Archives for category: forgiveness

I was sipping my coffee between moments in the studio when I really noticed; there’s a tree missing from the view beyond my deck.

What I expected to see…

It’s not a great picture, and I warn you now, it isn’t from an identical perspective – and perhaps that’s why it nagged at me so much. Something is different, I spotted that right away, but figured, in the gloom of twilight, last night, that perhaps it was just more winter, fewer leaves, more lights in the distance… something.

…what I see today.

There’s a missing tangle of mostly-dead tree. Obvious as anything could be, once I allowed myself to really see it, absent my expectations. There’s something to be learned from that.

The healthy heart-wood of the stump left-behind, quite evenly cut, about 18 inches from the ground, tells me it was not lost to misadventure or high winds. Willful. Probably well-intended. I feel sad about it anyway, thinking about the owl that had been making her home there. The squirrels using it as a freeway ramp to the tree nearer the deck. The loss of privacy from neighbors beyond. Just… the loss of a tree. It’s painful. Oh, I’m sure a dead tree just hanging out there on the steep edge of the yard, where it suddenly drops off just past the fence, was a hazard of some sort, to something, but… fucking hell. I’m getting a little sick of people just taking my fucking trees away every-fucking-where that I move. Irksome.

There’s much to learn from contemplating this change. Trees fall. Trees are cut. Impermanence is. Non-attachment helps with the pain of circumstantial misfortunes. We have choices. Trees can be planted. Trees sprout. Trees grow.

I sip a delicious afternoon coffee – a perk of having a 3-day weekend, afternoon coffee always feels like luxury to me. 🙂 I contemplate impermanence, and change – and choices. I think about seeing. I mean, really seeing – eyes and mind both open to what may be new and changed. I contemplate acceptance; change can be hard. Recognizing what has changed is not without it’s own challenges. I breathe. Relax, and consider what I am practicing, and what I want to achieve. I think over conversations with my Traveling Partner; this last visit was rich with thought-provoking, inspiring, observations, and discussion. Connected. Insightful. Loving.

We become what we practice. (Remember, “trees take a long time” 😉 )

Sometimes self-care (or, just managing all the details of adulthood) is a bit like carrying all the groceries home without a bag, while riding a unicycle. Challenging, requiring extraordinary balance, and resulting in a lot of fucking juggling and shit being dropped. lol

There are dishes on my counter. 😦

My vanity is strewn with a couple days of earrings I’ve worn and not hung back up.

I haven’t  yet gotten on with my plan for re-organizing the studio to make room for my Traveling Partner’s music gear and whatnot.

The deck still looks like my landlord stacked all my potted plants willy-nilly against one wall (which is what he did do, and I have not yet restored order).

Well, shit. Still human. LOL

My nails need a touch up, the laundry needs done, the bed wants made (well, actually, it hasn’t said as much, I just prefer it made)… There are things to do, and at least for me, pretty much all of this tedious housekeeping and maintenance “bullshit” is part of my self-care; I do best in an orderly, tidy living space, that feels comfortable and cared for. It aggravates me and causes me stress when things slip, however briefly, and however inconsequentially. Few guests would look around and take note of the plate, coffee cup, and fork, rinsed and neatly sitting on the counter, waiting for me to empty the dishwasher of clean dishes. I do. That’s what matters; it nags at me. It reminds me of trauma, and past terror. Same with things like my unmade bed; who really fucking cares? Me. Laundry? Well, clean clothes are nice, and I’ve got weekend plans, and at least one item I’m thinking about wearing is in the laundry, so in a purely practical sense this is a chore that needs done, but…

I look around and allow myself to really see the untidiness as it is; not that bad. I allow myself to sit with both the acknowledgement that it isn’t that bad, and also the awareness that it is not as I prefer it. I allow myself to be aware that this feels like I’m letting myself down. While that’s uncomfortable, it’s also real – and okay. I breathe and let go of the stress over a neatly organized, rinsed, 1 meal stack of dishes on the counter. I’ve got this. Just needs some juggling, and attention to details.

Verbs. It also needs some verbs. Don’t forget the verbs.

