Archives for the month of: February, 2023

I am sipping my morning coffee. It’s already mostly gone cold before I ever thought to put a sentence together, this morning. I started the morning thinking about far away friends, and the vagaries of the job market, and the likelihood of further lay-offs, and the nature of greed. That was pretty grim shit, and I shifted gears as a responsible adult, and did my payday budget and sent that to my Traveling Partner for his review and contribution to our planning and “household wellness”; his suggestions and planning are an important part of us getting where we are together. It’s a team effort. A partnership. Once that was done, I found myself still feeling restless and distracted, with elevated background anxiety lurking in the general “quality of the day”.

…It was as I typed those words that I noticed; I’m not “here and now”, just now – I’m “then”. Some of it is old baggage, and I’m snagged on some past moment. Other details are the pitfalls of worrying over a future that is not now. Doesn’t even matter whether it ever will be; I’m all over the worrying about it, already, well ahead of any need to do so. lol Fucking hell.

I take a breath. Then another. I let my shoulders relax. I drink some water. Another breath. I exhale, relax. I get up and stretch for a moment, breathing. I walk over to the windows and look out, down “main street”, taking in the sparkle of the lights that festoon the trees, and the way they are reflected off the wet pavement. The morning is relatively mild, for February. The snow is gone. I step outside, breathe the fresh cold morning air, and feel the hint of a chill that immediately begins to soak into me. I breathe. Exhale. See the fog of my breath expand and dissipate. I relax, again. I repeat the experience, before I return to my desk. Better.

Here. Now. Just this.

It’s time to begin again.

Another day. Specifically, another Monday. I’m not feeling blue about it, but I’m also not facing the day eagerly. I’m tired. Another night of marginally shitty sleep. I sit quietly at my desk in the empty co-work space, listening to artificial rain fall in the background. The sound of rain mingles with the sound of the heat and ventilation. Together, the sounds let me forget my tinnitus for a little while, which is pleasant. The coffee is… ordinary office coffee brewed by way of K-cups – not my first choice, honestly, but it’s here, convenient, and hot. It’ll help wake me up and get the day going.

It was a strange weekend. Not bad. Not great. Just … a couple days off. Nothing much really stands out about the weekend, aside from the shitty sleep I had (and that my partner also had). I’d very much like to move on from that.

I did get some studio time later in the day on Sunday. That was nice. Good weekend for it. Most of the rest of the weekend is a blur. Unremarkable, and little to say about it. And that’s 100% okay; most days (and experiences) are rather average, and may not be all that noteworthy. The persistent struggle to create notable events to discuss out of utterly mundane experiences that are entirely adequate (even pleasant) exactly as they are is not a helpful, useful, or positive quality. Maybe let that go? lol It’s a lot of work to try to make everything in life sound “amazing”. Some of life’s events (most of them, probably) aren’t all that exciting or share-worthy. Let that go and just enjoy the moments as they are. Easier.

I sip my coffee, reflecting on the incomplete work left drying in my studio. It’s nice to know it’s safe sitting there, ready for me to come back to it… whenever. Soon the work day will begin, and then it’ll be routines and meetings and agendas and task processing and reports. More mundanity. I don’t need any of that to be “exciting” – it has other valuable qualities in my experience of being human. 🙂

Pain was a bigger deal this past weekend than I’d have preferred. It got in the way of long walks (well, so did the cold morning temperatures, just wasn’t a great weekend for walking or hiking, in my opinion). It got in the way of romance (it’s hard even to want to cuddle when my pain flares up beyond a certain point). My Traveling Partner was hurting, too, having wrenched his elbow painfully on… was it Friday? I think so. It was still bothering him yesterday.

I made a point to meditate regularly and to do my PT stuff reliably. I figure either of those things have some potential to mitigate pain, so why would I not do them? I can’t report any major success, though I suppose it could have been much worse than it was. Hard to know how much good the meditation or PT really did me. I know it does help some, though, and more over time, so best to stick with it until I get those more lasting results. Sometimes that’s really what it’s about, you know? Patience, persistence, and practicing what we want to see become our default, until it does. 🙂

…What are you practicing?…

My Traveling Partner pings me about a package that hasn’t arrived. His ability to complete a work project is impaired by lack of a tool he ordered with expectations it would be delivered more than a week ago. He has an alternate solution in mind, and asks for my help. I eagerly agree to run an errand a little later that will help get him back on track in the shop. I like feeling useful, and my mood is a bit lifted as a result, in spite of my lack of restful sleep. Win! I “fill my tank” on the feeling of being there for my partner in a helpful way, and find myself hoping it will similarly boost his mood to have that support. We’re in this together, you know?

I sigh and look at the time. The work day commences (based on my calendar and planning) in just about two minutes. Enough time to finish my coffee, before I begin again. 🙂

I’m tired. My Traveling Partner is tired. Neither of us slept well last night. It is what it is. I am working my ass off to avoid taking it personally (because, frankly, it isn’t at all personal). I’m tired, though. Cross. Less than ideally clear-headed. Struggling with pain and with “brain fog” (of the fatigue variety). I rather carelessly add chocolate to my second coffee, muttering something to myself about “dementors”, and take it into my studio to “do things with art”.

