Archives for the month of: January, 2018

I’m sipping a quiet hot cup of tea. The tea is hot. The room is quiet. The music is quite loud, in spite of the quiet room. I’m enjoying the contrasts. Cool room. Hot tea. Quiet room. Loud music. I am in pain. I feel that too, although I enjoy it less; it is part of my experience. I have mixed feelings about the pain; I am alive. I have survived all I’ve been through so far. My pain reminds me of how strong I can be. My pain is a reminder of my resolve. My pain hints at my pure will; I walk with it, work with it, every day.

…Fuck, I’m a bad ass! lol You are, too. Here you are. You’ve survived. Fuck yeah – all of it. 🙂

Tonight isn’t fancy. I am making time for me. The woman in the mirror needing a little care, getting the care she needs. It’s a nice system.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin again. That’s soon enough. It’s okay to get some rest.

Do you. There is so little time. I’m not saying get wrecked at every chance, running amuck wherever you go, violating boundaries, tearing shit up and bringing drama every damned where – not at all. I am saying live your life. Make this moment yours – and that next one, over there, that one, too.

There’s a trick to living well – and I’m only just aware of it on the periphery, so new it is barely something I can practice, yet, more just a thing I am noticing going on, just out of reach; a rare few among us manage to do the damned thing – this crazy thing called life – in a most rich and wonderful way, without anything unusual for resources, and without trampling over everyone else’s day-dream. Sweet, right? But… how?? How to choose actions and words in the moment to both be most true to myself and my own needs and goals, and also not tread on the boundaries, needs and goals of others?

I practice consideration – a lot. It’s one of my Big 5. (Respect, Consideration, Compassion, Reciprocity, Openness) It’s a huge improvement on the young woman I once was, and the choices she favored. I’ve still got so much to learn, so far to travel…

I sit quietly sipping a hot decaf, enjoying the stillness of evening, listening to a great Electro House Mix, and letting the evening wind down around me. I let my thoughts wander distant trails. I exchange a few words with a friend. I consider this moment, here, so quiet and gentle, and I contrast it with recent parties – the difference in intensity moment-to-moment is remarkable. (See? Here I am remarking on it, in fact.) I have definitely been needing something that these parties have been providing… but…

…All the parties notwithstanding, it is the healing peace of a solitary moment that anchors me in a gentle “now” I can count on for an easy beginning for the next moment after that. I smile, finish my coffee, and bump the thermostat a little for comfort as I head to my meditation cushion. Can’t get this high at a party. lol 🙂

Time to begin again.

 

There’s more to say on such a big topic. A paragraph or two about love and lovers isn’t going to cover the subject thoroughly at all. I won’t try. It’s early in the morning, and I’m headed to work soon. The morning is rainy. The coffee is hot. My mood is merry. Easy stuff on a Tuesday.

The view from my weekend away.

I scroll through my Facebook feed, catching up after a weekend away. I flip through the posts – what’s with all the angst-y relationship drama? (More than enough over the weekend, as well – seasonal?) I don’t laugh – it really isn’t a cause for amusement or celebration when lovers suffer in each others arms, most particularly consider the great care some lovers take in crafting their shared misery. The choices! The effort! The lovingly hand-crafted artisanal misery! It’s amazing to me that even if pointed out such that awareness is unavoidable, a great many people will still “well, she…”, “well, he…”, with real ferocity to return to an acceptable understanding that allows them to rationalize not making any changes at all. It’s weird. It’s as if – wait for it – they are actually choosing to be unhappy together instead of choosing to be actually happy, or at least content and blissful. So strange. It’s hard to watch. It’s always been hard to watch. It makes my acid reflux flare up to have to watch it. It makes me heartsick to have to turn away. (I can’t fix it!) 😦

Love isn’t misery. If you are miserable, I assure you, it isn’t the love causing that. It’s the bullshit. 😉 Drop the bullshit. lol (Sounds so easy in those terms, but yeah – there are still a lot of verbs involved, and you can’t avoid those, or pay for someone else to do them.)

