Archives for the month of: June, 2017

I woke in a lot of pain this morning, and it feels like it is going to be a hot day. My device says 84 degrees (F), so manageably hot, I guess. It’s a “boxing day” today (packing things up to move), and a chance to get some laundry done, too. I smile and enjoy the awareness that in the new place I have my own washer and dryer in the house, saving both time and money.

It’s a nice morning for gratitude. Yesterday ended on a difficult note at work, not “bad” just… work. Real work. Work that matters. Work I am satisfied and rewarded by. Still work. Still requires working. However difficult the work at hand, I also felt valued and appreciated by my colleagues and my boss, which feels… amazing. So far a very healthy environment for me. I definitely seek to spend more time appreciating those good qualities than dwelling on one difficult day – that still ended very well, with work I am proud of.

Yesterday I also had the opportunity to “be there” for a friend who needed a moment to be heard. We all do, now and then, right? I was glad to be there when he needed someone, and it was good to reconnect.

Another friend is gathering his resources and harnessing his will, considering making a 750 mile drive north to see me, hang out, and help me move. I’m pretty blown away by his affectionate regard that he would do so. I smile every time I consider it – and will for a long while, whether he is able to make it or not. He really wants to. That’s awesome. πŸ™‚

Tonight I will get to hang out with other far away friends, in town visiting a friend who isn’t so far away, and who I enjoy but rarely break out of my routine to see. Yeah, that’s a thing – I’m very human. πŸ™‚ I’m eager to see them all, this evening. Maybe my Traveling Partner will accompany me, although probably not; he is still recovering from his recent surgery, and travel would likely be very awkward.

Life isn’t always easy. I got home last night still suffering the day. The time I spent hanging out with a friend helped. The time I spent meditating helped further. The sleep I got, deliciously restful, found me waking with the dawn and a smile, eager for a cup of coffee, having let go of any lingering stress from the prior day. This ability to bounce back developed over time, and I can’t provide any really sound expectations about “how soon” or “when”…because it is a slow, gradual thing that was an incremental change over time with so many setbacks and “will this never end?!” moments that it was a little like I simply woke one day… changed. I suppose it was sometime between when I began and yesterday, right? lol So… let’s go with an easier question, okay? “How many days from the day I first began “practicing the practices” has it been to achieve yesterday’s results?” That I can answer – after I choose a staring point. So… I think I have to look at two different starting points, and answer with a range. First starting point; when my Traveling Partner recommended that I read The Four Agreements (it’s linked on my Reading List), which puts me around 2,575 days (7.05 years – bit of a long haul, frankly). Okay, that sounds… long. Impossibly long. Second starting point, would be when I began with my current therapist, shortly after I started writing Evening Light, putting me at a more comfortable to contemplate 1,610 days (4.4 years). Soooo… it’s taken me, depending on how I look at where I began, between 4 and 7 years to get this far from where I began… that sounds like a long time to have to “wait”, but there have been verbs involved, so I haven’t exactly been “waiting”…

…It hasn’t seemed so long. The quality of life improvements over time began quickly with small things, and have been entirely worth the work, the verbs, the constant practice, the regular beginning again… It’s a lot to commit to, though. So… I haven’t. I’ve refrained from committing to a specific outcome, and focused mostly on moments, practices, and treating myself (and other people) with great consideration and compassionate understanding – neither of which came naturally to me, so, yeah – practice. A lot of practice.

…I’m not “there” yet. I don’t know that there is a “there” at all. I just know that this morning is quite lovely, even though yesterday was difficult in spots. I know I am well-loved, even though I am, myself, quite difficult in spots. I know that so much of my experience is within my ability to choose change, even though that sometimes feels difficult in spots. I know, too, that anytime things are difficult – I can begin again, right here, now, in this spot. πŸ™‚

It’s a good day to practice being the woman I most want to be. We become what we practice. ❀

I am enjoying the literal darkness, quite specifically before dawn – already the days shift such that the sun is no longer already beginning to rise when I do. Now I’m up sooner, sipping coffee and listening to the bullfrogs on the marsh well before the sky even begins to lighten. I’m okay with that – seasons change. If I weren’t okay with it, there’s nothing at all I could do about it – seasons change. πŸ™‚

Change is, whether I choose it or not, whether I am able to embrace it, or fight it every step of the way, clinging madly to what once was. Change just is. When I am able to participate in change in a wholesome aware sort of way, I generally find it isn’t even unpleasant to face change. I think this idea explains the quick (fairly painless) shift from panic regarding an unexpected rent increase that I wouldn’t be able to afford long-term, to enthusiasm about an upcoming move; I recognized imminent change coming, and dived right in to make choices that willfully guide my path through that process. Or something. I at least like how that sounds. πŸ™‚

