Saturday, November 26, 2022

Comfort

I realized recently that one of the outstanding features of my marriage is the level of comfort Sweet Hubby and I enjoy in each other's company.  Feeling completely comfortable, completely relaxed, was not a part of either of our childhoods and young adulthoods.  

In my parent's home, there was always an underlying tension as we all watched my father to determine what kind of mood he was in.  There was also the fact that we moved frequently, so my siblings and I were the new kids in school year after year.  In my young adulthood, and even into my 40's and 50's, I spent too much time with the wrong romantic partners, some of them very fine men with whom I was ill-matched.  Until I met  SH, I didn't know that love can be easy and sweet and safe.

SH spent his childhood and most adult years as a loner.  He had no siblings, and only one parent with whom he had nothing in common save their address.  He was always the smartest guy in the room, so was seen as - and was, and is - an egghead, meaning not one of the popular kids.  He had a few very good friends and a couple of brief marriages but, until he and I got together, he spent most of his time alone.

Last night, after we had gone out to a wonderful, fancy dinner, I suddenly became conscious of how very comfortable I am with SH.  Whether we are talking or not talking, joking and laughing or being quite serious, it's just so easy to be together.  We've been married long enough that I had stopped noticing what a relief it is to be totally myself without any guardedness, without worrying about taking a misstep, without judgment in either direction.  But I saw it in one of those quiet flash insights, and so am able to be grateful grateful grateful for this ease, this comfort, beyond my ability to express it properly.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Giving thanks

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and I focused on being truly, consciously grateful for all the goodness in my life.  I contacted many of the people and groups that have added so much to my well being, to my writing, to my soul, to let them know how much I appreciate them, appreciate the joy and wisdom they have shared.

I'm most grateful, of course, for Sweet Hubby, and for my family and friends.  Those wonderful, kind, darling people always top any list of blessings.  But I'm grateful, too, for the gifts of modern medicine and dentistry; for the heating and air conditioning which make any season pleasant; for modern plumbing (where does it all go?); for how easy travel is.  (Yes yes, I know air travel isn't as much fun as it used to be, but still, it's rather amazing, isn't it?  That we can get to almost anywhere in the world in a day or less?) 

I'm so grateful that I decided to move to Seattle; it felt immediately like the right place for me to be.  I'll never know what brought me here, but whatever mysterious force it was, wherever in me the impulse came from, I'm so glad to be where I am.

I'm grateful for the muse that has made me a writer.  It was never a decision, and sometimes I wish I could give it up, but my imagination continues to throw ideas and concepts and beginnings and endings as me, and I simply don't seem to be able to ignore them. 

I'm grateful even for all the aches and pains and stiffness and limitations of getting older, because they all let me know that I'm still alive, that I've made it into my seniority, that there is still a world of promise and possibility for me to explore.  I'm still here to continue making a life for myself on this beautiful, if somewhat tortured, planet.

So much goodness.  So much to be thankful for.  It's almost too much to absorb. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Don't believe your beliefs

I was visiting a friend recently, and saw something in her which really opened my eyes.  You know those moments when you see or understand something that has always been there but was just part of the scenery until it came crashing into focus?  This was like that for me.

My friend is divorced and has been dating, but is feeling discouraged about ever finding someone who will be the right partner for her.  "I just don't think it's going to happen for me," she sighed.  And I saw in that moment that we (human beings) get ideas about what is and isn't possible, and then shape ourselves to those ideas.  But those ideas, those beliefs, those thoughts have nothing to do with what is actually going to happen.  Just because she believes in this moment that she isn't going to find her right partner doesn't mean she won't.  But if she starts acting as though her belief is true, she might end up making it true by closing her eyes to opportunities and possibilities.

The only way in which I can take credit for getting together with Sweet Hubby is that, no matter how many relationships ended badly, no matter how old or discouraged I became, I still knew I wanted to be married, to love and be loved.  I never said "It's not going to happen for me."  Of course I had that fear, but still, I couldn't help but admit that I still wanted it to happen, hoped it would happen, and so kept myself open to the possibility.

I wasn't so bold as to say "I know it's going to happen for me", and I didn't promise that to my friend, either.  Maybe she'll meet someone, maybe not.   It's unknown, and that's the salient factor.  We don't know what's going to happen, how things are going to turn out, who or what will show up next, what surprises are in store for us.  So it's just silly to say "I don't believe this or that will happen" as though we can see the future.

If you want something, own the wanting, do what you can to make it possible, and stay open.  There might be disappointment ahead, but then again, don't be too sure about that.  'Cause you never know - and that's the point. 

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Being 'good'

Sweet Hubby and I were recently having dinner out with good friends, a couple we tunnel fly with, lovely people.  Both of them have been dieting, and it shows.  When we ordered, the wife of the couple said she was going to have a salad because she's trying to be good.

I have always inwardly shuddered when people equate denying themselves food with being 'good', as though eating what they want to is being 'bad'.  As though there is virtue associated with dieting, ergo vice associated with not dieting.

But last night I began to look at it differently.  Since integrity (and lack of) is on my mind quite a lot lately, I realized that being good in the way our friend meant it is about having integrity, staying true to her word, keeping her commitment to herself to lose weight.

Sometimes I think our relationship to food is screwy (and my 'our', I mean 'my').  I don't know that there has been a day in my life when I wasn't thinking about my weight, no matter whether it was high or low.  Eating can't be given up completely, like smoking or nail-biting, so it  has to be monitored if one (and by 'one' I mean pretty much everybody) wants to lose weight; it has to be assessed and altered and constantly made conscious.  I'm sick of it.  I would love to see if I could go through an entire day without thinking about how much I weigh and what I'm eating and how much exercise I'm getting and whether I look good enough.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Want (not the play)

This evening I was doing one of my favorite Jane Fonda workouts, one of the ones she recorded as an older (70's) woman.  I had decided I was going to do all but 10 minutes of it.  Sort of like giving my word to myself about how long I was going to work out.

About 3/4 of the way through, I didn't feel like doing any more and thought about stopping.  And in that moment, I finally saw how much more often I listen to and follow my "I want to" and "I don't want to" voices than my "I said I would" voice.  Wow.  Seeing that explains a lot about me to myself.

I will give myself credit this time for continuing to work out instead of, once again, shrugging and breaking my word.  And now that I've noticed this tendency in myself, I'll be more aware of it and maybe choose more consciously and wisely which voice to listen to.

Until I don't feel like listening wisely any more.  Then I'll go back to following my wants.

That's a joke.  But maybe not.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

VOTE

Vote.

Vote as though your vote matters, because it does.

Vote as though your rights depend on it, because they do.

Vote as though you are expressing your most deeply held values, because you are.

Vote as though your future, and your children's future, and the future of this country depend on it.

Don't give up.  Don't be discouraged.  Don't become cynical.  Vote.

Please feel free to pass this along. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

I need help

Whoever you are, please send me some good news, something good that's happened to you recently, someone you saw do a kindness, a story you've heard.  The news is so bad, I need and want to be reminded of the goodness there is still in the world.