Archives for category: Metaphors

There’s no actual connection between this morning’s rather bitter cup of coffee and the much improved rest I’ve been getting. The coffee, likely bitter because the water was still hotter than ideal when I made it, is a simple, practical failure of process. I’ll still drink it. It’s still coffee. The improved rest? A by product of circumstance and self-care; I took a few days off, which I am still enjoying, and I turned off my alarm clock. I sleep when I like, as long as I like, until I wake naturally. The first night, there was no significant change in my sleep. Since then, I’ve been sleeping long enough hours to fully benefit from the (still) lighter sleep I’ve been getting.

Recognizing that the rest I’ve been needing is only partially about sleep, and definitely also about “cognitive fatigue”, I’ve spent hours relaxed, sitting quietly, meditating, watching the autumn leaves fall, watching rain storms pass by, watching squirrels come for a bite to eat at my deck garden. What I have not been doing is watching a ton of video content, or even reading books for hours. Most of my time is spent entirely quietly and at ease, listening to myself think. lol

A few quiet moments all for me. 🙂

Taking this time for myself has been so worth it. Could I have spent it “more productively”? Sure, but what would I be good for if I had not taken this time for myself? As it is, I still get things done… dishes get done… trash goes out… laundry gets folded and put away… the routine matters of caring for home and hearth are handled. The rest of the time is mine to do with as I please… or do nothing that appears to be anything at all. lol I choose the doing nothing, at least this weekend, this time; it’s what I need to restore my wellness right now. 🙂 No one to talk to? Yep, and that’s precisely okay. 😉

…I do miss my Traveling Partner. The fact that he is away for days and days does have lonely moments. On the other hand, I adore him so terrifically, that when he is here at home with me, I sometimes lose myself in the day-to-day pleasures of his company, and forget entirely about getting enough rest – or getting anything done. LOL It’s a puzzle. I am so grateful to love and be loved in return. I am more grateful still that his love is so deep and enduring that even my silences and solitudes can be included within his affection for me, and not perceived as any loss of affection for him. 😀

This is such a terrible cup of coffee, right here. LOL It is, however, a good life, and one terrible cup of coffee among so many isn’t worth being a source of torment or discontent. A lot of things work that way; terrible in some moment, but considered in context, not that big a deal. I find it helpful to let small things stay small. I take a glance around the room as I finish my coffee. Sleeping in was lovely, and I also have tomorrow off… on the other hand, Sunday is also my “regular day” for weekly chores, and general housekeeping, and I’m inclined to begin returning to routine matters (I feel that much more rested, that I keep finding myself un-anchored from what day it is, and have to keep checking – it’s feels so much longer a time than a couple of days, now. lol)

Sundays are a good day for new beginnings, and fresh starts. 🙂

I didn’t sit down to write until nearly 9:30 am, after a leisurely shower, and close to 12 hours of sleep. Rare for me. (I didn’t sleep continuously through the night; I woke up twice to pee. lol) When I woke, I was unsure of the day, and considered just going back to bed…

…but, there’s an entire day, and a long weekend, ahead of me to enjoy this brief solitary time, a few days with the house to myself, and a lot of quiet (some of it quite lonely). So, I stayed up, showered, put on clean clothes, and finally started hot water for coffee. Oh, hey, I hear the click of the electric kettle just now… be right back!

A ‘coffee flower’ – each as unique as any other flower. I enjoy their brief existence, blossoming as I make my coffee, gone in an instant.

The heat comes on just as I return with my coffee. The 72 degrees that felt so chilly at the end of the evening, last night, feels almost stifling this morning. I turn the temperature down to 60; I won’t yearn for the comfort and warmth of a warmer room until later in the day. Hell… how much of the day will I even spend right here? It’s a chilly autumn morning, fiercely windy, and it might be nice to get a decently long walk in today. The thought puts a smile on my face at the same time that a tear streaks down my cheek. I think of my Granny, and walks we took together on autumn days. South Mountain, Pennsylvania… Cambridge, Maryland… Grants Pass, Oregon… thoughts and places roll past like a slide show. The tears fall softly. Honest tears of sorrow or regret, tears of heartfelt loss, these don’t trouble me at all, they are only more love than my heart can contain – and no one to share it with (right now). I’m okay. She was a splendid strong woman of great character, flawed, human, and of tremendous heart, and I miss her in this autumn moment, considering a walk that, once upon a time, we could have taken together. 🙂

