Archives for posts with tag: treating yourself well

I am enjoying a Monday off.

It is, in some locales, “Columbus Day”. Other places now celebrate Indigenous People’s Day, instead (“in addition to”, while appearing to be sort of a thing, doesn’t really make any sense; the ideas are very much an either/or sort of situation, from my perspective). I grew up with Columbus Day as the holiday being taught, and celebrated, and I recall early confusion regarding what, exactly, was actually being celebrated about the bloody land-grab that was the colonization of North America by European settlers. As an adult, I try to honor the day more honestly, educating myself about various “First Nation”, “Native American”, and indigenous cultures of the continent, and taking time to appreciate the moral and ethical complexities of this country I live in, in a more complete and frank way.

Today? I’m mostly just having a Monday off. Later I’ll meet with my therapist (it’s been awhile, and I think I need a “tune up”). Run an errand after that. Enjoy the day as a whole and complete thing, rich in its own complexities.

I’m thinking about seasons and cycles. Partly because some background portion of my mind is still nibbling at a work problem to do with “seasonality”, partly because the season has changed from summer to autumn, almost “overnight”. Certainly, it seemed to take only days from the last hot afternoon to the first chilly morning. Now, leaves are turning fall colors: gold, russet, flaming orange, deep reds, and moody purples. I enjoy the display, and the cooler days.

One day, recently, my Traveling Partner said to me (I was having a rough go of the moment we were standing in and feeling very sad and diminished), “If I could give you just one thing, it would be “hope”…”. This morning I feel hopeful. It’s nice. Pleasant. Hope tends to make the uncomfortable seem more endurable, and less significant. 🙂 I smile to myself and have another sip of my coffee; it has already gone quite cold, on this leisurely pleasant morning. I’m okay with that. It’s good coffee.

The holidays are approaching. I haven’t really “made a plan” as far as what we’re doing for us, here at home. It feels appropriate to have a relatively frugal holiday season – mostly because we have our basic needs met. By “frugal” I’m not meaning “privation” and going without – I just mean a holiday more about moments, warmth, and cookies, and less about retail endeavors (whether online or locally). I’m not any less excited at the prospect. I’ve got a good mixer, and a lot of excellent cookie recipes. lol 😀

I sip my coffee thoughtfully, realizing that during this pandemic, even the price of butter can result in holiday treats being quite costly, and thus, rather luxurious. What is luxury? I guess it could be the distinction between cookies made with on-sale margarine and discount chocolate-flavored chips instead of plugra butter and carefully selected varietal baking chocolate. Those small luxuries are often just as out of reach as the large ones… Struggle is real. At least today, this year, this life, this moment, I can make the choices with care, and enjoy the occasional luxury, eyes open, no shame. 🙂

I look at the time. Already? Time to begin again. 😀

I have a beautiful spring weekend on the coast planned, to be spent in a ‘spa cottage’ a block from the beach, in a community more village than town, small, intimate, friendly. Time planned for stillness, for tenderness, for meditation, yoga, and long conversations with a new love. It sounds wonderfully romantic.

Oh, to be sure, this love of mine has been part of my life for years, a timeless measure of time that feels like ‘always’. ‘New love’ hardly describes the chronology of our life together… but somehow, I have been remiss where love is concerned. Blind? To be sure; blind to her needs, her heart, even her beauty. Deaf to her words, her poetry, and that creative spark that makes her so much of who she is. I’ve been so hard on her, for so long. So often forcing to her scream what could have been whispered. I’m very fortunate that she stuck it out long enough to see me turn toward her loveliness with real affection in my eyes. I’m very sorry she had to wait so long.  

She will probably always seem about 22 to me; frozen in memory at that pinnacle of youthful beauty we each achieve, so often unnoticed until it has passed by. I have a photograph of her, then, dark-haired, fair, eyes-closed, thoughtful, mouth relaxed, she is calm and quiet; she is in a bubble bath, photographed on the sly, unaware of the subtle intrusion on her precious privacy.

22

22

I know so much about her, and until I realized how much love there is between us, I didn’t realize how little that knowledge meant for understanding her. Still, I know things. I know she thinks she’s fat. She struggles to ‘feel heard’ but doesn’t have words for her frustration, and too many for everything else. She rarely sheds tears, and when she succumbs to ‘crying’ it is often wordless, soundless, stuck like a scream frozen on a paused movie, that becomes garbled vocalizations of fury or terror through the force of her will. She yields to her animal nature as if forced, as though there might be something to prove, and perhaps in the proof she might find something like a soul; being too near her heat, her passion, her childish rage is hard to bear. I berate her for her impulsiveness and resent her lack of control. So often I have wanted to comfort her – or beat the hell out of her; unable to choose, I would choose instead to silence her, or leave her in pieces, alone. I did not want to believe she needed to be cared for; so often tenderness seemed the only thing that could move her to tears, at all. I know she doesn’t like to be touched by strangers, and doesn’t distinguish between sex and love; she says “love is a fraud, but sex is something I can feel’.  I know how she really feels when she says it. I know about her pain. I know she has a lifetime ahead of her, and finding her way will likely take all of it.

I know she doesn’t know how much she will survive, or how much she will change, in the years ahead of her in that photo.

Complicated, broken, she means the world to me now, and I wonder what I could do to ‘make it all up to her’ somehow. A quiet spring weekend at the coast, the luxury of being utterly heard, cared for, attended to – it’s just a down payment on a very large debt. She’s stuck it out with me, you see. It wasn’t ever certain that she would.

This weekend I’ll take the trip to the coast, for some solo time, getting to know this woman I love, hearing her stories anew, with compassion, and patience – I know she needs that from me. We’ve come a long way together, this me-of-22, and I. It’s been ugly, and more than once seemed at the edge of what could be suffered. It’s time we got together over a coffee or two, and really shared now together; there are things she never knew, that I’d like to share with her – like my love.