Archives for category: autumn

Living in the Pacific Northwest, at least currently, results in a lot of gray, rainy, autumn and winter days. I love the rain. My arthritis doesn’t respond to it as pleasantly. I’m in pain. It’s just physical pain. I think over past winter holiday seasons, and try to recall the last one that was not characterized, in some way, by the amount of pain I’m in. It’s been a long time. I give up on that, take a breath, exhale, and let it go. I think about Giftmas, instead.

The tree glows merrily. The mantlepiece, too. The gifts under the tree are a dazzling display of festive wrappings. I am eager to open them, and to enjoy the holiday with my Traveling Partner, here at home, us two, together. A simple holiday at home seems more than sufficient; I’m delighted with the planning, and the decor, and the company. I think about far away friends and family, and wonder about their plans, and wish them well from afar.

…I am reminded to do the holiday cards, like… tonight. lol It’s almost too late…

I sit with the last dregs of my morning coffee, and a gray rather dismal view through a rain spattered window. There is plenty of work in front of me. I took this break to write hoping to return to work feeling refreshed. 🙂

What is “enough”? I’m sure a lot of folks out and about without a mask on, possibly without practicing social distancing, maybe even without giving a care to people who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 than they themselves feel, are struggling to feel a sense of sufficiency faced with limitations on their movement, their social activities, and all the details of life in the time of pandemic. I don’t really understand the feeling of invulnerability. I definitely don’t get making it a political matter. I breathe through that, too. I let it go, with a reminder to myself to wash hands often (and with care), and mask up before going out, and maintain social distance. Sure, it’s taken getting used to for me, too. I gotta admit though; I do like how much cleaner stores seem to be. I like how much less often people seem to go out into the world when they are obviously unwell, and how few coworkers attempt to work when they are sick, compared to last year. These seem to be improvements worth hanging on to… I hope we do.

In the meantime, Giftmas draws ever nearer… and I’m excited. 😀

I’m quiet happy this morning. Quite. Quite quiet. No spelling error, there. I’m feeling contented, relaxed, and coasting gently on an easy morning. The one thing I thought I needed to do today (and wasn’t really looking forward to it) stopped being a thing that needs to be done. I don’t have a clear “plan B”, presently, but I do have a hot cup of coffee to enjoy, and a quiet morning on which to enjoy it. 🙂

One moment. It’s enough.

The work week was…busier than busy. Frustratingly rich in the arbitrary “urgency” of others, disconnected from any legitimate quantifiable reason to become emotionally invested, amounting to an increase in perceived external pressure, met with an increase in internal resistance. Feels like “defiance”, sometimes, which is telling. Boundary and expectation-setting are useful self-care (and time management) tools. It’s not about “defiance” to set boundaries, to express limitations, to provide clear expectation-setting – or to refuse to become a victim of other people’s emotional lives. 🙂

…Funny thing… at the peak of my fairly shitty-feeling work week, at that moment I could have been facing a massive tantrum wholly inappropriate to my age or profession, my Traveling Partner demonstrated the value of a healthy partnership by “being there” for me. Answers to questions. Perspective. Someone I could “talk it over with” who is reliably “in my corner” – and also simply a good listener, generally. My recollection of the week that is now behind me morphs in my living memory and becomes a more positive experience, pleasantly colored by my partner’s love. 🙂

We read the news together, separately, in the same room, over our morning coffee. It was a pleasant start to this very relaxed day. We each shared a thing or two that caught our attention. We discussed one or two current culture events of interest. I feel fortunate to be spending the pandemic with this particular human being. As much as the times may wear on me, I’m safe and contented at home, with someone who loves me. I’m aware that many people are not as fortunate. I sip my coffee and contemplate what this might have been like in other relationships, and at one point an icy shiver overcomes me when the merest hint of old terror surfaces in my recollection. I let it go. Breathe. Exhale. Relax.

I’m okay right now.

I think about the day ahead. A good one for doing holiday cards. Maybe some baking? Video games! Maybe a walk when the day warms up a bit. I’ve got options. The choice is my own.

It’s time to begin again.

What a peculiar day. Busy on the work side, scrambling toward the end of the calendar year. Merry on the personal side – ’tis the season, etc. Ups. Downs. Emotions. Today I had a moment of deep sorrow and self-directed disappointed, in the middle of a morning filled with self-doubt, then, immediately following (even caused by) that moment, I went on to have one of the most moving, intimate, profoundly connected moments of supportive partnership with my Traveling Partner that I can recall in our 10 years together. Seriously, right up there in my top 10 deepest and moved love-infused experiences.

…Never even finished my second cup of coffee. What a day.

