Archives for the month of: September, 2019

I took some time off. I needed the break from routine, and even from distractions. I just needed some real rest. 🙂 For some reason, I haven’t been sleeping more than 4-5 hours a night, with rare exceptions, for weeks. I was losing the ability to easily keep track of details, and reminders were becoming a necessity on a whole other rather critical level that feels uncomfortable – and sometimes “weak”.

…So… time off? Yep. That’s the plan. It’s also been uncomfortable to manage the day-to-day distractions; my brain is so used to be busy at maximum intensity that not only is my sleep disturbed by it, but also, my every waking moment I also seem to be racing to grasp the next distraction – no time to waste! Hurry! See that?!? What’s that?! And that over there – do I know what that is?? Have I read that article? Am I up-to-date on this new crisis? Have I overlooked a detail? What am I forgetting!?? Distracted and pressed for time have been becoming my default settings – which is neither helpful, nor healthy. So. Definitely some time off, but also… some down time. Properly taking time – real, slow, committed, undistracted time – for myself. To slow down. To unwind. To listen to the breeze, and the sound of raindrops pattering on the deck… for hours. Put down the email. Turn off the tv. Cease the ceaseless conversation – for at least a little while.

Brunch with a friend, perhaps…? Thanks, no, I’m “busy” not doing that, for a couple days.

Want to go to this movie…? Um, no, I can catch it streaming at home, some other time.

What about work email?! Don’t want to fall behind on… Yeah, no. I’m explicitly turning work off for 4 days. Off. Completely off.

Well, but there’s this thing you’ve just got to see/do/experience… Nope. I’m good, thanks. It’ll be there later on, or… not. No “FOMO” here; I am focusing the quality of the life I have right now, just as it is. 🙂 It’s enough.

So, yeah. I haven’t been posting anything to Instagram (the only social media account I still have). I haven’t been “staying caught up” on my email, or the news, or the latest whatever that folks are wound up about. I’m just chilling at home with my Traveling Partner, gently, joyfully, calmly. It’s nice. Pleasant. Relaxed – and relaxing. Most of yesterday was spent in defiance of the busy-ness of the days prior to that; we hung out, listening to music, enjoying our morning coffee together, whiling away the hours content in each other’s good company, without any other agenda. Super chill. I don’t know how I could have spent the first day of this long chill weekend any better than that. I even managed to sleep in, yesterday. The entire day was spent present, aware, connected, and enjoying each moment without feeling any need to race “productively” to the next.

This morning, a new day begins. I’m awake earlier. A vague sensation that I’d meant to do something specific today nags at me, but I’ve reviewed the budget (it’s a payday, so that’s a thing I do), took a look at upcoming bills, and accounted for expenses we’d discussed being part of this pay cycle, before moving on. I guess maybe I mean to go grocery shopping, and since I’m sitting here drinking coffee, the lurking desire to also shop feels like a weight on my consciousness… damn, I’ve needed a proper break.

So, yeah… that’s what I’m up to, right now, taking care of myself and this fragile mortal vessel, by getting some down time. Maybe I write… maybe I don’t. I recommend it. 😉

It’s time to begin again… gently. 🙂

My tinnitus is bad this morning. I’ve got headphones on, no music playing, just sort of… seeking quiet. Doesn’t matter; the shimmering, ringing, chiming, faint high-pitched whine that persists in my ears 24/7 is notably loud this morning. I hear more than one frequency, more than one tone, various “noises” – a cacophony of background noise that never really lets up.

…I have another sip of my coffee, and look for YouTube content to distract me from the ringing in my ears. Listening to the tinnitus, itself, is a poor practice; as I begin to focus on it, over time, it becomes harder to hear anything else. A function of attention, perhaps, more than volume. Distractions help, some.

I notice the time, earlier than “usual” – more properly, earlier than the alarm was set. My Traveling Partner’s restless night woke me early, and rather than fight the inevitable, I just went ahead and got up. More time in the small gym at the office, I suppose. The exercise is healthy, and I value the opportunity. For now, I just chill here, with the ringing in my ears, drinking my coffee.

It’ll be time to begin again, soon enough. This moment, here, now, seems well-suited to meditation. I find something to drown out the ringing in my ears… this will do nicely. 🙂

With the return of the rain, I have a sense that autumn approaches; seasons change.

