Saturday, August 10, 2013

Errand

Thank you for today. Thank you for every day. Thank you for taking me along with you, to run a common little errand. Countless other couples undoubtedly were driving around in their cars together at the precise moment we were, but how many of those couples had such a thrill from merely sitting together, in public? That little taste of freedom is addictive. You were in awe of it, as I was. Yes, breakfast together. How many times more will we be out ordering breakfast together in the long stretch of our future? How many small errands will we run together, our arms wrapped through each other's, our fingers laced together, enjoying the pleasure of each other's company? How many times will we contentedly take the long way, driving to prolong the moments of being together, driving to look at houses, take in scenery?

And it follows: how many times will we sit, stewing in irritation at the endless red lights, endless traffic, in a rush to get wherever it is oh so important to go? I hope to remember these little moments of pleasure while running with you from place to place.

It seems necessary for each moment of pure bliss to have a matching moment of something less than bliss. Let us make those moments of less than bliss just as important in our togetherness as the moments of pure happiness. Our journey together will definitely have its trials, just as it will have beautifully effortless moments. In an unexpected turn of events, I look back with happiness and humor at the minor moments of difficulty we have had, our little trials. Humor, because you can and have looked back with me and laughed over my flairs of temper, over your "passive aggressiveness." Happiness, because we have done well. When there has been tension between us, the love and respect for each other has still been entirely present. So yes, thank you, for showing me how much you love me even while neither of us are at our best. Each of our minor tiffs have shown me just how strong you and I can be together.

It's amazing to me that with you, the ordinary is something a little extra ordinary. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Balance

Balmy, sunshiny days like today make me restless. The warmth is not the cause, nor is the actual sunshine itself, but the amalgamation of these things plus a pleasant breeze and fantastic cloud vistas definitely does the trick. Looking past the rose garden, the clouds were positively stunning - the weather is changing; rain and storm clouds were visible on the horizon.

Driving home I lost myself in thought. The breeze was delicious; it took me several blocks to realize that I had passed my destination and would need to turn back. This is driving weather. This is skipping the exit for the grocery store and motoring on until you discover a brown state parks sign you've never seen before kind of weather. Escape weather. Drive until we've crossed state lines weather. No plans weather.

Days like today require immersion in wild places. I feel a compelling need to drive until I find somewhere unknown to me, somewhere to throw me from my status quo, somewhere new.

Status quo. I cannot live the kind of life on which Americans waste their dreams. We are taught that working harder, working faster, working more is right; that it will get us somewhere. We are taught we always need more. More activities, more furniture, more shoes, more (and newer) electronics, more money. We are surrounded by a culture that praises operating in overdrive, that equates consumerism with happiness. When we finally stop and take a breath we have no idea from where our dissatisfaction stems. When we realize the brand of window cleaner we use won't matter a wit in the grand scheme of things, we may be farther ahead. For now, we do not know what to do with ourselves when there is no television, no computer, no phone with constant text messages. We are uncomfortable alone with our breath and no distraction from our thoughts.

I do not want my daily life to be wasted to achieve a "vacation." I left college because I became too wrapped up in other people's goals. The environment I was part of was about furthering research to earn your colleagues' esteem, about publishing to demonstrate your worth, about graduate school as a status symbol. Those are not my goals. Every one of those people had lost perspective - they no longer operated for the good of the people they were suppose to be helping. To publish, to establish unique independent research, requires eating and breathing your subject. No amount of esteem is worth that misery to me. The people with PTSD? Yes, it may (may!) help them in the end, but no one sees that. For now they are just cattle with numbered tags adorning their ears, just as they were cattle when they were shipped off to fight the wars that initially caused such trauma.

Back to here, back to now. Driving, daydreaming, I yearn for that one occupation that is a welcome part of my life. I yearn for some way to find the freedom I seek. I yearn to earn my living in a way that improves the lives of others.

Why do I feel an occupation I am at home with and my urge for spontaneity are connected? Is there an occupation available that indulges both my need for novelty and my compulsion to help people?

I want a modest, humble life. I don't ask for much. A place to live, adequate food, time to play and love, opportunities to create, the ability to provide for my family. Forget all the extraneous bits, they aren't needed. Back to the breeze, those stunning skyscapes. Back to driving weather.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Embracing

Buddhist philosophy teaches that the darkest parts of ourselves should be embraced. Even though some of our feelings, desires, and worries are black, deep, destructive, difficult parts of ourselves, they still exist as parts of ourselves. We should not war with ourselves. Because these dark parts exist within us, they should be embraced, loved and dealt with by employing the same compassion we should work to show even our worst enemies. We should be reminding ourselves, in the midst of each deep, dark pain, that this emotion will pass, and it is ok to feel it. It is not reality.

I have been experiencing many dark moments lately; so many, and so frequently that I have worried that they are permanent and have started to experience them as my reality. I have fought them. I have picked up every weapon I possess to ward them off. I forgot the weapon of compassion. I forgot acceptance and love. My fighting has been in vain. I am trying to offer up the best of me to envelope the worst. I hope it works.

One of the thoughts I rely on most to get me through is that this period in our lives, regardless of the fact that it seems to drag out endlessly, is actually just a blink of an eye in terms of our life together. I struggle to remember that this part in our life together is a legitimate part of our life together. This is not a time period to wait in hopes to eventually achieve our togetherness. We are together NOW. Yes, ideally, things would be different. Yes, sometimes it is difficult. Yes, sometimes the irrational part of my mind forces itself to the forefront and is difficult to dislodge.

