It’s Monday morning. I woke with some effort, to the alarm, and still struggle to ‘really wake up’. I slept well and deeply, and woke up only once, and at an unusual hour. At 3:17 am I woke, thinking I heard a noise. The noise was the sound of a front door buzzer pushed twice in rapid succession “bzzzt bzzzt”. It seemed an actual sound, but whatever actually woke me didn’t do so with any ease. I was incredibly groggy and dizzy, and there was nothing at the door – or elsewhere that I noticed – and I returned to sleep so quickly that I wonder now if any of it was real – even the waking up and getting up, parts.

I’m having trouble waking fully and getting my brain online. I am groggy even now – more than an hour after waking. The sky is still quite dark. Dawn has moved later into the morning. I am impatiently waiting for my coffee – which I am having some trouble making with skill, because I am not quite awake. I take my time with it – and successfully stop myself from rubbing my eyes while I am making coffee, avoiding rubbing coffee, coffee grounds, or hot water in my eyes. This morning, that feels like a major success. 🙂

The morning is cool, and I feel the cool air filter in through the open patio door and the vertical blinds. I am drenched in sweat after making coffee and feeling peculiarly overheated. Hormones? Please, no, not today…it is, after all, Monday. I take a deep breath of the cool morning air, and fill my thoughts with the memories of the weekend as I fill my lungs with fresh scents of this summer morning. I took the additional ‘taking care of me’ step of un-syncing my work email over the weekend, and resetting my smart device so that my work email will only sync manually outside of work hours, reducing the likelihood that I will waste precious life-time on work-related matters by reflex or habit during leisure hours. It is powerfully freeing to return to a lifestyle when work is limited to those occasions that it is scheduled for. I needed the break, badly, and don’t easily set those boundaries with myself unaided – which definitely makes setting those boundaries with colleagues challenging. My traveling partner had observed rather firmly quite recently that I was not taking the best care of myself in this area; change was needed.

Yesterday I spent the better part of the morning with my traveling partner, unexpectedly, and to my great delight. It was a lovely treat, although he arrived distressed and agitated. The level of day-to-day drama in his experience at home is much higher than mine, here at Number 27. I did everything I could to support and soothe him, and even though we shared some [perhaps unnecessarily] emotional moments together, I cherish the time with him. He made a point of following through on his commitment to provide me with some technical support (my bluetooth wasn’t working, and my own troubleshooting did not resolve the issue), and in the process uncovered the likely cause; I had peripherals plugged in to USB ports in a sort of willy-nilly random way, primarily intended for cable management, without regard to USB 3 ports, or always-on ports, or what devices need what sorts of ports, and having no particular understanding that those details were important I had created conflicts. I feel a moment of sympathy; it’s probably just as hard on my laptop to be mine, as it is for people to live with me! This morning, though, there is music. (And yesterday evening, too.) 🙂

Change is. Progress happens. We are at a disadvantage if our understanding of the world becomes 'set in stone'.

Change is. Progress happens. We are at a disadvantage if our understanding of the world becomes ‘set in stone’.

We enjoyed coffee together, and conversation, and laughter, once the technical work was finished. It was hard coming to terms with one facet of aging; I am struggling to remain current with technology, now. Poignant and emotional for me, frustrating for my traveling partner; there is no room for crying during technical support. He’s a decently good sport about it, and although somewhat impatient with me, and frustrated by my emotionality, he makes a point of hearing me. That’s enough. I got by on that, and we moved on with the morning. The high point of my afternoon was soaking in a hot bath, listening to Barry White, and talking on the phone with my traveling partner – an experience I could not easily have had the day before (my stereo sounds way better than music played over laptop speakers). 🙂

My point is that the ups and downs don’t have to be tragic, or an unrelenting buzzkill; we’re all people, having our own experience, and it is sometimes an emotional one. How we treat each other – how we treat ourselves – can be accepting and supportive and aware, and emotions pass. The respect we give each other – each having our own experience – and consideration we give each other while we do so, are a big deal; they define our character, and define the love we share. An honest apology, no excuses, goes a long way when we are not at our best. Our loves are not a dumping ground for emotional toxic waste, and when we share hurts, strong emotions, moments of anger, it’s urgently important that we follow-up with consideration, with compassion, with recognition of their difficult experience sharing that moment with us. Being open isn’t solely about sharing who we are, and how we feel – it’s also a willingness to listen deeply, to be present in the moment when our love sets boundaries, or tells us we’ve caused them pain, and accept the consequences of our actions with honor, with respect, and providing reciprocal support. In this, too, there are practices to practice, verbs involved, and room to grow – and incremental change over time can seem so slow…because that other person can matter so much.

I am taking the morning slowly.

I am taking the morning slowly.

It’s a Monday. This one begins, for me, on a foundation of adequate rest, and good self-care. It would be lovely if that were an absolute assurance of a great week, but I know that there are verbs involved, and plenty of decision-making, and opportunities to communicate with clarity and practice good practices that support my needs over time. This morning, waking so slowly, it is as if I have a head start on slowing down, perhaps there is greater potential there than I understand?

Today is a good day to take things one at a time, with consideration, listening deeply, and recognition that each of us is utterly and entirely human. Today is a good day to be aware that the relationships matter more than the challenges. Today is a good day to ask for help when I need it, and accept help when it is offered. Today is a good day for beginnings; a good beginning has all the potential to change the world. [Note: there are verbs involved, and your results may vary.]