Archives for posts with tag: mindful loving

Have you ever noticed how time sort of “stands still” in those fully engaged intimate moments of connecting with another? I know, I know – those moments are so fleeting, so cherished, so hard to pin down, or duplicate later. I still find them “timeless”, at least in the moment.

That’s how it was last night. My Traveling Partner came over and hung out awhile, before he heads off for work elsewhere, far away. We talked rather seriously through the evening. The future is vast, and broad, and the choices on life’s menu seem to… breathe… expanding and contracting day-to-day, sometimes moment-to-moment, and I am having trouble choosing my adventure with any comfort or efficiency.

Sometimes life is uncomfortable – and inefficient.

We talked. We enjoyed a pleasant evening hanging out. No TV. No music. Just us two, talking about things to come, where we’re headed in life, what we each want – or need. As evenings go, it was intimate, nurturing, adult, romantic, supportive, practical, and connected. It met needs upon needs upon needs, no tears or tantrums required. No demands. No frustrations. Two people who love each other, loving each other. Sharing.

Sometimes it’s not about words.

We talked – and we also just chilled with each other, hanging out in my somewhat too warm apartment. He shopped and talked about things he needs in life. I went over recent changes in thinking, and discussed the profundity of change. We shared pictures. We shared anecdotes. We shared concerns. We shared hugs and kisses. The evening was quiet and relaxed. We’d thought about going out for a movie, we could have done it, we didn’t need to “do” so much as we needed to “be” – together. So we did that.

This morning I’m smiling. I slept more deeply, and woke feeling more rested, than I generally do. I grin at myself to notice the quality of my smile. I “hear” a Nicki Minaj track in my head, in the background, it’ll probably be there all day (or at least until a love song replaces it). 😀 I find myself wondering about the connection between feeling so well-loved, and sleeping so well… Is that a thing?

Lovely moment. Lovely morning. Lovely day. Loving love… so… loving life, too. Funny how hard it was to find my way to this place. No idea how long it may last (it’s not really a helpful question). I let the cool morning air fill the apartment, sip my coffee, and smile. There’s nothing to add to this, really. Life is no less complicated, busy, or challenging, just because there is Love, but the love does seem to make all the rest less… troublesome. It’s enough.

Love is enough. Loving starts with me. Starts with the woman in the mirror and how I treat myself. What a strange puzzle. There are definitely verbs involved.

We become what we practice. ❤

Sometimes, being heard seems to be a study in actually listening, myself. Sometimes it is about speaking more clearly, more simply, or more explicitly. Sometimes being heard is about being the person listening most carefully to my own heart, my own voice; when I am “unable to hear myself think”, this is a real experience of being unable to hear myself. Sometimes, I am so attentive to the matter of “being heard”, myself, that I overlook the urgent importance of listening deeply. Thoughts over coffee.

The breeze from over the marsh and meadow is scented with flowers and although I have headphones on, as if listening to music, somehow I haven’t yet gotten as far as turning any on. lol It doesn’t matter. This morning, I am busy keeping track of other details – like the precise moment I can start that one load of laundry I need to do before I depart to meet my Traveling Partner at the designated rally point before a final gear check, and departure. Being late would be beyond rude; it would throw off plans and timing for other people, too. I’d like to avoid that. I’m good at deployment. I’ve had a lot of practice. 🙂

There’s a certain uncomfortable free fall in letting other people handle planning. I’m really good at it, and have learned over the years to uphold a high level of self-reliance, generally. It’s not explicitly stated, so I’ll out myself now; I am not so skilled at, or comfortable with, letting go and allowing someone else to plan and lead. So, this weekend – adventure, love, and all – is a complicated bit of life’s curriculum – advanced coursework, even. This weekend I learn to manage my anxiety around loosening my grip on the details, and allowing other decision-makers, other planners, other leaders, to step to the forefront, call the shots, and let the fun of our time together be truly collaborative. Wow. I break out in a literal sweat thinking about it, and I feel my core tighten a bit with anticipated anxiety (which is like, the dumbest and most annoying anxiety, ever).

