…I woke up during the night, a couple times. Feels like I may be coming down with the ick that has been going around. It had spared me, but late last week, a colleague definitely exposed me to it… I was hoping I’d gotten lucky, and that good self-care would be enough to stave off illness. Not this time. I find myself hoping I picked up a bug down south, instead, though I don’t recall anyone being ill while we visited; it’s just a scenario that does not put me probably taking some terrible contagious ick down there to a whole other community, which I just may have done this weekend. 😦 I hope not.

I don’t yet feel “don’t go to work” sick; may end up returning and working from home, or doing so later this week. It is hard to say. I teeter on the edge of being sick. Stuffy head – treated with the limited cold medicines I am comfortable using, seems well-managed. Tickle in my throat – well, that could just be dry air, right? Snoring all night, or? Maybe I’m not getting sick! (Why do we play this game?)

The weekend suddenly feels distant. The work day imminent, and fraught with anxiety, acid reflux, and unknowns. I take a deep breath and relax, reminding myself that pre-setting the day to any particular emotional quality likely puts me on the path of creating that specific experience. I can do better. I can choose differently.

I smile and notice that I never made coffee, which gets me thinking about the lovely mornings over coffee together my Traveling Partner and I shared over the weekend. This is a better starting point for my day, which is convenient, since it is already time to begin again. lol 🙂

My legs ache. I am contentedly fatigued from the effort of the weekend. Joyous effort. Heartfelt effort. Connected effort. The effort we make in life really matters; it’s how we get results. Well… I mean, sure, there’s “luck” of course. Good fortune puts a lot of folks on the path to one win or another, or general success in life, but let’s not kid ourselves about that; there’s a lot of effort that often isn’t seen, or shared. People – lots of people – go about the doing of things, often unnoticed by passers-by.

Sooner or later, however longingly I dream of hiking a particular trail, there’s no progress on making that a reality until boots hit the ground.

Start somewhere.

What’s your dream? Are you working on it?

What’s on your horizon? You are your own cartographer on this journey.

If you’re not working on your dream, realistically, how do you expect to achieve it? Pure intention? Casual assumption that gritting your teeth and firmly “manifesting” it will get you there? “The Universe” looking out for you… why? Someone’s going to hand it to you? Because you’re a great person? Seriously? So, I’m here with a short cut for you – and almost surefire not quite guaranteed path to success (your results will vary); make an effort. No kidding. Sucks, I know, right? Effort?? Like… actual work?

Are the obstacles you face truly as immediate and non-negotiable as you imagine them to be?

Our results are often closely correlated to the effort we make to attain them.

Whose advice are you taking? Sometimes the commandments we perceive as written in stone aren’t so permanent at all.

To put it in more practical terms…how many NFL players just happened to be spotted casually throwing a football around at some point in their life, having never played the game, and just happen to be so fucking fantastic that they are offered a deal on the spot? How many drivers are stopped at an intersection during their commute and offered an opportunity to compete in Formula One racing? One-time karaoke singers invited to perform at The Met? Let’s count carefully now…

…0. Probably. (I didn’t actually look all those scenarios up – if you find an example, I’d love the link to the narrative.)

The point is, if you want to be a professional football player, you’ll probably want to learn to play the game (as a starting point), and hey – maybe get really good at it. Most things work this way. You have to begin somewhere. Practice the thing. Become skilled. Go on to mastering the thing, or becoming in some fashion accomplished. Verbs. Effort. Action. Daydreaming doesn’t put pen to paper, brush to canvas, or a ball into the air.

Wherever it leads, the path we choose in life isn’t going to walk itself.

Hell, we don’t even get to rest on past glories for future successes; it is necessary to keep at it. Whatever it is. Effort. Fuck – I gotta say, that sounds like work. (It is.)

It isn’t always clear where a path leads, or how to reach a desired goal or destination in life. Sometimes talking about it helps.

I spent the weekend with my Traveling Partner. It was intensely connected and intimate, and we had deep conversations about things that feel important – emotional conversations that were not always easy, and could have wrecked a weekend, were we not the sort of partnership that thrives in an environment of authenticity and depth. I got in the car this morning, before dawn, to head back up the highway feeling refreshed, renewed, and filled with something more nuanced than inspiration, more powerful than motivation. I feel push-pulled back into a more verb-packed groove. I hope it lasts. (There will be verbs involved, and no doubt my results may vary.)

One more moment, one more opportunity, one more new beginning.

It’s a good day for a beginning. 🙂

I planned. I prepared. I packed the car before I left for work, eagerly contemplating getting out of the office “early” (I’d already worked more than 40 hours this week, before Thursday event started, and part of that on my weekend, it wasn’t going to be “leaving early” any more than my “extra” day off tomorrow is really “time off”; I was just fucking done). Looked pretty good from the vantage point of beginning the work day – at 5:30 am.

