Since we started our life together, Steve and I have developed a wonderful routine of life. In our new home there’s a room that we have fondly nicknamed the “library”. It is a living area separated from the main living space of our home. When we bought the home, we knew that this room was going to be a special room. The walls are painted a deep red and the space holds the most calming, peaceful energy. This is probably due to the fact that the previous owners used it as a music parlor and it featured their stunning ebony baby grand piano. We don’t have a baby grand piano (yet) but we felt the need to continue this room’s function as a musical and inspirational room. My husband is a beautiful musician and song writer (he has written me many songs and wrote and sang one very special song to me in Hawaii when he proposed). He is also an avid reader and collector of books (he calls them his friends). One wall of our library room is dedicated to our combined collection of books that are displayed to overflowing in three large mahogany bookshelves (we could easily feel more). Interestingly we both collected the same genre of books over the years and even own several of the same books. The wall opposite from the books has a fireplace framed with an antique wooden mantel piece. To the right of the fireplace is Steve’s keyboard, his two guitars, an amp and his music. To the left of the fireplace is a wall of windows overlooking the wetlands separating our property from the golf course. Today it is a picturesque forest of snow covered trees, retired cattails and some wildlife that we get to spy on (birds, squirrels, rabbits and a family of coyotes). We start and end our days in this room and they are by far my favorite times of the day.
It is in this space that Steve and I enjoy our morning tea, journal, read, Steve writes and plays music and where we have our “university time”. Our university time is when we read books aloud to each other and discuss them, when we have deep philosophical discussions, when we reminisce about our life, when we share past experiences with each other, when we share our pain and grief and when we help and support each other. These moments have been invaluable to me in my journey with Steve as a partner. We have cried, laughed, had many revelations and made numerous plans through this blessed ritual of ours.
The other day, during “university time”, we were talking about Steve’s recent decision to retire from his naturopathic practice. Of course the conversation turned to what he and we would be focusing on in the future. What was going to occupy our time and focus? And we both fell silent. Then Steve announced loudly “Man, we need to get a life”! To this point, like everyone else, we had based our life on raising children, having careers, providing, worrying, caring for, helping and solving problems for other people. Our individual lives, needs and desires were not the main focus of our time or energy. Now that we made the decision to switch our focus to our individual desires and needs…we simply didn’t know how to do it. How do we live in that space?
Steve and I brainstormed what we want to do with the remainder of our lives on this planet? One decision was that we did *not* want to wait around for our children or others to decide to hang out with us or call us to hang with them. Much to our chagrin, our children have their own lives and the last thing that is on their minds is hanging out with the ‘rents. Ok, so no waiting. We realized that we need to be proactive and intentional on what we wanted in our lives. Our final list looked like this: we want to be more creative, we want to travel … a lot … (maybe live abroad for a bit) …and we want to develop spiritually. Before we could change our minds or talk ourselves out of these things we got busy. Steve booked some travel, I signed us up for a pottery/clay class and we began researching different options to grow our spiritual life.