Like a dog that begs for something sweet …

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The lyric/title of this one is relevant only because the song is in my head. That said, my dog does like cantaloupe more than I do, and cantaloupe is pretty sweet.

I have gotten exponentially better at this living-in-the-moment thing people tout, though  I realize it’s not a constant state of being. Perhaps if I meditated it would be, but I don’t. What a difference it makes for my moods and my happiness, and what an excellent lesson these past several months have been in that regard, when I’ve had no choice, really, but to do so.

The other day I mentioned some of the traits that the people I love share, and I’ve another one to add – the people (and dogs) with whom I have the deepest connections are the ones who help me to see the world through new eyes. This goes along with the lifelong evolution I strive for – the notion of always having new things to see, or notice. When we open our eyes, when we stop spending our travel time staring at our phones, when we look outside of our insular selves, we open our eyes to the world. Of course this means we run the risk of letting ugliness seep in, but I’d rather see and acknowledge the darkness than sacrifice the light of the new and beautiful. Or the relearned and beautiful. Lamenting the past and coveting memories keeps us from realizing the personal history we’re making in the present.

My lovely friend who came for dinner last week told me about a book called “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself”. I haven’t looked into this book, but the title resonates. I’m breaking the habit, these days, of being my less-than-functional self, and I’m learning to be who I’ve always wanted to be – someone who’s calm, optimistic, empathic, kind, who doesn’t take everything quite so personally. And someone who cooks and cleans and doesn’t mind her alone time. When you’re not used to it, alone time is scary. It was for me when the Vanishing Man left and I realized I needed to be single for a while. I didn’t know how to, and it was hard, at first. I’d just come off of 12 years of being someone’s girlfriend. Friends told me then that I “should” (hate that word) take six months off from commitment; at the time that sounded like eternity. Now I realize how right they were, and how well I’ve gotten through the first two-thirds of that. Of course I’ve had “help” – I have wonderful friends – but I now cherish my solitude, even crave it at times.

That said, I still strongly believe, and I hope I always will, that I’m ultimately meant to be half of a whole. As I said in my toast (quoting someone else) at Jim and Zotica’s wedding, “Love may not make the world go ’round, but it sure makes the ride worthwhile.”

As do you, my friends.

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