Archives for the month of: September, 2016

Yesterday was too much, a lot too much, and in a good way, which only made it more challenging to process and to wholly enjoy. Looking back on yesterday is still so intensely pleasing that it causes me some measure of actual anxiety, which is simultaneously somewhat amusing, and somewhat irritating, an emotional state of affairs usefully reminding me that I am… if not “unhinged”, potentially at least mildly at risk of having an unexpected emotional moment, inconveniently timed. I’ll be mindful of my humanity today, and treat myself well – gently, and with great compassion. I mean… I’ll make that a thing, in my awareness, and do my best. 🙂 Practices take practice.

Yesterday wasn’t so much fancy, or elaborately planned, or exotic; a party broke out at my place, unexpectedly awaiting my arrival home (surprise!), and to my great delight, all friends who are quite dear to me, my traveling partner, his son, a new personal device (my phone needed replacing, and the new one arrived), and although the din and the fun were exciting – and quite joyfully so – it was a lot to take. There was no place or time for meditation, or a few quiet minutes of conversation with my partner on “date night” – it was a celebration, though, among friends, and I had things I wanted to celebrate, for me, and so – party! Well-timed. Thoroughly enjoyed. I even managed to get to bed at an acceptable time to still get some rest, enough for a day’s work. Sipping my coffee this morning, I have no doubt I am loved, and fortunate to have a fair few good friends.

I sip my coffee. It’s different today. Quiet coffee. A fast efficient coffee maker stands on the counter. The process lacks the… ritual? The meditation. It lacks the meditation and formality of making a good pour over, but it is very quiet in the morning, with my traveling partner and son sleeping nearby. (The burr grinder is quite loud, and making a pour over at 5:00 am is a rude wake up call for those inclined to sleep, and the purchase was timed with sleeping visitors in mind.)

I fuss with the new phone a bit. Every iteration of new device is more… complicated. This one is lavish with options and features and things to sign into, to set up, and to configure. What a pain in the ass – and not something to delegate. Some human beings are very particular (looking your way, woman-in-the-mirror), and attempting to hand-off set up tasks results in aggravation later. This new device is “mine” right now in assigned phone number only; she lacks character, details, and quirks in the set up and configuration unique to my own needs. For one thing; I freaking detest audible notifications of most sorts, that annoying notification light is not welcome either, and I find haptic feedback buzzing my fingertips all the time damned creepy. All that stuff gets turned off on my devices, (I’ll check my phone when I please) and notifications get changed to options that neither irritate my nervous system, nor end up being unnoticeable (I just don’t ever seem to hear some ringtones).  So, it’s days ahead of periodically becoming fed up with some “feature” and “fixing it”, and moving on to the next when that next one bothers me.

Over time, an inanimate device becomes more personal to me. The result is a “phone” (a tiny super computer, really) that is part of who I am on a level that is probably quite inappropriate for my emotional health… it becomes harder and harder to let one go for the next one. This last grieved me – my damned phone almost seemed to “break up with me” in a very troubling way. (Usually, I let the phone go, not the other way around.) I doubt anyone noticed last night, as my old phone was being… de-personalized, when I shook my finger at her in passing and quietly said “I’m so over your bullshit. I’m done with you.” with tears in my eyes. It seemed a proper break up move, and I needed to let her go… It was still so very hard. I loved her.

Today is a good day to let the things go that don’t work – phones, stale metaphors, old leftovers, illusions, assumptions, a poor decision… There are things worthy of being dropped off along with the recycling and the trash. It’s a good day to walk on, from the last phone, the last job, old baggage, previous relationships – why carry all that with me? Sounds easy – it’s not that it isn’t as easy as it sounds; it takes practice, and verbs. Still… It is a new day, and I can begin again. New day… new phone… new camera (phone)… What does the moment hold?

New day. New camera. New settings. Begin again.

New day. New camera. New settings. Begin again.


This morning I woke up thinking about a far away friend going through a bad bit. She spoke of fear,and she spoke of feeling mistreated, and she spoke of love, and when she spoke her narrative reminded me of dark times of my own, in past relationships. She’s well-loved, and has many friends. I know there are days she doubts it. I hear her heartbreak, now, reflected in many inconsequential things. I remember mine.

Attachment is a tangled bit of nastiness. I held on, fearful, for so many years in two very long (bad) relationships, and later, a one nearly as vile as the first, that I had the limited strength and fragile-best-effort wisdom to walk away from before I’d exhausted 3 years. (I pause to acknowledge the progress implied there, without being overly hard on myself about the slow learning curve.) I’m very human, love matters so much – and it’s peculiarly difficult to sort out the professed-love-that-isn’t-love-at-all from Love.

