Archives for category: gardening

This morning I opened my browser and then as I opened the window for a new blog post, I noticed it. A suggestion, an idea, something a bit more meta right there in my visual field – “Add New”. In this case, “add new” blog post, and a fairly mundane intention, but it’s grander than that, isn’t it?

Do it.

Add something new to your experience of life. Do that thing. Start that project. Write that novel (or poem, or story, or letter, or – yes – that blog post). Don’t be stopped by that whisper of doubt (“I never finish anything…”, “I don’t have time…”, “I don’t know how…”, “I’m not good enough…”) – because, trust me, that’s all in your head. Seriously. If you are defining yourself as “never finishing anything”, for example, you’ve not only chosen to make/accept that definition, you’ve committed yourself to living it – and you could choose differently. 🙂 So much promise contained in our decision-making! You can, if you choose to, generally.

So, before the howls in the back of the room about the potential damage that can result from promises that we can literally “do anything we choose”, I’m going to shut that bullshit down right now; clearly, there are verbs involved. Always. LOL You want to be President? Obviously pure will alone will not suffice to get you there. There is so much to do and prepare for in advance of even the opportunity to be on a ballot! However, if that happened to be what you did want to do or achieve in life, simply beginning on it, and committing to it as a goal, would definitely be required before you could proceed in that direction at all… and then so much more. It would certainly keep you busy in life making your way down that path.

On a smaller scale, things are somewhat less daunting, and the timelines may be quite a bit shorter. Want to speak a new language? Go get started on that! The internet is wide open in front of you and offers more than memes and kitten pictures. Perhaps you’d prefer to make music? That’s a thing people love doing, and it’s within reach. Life gets a bit more complicated with regard to new skills, activities, and projects, when we also attempt, in advance, to create an outcome that has to result from whatever we’ve chosen to undertake – and that’s kind of a shame, really. Once we become frustrated with that currently out of reach end-result we think we’d like, we often give up on the skill, activity, or project in frustration, having entirely lost sight of how much we just wanted to do that, and enjoy it, in the first place.

Do it. Do the thing. Learn something new. Build or make something. Develop a skill. Invest your time and effort in your own experience of living life, because it feels good to do that. Work on a craft you love. Pursue a hobby that puts a smile on your face. Tend to the garden of your life with loving care, and enjoy the flowers and breezes, while you pull the weeds. Harvest time comes soon enough, and when it does, that’s something altogether else to enjoy. Enjoy this moment, too. Right here. This one. Add something new to your experience to enrich your experience, without too much concern about a “pay-day”. Isn’t joy payment enough?

It’s time to begin again. I wonder where the day will take me?

I’m sipping my coffee and listening to the rain fall. The dawn is gray, and it’s hard to accept that day break is past, and this… is it. Morning. No “sunrise” in any obvious way. The sky is a drizzly homogeneous featureless gray. I woke planning to paint. I still feel peculiarly energized to paint, and likely will. I’ll probably “go off script” from there, though, and “just paint” instead of working with purpose, plan, and structure on pieces that I have already sketched out in my head. I know what works for me, artistically.

I contemplate conversations with friends from yesterday. The afternoon was spent wrapped in warmth and intimate affection, connected close friendships, easy hang out time. We shared a bite of late lunch-not-quite-dinner, sufficient to fuel the afternoon hours without the distraction of hunger to throw off the genial vibe. Both very good friends of mine, neither had met the other previously, and we all had a great time – it was a well-connected, deep, experience. The conversation was lively, fun in spots, serious in others, and quickly exceeded any sort of “getting to know each other” limitations to become fully invested, authentic, and yeah – deep. Really talking over life. Love. The world. It was soul-nourishing time.

Hanging out and talking, watching cartoons, listening to music – these are very much favorite activities of mine to share with friends. Yesterday was a day well-spent.

I miss my Traveling Partner. I smile, feeling the warmth of his love as a sort of carrier wave on which the details of my experience travel across my consciousness. He would have been so welcome, yesterday. He remains so welcome today. He’s just hundreds of miles away, is all. lol I wish him well, and wrap the thought of him in my love. I would enjoy sharing coffee with him, this morning, and talking over yesterday – and tomorrow. lol Soon enough.

