Archives for the month of: September, 2018

Before I get much further, here’s this. Humor helps with the anger thing, kind of a lot. πŸ™‚ Battling evil is exhausting – be sure to take care of yourself, and make time to laugh. πŸ˜‰

This morning, I woke briefly, turned over, and began to return to a deep luxurious sleep. No idea what woke me, doesn’t matter much, really. As I sank into slumber, the thought drifted past that I might regret going back to sleep if the alarm went off right away, you know? I dislike that experience. lol So, I thought to just quickly check the time, and peeked at my fitness tracker just to be certain it wasn’t 3:45 or some shit, in which case, I’d generally just get up. 5:54 am. Huh.

5:54 am??!Β Holy shit – how is it 5:54 am?? My alarm! It didn’t go off? No, no… I didn’t set it!Β Shit. SHIT. I’m running late for work! Fucking hell!! I’m immediately out of bed. In seconds I am mostly dressed. Hell, I have decided on sandals instead of socks and hiking boots, before I’ve finished quickly brushing my hair and teeth. Work badge. Car keys. My most efficient and compact EDC (“everyday day carry” – the essentials): driver’s license tucked into my card case, tucked into my pocket. My medication! Back to the bathroom. Almost ready. …I’ll email the office from the car, while it warms up… I remind myself to breathe, to slow my pace; I’m just about ready to go. I can get coffee on the way… It’s 6:06 am.

In the quick sweep, room to room, before I head out the door, I notice the cash on the dining room table (I rarely carry cash unless I am specifically going to a market or event where cards are not reliably accepted) and pick it up to put it in my pocket. I am reminded, as I do so, that I was going to a weekend market on Sunday… that’s what the cash is for.

…on Sunday.

…on. Sunday. …

… … …

Omg.

I stop in my tracks. My head begins to clear. It is Sunday. Right now. Sunday. Sunday morning. One of only two days I can sleep in, most weeks. lol Fucking Sunday. I do not need to be up at 4:00 am. 5:54 am is not “over-sleeping” anything at all, and I am not needed or expected in the office today. I deliberately did not set my alarm because I did not need to be up at a specific time. Fucking hell. I am, however, entirely awake, in the sense that I’m not going to be able to go back to sleep now.

I take a deep breath. I make coffee. I kick off my sandals. I take off my work badge. I hang my car keys on the hook inside the kitchen, just by the door. Another deep breath. Another. I give myself over to self-care, and things like getting my heart rate down, and regaining some perspective. “Overdrive” is intense. lol

This is not actually a novel experience for me, and I consider it a form of sleep disturbance, myself; getting unstuck from time such that I am quite convinced it is a different day/moment/time than it actually is, specifically as a byproduct of dreaming it is so, or not being awake enough to recognize when I actually am, and panicking, committing to the unnoticed error, and taking urgent-seeming actions. It’s all very real… and then, eventually, something alerts me of the mistake, and I can get myself sorted out. One reliable consequence? I can’t get back to sleep.

This “coming unstuck in time” thing is not a frequent thing to come up, but when it does, it is intense, and holds the potential to disrupt 100% of all the lives sharing my space in that moment – because I’m not actually fully awake, just on high alert – and autopilot – and I don’t manage limits, boundaries, and interactions very well in that state. I will wake everyone else up and urge them also into action, fairly…um… “enthusiastically”, so firm is my commitment to my experience in that moment. It’s my reality, until I know better. Inconvenient.

I’m pretty pleased with figuring it out before I left for the office. I’m most definitely capable of driving in that condition – but my judgement and understanding of my perceptions is impaired. It’s likely that the “easy commute” would not have been enough to correct my misperceptions. I’m feeling pretty grateful that I made a point to get cash for the market yesterday – usually I just do it on my way, on Sunday. LOL

Well, shit. Now I’m awake though. Early for a Sunday morning. Good cup of coffee, made with loving hands, and an amused smile. I’m not taking this weirdness personally. No need. It’s just a thing. The moment is already behind me.

