Archives for posts with tag: there’s always time for gratitude

The house is quiet. Cool jazz plays in the background, softly. I sip a small glass of sherry, sweet, smooth, and deliciously raisin-y; it tastes of luxury, and satisfying moments. I look back on a gentle, fulfilling day of celebration, utterly lacking in any hint of drama, stress, or conflict. The day was spent harmoniously, in the good company of my Traveling Partner. It’s been a memorable Thanksgiving Day, peaceful and connected. Intimate. Romantic. Fun.

Dinner for two was effortless; we went out. We went to dinner sharply dressed in our best “going out to dinner on a holiday” clothes, subtly coordinated with each other’s choices. There was no particular wait; we made reservations well in advance. There was no traffic, really, most people were already at home, in their kitchens, or with their families, making merry their own way. It was an easy evening out. The meal was quite pleasant: good food, great service, worth the price paid. The drive home? Similarly pleasant. It was, in the simplest terms, an easy, delightful, holiday spent wrapped in love. My Traveling Partner looked fantastic. My mirror suggested to me that I looked pretty wonderful, too. The mingled scents of his cologne and my perfume complimented each other well, and were applied with care so as not to overwhelm dinner.

…I don’t know what else to say… this was my experience, this year. I’ve had others. My results, over a lifetime, have varied. This was one exceptionally pleasant, relaxed, and satisfying- an intimate holiday.

…I’ve much to be thankful for. Not just this grand date out with my love; also, just generally. Here in the quiet, sipping my sherry, I consider my life in context. I consider all the many unspoken “thank you’s” due here, or there, or again, just generally. Not all of life’s lessons are “easy”, and sometimes, the cost to learn them is pretty fucking high. Still, close attention to the curriculum, and learning (and growing), and becoming more this woman I want to be is worth it, so far, and the payout seems to be lovely moments (or days) such as this. It’s enough.

…This too shall pass. lol Just being real; clinging to this moment wouldn’t serve me well. As with clinging to any other moment (or notion, or assumption, or expectation), clinging to this charming here-and-now experience would set me up for failure in some other moment. So, I sip my sherry in the quiet of evening, content with what is, and not much concerned with anything else. There is time for this, here, now. It’s certainly worth savoring.

For me, Thanksgiving kicks off “the winter holiday season”, which will last through New Year’s Day. There’s much to enjoy, to explore, to wonder upon… It is a “season of gratitude”, and also of contemplation, consideration, and change. It is a season to be most generous, and also a season to let go of ego, and share the journey for a little while, to reach across the strange chasms that separate “us” and “them” to become “we” for awhile. It is a season to receive gifts graciously, and to forgive with an open heart (and open mind), aware that we’re all in this together, although we are each having our own experience.

…This can be an amazing life. Slow down. Enjoy some of it. Stop yelling for a minute. Hug someone you love. Care about your loved ones more than you care about being right. Laugh – yes, and even at yourself. Is any moment of anger really worth sacrificing the beautiful lives we could have instead, so easily? I’m just saying… use your words, not your weapons. (It should go without saying that well-mannered, reasonable, people do not take up arms against their loved ones in a moment of anger, for fuck’s sake. …And killing them? Just… no. Do not do that. Ever. Just… no. That’s not love. Ever. At all. Shouldn’t have to say that… unfortunately, it’s clear from the news that some folks did not get that memo. 😦 )

…I sip my sherry and dispel the grim thought that one thing I am truly grateful for is that I survived my first marriage…

I’m definitely grateful I didn’t spend the day cleaning and cooking, and then find myself also having to clean up afterward. Been there (fuck that). Today was unreservedly joyful, and so emotionally rich and satisfying, I hesitate to mention it for fear it may burst like a soap bubble. I needn’t worry so. It’s already so quiet now…

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful warm Thanksgiving holiday. Maybe you didn’t, this year? In that case, there’s still some good news; you can let this one go, and simply begin again. 😉

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for me, although I don’t celebrate much ‘pilgrim vs indigenous people’ stuff.  For me, this is a holiday about feasting, gratitude, hospitality, welcoming, and acceptance. Today I’ll cook a fairly lavish meal compared to the day-to-day, as is traditional for so many. It’s a rare year that I don’t have a handful of others invited to join me for the holiday meal, and today the celebration is not dependent on a guest list at all. It’s still a holiday, still about gratitude, and still about being welcoming and thankful – and I care share all those things with the woman in the mirror, too. There have been far too many times I didn’t appreciate her, or even welcome her in her own experience. This is a year to celebrate how much I value the part I play, myself, in my experience, in my choices, and in my opportunities. It’s a year to be thankful, appreciative, and welcoming – of myself.

I begin the holiday season reflecting on gratitude, and good fortune.

I begin the holiday season reflecting on gratitude, and good fortune.

