Archives for the month of: December, 2017

Sitting down to write in the morning, mostly exercise in making use of time while sipping coffee, I suppose. I am up both earlier than I’d ideally like, and later than usual. Late night. Concert. Good stuff.

Choices.

Today I’m on the road to see my Traveling Partner. Of the two of us, presently, I travel most. lol Mostly traveling to see my Traveling Partner, who is mostly, at present, at home. lol I’m glad to have the and the means to cover the gas money, and the car in sufficiently good condition to do so. 🙂

Last night I enjoyed a momentary return to utter chaos. I didn’t really “mean to” – that’s not how these things happen. It’s those choices. I discovered that the subwoofers I want to take down to my partner don’t fit in my car. Ouch. (I chose to have them shipped to my place instead of his, based on an early plan that he would come to my place for Giftmas.) Well damn it. So… friends? None interested in making the trip. Well, shit. Okay so… a rental? Oh! LOL Look at the price on that! Yikes. So… well, they fucking got here, didn’t they? I take time to look up the price to ship them down… Damn it. That would have been the way to go and I could have met all the available needs to have done so straight away instead of dilly-dallying with the romantic notion that I could haul them down in a mid-size sedan. LOL

Choices.

So… I schedule the shipping. The package pick up window provided to me begins promisingly early in the day. I’ve got the shipping label ready to… wait… I need to print that? Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck… no printer. Damn it. Seriously?? I’ve got evening plans (concert) – made before I accepted the invitation to go down for New Year’s, and made my own plan to depart for today – without actually thinking that through; I got home after midnight last night (and didn’t actually get to see the one performer I went to see due to changes in set times). Now I’m up again before 6 am, nursing myself back to humanity with a river of coffee (well, at least so far, really only a small creek of coffee) – and planning to drive hundreds of miles, and more than 4 hours, and on the other side? A busy celebratory holiday weekend. Omg – what have I done??? lol

Choices. I’ve made choices. 🙂

My planning is once again in tatters, but the outcomes should be more or less mostly what I’m going for – and that’s going to have to be enough, so may as well let it be enough going into it, to start things off. I’m not even mildly grumpy, at least so far. I got some sleep. I contacted Customer Service for the shipper and ensured I could squeeze in a quick trip down the street to get that label printed – I had tried to do so on my way to the concert last night, turned out that all the sorts of places that typically offer print-from-email services are closed well before 9 pm. Now, I’m confident that I can get it done before the scheduled pickup… but I’m also up 2 hours earlier than I now need to be, living on caffeine and excitement. lol Adulting is hard.

So…I’m okay right now. Merry, even. Ready to celebrate a new year – and most especially ready to let this one go. Then… with the new year behind me, life can return to its slower non-holiday-season pace for a few months, before all of it gets planned again, and the excitement builds toward the bizarre collision of spontaneity intersecting with careful planning in the last 10 days of the year. It’s a thing I know about. lol I even planned for the chaos – and thus the underlying merriment.

Lots and lots of choices. Plenty of tasty fail sauce just… everywhere, and so much more going on that I haven’t even figured out how to consider or how to discuss. lol Are you ready to begin again? I know I am…

Weird day at work. I’m ready to move on from that.

What’s this really about? (It’s probably a metaphor)

I had a moment of aggravating conversation at one point during my day, with a relative stranger, and on a rather delicate topic – my weight. Yikes. How does a person approach someone they don’t know well at all, and with a rather mundane mixture of erroneous assumptions and internal narrative, come up with a good rationalization to open the door on the topic of weight and weight management with an irritable middle-aged fat chick on the bus?? Inquiring minds want to know, because frankly, I know me – and I would not attempt it. I must have grown some over the years. I politely listened to the litany of “have you tried”s, followed by what may very well be Amazon’s Top Ten Self-Help Books to Read in 2018, finished off with a hearty portion of “I had a friend who…”

<sigh>

  1. Mind your own business
  2. You don’t know me
  3. Damn, I’m so done with that conversation

I think what made it most distasteful (beyond the fact that I did not solicit an opinion on the subject, nor seek conversation with the individual), was the way off assumptions – beginning with the underlying assumption that all of the health concerns of someone who carries more weight than is aesthetically pleasing to another human being are therefore to do with the weight. Keep your fucking aesthetics to yourself, please. lol I’ve got my own – and trust me, I’m already hard enough on myself without additional bullshit and baggage offered up for free by a stranger who probably needs some therapy, themselves. Seriously. Damn. Move along.

