This morning my pain woke me. Twice. Once around 2:00 am, and again at 5:30 am.

The first time was a classic moment; I got up sleepily, went to the kitchen and got a drink of water. It was in many respects identical to all such ‘drink of water’ moments in the wee hours. Squinting through the harshness of artificial lighting, going through the physical motions of getting a glass, filling it, drinking, and finally setting the glass on the counter rather randomly and returning to bed; it’s the same process however young or old I have been since I’ve been old enough to do it without help, and so habitual after all this time that there are likely uncountable such moments that leave no recollection at all.

The second time, I got up feeling a bit relieved that it was finally an hour at which I could take my Rx pain relief, my morning medication, but not late enough to be off on my timing. I tried to return to sleep, but this morning my pain got the better of any such desired outcome. I got up, and began the day in a distracted and disorderly fashion; I wasn’t really quite awake at all, but in too much pain to take things slowly first thing. When I realized my pain was driving haste, I stopped, sat down, and meditated for a few unmeasured minutes and started over.

I remind myself that these are all self-care practices, because they do require practice (otherwise they’d be ‘self-care thoughts’).

It’s quite a lovely morning. The fact that I hurt doesn’t really detract from that, it just made starting the day a tad challenging. Enjoying the morning solo, there was no one potentially between my pain and my coffee, or my not-quite-awake volatility and meditation. As early in the morning as it was, I put on favorite dance tracks (think The Crystal Method, Nicki Minaj, and Jesse J) and took advantage of the solo morning to dance; it sometimes really helps with my arthritis pain (which is in my spine) to move. That is certainly the case this morning, and I’m grateful to have a solo morning on a morning when I need that so much. (Not everyone wants to start their morning with Lil’ Jon at 6:00 am!)

Later today, the house will fill with family once again, gentler music of shared tastes. It’s been an excellent solo weekend; I am far more ready for a homecoming than I am for the weekend to end. I’m grateful things will happen in that order. 🙂

"Each time for the first time, each moment the only moment." Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Each time for the first time, each moment the only moment.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

Today is a good day for music, dance, and joy, to embrace simple delights, and take things slow.