Archives for category: Healthy Living

I woke up easily this morning, a nice change from yesterday. Rather oddly, I woke with the whisper of a dream left behind still resonating in my consciousness. Words lingered, although I could no longer recall the dream. “You’re not the good guy, here.” And, “This isn’t about you, at all.” Interesting observations, suitable for many occasions – but I don’t have any context. The dream had already faded.

I’m not “the good guy” here, though, I’m sure of that; I’m a human being, living my life. Only that. Sure, I like to think I am doing my best. Sometimes I actually am. By many practical measures, it isn’t always the case, though; I could sometimes do more, better. That’s real, and very human.

This isn’t about me, at all. Well, much of it is not, that’s also quite true. Most of it, maybe. Like, seriously, almost any detail of any moment I can be present for, still just isn’t much “about” me. I’m here, living and being, and (in this case) drinking coffee…and even this moment, right here, early in the pre-dawn gloom, isn’t much “about” me. It’s about a typical Thursday morning. It’s about this cup of coffee, and this handful of words. It’s about this headache. It’s about the morning traffic, and the sound of little birds in the hedge beyond the window. I’m such a small part of this moment – and not in any “bad” or diminishing way. It’s just that there is so much more to… all of it. I’m just one consciousness present in this here-and-now. Taken in the larger context of “everything else”, my breath, and my very life force, are minuscule. That’s okay, too; there’s a lot of life to live, and a lot of details to take in. If I spend all of my energy on my small concerns, I’ll miss a lot of other stuff. lol

I stop drinking coffee long enough to meditate. Nice morning for it. Today, it does nothing for the headache. I hadn’t seriously expected that it would, but sometimes it does. If nothing else, it often gives me perspective on life that makes it seem of less consequence.

…I realize rather abruptly that I’d forgotten to take my morning medication when I got up. I go ahead and do that, once I’ve poked around in my recollection of the morning a bit, trying to be sure I’m correct about that (doesn’t do anything good for me to take it twice, I promise you that!) – I wash it down with coffee, feeling vaguely guilty about doing that (it’s supposed to be taken with a glass of water…). I let that petty shit go.

My body is uncomfortable, this morning. This fucking headache. Why do I call it a headache, I wonder? It is also a terrible bit of pain in my neck, and a weird jabby stabby sensation in my ear when I turn my head, sometimes, and also a rather horrible permanently cramped up trapezius, particularly painful along the top, from my neck to my shoulder. These pains all feel related to each other, and nothing much helps, so far. I think I would endure it more easily if I knew what the problem is. I’ve been in significant pain since about 1990, when my osteo arthritis developed, I don’t really expect to ever be entirely “pain free” again in my life… I do my best to care for this fragile vessel skillfully, and ease the pain as much as I am able to without poisoning myself or wrecking my health in some other way. It could be worse. I’d just like an answer to the question “what the fuck??”

Fuck. A glance at the clock reminds me of the work day ahead. Pain and employment are not really the best-ever combination of experiences, and it requires so much to stay ahead of the irritability, the distraction, and the misery of it. I breathe. I let it go. We all walk our own hard mile. We’re each having our own experience. Unavoidably, the pain I live with is the worst pain I can imagine; it’s what I know. Each one of us has our own challenge, and I am certain I have coworkers whose pain is more severe, whose life contains more chaos, who woke this morning frightened, or sad, or angry, or needing a moment of support and consideration. I can, if nothing else, do my best not to add to any of that, myself, and to be considerate, thoughtful, kind, and compassionate. I can, at least, try. Another breath. Another sip of coffee. Another moment to consider how fortunate I am to be mostly fairly healthy, all things considered, and to live with pain that doesn’t debilitate me to the point that I can’t work at all. It could be so much worse.

…Fuck this headache, though! Neck-ache? Whatever. Fuck all of that painful nastiness.