Time to begin again. πŸ˜‰ I’ll start with enjoying this coffee…

 

Yesterday was weird. I was angry all day; I’m a women, living in a nation that does not respect or value women, facing the possible Supreme Court appointment of an accused rapist. Well, shit. We’ve already got that very same sort ofΒ grotesquerie seated in the Whitehouse, and unknown, uncounted, unacknowledged numbers of that very same bullshit in our Congress, the Senate, our government agencies, our workplaces, and yes, even in some of our homes. Don’t be afraid to feel angry; this shit is worth our anger.

Be angry.

Vote.

Anger is weird toxic shit, though. As with a proper fairytale curse, it inevitably spills back in some way on the deliverer. We carry our anger in secret – problematic – then explode – inappropriate, ineffective, and generally the consequences are unpleasant. We end up doing a lot of “damage control” and repairing our angry words with excessive apologies, even pleading, and submissive posturing. We could do better with our anger. We can learn to be more skillfully, relentlessly, effectively angry. I’m not there yet – but I believe in the possibility, and the helpful folks of the rich white guy frat boy club currently holding office are totally here to help; they are keeping me seriously angry. I’m getting lots of practice.

One challenge is holding focus and keeping my anger relevant, limited, and correctly directed where it belongs. Preventing my anger from spilling over everywhere, into every relationship, is sometimes hard. The lines between actual harms, and perceived slights, become blurry. Anger is powerful shit. Wielding it skillfully tends not to come very naturally to me after a lifetime of being told I can’t have mine, that it’s not appropriate to express my anger, that my anger is unreasonable… being told for a lifetime to stop talking, to sit down and shut up, to restrain myself… being shouted down and talked over, for a lifetime, in most relationships (whether work or professional)… the underlying chronic persistent repression, being robbed of personal agency, being provided a restricted set of human and civil rights (just for lacking a penis, for fucks’ sake)… Yep. Harnessing that massive seething roiling pent-up body of lifetime rage and very carefully directing just so, at a particular moment or movement or person… is fucking hard.

One challenge is not being convinced, by those well-meaning loved ones inconvenienced by – or frightened of – my anger, to dim my light, to mute my voice, to stifle my rage. Rage is scary shit. I’m keeping mine, thanks. I’m fucking angry. I’m not going to shut up about it. You can walk on if that’s a problem for you. I’m okay with that.

No yelling though. No yelling in the house. No yelling in the morning. No yelling in frustration. Just… no yelling. Yelling is triggering, and generally, once a person is reduced to yelling, no communicating is happening at all. Knock that shit off. It’s not useful.

Seriously. Man or women. No fucking yelling. Take a deep breath. Give yourself a moment to calm the fuck down, and try again – without yelling.

I want to live my life well and beautifully. I want to enjoy moments. I want to indulge in life’s pleasures. I want great conversation, with close friends, and people who care passionately about things in life that also matter to me. I want to enjoy lovely emotionally relevant art. I want to feel joyous and empowered. I want to approach my life as a journey that belongs wholly to me. I don’t want to be swamped by my anger. I don’t want to be incapacitated or overwhelmed by it. I don’t want it to become a festering wound that deepens over time. There is much to consider.

I sip my coffee and consider it.

I sip my coffee and consider the friendship of women, too. So many of us struggle with that; women have been divided, often. Women are powerful together. It’s time we reach out more easily to each other. Forge lifetime friendships that support, encourage, nurture – and take back our world. πŸ™‚

Last night I enjoyed the company of two women. One I’d met before, briefly, and one I had not met previously. Women of great heart and emotional depth. Women with something to say about themselves, and about life. Women with a trajectory – a vision of their desired future. Women who care. Women who laugh. Women who “get it”. We had a great evening of conversation. We were authentic and vulnerable. We were real and frank, and funny. We forgot to go to dinner. We overlooked the time. We talked – continuously, delightedly, eagerly – in that very specific way that generally leads to, in other homes, on other evenings, some man breaking in to announce he “can’t get a word in edgewise”, or to make a “playful” accusation that we talk to much, or to request some service or task that he could easily handle himself, or to point out that we are “chattering away” in some dismissive tone – as if our words with each other matter less than our willingness to put our attention on him. I am so fucking done with that. (Keep up, bruh, or listen politely and maybe learn something.)

