Archives for posts with tag: romantic love

Oh, hey – Valentine’s Day again. lol My thoughts on this day are complicated…

2013 – How about I be my own Valentine? (oddly my most popular post of all time)

2014 – (Love is) Enough Already

2015 – A Little Matter of Sufficiency

2016 – Love’s Magic Mirror

2017 – It’s Okay to Love

2018 – Happy VD!

2019 – Let It Go (not even about Valentine’s Day)

2020 – Press Pause (also not actually about Valentine’s Day)

2021 – I just didn’t even write, at all

2022 – It’s Got a Good Beat (actually written the day after Valentine’s Day)

Some years I’ve spent Valentine’s Day alone. That hasn’t been a problem for me. Other years I’ve enjoyed the companionship of friends, or in the embrace of a lover, or with my Traveling Partner. In the abstract, I enjoy the idea of a holiday celebrating sexual and romantic love very much. I still think it is super weird that card giveaways by multitudes of school children have anything at all to do with that. Just seems wildly inappropriate to mix all those things up together, is what I’m saying.

Last night my Traveling Partner looked over at me, “I didn’t get you anything for Valentine’s Day” he observed with a somewhat regretful tone. “I didn’t get you anything either.” I replied, rather matter-of-factly. I immediately felt that perhaps I should have – although most years we haven’t done anything much about Valentine’s Day besides love each other. Last year was unusual – fairly spectacular, honestly. This year I made plans to make a really nice dinner for the two of us, nothing exotic, just good cooking. I am even counting on myself not to be shy about romance and instigating some adult fun after work. My anxiety can sometimes get in my way, and the awareness of it alone can provoke it, but I’m feeling good about myself and the day, and my partner, and love generally, so… I have hopes for a pleasant evening of companionship, love, and romance. Expensive gifts are not a requirement.

It hits me out of the blue; intimacy needs presence not presents. I could have taken the day off and spent it in the company of love. Fucking hell. How is this only now something I think of? I make a reminder on my calendar in the distant future – a year away, minus a couple weeks, “Get Valentine’s Day Off!!”. Along the way, I notice the long weekend coming up with unexpected relief and delight; I apparently thought ahead to planning Friday off in advance of the 3-day President’s Day weekend. Damn, I hope I don’t blow it with my bullshit… we could really use a lovely long weekend spent enjoying each other’s company.

“Lovers” 1991

Love takes work. Not one day of cards, flowers, gifts, and chocolates – real work, every day. Real commitment. Real consideration. Real respect. Real caring. No faking it with love, either. Love sees through fakery pretty easily, in spite of all the “love is blind” shit we hear. Love can be hurt. Love can be damaged. Love can even be destroyed – how tragic that is! I take a breath, and think about love. I sigh out loud in this quiet space, and remind myself how many delightful wonderful experiences still take some effort, or some practice, to really “get it right”. I think about love for a few minutes, just sitting here smiling and sipping my coffee.

…I’m fortunate to be so well loved…

“Cherry Blossoms” 2011

I yawn and stretch, and watch the dark of night give way to the pale blue gray of a wintry dawn. I think about my Traveling Partner, still asleep at home, unaware of the snow that fell during the night. I hope his dreams are pleasant. I think back on all the things he’s done to make life better for us over the past couple of years since he moved back in with me… it’s been, what, about 4 years? December 2018, I think…? Wow. We’ve come so far together in such a short time. 😀

I sit here just smiling for awhile, thinking about this human being I love so dearly. I think about yesterday’s bit of writing, and better ways to demonstrate my affection day-to-day…

…It’s time to begin again.

It’s a sunny Sunday morning in Autumn. It wasn’t frosty this morning, but quite cold (not quite freezing). The morning has been lovely. Intimate. Romantic. Connected. I enjoyed the shared experience of coffee with my Traveling Partner, and this lovely Sunday morning, savoring each minute.

Eventually, his morning and mine diverged ever so slightly; he heads into his woodshop, I sit down with my listing of things to do. I favor Sundays for thorough housekeeping and mindful service to hearth and home. 🙂 It’s become a practice, over time, and I find it a satisfying approach to ending one week and moving on to the next. It’s definitely more satisfying still, with this lingering smile on my face. I feel very loved. It’s a beautiful morning.

I take a minute for small things of value. Little things I enjoy and appreciate. I make room in my thinking for some moments of gratitude. What an interesting journey this “life” thing is, yeah? I think of faraway friends, and remind myself to send this one an email, that one a letter, maybe, just maybe, pick up the damned phone once in a while. 🙂 These lasting friendships are an important part of my journey, my history, my story – and my success along the way. Totally worth taking the time to check in once in while, with people who are dear to me.