I didn’t end up, in prior relationships, overburdened with planning and managing life events, travel, and adventure, because no one else was willing to adopt mannerisms indicating they might handle it – it was more because, at least at the outset, I simply couldn’t allow it. I had to have the control. Not knowing all the details of everything could really freak me out. I had to have things done “right” – admitting, even as I type the words, that my notion of “doing it right” was every bit as subjective and centered on my own thinking as anyone else’s would be. Of course, if I offered to do all of the things, the answer would be a relieved “yes” and we all moved on to our chosen roles. The resentment over time was just “a free service I offered” or… an unrequested… enhancement. LOL

I’m okay with learning another way. It’s been a really long time since I participated in an event of this sort – I have no idea what to expect, neither from the event, nor, frankly, from myself. I don’t even know what I want, beyond spending time chilling with my Traveling Partner, making memories. This could be an amazing shared experience…I have to be willing to allow it to be. (I am.) I have an opportunity to connect really closely with my Traveling Partner for a few days, and an opportunity to listen. (Which is, frankly, both more difficult and more important than talking.) Being heard feels really good. Like happiness, it somehow tends to skitter just out of reach if I chase it. On the other hand, in building the skills I need to listen deeply to others, to listen non-judgmentally, to really hear what someone else is saying – to meet that need to be heard for another – I bring profound new opportunities for intimacy and connection into my experience… that results in greater potential for being heard, myself. It’s my plan to practice listening more than talking, this weekend. There is much I do not know, and I won’t learn it by talking continuously. 😀

I heard my Traveling Partner last night – he communicated concern about his own readiness, and mine, and things he hadn’t thought of, and although he didn’t use simple frank language to get those points across, because I was listening deeply it was not so necessary that he communicate completely clearly. It was late. We were both tired. It would be very human and common and understandable if drama had broken out, or strong emotion, or missed understanding – instead, I listened. If I didn’t “get it”, I asked a direct question, no baggage. We narrowed down needs, wants, and expectations very quickly in this way, and my developing anxiety around letting go of control of all the details and all the knowledge quickly gave way to feeling prepared, content, and… ready for bed. lol

Assuming positive intent is a big help. Not taking things personally is a great approach, too. Understanding we are each having our own experience is also definitely an important tool in the emotional intelligence toolbox. Avoiding contradicting or disagreeing with people’s emotions is something I find useful as well (there’s just no disagreeing with emotion, people – those are facts of their own sort, and very subjective). So… here I go. It’s nearly time to load the car (my dining room is currently my “staging area” and everything is ready but the laundry), to do that one load of laundry, to meet my Traveling Partner, check gear and if necessary make a pass by an appropriate retailer for missed this-or-that we ought not do without (totally necessary; I’ve already made a list)… then… the journey. A destination. A weekend. Love.

54 and still daydreaming about love. 🙂

…The Love part is my favorite. 😀

It’s time to begin, again. See you on Monday.

 

Doesn’t much matter where I am right now; there is a next step ahead of me on my path. No matter how many choices I have made, already, there is another ahead of me. Approximately infinite. Life definitely gives the impression that the actual living of it is the point of life, no further point, meaning, or necessity required… and, if this is true, then so long as I am indeed living my life, I have succeed at finding – and meeting – my purpose. 😀

What a nice thought to wake up to. 🙂

I am contemplating my upcoming birthday, which has amusingly skittered way off of any attempt at original planning, and the things I had planned and looked forward are no longer expectations, although they rather strangely still linger on my calendar; I hesitate to remove them, not wanting hurt feelings… or… well, why exactly? lol I take a moment to clean up my calendar – because it is mine, and I actually use it; it matters to me that it guide me like a map of my future journey, as much as it ever can. 🙂

