It’s relatively new for me to bounce back from trauma “so easily”. “Easy” isn’t a fair descriptor, really; I’ve worked hard to get here, practiced a lot of practices, and taken careful thought-out researched steps supported by the latest cognitive science and neuroscience on the topic of implicit memory, PTSD, cognition, learned helplessness, and behavior. I read a lot. Still… it feels so much easier. Considering how much of our experience is entirely and completely subjective (to the point of being largely made-up shit we’ve crafted internally), this is good enough to be “real”. In this instance, enough is quite literally enough; building lasting contentment through awareness and acceptance of sufficiency has become a remarkable way to maintain a state of relative joy and happiness much of the time. I bounce back. I am resilient.

What is “real”, though? Good question. Let’s not do that, today. 😀

This morning I woke, and still stumbling around groggily and sort of careening around the place lacking any obvious coordination, I found myself unexpectedly cleaning the faint smudge of soot from the tile around the fireplace. What the hell, though? I wasn’t even awake yet. lol I purposefully set that aside (admittedly, once it was finished), and made coffee. I stepped onto the patio, inhaling the fresh morning air, and gazing out across the meadow into the autumn treetops beyond. No hint of fear or anxiety. Nice. I refreshed the dish I’ve been using as a squirrel feeder, after emptying it of the rainwater it had collected. I sat down with my coffee, just inside the open patio door, letting the fresh air fill the apartment, and breathing deeply the scents of autumn. It’ll be a nice day for a fire in the fireplace, later perhaps.

I was hoping I’d see birds at the feeder, and have a visiting squirrel stop by. The patio was empty. I sipped my coffee contentedly, and picked up my phone and began to shop computer parts, thinking perhaps instead of replacing my laptop, I’d build a new desktop computer; I rarely actually take my laptop anywhere, or even move it off my desk. I like it where it is, docked, ready, and reliably always right there where I expect it to be. I am probably not the person for whom laptops were invented. 🙂 After some minutes of exploring the options in cases, hard drives, motherboards, power supplies, CPUs, cooling fans, and whatnot, I looked up and noticed that quite a few meadow birds had arrived for brunch, and a squirrel visitor had also stopped by.

Sunday brunch

Sunday brunch, no reservations

I switched my phone from shopping device to camera, and enjoyed getting a couple pictures of my visitors, before setting it aside and just chilling, sipping my coffee, and watching the busy brunch unfold on the patio. It’s a popular spot; the birds come and go, competing for their moment to grab some fast food. The smaller birds wait in the nearby pine for their turn, rather than compete with the flicker who is clearly much larger than the size of the suet feeder is intended to support. She playfully spins it around again and again, which drives away some of the red wing blackbirds who don’t hesitate to take a space quite near her. The chickadees and tiny sparrows prefer to pick at what falls into the nearby flower pots, patiently.

She's a regular

She’s a regular

The squirrel who has been coming around has a couple characteristic scars from surviving life in a busy apartment community full of cats, and is a recognizable regular visitor. Her ears are tiny, crumpled, and folded against her head – I don’t know if she is a different sort of squirrel, or if this is an individual characteristic. She watches me as I watch her, and no longer darts away for safety if I approach the screen door. Some mornings, I sit quite close on my meditation cushion, and sip my coffee while she nibbles at the corn and peanuts I’ve left out for her. If I say something aloud, she gives it some thought, listening to me, cocking her head and watching me more closely as she eats. Shared curiosity. One morning recently, before I left for work, and while I was airing out the apartment for the day, I’d forgotten to check the dish on the patio; it was empty. She came to the screen door that morning and got my attention with a loud squeak or call of some sort, and ran away. I looked out and noticed the empty dish, and refilled it before locking up and leaving for the day. I returned to an empty dish that evening. We have communicated successfully. This delights me.

We are each living thinking creatures, each having our own experience.

We are each living thinking creatures, each having our own experience.

The rainy chilly morning continues. I close the patio door, and sit down at my very borrowed feeling work laptop to write. It’s quite an ordinary Sunday. I’ll do some laundry. I’ll get some housekeeping done. I’ll read, write, practice with my guitar, meditate, take a decently long walk (probably after the laundry is done). I have my own way with these things. This is my life. This apartment mostly doesn’t feel comfortably “like home” anymore, and even that is okay; it tends to keep me focused on a future place, a future home. For now, I enjoy what is, more than I grieve what isn’t, and take time to relax and enjoy each moment on its own merits. Good enough.

Enough. Yeah… enough is a good place to be, and it doesn’t generally require as much emotional heavy lifting as chasing more, better, and happily ever after. There’s less frustrated yearning in “enough”. There’s less disappointment, by far. Getting to “enough” wasn’t achievable until I learned to let go of my attachment to what I thought I “should” have, or be, or get, or achieve… That persistent need to be “right”, that had to go, too. The sense that someone else’s “more” had anything at all to do with my perceived “less”, yep, right into the waste bin with that as well.  It’s been a complicated challenge learning to truly take life at my own pace, to really walk my own path without comparing my journey to life’s other travelers,  and to stop behaving as though my own experience is in conflict or competition with the experiences of others.

I sip my coffee and smile. It’s quite an ordinary Sunday. I’m quite an ordinary woman of middle-aged years and generally quiet living. None of this is sleight of hand, or illusion. Whether I’ve had less, or had more, I’ve generally had “enough” – the choice to be aware of it has been mine all along. How I treat myself in the face of trauma or change, that’s been mine, too. It isn’t always as obvious as it seems this morning, on a quiet Sunday, sharing the moment with meadow birds, and a squirrel. I’m grateful for the moment of awareness. I’m appreciative of feeling content on an ordinary Sunday.

Today is a good day to enjoy what is. Today is a good day to embrace sufficiency. Today is a good day to find joy in contentment, and appreciate having enough.