There’s already a surplus of constant nagging and criticism in the world, generally. It’s not necessary, or in most cases at all helpful, to add to that steaming pile. Let it go. Don’t think a fat chick is attractive? Well, the next step is not a conversation starter like “you know, you’d be cute if…” or “I don’t mind older gals, but…” (yes, people say this shit actually out loud). If you don’t think a fat chick is attractive… walk the fuck on. It’s that simple. You don’t find someone hot? They aren’t obligated to meet that need for you, you have options in life, and suggesting they change for you needn’t be among those. You have no claim on their time or appearance, and it isn’t even a little bit appropriate to “make suggestions” for “doing something about it”. Just stop.

It got me thinking, though, on my way home, and specifically got me thinking about The Things That Work versus The Things That Do Not Work – and how subjective that is, and also how easily led we really are as creatures. Think about it; if you are content, comfortable, and healthy and someone markets thin-ness to you sufficiently repetitively with enough catchy slogans, you may quickly find yourself wondering “how to get rid of these extra pounds” (that you don’t have in the first place) in order to meet some ideal of beauty (that no one actually measures up to) or risk being a failure… in life… in work… in the bedroom. Yikes. Heavy. (lol, Yeah, I went there.) Self-help fads of all kinds are constantly pushed on us – but first, we’re made to feel inadequate and discontent, to soften us up and make us hungry to spend our money on that shiny new life being dangled out there… just out of reach. Some of that shit works… for someone. Some of it works for “many” people. Very little of it works for “most” people. I assure you, chances are, none of it works for everyone. It just doesn’t. Buuuuuut… find the thing that works for you, whatever that is, and stick with that… change happens. Just don’t get distracted by the slow rate of change, or the lack of real impact that change may (at least initially) have… because… oops! Back to square one as you (we, I, whatever) hop right back on the treadmill, cycling through self-help tips, tricks, and techniques that helped at least one other person at least once, but possibly not you, ever… Well that doesn’t sound at all productive. :-\ (I hate wasting my precious limited lifetime; I have already wasted so much.)

I end up there, too – well, I have. “Try. Fail. Begin again. Try something else. Fail. Begin again.” Over and over – forgetting that the most effective and efficient approach is to remember what works – then “Try. Fail. Begin that working thing precisely all over again and do that. Try. Fail. Begin again with that very thing that was just working until I failed myself, and do that.” This is a path to growth and change. It looks very like a darker stranger path, though, one that leads to a whole lot of endless bottomless nowhere, which is annoying because “Try. Fail. Do exactly what has never ever worked, and do it harder” over and over looks rather similar, but does not lead to change, or growth, only frustration and eventual madness. Knock that shit off. Also avoid the pitfalls of “Try. Fail. Flail wildly through all the try-able things without committing to anything or giving anything a chance to work. Begin again – but don’t give any one thing a second chance, and if something starts to work – sabotage that shit immediately” – personal experience suggests this is also not a winning strategy. lol Yep. Done those, too. Very human. My results, as a result, have varied – a lot.

I guess sorting through all the shit to try is a place to begin again. Sift out what hasn’t worked in a frank and honest way. Reflect on what has worked – and why it worked, if that is knowable. Repeat what works best – for you. Your results may vary. You are having your own experience. How is a writer (however self-help-ish-ly they write) hundreds of miles and many years removed from your experience actually going to know with any certainty what will work for you? I mean… better than you? Well…  maybe. Some stuff. Okay. I get you on that – me too. I do like data. I’ve worked hard to be as self-aware as I am, and still have a lot of work to do in that area. Adulting is fucking hard. But, once you’ve tried something, and are able to acknowledge based on experience whether it works for you or not… why repeat what doesn’t work? Seems very impractical. Although…

Some stuff just need practice. For some practices, the incremental changes over time are not recognizably easy to see. Fuck – that all just got a lot more complicated, didn’t it? Do you know yourself? Can you recognize what does work, in order to rule out what does not? Based on what data? Whose opinion? Who are you – and where do you want to get in life??

