I’ve started this one twice three four times now. I had a difficult night, and I haven’t been successful, yet, at putting it behind me. I must have awakened weeping a million times, once I fell into a restless troubled sleep, and the night lasted just about forever until I woke, about 5 minutes before the alarm would have gone off. Tears streamed down my face when I rose, and as I selected my clothes for the day, and while I stood in the shower. I don’t know that there is much to say ‘about’ it. I’m feeling the weight of years, and changes, and the slow, inconvenient process of aging in the context of relationships with much younger people.

Winter. It's a metaphor.

Winter. It’s a metaphor.

Over the past few days there have been highs and lows, the everyday, the sublime – in short, a very human experience. Why is this one, today, so hard? Why do I feel like ‘giving up’, right now? What is it, exactly, that I would give up on? I guess I should admit that it’s a pretty everyday, mundane sort of complicated human experience that is probably pretty commonplace – however alone I feel right now – and bitching about it (or crying) doesn’t actually help. It’s “The Sex Thing”, you see. Yeah – pretty personal stuff. Hard to write about, for me, with comfort and clarity…too many of my eggs are in this basket, metaphorically speaking; it’s caused me difficulties for a long long time. I love sex, and generally want more of it than any relationship provides. My sense of self is pretty entwined with my sexuality, too, which complicates some things, at this point in my life. My body – and mind – are going through some changes with this whole menopause thing, and sensations and emotions feel different, my body responds differently to touch, my chemistry has changed/is changing. I’d love to say ‘only the parts of my experience that are affected by my reproductive hormones are being affected by these changes’ – but typing the words immediately becomes comedy in my head. I’m a female human primate – what part of my experience isn’t affected by my reproductive hormones in some way? I don’t suppose I’m making things any easier to be in therapy for issues that developed around sexual trauma, domestic violence, and identity, while I am wrapping things up as a reproductively viable adult, either. The challenges and frustrations just keep piling up, until… I spend an eternal night weeping in my sleep, and wake feeling…

I feel like my heart is breaking.

There's often something beyond the obvious.

There’s often something beyond the obvious.

So. I woke early, and without difficulty, which is a nice enough start to the return to work for the new year. 2015. My traveling partner was sweet to me this morning, making me a tasty latte while I was in the shower. Detail by detail, I pick up the threads of my work routine. I’ve no enthusiasm for it, this morning. It seems likely to be a day I spend in the ladies’ room between meetings, splashing cold water on my face, and hoping to drag myself through it all with some measure of grace, and acceptance. On top of tears, I hurt. I’m not surprised – crying in ones sleep must be quite stressful, which would likely result in tense muscles, weird sleeping postures, and this wicked headache I woke with. I still manage to take care of me; medications taken on time, drinking plenty of water, choosing a morning yoga sequence with calming postures, and meditating. The water will matter in the most obvious ways, and it is the thing I would be most likely to overlook, so remembering to drink more water is a win, on a difficult Monday morning.

The first work day of the new year, and I’m feeling irritable and self-involved. I’m also committed to sorting it out and finding my way to a better place. Even in the midst of tears on a moody Monday morning, I recognize life’s joy and pleasure is within reach – if only I can raise my hand to reach for it. There’s will involved. Choices. Verbs. A commitment to change and to action is needed, and it’s not always easy.

I don’t do ‘resolutions’ to celebrate the new year…but I have goals, intentions, commitments – like anyone might. It’s a season of change, and hopefully of growth, too. In 2015, I am pointing will, choices, and action in the direction of being simply the most genuine person I have within me, while also learning to be the most kind, compassionate, reasonable, considerate, loving, and good-natured genuine person I have the ability to be…and since change is, and I am embracing it, it’s my hope that as the year progresses I can be more of those things over time. Which one of those qualities is most important to me? Being genuine. The rest will come with time – because the people in my life really matter to me, and I would treat them well. I will listen more, talk less, and make an active effort to make my default setting to take an agreeable tone in negotiations, and to live well, and pleasantly. From my perspective within myself, I don’t do ‘mean’, and I don’t do ‘bitchy’… but I know that isn’t necessarily the experience everyone has with me. I am hoping to reach a point as a being when I am a woman of whom others might say, themselves, in a firm way with conviction, “Oh, she doesn’t do mean, and she doesn’t do bitchy.”  That’s not intended to communicate that the opinions of others matter to me more than my own evaluation of self, not even a little bit, but how we treat others isn’t actually defined by our intent, or what we meant to do/say – it is 100% and entirely about how what we do/say is received by others. That was hard to come to terms with, initially, but it has been an important understanding to have.  (If you find yourself constantly suggesting, or commenting, that people should ‘grow a thicker skin’, or somehow be less sensitive, you may want to check yourself – could be you aren’t the person you’d like most to be.) I put a lot of thought and words around this one, because I value being treated well, and I want to treat others well, too – because it feels good to be treated well, and kindness, compassion, and taking a minute to let the other guy get a word in are basically free. They have great ROI.

I’m no longer weeping; my tears dried some moments ago. I feel calm. Resolute. Capable. Also wary. Cautious. Concerned. Uncertain. I also feel emotionally ‘cracked open’ and raw – being kind to myself today will be important; I can’t count on the world to be kind to me in my stead, and there’s much to do, and limited time for coaching others how to care for me – I’ve got to be prepared and able to do that for myself.

Walking a winter path.

Walking a winter path.

Today is a good day to get back to work – on me. Today is a good day to be kind to myself, and to the world. Today is a good day to make choices to be the best person I can, and to grow from the moments when I’m not so awesome, and improve on my personal best, each day. Today is a good day to notice that change is.