On Letting Go…

New loved ones, in many and most ways, are the most exciting and significant additions to our lives.  But like any new addition to our lives, they will put a dent in our well-worn routines and cause some minor upheaval until a new routine that suits two rather than one can be established.

This will happen even with the smallest additions such as kittens and puppies.  Because with pets our needs can continue to take priority, it is only a matter of time until we have them assimilated into our pre-existing routine with usually only some minor yet anticipated changes.

With infants it is the exact opposite and their needs and routines must take precedence over ours until they begin to mature.  We all know this and find it easy to accept, even if not necessarily easy to endure.  It’s just what is best for them.  After a certain amount of growth we can look forward to integrating their evolving and maturing routines with our pre-existing routines to create a nicely flowing whole family routine – that is unless they have their own unique psychological, medical, intellectual, or talent-related needs that must take priority.  Even that can be worked out in time though.

But with a new mate we have two people with two different sets of roles, priorities, and habits, who to a given extent still maintain some level of identity of themselves as individuals.  Some of these roles – such as giver and receiver of love and affection – are complementary and naturally become routine.  But what happens to those other roles and factors when they aren’t quite compatible?  Role/personality discrepancies such as student versus nine-to-fiver, scheduler versus spontaneous planner, everything has its place versus its place is wherever I put it, etcetera…  What happens with all these trivial things that can make a somewhat well-organized and very busy life feel like chaos – sweet and somewhat endearing chaos – but chaos nevertheless.

At times like these it is helpful to recall Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths.  The first is that suffering – or in this instance the impatience arising from the time it takes to establish a new routine – is part of life.  The second is that clinging – wishing we could just stick to my routine or that he would hurry up and figure his out so that we can figure “ours” out – exacerbates that suffering.  The third is that it is MY thoughts, feelings, and desperate attempts to quickly solve the problem, and not the problem itself, that are causing my impatience for a quick escape from chaos and return to peaceful order.  Return to Truth number one, life is just messy sometimes…

Although my mind and anxiety have other things to say about the matter, I am doing my best to practice letting go.  My bathroom is cluttered, we’ll get extra shelving, until then let it go…  The bedsheets are sideways, that’s cute and completely irrelevant, so let it go…  My desk is covered in papers and clothes, I can sit on my bed with my laptop instead, not a problem, let it go…  He’s asleep at 7:00 p.m., he’s going to be up all night and unable to get up in the morning, but really I am still free to go to bed as usual, not my problem, let it go…

Naturally some may feel a bit prickly when it comes to a lot of letting go, like in some way things are out of balance and they are losing their power with too much letting go…  When that stirring of resentment arises I just need to think of things like the following: sitting in bed together giggling, no need to let this go, the cute way he wishes me good morning when I first open my eyes, no need to let this go, a Caribbean vacation I am now looking forward to, no need to let this go, warm hands on my back when my muscles are sore, no need to let this go, that great feeling of knowing you have made someones day easier in some way, again and again, no need to let that go, the excitement of considering ways to make his life better, no need to let this go, looking forward to coming home to his smiling face, not letting this go…

Things which matter most much never be at the mercy of things which matter least.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Keep well…



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