I held on because I was afraid. I was afraid to “lose everything” – without actually defining with clarity what it was I thought I was actually holding onto. I apologized when I was victimized, hurt, injured, mistreated, manipulated, and “managed” through cruelty and the withholding of affection. I turned my anger on myself, believing that I had in some fashion “deserved” this treatment – I mean, hey, hadn’t I… something? Didn’t I do… something? No, it wasn’t ever about me, but it took a really long time to figure that out. I needed help with that, too. It was a grim and lonely journey through a lot of chaos and damage.

Rare is that good friend who will look another in the eye and gently say “please take care of yourself, I’m worried about your safety” and “no, actually, I don’t think you deserved that, and I don’t think it’s a given that because your partner says they love you that this gives them a free pass to be cruel, demanding, irrational, violent, mean, confrontational, deceitful, hateful, exploitative…” (or any of the many dozens of other ways human primates can be cruel to one another). Sometimes it’s hard to find the words. Other times we wonder “is it our place”? (It is.) Perhaps we’re not sure about the circumstances, so choose to “stay out of it” rather than be mistaken. Maybe we don’t think it’s “that bad”, or it mirrors our own circumstances and forces us to look to closely into the mirror. It matters that we give voice to our concerns, though; our hurting friends, frightened friends, isolated friends, hell – all our friends need our voices in their moment of darkness, need to know we care, and that they matter – to someone.

You matter. I hope you are reading this over your coffee, or your tea, and that you take just one moment to set aside the hurting and the fear, and accept this one thing, right now; this too will pass. It’s okay to let go of the attachment, and look your worst care scenario right in the face; your thoughts have no substance that you don’t give them. They are free for the taking, to enjoy when they delight us, to educate us about our suffering when they are less delightful. Let your fears unfold their educational narrative in your thoughts, and breathe. Trust your good heart. Take care of you – because you matter. If things are okay right now, take time to just sink into that moment, and enjoy being okay right now. Breathe. Relax. Sip your coffee (tea?). Take a moment for you. This moment. Now. The moment you’ve got – the only moment you’ve really got. Be present for it. (The way out is through.) 🙂

Thank you being a friend. Thank you for listening when I’ve needed to talk. Thank you for sharing your own heartfelt words in a moment of fear and pain, and connecting across miles and years through our common experience as human beings. Emotion and reason. It’s not either or, and can’t be. 😉 I hear you. Other friends hear you. You are heard. You are loved. ❤

One new day, approximately infinite possibilities.

One new day, approximately infinite possibilities.

Today is a good day to begin again. Today is a good day for a journey – a solo hike through life, if you will. There is no map. You’ll be your own cartographer. There will be obstacles, challenges, and life’s curriculum is a stern teacher on some icy mornings of the heart. You’ll probably make some bad choices along the way, or get caught out in emotional inclement weather without an umbrella. There may feel like there are more bad times than good – even when data, real data, would suggest it could be otherwise. It’s a worthy journey, nonetheless, and well… frankly… you have the choice to take it willfully or to drift, but you must make the journey to the conclusion that it offers, or choose another – but the journey is itself is not optional. (You do get to choose your gear.) Ready? It’s time to walk on, Friend. ❤

I woke up feeling quite a bit better, but woke to the alarm. Infernal beeping. I dragged myself up on one elbow to find the alarm, and managed to shut it off, while also sweeping everything on my nightstand onto the floor. I sigh out loud, “Okay Wednesday,” I say softly into the darkness, “have it your way.” Turning on the light isn’t a complicated task, but I’m wobbly, unsteady, and a little dizzy. I didn’t sleep well for that last bit, and woke at an uncomfortably groggy point in my sleep cycle. I head for the shower, careening off the walls as I go, clumsy, uncoordinated…and unconcerned about it. I forget I have the option to slow down.

A shower, hot coffee, and yoga later and I feel alert, and definitely improved over yesterday. The interrupted restless sleep is taking its toll, though, and I frown wondering what I can do to get more better rest; I’m really starting to feel sleep deprived. I smile to myself; being aware of it is a big improvement.

Another coffee. Meditation. I considered not writing. This is all very practical uninteresting stuff, here, without much substance – a life being lived. Just one life. Just one set of choices. Very little drama. It doesn’t lend itself well to profundity or insight to feel so content, perhaps… I think I’d give up writing before I would give up contentment, and feel no resentment over the exchange at all. 🙂

Still…practices are what they are because they are ongoing. This is one such; a few minutes taken for/with myself, facing the woman in the mirror with frankness, and authenticity. Open to change. Checking out life’s menu for new options. Making my way in the world. So, I write a few words…

My thoughts are elsewhere this morning. My new phone will likely arrive today – that’s equal parts exciting and frightening, with a touch of inconvenient, just having to set it all up all over yet again. “Begin again” I say to myself, and I smile. It isn’t always an easy thing. It is, however, a thing.

