficiency, and my relaxed nonjudgmental awareness of circumstances. I’m not the slightest bit distressed about my shitty cup of coffee this morning, it exists in the context of an otherwise nearly ideal moment. 🙂 Will this mood last? Only as long as it does – like anything else. It’s not forever. Not the good. Not the bad. Not all of everything in between those two arbitrary points on an imagined spectrum snagged from one perspective of a carefully crafted narrative. lol What can I even know about “the true truth” or “the real reality”? I am mortal. A human primate with physically and cognitively limited senses. 🙂 I’m okay with that.

I smile and sip my coffee, aware of the bitterness of the now-tepid brew, and still indifferent to it. Today, love. And love. Well, and… Love. That there is love matters so much more than a moment of bitterness. 🙂

Metaphors in moments. Life lessons built on words and music. It’s a beautiful morning to travel. See you soon, Love. It’s time to share a bit of the journey. 🙂

…Or is it a tickle? I’m not sure, and really, does it matter? (Okay, okay, I won’t be flippant; it would matter were this medical, rather than metaphorical. 😉 )

The soft fine nearly invisible hair that surely must grow on my shoulder (cuz the tattoo artist made some point of running a razor over it) is starting to grow back. It itches ever so slightly, ever so temptingly. As soon as my fingertips touch the tender skin, I jerk my hand back as if I’d touched a hot stove; I don’t want to scratch it, and risk damaging either skin or artwork. I know the sensation will pass. It’s good practice to resist the potential comfort and satisfaction of mindless scratching. I like this new art too much to do that, so I commit to awareness with real ferocity.

Most likely unrelated, the mental or emotional “itch” of restlessness and discontent – something like a strong craving for, say, french fries… only not at all about food. I want. I hunger. I yearn. I’ve no idea what it is (yes, I do), though, although it feels vaguely urgent (it’s not vague at all), and just out of reach (oh, I could reach it… ahem… but that’s not what satisfies, is it? lol)… as if… if I just could name it, I could have it. But… what is “it”?

…I’m pretty sure I know… lol. I totally know.  I’m a fairly simple creature in some respects. More than likely this is either frustrated artistic inspiration (not quite moved in enough yet to break out the paints, honestly, and no it isn’t), or… something… else. Still quite human. 😉

Lust

Ah but there actually is more to life than that particularly excitingly deliciously fun bit that occupies far too much of my attention; it took me awhile to catch on. Still, if it’s a physical sort of urge, I do find physical sorts of solutions to be most helpful. I get home from an early shift at work, and before I sit down to write, I take care of the woman in the mirror. Yoga. A lovely cup of tea in the garden. A shower. Dinner. Great music. I don’t try to bullshit myself that any of that can in anyway really meet the specific need, but it’s lovely time, well-spent and pleasant, and for now that’s enough. It has to be; at least for now, I’ve only got one partner. lol It may be awhile before I see him, although I do have plans to head down his way soon… it doesn’t feel soon enough.

The music continues. The stereo is hooked up, and I dance through some evening chores and tidying up, singing along with favorites, feeling energized by what I can’t have in this moment, instead of feeling beat down by my frustration. Lovely bit of progress, that. It’s enough. 🙂

Yeah, our individual lives and experiences continue alongside the culture-storm of change going on around us. Well… mine does. Doesn’t yours?

I sip my coffee. Breathe, relax. I don’t avoid the awareness that cried myself to sleep last night. I keep my heart open to the awareness that I don’t fully “know why”. Sadness crept in. Tears spilled out. I’m no saint; I’m pretty sure my tears were “all about me“.

My Traveling Partner got into town sometime yesterday, busy with plans and no time for me. It’s an honest truth. My heart aches with it. This morning as I wake he is already far away. His route took him the closest he has been to my new place, since I moved; approximately just 1 mile away, passing by in the night, sometime after I had gone to bed. No drama. No storm of “if you loved me, you would…”. No conditional affection. This event has been planned on his calendar a long while. This makes only twice he’s been in town since he started his new job. Both times he was in town briefly. Both times for other purposes than seeing me. Neither time did we see each other. I’ve lived here now for one month; he has yet to see the place, though he has keys. I get through those thoughts, this time, without tears.

I sip my coffee, and move on with my own experience.

I keep an eye on the clock. There is an early morning meeting at the office, and I will make a point of being there, without resentment for the disruption in my schedule; it is a welcome distraction.

I let my thoughts coast through memories of other lovers, feeling grateful for this partnership I’ve got. It allows me to live (and thrive) on my own terms – even when those terms became “I need a place of my own”. Our choices reliably have consequences. Some of the consequences of our choices are not easily predictable for us, as individuals in the moment, sometimes because they can’t be predicted with ease, sometimes because we refrain from looking ahead with cool-headed clarity.

I find myself “listening for the rain”, thinking perhaps I heard drops on the windows or rooftop, but no rain is falling. No tears, either. I’m okay right now. I sip my coffee, and let contentment wash over me. Running from my feelings doesn’t get me here so quickly. Neither does wallowing in them, allowing myself to spiral downward into the darkness. It’s a peculiar thing to sit with my emotions. Make room for them as if for a fellow traveling on public transportation; sometimes quite reluctantly, but not wanting to be rude. Giving myself a comfortable moment to feel my feelings without taking action, to listen to my moment gently, and to allow myself to feel heard from within can make such a difference in emotional moments. Yeah… as always… verbs. Practice. Varying results. (See that subject line? Results vary!) I’m grateful for mornings; each one utterly new. A restart. A do over. A beginning.