I am sipping my coffee, enjoying the slow encroachment of sunshine on carpet near the patio door, and planning the day’s cooking; small kitchen, small spaces, one oven, no microwave… I’ve had it far worse. Here all the burners work, I have a functioning dishwasher, and every surface is sparkling clean and available for food prep. I am grateful for my tiny kitchen, and all of its convenience – including the pantry almost as large as the kitchen itself, and having everything I’ll need within easy reach. I will happily spend the next hour or two making final recipe choices, smiling over the memories that surface with each recipe card, cookbook, or saved article from some ancient newspaper or magazine, handed down woman to woman over generations. I am grateful for the recollection of so many wonderful home-cooked meals over the years. I am grateful for this smile.

Planning the day has become organizing the cooking, and soon all the planning and organizing will become action – there will be verbs involved, and practices practiced. Safety with knives. Food-safe preparation, and clean-as-I-go practices. Proper food storage practices. Kindness and compassion will be practiced today, too. There’s not likely to be any drama on this holiday – but I could make choices that leave me feeling run down, blue, and angst-y later in the day. Being kind to myself, and compassionate with myself as a human being worthy of consideration and love will make just as much as much sense for me, solo, as it would for me entertaining a crowd. I will take time to treat myself well. I will pace myself, today, and remember that enjoying the day, the meal, and the moment, is the point – not the success of any one dish or the timing with which the meal is served. There’s nothing to be stressed about; this is a holiday about appreciation, sufficiency, and thanks – it’s not a competition, and there are no winners besides the people who put down their stress and agita and simply enjoy the day, present in the moment, and grateful for all that they have.

Facing the approach of winter, I feel fortunate in my cozy home.

Facing the approach of winter, I feel fortunate in my cozy home.

Today I take time to give thanks – I have more than enough.

I’m enjoying the day. It’s winding down. There’s music I love on the stereo. The lighting is precisely the way I enjoy it best in the evening; lights down low, strategically selected to create a muted warm glow – too dim to comfortably read a bound book, or do fine needle work, but quite enough to relax, meditate, do yoga, write (at the computer), or just sit quietly with a coffee or a cup of tea. I’m wearing comfy clothes that I favor for time at home. My dinner will be food that appeals to me, without any regard for other people might prefer. I am unapologetically simply this woman who I am, nothing more, nothing less – and no stress about it.

It's a beautiful sunrise, I'd like it to be more meaningful, or significant...do the things that are precious need to be anything more than what they are?

It’s a beautiful sunrise, I’d like it to be more meaningful, or significant…do the things that are precious need to be anything more than what they are?

I miss my traveling partner. I am thinking about him while I cook, while I write, when I’m in the shower, when I’m walking from there to here…he’s on my mind a lot. Tonight I spent a considerable time appreciating a particular quality he brings to our relationship; his comfort with who I am, and his encouragement that I be the woman I most want to be – even when that means I am doing my own thing some evening when, perhaps, with planning we could have been enjoying each other. It’s not even that he is resigned to missing me because I’m doing something, or that he accepts it that I may be unavailable – it’s beyond that. He loves me being me. He loves me living my life. There’s real joy in conversations about things we do as  individuals – we have so much to say to each other when our lives are not consumed entirely by each other. I confess, when we live together, I tend to be… available. A lot. I adore my traveling partner, and there are qualities [for me] of love and loving that are damned near drug-like. It’s hard to say no to him in order to say yes to me. This is no more comfortable for him than it is for me. I am enjoying this evening when it’s not even an issue – because I am loved and valued as I am, not as property, a prop, a tool or a resource; freedom is a powerful quality to bring to a romantic relationship. We’re human people – partners, making life work together. It’s quite lovely to be so well-loved, and so valued.

Love.

Love.

…I still miss him. 🙂 I’m enjoying being in a truly supportive partnership that encourages growth…and I miss my traveling partner most of the time that we are apart. That’s okay, too. There’s a yearning to missing him, and anticipate in the yearning; seeing him again is a thing that will happen. These aren’t ‘bad’ feelings – they’re feelings, though, human feelings that tell me something about what I value (and who) and what I need (and want) and what hurts (or heals) – I’m pretty sure I’d miss out on a lot of life to give up on all these feelings. My heart will soar to new heights with wings – not forged in the fire of passion, but crafted tenderly of memories, and tears cried when I am lonely; there’s perspective to be had in feeling the feelings, and wisdom to be gained in experiencing life. I’m okay with that – it’s enough to love and be loved, it doesn’t also have to be effortless, or without discomfort.

Over-reaching for a good metaphor...content to watch fish swim.

Over-reaching for a good metaphor…content to watch fish swim.

Dinner is just about ready. I am eating dinner alone, watching new fish getting acquainted with their home, and enjoying a quiet solo evening. Tonight is not one of the lonely ones; I am enjoying the evening with the woman in the mirror. This, too, is enough. 🙂