This Kavanaugh bullshit has gotten me – a lot of women – pretty angry. We don’t feel heard. We don’t feel supported. It’s become too hard to avoid recognizing that women are specifically not valued, and are specifically perceived as property, even now, and even by the men in the fucking government (why the fuck have we elected this??). It’s hard. So… I converse. I converse with women. I’m not making any particular effort in those moments of conversation to make room for the care and consideration of men; I need to be heard. I also need to be educated… or… un-indoctrinated, at least.Β So I’m also reading. The titles are very telling, I suppose: “Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny“, “Rage Becomes Her“, “Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower“… I am clearly not alone in my anger. I have spent far too long on the words of men. For balance, though, I’m also keeping “Resilient:Β How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness” close at hand. I do seek balance. Utility. Function. Effectiveness. I am not looking to loose the wild anger of my ancient pain on the world – just see through some changes that would improve the world for women, and thereby for all of us.

If you’re a man hoping to be some part of some sort of solution, listening is a good starting point. Really listening. Making room to understand that we (women) are having a very different experience of life than you are. (Please don’t push back on this with some sort of statement about your experience and your needs; we fucking know already, we live that reality for you every fucking day, it is part of our daily indoctrination, and even our formal educations. Knock it off for a bit, okay? That’s specifically the ask here; give us a moment of your time, really. Authentically. Listen deeply. Hear us.)

Enough with that. I’ve probably said enough. πŸ™‚

This morning is lovely and quiet, following a merry evening of lively conversation with beautiful well-spoken women. Powerful. I enjoy my coffee smiling quietly. It’s a good morning. I feel content, and whole. I am aware of my anger in the background – it does not rob me of this lovely quiet moment. It’s an extraordinary place to be with myself. I’ve come a long way as a woman, and as a human being, over the past couple years, and this feels like a reward for a lot of committed focused effort to be the woman, the person, I most want to be. I eagerly look ahead to seeing my Traveling Partner sometime soon, and sharing his energy, here, in this lovely space. We’re good together, and it feels good to be supported, valued, nurtured… Fuck. I miss him.Β  πŸ™‚ I’m betting that this visit won’t find my anger crowding out my love; there is room for all my emotions to exist in my experience. I am a human being – a creature of both emotion and reason.

“Emotion and Reason” 18″ x 24″ acrylic w/ceramic and glow details, 2012

It’s time to begin again. It’s time to change the world. ❀

Yesterday was hard. Just watching the world watching the Kavanaugh confirmation stuff going on was sufficiently painful to make for a difficult day. He’ll probably be confirmed. It’s a damning indictment against all of us, and this world we’ve built. Seriously. (I’m quite serious.)

…Which leads my morning musings elsewhere, because there’s more meat on this bone than one man’s plum lifetime government appointed gig; it’s about all of us. It’s about the way we listen. It’s about the way we treat others in their moments of pain, grief, and stress. It’s about how readily and easily we dismiss the concerns of others, most especially if we don’t experience life the same way, or suffer with the same disadvantages. It’s about privilege, and the dichotomy of having it versus not having it, and how confusing the chrysanthemum flower Venn diagram of privilege actually is, with its overlaps, and intersections. It’s about how little we care about the pain of strangers, and how quickly we minimize the pain of loved ones because (although we likely mean well) it is uncomfortable to share it.

Be considerate. Listen deeply. Understand that the experiences of others may not be your own – and that this does not invalidate those experiences! It’s less about trusting their narratives, and much less about their veracity and your willingness to believe, and so much about “basic human decency” and being considerate, just generally. I’m saying we could all do better on this one, and that we all do well to make the attempt.

