I sat, relaxed and contented, contemplating the quiet evening of solitude ahead. “I’ll probably spend some time out in the garden.” I said, smiling. I looked at my hands. “My nails are too long. I should cut them back, first…”

“Wear gloves. It’ll keep your hands clean and minimize the risk of leptospirosis…” my partner suggested. Seeing my frown, he added “I’m just looking out for you.” I smiled back and agreed his idea is a good one, wondering briefly if perhaps he disapproves of the way I encourage the chipmunks and squirrels. I let that foolishness go, as soon as the thought forms.

One rose among many and a lovely afternoon.

Some time later, enjoying the evening alone, I went out into the garden for awhile. I pulled some weeds. Smelled newly opened roses. Gazed into the trees, and enjoyed the glow of late afternoon sunshine on a warm spring day. It was lovely. I returned to the cooler comfort of the indoors, and washed my hands. I enjoyed a certain merriment; no broken nails. Nice.

What is enough?

Sitting quietly on my meditation cushion, I enjoyed the breeze filling the living room. When it began to cool down, as the sun sank low in the sky, and the living room was suffused with a sort of peach-colored glow, I got up to close the patio door… and broke a nail right to the quick, as I pulled the door closed. Fuck.

Perfect is a fiction.

…And I giggled. Then I laughed. I laughed for awhile. It felt good to laugh so… thoroughly. So much mirth over a broken nail. Cheap thrills, right? lol I sat down, still smiling, and cut my nails. At least they’re more or less even, and in proportion to each other. Short nails; fast typing. 🙂 Nothing really changes here. Short nails. Long nails. It’s the sort of irrelevant detail it’s so easy to get wound up over. Not last night. Not today. I woke still smiling.

Somehow I suspect there’s a lesson here, somewhere beyond the laughter, no doubt buried in a moment of reflection at higher altitude. Some metaphor? For now, the laughter is enough. 🙂

 

I’m thinking about the way social media tends to give us each the impression we know all there is to know about what’s going on around us, and with the people we know, or observe from afar, as though eavesdropping a conversation in a restaurant booth behind us holds any potential to give us context and depth of understanding of the unseen faces having that conversation. It’s a misleading sense of the world, at best, and at worst… we participate in lying to ourselves, and dumbing down the world. Frustrating to attempt to have a deep conversation with a human being heavily invested in the world-via-tweet or yeah, even Instagram – my last remaining social media account. lol

…At this point, I’ve unfollowed every “influencer” (I hadn’t followed many, to begin with, because I don’t know them), and anyone who re-shares spammy bullshit, or advertising, or memes. I have limited my feed to direct relationships with people I actually know “irl”. No exceptions. It’s not about them. It’s about me; I don’t want to build shadows of relationships with distant entities who hold no potential to be “real” in my experience. I may not always like every one of the people around me… but I like them all 100% more than I hold any affection for a twitter account. LOL I mean, seriously? An ever-loving-fuck-ton of celebrities don’t even “manage” their own social media. They hire people to take care of that “workload” for them. They definitely don’t “care” about me – or you. They care about their brand. 😉

I can’t save anyone else from the impersonal science fiction abyss of dystopian disconnection. Sorry. You’ll need to crawl out on your own, if you can. It’s not actually hard, exactly, but it does require your will, and honest intent. So… verbs are involved. Choices. Practice. I kept Instagram, at least for now, simply because I enjoy sharing my photos with my actual friends, and enjoy seeing theirs. Innocent. Authentic. Rather unworldly, inasmuch as I guess I think that’s something I can have… Maybe it isn’t? I sip my coffee and wonder about that. Instagram remains a profit-generating social media platform on which I am not the consumer… I’m the product. Yick. I may need to rethink even this. lol

Snail mail, anyone?

I have been writing letters lately – a bit like the “elderly aunt” I seem to be becoming, slowly, over time. Hell, I’m okay with that. 🙂 I write a lot of email. I receive far less, but it’s not likely that a handful of emails and letters can provide a societal course correction in any detectable way. In my own experience, though, it’s quite a lovely relief from the fuss and bother, and anxiety, of a life in which every possible moment is “connected” via social media. That’s not really being connected at all, as it turns out. We’re all just shouting our opinions at each other, and sharing the ones that agree with our position, hoping to be rewarded with attention, with likes, with clicks, with a boost in personal status, or a large collection of “friends” or followers. How is that not toxic as fuck? lol

There is much less bullshit and drama in a life that is mostly pretty starved of social media. 🙂 Maybe take it for a test drive? If you were born in any year after about 1980, chances are good most of your life has been tangled up in the digital world. Take care of yourself if you do a really serious digital detox; you may be surprised to discover how actually dependent on it you are. Social media has some very drug-like qualities, and you may even be an addict. Be kind to yourself. Be patient.

