This morning I woke to a welcome cloudy sky, a cool morning, and an already prepared ‘to do’ list for today. Generally that’s a comfortably pleasant experience.

A cotton candy sky ends a lovely day.

Yesterday’s cotton candy sky ends a lovely day.

This morning… I am at odds with myself, in the sense that my list and my calendar reflect a purposeful nature I’m not feeling [at the moment]. It frustrates and annoys me [before the day even properly begins]; there’s certainly nothing on my list for today that needs to be handled before 8 am. Nothing on my calendar begins before 9. I just don’t want to. I. Don’t. Want. To. I’m in no mood to adult today, thanks… only… am I not? Really? Or is it more than I’m not yet really awake, haven’t had my coffee, haven’t ‘figured me out’… and so, don’t really know what the ideal ‘order of operations’ could be… or… something? If I allow myself to accept the premise that I don’t want to adult today – will I lose the opportunity to handle my agenda skillfully, and take care of myself well? How do I best take care of me, and meet my needs over time?

Beginnings

Beginnings aren’t always easy. My results vary.

Yesterday, when I left the house for my planned activities, I felt purposeful and calm. When I later went to an interview, I felt eager, and a little anxious. When I returned home, I felt accomplished, productive, and ready to be at leisure for the day. I made my list then, while the things I’d need to do today were in my thoughts and fairly organized. It felt good. Natural. Comfortable. The list made sense. This morning, I haven’t even actually reviewed my list – it is still so early that there is no point (nothing on that list needs to be started before 8 am, and some of the things on that list can’t be started before 9 am); I’m not even awake yet. The awareness of the existence of the list is enough to find my consciousness shying away from all responsibility entirely – for the day. Wow. That’s clearly an over-reaction. 🙂 I am pretty sure I can safely adult more than that. lol I’ll get to it. Coffee first. 🙂

Most of my days begin with coffee.

Most of my days begin with coffee. Your routine may vary. 🙂

Dueling elements of my nature keep me pre-occupied this morning. I was over taken by artistic inspiration late yesterday afternoon (after my interview) and the idea lingers in my thoughts, stealing my focus from anything less emotionally engaging. The excitement of feeling so inspired competes with the subtle tension of maintaining professional readiness of another sort, in the background, alert for call backs, interviews, calendared events relevant to job searching…and that inner conflict erupted late last evening as yet another wave of inspiration. Ideas colliding with notions, competing for attention with practical matters… all facing off with the awareness of a sort of alternate reality within reach, made up of favorite cartoons, YouTube content, and hours hanging out with friends – in lieu of all that other practical ‘adult’ stuff.  Right now? This morning? First things first – I’ve got to sort out who I am, where I’m going, what my needs are, how my goals fit in with those, how my opportunities and choices are affected by my values… and what I want to be when I grow up. Right after that? Everything else.

That's a lot of details to sort out in one morning...

That’s a lot of details to sort out in one morning…

It’s not going to be that easy, today, is it? 😉 (Hint: mostly none of it is, in a practical sense, approximately ever that easy.) I’m so fucking glad I no longer put the full weight of solving every damned thing on my shoulders each day! It’s too much to carry, long-term.

It's okay to put some of that down, for now.

It’s okay to put some of that down, for now.

I sip my coffee. Listen to bird song. I commit to being; it’s an excellent starting point for most things. 🙂 I think over conversations and connections lingering in my memory, most from very recent days. I take time to savor the insights and understandings I’ve gained. I consider meaning, context, value – and realize that now, instead of being caught up in all things future (goals, plans, lists of tasks) I am now tangled up in the past. The past is not ‘now’, any more than the future is.

Like dandelion fluff, the past lacks substance, but can be a little distracting. :-)

Like dandelion fluff, the past lacks substance, but can be a little distracting. 🙂

I sip my coffee. Listen to bird song. Smile at the wildflowers blooming beyond the window. Breathe the cool morning. I notice cold toes and fingers. I notice cold coffee. I notice slouching and sit taller, straighter, more comfortably. There is time for now. Failing to take that time generally results in feeling overwhelmed, rushed, less prepared, more aggravated – and definitely less willing to ‘stay the course’ when there is work to be done. 🙂  [Your results may vary.]

Not so very wild - still flowers. :-)

Not so very wild – still flowers. 🙂

This morning I feel a bit like a cat on a leash. Have you ever tried it? Putting a cat – a grown cat – on a leash? One that’s never been leash trained, specifically? Oh, the hilarity! Yep – and that’s me, this morning, a human ‘cat on a leash’ – and that leash is adulthood. lol Hell, I’m sitting here with a mostly empty cup of very cold coffee, still in sleepwear, barefooted, hair unbrushed, knowing damned well I have things to do today! My mind veers away from all of it – even the artistic inspiration – although I don’t feel down, or upset, or in any sort of distress or ill-health, or tired. But… There’s no one here but me to put that damned leash on, and get me to go on with the day. I’ll have to take care of that, myself. (I don’t want to!)

IMAG6952

… And listen deeply, even to your own heart.

With a last swallow of cold coffee, I pull myself out of the chronic slouch that routinely plagues my already messed up back, again. I take some deep breaths of cool morning air, and let the past fall away – and the future too. It’s not even 8 am, the day barely begun, and there’s no reason to be so hard on myself while I wake and start the day. Seriously? ‘Now’ is a nice moment, today [any day], worthy of time and attention. Worthy of embracing without rushing. Worthy of presence.  ‘Now’ needn’t compete with that very complete ‘to do’ list at all, its time is not now, as it is. I allow myself the power of my choices, and commit to simply being for some little while – no really, put down that god damned list [and even the thought of it] for a few more minutes! – and enjoy these precious moments of stillness and simple beauty. There’s time to be quite productive and busy a bit later, I promise myself. Hours yet to come.

It's not just okay to take time for 'now' - there is real value in this moment.

It’s not just okay to take time for ‘now’ – there is real value in this moment; overlooking it is a major source of stress.

Today is a good day to take the time. Today is a good day to choose. Today is a good day for being and for becoming – and for recognizing our journey doesn’t always take the path we’ve planned. Today is a good day to acknowledge that I am the cat, the leash, and the person holding the leash – and I am all those things now. 🙂