Here we are. Another opportunity to live life with intention. Sounds pretty cool, a little trendy. Modern buzzwords amuse me. I sip my (iced) coffee, and make room for a moment of gratitude; I didn’t sleep well, and my Traveling Partner also missed out on good sleep last night – we still shared a few pleasant minutes over morning coffee together. That’s precious time – it’s not a given that we’ll always be here together. Change is. Misfortunes and tragedies do occur. Life does throw some curveballs. We face our circumstances, and make our choices – our results are going to vary. Maybe a lot. Maybe not in good ways.

…How well we deal with misfortune, adversity, and change, are a large part of our success (or failure) at living well (and just maybe finding happiness). It’s not about the successes and joys so much as it is “how do I deal with this terrible shit??”

So this morning, I’m taking my time really waking up and starting the day. Sipping my coffee happy that I have coffee to sip, and pausing to wonder if I’m making the best choice of coffee beans – can I make choices that are less likely to support a corrupt or exploitative system in which profiteering prevents farmers and workers from living their best lives? Small choices can make big differences. Our choices matter. Even the small ones.

I breathe, exhale, and find myself – instead of relaxing – fighting the pain of my arthritis on a sunny morning. I repeat the exercise: breathe, exhale, relax. I do it again. I keep at it until my first thought/sensation following that exhalation is anything at all other than pain. Small successes matter. I’m still in pain, but now I’m actually breathing comfortably instead of taking shallow breaths stiffened against the pain I’m in. That’s something.

…60 is approaching quickly. I keep finding myself thinking about family, friends and comrades-at-arms with whom I won’t be celebrating – because they’re gone. Just, like, for real gone. Dead. The permanent kind of gone. More than a few missing faces. Gloomy. I don’t know why my mind keeps wandering this path. Feeling my years, maybe? It’s been an interesting life thus far… I’ve seen some things. Done some things. Experienced some things. Some of it good. A lot of it. More good than not.

…I hold on to that thought, “more good than not”…

It’s time to begin again.