It’s time to begin again. I’ve got to work with “the materials on hand” in this life, and unfortunately, pain is a thing. I breathe through it, finish my coffee, and turn to face the day as the sun rises. 🙂

I catch myself sitting for some minutes, quietly, just… staring forward at this page. I sat down, as usual, with a hot cup of coffee, warm from my shower, (and today, smelling like sweet peas and violets) and that was… 23 minutes ago. Since then? No words. Not really thinking “about” anything. Just… sitting. I finally notice, shake it off, and sip my coffee. Huh. Very drinkable. Was it really only 23 minutes…?

I sit awhile longer, this time with the addition of sipping my coffee, contentedly. Some mornings, I’m fairly well awake before my feet hit the floor… this? Is not one of those mornings. lol My head is foggy. I could as easily go back to sleep this moment, without even taking off my boots, as lift a finger to make any sort of effort, in any direction. My brain helpfully reminds me to start the dishwasher before I leave the house. The reminder exists, mocking me just a bit; I’m quite likely to forget even with the thought to remind myself still lingering in my consciousness, unless I get up this instant and take care of it.

I sit here quietly, still, sipping my coffee. I am not remotely concerned about the dishes in this moment. 🙂

Music? No, I struggle even to lift my fingers to type, this morning. Searching a playlist and putting on headphones sounds like work. I continue to sip my coffee, grateful that it has cooled off enough (due to all the fucking time wasting and sitting around) to simply drink it. I need this cup of coffee this morning; it is the blurry boundary between sleeping and waking, today. lol

Although I risk dozing off, I know that meditation also tends to help me fully wake up and get my consciousness going, so I get comfortable, and prepare to sit a few moments longer, with purpose; awareness, resilience, and a deep down calm that supports a busy work day.

I take the time I need, and support the human being I am, on a journey to becoming who I most want to be.

After the meditation? A new day begins. 🙂

We human creatures make much of some small details, don’t we? Well… I do. lol A birthday is a birthday. It’s a day. Just one of 365 – and an arbitrary sort of celebration, as if to make a point of calling out life for being challenging, and potentially dangerous. “I lived through another year, y’all!!” 😉

…Well… I did, though. lol

I enjoyed my birthday in the company of my Traveling Partner. It was sunny, summery, and suitable for both grilling – and air conditioning. Hell of a nice luxury to have on a hot day! I find myself appreciating it, even as I endure a sneezing fit kicked off by the air conditioning starting up, this morning. (Time to appreciate some tissues…)

We’re mortal creatures so skilled at creating our own personal hells… celebrating our own survival once a year seems both worthwhile, and faintly silly. I’m okay with that. I sip my coffee this next day in a new year of aging, contemplating my mortality, without being grim about it. I remind myself to ensure my will is up-to-date, and consider what other steps I can take to ensure my partner is cared-for, not burdened, if I happen to face death before he does.

…I’m also thinking about meaning, context, richness of experience, contribution to society and culture; what will I do with this lifetime ahead of me that meets those needs? Big questions.

Here it is, a fresh, new, summer day. What will I do with it? It’s time to begin and find out… choices, verbs, questions; stepping stones on a path that is a destination, to a finish I can’t understand in advance. 🙂 It’s time to begin again.

 

It was a good weekend. Relaxed. Filled with reading, conversation, and quality time, well-spent. It was a bit peculiar, but only inasmuch as a 9-hour power outage changed the character of a Saturday, and ultimately of the weekend, but occurring pretty closely to the start of the earliest possible thought of preparing dinner on the grill, and watching UFC with my Traveling Partner… we did neither of those things. LOL The grill is electronically temperature controlled, and has an electrically powered fire-starter. Well, shit. The UFC fights? Yeah, we needed the power for that, too. :-\

Initially, we fussed, in turns, over whether one or the other of our phones would provide enough bandwidth to support streaming the fights… my internet isn’t quite that good. Well, shit.

It was a lovely day to catch up on my reading.

