Archives for category: Metaphors

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. 🙂

I hurt today. Soaking helped some. Medication helped some. Morning yoga helped some. I still hurt. I’m cross, and finding it hard to deal with people gently. Pain is not visible – still complicates my interactions. Everything from a partner’s heartfelt well-intentioned fitness reminders that seem to overlook how much pain I am in to a colleague’s pleasant inquiry whether I am “having a bad day” (nope, just pain) that lacks any context regarding the one thing truly amiss (pain). I am as frustrated with the lack of ability to really drive the message home in a way that sticks with loved ones (it’s almost always just pain) as I am with my lack of ability to do anything substantial to reduce my day-to-day pain in a reliable way. Neither bit of frustration is the slightest help for actually improving anything whatsoever.

I breathe. Exhale. Relax. Let go of the frustration. Let go of being annoyed by the fairly steady lack of any real helpfulness involved in asking me what can be done to help. Let go of being annoyed with being reminded to do things that are good for my physical wellness, but so very difficult to embrace because I just fucking hurt. Let go of the whining about any of it (while I whine about all of it, right here). Just… let it go. Feel the love instead of the futility. It’s a tall fucking ask, I grant you that. One more thing to do, it sometimes seems…and sometimes I just feel so… tired. I take a breath, and let that go, too. Even that. Let it go.

There are tears in my eyes. Less the pain than the frustration with the pain. Sometimes it’s hard. Challenging. “The struggle is real.” I try to stop struggling and just surrender to this moment, here, now. It’s not a bad moment. It’s got some nice points to it. The work day almost over. Nice. Warm cup of noodles next to me waiting for my attention – a satisfying small bite of lunch, once it’s ready. Nice. The rain has paused and it looks like a good day to walk – I even have a purposeful destination in mind that should be within my fitness “reach”. Nice. All of that is good stuff. None of that is specifically about the pain I am in. I sit with that perspective instead, for a while.

…These noodles are ready, and it’s already time to begin again. I put the work in front of me on pause, and take care of this fragile vessel. For now, that’s enough.

What a peculiar and volatile time we are living in. A pandemic. The struggles of power and the trials of the powerful. Technological advantages changes what it means to be human, and how we think, and perceive the world around us. Social media “access” to the world that gives us each a megaphone to shout our opinions to anyone/everyone, unaware that we are still just as “unheard” as we ever were, but changes the way we hear others nonetheless. Messy. Difficult.

Change is.

First this change, then that change. Another change to another thing. A new different day. Another election or transition of power. Changes of jobs and roles and tasks and circumstances. Breathe through it. Another change is coming. lol Put it all on pause for a moment, and just sit with yourself. Let your thoughts and worries go, for a moment or two at least, and just be. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. Tears? Let them come. Laughter? Let it fill you up. Be present and fearlessly authentic in your own life – most especially when it’s just you, in a quiet moment, alone in some quiet place. Give yourself at least that one small opportunity to find calm, and to embrace contentment.

Breathe. Exhale. Relax. Begin again.

Autumn is a season of change.

Fighting off change doesn’t prevent or halt change from coming, but – and this is worth noting – very few of the shadows that fall over us signal impending doom. Most of them are just shadows. 😉

The morning began gently, with coffee shared with my Traveling Partner. It was a lovely quiet morning, followed by what is, so far, an utterly ordinary, rather relaxed work day rather typical of my Fridays. Good enough. The state is back on a strict “lockdown”, and more businesses are shuttered for the time being than were closed two weeks ago. Thanksgiving is coming… there’s still this pandemic going on. No big event for us, just a quiet joyful celebration-for-two at home. Still feels like something to celebrate. I’m certainly adequately thankful.

I eye my cold coffee mug after a last swallow of long-cold coffee. It’s a fine time for a second coffee… and that’s another chance to begin again. 😀

“I’ll be writing while I wait for the oven to pre-heat,” I said as I walked away, headed toward my studio. “Okay” he replied, already having returned his focus to the task in front of him. I smile, contentedly, figuring whether he actually heard me or not, it was probably enough to say so; he’d walk right past the open door of my studio if he sought some moment of shared time. There I would be. 🙂 It ‘s a strange moment to focus on, I grant you… It’s just, well, it was a strangely specific moment, and a lovely sensation of “being settled in”, and I don’t recall that I’d had it quite so intensely yet, since moving in to the house. I sat down to write, and the feeling lingered, dominating my thoughts.

…And here we are…

One moment of many.

It’s been raining. Still. I’m okay with that. I enjoy the rain. I set out to walk this afternoon, counting on a soft rain. The rain wasn’t going to have any of that – it came down as a drenching downpour instead. Instead of a walk in the rain, I put on my mask and went to the store. Change is.

The oven beeps to alert me it has pre-heated.

I head into the kitchen and get dinner going. I smile rather stupidly the entire time; I feel good. I mean, pain is pain, I deal with it. The rest of the experience is pretty fucking splendid – overlooking physical pain (this quantity, this day, this time) seems achievable. Mostly is. I make note to say something to my Traveling Partner about the lights, when I notice, all over again, how very much I like the new ones he put in, and the way they enhance the “feel” of the room. It’s interesting how much difference “the color” of the light in a room can change the vibe.

I feel the silky smooth surface of the keys of my keyboard. Already, some are more worn than others. The music in the background feels welcoming, and pleasant – “non-invasive” – adding to the sensation of “smoothness” in this moment. The juxtaposition of sensations extends even to my hair, grown long over the pandemic, resting heavily on my shoulders, spilling forward, ends curling across my chest. Soft. I breathe it in, and sit here with it, just… being. It’s enough.

…Change is… soon enough I’ll have to begin again.