I think the words as I type the title of the post. “Pause for a minute” is often decent advice, as free advice goes. Confused? Slow down, pause for a minute, let the busy brain get caught up on things a bit, and then sort shit out. Writer’s block? Lacking inspiration? Pause for a minute, look around, take a deep breath, and consider the moment, itself, and all the things immediately at hand. I often find that enough to grab a hint of an idea, or a flash of inspiration, enough to move on with. Feeling sad, defeated, frightened, angry, resentful, or overwhelmed? Pause for a minute, let the thoughts come and go, feel the feelings without acting on them, and really “be there” for yourself in that difficult moment – what would you say or do to support your bestie, if they came to you with these feelings? Give yourself a minute to think that over. Choose action, instead of succumbing to reaction.

It’s not too much to ask of oneself to pause for a minute. Even two, or three, or five minutes. We’re talking about less than 0.5% of the entire 24-hour day. 🙂 Surely we all deserve that much (and more) of our own time, for our own purposes. 😀

…I don’t bring it up for any particular reason. I just sat down to write. Came up with nothing much, but I’ve got a minute, and a fresh cup of coffee, and this blank page in front of me… so… I paused for a minute. Here we are.

Taking a minute to pause and reflect, to catch up, to rest, or to sort things out for myself is a low-cost solution to a lot of life’s challenges.

Easy enough. Step 1. Pause for a minute. Step 2. Breathe. Step 3. Begin again. 🙂 Are you ready? It does take some practice…

Back to life, back to reality

There have been other times, other places, other loves… other successes, other failures (often failures), other paths that lead away to other destinations. Today? I’m standing here. Now. Looking further along the path, it’s no longer at all clear where this path may lead (was it ever, really?). I mean, I’m not frantically seeking a course-correction, or mired in despair about where I stand, here and now. I’m just taking note that I’ve come kind of far, since… other times.

Paths lead away…

Like any path, the journey itself holds so much of the experience – more than the destination, itself, so often.

Waves approach, recede, and return again.

Like waves on the seashore, practice is repetitive. Lessons keep coming back until we’ve learned what we can.

It’s a Monday. Ordinary in most respects. Adults adulting. Life being lived. Choices being made. Being and becoming. It’s not so much “difficult” as… ongoing. I’m not even fighting it. 🙂 There is always another task to be handled. Another opportunity to reflect on being a better human being than I managed to be yesterday. Another chance to be the woman I most want to be.

…I get it wrong a lot…

It’s time to begin again. 🙂

I slept as deeply last night as I had slept restlessly the night before, which is to say, very. I woke once during the night, thinking it was morning, and seeing the room somewhat illuminated, as if by imminent dawn, I got up to look out through the glass door to see what the day may hold. I was surprised that it was not yet close to dawn. The light was only the ground floor hotel lighting (of the beach access below my balcony), diffused and reflected by a dense fog. No view here. None. I went back to sleep.

I slept deeply and woke… discontented and restless. The fog persists. I can only now, just barely, make out the edges of the low tide. I frown at the fog. I’m surprised to feel completely disinterested in a beach walk on a foggy morning – so unlike me! I shower, feeling fussy. I dress, feeling a tad restless, not quite “cross”. I get coffee, reflecting on the feeling of the moment. I return feeling mostly pretty well sorted out; I miss my Traveling Partner more, at this point, than I am enjoying my own company. It’s not a surprise. I was gonna get here sooner or later – far better to arrive at this emotional place before I finish my bit of away time, able to return home fully appreciating the human being waiting for me there. 🙂

So, I packed my bag. Re-loaded the car. I’m taking my leisure over my coffee, and a bit of writing. The wide-open balcony door fills the room with briny ocean breezes. Eventually, this moment right here will feel “complete” and be finished, likely with the click of the “publish” button, or perhaps after one last lingering look out to the horizon, as the morning sun begins to burn away the fog? At that point, I’ll message my partner that I’m on my way home, and get that journey going.

…It already feels like “time to begin again”… I miss that guy. 🙂

So, I sit here with my coffee, the sound of the ocean, and this quiet moment, watching the fog diminish, then thicken, revealing the rocky shore at low tide, then coyly hiding it away again. If I were to curate a collection of moments to share, this one might make it into that collection; it has a certain moody unsettled loveliness. More than enough to satisfy a desire for solitary contemplation.