I cannot control the past. I cannot control the future. I can merely control my actions and behaviors and thoughts now. The facts remain. I have never experienced a love like this love. Every difficult minute of this in between time is worth it, and not every minute is difficult. So many of my moments with you, although short-lived if judged by standards of time, are moments that shine on beyond their physical happening.

To see a world in a grain of sand,
and heaven in a wild flower,
to hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour.
-William Blake

Our moments are "eternity in an hour." Our moments are my heaven. We have so much to see, my love. We have our hopes and dreams, and we have the reality of how our hopes and dreams will actually come to fruition. Anything worth our dreaming is worth our working. We can do the hard stuff together. I am so delighted to have found you, and I just hope you'll stick around through the work to live out the dream. 



Monday, April 8, 2013

Sweet

I doubt you will find this as charming as I did, but your insecurity today warmed me to the core, and in turn washed away some of mine. Oh honey, you are so incredibly sweet. You know when I'm upset or pissed off and you really want to smile because you think my mannerisms are cute, but you hide it because you're afraid I might take off your head? That's about how I feel right now, like I should be hiding how sweet I thought it was that you worried about this dinner today.

It isn't that I find your concern amusing, and it isn't only that your worry is unfounded. What I find so darling is that I could tell something was bothering you a bit even though you were trying not to acknowledge it. What I find so darling is that you thought for a moment that I was being shady about my plans. I said today, and I'll say again, I am an open book to you. One of the most beautiful, enduring qualities we have together is the ability talk with each other without reservation. I can set aside my feelings to acknowledge yours, and you can do the same for me. This is our biggest triumph baby, our integral puzzle piece, the thing that will help us to stay together through all else.

You are always welcome to put into words what is on your mind. I will not think you silly. I will not judge you. I am your safe space. I am your acceptance. I am your love.

Our communication is what sets us apart. Our trust in each other, our openness, is what will prevent our bed from growing impossibly large. I know getting out what you needed to say wasn't easy, but I valued the faith in me you expressed by laying it out for me. Thank you.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter

The book I am reading on Buddhist philosophy instructs that being fully present in the here and now leads to happiness. The book instructs the reader to let go of the past, and avoid dwelling on the future as there is so much to experience in every mindful moment. I generally agree with this advice, but right now, sitting in the backyard with the best kind of twilight glowing the trees, birds all atwitter, I cannot help but to think of the future.

I'm looking for hiding places for Easter eggs. Exposed places to tuck brightly colored eggs for eager baby hands to find, and slightly more challenging places for our little one that has already grown so much. A couple will be hidden really well, so we can play "hot and cold" to find them. I can just see our baby girl hauling around a stuffed bunny by its ear.

After we eat, we'll take a short walk or kick around a ball - anything to be out in this beautiful weather for just a little bit longer. Before too long it will be bedtime, time to wash up, time for a bedtime story with new stuffed bunnies and ducks tucked in the blankets with our children. A kiss for each baby, a kiss for the bunnies too, which I'm sure will make our babies giggle...

I can weave so very many stories of what our life will be like, and believing these futures to be true will make them happen. It isn't just magical thinking - reinforcing these goals keeps them present in our minds, makes us live in such a way that makes possible our dreams coming true. One of the things I look forward is looking back and comparing these blogs, when old, to our new, current life. What does our future hold?

We've already begun our journey. Sometimes I forget that and find it difficult to hold it present in my mind. Even the waiting and the hard bits we have to get through are part of our story, are part of our lives together. I value even this. I am grateful for even this.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sustenance

You asked, "When are you going to write for me?" What you want baby, you get.

Do you know you deserve that kind of treatment? Do you know you deserve to have whatever it is you want? With all of the time you spend making sure others are taken care of, with all of the energy you pour out to ensure your job is done well, there is very little left over for you to draw upon to sustain yourself. 

Let me sustain you, my love. I feel an overwhelming need to care for you, to offer my support, to give you whatever it is you feel you need. I want to be there to kiss your eyes when you aren't feeling well, to rub your head when it aches, to be your rock when you need to vent out the frustrations of your day. 

I look forward to cooking for you, and although I will never look forward to laundry, I do like knowing that I can make it one less thing you have to worry about (most of the time). I am already thinking about the little things I can do to brighten your days when you need it most. I will care for you, my sweetheart, as I know you will care for me.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Continue

I am not looking forward to spending the next week without you. I am a grown woman. I am a strong, capable, self-sufficient woman. I find it absolutely ridiculous that I struggle with this so much, as "strong" as I am. Life will continue without you here, but I am still busily plotting activities for each of my days in hopes that these activities will be enough to distract me from your absence.

In reality, how often do I truly see you? Most mornings I do, with an occasional glance or quick conversation later in the day, so why should it matter so much? It's not as if we are awash in time together. Our brief moments of contact are sustaining, though, because even a glimpse of the love in your eyes buoys my heart for a few hours. All those old clich├ęs hold true: your smile brightens my day, your kisses keep me going, etc. etc. Only, these things are true! I need you! This capable, self-sufficient woman needs you.

The beautiful thing is, I think you need me too. The strong, confident, capable woman YOU are needs me just as much as I need you.

In reality, we will be apart only a few days. We will survive the separation. We will call and text, and we will be all kinds of all over each other when our separation ends. We will be just that much more aware of what we have together. I will still miss your presence and cling so tightly to the little bits of you I have here now, but it will be alright.

You're going to be so busy, I know you're going to have a good time! You deserve it. You definitely do.