Openness is one of my “Big 5” relationship values. It’s a tricky one – what does that even mean, “openness”? For me, it means both acceptance and non-attachment. It means listening deeply, not just waiting to talk. It means being willing to change my thinking with new information. It means being observant in the moment, and prepared to “go with it” when circumstances or people reveal something more about themselves. It means embracing authenticity, myself, and sharing who I actually am, with others who are sharing who they actually are, too. It means creating an emotionally safe environment for that authenticity to exist. It means learning to communicate without tools like criticism, discouragement, or ad hominem attacks. It means “yes, and…”, instead of “no, but…”. There you go. Go forth and be open! LOL – I know, I know, it isn’t that easy, it does take practice, and your results will definitely vary. 🙂

This morning I got schooled on being open in the most delightful way; I woke to a message asking me where my boundaries may be, on the subject of “getting closer”. Gently handled, clear, frank, and worded such that there just wasn’t any chance of being hurt by the inquiry, or any possible mistake about the intention – quite the contrary. I live pretty openly with this being I have grown to become over time, and I’m not surprised someone besides me would like to be closer. Going beyond the platonic relationship we share now is an exciting thought. No need to rush things along; that’s sort of new, mixed in with all this extra adulting I’ve learned to do. I offer reassurance that I’ve got no preset rules against growing closer, and no objection to it. I find myself wondering if I were sufficiently gracious about it – did I communicate my appreciation? For the desire? For the question? I smile. Everything’s fine. There’s no room for pointless anxiety here. There is always time enough for love. 🙂

The rain intensifies, and perversely I now want to be in the garden. lol Instead, I set a course for the kitchen, a second coffee, and my meditation cushion. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

I woke feeling well-rested, well before the sun rose. The sky is just now beginning show a hint that day break is approaching. My first cup of coffee was quite good. It’s also quite gone, now. I have yet to make another. It doesn’t seem the sort of morning to rush, at all. I keep reaching for the cup, nonetheless.

It’s been a proper vacation. I invested the time in myself, just as I would have if I had stuck firmly with my original plans, and purely as a byproduct of location, that investment in time and self has resulted in quite a lot getting done right here in this place where I live. Each time I pass through a room that has gotten a lot of that attention, like the kitchen, or the living room, or out onto the deck, I feel a surge of satisfaction and contentment. I enjoy living well. I enjoy a living space characterized by a certain measure of order. I find tidiness sufficiently aesthetically pleasing to do that work, for myself.

Today is the last day of my vacation. No doubt I’ll tidy up a thing or two; there always seems one more thing that I could do to snatch some tiny bit of additional order from the chaos that is living a human life. There will be more coffee to make with loving mindful hands, and to sip with great delight. There will be time spent reading, time spite in meditation, time spent on yoga, time spent in the garden – all things that nurture me.

Nurturing one’s self is a critical point of adulting skillfully, apparently. The first step on that path (for me) was to discontinue the notion that I am not worthy of my own time and attention, my own care, my own loving affection. 🙂 It was a harder step than it sounds like it could be. lol The rest seemed fairly effortless by comparison; it was all just practicing practices.

Today is a lovely day to enjoy… myself. By myself. With myself. For myself. Totally okay. Nothing about that subtracts from my high regard for those dear to me, or my general kindness and consideration of others, moment-to-moment. We tend to treat others only as well as we are able to treat ourselves, however much we protest to the contrary. To learn to love well, I did have to allow my own self to be part of the set of people I love. That may not be good news if you happen to continue to maintain a significant investment in self-loathing (that’s a choice you’re making, there). On the other hand, you can certainly dismiss my observations out of hand, they are, after all, only a reflection of my own experience. Your results may vary. But… if you find yourself failing to succeed again and again, in life, in romance, in love, in various relationships, please do consider, just maybe, it may be to do with how you feel about (and treat) the human being in the mirror. How we treat ourselves, how we regard ourselves, what we expect of ourselves, what we accept from ourselves… all of this has great potential to affect how we treat other people. So… if that’s a thing that matters to you, I’m just saying, maybe consider treating yourself with great kindness, consideration, and regard – and see where that takes you. 🙂 Today is a good day for it…