A small bird lands on a branch of the pear tree beyond the window, and sits there briefly as the branch bobs in the breeze, before flying away for some other branch, in some other tree. An ordinary bird. An ordinary moment. I make a point of savoring the simple delight I take in the sight, nonetheless. (Have you ever stopped to consider how very few things in life – good or bad – are truly “extraordinary” in any way? If we reserve our joy for only the outstandingly joyful moment, aren’t we short-changing ourselves on many many hours of heart felt smaller joys? How sad.)

My coffee is almost gone. What’s left is cold. The sunshine reflected off the side of my neighbor’s house reminds me that the day will not wait for me, and I’ve got quite a list of things I’d like to do today. 🙂 It’s already time to begin again. 😀

I am sipping my coffee and enjoying thoughts of love, Love, and lovers. I am smiling and thinking about my exceptionally pleasant day, yesterday. My traveling partner came around after work to take me to dinner. We walked to a nearby restaurant and enjoyed an excellent meal. We talked, laughed, hung out… it was an excellent day, generally, full of well-wishes from faraway friends, sunshine, and a sense of good-natured camaraderie in the office, and joy at home. It was, in all respects, quite an excellent birthday.

A beautiful day for a birthday.

A beautiful day for a birthday.

No huge party? Nope. No lavish frivolities wrapped in colorful paper? Nope. No exotic destination vacation or ludicrous expenditures of some sort? Nope, none of that either. I got exactly what I wanted for my birthday; a great day, filled with love and affection, and connected intimate time with my traveling partner. Love is wonderful stuff. I made sure to give generously in my own direction, too. Staying on top of small details of self-care, investing throughout the day in the evening that had not yet arrived (nothing messes with romance like being cranky over some bullshit that could have been skillfully managed earlier in the day). Indeed, generally speaking I treated myself quite well and with great affection all day – a practice I am working to maintain as a habit. 🙂

A day full of choices, walking my own path.

A day full of choices, walking my own path.

The air-conditioner sitting in my living space this morning will be installed later today. Quite an excellent birthday present – and an investment in longer term quality of life and well-being. My traveling partner really looks out for me, and managed to stay in the spirit of my birthday wish for “something for my home” – and taking that in a direction I hadn’t even contemplated. It is an extraordinary gesture of love and understanding of my needs; this little apartment is very near perfect for me in most respects, but it does get quite uncomfortably hot on a warm day when the sun is beating down on the roof in the afternoon, and the open windows let in spiders as well as breezes…and quite possible more of the spiders than the cooling breezes, honestly.

The delights of the day are as flowers in the garden of my heart.

The delights of the day are as flowers in the garden of my heart.

Practical love. Romantic love. Passionate love. Platonic love. Familial love. I check off all the sorts of love I have known, myself, smiling because every sort of love I know how to feel (having felt them), I feel in the context of my relationship with my traveling partner. Every milestone I hit in life I find myself grateful to share so much of it with him. Lovers of such wit, tenderness, consideration and depth of character are not common in my experience… I find myself wondering where I fit, myself, on the spectrum of love and lovers; what will I do to return such skilled and extraordinary love in full measure? Learning to treat myself similarly well seems a good starting point – how better to understand treating someone else well, than to treat myself very well, without compromising kindness to others, consideration, respect, compassion or reciprocity? My traveling partner makes it look easy – I know better than to assume it is. There are verbs involved. Will. Choices. Commitment. Patience. Practice. Love, like life, is a journey – and it turns out that Love is one journey I can share – once I started down the path on my own.  Learning that I can’t love another any more skillfully than I love myself was a very big deal. There’s still so much to learn about Love.

Small moments of kindness, pleasure, and delight fill my heart when I allow them to fill my experience.

Small moments of kindness, pleasure, and delight fill my heart when I allow them to fill my experience.

Love? Yeah, that’s one amazing birthday present right there. I’ll have more please… 🙂

Today was… weird. I don’t remember now what sort of mood I was in, first thing. I think it was good.

My mood was fragile when I connected with my partner and we stopped for lunch together. I am making a lot of progress, and pursuing therapy this time is actually getting me somewhere – but I’m investing my will in this, it isn’t easy. I’m often more than usually emotional after my appointment, and feel raw and over-exposed. I appreciate it when I can get a couple really quiet hours to myself afterward, to get my bearings, and take a few deep breaths.  Sort things out, and develop a deeper understanding.

Today did not go that way.

The evening is winding down, now. In general, the day had a lot of value to it, and a lot to enjoy. I’m hoping that tomorrow morning those are the things most prominent in my memory, while the moments of discontent, and distress dissipate into the fog of what is forgotten.

I didn’t spend much time viewing the world through a lens. Today I used my eyes. Still – a couple pictures, and I’ve been looking at them and wanting them to say something more than they do. I do like a good metaphor. I’m not so sharp this evening. So…perhaps you see something I don’t see.

A single flower in autumn.

A single flower in autumn.

A shrub in bloom.

A shrub in bloom.

...Yeah...I don't know...I should have read the title.

…Yeah…I don’t know…I should have read the title.