I’ve had cause to be soaked in drama recently. Not so much a choice as a test of endurance, loving kindness, compassion, and the experience and (limited) wisdom that come of age – and that come of fucking up several potentially wonderfully promising relationships myself over the years. Doesn’t make it easier to bear witness to the misery of lovers who refuse to see that they are choosing their misery for themselves, with great care, and putting every ounce of their being into tending and maintaining it. Yikes. I can’t even imagine the power and joy of a relationship into which similar effort and energy are put directly into actually loving each other!

Sharing the love, and sharing the building. Destruction is far less joyful.

…Oh. Wait. Yes, yes I can actually imagine the power and joy of a relationship into which lovers are putting the full weight of their effort and energy directly into actually loving each other! I have that! How wonderful! 😀 I worked – and work – with great care to build (instead of destroying) to support and nurture (instead of criticizing and tearing my partner down) to attend to my own chaos and damage (because we really only have the power to change our own ways, to deal with our own issues, to put down our own baggage), and to learn to love well.

A gray, black, and tan moth is colorful up close. Perspective matters. 🙂

I’m still learning. I practice every day. I make mistakes. I make amends. I screw up. I make it right. Again and again. I learn something new that works. I practice it often. I find out something I do is problematic. I look at ways I could change my approach for a better result. I face the awareness that something my lover does is uncomfortable for me. I learn to bring those issues to the table with kindness, patience, and understanding that I am having my own experience, and “demanding change” is not always the most effective (or efficient) way to achieve the result I want. I learned to assume positive intent, and learned to share my words gently, and to listen deeply. I learned to let go of assumptions and expectations, and to distinguish between acceptance and being a doormat. lol So many life lessons to love well! We have to learn each of them on our own. The verbs pile up.

I may be writing about love for the rest of my life – there is that much to say about it, and I’m no expert. 🙂 Love matters most. Love inspires. Love pulls us. Pushes us. Changes us. Love is powerful stuff. I spent the weekend wrapped in love. Home now to begin a new work week, I’m still thinking about love – and lovers.

There is always time for love. (Make time for it.) What could be a more worthy use of your precious limited mortal life than to love?

Speaking of time… it’s time to begin the work day. 🙂 One new beginning among so many. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

I am taking a few minutes to relax and consider things. Consider the week that has just ended. Consider the weekend just about to begin. Consider this moment right here, and moments past that were entirely different. I am taking time to consider writing in the morning, versus writing in the evening, and which really works best for me – and I am considering whether there is any need for so much structure around what is (for me) such a natural thing? I am considering the contents of my pantry, which are depleted, and my fridge, which is almost empty; I’ve been sick, and there’s been no shopping done in more than a week. More than two.

I am distracted from my considerations by the smile on my face; I adult well enough to manage life without having to grocery shop for nearly two weeks. Nice. 🙂 (To be fair, though, that’s mostly true because I’ve spent the last week sick, and disinclined toward much besides broth or soup or coffee or tea, and certainly I’m almost always well-stocked on all of those. lol)

Today at work I had two relatively special personal moments of… some kind. I’m not sure what to call either. I reached a point of feeling the crushing workload as, indeed, crushing – overwhelming, distracting, complex, unsatisfying, and even frightening; this was driving a lot of anxiety and I started to have a panic attack – in the office. Fuck. Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckityfuck. Shit. Damn it. Okay okay – I managed a deep breath. I managed another. I managed to admit to myself that I hadn’t been practicing good self-care, and if nothing else, I really needed a break. No. Not a walking meeting. A break. No, no, not a moment to help someone else with another task. Stop that. A break. No. Damn it. Not an opportunity to vent about these frustrations (that are so transitory). A proper break, away from the work, just – a break.

So I took one.

I got up from my desk, moved to a more comfortable seat in a spot without any connectivity or active devices within reach. No one to talk to, with, or at. No issues. No questions. I took the 10 minutes I really needed. With me. No judgment. No criticism. Just a few moments of meditation, smack in the middle of the work day. It felt sooooooo good. When those few delicious quiet moments concluded, I wasn’t feeling panicked or anxious or unprepared or inadequate or even over-taxed. I was ready to work.

So I worked.

