Archives for category: autumn

I don’t mean the icy mornings of autumn in my titular reference to “chill” – I mean that fully relaxed state of being in which self-awareness leads observation to a well-spring of contentment in non-attachment to specific outcomes. 🙂 The chill chill. Calm. Still. At ease.

…My coffee is long gone. My most recent break was little more than an excuse to take an Rx pain reliever. Headache. Arthritis. Tennis elbow? (Well, or something unreasonably similar.) The afternoon sunshine sneaks into the studio on an angle, illuminating a tissue box on my desk, beneath and behind my monitor(s), giving it seeming significance of some kind. It has none. It’s a trick of the light. Like this blog post; it has no import, no real gravitas, no significance, just… words. A moment. A break from routine. A few swallows of water, and a mental “reset button” pressed, moving on to another task. I am here, now. I am okay. Nothing to see here. Nothing much to share. Still…

…And I do mean “still”… I think about a friend’s recent observation that she is struggling to “get a minute of peace”. I think about other similar remarks from friends (and readers – I see you!). Me, too. Sometimes busy is far too busy, chaos is too chaotic, and breaks are a challenge to take properly. Have you tried this…? It’s a good starting point on finding that quiet moment, when quiet moments are hard to come by.

…It helps to have a good pair of headphones, too… 🙂

I pause and take my own advice for two minutes. I end up feeling more refreshed than I expect to…but also already looking forward to the end of the actual day, hours from now, when I can flop down onto my bed and just give in to fatigue quite completely. Taking more breaks, more skillfully, would probably really help with the enduring fatigue that has chased me down since daylight savings time ended. Damn I wish we’d get smarter and stop doing that.

…Work interrupts me interrupting work to grab a break. Yeah… this is more complicated than it looks, sometimes. I breathe. Exhale. Relax. I push my mind firmly off the work topic, and back to writing for a couple minutes. I know taking proper breaks results in more efficient (and faster, and more skillful) work… so I also find myself, often, wondering where the hell I got the reluctance to do it…? Strange, isn’t it? It’s such an important self-care detail, too. I wonder, also, if this bit of weirdness is cultural (unique to American workers?) or regional, or universal, or… and then I find that I’ve descended into yet another work “rabbit hole” – my field of endeavor being to do with how people work, and how much time things take, and how many people a task or job will require to do well… LOL Fuuuuuuck. This is hard. Clearly I need more practice…

…Only now it’s already time to begin (work) again. 😉

I’ve learned to find quiet moments almost anywhere that isn’t ridiculously noisy or busy. Handy. Sometimes I do find that I’ve got to search out that moment of quiet, or build it from unexpected circumstances, but now and then some perfectly lovely moment of quiet just happens to be where I am sitting.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I woke often. I returned to sleep with relative ease, mostly. I never felt wholly awake and alert (which might have made getting up make sense), and I didn’t feel particularly sleepy at the time (even immediately before falling asleep). “Wakeful” night. I seem to have managed to get enough rest, anyway. 🙂

There was this one quiet moment, during the night, that I sat contentedly, relaxing in the dim glow of the Giftmas tree lights, just enjoying that quiet moment. It was lovely. There was no pressure to do more, or do differently. No rush. No stress. Just quiet time, there in the holiday twilight alone, while my Traveling Partner slept on, in the bedroom. It was precious.

Today is lovely, too. Beautiful moments. A soak in the hot tub on a misty cold autumn morning. A quiet cup of coffee shared with my partner. A spontaneous exchange of yule gifts, because… why not? It was delightful. 🙂 The recollection of it still is.

I sit smiling in this quiet moment, retrieving joyful memories of other quiet moments. Enjoying joy through recalling joyful moments. Easy. (And yes, it’s a practice, and yes, there are verbs involved, and results may vary…but how pleasant to practice it? Why wouldn’t I? 😀 )

Here. Now. This is enough. I fill up on the joy and contentment, smiling. It’s the middle of a work day… time to begin again. 🙂

It’s a quiet Sunday after Thanksgiving in the time of pandemic. Weird year. I’m sipping the (cold) last dregs of my second coffee, and listening for the dryer to finish. Quite a routine sort of quiet Sunday; I’m doing housekeeping, and relaxing between tasks. There is ample time for meditation. There are opportunities for shared merriment. I hear the sound of aircraft taking off (or landing) from my Traveling Partner’s game room. I feel relaxed and at ease. Contented. Emotionally comfortable.

I sigh aloud. A sign of contentment and quiet joy. A sound that means, in this time and place, “I’m okay right now, and it’s enough.” I have not always had the good fortune, or decision-making, to be in this place. Feels good. I have been luxuriating in the wonder of it all weekend, and filling my soul up on its goodness. I don’t want to waste these moments by taking them for granted, or rushing them along, or failing to really properly savor these lovely moments. I have so much to be grateful for. I sit with my cold coffee, my gratitude, and this smile on my face, just enjoying the quiet.

The setting was simple, dinner for two, and a quiet holiday.

Thanksgiving came and went. Dinner was delicious, and compared to some years, quiet modest. We shared the cooking as well as the meal. Home-cooking. Together. It was fun. We’d each laid claim to the items we would prepare, in advance. No confusion. No fussing at each other. Just wholesome fun, intimacy, and love in the kitchen. It was splendid. Prime rib. Pumpkin pie. Everything made at home, in our own kitchen. It was lovely. Clean-up was orderly, and easily handled later in the evening. We shared that, too.

2020 has been a weird year. I’ve much to be grateful for, even so. This lovely home. This reliably supportive partnership. Love. Literacy. Hell, the basics, too: indoor plumbing, hot & cold running water, a well-stocked pantry, safe clean drinking water (I hope), a secure home in a friendly community, employment, leisure time, friends, family, places to go when the pandemic is behind us all… and hope. I’ve still got hope. I’m grateful for that, too.

