Archives for the month of: July, 2018

Morning again? I sip my coffee. Definitely morning. I could let it go at that, this morning, and feel content I’d said enough. 🙂

There’s a day and a week ahead. Q4 still ahead. The year is, however, half over, a bit more, really. There are months with holidays to plan in them, months without much going on, all will involved one or more weekends making the drive down south. I’m already tired thinking about that. lol I take a breath and pull my consciousness back to “now”. “Today” is quite enough to deal with today. lol I expect it to be a hot one, based on the weather reports. I take a moment to appreciate air conditioning – at home, and at the office. I am fortunate.

I continue to sip my coffee and let my brain finish waking up. Funny that I manage this in spite of not yet being fully awake. I spend a moment or two musing about brain function, generally. I refill my (iced) coffee glass with water. Hot day ahead; it just makes sense to drink plenty of water.

I think back on the lovely weekend. Restful. Productive. Healthy. A good one in general, full of fun moments, and good times. I went my own way after brunch with friends. Walked through the Saturday Market (on Sunday) on my way home. Talked to artists. Enjoyed the sunshine a while, happy that it was not stiflingly hot.  I smile and return my consciousness to “now”, again.

It’s a Monday morning. Monday mornings are great for beginning again. 🙂 I wonder where the day – and week – will take me?

There’s a certain level of skill required even for feeling good, I’ve found. This could be part of the whole PTSD/TBI package of lingering chaos and damage, I don’t really know; it is part of my own experience, though, and it’s something I have learned to account for. Feeling good haphazardly, willy-nilly, without regard to those many good practices that support my day-to-day well-being is a poor choice. With (self) care, I can relax and enjoy feeling good along with anyone else… without it, feeling good becomes the foreshadowing of some later “unexpected” (utterly predictable) tantrum-to-come, once I’ve exhausted myself with good feelings and likely accompanied that with being over-stimulated, and failing to get the rest or nutrition I also need for lasting good health and well-being. It’s just not as easy (for me) as passively feeling good. There are still verbs involved.

This morning I have choices. A great day ahead that begins with brunch with old friends promises considerable excitement, joy, and feelings of the good variety. So, this morning my day also begins with firmly adhering to those practices I know serve me well: limiting my caffeine intake, doing some yoga, getting a walk in, drinking plenty of water, taking my medication on time, getting enough rest, meditation, and spending some time on tidying up. I’ve been up since 5 am (I slept in), and “brunch” is scheduled comfortably for 9 am. Plenty of time to take care of this fragile vessel. 🙂

The details matter. The practices matter. There are verbs involved. New beginnings. Repeating what works. Being present. Choices. (So many choices!)

I’m feeling pretty good today. It’s still time to begin again. 😉

I’m sipping my coffee, well-rested, on a lovely summer morning. I scrolled through my news feeds, and at the end of it found myself feeling a bit let down with humanity, with my own relative powerlessness in the face of the world generally, with the drama and bullshit that we allow to impede our forward progress as creatures… We could do better. I mean, obviously. lol Hell of a start to a lovely Saturday.

I push my seat back, and carry my coffee to the deck, and enjoy the rustling leaves, birdsong, the smell of freshly watered plants, the sweetness of a newly ripe tomato fresh from the vine, and a few healthy moments of other thoughts and experiences than the embrace of an office chair, and the bright white pipeline of infotainment shoved directly into my brain through my eye holes. I get way too much of that, and too little of small brown birds daring to come closer to see if maybe I have another seed hidden in my hand. 🙂

When I came back in, I sat right down at my desk, and let the excess of words and pictures continue to stream into my brain. Damn it.

I get up. Again. I breathe. I do some yoga. Somewhere amidst this second flurry of activity, I have a second coffee that I’ve already forgotten now. Some mindfulness. (That’s sarcasm there.) I nag at myself about my baggage. I pause to feel annoyed with myself for nagging myself, instead of simply practicing.

I let that go, too.

I find myself, at some point, wondering about how I create the baggage I carry in life. I mean… some is picked up in some moment of trauma, sure, but what counts? Does it need to be major trauma? (You already know the answer, if you are honest with yourself; it could potentially be the most petty irritation, if allowed to fester.) I mean… hell… I even have baggage about this. Right here. Blogging. No kidding – did you not know? lol (“Do tell!”  “Okay, I will…”)

In December 2012, sometime, during a terribly dark time in my emotional life (one of the worst, darkest, most despairing times of my life had begun, and I was very much at risk of not making it to the other side) I began to consider starting a blog. I had mostly given up writing in a journal – a life habit of many years, that I’d found huge value in, but which had become a ruminating spiral of negativity that developed a fairly self-hateful feedback loop that supported the despair more than the woman writing about it. The saner choice, then, had been to just give it up, for at least awhile. I lost an important voice in my narrative in doing so, and I needed… something. A blog? Maybe; I’d be writing in a public place, read by anyone who cares to read my writing, which, I felt, had a chance of keeping me from falling to the demons of rumination and negativity, and maybe give me some purpose and focus,  a foundation on which I could… maybe… heal. Or at least feel heard.

