Every choice we make has a result. An outcome. A consequence. The things we seek in life come at a cost, even when the cost is “only” time.

I am drinking a lot of water today. Tap water. Canned scented fizzy water. Iced tea. It is a warm day, and staying hydrated makes sense as basic good self-care. I definitely don’t want to let myself become “dried out” on a warm summery day immediately after getting tattooed; it’s not ideal for healing skin to become dehydrated.

I’ve spent much of the day, rather unexpectedly, sleeping. Sure, last night was a late night (for me), and I didn’t get to bed until sometime shortly past 2 am, but today is Sunday and I could sleep as long as I needed to… and somehow still woke up at 6:30 am. I went back to bed. Got up at 8:30. By 10:30 I was feeling like I could nap… and I “laid down for a minute”, which resulted in waking up sometime past noon. So the day has gone. Between naps, I have meditated. Showered. Tended the container garden on my patio. Done dishes. Read. It’s been a full day, and I am content, but there is nothing to argue with when I say I have spent most of the day napping. lol

The tattoo is gorgeous, although not yet finished. I feel more me, when I see it in my reflection. It builds on a much older tattoo, adding context, size, and a suggestion of greater-than-obvious depth of meaning. The colors are vibrant. The work is a collaboration of visions; mine, and that of the tattoo artist doing the work. There are unexpected moments of discovery for me, as I examine the color work more closely over time. Here, too, self-care matters (for all I know, I’m sleeping so much today because my body wants that for healing time after being tattooed for more than 4 hours). Drinking more water, getting more rest – those are only part of the basic self-care involved in this tattoo being gorgeous a really long time. I keep it clean, cool the modest amount of inflammation with ice packs now and then, and keep it moistened gently (and hygienically). I never ever touch it with unwashed hands while it is healing. I keep it covered from the sun. Small things that all matter. My shoulder is a bit stiff from the small amount of inflammation caused by being artistically “attacked” with a tiny needle for hours, and that’s to be expected. The surface of my skin stings a bit, but mostly only immediately after I’ve cleaned it and re-moisturized; like any abrasion sort of injury, it doesn’t like being touched. The price I pay for this beautiful art is a small amount of discomfort, and some time spent caring for it. (And money; an artist’s time is worth paying for!) Seems worth it.

Hilariously, the big driver of getting this particular work done was primarily to balance the considerably larger tattoo on the other shoulder. Fail sauce is liberally poured over that notion at this point, as the new work is quite a bit larger than the piece I sought to balance. LOL I’m not even bothered by that; I already know what is needed to make that right. (Yes, for me, the balance and hint at symmetry do matter. πŸ™‚ Other things may matter to you.) πŸ˜€ The other reason to get this tattoo is simply the experience of being tattooed, which I have notice tends to provide me with some fairly profound pain relief for a couple days – no Rx required. πŸ™‚ Feels good, today, to feel good.

The day has been entirely spent on self-care. I notice at some point it is also Mother’s Day. If you’re a mother, well happy day to you, then. πŸ™‚ I’m not, and the awareness of the day comes and goes.

I notice I am already feeling rather inclined to nap, again, but it is past 7 pm, and tomorrow is a work day. I make the necessary mental adjustment in my approach, and hold onto the awareness that what is needful, now, is to stay up until it is properly bedtime, based on my own needs, and then call it a night at that time, to get the best shot at a good night’s sleep before work. My sleep has been disturbed since the last party weekend down south. I yawn and laugh at myself – it’s only taken a week, but it looks like I’ll be back on track tonight… unless of course, I wake up at 2 am. LOL

I see the new ink reflected back at me in a mirror, coming back from getting yet another delicious cold water-y beverage. Grapefruit scented fizzy water tastes very much like summer, somehow. It’s gone quickly. The tattoo, of course, is still there. It reminds me of new beginnings, and longer journeys. It reminds me that beginning again is largely a matter of will (my own) and choice – and there are verbs involved. It reminds me that the journey itself is the destination.

I smile contentedly, unconcerned with whether this post is sufficiently meaningful, insightful, or “worthy” by any measure but my own. The evening sun through the window warms me gently. Tomorrow is soon enough to begin again. There is time tonight to take care of me. πŸ™‚