There is so much to do. I guess I’ve got to just keep diving into these changes. lol πŸ™‚

…In the meantime, there is life to live, alongside and mixed in with moving. Fucking complicated. lol I often feel very distracted lately, caught up in the move going on in my head, already. I have to pull myself back to “now” again and again. The value in making a point of doing so is obvious to me now, where perhaps once I wouldn’t have really understood why it was worth the bother; life happens outside my head. Living requires more verbs than daydreams. My most precious memories are not about what I was thinking at the time, they are about what I was doing, and who I was with. πŸ™‚

Today is a work day, and it is my “Friday”. Ahead of me there is time to pack things in boxes, and time to take down paintings, and time to take things from here to there – although that is still a couple weeks away. Behind me are memories. Here I am sipping coffee in the one fully real moment I’ve ever got – now. I’m taking time to enjoy it, just as it is, pre-dawn darkness and all. πŸ™‚ Why wouldn’t I? It’s enough.


It’s a comfortably cool, somewhat humid morning. The red-wing blackbird outside the window is piercingly reminding me that the feeder is empty. Β It is, and that’s because it is fully summer, and there is no “food shortage” out there in the meadow and marsh this time of year, and I moving very soon. It’s time to prune back the roses for traveling – although this year a friend with a truck seems likely, and perhaps I won’t need to cut them back so much as the last two times I moved? I am now full of enthusiasm for this move, and I smile even thinking about my initial anxiety and frustration with having to, now that I’m past that.

…It’s still really hard to get started. It’s time to box up all the books and breakables. It’s time to take down all the paintings that are hanging. The more prepared I am, and the more small work I’ve done to be ready for the movers (and friends coming ’round to help out with moving), the less time I have to spend actually moving, and the less I have to pay the movers for fewer hours of their work. It’s still really really hard to do the first thing – whatever it ends up being. Beginning again, as often as I say the phrase, sounds so… easy. Just… do the thing, right? Yeah. That’s totally true, and also… totally not as easy as it sounds, often. lol Where to begin?

Any new journey begins somewhere. A moment, a location, an opportunity, a choice; a change-in-progress has to have begun with something. So, this morning I’m a bit hung up on that beginning, because this upcoming weekend kicks off the packing of things into boxes. πŸ™‚ When I go to get the keys, I’d ideally like to have a carload of stuff with me, to bring into the house – I mean, I’m making the trip there, the end result of which will be keys in hand, right? It just seems practical to take stuff over with me. What to bring in that first car load, though? I consider the most likely immediate needs at both ends of the move… a drink of water, a cup of coffee, a quick bite to eat, or a trip to the rest room… someplace to sit down… a plan begins to form.

I figure I can easily take over one or another of three coffee solutions at hand. I’d need to have at least one coffee mug, at least one drinking glass. Packing the pantry seems an easy step, too. A quantity of my breakables have never been unpacked here in this apartment, although I had the space for them – I never reached my “buy a new hutch or curio” goal, in my budget. Higher priorities cropped up more than once over the course of the year. Moving them over is easily done…and goes a long way toward making me feel at home in the new place, and also more relaxed about the move by getting them out of harm’s way early on.

So the morning over coffee goes… I make a list, think it over, shuffle it around, consider cubic footage of space in the car… pack it in my head, unpack it, re-pack it. By the time the day is here, this will feel planned and routine – and hopefully comfortable. I rely on that feeling of preparedness and ease to keep my anxiety at bay; every time I move seems to “change everything”, and getting settled can be a long process for me.

I’m pre-occupied with moving – fortunately, I find it also a great “living metaphor” and as the process unfolds, I am also considering the woman in the mirror and her journey. It’s time to set down some baggage, and get more comfortably moved into my life, and my experience. It may not be easy to get started, but it is time to “walk on” from one thing to the next, with a full tool box full of verbs, and a better idea of who I am – and who I want most to be. My results may vary, but I can begin again, and begin again, and begin again – and incremental change over time is unavoidable; we become what we practice. So.

Begin again? Sure. This path definitely leads somewhere

I’d meant to be writing much sooner, finally getting a good night’s sleep and waking feeling fully rested and wholly clear-headed it seemed likely to be a good day for it.

…I’m still sitting here, more than an hour later, just sipping coffee, and continuing to plan out my upcoming move. πŸ™‚ Coffee’s good, though.