I approached one of my partners (now an ex) at the time and brought the subject up. I viewed her as being “more internet savvy” than I was myself, and I knew she also had a blog. I suggested I was considering writing a blog, myself, and asked her for suggestions or recommendations for platforms. What I got back was… a hearty helping of ego and discouragement. “Oh, well, you shouldn’t expect anyone will read it, and you most likely just won’t keep up with it, and you’ll probably just abandon it. Most people are very bad writers, and don’t have anything interesting to write about. You should expect that you’ll get bored with the work of keeping it up. I have several followers and a very successful blog because people love my writing. It probably won’t be that way for you, and you shouldn’t be discouraged if it turns out no one cares and you’re wasting your time.” I felt astonished, first that she’d assume anything about my writing, when she’d never taken any interest in it, and also that she had no awareness that I’d been making a practice, my entire adult life almost continuously, of writing 500-3,000 words a day – entirely without a fucking blog. LOL I also felt hurt by the dismissiveness and lack of emotional support, particularly so early in our relationship (there was much about her, as a human being, I did not yet know).

…Then the insecurity kicked in. Maybe I’m not “good enough”? Maybe I lack worthy content? Maybe no one does care – at all? Maybe I am “wasting my time”? I almost didn’t start. I almost gave up writing entirely. A few more days of systematic discouragement at a difficult time in my life, and I even started considering ending it. My life, I mean. It was a dark time, indeed. Then I read her blog – looking for a clearer understanding; maybe it was “too hard” for me? (Clearly not.) I didn’t really know, and I wanted to understand more clearly what limitations I was truly facing as an individual. I read a bunch more blogs by great thinkers and writers, because it was immediately evident that little was to be gained reading hers. I looked over various platforms that support blogging. I asked myself what I wanted to say – and what mattered most about my writing, generally. Let’s be very real about this; I was attempting to do this while also wholly disrupted by mental illness, and family-life stress. I was in no shape to adult without supervision. I still needed to do my own homework; unavoidably, the advice of other people is shaped by their agenda and biases, and filtered through their own bullshit. It has limited value. Ever.

I’m smiling this morning as I sip my coffee. I value my time writing. I appreciate my readers (hey, that’s you!). Six and a half years and 1625 posts later (not quite one every day), and I’m still writing, still finding value in that practice, and still feeling heard. 🙂 I’m glad I didn’t let one voice of discouragement stop me from being the woman I most want to be… or the woman I am. 😀

Baggage is a funny thing. It lingers. I did pick up some baggage that long ago winter afternoon, talking about blogging; I occasionally still question my writing. It’s fairly public. There are some things, perhaps, that would be best unsaid? Should I mention my weekend plans? What if someone might use that to burglarize my house by noting when I am likely to be away? Should I mention when I am happy? Someone who has an agenda of minimizing my happiness may use that to undermine it… What about… her? Yep. Sometimes, even now, I consider the considerable drama, bullshit, and emotional pain she continues to inflict on friends and loved ones at personally inconvenient moments, and I can’t help but wonder… did my writing drive the timing? Am I feeding information to a human being who now places me in her world as an adversary?

…Should I stop writing??

More baggage. I laugh it off, and remind myself that she has no power over me that I don’t give her, myself, and no current place in my life, now, at all. Like any bad memory, or former association ended with cause, there’s no real need to revisit that time, place, or person, other than to heal myself. Certainly no reason to give it power over me now. lol

Consequences (of our words, or our actions) are real things, though, and I do consider the consequences of my writing; I spend far longer reviewing a finished post, and refining my words, than I do writing it in the first place. Consequences matter. People’s hearts matter. Being authentic, practical, and frank, matter. Being a better person today than I was yesterday matters. Sometimes I delete whole posts rather than publish something that might cause a stranger undue pain, or “out” someone’s private experience without explicit approval. or even just fall short of adequately expressing my thoughts in a true-to-self way.

What I’m getting at, I guess, is “do you” – support yourself in your endeavors. Don’t let “the world” slow you down or change your mind – but be prepared to face the consequences of your choices (good and bad), and consider them with care. Choose wisely. Be your best self… but do be you. No one else can do it so well, although a few bad sorts may try to steal your identity, your words, your very soul – authenticity can’t be faked, and over time, those stolen facades break down, revealing the real person beneath the lies. Walk on from that drama. 🙂 No direct confrontation can be sufficiently satisfying to make the fuss worth it. lol Life is too short to leave the trolls in charge. 😀

Bottom line? We really do choose – and carefully craft – most of our baggage in life. It’s okay to put that down, and walk on. Let it go. Just… let it go. Move on with life without it. It can be a choice… if we care to choose it. Yes – sorry – there are verbs involved. It may require some practice. You may have to begin again – any number of times. Still worth it.

