Archives for the month of: December, 2014

In just a few more minutes 2014 will end in my time zone, and a new year will begin. Sometime tomorrow, I’ll take some time for myself and think about what 2014 taught me, and what new understanding of myself I can carry forward to improve the quality of my experience. I’ll take time to consider how I can best take care of me, and to continue to develop a helpful level of emotional self-sufficiency – and what experiences in 2014 tended to make those goals harder to reach, or felt like a step back; I’ll take some other direction in the year to come.

I generally celebrate New Year’s Day by taking time to consider the year ahead, and what I want out of my time, and my limited mortal life force, that seems more worth having that other things. I consider how far I’ve come, where I want to be when the new year ends, and what may tend to take me in that direction on the journey ahead. It’s a fairly private thing, and I’m not the sort to make ‘resolutions’…though I do take the opportunity to recommit my will and intent to the things that new perspective indicate matter most to me now, or have the greatest likelihood of meeting my needs over time. Sometimes I make lists. I write. Sometimes I paint. I meditate – at least, I do these days.

This year I am also hoping for the time (and courage?) to start on my own Life In Weeks chart…a project that excites me, and causes me some small about of vague dread; what might I learn about my life, that I haven’t observed in such broad context? It’s an interesting project for a number of reasons, and I am eager to begin it.

So here we are… 11:57 pm. One year ends, another begins – and it’s really all rather arbitrary anyway; we made the whole thing up. The good news? Since we made it up, we can easily make it so much better. Happy New Year!

The warm glow of the hearth, and the last quiet moments of the year.

The warm glow of the hearth, and the last quiet moments of the year.

Walking meditations are the most likely moment to find inspiration for writing, for me. The number of miles and hours I spend walking may have something to do with that, though I’ve always used time spent walking to muse about this-n-that, contemplate my challenges, examine social scripts that trip me up, and all manner of thinking, generally. Long walks have been part of my experience for as long as I can recall. I have composed great poetry and written wonderful stories…in my head, while walking. With the weather being colder, and rather bleak, and being off work for the holidays, I am not feeling as inspired day-to-day as I might be, or as I often am – and I’m not walking as often, or as many miles. These things may be related.

There was a time when a lack of inspiration for a week (or a day) could drive a level of frustration that resulted in real misery; it felt as if I could not communicate. There was so much I did not know about me, about my head injury, about the quirks and challenges that are part of my everyday life. Today, sitting quietly with the awareness that inspiration has seemed somewhat limited lately, and taking a moment to look over notes jotted down over prior days, on the move, busy with other things, I can see the hint of a pattern, a theme, a thread winding through the seeming random observations and thoughts of days past. I take note of the relative importance, and apparent significance, and I consider my Big 5 [Respect, Consideration, Compassion, Reciprocity, and Openness]…  I want very much to respect the experience – and privacy – of others.  This challenge has stalled my writing entirely today – having begun this post sometime around 8:00 am, and facing it just now, as it is right here, at 4:16 pm, wanting to write about ‘connection’ – and wanting to write simply and about my own experience, and giving up as it has become clear that I am not writing at all (51-ish words per hour hardly counts as ‘writing’).

Instead of writing something ‘worthy’ in some fashion, today I smile at the nearly blank ‘page’ – not even 500 words – and comfortably accept that there is more to life and love than the words we use to describe them, and that although words matter…today I am mostly…speechless. Yeah. That’ll cover it for now, and I’m content with being present in the moment, and open to what comes next, without expectations. This seems like an adequate stopping point…

Today is a good day to change the world; there are verbs involved.

Today is a good day to change the world; there are verbs involved.

It’s been a lovely holiday so far, and I’ve got a few more days of holiday vacation ahead of me…and this odd day of work out in the middle of it. 5:00 am feels much quieter even than usual, this morning. I’m faced with the choice to write, or continue to meditate, enjoying the stillness without an obvious shared outcome. Many mornings it is a choice I make, but most mornings it doesn’t feel quite so willful and obvious. I suspect it is because I don’t have a clear topic in mind just at the moment.

I woke mostly pain-free this morning, but drenched in sweat and my morning medication has made me nauseous. Hormones. I know the hormone thing has the potential to make things suck, at some point, but that point is not yet now. 🙂 Even this small challenge doesn’t seem sufficiently noteworthy to really write about, at least not this morning, or not at the moment. Funny that learning to enjoy my experience has been such a complicated process in some ways…I’m glad I’ve come so far that a simple quiet morning is enjoyable, but not remarkable beyond the observation that this lovely quiet moment simply is.