I listen to the red-wing blackbirds, assorted songbirds, the breezes and even the traffic beyond the park. This audible viewpoint won’t be the background music of my at-home experience for very much longer. The water birds on the marsh, and the eagles and owls in combination with the specific songbirds in this eco-system have very much their own sound. I soak it in. I’d like to remember all the very best things about this experience of life, here. I didn’t think twice about letting the writing fall to the side, overlooked, while I took time to savor this moment, right here. πŸ™‚

The dawn came later than I expected. The sky is overcast, a smooth formless gray. The temperature is comfortably cool. I enjoy the view here, although I often find myself carefully positioning myself so that my field of vision does not include the playground to the left, or the basketball court to the right. I enjoy the illusion of uninterrupted nature beyond the edge of the patio, but it has always been an illusion.

The flowers just outside my window are visible from my desk, against a backdrop of green lawn, and meadow beyond, very different than if I look at them from the lawn, looking back at the apartment. Same flowers, though.

Who will my wild neighbors be at the new house? Will the squirrels right here “miss me” – or even notice that I’ve gone? How long will it take for the squirrels at the new house to notice someone different has moved in? I smile and finish my coffee; these are questions for another day, some other moment. I pull myself back into this moment, now. I breathe the meadow breeze deeply, and enjoy the scent of summer flowers. I listen to the coming and going of the commuter train; it is a work day.

I notice there is still time to get some tidying up done, and to meditate. Good self-care works best practiced regularly, for me. I guess I’ll get going on that… or make another coffee, and sit on the patio enjoying the morning for a little while longer… πŸ™‚


It’s been crazy hot this week, so far, and I’m relieved that there are cooler temperatures in the forecast now. The lack of shade on this apartment, now, results in being unable to cool it enough during the night, or in the early morning, to achieve any sort of comfortable indoor temperature the next day. It reached 100 degrees (F) yesterday, maybe a tad more, outside, and inside it reached almost 90. I still managed to smile, and most of that is due to the knowledge that the new place has A/C, and the recollection of hotter places I have lived (the desert… Fresno…). Besides, it was too hot to do more than lay around quietly breathing, sweating, and drinking water. LOL

I managed sleep, which was nice. I feel okay this morning. Somewhat… sticky… even after my shower.

Weird day, and I ride the emotional currents without concern, without fighting it. I’m okay. Today I’m out of the office providing logistical and emotional support to my Traveling Partner, who is having a procedure done. I’m sipping my coffee, alert for that moment when it is time to leave the house to catch the train to catch the bus to be at the place at the time. All very routine, somehow.

Over time, more of the things that once wracked me with anxiety or provoked tears or anger just… don’t. I’m fine – and I’m fine to my very core, without any particular noteworthy effort beyond routine good self-care practices, and meditation. It’s nice. It would have been wonderfully encouraging to have been able to foresee improvements over time, or rely on them utterly with the kind of certainty that comes of knowing things. Clearly that’s not really a thing for me; I’m pretty sure friends and loved ones may even have suggested, helpfully, that I “try meditation”. I’m pretty sure I’ve done so for others, and gotten the very same result my own friends got with me; “I’ve tried that, doesn’t work for me”, “I’ve tried that, I don’t think I’m doing it right”, “I don’t know how to do that”, “if it doesn’t come in a pill at great price, it can’t possibly work”, “if it requires my personal accountability or effort I’m not interested”, “not if I have to change who I am”, “I can’t.” Well, shit. That about covers, doesn’t it? Do you. 0_o

We become what we practice. Over time, in increments, in moments, by way of our choices, by way of our repeated thoughts, repeated actions, repeated words – we become what we practice. We build ourselves and rebuild ourselves, we tear ourselves down, we allow the world to tear us down, too. In spite of that, it seems far to simple – impossibly simple – that this very same notion of incremental change over time could be applied quite willfully. Sometimes the easy answers are the hardest ones just because we aren’t convince-able. We won’t, more than we can’t.

Where is your will this morning? Maybe just some really small thing that would be just the tiniest bit better… that could be doable, right? For me it may have begun, if I follow the thread all the way back, with a gentle suggestion that I try getting up earlier in the morning, and slowing down my routine to give myself time to really be awake before starting my day. No kidding. Sure, I still went through some major changes, bullshit, drama, upheaval, hurting – even hitting the bedrock of rock bottom, emotionally, came after that…but that moment, choosing to change my routine, exploring that one tiny seemingly insignificant change, was a domino, and the rest started falling into place over time.

What are you practicing?

It’s already time to begin again. πŸ™‚

If not this moment, when?