One of the things I went back to work with was a calm settled appreciation for the great team I work with. We support each other. There’s a lot of authenticity and caring. It was a crazy busy week – and it was good. I stopped working a couple times later, throughout the day, simply to briefly thank the colleagues who have helped so much. We count on each other. We can. It’s that kind of place, and I couldn’t help contrasting that with, of all things, the current federal administration. I felt a moment of poignant sorrow and understanding; can you imagine what working in that fog of hate, confusion, and chaos must be like for rational beings who mean well and want to serve America in a positive way? That would definitely be a job to leave. I find myself stalled for just a moment considering all those folks feeling trapped in jobs they very much want to leave.

I went home feeling profoundly grateful for the life I am living right now. That felt pretty good, even if I did arrive home in pain. Just arthritis, right? We age. We deal with pain – as it turns out feeling our bodies age isn’t especially comfortable. lol

Tonight it’s a gentle night of self-care. I need that. It’s also a night of packing, tidying up, and readying myself for another trip down to see my Traveling Partner (who’s the traveler now!? lol) – I miss him greatly and find myself eager, in spite of also feeling soooo fucking tired. I look forward to getting over that. In the mean time, I’ll make a list tonight, and tomorrow I’ll begin again. 🙂

 

One moment of many.

Time shrank, stretched, and snapped back, today. I got home feeling I had simultaneously done much more and much less than I had planned to do – more than I expected to get done, less than I urgently needed to get done, and certainly enough actually got done. Time can be peculiarly malleable, and sometimes I think I’ve almost got the hang of doing it at will. (That would be quite amazing.) 🙂

At some point, I realized I needed a couple things from myself. I was feeling fairly pressed for time, pretty frazzled, and I was overwhelming myself with details, and small frustrations. When I started getting close to that very special moment – you know the one? That moment just at which not having some sort of horrific tantrum or untoward meltdown would just no longer be possible? That fairly strained moment of longing and regret-in-advance? (Is that just me?) I could see it there, just ahead of me… the snarled remark, perhaps, got my attention – and a moment of appreciation that although I’d spoken aloud, I was seated alone. I paused, and listened for just a precious second of limited time – really listened – to me – and I recognized unmet needs. Simply that. I heard me. I needed recognition that I’ve been sick. I needed better self-care. I needed to slow down a bit, really focus, and be patient with myself. I needed a healthy meal – a real, actual, cooked-with-care, meal, prepared from fresh ingredients that meet all of my dietary needs. (I’ve been sick, right? Cooking takes some effort, more than I could manage for a couple days, so it’s been… broth. lol Mostly just broth. And coffee. Tea. Fizzy water. Cold medicine.) I looked at the clock and acknowledged to myself how very human I am. I reset my expectations, and moved my workload around a bit. I reset the expectations of others, with consideration, with care, and as firmly as I know how to do graciously. I finished the day with a plan.

The commute was okay. Rainy. I was pre-occupied with my own thoughts, so less frustrated with the shenanigans of other, less skilled, drivers (I know they are less skilled, because… did you see that shit?? You did not. I did, though. lol). I picked up some healthy ingredients on the way home and made myself a small London broil (although I rarely eat beef, if I am at all a risk of anemia, or have recently been ill, it definitely perks me up to have it), some steamed broccoli, and homemade yam steak fries. I cooked. I enjoyed a solitary evening meal, listening to music, thinking my thoughts. First day back to work is tough on me after being sick, so I take things pretty easy this evening. I want to do more, and look at my “to do list” with a certain purposeful yearning, although I definitely do not have the energy for all that (or even most of it, or… yeah… none of it at all, actually, not tonight). An early night will be the thing, then. Maybe some quiet time reading? Meditation. I’ll write (hello!). I’ll meditate. I’ll call it a night.

Of course, the internet grabbed my attention pretty quickly – it was hard to tear myself away. A couple rounds of being annoyed with myself, followed by a reminder, again, of how human I am… the evening continues.

Self-care does not come naturally to me, in any way I can tell. I really work at it. I sometimes seriously suck at it, but it needs to be handled, and generally, it needs to be handled skillfully – or I am doing little more than hastening my own demise through neglect. :-\ So, tonight I practice self-care practices. Gentle verbs. Verbs that nurture. Verbs that heal. Verbs that soothe and tend and care for.

Tomorrow is soon enough to begin again on all the other verbs. 🙂