Archives for posts with tag: real love

Not quite a love letter. More like “a moment”. Thoughts about love over coffee.

Back in 2010, this human being (who became, over time, my Traveling Partner) and I began hanging out. Colleagues. Friends. Commute buddies. We became lovers. We became partners. Family. He moved in. We moved on – together. We married in 2011, for mostly fairly practical reasons. Other lovers came and went. Other relationships developed, and failed. We continued (and continue even now) to travel life’s journey together.

Today is our anniversary. I’ve got a lingering headache that has been with me a day or two, and although I took the day off I am awake quite early. He was up later into the evening than I was. He sleeps in. It’s a quiet, lovely spring day, during the time of pandemic. It’s also our anniversary, and I am smiling. 🙂

…I may not write more this weekend. I am more inclined to spend some time just existing, and pausing the routines for harmonious love, and a persistent feeling of joy – and gratitude. This is a pretty special love. If love ever faded, I doubt I’d walk on; this human being is also my best and closest friend. It’s hard to imagine a life that does not include the both of us, generally together.

We have sometimes lived apart, by choice, sometimes by circumstance, and we live together, now. Our choices for habitation have not marred our affection for each other. Actually, they’ve had nothing to do with love, or loving each other.  Love thrives when we thrive. It’s not about who lives where. We’re very human, each struggling with our own baggage. Each having our own experience. Each with our own taste, our own hobbies, our own hard moments, our own private joys. We have individual competencies and individual short-comings. We share the journey by choice. It isn’t always “easy”. I haven’t noticed either of us complaining about the effort that is sometimes involved in lasting love and a healthy partnership; it’s very worth it. (For me, for sure. Hopefully for him, as well.)

I pause and reflect on Love. “Love doesn’t pay the bills.” This is true. I’ve lived without love. Often. Hell, I’ve been in relationships in which “I love you’s” were frequent, but fairly meaningless, or filled with subtext and conditions – looking back, I recognize that those were not honest authentic love, as I understand it now. I’m okay with it; those experiences helped me become someone who is willing to work for what love offers. I learned a lot. I’m a better lover, a better partner, a better friend, having grown considerably through problematic relationships. Long honest looks in the mirror taught me much about the role I play in a partnership, as a human being, and the nature of reciprocity, openness, authenticity, and consideration, and how very necessary they each are to sustaining lasting love.

I’m a better woman – and human being – than I was when my Traveling Partner and I met. I feel less “broken”, and more capable. I am far more willing to “do my share” – and I recognize that an equal partnership does require that everyone involved do the work to create, maintain, and deepen that partnership. I sip my coffee contentedly. Are we perfect? lol Of course not. Is love perfect? Is life perfect? Ever? Hell, is perfect “perfect”? (Hint: there is no “perfection” to reach in life or love. There are processes, practices, experiences, and perspectives – we can choose contentment, and enjoy the journey, or… not. There is no “perfect” out there to achieve. The journey together is the destination, and the goal.)

Yeah. I’m smiling. I’m okay with “us”. I’m okay with this moment, together. I sit quietly awhile longer, before the day really begins. It’s enough. 🙂

This morning I woke up to the sound of rain falling in the darkness. It was already 5:30 am – still dark? The season is already turning toward autumn. I’m grateful for the rain and stand in the soft cool air flowing in through the open patio door. I love the scent and sound of rain. 5:30 am? I don’t really need to be up so early… it was late when I called it a night. I smile and shrug in the darkness. The rain won’t mind my absence; I go back to bed for a couple more hours.

I woke later, smiling because it is still raining, content because I feel wrapped in love; it’s been a lovely weekend so far, most of it spent in the company of my Traveling Partner. We suit each other so entirely well. lol Even our most human failings tend to dovetail nicely with the quirks or baggage of the other. I smile through my morning, and even the returning recollection that there is no cold brew or iced coffee waiting for me in the fridge can’t budge the smile that I’m wearing this morning. I make a french press of coffee from fairly average (wholly adequate, but nothing special) coffee beans laying about on hand from… months ago (when I more or less completely switched to prepared cold brew in cans for the summer). It’s not awesome, but it is coffee, and it is enough. I was too eager, and added the water to the coffee while it was a bit too hot, and there is some additional bitterness to it that is less than ideal, but… whatever. It’s coffee. It’s adequate. The cup is delightfully warm in my hand in the chill of the raining morning. My contentment deepens to note that the timing feels quite right to return to hot coffee. 🙂

Rain drenched roses are a welcome sight.