Sick fish in the aquarium are not good news, and omg I so did not need that on top of… oh. Hey… interesting. It’s not really “on top of” all that much. Mostly things are pretty okay. Needs are met. Love is enduring. The sky is still blue. I’m okay right now. In fact… aside from feeling a sad acceptance that I may lose some or all of my aquarium fish to illness (and being fairly over the momentary hurt of it, at this point, aside from the bit of sorrow that is what it is)… it’s honestly an okay day. A bit stressful. A bit busy. But… yeah…

The holiday season is here. The cookies I’ve been baking are yummy. I’m okay with the social distancing and staying home stuff, mostly. I do miss my friends. I miss brunches out. I miss even being able to say in any reasonable way that I’d like to visit family. It’s not always easy, but… mostly? It’s not all that different. I just don’t rush off to go here and there on a whim, and I’m sort of mildly annoyed that I can’t yet comfortably really just explore this new community I live in, because… pandemic.

…Things could be much worse. I’m feeling both fortunate and grateful, which turns out to be enough on which to begin again. 🙂

I sip my coffee, lukewarm, no longer “fresh”. I find myself in a “work with what you’ve got” sort of place this morning. What I’ve got is a sink full of dirty dishes, and aquarium with an overgrowth of green hair algae, and a massive fucking headache. I mean, just being real; I ate the food that those dishes had supported. The aquarium with the algae? Mine, and I chose the placement in the room when we moved in, which has too much light for the aquarium, and as a result I have a common nuisance that is algal blooms. The headache? Okay, so, sure… it’s “mine”, and obviously I did not choose or created it by intent, but making a big deal out of it when I have had this same fucking headache (worsening somewhat over time, but yeah, same headache) since… 2014, seems pointless.

…Giving credit where it’s due though, this headache has done a first rate job of sticking around, and slowly developing a more precise location and greater likelihood of moment-to-moment continuation without relief… 2014? Fucking hell. 6 years with this fucking headache. Now that’s a fucking headache. I do find myself just a bit impressed by that, in an irritated, resigned way. I mean… if headaches had a culture of their own, surely this headache would be receiving accolades from peers, and doing the talk show circuit about its success? lol

Most moments are just moments. We create the context and significance.

Still. Here is where I am. Now is the moment I’ve got to work with. So. Moving past “it is what it is” (and it is), and reaching for one new beginning after another (and appropriate pain relief steps, however futile seeming)… I’ve either got to yield to this shitty experience, or let it go and do something else… or find a different alternative. Verbs. Choices. My results vary.

I sip my coffee. Now cold. The darkness of the room is mocked by the appearance of the morning sun, through the window shade. The whir and hum of the computer is dimmed by headphones I’m wearing, although I’m not listening to anything that requires them. I mean, besides the whir and hum of the computer, itself. I sigh out loud. One moment of many, and there is an entire day still ahead and things that want to get done. Those dishes for starters. The aquarium maintenance. Ordinary tasks, life to live – headache or not. I’ll work off some of my irritation with some exercise (Beat Saber? A walk?), and by getting some chores done. I’ll have another cup of coffee, and exchange pleasant words with my Traveling Partner.

I find myself wondering, for a moment, how more primitive humans dealt with things like massive chronic headaches? Did they feel cursed? Possessed? Did they lash out at others? What did primitive human beings know about “self-care”? Was that something they were at all concerned with? “Survival” and “good self-care” seem pretty far apart on the spectrum of things people are concerned with…

I smile when I nudge myself to consider recent lovely moments. My Traveling Partner’s birthday was lovely. I’m grateful for the joy we share. I think of a recent busy work day, and a wee dish of unexpected ice cream delivered during a meeting. I reflect on conversations shared with my partner. Goals. Expectations. Thoughts about future projects and quality of life improvements. The routine matters of living and loving. The delight of an unexpected nap, together, side by side on the recliner sofa.

…Fuck this headache! It is too small a part of my experience to get to call the shots on this day.

I finish my cold coffee, and begin again. 🙂

…To the one(s) I love (right now)… 🙂

It’s my Traveling Partner’s birthday, today. It’s been my great good fortune, now, to share his birthday with him for 10 of them. Wow. Quite a bit of time together. It’s gone by rather quickly. 😀

I find it sometimes a bit challenging to find gifts that will suit his taste, and his current activities and interests. Sometimes costs put a neat idea quite out of reach. This year, the real challenge is that we both have what we need, and we’re together; everything else feels “extra”. I did find a couple gift-worthy items that I hope he likes, and I definitely “went for it” with the cake and ice cream. lol My time, my presence – that, too. I’m taking half a day off to enjoy with him. 😀

I slept like crap last night. I mean… I woke an hour or so after I went to bed, and couldn’t fall back to sleep until sometime well after midnight. The sleep I got was fine. I’m tired and in pain, though. I’d like to feel young and fit and thoroughly joyful today, for sure. Gotta make do with this mortal form and all the challenges that go with that – and avoid taking any of it at all personally. Aging? Yeah – totally impersonal. lol

So… looks like today will balance genuine joy and celebration, and the precious gift of our limited mortal time together – balanced with the unfortunate truths of aches, pains, and mortality itself. lol Still – this human traveling sharing life’s journey with me? Now that’s a life worth celebrating. 😀 Certainly my life would be very different today if I were without his companionship and love.

…Don’t forget to tell those special human beings in your life how special they are.