I laugh for a minute. Quitting wasn’t anything like easy, and the world is just… yeah. My bank uses hashtags on their social media posts. Some of the merchants I do business with have specials that are only presented using digital coupons. Some of the artists and craftsman whose work I favor have contests that require “liking”, “subscribing” and sharing of social media items. It’s everywhere. I still walked away, because I’d rather live very authentically in the real world, such as it is, rather than become a (cognitively) fat shapeless media-fed caterpillar… without at least knowing what I will become, later on. (Pretty sure it won’t be a lovely butterfly of emotional wellness… just saying.) 😉

I finish my coffee. My thoughts continue to rattle around in my consciousness. I’ll spend time on my meditation cushion this morning, making a point to let all of this go, before I begin again, here, alive, awake, and aware, a solitary human being living in the world. ❤

A rose in my garden. You can’t smell it from a picture, or feel its silky petals – that’s only available in the world. 😉

Take this one moment – or any, really – and make a point to savor it. Enjoy it. Appreciate it for what it is. Notice how fleeting moments can be…

…Take a deep breath. Pause. Fill your senses…

…Now? Begin again. All over again. It’s a whole new moment. 😀

I’m awake. Rested. Sipping hot coffee. All the usual morning stuff, in the morning. It is a Tuesday. I’ve got an appointment before work, and I’m working very hard at not forgetting that. 🙂 I’ve been trying for awhile to get this appointment, so I definitely do not want to just… forget I have it. (Yeah, that’s a thing. lol) I sip my coffee, meditate, scroll through the news, and consider the day ahead.

Blossoms near a train station. Some other moment of observation and awareness.

When I find my thoughts wandering off, to events and moments that are not “now”, I pull myself back to this present moment with observation of some detail here, now. My breath. This cup of coffee, and the mug warming my hands. The glow of the monitor, illuminating a photograph. The scent of early morning flowers on the pre-dawn breeze filling the apartment through the open patio door. Sounds of my neighbor, through the wall, starting his own morning. Sensations. Awareness. Experience. First person, present tense.

Mmm… this really is a good cup of coffee, this morning. 🙂 I sit quietly, hands wrapped around the warm mug.

Roses don’t mind the rain.

Minutes pass. I am content. Relaxed. Enjoying this particular moment, for no obvious reason besides it being a pleasant one. Isn’t that enough? 🙂 The clock ticks slowly. I sip coffee and listen to the sounds of morning as the sky turns from darkness to a moody gray overcast sky. Rain today? I’m okay with that. I don’t mind the rain.

My mind wanders to daydreams of futures unknown and unknowable. I pull it back to this moment, right here, already rich with potential. My mind wanders to recollections of the past, fraught with inaccuracies and emotional baggage. I pull it back to this moment, and make room for these feelings, and this experience. I sip my coffee, and glance at the time. I remind myself of my appointment, again. I wonder, for a moment, if I ought to drive into the office… and deal with the chaos of downtown driving and parking. I chuckle out loud, facing the obvious; there is no need to drive downtown. Public transit will get me there, just fine. 🙂 Less stress. No parking cost. It seems the smarter choice. I sip my coffee feeling grown-up and practical, capable, and prepared for the day.

I think over my “everyday carry” items, and the day ahead. I make some changes, mentally, trusting myself to make those changes, in fact, before I leave the house for the day. It’s not a given, and I remind myself to double-check the details before I go. Backpack. Keys. Work badges. Card case. Cell phone. The book I’m reading. Some relevant paperwork for this appointment. My vape. Spare batteries for that. There’s a nagging feeling that I’ve forgotten something – but I nearly always feel that way, and the sensation is not reliably associated with an actual experience, so I make the attempt to let that go. I remind myself that my earbuds are laying loose on the seat of the car; I’ve forgotten to grab them several times now, and I’d really like to have them for the train ride.

None of this planning or preparation is the future. It’s all “now”. Maybe it improves the future in some way, maybe it does not. It’s easy to conflate the planning and preparation with the future moments themselves. They are not really related in such a direct way. I take a deep breath. I let it out. I notice that I feel sleepy, or fatigued, or… distant. I feel as if I am avoiding the moment, just ahead, when I step out the door, into a new day. Suddenly, I’d rather go back to bed. Inconvenient. There are things to do. I shake off the sensation, and finish off my coffee.

It’s time to begin again. 🙂

 

It’s just a list. It isn’t personal. 🙂

1. It isn’t always about you.
2. You don’t know everything.
3. You probably don’t know “exactly how that feels “, even if you have “been there/done that”.
4. Your emotional experience belongs to you, only.
5. You can’t “fix” anyone else, or force them to change.
6. No one owns you. You don’t own them, either.
7. Rejection is painful. For everyone.
8. Heartfelt convictions don’t become facts because you believe them.
9. Sometimes you are wrong.

Have a flower, think things over. Do better today than you understood to do yesterday. Be the person you most want to be. 🙂 You’ve got this, it just takes practice.

Don’t forget to pause and notice something lovely. 🙂