This morning is about more than simple contentment over routine things; my experience is saturated with the awareness that I am loved. My awareness of everything else is colored by the love I feel, myself. I feel more complete and more present. It’s not an exaggeration when people comment that love is magical or transformative – that is also my own experience of love, and loving. 🙂 I contemplate my Big 5 relationship values and consider them in the context of the past couple days spent living with my Traveling Partner. Respect, reciprocity, consideration, compassion, and openness, really do cover the basics of enjoying a good relationship with another human being. Most of the other desirable behaviors, qualities, and characteristics spring forth fairly naturally given a relationship build on these things, in my experience.

I got handed an excellent reminder of the value of my Big 5 this weekend when I returned home from work Friday to a home that was tidier than I’d left it, and a partner comfortable, merry, and eager to see me, at the end of a day of “giving back” and helping out. Our time was unscripted, the visit was spontaneous, and I’d made no requests and set no expectations when I left for work that morning, aside from “enjoy the day”. Same thing on Saturday morning; I had plans that took me out of the house for a couple hours, and returned home to tidiness, order, and the presence of love. Quite wonderful. Understanding that a great deal of my own housekeeping and self-care time can get lost to traveling to spend time to see him, he invested some of his time in my comfort at home, himself. I didn’t have to ask. (I never do have to ask, actually; he is skilled at partnership.)

We spent our time together talking, planning, playing and just enjoying each other. We caught up on movies we wanted to see together. We worked out logistics for the upcoming autumn and winter. We talked about our eagerness to see each other more becoming so much easier with both of us having cars; it’s already true, and sort of goes without saying. We enjoyed saying it. We talked about love, partnership, and our enduring satisfaction with each other. We connected and caught up, and savored our shared time. I am still smiling. I’ll probably be smiling for days. It was, admittedly, both poignant and painful to see him pull out of the driveway, headed for other places once more. Still, I was soon smiling again; he’ll be back often. 😀

A big challenge with regard to hanging out with other friends, and doing other things socially, is that because I’ve undermined the time I have available to handle basic care and upkeep of this human being I see in the mirror each day, and the time I need for housekeeping and shopping, anything else I plan to do makes all that even tougher to catch up on, and I slowly fall way behind either on the housekeeping, or on maintaining adequate social contact with friends. Because keeping order at home is (for me) essential self-care, it’s often the social contact that gets left out. Having some help while my partner was here totally erased that challenge. Human beings are social creatures, and even though I enjoy living alone, I don’t thrive in the total absence of real in-life human interactions – I need that, too. It is a lovely experience to look around, see the house looking great, observing that I’m caught up on all the things, that I am well-rested, and also see that I have still more time and opportunity to enjoy more of the company of friends – the weekend is only half over. 😀

How is it that I can miss this one specific human being so intensely? lol I sigh out loud in the quiet room, and go refill my coffee.

I sip my coffee contentedly. It’s not really that bad. It’s a lovely morning, and I’m fortunate to have what I need in life to be comfortable, to be content, to be at peace, and even inspired. I’m fortunate – very fortunate – and the good fortune I enjoy in life seems tied to the love thing; the more love I invite into my life, the more skillfully I am able to share the love I feel myself, and enjoy the love expressed for me by others, the more I enjoy life itself. Love is not an inconvenience, or an add-on, it’s worth being studious and learning to love skillfully, it is worth investing my time and attention in love and loving. It is so worth sorting out where sex ends and love begins; they overlap so much, it’s sometimes easy to forget how different they really are. I glance at my calendar – I’m hanging out with an artist friend today – and I check the time.

A single exceptionally lovely weekend (rain and all) may not be enough to change the world – but it doesn’t have to; it’s enough that it change a moment, an experience, or some small piece of this long long journey. I’m content with that. It’s a place to start down the path of a grander vision, or simply a moment to enjoy in merry recollection for years to come. 🙂 It’s enough.

It’s time to begin again. ❤