1:00 pm came and went. Pretty much every minute of the day had, at that point, be spent fighting one small work-fire or another – for other people – and data entry.  A fucking mountain of it. I’m not actually complaining about that; it’s part of the job, and I am both skillful and fast. It’s annoying to be offered “help” with it, and spend still more time fixing mistakes – and the more fatigued I am from the extended work hours week after draining week, more and more of the mistakes I have been fixing have been my own. So human. I’m convinced everyone I work with is pretty spectacular, and working to the absolute limit of their ability, generally. I fight back tears of frustration so much more often than people realize.

2:00 pm came and went. I missed a ping from my Traveling Partner, asking if I’d left the office yet. He’s eager to see me and spend time together. I message back that I should be done soon.

3:00 pm came and went – more things break. More things to fix. More questions asked. More questions answered. Support this thing. Find that data. Finish this task, then that one. Swamped by low-priority non-negotiable workload, the minutes… are hard. I’m… so done. I’m aggravated by the long hours I end up choosing to work because the work needs to be done. No back up. Team of one. I have a few snarling “fuck this shit” moments, feeling, in the absence of immediate direct stimulus to the contrary, unappreciated. Here’s the thing, though; I’m very much appreciated, and valued. I even recognize that. In the moment, it’s still hard to feel overworked. It’s hard to have to choose self over profession – more often than I want it to be. I matter more. …But…but… money is a shortcut to quality of life. Fucking hell. Some days I feel so trapped.

As 4:00 pm approached, I started wrapping things up, even while recognizing there was more I could do. Of course there is. Always. Very few people work for organizations that understand structured managed workload based on organized routines and interdependent orders of operation. Most organizations just race at break-neck speed from crisis to crisis, reacting – regardless of how well or poorly they plan. I shrug thinking back on the day. It’s a business approach that keeps me employed. I manage chaos. I gently and firmly seek to impose order on chaos. Chaos won today. I don’t really feel like talking about work. lol

I finally got out of the office. Into the car. Couldn’t get myself to start the car. Stared at my phone awhile feeling… distant. Cut off. Confused. Irritated. Overwhelmed. I just wanted someone to help me figure out what to do next… which, considering I just left work, seems odd to me now; I tend to be so purposeful. I called my partner. No answer.

I called my partner. No answer.

I called my partner. No answer.

Fuck! I feel… left behind? “Ignored”? (Way to take it personally, when I know I’m… what exactly? Shit. What the hell?)

I called my partner. No answer.

I start the car and start driving… a direction. A quiet observant voice in the back of my thoughts suggestions I am not actually in any shape to be driving. I try to process that thought. It’s hard.

Where am I going?

The phone rings in the car. I click the phone button sort of… habitually. I don’t feel present. It’s my Traveling partner. Just the sound of his voice… I start crying like a little kid. I want to say that the whole day has been mean to me. I want to cry because nobody likes me (so emotional, so not a real thing – just feelings). I’m trembling all over and notice that I feel cold. We talk. He says words. I heard sounds. I hear emotion. His soft tender tone. “Take care of yourself…” I hear him encouraging me. I feel soothed. He suggests my blood sugar may be low. He’s probably right; I realize when he mentions it that I haven’t really taken the time I need to care for myself today, at all.

The phone call ends and I feel energized, cheerful, recharged… and my blood sugar is still low. And I’m still mired in rush hour traffic. And there’s no where good to stop. My frustration surges again. Tears spill over…

…Where am I going? I’ve ended up on the freeway, a small salad later, and I am apparently headed south for the weekend at a decent clip, thinking… okay, I can do this, this is fine…

Brake lights. So many brake lights for so far ahead. We sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. Creep forward. Sit. Creep. Sit. Creep. Sit. The guy ahead of me is reading a newspaper with the overhead light in his car on. Creep forward. I figure maybe I should get off the highway, and take a rural route, and slowly move over just in time for the exit I want.

As I come around the curve of the ramp, I start noticing more how noise sensitive I also am. I’m also pretty nearly blinded by all the high intensity headlights that are so popular now; no divider, nothing to stop assholes with their high beams on from really fucking up my vision completely. Aging sucks ass. Fuck. I can’t see well enough to drive safely, I’m feeling reactive and noise sensitive – this shit isn’t about work at all, and it is very much about self-care. I turn left instead of right. Even though I’d been on the road at that point for almost 90 minutes, I was far closer to home than to the freeway headed south. lol I don’t even feel frustrated by the long drive home; I’m relieved to be out of the traffic.