Fucking hell, self-care is hard sometimes, yeah? Do the things. Do the stuff. Do the things and the stuff. Sort shit. Handle shit. Manage shit. Do tasks. Check in with self. Repeat. It’s a lot – and it sometimes feels like I’m doing battle just keeping myself on track with my self-care. Why the hell is this so hard? I get up and go to work every day like a fucking machine – how do I not also come home and relentlessly take care of me, also? (Easy answer? Not enough spoons.)

I’m still learning to “pace myself” in life. lol I am reminded of a humorous song, and pause myself to listen to it. Smiling I sip my coffee and remind myself that all of it takes practice, repetition, more practice, iterations of improvement over time, refinements based on what really works – and throughout all of it, I’ll still be quite human, quite prone to fatigue, totally likely to let something go another minute, or overlook something that in some other moment felt quite important to get done. All of it totally okay, and very very human. 🙂

I check the time. My coffee is done. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

Another Monday finished off, in due time. Hardly a routine work day, and I could have easily arrived home in a completely shitty mood, after spending the last half of my work day struggling not to snarl at people (it was that sort of day).

I didn’t. I made other choices, although, honestly, I’m sort of tired now, and… just a tad uncertain which choices had what result. lol Choices were made, however, and some were made differently. New perspective? Different perspective. Close enough.

I got home tired. I’m not even bitching; it wasn’t a particularly long day, and I still have some evening ahead of me to relax, read, write, and do some things to support my own wellness and quality of life. It feels good. It’s a small thing, but keeping some of my focus on my own needs really does make a huge difference, and when I don’t – however worthy the reason, I eventually pay a price for it in a reduction in quality of life, health, emotional resilience, or some moment of aggravation blown out of proportion.

I sat down to write and found this:

…Has it been 6 years?

Funny thing, though… I mean… I write like I breathe (which is to say, reliably, most of the time, and without any particular effort or need to think about it, and fairly unavoidably; it’s part of my existence). How is 6 more years of writing actually an achievement? I nibble at my fairly nutritious dinner, and give that some thought.

6 years ago, I was walking a very different path.

6 years. 6 years of living life. Now that’s an achievement. 6 years of learning to love truly well. 6 years of sharing my heart and my moments with my Traveling Partner. Hell of an achievement right there; love takes some major verbs, done well. 6 years of forgiving myself. 6 years of forgiving others. 6 years of laughing at my own dumb jokes. 6 years spent doing more than crying. 6 years of hiking, camping, and pouring over maps of trails yet to be walked. Those are pretty cool achievements. 6 years of work I can be proud of. 6 years of lasting friendships, and new friends. Definitely some achievements in there. 6 years of more daydreams than nightmares – that’s a big achievement, most particularly because it has continued to improve over time. 🙂 6 years of practicing practices, sharing tales from a journey through a wilderness of chaos and damage, traveling in the twilight of evening light… and somehow, it seems a stroll through a sunny meadow much of the time, in year 6. That’s an achievement I don’t even know how to measure. Feels good.

So… yeah… I guess the tl;dr is “I registered on WordPress.com 6 years ago”. This may not be “happily ever after”… but it is pretty nice, generally. 🙂 I chose to make a change. That was an achievement. I’ve just kept making changes, and when I falter, I begin again. That’s an achievement. Thanks, WordPress.com, you’ve been a hell of a platform for change. 🙂

Still walking my path, paved with verbs and new beginnings, illuminated with love.

About that… it’s unavoidable. I’m human. You’re human (well, probably). Life is an extraordinary experience, but one which, for most of us, has quite a few ups and downs, and is a tad more rollercoaster-y than paved level walking path with convenient markers and a map. It’s just not always that easy. Sometimes shit goes very very wrong.

Do you panic? I’ve sure been known to. Life can be scary. I’m fortunate to have a better idea how to handle it than I once did, but… I’ll be honest; I still, now and then, stumble into a circumstance that leaves me feeling more than a little panicked and unprepared.

There are things to do. Steps. Practices. Start with one you know you can rely upon, and go from there. Breathe. First, generally, and most often of greatest value for me, personally; breathe, let it go for a moment, find that stable “observer” that exists within the emotional maelstrom. That’s you. Really you. The rest is window dressing and let’s pretend. Lead with your calm.

