I crashed early yesterday. I was tired, and also, sleepy. I figured it had to do with the combination of being sick recently, and also waking up before 3:00 a.m. I went to bed and thought nothing more of it, expecting to be awake very early. At almost precisely 8:00 a.m. this morning (about 12 hours later), I finally woke. It’s rare for me to sleep so deeply, so restfully, for so long.

I still haven’t made coffee. I’m so recently awake that I’m not quite awake enough to care to deal with that more complicated task. Writing is easy, and I’d left the computer logged in over night (fuck, how tired was I??). I am hoping that by sitting down to write, I can more easily prevent myself from randomly going off on some unscripted adventure – the result of not being awake, with car keys in my hand. (My driving and such are just fine before I’m fully awake; my decision-making, generally, is far less so – see “haven’t made coffee” as an example.)

I have the notion to drive to the coast. (I have other things I want, and have planned, to do.) It’s not very far. (It’s a bit more than 2 hours from here). It’s not that I have a plan or intent, or real something-or-other in mind that I’d like to do so see… (So, it’s not a legitimate desire to go there for some purpose, is what I’m saying.) I think I’d just like to have my morning coffee by the sea. (And it is a very bad idea for me to wait another two hours to have my god damned coffee! LOL) This? This right here? It’s a bit of my TBI in action; lack of impulse control. (As with many of the things associated with either my TBI and my c-PTSD, there are similar sorts of things that everyone may go through from time to time, though usually the magnitude of the challenge is quite different, and they are occasional experiences versus characteristics of every day life.)

Lack of impulse control used to run my life. It no longer does – at least, not full-time. It would be, probably, harmless for me to take the day, go the coast, come home in the evening – hell, it might be a lovely spring adventure, indeed, although I haven’t budgeted for it, or accounted for that use of my time in my planning for the week. I like a nice trip to the coast. It’s just not what I had planned, and amounts to undermining both my self-care, and my ability to get shit done that I would not want to be having to deal with immediately prior to heading down for a long weekend with my Traveling Partner, next weekend. So. No. Just “no”.

It’s bitter-sweet to tell myself “no”. Pretty much always. I’m both really good at it, and have done so many times to my detriment, building a sense of unworthiness and self-directed privation over time while others benefit from my nurturing and generosity, and I also suck at it completely, capitulating to whims that have cost me dearly with no legitimate benefit. Also a bunch of stuff in between. I practice hitting a sweet spot with my self-care, and personal decision-making about my life, that results in feeling supported (by my choices), nurtured (by being able to enjoy who I am), able to grow (through novelty and adventure), able to get to my goals for future me (by being discerning about what I allow from myself, and making skillful use of my resources)… you know, all the adulting things and stuff. It’s a lot of fucking practice. This morning, I admit, I cheated a bit by dropping my ass in a chair, fingers over a keyboard, eyes on a monitor; I likely won’t redirect my attention until I have finished writing. Which means I have bought myself the time required to fully wake up (meaning all cognitive functions are “on”), and do the best adulting I am able to do for myself. 🙂

…I am now awake enough that coffee is most assuredly my priority. I way overslept when I usually have my first cup, and the resulting headache would be only an hour or two away, unless I make some fucking coffee pretty soon… What stopped me earlier? I feel puzzled about it now, but at the time it seemed so much more work than I wanted to do, and throwing on pants and sandals and driving up the road for a cup of coffee definitely seemed easier (isn’t, in fact, any easier at all). If I’d done that, I may or may not have actually stopped for coffee, and would almost certainly be on the road to… somewhere… by now! No telling what the impact would be to my time – or my budget.

Coffee now? That seems the thing. I’ll be right back… Here’s a great bass line while you wait…

…Aaand, I’m back. With coffee. I rediscover that the quality of coffee that generally results from effortless (or near effortless) coffee is reliably less good than coffee I really put my attention toward, with great care. LOL This cup? Drinkable… at best. That’s not going to stop me from drinking it; at this point, it’s medicinal. Funny/not funny. I’ll make a better cup later. When I’m more awake.

Mmmm… yeah. Coffee was definitely a better choice over driving to the coast before I was awake. LOL Here I am, lovely morning ahead of me, work laid out in the studio, most of the housework already handled… I don’t actually want to go anywhere. Not really. This is where I want to be; in the studio, enjoying a chill Sunday, painting – I’ve been looking forward to it all week. 🙂 I found learning to discern between “things I actually want to do, no really” and “momentary whims driven by impulse that seem briefly very interesting” actually a rather difficult process. I still have to really work at it. It’s so easy to react. It’s so easy for impulse to take over. People seem, at least in my social network, personally, to place higher value on spontaneity than on planning, and to be far more interested in tales of whimsy and adventure than of plan, structure, and practice. Our attention spans have grown short with our increased use of devices. It is so easy to shirk the details of what must get done in pursuit of something shiny, and unexpectedly entertaining. The burden of deciding what I value, myself, is on me, though. The choice is my own. The verbs, too, are mine to labor over. The reasons have to be my own, as well, otherwise the will to stay the course is easily sacrificed in a moment of chaos, or whimsy. We become what we practice.

This morning I’ll be practicing the practices of a working artist, following a plan, and living the life I choose, quite willfully. If you need me, I’ll be in my studio…

It’s time to begin again.