Thursdays are my peace days.

My days off, my artist days. Days I can sit and think and hang out, under no obligation to anyone, just to sit and dream and write. I hang out for hours at the local coffee shop with my laptop, curled up on a couch next to their fireplace, listening to the jazz music from their sound system and the flow of conversation and laughter around me.

Grey wet day outside. Massive plate-glass windows, bright with all the available light. College kids in thick woven sweaters bend over coffee cups and laptops. Older folks with headphones scrunch their faces as they read the papers or focus on their own computers. Brief blasts of chill damp whenever the doors open to blow in the latest hanger-outer. Two red-headed women in jeans and grey sweaters lean their heads together over the local alternative paper, grinning, absorbed in chatter and smiles. A skinny young man with a blue earring and a black t-shirt imprinted with a glow-in-the-dark skeleton clutches his cup of coffee, leaning against the window.

Just peace. No pressure. Just watching the rain and snow intermix outside, the rise of steam from a car stopped outside. A day I can sit and be grateful for life and health and a roof over my head, a wonderful soulmate, three cuddly cats, and a laptop full of music (even when I realize I left my headphones at home). A small apartment filled with love and coziness and warmth; being able to cuddle with Brett on our couch, wrapped in an old comforter and munching on nachos, as we listen to NPR podcasts or watch the latest Mythbusters episodes…or just sit in the silence, lit only by the lights of the Yule tree, warm and together and sharing silence.

People forget those silences. They forget what’s real, what’s important, what’s center. They get lost in the TV-reality of what Hollywood thinks “should” be; they mistake what they see on the news as what all of life is like.

There’s been times when me & Brett have had more money. There’s been times we’ve had a lot less. Yet we’re still alive. We still thrive (and get very creative with Ramen noodles and mac & cheese). Home and life and contentment is where the love is, between us.

So Happy New Year, everyone. And I hope your coming year is as full of life, love, and contentment as mine is.

(okay, okay, sure, occasionally I’ll utter those very romantic words to Brett, sure to light up his gamer-geek soul: “Let’s go kill something…” Get off my case.)

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