It begins so simply, so often; in practice, selected changes, desired, sought changes can be difficult. It’s the “in practice” portion of the experience that I find is the challenge… What am I practicing? Is it actually what works for me? Who decided that? If it wasn’t me – why would I trust that opinion over my own experience of myself? …And am I actually practicing?

Today, the needle moved on the scale (in the desired direction, I mean). Fucking finally. Tomorrow? Of course. I begin again. 🙂

I got home precisely on time; the time I arrived. It wouldn’t have mattered what time that happened to be when I stepped from the icy winter cold into the comfort of this strangely almost-not-quite-perfect-and-definitely-not-really-mine little duplex in which I reside. For a moment, it felt like “home”, perhaps simply because it is comfortable here (both temperature and environment), and it so is not anything like “comfortable” outside, today. Is that really what a feeling of home is all about? Comfort? That seems surprisingly practical – and attainable; determine what is not comfortable, make the adjustments necessary to achieve comfort. Repeat. Home! …It’s a thought worth considering further. I make myself a note.

I sit down, here, and make still another note… then find myself writing, after a couple days of just… not. I must have needed the break from all the things, and every routine, because I certainly woke to the morning, today, with plenty of enthusiasm for all the things, after 5 days of utterly willfully leaving all my routines in tatters. Planned spontaneity. lol My favorite sort.

I begin the holiday with a lovely stack of books to read.

I continue to consider comfort – both the practical details, and even as a metaphor. Certainly, I spent the weekend quite comfortable here in this small space in which I live. It was a wonderful holiday. Tender. Connected. Relaxed. Restful. Joyful. Warm. It was definitely in my top 10 Giftmas holidays ever – which still strikes me as a bit odd, since I spent it more or less entirely alone. (Alone aside from a relatively short visit with a friend, Saturday, which was a serious departure from the temporary normal of quiet and leisure spent alone.) I never felt “lonely” (your results may vary), or neglected (again with the reminder; we are each having our own experience), and it was such a deep down drenching sensuous joy to so fully relax, to read a few books I’d gotten behind on, to try new recipes without concern, to set the pace of the weekend and the holiday without having half an eye on whether everyone else’s needs are fully met, ahead of mine. It was satisfying and beautiful. I felt cared for in a different way.

A few more finished… a couple new books added to the stack 🙂

I still really missed my Traveling Partner, and more than once I found myself very nearly talked into making the trip down his way, against the silent urging of my soul – which really really just wanted to sit still awhile, catch up on some reading, and… not do more things. We spoke often, and chatted enough that I still feel very much that we “shared” the holiday – which I feel pretty certain is going to lead to some amusing future moments in which I can’t remember which year I spent Giftmas alone, because I recall my Traveling Partner being part of all of them. lol Love-pollution.

It was nice coming home tonight. I’d left a light on by mistake – it was less like coming home to an empty place. 🙂 I make another note to myself, about that. Work is work – but now I’m home. I smile at the much shorter stack of books I have not yet read… and begin again.

Okay, so… it isn’t autumn anymore. The weather is still gray and rainy-freezy-misty. Not good for long drives through mountain passes (at least, it’s not my preference). A poor choice for my arthritis as well, though there’s little to be done about that long-term without relocating; I take short-term actions to ease my symptoms, almost as soon as I get up, today.

I begin the holiday with a lovely stack of books to read.

