Possession is an interesting idea, with some nuance in its meaning. I mention it because I can often use the state of disarray among my possessions as a barometer of my emotional well-being. Bottom-line, the less tidy and organized my personal space is, the more likely I am feeling anxious, overwhelmed, unhappy, disordered, or just losing my grip on my affairs somewhat; it’s utterly reliable. I keep very orderly surroundings for myself when I feel balanced, content, and well. When my room is a mess, untidy, or ‘stuff’ is piling up (however neatly), I am likely also feeling ‘possessed’ – overcome and controlled by my experience, my possessions, my ‘to do list’, my calendar, and losing my sense of perspective and order. The choices I make with regard to my surroundings tend to reflect the conditions of my inner experience.

Morning coffee...contemplating order and disorder.

Morning coffee…contemplating order and disorder.

My room is a mess. I noticed days ago that ‘things are getting out of hand’. Clean laundry hasn’t been put away; it was neatly folded in the basket at the start of the week, but days of rummaging through it for something to wear has resulted in chaos. Paperwork is stacking in less-than-neat piles of this and that, once organized based on urgency, type of action needed, or some other shared characteristic; it’s not especially orderly now. My bookshelf tends to be very neat, and limited to things I’m likely to really want to ‘live with’ and have at hand; it’s now packed with the miscellany of everyday life, with no particular semblance of order, or aesthetic sense of perspective. My bed is usually carefully made up, sometime shortly after I’m up, dressed, and getting on with the day; lately, the bed-clothes remain in disarray long after I’m dressed, and often remaining so until nightfall returns for another bit of sleep.  I’m aware of these things, and dissatisfied with the lack of order, which compounds the anxiety and sense of being out of control. The solution is easy, and readily at hand any time – I can clean this shit up. It’s not a difficult thing, and if I were to tackle the project this weekend, it would not take very long; it’s not that bad, yet. The things that are the source of the disorder externally, are the also the source of the malaise, ennui, and lack of attention to details that are generally important to me, and I am stalled until I take care of me.

Another moment, some other coffee...

Another moment, some other coffee…

That’s the thing, isn’t it? Taking care of me is important…only…I’m not sure where to begin, since I’m not sure what’s up – or don’t want to face it. It could just be hormones. That always feels like something to face, something ‘wrong’, something that needs to be fixed – and it really isn’t. It’s just hormones and waiting it out until they change course is generally the simplest action, most reliably effective. Self-compassion becomes more effective than troubleshooting things in a more active way. If something more significant were amiss, I could expect it would reveal itself more honestly, I think. So, I wait it out, take care of me on other fronts, and hope that doing so will see enough energy restored, and will, and heart, and focus to want to tidy things up. I could use a good night’s sleep, too. It’s been weeks since even one weekend day found me sleeping in. I do well with 7 hours of sleep…I enjoy 8 very much, although I rarely sleep that long…lately I’m averaging just 5 hours a night, and often interrupted. I don’t feel sleep deprived quite yet, generally, but I yearn for a long night of deep recuperative sleep, and count on weekend days to be able to sleep as long as I care to, and wake when I wake. The world doesn’t help out much; I am too noise sensitive to easily sleep through common sounds of morning, and I’m often awakened by car doors, cupboards, footsteps, conversation in the hallway…all manner of small things that are too every day to avoid. It sucks. I sometimes find myself feeling angry, and wishing the world would do what I do, when people are sleeping nearby: nothing, and that done very quietly indeed. My behavior when other members of the household are sleeping is actually disordered, itself, and I don’t much talk about it – I definitely don’t insist other people do as I do. It’s a remnant of living with domestic violence; when someone else is sleeping, I find something very quiet and still to do, and do only that until they wake. I stopped wondering why no one else seems ‘willing’ to do that for me when I realized I wasn’t doing it to be considerate – I was doing it out of fear of waking someone scary. Baggage. Chaos and damage. Ancient pain.

Each time for the first time, each moment, the only moment...

Each time for the first time, each moment, the only moment…

I’m feeling cross and emotional today. Hormones. I’m also finding myself wasting bandwidth feeling resentful of having to deal with it at this point in my life experience – ‘menopause’ gave me hope that this bullshit would be finite, and have an end point. I’ve little tolerance for the frustrations of others today, and I don’t feel very social. Experience and intellect tell me these are very human experiences pretty common to the ebb and flow of hormones. The feeling of disconnection, too, and the anger about feeling that – all part of the hormone thing. I yearn for connection – and trying to get that feeling back mostly results in small moments of discord, emotional volatility, and exposure of communication challenges I am presently fairly helpless to resolve. It’s easier to keep to myself…maybe if I sit here long enough looking mad my face will stick this way? Is that where ‘resting bitch face’ comes from? Maybe if I sit here long enough I’ll want to make my bed, put away my clean laundry, and tidy up? That would be a nice change… right now I mostly want to hit things with a stick, or shout angry words, or throw stuff. I don’t permit myself behaviors of that sort – and yes, sometimes it requires will, alone. I’m very human.

I found myself wondering this morning if tales of demonic possession of old are nothing more than someone trying to make sense of some woman’s hormones…

A different coffee, on a different day, in another place; memories of love are sometimes captured in pictures of coffee.

A different coffee, on a different day, in another place; memories of love are sometimes captured in pictures of coffee.

Today is a good day to behave well, and treat others with great kindness. Today is a good day to keep my worst bits in check to improve my own experience, and to care for others. Today is a good day to linger on the pleasant moments, and accept that some of the bad bits aren’t ‘because of’ anything significant beyond my subjective experience. Today is a good day to recognize the subtle boundary between my own experience, and the world.