My weekend looks very different than I’d planned it. My Traveling Partner’s commitment to spending my birthday weekend with me later became a request to accommodate other plans he wanted to make, and our time dwindled to just two brief events framing the long weekend (of course I am taking time for me!) Then, the phone call from the road last week, and a question – would I like to come out to a place, and spend the weekend with him…? We live rather separate lives in some regards, and the invitation caught me by surprise – I had to ask myself that question, separately from hearing it in his voice. Would I want to spend a weekend at a music festival in a remote location hanging out with this human being so dear to me – and like, many hundreds (more?) additional other humans that I don’t know? Um…

Maybe?

I sat quietly after we got off the phone, considering years of weekend Renaissance fairs – a different era of my life, and I admit, it went from delightfully fun, exciting, and reliably great times hanging out with friends to stressed, rushed, hurried, pressured, too broke, too much, too often, no down time, no “me time”, no privacy, no time to think, no quiet to recover in… and… the relationship I was in at that time couldn’t do much to lift me up or ease the strain. I was doing most of the “heavy lifting”, literally, financially, and logistically, and I grew… tired. Want to know why I gave up weekend road trips, weekend travel, and weekend event fun of all sorts? Because I got tired of doing all the planning, all the preparation, and all the work getting to/from and handling clean up at home afterward, too, and not just for me – for everyone in the household. It was too much to ask, and I continued to do it long after I’d begun to resent it, didn’t really speak up about it, and didn’t have the skills for setting clear expectations and reinforcing boundaries then, that I have (think I have) now. I just stopped doing it as the only way I could take care of me that I understood then, problem solved.

I’m not even in that relationship anymore. So… Fuck yeah, I want to head to the trees, hear some great music, and hang out with this delightful human being so dear to me! 😀 I happily accepted.

There’s not much for me to plan here; the event exists and is a thing. My Traveling Partner and his traveling friend/colleague have logistics handled; this is their thing. I still need to know things. (A hilarious conversation on its own, including such witty repartee as “What do I need to bring?” “Wear clothes. Bring the clothes you want to wear, be prepared for cold nights.”) As I inquired what I may need to do or bring or when I need to be ready… I started feeling stressed about the trip itself. Where am I going?? What will happen when I get there? Where do I go? How will I find…? What will I be expected to do, bring, carry, be responsible for…??? What the hell is going on with my weekend?? LOL

Instead of drama or wild emotion, I tried out some new adulting skills. I allow myself to experience the relief and delight of experiencing this weekend in the context of a partnership in which I am actually not responsible for every damned thing. I consider my own baggage and issues as things that I am indeed responsible for managing, and identify where my stress is coming from. Time. Work. Agency. I suggest that I travel separately to ease my time-based stress about being back to work on time (knowing they live on a very different sense of time/timing than I do – and also don’t have any pressure to “punch a clock” work-wise). My heart soared when my Traveling Partner seemed pleased that I would take that step to take care of myself, meeting my own needs without requiring him to rebuild his plans, or troubleshoot my experience. Win and good. They’ll likely depart sometime today. I’ll leave tomorrow – possibly after doing a load of laundry. I feel comfortable, content, and excited about the weekend. 😀

Wherever my path leads…

This is an adventure, and I am eager to see where it leads. I’ll be away for a few days… if you find yourself missing me, perhaps return to the beginning, and begin again? I’ll be back before you’re all caught up to now, I bet; it’s a lot of words. 😀

I went to bed feeling sort of moody and irritable, and in a lot of pain. I woke smiling. No particular reason, although I suppose sleeping well and waking rested is reason enough. I have learned, over time, the value in enjoying what is enjoyable – and making a point of it – even something as small as waking comfortably with a smile is worth pausing to appreciate the moment. 🙂