My Traveling Partner catches up with me on the phone later. We agree that doing my usual early morning drive just makes sense. No one has hurt feelings over it. I mean, we miss each other, and yeah, I’ll admit I was crying for some minutes once I admitted to myself that I was not going to make the drive tonight – just pure disappointment and longing for the company of this human being I love so much. I’ve been home a little while. Car’s already packed. Some healthy calories later, a couple big glasses of water, an appropriate amount of cannabis for the need of the moment, and some unmeasured time meditating, I realize I didn’t write – again this morning. The sudden blast of resentment that blows through my consciousness catches me by surprise – without surprising me. I get it; it’s time to take back my time. 😉

It’s time to begin again.

When I think it over with great care, that’s really all we’ve ever got; an outsider’s perspective on each other. We’re each having our own experience. We’re still all in this together… and somehow… still looking at each from the perspective of being “someone else”. It’s fairly ludicrous to be so frankly similar, and also behaving like we’re each so very different from each other. “Us” versus “them” is much easier if you really do believe there’s a difference. (Isn’t there?!) (Is there?)

This morning I take a moment – before I scroll through any feeds, or check any news sources – I take time to be aware how very similar we each other, even to our pettiness, our small heartbreaks, our fears and doubts and insecurities, our sense of glorious triumph over… trivia. So human. Our hate is as human as our ability to love – and much easier to tap into, by the time we are “adult”. I shrug off the moment of bitterness that tries to gain a foothold. Breathe. Relax. Exist. There will be time later to look at the news. Right now, I just want to feel that feeling of connection and shared experience… without connecting right now, or sharing this one. 🙂

Today I’ll make a point to be open, and to listen – really listen, not just wait for my turn to talk – and to put some verbs behind understanding a speaker’s point of view, instead of just fighting a battle of words, based on my assumptions – and my outsider’s perspective. I’ll use questions to find my way to a real understanding – and seek that understanding authentically. Understanding each other matters more than sharing each other’s opinions. Once we understand, our own position becomes more clear without undermining the opinions we don’t share. It’s not about being right.

Having said that – there’s no amount of being agreeable that remains appropriate if someone is specifically bent on doing me harm. Or Nazis. No point seeking agreement with Nazis. It’s not necessary to worry about having a greater understanding of hate – once you recognize it, get the fuck out of harm’s way, or do battle. Don’t feed the online trolls. Don’t promote fascism. Don’t nurture Nazis. Fucking vote. (Did you?)

I’ll look at the election results later. Right now, I’m enjoying my own company quietly, feeling content, and ready to begin again. 🙂 It’s enough.

It’s the Monday after Daylight Savings Time ends. I woke up an hour earlier than my alarm was set, because, of course I did. It’ll be weeks of it before I adjust. I got ahead and get up though, and take advantage of the opportunity to more gradually delay my morning medication. It’s the sort of thing I should take at the same time each day, so I’m sure it’s helpful that I am making that change gradually.

Seated on my meditation cushion, enjoying that quiet time soaked in contentment, my mind strayed ever-so-briefly to the recent work project consuming my consciousness for so many weeks. Well, shit; my blood pressure increased, and now I have this knot in my stomach radiating tension through the rest of my body. Oh yeah. Probably gonna be weeks of that, too. Fucking hell. I breathe. Relax. Repeat. Bring my mind back to meditation, and do that again, repeating the whole sequence a number of times. Working to steady myself in this moment right here, instead of allowing my consciousness to creep forward in time, preventing it from creating a new reality of disaster that doesn’t exist. Halting the process the terrorizing myself using my own insecurities and anxiety and stress about change.

I begin again. Actually, I begin again a couple times, in a very short period of time, before I am really back to meditating.

Weird morning. There’s no real way to determine how much of my anxiety this morning is truly about the completed work project, and how much is actually the literal physical experience of the end of DST. Quite probably a mix of the two, with some extras thrown in. Sitting here at my desk, I’m forced to consider more of the minutiae of what is driving my anxiety when I get a polite automated reminder from my healthcare provider to schedule some routine maintenance. This, too, causes my anxiety to flare up in the back ground. So much adulting to do! Fuck.

Did you vote? Will you? Please? Fucking hell, please don’t let’s have to go over, again, why it matters (so much). I know, I know, it’s a rigged system – but if you don’t at least vote, you get literally no opportunity to participate in the most basic of processes that is useful to change it! Just vote. Then do all sorts of other stuff, too: write letters, emails, make phone calls, protest, vote with your dollar by supporting the merchants who also support the candidates and changes you do – right now even fucking businesses count as people, so support only those that truly support you.

Another Monday. Another moment. Another chance to begin again. 🙂