…If it doesn’t work out today, you can always begin again, tomorrow. You may need practice. 🙂

It’s been a strange unscripted spontaneous mostly-not-even-planned-at-all long weekend (short vacation?), and it isn’t even over yet. I smile at the soft homogeneous gray sky. I’ve no idea what today holds… rain, probably…

…I know I get to begin again. 😀

 

As questions go, this one, “What’s the point?”, plagued me for a long while. I mean… what is the point? Is there a point at all? And, yes, even “what is it?

Where does this journey even lead?

Hell of a transition right there, sorry about that. Here’s the thing, though, both metaphorically and in life, it’s sometimes those unexpected changes, abrupt edges, and unscripted plot twists that really lead us somewhere profound, if only we are willing to follow them. I mean, realistically, we have choices. If we’re fortunate, we’ll make choices that take us in the direction of greater wisdom, of living well, of loving with our whole hearts, and of being ready to accept the love of others… Or something very similar. 🙂

Wisdom comes with time. If we allow it.

It’s been an interesting weekend. I’ve consumed quite a lot of coffee. Strangely, it hasn’t seemed to affect my sleep… but… I haven’t been trying to stick to any sort of regular habits, so maybe I wouldn’t notice. 🙂 I spent Thursday on self-care. Friday, too, more or less, and getting my hair cut certainly counts. It was a lovely experience, and I’m delighted with the adorably subtle misty mauve shade of my hair, now. I spent today hanging out with an old friend, even enjoying my garden together for a few minutes (and it was nice to have stronger hands than mine helping me with the big bale of compressed garden soil, and his good-natured company). Together we planted three biggish bins of flowers, dividing up the seeds by color and sowing them such that summer will be festively adorned with big blooms and bright colors. 😀 More coffee. Ran some errands. It’s a been a restful weekend opportunity to reconnect with what matters most (to me) (in my own experience of living well).

Hints of drama swirl like distant storm clouds on the horizon of my weekend awareness. It’s nothing to do with me. I exchange conversation with my Traveling Partner on and off, hurting when he hurts, feeling frustrated to be far away, and feeling relieved to be distant from it, too. I’d help if I could, but… it’s very true that there’s not actually much I can do. He is having his own experience. So is she. So are they. So are we all.

I hear from him in the afternoon. I smile for almost an hour.

I contemplate a future in which a weekend down home requires no cancellation – because I will have my own space, and can easily take my ease (and whatever distance) I may need without any inconvenience to another. I let my imagination wander to carpets and cushions and a tent cozy with amenities. I imagine Turkish coffee and misty morning views. I imagine meditating as the sun rises, or sets, undisturbed except for the distant sound of bass thumping, and the nearer sounds of chipmunks, hummingbirds, or crickets. How delightfully easy it will be for my Traveling Partner to enjoy a coffee with me, if I’m only a walk away! How deliciously connected and intimate it will fill to be so near, so conveniently at hand. 🙂

I sit smiling for some rather long while recalling my first authentic Turkish coffee, enjoyed in the desert, in the early 90’s. It seems so very long ago from this moment here, and it’s much too late to enjoy yet another coffee, today, although suddenly I very much want to. lol The late afternoon light begins to fade slowly to evening, and I’m definitely not in the desert. I smile, and begin again.

My evening ended with a plot twist. Being the author of my experience day-to-day, I wasn’t taken by surprise in any noteworthy way; I am the protagonist, I am also the plotter, and the chooser of twists, in this one very human story. 🙂

I’m not on the road this morning. I’m not headed south to the countryside for a long weekend. I don’t yet know much about what I am doing, but it isn’t that. lol I chose differently.

