It’s a Monday morning after a lovely weekend. I spent time in the company of friends, and tidied up my wee place after the flurry of holiday decorating; I observe a stray ornament hook on the carpet, and some out-of-place glittery stuff that I missed. I still have laundry to do.

My coffee this morning is somehow both too strong and very bitter. I am unsure what I may have done differently to get this very different result. My reaction balances gently on that moment between accepting my coffee as it is, and making a new cup; I have not decided. I continue to sip my coffee thoughtfully, and it no longer seems significant that it is not a great cup of coffee. I have moved on.

There have  been other, better coffees...

There have been other, better coffees…

Holiday preparation and shopping is generally completed. I have been enjoying the decorating, the shopping, the recipe selection and meal planning, and leisurely evenings spent drawing pen & ink holiday cards. There is no drama and no rush. Sometimes there is holiday music in the background. This morning, there is only the chiming of raindrops on the chimney pipe and bathroom vent covers and the percussion of fingers on keys.

I smile, my thoughts juxtaposing recollections of how easily my traveling partner and I share time and space together, with eager daydreams of the upcoming holiday weekend. There’s no real way to ‘do it wrong’ with us; if he comes to stay over through the entire weekend it will be wonderful, and no less wonderful if he comes and goes in whatever fashion is most comfortable for him. We’ve built something special together, and it endures whatever our momentary needs for space, time, companionship, solitude, affection or distance may be. Here, too, there are verbs involved: openness, deep listening, vulnerability, authenticity, respect, consideration, (see me sneaking the big 5 in here?), compassion, and love – love the verb, the one where each of us makes a point of treating the other well, and with our love in our actions and words. It’s quite… lovely. 🙂

Small details, moments of wonder, and taking care to treat myself well all add up to a great experience.

Small details, moments of wonder, and taking care to treat myself and others well all add up to a great experience.

My consciousness skips along, like a stone tossed just so across a pond, and I find myself thinking about fitness, diet, health, weight… here, too, I have goals, a journey, and a distance still ahead of me. I’m healthier than I had been for many years, but I am not sufficiently healthy to take such things for granted, and ideally I could stand to drop a few pounds for the benefit of overall health, and longevity – and I really would like to be around awhile longer. The holidays are not generally favored as the ideal time to start on such things – but I see it a bit differently; the holidays are part of the life I live, and as such, don’t really get excluded from being part of my experience – even my experience of managing my weight and fitness. For me, right now, it’s a pretty easy puzzle and consuming fewer calories is the puzzle piece that completes the picture, realistically [for me, at this time]. There are, again, verbs involved – and moment to moment choices. That’s where it gets more complicated, and here, too, mindfulness matters. So, step by step, choice by choice, verb by verb, I approach this ‘home stretch’ toward my goal with an eye on incremental progress over time. It’s not about “losing weight fast”, and probably for the best; the weight I lose slowly and sustainably through changes in lifestyle and habits over time tends to stay off.

I’m not unhappy with the woman in the mirror over gaining some weight back that I worked so hard to lose. There’s no follow-up on that, no excuses, no pleading or justification. I’m not upset with myself – I’m human. I’ll simply begin again. 🙂 I am very fortunate that my romantic and social relationships are of the sort that are very supportive and encouraging, and I don’t have to listen to a chorus of criticism, veiled insults, or hurtful remarks about my weight, or really any other part of my life. I live gently, and associate with people who tend to be positive and encouraging sorts of people. It probably goes without saying, but this is also a choice.

My shoulder injury impedes my ability to exercise, but I keep at it; I do my physical therapy exercises and yoga, even on days when I hurt too much to do more. My day-to-day pain is not the acute pain of injury as much as the chronic pain of… chronic pain. I do what I can to take good care of my injured shoulder, knowing that the effort is worth it. (When I finally really started caring for my ankle well, and doing what it needed most to be done, it began to heal and now I rarely have to walk with a cane, but it took years of care to get here.) The most common source of re-injury of my injured shoulder is brushing my hair; I have trouble remembering, first thing in the morning, that my right shoulder is injured – I grab my hair brush right-handed, and reach up – and ouch. Hurt again. I am considering mousing left-handed for a while, too…everything I do to ease how often I hurt that shoulder will improve how quickly it may heal.

Healthy choices are often healthy for more than one reason; the joy of carrots harvested from my garden is about more than the nutrition.

Healthy choices are often healthy for more than one reason; the joy of carrots harvested from my garden is about more than the nutrition.

My thoughts skip along further, and I find myself contemplating the conversion of life-force into dollars by way of paid effort – reimbursed verbs – and making a connection to calories. I find myself wondering how many minutes of employment equals 100 calories, and what value there may be in being more aware of that. No particular reason, it’s just where my consciousness landed for a moment, before taking flight once again. This morning, I am as a butterfly.

The word count doesn’t relevant; today has all the potential to be a lovely day. There are verbs involved. The choices matter. 🙂