I hear the plaintive forlorn call of a seagull before I see the bird fly past. Yep. Time to begin again.

The waves hit the beach in a regular cadence, still managing to be quite varied and individual. The sound of it is thunderous through the open balcony door. The sky is azure, broad, vast, and seemingly infinite-of-horizon. The mild beiges and tans of the sandy beach separate land and sea quite conveniently. The numerous rocky outcroppings of various sizes just “offshore” become a fun festival of tidepools when the tide is at its lowest. The weather is “perfect” (for me), neither chilly enough to require a fleece or sweater, nor hot enough to make bare feet on sand uncomfortable. I walked miles yesterday, and again this morning. It feels good to feel so solitary, so conveniently. I’m not far from home (about an hour’s drive), and the beach is certainly not deserted, but in every practical way, I am far from the routines of every day life, and wrapped in solitude in spite of the nearness of other stray human primates scattered along the beach, walking with their thoughts, their dogs, or their families.

…I even went walking among the tidepools before I had my coffee this morning! I did not want to miss the revelations that low tide has to offer. 🙂

Tidepools to explore

I returned to the room after coffee and a bite of breakfast – a bit of a luxury. [Side note: I love “brunch”. My Traveling Partner is less enthusiastic about being up and dressed and out the door dealing with other human beings first thing, just for a meal as easily made (and often better quality) at home. I enjoy the variety and lack of effort (no cooking, no clean up). So, when I take time away, I definitely look for a choice opportunity to get breakfast or brunch. 😀 I’d even plan an entire weekend away around a really noteworthy brunch… I’ve got one or two of those on my “do this someday” list. LOL ]

Today, I’ll spend more time writing, reflecting, and letting my brain “get caught up” – clear that overloaded buffer – and then return to the beach for more miles and minutes.

I’ll be quite content if this little getaway is no more productive than a series of walks and naps, honestly. This is one way I recharge. 🙂 Making a point to take this time to recharge is one way I ensure I am most able to be my best self, and fully participate in a wholesome healthy way in my relationships. When the relationship I have with myself is not sufficiently nurturing or self-supporting and emotionally self-sufficient, I lose traction on being able to skillfully provide loving support and nurturing to my partner. 🙂 That was a hard won lesson to learn, and I sometimes feel I must be quite a bit stupider than I feel day-to-day that it took me so long to understand that.

…I do miss my partner, though… funny how these emotions exist side by side, mixed up together.

The coffee in the hotel room is quite horrible. I have no idea why otherwise nice hotels persist in providing these absolutely shit little drip coffee machines, with ancient packaged ground coffee of similarly terrible quality in these rooms. It would not be notably more costly to do just a little better than that. Hell, an electric kettle and a good quality instant would be an improvement. LOL I knew what to expect, so I made a point to bring along a better quality of coffee, so… it’s at least drinkable, more or less.

The beach, easy to see through the open balcony door, begins to fill with people. It’s after 10:00 am now. Time to begin again. 🙂

A couple hours from now I’ll be on the road, heading to the coast (again). Short trip. Small break. A bit of downtime. It’s so nice to have that luxury, at this time in my life. I find myself wondering why I did nothing like this for myself for so long, when I needed it so badly? I failed myself pretty horribly in the self-care department for many many years. I’m here, now, though, itinerary planned, room booked (I couldn’t find a reservable campsite anywhere within the same distance – I tried!), bag packed… I’m ready. It’s only left to finish this bit of the workday, load my modest weekend bag into the Mazda, and fill the gas tank on my way, and I’ll be seaside with my thoughts for a couple days.

…Last time I went, I spent most of my time walking on the beach, listening to the sounds of wind and waves, just thinking and meditating. Pretty “uneventful” by most definitions – and that’s okay with me. I need this time to recharge, to recenter, and to gain perspective on “all the things”. I feel fortunate to have a partnership with someone who “gets it”. 🙂 Who gets me.

…Shit. I already miss my Traveling Partner, and I haven’t even left yet. LOL

I’ve got my laptop packed. I might write. I might not. No pressure… just quiet and time. 🙂

What are you doing to take care of that person in the mirror? Seriously. You can begin again. You can try something new. You can set new expectations and new boundaries. You can claim what you need for yourself from your own limited lifetime. There are verbs involved, and the work will fall to you, if it is to get done at all. You can do this!

…But will you?