This morning the alarm seemed to go off much earlier than necessary. I laid in bed a few minutes – very unusual for me – lingering and waking quite slowly. I got through my morning routine faster than usual somehow, and my coffee was in front of me earlier than I expected. I danced through some videos…caught up on Facebook…now it is somehow ‘later than I thought’. Perceptions are funny things. My experience of the passage of time is my own, and it varies with circumstances, activities, moods – the clock ticks away (metaphorically, that is; I prefer a very quiet clock, myself) and I guess time passes at the same continuous rate, more or less – I have trouble thinking of it otherwise, but don’t actually know. There is a lot of science about time, or relevant to the matter of measuring time, and certainly the consideration of time was once a preoccupation of mine to the point of obsession…but what do I really know about it that actually matters? I know time passes, can be wasted pointlessly or taken advantage of, or used skillfully with planning, or enjoyed blissfully in moments of presence…regardless, it passes; that much I do know. For any one of us there is only so much of it available. Like a bad navigator giving directions (“it’s the last left turn before you get to…”) I sense that my time is finite, but have no ability to know precisely how much I’ve got…only how much I have used.

The uncertainties of time remind me how important it is to live – really live – every moment of my life right now. ‘Now’ is definite and real and here, this very minute.

My coffee has gone cold, I had sipped it once or twice while it was hot…and lost interest while contemplating time, timing, and perceptions. Yeah, that’s me. 🙂 I want the hot and the cold of it – similarly I want to wring every moment of living out of my life, without hurting myself or others, or behaving in ways that might potentially damage this fragile world, or this fragile vessel, in unexpected ways. How do I do that on a Friday morning, when my brain is still struggling to fully wake? Well…I guess this morning I’ll have an Affogato with local artisan ice cream…espresso ice cream. Yep. I’m an adult and I can have dessert coffee for breakfast if I choose. I like choices. 🙂

I take my time, frosting the glass and softening the ice cream while I brew fresh coffee with great care. The delighted smile it gives me makes my face ache, and I laugh at myself tenderly; I enjoy things with such whole-hearted (dis-inhibited) enthusiasm that it sometimes surprises others, or discomfits people. I have been told it is ‘child like’ (or childish).  This morning, alone in my small kitchen, I am entirely free not only to have an Affogato first thing in the morning on a work day – I am free to be utterly delighted to do so, without reservation or concern for the emotional experience of others. It’s lovely. It’s also thought-provoking. How much of my day-to-day experience do I keep harnessed and squashed down to a manageable, ‘appropriate’ or ‘acceptable’ dullness specifically to avoid discomfiting others? (and with such limited success…) How old is that baggage? I grin happily, take a picture of my coffee – because the picture will later delight me again with the memory of the moment – and dance my way from the kitchen through the living room, to sip my coffee looking out the patio door, across the lawn, watching the dawn unfold, with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a child, before returning to words.

Tasty tasty self-indulgence on a Friday morning.

Tasty self-indulgence on a Friday morning, and a celebration of self.

So much of my individual experience is tied to my perceptions, my assumptions, my thoughts – and so much of that is (or can be) chosen, and crafted…how much damage do I do to myself by twisting my heart and soul in knots trying to provide some ideal perception to others – who are also 100% entirely free to choose their thoughts, their understanding, their assumptions, and similarly exist in the context of their own experience? It actually looks pretty silly from this vantage point to bother, ever, tweaking my behavior to give someone else a particular sense of who I am; I have no control over their perceptions, regardless. How much simpler to rest comfortably in my own heart, living my own life, and being this woman who I want most to be? Some people will like me, love me, and find a place in their heart with my name on it… others…not so much. How much does that matter? Enough to undermine my own joy in life? It doesn’t seem like a good value to trade my own powerful positive experience of self for a shell of existence crafted to suit the needs of others that ultimately cuts me off from the connection I seek.

Does that sound terribly ‘selfish’? What definition of ‘selfish’? Yours or mine? Do your own assumptions suggest that living my experience as my whole self would be a bad thing? Mine once did – for a long time I even felt that being myself might be some kind of ‘misbehavior’ or bad act. What a crappy way to treat myself! I am fortunate that I no longer harbor a sense that making the choice to fully be who I am undermines the good treatment I provide to others, or prevents me from investing in my relationships… actually… I think it may be necessary in order to find real satisfaction in the arms of another that I be wholly myself.  (Here’s a moment finding me thinking kisses and love to my traveling partner; he knew I needed to spend more time with me, and less time with everyone else for a while – he ‘got it’ before I did, and said as much, before we ever moved in together, 5 years ago. It was, in fact, one of his first observations of how I was living my life at that time.)

The tasty creamy Affogato didn’t last long, but the entire day is still ahead of me to be savored, and enjoyed. The weekend is almost here, and I am inclined to treat this woman I love so much very well. I feel inspired and energized (Coffee and ice cream at dawn? It could be my blood sugar surging. lol). I think I will enjoy the A/C this weekend and paint, and enjoy what time I can with love, Love, and lovers – and myself. 🙂

Today is a good day to enjoy me as I am. Today is a good day to love – and be generous with my affection, there is even enough for me! Today is a good day to treat myself as well as I strive to treat the world. 🙂