The weekend was relaxed and joyful. A nice kind of weekend to have, and I enjoyed it. This morning – a Monday – it’s time to “begin again”, in the specific sense of returning to work routines with long-standing value, practicing those work practices that begin and complete the week, fulfilling the promise of my role. In other words – time to get back to work. 🙂

The trip down to the “home office” was worthwhile. I learned a lot, helped out some, and got things done. Still, it also through off most of my careful planning and everyday routines. A “positive disruption”, in a manner of speaking.

…I definitely needed a weekend with which to relax, recharge, and think things over. Now that I’ve had that, it’s time to make use of the the knowledge gained during the time spent away.

Definitely.

I double-check my backpack while I make my coffee. A few things get taken out. A couple things get put back in. I find my badge to get in and out of the office. Practical details. I consider the morning commute… drive? Light rail? I sip my coffee. I remind myself to take out the trash on my way out this morning. Generally speaking, a very ordinary morning… it’s enough. I don’t need anything fancy to begin a great day. 🙂

…For some reason, prosciutto with melon crosses my mind, along with thickly cut, crispy, locally produced bacon, and a mimosa made with fresh squeezed juice of delicious sumo tangerines, crosses my mind. My idea of “fancy in the morning”, perhaps? I giggle quietly to myself, sip my coffee, and take a moment to appreciate what a delightful and wily “brain attack” that bit of imagination is. It could render me entirely discontent, envying what I don’t have in front of me in the moment, and send me seeking things, and stuff… it didn’t, but it could have. lol  I sip my utterly average cup of morning coffee. I’m okay with it, just as it is; it’s enough. Sufficiency. Pretty powerful if I allow it to be.

I sit for some minutes, contemplating sufficiency, perspective, and the meaning of “having enough”, and sipping coffee. My next glance at the clock reminds me it’s time to begin again. 🙂

I woke to the sound of rain. It’s the sort of steady rain of well-separated medium-sized raindrops that keeps the pavement looking soaked, and the air smelling fresh, without every becoming a downpour. I made coffee, standing at the kitchen window, staring out past the driveway to the street beyond, not really watching the cars go by, still half-wrapped in sleep, not quite awake, yet. I’d considered sitting down and reading some news articles while I waited for water to boil (I like a “pour over” in the morning)… decided it against it, after glancing at headlines. I am not ready for the cesspool that is “newsworthy” humanity, before my coffee. lol

California was more or less “as advertised”, generally in a pleasant way.

I got home far more easily, with fewer moments of stress, and a much more enjoyable (quiet) flight. I wondered later if time of day was something to have considered when I made the plans (the unpleasant flight to LAX was late afternoon, getting me there by 6:30 pm, the flight home to PDX departed from LAX at close to 8:00 pm, and we did not land until well-past 10:00 pm)? There were no chatterboxes or fussy children on the flight home; it was filled with quieter people, traveling purposefully, and keeping to themselves. I chuckle to myself as I read back these past couple of sentences; how much of my experience was actually just… me? Something to consider, too.

I missed my roses while I was away.

My homecoming was pleasant, relaxed, easy; we missed each other, we welcome each other with open arms, and smiles, with appreciation, and gratitude. Friday was very busy, and I’d forgotten to grab the power cord for my laptop when I returned to the hotel Thursday evening. The low battery, and the need to pack with care before work that morning, resulted in letting go my usual “best time” to write. Yesterday? Yesterday was mine to cherish, a sweet day of leisure and romance with my Traveling Partner, time to catch up, time to enjoy each other, time to spend together. I didn’t write, yesterday, because it is most definitely a solitary activity that takes my presence away from my partner’s experience, and on a day we choose for deliberately enjoying each other, sharing our time, our love, and our presence, that would be sort of rude, wouldn’t it? 🙂

…It feels like life is settling into a useful cadence of work and life and love, as the months together go by. Was it January he moved in with me? Or December, before the Yule holidays? I don’t remember now; it feels as if we’ve never been separated by different addresses, at all. 🙂

I arrived home to a lovely, tidy, welcoming, orderly, aesthetically pleasing home that very much looks like I live here. That makes sense – I do. 😀 I very much appreciate that I have my partners help with all the housekeeping and household maintenance – it makes for a wonderful shared experience. I notice a few things that are “better than I left it”, and remind myself to level up to better household care, on those tasks, myself. When everyone works, and the work is shared such that each person is valued, the quantity of work is equitable, and the effort is reciprocal, there is no room for resentment, or hurt feelings, over housework. 😀

Signs of autumn approaching begin to turn up in the garden on the deck…and also, a baby praying mantis or two, that have survived long enough to be easily noticed.