I spent a precious hour or so in the company of my Traveling Partner last night. By the time I returned home, I found myself wondering moodily why it didn’t occur to me to invite him to stay over? I miss him greatly. It feels like a long summer ahead of missing him greatly. lol I will surely appreciate his presence even more when autumn comes. 🙂

It’s definitely been “summer” this week, so far. The apartment was hot when I arrived home last night – hotter than it was outside. I remind myself to ask my neighbors to give me a hand fitting the A/C in the window… then I second-guess myself, recalling the burglary in November; the one window this A/C unit will fit in is the studio window facing the park. The window through which a burglary relatively easily gained access to my apartment one rainy November afternoon…so… Do I really want to remove one pane and replace it with a piece of acrylic secured by a tight fit and taped in place, on a window that faces a public park lacking any impediment to the approach of strangers? How much risk is comfort worth? What would stop someone stealing the damned A/C? How annoying that I am even having this mental conversation? lol More consideration seems required.

I sip my coffee and watch the sky lighten with the approaching day. I start my playlist with a track my Traveling Partner shared with me yesterday. As I often do, I find another version that I also like, and prolong the joy another couple minutes. Somehow I wander into live videos of favorite DJs at huge venues, filled with huge crowds, light shows, all of the everything. lol I lose about 20 minutes before I realize I’ve been pulled in; a favorite track follows, and I am crying. I don’t know why. Heartfelt tears without any particular cause, perhaps just celebrating the strange sometimes fragile beauty of love and missing the company of its manifestation in flesh, over my morning coffee. I have emotions. I ride the roller-coaster.

It’s cooler this morning. The breeze through the open window quickly dries my tears; I’m not actually sad, and the tears didn’t last long. The playlist, and the morning, move on. It’s a good moment to move on, and time to begin again. 😀

Admittedly, thoughts of love are not even at all the same thing as loving, live in real-time, flesh in the presence of flesh, hearts entwined, embraces, words, moments… Not the same at all, and yet… I love. Sitting here in the quiet before dawn, with a cup of hot coffee, and a delicate sliver of moon on the horizon, I love. My heart is just full of it, and it spills over into my thoughts, becoming a smile. There’s no particular cause or occasion, and I am amused and amazed at the strength of it. I love. I am capable of loving. I have enough to share, with plenty left for further sharing. It’s a nice place to be in life.

My smile falters a moment to recall other experiences, other times in my own life, other lives altogether – moments lacking in love. I breathe. I relax. This immense capacity to love is not so easily defeated. 🙂

I sip my coffee, contentedly, and still aware that there exists suffering elsewhere. Even aware that in some future moment, I too will suffer further. Perhaps even later tonight, when I return home to a swelteringly hot stuffy closed-up box of an apartment, unshaded, lacking in any feature specific to cooling, and an 87 degree day just beginning to cool down. lol It’s forecasted to be a hot summer day today. I am trying to cool the apartment down this morning, before I leave for work. The dawn begins to break, amber and orange hues, no hint of mauve, pink, or violet; even the sunrise looks just the sort one would expect on a hot day.

The wind shifts and a refreshing cool breeze blows in from the marsh. I am grateful for the brief chill that lifts the hairs on my arm for a moment.

The calendar suggested, yesterday, that I might hear from my Traveling Partner before the night ended. I didn’t though. I haven’t yet started to worry, and may not for some time. He did not prepare the calendar event, and my understanding of his calendar is not calibrated to other event hosts’ ways of planning. (Was the end time in the calendar the end of the event, the end of the journey, the end of the time away… some other ending… and why aren’t there any notes? lol) We had discussed, in March, what the season would look like, and how little time we’d share through the summer months. So. Nothing to worry about, really, unless I make shit up in my head over which to become overwrought. I think I’ll pass.

I sip my coffee and listen to birdsong, peeping frogs, and the distant sound of commuter traffic. My turn soon enough. I add a contented sigh to the symphony of the dawn.

The best moment to begin again? This one. Now.