We let it go. We hung out, reading, playing small games on our phones, enjoying the sunny Spring day out on the deck. The day was pleasant. I went to bed a bit earlier than I often do, and missed the power coming back on. lol

The entire weekend ended up being a very pleasant, relaxed weekend, spent with each other. It was quite lovely. Yesterday, I happily ran an errand, then spent the day doing laundry, and tidying up. I dunno… it was a heavenly weekend. 🙂 I sip my coffee, very much aware that it was also entirely ordinary. I’m okay with that. 😀

56 in just two days. I’m okay with that, too. I grin at myself, thinking about all the things I am – and am not – sitting here today.

…My thoughts are interrupted most aggravatingly by my neighbor revving his car in the drive way, rattling the wall. I haven’t heard it quite like this before, and find myself hoping his cute lowered and modified car is “okay”. Then, the wall rattles again, and I frown, see-sawing between interested concern, and the raw nerves of noise sensitivity. Damn, dude, that car does not need to warm up for 10 fucking minutes… for fucks sake. I note the reaction, and take a slow, deep breath. He pulls away. I exhale and let it go. 🙂

It’s a morning to practice non-attachment, I suppose… 😉

I finish my coffee hurriedly, and realize my mistake when I begin coughing (I inhaled some of it. lol). I slow myself down with my whole will, and take another breath. There’s time. 56 doesn’t get here any sooner if I am rushing myself along, it only diminishes the quality of the journey getting there. lol

I consider a moment of contentment, captured in a photograph, and begin again.

Well…actually, no. I woke up in pain this morning, just like I went to bed in pain last night. I’m still smiling, still mostly merry, and definitely not taking it personally, at this present moment, which is a pleasant detail. The peculiar pre-dawn gloom has begun to lift, and even though it’s not yet 5:00 am, there is sufficient light to see the garden. I take my coffee on the deck, and spend a few minutes listening to birdsong and breezes, before the commuter traffic begins to take over.

…Soon enough, a new work day will begin…

The blue skies aren’t my doing; how I choose to face the day, is.

I sip my coffee and sigh contentedly. Another day ahead. I’m good with that. 🙂 I take a moment for meditation, less out of any hope of significant pain relief, more about being emotionally well for the day ahead. Yesterday was a long day, and by the end I was struggling to manage my pain, and very happy to get home. I’m back to having a pretty steady motherfucker of a headache, on top of my arthritis pain, in addition to my torn up ankle… still have to work, still have to stand up to the day-to-day. Hell, even if I didn’t work full-time, I’d be having to tackle the effort involved in routine self-care. LOL Aging sucks.

…It’s better than the only currently available alternative, though, right? 😉 I take a moment for gratitude.

A quiet moment passes. Breathing in. Breathing out. Letting go of the clinging and bullshit attachments. Another breath. Another moment. Another sip of my coffee.

Yesterday’s sunshine has a lingering effect; I find it in my smile, in a relaxed moment.

I remind myself not to leave my cane behind as I prepare for the day. Still yawning, still rubbing sleep out of my eyes, still reminiscing about the rather shitty night’s sleep just behind me, and the long work day ahead; it’ll feel long, regardless, that’s how pain works, and I’ve yielded to it before the day has begun. I shake it off, and let that shit go. I remind myself to speak gently, and be mindful we are each having our own experience – pain isn’t unique to my experience. We could all use a bit of kindness.

There’s quite a bit to be learned from yesterday’s experience. This morning, I find myself present in this moment, here, and I’m okay with that. I quash that weird “what am I forgetting to do??” sensation as likely just an illusory disruption in my senses, and I move on from that, too. I take some deep breaths, and make a point of just… letting shit go. This? I let it go. That? Yep, that, too, I let that go. Over there? Oh, hell, yes. Gone. 🙂

…Another breath. A glance at the clock. I finish my coffee; it’s time to begin again. 😀