I’m pretty fucking done with angry men shouting me down. I’m pretty fucking done with angry men deciding what my truth is. I’m pretty fucking done with being dismissed, diminished, shouted down, talked over, or patronized. I’m done with a whole fuck ton of bullshit. I’m pretty fucking angry, myself. So… what am I going to do about any of it? Well… I’ll for sure be voting. That’s one thing I can do. Speaking truth to power is another. Refusing to soften my tone, or yield my position, these are also things I can do. Already am. All those things. Still… I could do those things more skillfully, I’m sure.

It’s time, then, to begin again? Isn’t it always? πŸ™‚

I’m laughing. It’s still morning. I’m barely awake.

(I don’t actually really laugh, out loud, like, actually laughing laughing very often at all, and most often when I do it is at that ragged edge of hysteria, so this, for me is a real treat, to be just laughing, quite wholesomely and happily, with real delight.)

Still chuckling – over a website. A shopping website, in fact. An online point of sale for merchandise. No kidding.Β https://dicksbymail.com/ I stumbled on it as a link in a post in my feed this morning; not an ad, just a friend’s picture (I think… It’s getting harder to tell, more often).

Still laughing.

Yeah, there are definitely one or two folks in recent memory I would delightedly tell to “eat a bag of dicks”. Omg – and maybe I could send something “tasteful” to the Whitehouse? πŸ˜€

Still sitting here grinning and feeling quite alive and merry. It’s a good feeling. Go get some! πŸ™‚

Humor –Β  amusement – is a wonderful way to connect with people, and enjoy a shared moment (don’t be mean, that shit’s not actually funny, and you could break someone’s heart with that). I feel light and relieved of stress and hopeful… and merry. “Merry” may be one of my favorite emotions; as with contentment, it’s one that can be worked at quite directly with good success. Life feeling, in turns, quite content, and quite merry, would be amazing – even if I never actually felt something I would be inclined to call “happy”.

The resulting feeling of hopefulness and being uplifted is a great start to a new day. I think I’ll make my new beginning right here. πŸ˜€

Yesterday was a good one. Productive at work, minimum hassles, an easy commute in both directions, a comfortably chill evening that was also an evening on which I got a few things done; it was lovely.

I sit sipping my coffee and considering it, smiling, feeling content. It’s not that it’s some specific requirement to give yesterday more time, today; it’s just a great practice to make time to savor good moments. Doing so regularly has the power to slowly rewire my brain to be more easily able to bounce back from stress, to live in the context of implicit recollection (and limited certainty) that more difficult moments will be quite temporary, and that life is, generally, good. I have found it a highly effective practice, and along with practicing explicit willful gratitude, it is a practice that has taken me a long way from those dark days, well behind me now, of being mired in past trauma and present stress.

The day begin most delightfully with a ludicrously easy commute. I hit all the lights green. There just wasn’t anyone in front of me. It was… relaxed. There was that big full moon in the sky. It was quite pleasant and utterly stress free. I got into the office, got the work day started, and noticed that big beautiful moon sinking low over the city. I made time for that moment, right then and there, and alerted a camera-toting coworker of the opportunity to grab a couple cool city shots, each of us, sharing that experience with each other. It was fun. A great way to take a break.

One lovely moment. One beautiful city.

The day continued from that point, a series of moments, a series of opportunities, a series of choices. It was a very good day. The evening, and even the commute home, was equally pleasant, and, yes, productive. I managed to get a few things done before yielding to fatigue and arthritis pain, and those things were more merely the end of a day, than any hardship. Balance. It was… worth remembering. πŸ™‚

So, I sit here with my coffee smiling. One nice thing about such an extraordinarily pleasant day? I experienced that, which means it can occur, and if it can occur, and has occurred at least once previously, it could occur again, making it all quite possible. I like that idea. πŸ™‚ It wholly undermines that annoying experience that is characteristic of despair – the feeling that nothing good can come of anything we say or do, and that only bad outcomes truly exist, and well, fuck… then why bother, at all, it’s only misery and more misery, anyway? Yeah. Not pleasant. Also – not true. πŸ˜€ I can do better.

I notice the time. I finish my coffee. The day awaits, and it is time to begin again. πŸ˜€