The recent snow is already mostly gone. I got some quick snapshots of it while it was fresh…

Just a picture of snow and trees, and blue skies.

I have this picture on one monitor, and on the other, I write, and listen to a video – some other artist, talking through how she does her thing. Fascinating. Inspiring.

…I’m so tired…

My Traveling Partner sticks his head into the studio and checks in on me. He’s kind and supportive, and maybe a bit “careful”. I’m okay with that; it’s evident that he does care, very much. We hang out for a few minutes. He asks how the art is going. I talk about an artist whose work I’m finding very inspiring today. He tells me he’s glad I’m in the studio, and that he sees how good it is for me to be working creatively. I feel visible and “heard”, in spite of my fatigue, moodiness, and potential irritability. I feel loved.

It’s unfortunate that we both have PTSD complicating our life together. It’s shitty that we each have sleep challenges – my own lifelong challenges, his challenges mostly to do with how mine affect me (and my snoring, just being real). When we both have a bad night, on the same night, it doesn’t much matter how good recent other nights have been, or that we were well-rested immediately prior – it’s just fucking hard. It’s easy – too easy – to be angry about it, and for that anger to become directed at this human being we love. Hard to “let it go”. Hard to stay confident there is no element of willful behavior to it. Hard to maintain a position of “non attachment” and to remain aware that it’s temporary. I sip my coffee – I’m already over it. The coffee, I mean. The rest of this shit still plagues me in quite a persistent human way.

I have headphones on as if I were listening to music. lol I’m not. I’m just… wearing headphones. I don’t think I’d even meant to put music on at all. I’m just quieting the world around me as much as I am able to do. It helps. Some days, particularly when I am fatigued or irritable, my noise sensitivity is just… ridiculous. Like, literally something I feel compelled to ridicule. It’s bad on this whole “how is this even a thing??” level.

I breathe. Sip my coffee (which I’m over, and wishing I had just poured a glass of water). Pull myself upright again, having noticed I had begun to slump. Fatigue nearly always also means heightened physical pain. I’m not sure it’s actually worse, or if I just lack the resilience to disregard the same pain I routinely push into the background. Pain sucks. You know what though? It’s not just me. My Traveling Partner too. Probably you, too, or someone you love. Eventually definitely you, too. All of us. We are mortal creatures. lol

I sigh out loud and call this “good enough”. My Traveling Partner asks me to give him a ride to a place. He doesn’t really need me for that, so I figure he’s just inviting me along. That’s sweet. I breathe. Relax. Begin again.

I sip my coffee and breathe. It’s morning. I’m awake. The workday has not yet started. I sit quietly, not exactly doing anything, not exactly waiting, just… being. It’s a pleasant moment.

I make a point to enjoy this quiet moment while it lasts. I reflect on the lovely long weekend spent in the company of my Traveling Partner, and in my studio painting. It was pretty splendid. I can’t recall a single harsh word between us, or moment of vexing miscommunication – it was pretty excellent, and I’m enjoying thinking back on time well-spent.

Individual moments, whole days, and even weekends, often don’t live up to expectations, that’s just real. Very human, too. I make a point of lingering on the recollections of the excellent weekend behind me, and “filling up my heart” on the delightful days painting, and on the shared moments with my partner. We are mortal creatures, and there is no knowing how long our joys (or sorrows) may last.

I breathe in deeply, and sigh as I exhale. I haven’t yet looked at the news. It’s probably the usual mish-mash of chaos and horror, with a hearty helping of human greed on the side. I grimly think, for a moment, that humanity is a pretty serious disappointment, generally, and perhaps a “do over” is warranted…? No way to begin a new day, and I shake it off with another sip of coffee and a lingering glance at the dawn unfolding beyond the window.

Over the weekend, I sent emails to several dear (and far away) friends. I was feeling a bit “out of touch” and distant, so reaching out seemed the thing to do. It was lovely to hear from old friends. I made a mental note to stay in touch more skillfully. Friends are a treasure beyond price; the handful of deep lasting friendships I have are for sure worth preserving. We’ve all been through a lot. Some of it together.

Today seems like a good day to catch up on things. A good day to reach out to an old friend. A good day to finish a project. A good day to follow up on loose ends. A good day to make plans. A good day to begin again. 🙂

I’m sipping coffee and thinking things over. I’m considering ideas other than my own. I’m exploring perspectives outside my day-to-day. Asking questions, considering answers… It’s a worthwhile way to spend some time. Learning.

It’s President’s Day… If that’s your jam, here’s an excellent source of information about presidents, generally. 😀

Maybe you’re feeling more introspective today? Turning inward a bit more? Thinking about how to be the best version of yourself you’re able to be? This is a good one for that kind of day. 😀

I’m just saying, sometimes it’s a good idea to get someone else’s thoughts on a subject, some useful perspective, instead of just ruminating over your own endlessly spiraling unproductive internal drama. I mean, if that’s a thing you do. 😉

…Or… You could just begin again. Seems like a nice day for it. 😀