Time to face the day…


Full house this morning. My traveling partner and his son still sleeping, the apartment feels very quiet. I’ll probably be gone for the day long before they wake. I made it through the work day fairly comfortably, yesterday. I face today feeling confident I’ll manage, in spite of continued cold symptoms, and generally feeling somewhat miserable with the commonplace stuffy head nonsense slowly migrating into my chest for future misery with the congested chest nonsense next week. Maybe it won’t go that way… experience suggests otherwise. Do I have a preference? Is that even a question that makes any sense?

I breathe deeply – and set off a coughing fit. The coughing fit somehow results in looking into the kitchen light – long enough to start me sneezing, immediately after finishing with the coughing. I break out in a sweat, as though it amounts to real exertion. My fitness tracker disagrees, insisting I am “inactive”. I sneer at it dismissively, playfully retorting “you don’t know me” aloud, quietly. I smile that I’m “keeping my voice low” to prevent waking people; I ran the burr grinder for my coffee, have had multiple fits of coughing or sneezing, and closed the bathroom door on my hand earlier, resulting in quite an audible yelp of pain. So. I’m pretty sure sassing my fitness tracker isn’t going to be the thing that woke the household. 🙂 Funny human primates. Even on small courtesies we lack perspective.

Life looks different this morning than it did two weeks ago. I’ve lost 40 hours of my time each week, and gained valued resources in the exchange of life-force for currency. My traveling partner and I talk “next steps”, and about the future together. His restless heart yearns to move about his universe, exploring, traveling, seeing sights, and tasting adventure. Mine yearns for a safe haven after a lifetime of stormy seas and rootless wandering. Sometimes it sounds a poor fit, the two of us together, and this morning I savor how very well it suits me, to be here, safe, wrapped in contentment, a welcoming harbor for a traveler’s homecoming. This works for us. Later there will be stories shared, hugs, kisses (well… once I’m over this cold), and time well-spent, because we spent it together. Enough? More than enough.

In what direction will the journey unfold, now? What next steps can I see? Are there others, worthy useful others, I may be inclined to overlook? Do I want what my lover wants? Where our desires differ… who decides? Life is a solo hike; sometimes we share the journey alongside another, but it’s our hike to make, bearing the weight of our own burdens, and the consequences of our own choices. I am my own cartographer. Will I “pack light” and move quickly through life committed to a plan, without pausing to enjoy it? The map is not the world. The plan is not the experience. Will I struggle under the weight of my baggage, mile by mile, exhausted and cranky, but well-equipped for the unlikely odd circumstance? We are each having our own experience. How do I share life’s journey with skill, however briefly?

I sip my coffee, losing interest in the metaphor in favor of some distraction, already forgotten.

Where will the journey take me?

Where will the journey take me?

…And still the household sleeps. I look at my list for the day and realize I’ve overlooked meditation. Practices work best with verbs involved. It’s time to set aside the written word for a while. Today is a good day for practicing practices, and for good self-care. Today is a good day to invest in wellness. Today is a good day to slow down, and enjoy the journey. 🙂

Today? So far so good. I finished yesterday still quite sick. I dislike being ill. I woke regularly during the night. My fitness tracker points out that I got 7 hours of “rest”, only 3 hours of deep sleep, and reminds me I was up several times during the night. Well, yeah. I woke feeling functional, though, and I say a silent “thank you” to my traveling partner, sleeping elsewhere, appreciating both that he didn’t have to spend the night tossing and turning in response to my restless sleep, and also that his suggestions for managing cold symptoms have worked so well for me over the years. 🙂

I spent yesterday bundled up, although the day was warm, reading, watching South Park, and drinking tea, juice, water, broth…and now and then, when I could muster the energy, even had some soup. I wasn’t up to much more than that. This morning, I make an attempt at working. I don’t feel “100%”, but some better for having taken care of myself yesterday. This particular bug seemed to run its course pretty quickly when my traveling partner had it, maybe I’ll be completely over it in a day or two. 🙂

This morning is better than yesterday, so far. I’m moving a little slower than I’d ideally like, but I’m getting by. It’ll be a good day to set healthy boundaries, and to double-check my work, and to ride the bus instead of taking the long walk. Choices. Each small choice, well-chosen, adding up to a lovely day in spite of being ill… it’s a nice plan. 🙂 I guess I’ll see how it works out as the day goes along. My results vary. 😀

Begin again. Again.

Begin again. Again.

Today is a good day to be patient with myself, and also with other people; we’re each having our own experience. Today is a good day for kindness, and for taking time to listen. Today is a good day to improve the world, one interaction at a time; we’re all in this together. 🙂