Where does this path lead?

I miss my Traveling Partner. I feel the feeling of it. I allow myself to be wrapped in the love that makes missing him matter so much, and soak in that for some minutes, recalling things we have enjoyed together this year. I allow the mixed emotions to be what they are. There has been little of this so-precious time shared this year. Tears and a smile. I’m okay with that. I think ahead to the week to come. It feels a little empty knowing there won’t be a last-minute urgent message from him late on a Thursday suggesting I drive down to see him, followed by a message noting that he’d checked my calendar and sees I have plans… or a reply from me that I’m on my way, or… soon. We’ll see each other in September. We saw each other once in August. And in June we spent a weekend together for my birthday. Soon, autumn, the holiday season… more weekends together than not, perhaps. Perhaps not. I smile and let go of my expectations like airborne fluff from a cottonwood tree. It’s a journey, and what’s up ahead isn’t very clear. I’ll take it a day at a time. Each rung on the ladder individually climbed. Each step in the staircase individually tread. Each moment individually lived. Well… as much as possible. I’m quite human. lol

It’s time to begin again.

 

 

 

I took my first trip away from the new house this week. I departed on Thursday, plans in disarray, leaving from a point on the map that wasn’t what I planned, running additional errands “on the way” at the request of my Traveling Partner, resenting the heat of the day, and feeling excited, fussy, and a bit irritable.

It got worse before it got better. The first 33 miles I drove, the traffic was terrible. The first 9 miles of the freeway portion of the drive crept by at an abysmal not-quite-10-miles-per-hour. I was tired from days without good sleep. I was irritable in the heat and frustrated by the lack of good visibility with the car loaded to the roof with gear. I was more than a little stressed out by driving all that equipment so far, while I was so tired. My foot was aching. I had a terrible headache, and my self-care had been fairly poorly handled and thoroughly compromised for days because my planning had been so completely undermined, I didn’t have time for what needed to be done. It was pretty shitty.

Every mile of highway took me closer to my Traveling Partner, and farther from thinking about my headache, or the traffic, or the cargo, or the time, or really anything else besides getting to see him and reconnect and chill together.

We had a lovely visit. It was quite nice to be a guest in his home. It was … beyond words, really, the deeply connected time we got to spend together met so many needs. 🙂 We slept together, and that, too, was a rare and special treat. It didn’t much matter how little really restful sleep I got, I spent the night cuddling with my Traveling Partner as he slept, feeling his heartbeat, listening to him breathe. I dozed on and off, and certainly got enough rest to enjoy the day that would follow. He had to work for a couple hours. I used that time to get caught up with the woman in the mirror, and check out how my old home town has grown (I went to high school there… that’s the house I lived in, it’s changed a lot… that’s where my grandfather’s office was…), meditate, and also made a run to the grocery store for my Traveling Partner.

The plan, when I arrived, was that I’d stay both Thursday and Friday night, and go out into the forest late Friday afternoon, help set up a music event, and sometime much later be around to see my Traveling Partner perform, listen to a lot of great DJs doing their thing, and then… sometime in the late afternoon on Saturday, I would return home. By the time my Traveling Partner got home from work, it was beginning to dawn on me that actually, if I followed that plan, I was going to be pushing myself up the highway late on a Saturday afternoon, on even less sleep, tired, noise-sensitive, and in pain… arriving home to face dishes in the sink (because of my rushed departure on Thursday), unprepared for the next work week, and having no time to recover before diving back into another week of working for a living before I could really take that time I need…

The more I thought that over, the less I liked it. Sure, I’d like to see my Traveling Partner perform, that would be amazing and awesome, but I’m equally certain that neither he nor I benefits from me doing so on terms that reduce my quality of life, or contribute to poor health and wellness! He’d crashed for a nap after work to prepare for the long night ahead. When he got up I let him know I was thinking about heading back a little early… He didn’t seem surprised, and was very much okay with that, himself, although we were both immediately overcome with that sad feeling that comes of being attached, and also choosing to part, however briefly. He understands my needs.

So… I came home. The drive back was as uneventful and smooth as the drive down had been fraught with peculiar stress. I made good time, and delighted myself to note that my estimated arrival time from the perspective of planning the drive was within 5 minutes of my actual arrival time. I pause in this moment, right now, and give myself time to really appreciate that feeling again.

It was still daylight when I got home. The house was comfortably cool in the summer heat of late afternoon. The squirrel was on the deck rail, and didn’t run when I opened the curtains to the deck and saw him there. There were really one 1 bowl and 2 coffee cups in the sink, and the first sound I heard after I returned home was the sound of my own merry laughter. I’d even gotten home in time to communicate my safe arrival to my Traveling Partner before he was out of touch for the night. It felt good to come home. I feel welcome here.

I feel welcome in my life.

The day stretches ahead of me. There’s quite a bit to do. Some of it is the everyday sort of stuff that lands on weekend days most of the time: housekeeping, laundry, gardening. Other stuff on my to do list lingers from the move. There are still boxes to unpack. Shelves to organize. Things to do to make this space more usably obviously my own. There’s the woman in the mirror, too, she needs a few things out of the day, herself: meditation, some time in the garden, yoga, good moment-to-moment decision-making, a bit of fun (Farmer’s Market?), and all the love and affection I can provide to her. Rest. She also needs rest, and good self-care.

The sun is up. My coffee is finished. The fresh breezes of early morning have filled the house with the scents of forest and summer flowers. My thoughts are filled with love. What a pleasant moment on which to begin the day. 🙂