It’s the just the loveliest winter day. I’ve spent it…oh… on me. Relaxing. Meditating. Reading. Doing yoga. Watching the squirrels play. I forced myself out of the house once, when I noticed I’d run out of coffee and didn’t have even enough for a second cup. Of course, the one time I venture out, and silence my ringer while driving, I miss a call from my Traveling Partner. lol I check messages when I get home, see the missed call, and phone him back. It’s always lovely to talk, to hear his voice, even that bit when he gets frustrated with me talking over him is worth the phone call. 🙂 He gets back to his day, there, I get back to mine, here.

Today has been an exceptional day for meditation. It’s a good fit with all the reading, which somehow manages to surprise me. I find myself questioning the surprise; is it just an artifact of an injury that often misleads me about what is or is not new? I let that go and simply enjoy each precious chill moment of this pleasant holiday. I read awhile. Finish a chapter (or a book) and “take a break” by meditating for some unmeasured little while. I pause all that to have a bit of a chat with my partner, listen to some music, practice with the buugeng. At some point, I begin all that again, and return to reading. It’s been just about the perfect day off, in spite of missing my Traveling Partner, and even in spite of being in pain.

3 finished. Feminism, Love, and Dictatorship – a broad variety of topics, with still more enticing reading to come.

I put everything aside for a while. More meditation. Sitting quietly by the fire, taking a moment to simply be, and to be aware, and to really listen. To observe the moment without putting rules on it, or building a narrative around it, or making it any more or less significant than the moment itself provides without effort or guidance. Experiencing “being” as the verb it is, without the complication of all those other verbs, for just some little while. Some time later, the warmth of the room seemed to shift from cozy to stifling, and I got up, adjusted the thermostat, welcomed the twilight, and made my way here, right here, now. This? This is live – well, in the moment I am doing the typing, right now, it is. I’m often not “writing right now” in that way – it’s far more common that I am writing about some recently past moment (although rather rudely, I often do so in the present tense, having become emotionally entangled there in that past event).

So… here we each are, in our present moment. I giggle quietly to myself as I fully take in the meanings when I think to myself “I hope your present is not tense”… “present tense”. It should not be that god damned funny (it isn’t). I’m laughing out loud, and tears squeeze out of my eyes. A moment of subtly hysterical catharsis – no harm was done to this human in the writing of this blog post. 🙂 I smile with considerable kindness “at myself”, and experience a weird moment of recognition and gratitude – when did we actually become friends, the woman in the mirror and I? I don’t think it’s been that long ago… we’ve been mutually supportive for some time (a couple years) but “friends” would have been a stretch. Funny.

I smile to myself and consider how pleasant the evening is, and feel fortunate to enjoy my own company with such ease these days. What a lovely day, well spent, in good company, reading, meditating, listening to music, dancing, practicing buugeng and watching squirrels… I think I’m ready to begin again. 🙂

Here we are – the longest night of a year nearly over.

The day began with a frozen misty morning.

I’ll celebrate the long night, recognizing the slow – so slow – return of spring, somewhere in the distance of future dawns. I’ll meditate tonight, and even stay up late, possibly, since I won’t be using a timer or an alarm, only letting the moments become one with awareness, limitless, leisurely, unconcerned, unconfined. Another way of taking care of me, and an annual holiday (for me) honored over a life time.

It’s been a lovely slow day. I slept in. Enjoyed a great hike in the frosty morning air without getting a single good picture. Returned home to the warmth of gratitude and gas heat. Spent the day reading by the fire, sometimes looking up to see squirrel visitors at play. I’ve been needing this. No pressure. No agenda. No chores. A day of leisure, followed by… more leisure. I feel my shoulders relax at the thought of it, and a soft smile creeps over my face.

I miss my Traveling Partner for a moment – not unusual, I have a lot of those moments – and think ahead to a different future. I wonder what the future will be like, when it is the present? I don’t linger in that wistful wondering, though, not when this is such a lovely moment, right here, right now. 🙂

Moments are built on choices. What are you choosing for your moment, right now? I hope it is quite delightful. 🙂 (If it is a less than delightful moment, I hope that passes quickly and that the next is quite pleasant. What will you choose to make it so?)