There is also this lovely sunny Sunday ahead, and aside from a few housekeeping details I’d like to get done, it’s a good day for leisure time, well-spent, enjoyed on the things I find enjoyable. It doesn’t have to be fancy, expensive, or far from home. I’m good right here. This is enough.

I finish my coffee, and begin again. 🙂

I am sipping my coffee at leisure; I took today off. I know, sometimes it’s tough to sort out the days during a pandemic, working from home. Some folks may find “taking a day off” sort of pointless under those circumstances… I still find it pretty essential for my quality of life and general enjoyment and self-care. So. A day off? Yes, please.

I’m thinking about how easily loved ones can “push each others buttons”, even without meaning to. I contemplate how much more comfortable human beings often seem to be with being their most vile self in the context of their most favored or intimate relationships. (I still do not get how that makes any sense… why not, instead, be your worst self with absolute strangers, than with people you say you love? Would you not want your loved ones to enjoy the best of who you are?) It often falls to the individual to vigilantly “supervise” their vulnerable “buttons”, and to learn to be less reactive, generally. I’ve certainly found value in that, although my results do vary. “Expectation-setting” and asking any one individual to avoid pushing a given button doesn’t seem very helpful, sometimes (or within some relationships).

I sip my coffee, and my mind wanders on.

I think for a moment about the coffee, itself. A moment of comfort. A metaphor for self-care, for being centered, for self-reflection (at least for me). I so routinely take a moment of ease over a cup of coffee that having a coffee cup in my hand feels “complete” in an odd way. So… what happens when the coffee runs out? What would replace this coffee cup in my hand, if there were literally no coffee (or, at least, none for me)?

My mind wanders on. Payday tasks are handled. There is a secure comfortable feeling that comes with that, these days, especially with the holidays ahead. Another sip of coffee, and my mind moves on…

I hear the soft sound of lo-fi coffee house “radio” from the other room, over the whirr of my computer’s CPU fan. It reaches my consciousness as a sort of “wellness indicator”, telling me it’s a fine morning to enjoy life, just as it is. This prompts me to consider other “indicator dials” and gauges of wellness in my moment-to-moment experience of living life. What other signals do I send myself that “all is well”? Do I recognize conditions on a spectrum, as one might see on a gauge or dial on the dashboard of my car? Do I have an “internal dashboard” that I could quickly glance over in a moment, and correctly evaluate conditions developing in real-time? I mean… that’s sort of what all of consciousness is, more or less, I suppose… if I listen. I like the notion of an internal “wellness dashboard”. Buttons and dials. Better be careful with that. I smile at the thought of it. I have another drink of my coffee.

My mind wanders on. Not a bad start to a long holiday weekend at home with someone I love. Certainly it’s enough. 🙂

I woke too early this morning, got up to pee, went back to bed to grab a few more minutes of precious sleep. So tired. Ready for it. I laid down, instantly comfortable, and started to drift off…

…The world seemed to spin madly off its axis unexpectedly. Vertigo. Fuck. How bad would it be this time? I held on to the edge of the bed (no idea why it reliably seems this should help, it doesn’t, really), hoping it might just clear up right quick and perhaps I’d still sleep… No such luck. I rolled ever-so-carefully onto my back, reminding myself continuously in my head that the spinning isn’t real. I reminded myself to remain calm. To breathe through it. To let things settle down, patiently. This makes about half a dozen serious vertigo “events” I’ve experienced since the first one, which was, as I recall, back in 2014? 2015? Before I moved into my own place. After menopause, but before the headache came. It doesn’t matter in the moment that I’m enduring the vertigo, just gives my mind something to play with while I wait it out… like a string, offered to a cat. I remind myself to follow up with my GP that the vertigo is still “a thing”.

Best I can figure, with what I know, I most likely slept in one posture for too long, that may have pressed my neck “too bent” in one specific direction (in this case, tilted away from my left side toward my right, as I slept) and when I laid back down (on the other side, head bent in the other direction)… vertigo. It remains sufficiently rare that I count and make note of every occurrence. It’s problematic mostly because, from my own perspective, it is scary as fuck. It passes, though.

I moved on with the morning. Greeted my Traveling Partner. Made coffee. Read the news, briefly (long enough to be certain I didn’t find anything word actually reading waiting for me). Then face getting on with the work day ahead of me.

When I sat down at my desk, I leaned left (and tilted my head, also left) to turn on my laptop – vertigo. Fucking hell. I sit upright. Posture very correct. Very still. Breathing. Waiting. Holding the edge of my desk. When it passes, I go back to sipping coffee and start the work day.

It’s worth noting that I’ve recently been trying to get back to working on fitness goals. I enjoy playing Beat Saber in VR for some of my exercise – super fun. I started getting back into that over the weekend after some months away from it (the move, then time just got away from me). It’s rather taxing on my neck, and seems the likely cause of this recurrence of my vertigo. I find myself bothered that it has become “my vertigo”… a thing I deal with often enough to consider it a thing I deal with. Fuck.

Well… damn. I guess it amounts to another opportunity to practice healthy practices. To take better care of the woman in the mirror. To take my fitness needs seriously, but also approach them with consideration and care. To be patient with myself. To be thorough about taking note of changes in my health generally. Adult shit.

The day has begun in earnest. The sky is gray, the day chilly. My arthritis pain is noteworthy, but I am distracted by my concern over the vertigo, and overlook it for now. I need more coffee. There is a long holiday weekend ahead, and it’s already time to begin again. 🙂