I take my Big 5 relationship values super seriously, and I attempt to apply them to all the different relationships I have with others. Respect, compassion, consideration, openness, and reciprocity seem pretty foundational to achieving contentment and harmony (to me). I made choices about my weekend based on these qualities in my relationship with my Traveling Partner, and his Other (by extension, friend, family, and metamour). She’s having a shit time of things right now, very human. I respect my Love, and also his desire to care for this other human being. I feel compassion for his situation (complicated), her experience (difficult right now), and their journey together. I consider what she may need, what he may need, and what I need for myself. I recognize the love and respect (and consideration) that went into comfortably accommodating my need for (rather a lot of) space to live and grow and work out my bullshit without ruining friendships, love, or just the general good vibe every-damned-where, when I moved into my own place. To reciprocate, at least this weekend, it seemed pretty clear that changing my weekend plans could be the most loving-kind thing I could choose for those dear to me. Or… I could stick to my plans because I’d made them, and risk creating a more difficult experience for everyone concerned (including me). Well, shit. I not only don’t want to do that, I don’t need to, and have other intentions and desires for my own experience this weekend; I’m celebrating Spring. I made the choice to cancel my trip down this weekend.

I haven’t yet planned the weekend, and now I am sipping coffee, and listening to commuter traffic pass by on a dark gray misty rainy chilly spring morning, that, in the abstract, had seemed a likely one for a hike in the early morning (not so much, actually, as it turns out).

I woke at 4 am feeling “ready for the day” – and such was my original planning that this would have been “time to go”. lol I went back to sleep content to sleep in as late as I cared to… and woke up at 5 am. I made coffee. Watched the sleepy gray dawn grudgingly admit day break had arrived. I did dishes. Tidied up. Made a second coffee. Put away some laundry. Purposeful but without a clear agenda. Relaxed and feeling easy in my skin.

…Still no idea about the days ahead. I think I’m even okay with that. It’s a good day to take a trip. To find an adventure. To pursue an unexpected novelty or fanciful notion. It’s a good day to paint. To write. To finish this book I am reading. It’s a good day for exceptional self-care. It’s a good day for leisure. I’ve been needing this. Not just the leisure between work shifts, or the leisure of time enjoyed with loved ones wedged between work weeks, but also the deep satisfying soul-healing leisure of time spent mindfully with self. So far, so good.

Really, though, my point this morning is not about what I am specifically doing with my time and my experience. It’s about a question. How’s your experience going for you? You know; the one you are having. The one you are choosing. If it isn’t what you’d hoped it would be, there are some options. My favorite first option is to take a closer look at expectations and assumptions; are you heavily invested in some outcome, or an assumption that is untested, or an expectation that is unstated? Are you attempting to force real life to comply with your narrative? (Don’t forget; you made that shit up in your head, and possibly without even fact-checking the details.) Totally something that can be corrected. If you choose to. The second great option when having a less than ideal experience is also about choices – your choices, your actions, your verbs. Don’t like what you’re doing? Do something different. Don’t like the outcome unfolding around you? Choose another. I’m not saying this is as easy as using words – your results may vary. Here’s the thing, though, you’re already choosing – and what you are choosing is this.  If you don’t like it, you do have other choices. Tons of them.

I think where a lot of us get stuck (I know I do) is that the menu of choices is pretty vast, and the easiest way to manage that cognitively is to pare it down to the most extreme choices, or the most obvious choices, or the choices that “get a reaction” in some seemingly useful way – instead of legitimately, authentically, sincerely, considering our choices in a wholesome positive way that truly contains the potential to change things up for the better. Sometimes we aren’t even aware that we are shunning authenticity in favor of manipulation, control, or chaos. It can be hard to watch another human being go through that (and put everyone around them through that), but I don’t know how to shake someone out of those shenanigans, and can’t force anyone to “be authentic and real”. Certainly shouting that at people hasn’t worked well for me (yeah, I’ve tried that). lol

I hope your experience is a lovely one. I hope you are content and satisfied in life, day-to-day. I hope you feel, deeply, heartily, and with great awareness – and I hope you reason clearly in spite of your strong feelings. If not, and you want more or different from life, why then I hope you choose something different. 🙂

I’ll be over here, enjoying Spring, and this opportunity to begin again. ❤