Another lovely day begins right here, listening to the rain fall. I feel like walking, although my arthritis flared up with the coming of the rain. I consider the day ahead… visit a nearby farmer’s market… run an errand or two, perhaps… get ready for the work week ahead… It’s an ordinary enough Sunday, pleasant, and relaxed. These are the qualities I am choosing, and choosing to foster, to build, to nurture, to act upon. Beginning again is a willful thing, a considered, deliberate reset, not merely the tick of a clock from one moment to the next; there are choices to make, and verbs to act upon. 🙂 My results may vary…

…None of that stops me; it’s still time to begin again. 🙂

I woke to the alarm, switched it off, and lay quietly for some time, eyes open, lingering in that place between waking from a deep slumber, and truly being “awake”. It feels luxurious to be so deeply well-rested. Savoring that moment of unfolding realization that, indeed, I am “well-rested” this morning was so worth the time (and risk of falling back to sleep). 🙂 The hotel in-room drip coffee tastes delicious this morning; it is flavored with contentment, and a sense of satisfaction. No idea why this particular morning feels so good, but I’m not going to argue with it.

LA dawn, poolside breakfast.

…I’m looking forward to breakfast. It was a very good start to my day, yesterday…

Considering the stress involved in my arrival, on Tuesday evening, this has been a remarkably pleasant and productive trip so far. My time feels well-spent. I feel valued and appreciated by colleagues. I’m getting things done that I’d felt were needful, and that feels very satisfying.

LA, itself, is a strange place to find myself. lol It has a polished weirdness and vaguely persistent feeling of artifice that is hard to “see through”. Yesterday morning, I watched a woman twirling on her balcony… which seemed even more peculiar when it became clear it was part of her morning workout. On my way to work, I walked past a tv show being made, which only heightened the sense of artifice that seems to permeate this area of the city. Maybe it isn’t this way everywhere in LA? Even the homeless people, at least in this particular neighborhood, seem to take their lives to the level of “craft”; their pitches are fairly similar to the approach a carnie might take, trying to bring passers-by to their schtick, before packing up and moving on to the next city. It rises to the level of performance art… definitely weird. People in the office discussed the latest “cleanse”, and seemed to be fairly serious about it. I managed not to smirk at anyone over these details; people choose the lives they live, and it’s not really for me to choose for anyone else. My teal-blue-aqua hair got more stares in LA than it ever does in Portland, which struck me as seriously humorous. However seriously silly LA sometimes strikes me, Portland is also fairly weird, and we’ve all got more in common with each other than we often care to notice. LA is, most assuredly, more… tan. lol

By the end of the day, I was surprisingly exhausted. Grand plans of walking to the marina or catching the sunset on the beach, or hanging out with local friends, or doing, really, anything at all not work-related, quickly gave way to a newly ambitious plan; having an adequate, healthy, meal, and going to bed. LOL 🙂 LA… you win. I can’t keep up. 😉

I got back to the room, put the phone on the charger and lay down “for a minute”, which became a couple hours. I got up, grabbed a bite of dinner, and returned to the room, feet aching. I took the time I needed for self-care: time in the hotel gym, a shower, meditation. I felt rested, at ease, and comfortable with myself. I thought about the contrast with my Las Vegas trip, a couple years ago, for a work conference. The self-care really matters. I exchanged a few words with my Traveling Partner – who is at home, while I travel – and read awhile, before sleep caught up with me, for real. It was a lovely day, overall. 🙂

…Here it is, time to begin again. Half an hour before breakfast will be served in the hotel restaurant. Another hour before I head to the office for another work day. I give thought to the plan for the day, and work ahead of me. I check the calendar and remind myself what day of the week it actually is (Thursday, as it happens). I contemplate making the world a better place, and what that really means – and requires. I think about narrowing that down to the work pieces, and how best to craft, nurture, and maintain a truly exceptional (and good) place to work. I sip my coffee. The day, so far, is off to a good start.

My thoughts touch on love and loving, and suddenly I feel a deep yearning ache, and I’m swamped by a moment of loneliness – I miss my partner. The words form in my thoughts, and bring tears to my eyes unexpectedly. I take deep, even, breaths, and soothe myself; it’s a short time away, really, and I’ll be home tomorrow evening. I finish my coffee, and dry my tears; it’s already time to begin again. 🙂