I spend some moments enjoying catching up with far away friends, and preparing for the work day. The New Year is nearly here…

...Soon the ornaments are packed away for another year.

…Soon the ornaments are packed away for another year.

Someone dear to me has a birthday today. (Happy Birthday!) More than one friend, love, associate, colleague, or family member have birthdays during the winter holiday season, sometime between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Statistically, it would be stranger if none of them did. I rather like celebrating these birthdays; each person a unique individual, with a different need/desire to celebrate – and different aesthetics and traditions for celebrating. How delightful my entire holiday season were filled with these individual days…the calendar could roll from one to the next day over day… Jen’s Day, Jo’s Day, John’s Day, Sean’s Day, Tyler’s Day, Michael’s Day, Lisa’s Day, Stephanie’s Day, Rhi’s Day…mixed in with the ‘bigger’ holidays and given full measure of celebration and meaning! Each of the people dear to me are worth celebrating, at least I find them so, myself. I hope they find joy in celebrating their experience of self, it seems important.

When I celebrate my own birthday, I like it to be ‘about me’ in a rather literal way. I like to spend the day with friends and loves, doing what I like to do utterly unapologetically, sharing those experiences with people who matter to me – who are willing to share the moment because I have value for them, and the relationship is worth taking that time to participate in some activity that might not be their first choice, any other day of the year. We celebrate me, that one day each year. I tend to celebrate everyone’s birthday that way, if I know it is their birthday, just by deferring to their preferences when the opportunity to do so arises. Seems an easy enough way to say ‘I value you’ by saying ‘let’s do it your way’.

I know people who don’t actually celebrate their birthday. I don’t know that it is truly significant or has any meaning beyond what it is. The more I enjoy me, the more I want to really celebrate my birthday…and to do so beyond gifts, parties, or elaborate plans; I want to celebrate simply by being me, quite comfortably so, and really delighting in what I have to offer myself. Seems a little funny to take a special day to do that, though; I am sure I could do it every day, in every mindful moment, quite as easily.

Like a butterfly; a birthday celebrates the growth of an entire year.

Metamorphosis; a birthday celebrates the growth of an entire year.

Verbs and choices… Perspective. Words matter. Happy Birthday. I hope you celebrate you. 🙂

The ‘main event’ that is the December 25th holiday observance for so many is now behind us all. It’s December 26th; Boxing Day for some, for many it’s just a Friday. My day so far is warm and gentle, and characterized by good-natured day-to-day tasks and activities, like morning yoga, a good latte, a hot shower…and the sense of the holiday season lingers in a pleasant way. I am relaxing and enjoying some solo time at home, while the rest of the family embraces holiday traditions of visiting distant family and friends and takes a road trip down south a way. I need the time to meditate, to reflect, to embrace perspective and prepare for a new year – so near at hand that it feels urgent to take a moment just to breath.

A reflection of stillness, contentment, and illumination.

A reflection of stillness, contentment, and illumination.

Last night, after everyone had crashed for the night, and the lights had been dimmed everywhere but in the holiday loft, I stood quietly in the glow of colored lights and listened to the hushed household, so quiet and still it was as if more than the people slept, giving the very world itself a moment to pause, take a breath, and prepare for what might be around the corner, or peeking over the horizon with the next dawn… I stood, quietly. I felt my breath, and my contentment. I lingered in the still moment of calm joy, just feeling it. No analysis, no root causes, no justification, no excuses, no reasons…just one lovely still moment, at the end of a special day, quiet and content. It was enough – it was more than enough – I still feel this one, beautiful, moment of contentment in my heart each time I contemplate it – or see the picture I took, trying to capture it reflected in the window, somehow; definitely a memory worth keeping, worth savoring, worth lingering on.

It seems the sort of holiday when living the moments has so much to offer that writing some handful of words attempting to share them seems inadequate. If I am writing less for these few days of holiday, away from the routine of work and life, it’s only this; for the moment, living takes up so much time, I’ve not made time to write about it. 😉

Today is a good day for a holiday. Today is a good day for love. Today is a good day to celebrate everything awesome and lovely with the world.