It’s a bad idea to get inadequate rest with a brain injury (new or old). I worked hard on the move, and did a lot more manual labor than I am used to at this time in my life. There were deadlines to hit, and there was a cost to my general well-being; I am tired. Less so this morning than I was at the end of a busy work week. Friday night I slept about 12 hours. Yesterday  I added two decently long naps to that – and still crashed for the evening quite early. This morning I am up before 6:00 am, and feeling actually fairly rested. Certainly, I was not able to return to sleep, and the day begins.

"Morning" came early today. :-)

“Morning” came early today. 🙂

Truly excellent self-care requires considerable self-awareness. I feel fairly rested, and I know that once my coffee hits, and I have a shower and start my day in earnest, I may have the energy and enthusiasm to feel impelled to head out for adventure: a hike, some shopping, a visit elsewhere, or just to go or to do. It’s tempting just to think about it, and let my consciousness move beyond the planned additional rest, and mundane tasks that support self-care less directly, like housekeeping and laundry, and preparing for the next work week. This rested feeling, though, is misleading; I’m only barely there, yet. If I grab hold of this rested energy now and run with it, I will predictably run out of steam by midday or so, and when Monday morning comes I’ll have done myself no real service at all. I so commonly miss on this detail!

Today I remain committed to taking care of this fragile vessel and doing all I can to make a really good recovering from the laborious move. That much is behind me. There’s very little yet to be done at all, aside from hanging paintings (a time-consuming slow project that builds on ‘vision’ and settling in over time), and putting the studio in a state of artistic work readiness. There are curtain rods to go up, and curtains to hang. Those are the sorts of details remaining, and I think I may have listed them all. lol The stereo is hooked up, too, except the sub-woofer, which needs a cable end put back on properly. All so very much within reach. I’ll easily be busy enough today doing some housekeeping, and perhaps hanging some paintings, and baking some cookies. 🙂  The goal, though, is not busy-ness – it’s rest. Whatever I do end up doing today, I’ll do it gently, and take care of me.

Coffee time...as with moments, each cup is its own experience.

Coffee time…as with moments, each cup is its own experience.

I am listening to music this morning, and enjoying having an empty unit next door for the time being; I can play the sort of music I like to wake up to at a volume that feels very appropriate to being awake for the day, even though it is not yet 6:30 am. The community here has a firm noise control standard, stated as ‘not loud enough to hear outside your own unit’, with quiet hours from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am, daily. I’m very strict with myself to stay within those guidelines; I calibrate my environment with care, checking and checking again, and at different times of day, then marking the face of the amplifier around the dial with markers for max volume settings. It’s handy, and no one has ever complained about my music, which is sometimes playing comfortably loud for my enjoyment, even at odd hours in the night, and frequently early in the morning. I am fortunate that the shared wall, in this instance, is living room to living room, instead of living room to bedroom, or bedroom to bedroom. I enjoy being considerate of my neighbors; they respond by being considerate of me as well. It’s a community – we build it ourselves. 🙂

Yesterday, I took the recycling out, and on the way back in I met one of my new neighbors. She is an immigrant, from Libya. She gave me a friendly hello, seeming ever so slightly self-conscious, as if uncertain of my response. I made a point to cross the parking lot to be at a friendly distance to build a connection, and we exchanged names, and some conversation. My new neighbor is pleasant, educated, and every bit human. She is part of my community. We talk comfortably together. We recognize cultural differences without focusing on those; she asks if I have children (I don’t), while keeping a close watch on her young daughter at play. I see her assess my solitary living as something noteworthy (an artist? a childless woman living alone? a former soldier in a Middle Eastern conflict?). I notice the headscarf and make a point of respecting her religious freedom (and privacy) by not asking personal questions; I know that people open up when/if they choose to, and that we are each having our own experience. She politely refrains from asking probing questions about my military experiences; she seemed pleased that I know where Libya is, had heard something about the circumstances there. I offer my help if she needs it while settling in, and she invites me to come have a coffee some afternoon, interested in my art and writing. We are people, only that. We come from many places. We all live on this one round speck of molten metal, rock, and mud, hurtling through the cosmos so much faster than our finite lives can truly embrace. It’s all so very temporary, and there is no time to waste on being dicks to our fellow human beings; we’re all in this together. Becoming.

When we limit our perspective on the world, we put ourselves at risk of living in fear.

When we limit our perspective on the world, we put ourselves at risk of living in fear.

My coffee is nearly finished. The clock tells me the day is begun, although the sun is not yet up; it’ll be almost another hour to daylight. Seems a nice time for meditation, for yoga, a shower, and a second coffee… It’s a very good day to take care of the woman in the mirror.