That sounds so easy. It’s not always easy. Yesterday I was reminded how not fucking easy that actually is. Having a supportive partner, I was fortunate to have someone to reach out to, to talk things over, to get my bearings. Things turn out fine, generally, and the panic is not helpful or necessary. Still. There was a bit of panic, and indeed, not helpful. lol Hours later, and even after a restful night’s sleep, I still feel the warmth of my partner’s love. I’m grateful to experience a love like this.

I spent the rest of the evening sorting myself out and ensuring my planning account for new circumstances and information. It ends up being a lovely quiet evening, and somehow a new start to a new year, already. Looks like it’ll be a year a new beginnings. I’m okay with that. I’m pretty familiar with beginning again. 😉

I finish my rather crappy cup of coffee with a sheepish smile; it’s enough, and I’m okay with that. It’s time to move on to changes, and practices, and beginnings. 🙂

Where does this path lead?

I am munching a healthy, nutritionally dense, calorie appropriate meal. Later, I’ll meditate, exercise, have a shower, and wind down for the evening. When I finally call it a night, the dishes will be done, counters clean, and there will be a general sense of tidiness, completion, and contentment. Is it “the right way”? I suggest it isn’t about that; it’s what meets my own needs. Your needs may differ. Do I live this way out of privilege? Wealth? Nope. It’s not that, either; I have lived this way without means, making do with nothing besides effort, will, and a sense of self. (It’s easier, as is everything else, when we have means, there’s no question about that, in my mind.) I’ve also lived quite differently.

…I’m not a kid anymore, and I’ve had time to explore what works for me, and figure out what “my way” may actually be. That matters, too… it has taken time to get here…

…I’m glad I had that time; there is further to go.

Tonight my Traveling Partner is far away, enjoying a very different evening, in the company of another person. I’m cool with that – even encouraging. It’s not reasonable, I think, to expect to be all things to even just one other person. I’m glad he has friends (and yes, even lovers), and a life beyond our relationship; this is what works for us. Our way. It fits. It is comfortable. The suffocating cling wrap of true monogamy doesn’t fit our natures, so it is not what we choose for ourselves. Is it “the right way”? You already know the answer; it isn’t about that. It is what meets our needs, and the needs of our loves. Your needs may differ. We treat each other well, and with great consideration, and this, too, is very much part of our way of living and loving. It works for us.

I’m not going to seek to persuade you that my life is “right” for you. I am not you. You’ve got to walk your own path. Discover your own values. Embrace your own journey. Chart your own course. Make your own choices. Walk your own hard mile. Sort yourself out. Find your own way. I’m not blazing a trail through a wilderness here; I’m living my life. I am neither prophet nor teacher. I’m one human being, with a lifetime of my own challenges, sort of “thinking out loud” while I work through them. Maybe you find that helpful, or entertaining, maybe you don’t. It is what it is.

I’m here. So are you. It’s enough. 🙂

I don’t need to be “right” on any of this. I’m just finding my own way in the darkness, and hoping for the best, each day counting on myself to be able to get some little detail a little more well handled than I did the day before, to maybe live with greater skill, and greater love, and maybe, just maybe… a small amount of wisdom gained over time.

…I’m glad I’ve had some time for that, too.

You know what I don’t have time for? I don’t have time for hate. Do I hate people who don’t live “my way”? Of course not; they are walking their own path, having their own experience, and quite likely also, generally, do whatever they individually think is “best”. We may differ on our approach, our choices, and our values. We may experience very different outcomes… but I, for one, do not have time to hate. Do you?

Do you, really?

I finish my dinner, and think about the future. I think about all the many beautiful dreams of beautiful futures that have, over time, come and gone, rather like soap bubbles. Fragile. Colorful. Delightful. Unable to endure life’s breezes and thorns long enough to ever be anything more than beautiful dreams, already gone, so many already forgotten. There are others. There likely will be other dreams of beautiful futures for however long a future seems to be ahead of me at all, down to the last day of consciousness, and living. That, too, is what it is. I am very human.

This moment isn’t as poignant as it may sound, reading it off a page. There’s still time to begin again. I finish dinner, and start on the dishes. 🙂