It’s time to begin again. I’m sipping my coffee, well-rested, on a lovely summer morning, smiling, and content. I am enjoying the morning with the woman in the mirror – she’s a survivor, a bad-ass, and this morning? There is no other woman I would want to be more. 🙂

I woke rested after crashing super early. One of the definite perks of adulthood isn’t really about “getting to stay up as late as I want” – although from the vantage point of childhood that was a pretty big deal – it’s more relevant that I can easily choose to sleep “whenever I want” (with some obvious restrictions, like not choosing to do so while I’m at work lol). So… I did. I called it a night early and got the additional rest I was obviously needing in the moment. Nice.

My comfortable, rested, cheery state of being was almost knocked askew by fucking Facebook, of all things. Damn some people are… yeah, well, they’re people. We can leave it there. I persist in being astonished by human cruelty, human stupidity, human aggression, and the “us vs. them” bullshit that divides us all. I just don’t get it – why don’t more people choose differently?

I started down the path of “letting it get to me”, which could potentially promise a fairly miserable Friday, given the chance to take over my consciousness. I decide, instead, to simply “breathe through it” and let that less than ideally comfortable moment pass.

Now it’s just me, my coffee, and this headache that I no longer recall whether it is continuous since the last one, or an altogether new one. It’s a headache. Having one has become a nearly permanent condition. I sip my coffee, and breathe through that, too. 🙂

I stay home this weekend. There’s plenty to do here. My fairly lengthy “to do list” of chores and errands is long-ish, and persistent about being on my mind. Self-care comes in many forms. This weekend, apparently, it takes the form of vacuuming, dishes, laundry, weeding, and watering. lol All things that are necessary to building the quality of life I most enjoy. So. Verbs and all, I’ll be doing some things around the house this weekend. I’m okay with that. I’m also looking forward to sleeping in… I mean, really – and no alarm clock. (Pretty sure I’d have slept even later, this morning, without the alarm going off.)

It’s not fancy. It’s life. One moment, one day, one practice at a time, it all amounts to living life. The rest are details and choices that determine what sort of life it is to live. 🙂

It’s time to begin again. 🙂

It was a less than ideally comfortable moment, last week, when my therapist so frankly and calmly observed that I seemed “unwell” and that “we” need to work on that. He doesn’t play when it comes to mental and emotional health, that’s sort of his whole deal, but the “we” who needs to work on my mental and emotional health? Yeah, that’s me. He’s a great resource, but the verbs entirely belong to me. lol

I explored his observations over the weekend. I considered his words – and reconsidered mine, in context. I contemplated where practices were failing me, and was frank with myself regarding practices that were not being consistently practiced, or perhaps were less than effective, over time. I made some changes, because change is a thing, and embracing it can really work in my favor (and has, more than once).  My therapist proved to be quite correct about a number of things. It’s a journey. I’m very human. There are ample opportunities to begin again. lol

I already feel more balanced, contented, stable, and confident that “things will be okay”. It’s a good place to be on a Thursday, ahead of a work day, in the middle of a week that has been rather busy. I’m looking forward to the weekend. (I’d really like to sleep in.)

I’d started feeling really overwhelmed by my “to do list”, which just never seems to diminish, and had some “permanent” items that seemed sort of… stuck there. lol I’ve been tackling those one by one, now. That feels pretty good. I’d begun to avert my eyes from my list of shit that needs to get done… because I didn’t really feel like doing… any of it. Oh my. A hint of depression had apparently crept into my emotional life. Too much OPD? Oh, hell yes. LOL That shit’s toxic. It’s definitely depressing to be exposed to too much of that crap.

I’m not very skilled with depression. Despair is a familiar demon, but depression? Less so. I failed to notice the weight on my experience. My sluggishness and apathy seemed inexplicable to me. The constant fatigue and lack of fucks to give in life, generally, was foreign. Thankfully, depression is a familiar form for my therapist, and he recognized it, pointed it out, and provided me some direction. Win and good. I feel myself getting back on my path. Most particularly, building on the firm foundation of a weekend spending loved and loving, I feel each day improve upon the one before it, as my “to do list” slowly dwindles, and order is restored to my experience. 🙂

It’s okay to get help, when we need it. I hope that you do, if you are struggling, alone. 🙂

My Thursday is off to a good start. I may not save the world, today, but I’m on track to enjoy my experience. Sometimes, that’s enough. 😀