I sip my coffee, comforted by the ordinary routine. I listen to the traffic beyond the studio window. Last night I felt very motivated to paint through the weekend. Just now, though? I am filled with eagerness to tidy up, to create order from chaos, to check off tasks from my list, and to do those things while keeping half an eye on the autumn leaves falling to the deck beyond the glass door, watching for squirrels. It’s that time again; the colder weather, the autumn breezes, I’ll begin putting nuts out for the squirrels and chipmunks, and suet for the birds. 🙂

My thoughts drift to my Traveling Partner and his adventures, and I hope he is doing well. I’m eager to see him when he returns home. I miss him greatly.

I had also definitely missed this solitude, and I had failed hard at the self-care skills needed to ensure I managed to get the quiet time I routinely need, or to seek, or create, the stillness I need to maintain my most chill and contented self. I smile, and forgive myself for my obvious limitations. lol I will continue to practice. Keep working at it. Keep learning and growing. Keep speaking up when the need becomes too great. Keep communicating my needs in an open, honest, and gentle way. All the things. There’s a lot. If I try to write down all the tiny very fine details of “how to” care for oneself very skillfully, from the perspective of what I understand, myself, it would be such a long detailed list that it would almost certainly appear ludicrous to even contemplate! In practice, though, it’s just practice. Do a thing. It worked? Repeat that. It worked again? Pretty reliable. Try it a few times more. Still working? Awesome; now practice until it is quite natural, almost effortless, and it has become part of “who you are”. 🙂 Add another thing. Repeat the process. Simple enough. Stop doing what doesn’t support your emotional well-being and general good health and contentment. (That’s surprisingly a bit harder, and may take more practice.)

I sit sipping my coffee, barefooted, in my studio, with four lovely relaxed days ahead, suitable for my leisure needs. I have not decided what, specifically, to do with them (besides sleeping, showering, and sipping coffee – those I guess I can count on). I listen to the traffic, loud beyond the window. There are dishes to do. Things to put away. A container garden on the deck to “winterize”. There is this heart full of paintings with which to shout what I don’t have the words to whisper. I am hovering in that place of indecision, without urgency. There are no “wrong answers”, only an opportunity to begin again. 🙂

…Home…work…home…work… Back and forth, pretty much continuously, distractingly interspersed with a couple days off, not quite convincing me that I have ample leisure. lol Omg – fuck this. I sigh and sip my coffee. I breathe, exhale, relax… And remind myself that the bills are paid, and this home is comfortably warm on a chilly morning. I had hot water – and indoor plumbing – and sweet smelling shower gel in my morning shower. This cup of coffee? Work was involved in that, too; coffee beans aren’t free. The electricity that ran the burr grinder? Paid for that, too, with money I worked for. So…okay. Work is thing, I guess I’m stuck with that for now.

…I’m so ready to get off this treadmill. Have been for a long time. It aggravates me to see articles about the need to “raise the retirement age” – let that shit be optional, voluntary, and self-determined! Damn – you think I want to be “gainfully employed”? Um… no. It’s just that our society is built on the exchanges of goods and services made possible by the additional exchange of currency. Currency that represents our labor (and in a most bitter and unfortunate additional bit of truth, the “exchange rate” of life force for currency is neither “fair” nor “equal” and some human beings are most definitely paid too little for their time, whereas others are paid far far more than any real value that could be assessed based their life or humanity). So… work. Home to enjoy. Work to pay for it. Back and forth.

It really does bug me when “retirement ages” are set such that they only account for those who wish to work longer. Of course, it would also bug me if the agency of adult human beings was undermined such that people who are capable and eager are forced out of the workforce solely due to their age. Either way, it’s the lack of agency I’m actually objecting to; we are not machines, we’re not all identical in appearance – or intention. Some people earnestly want to work in their later years – I’ve met a few. (Keeping things real, I’ve met far more who felt they had to continue working because they needed the money and were not financially prepared to retire.) I’ve also met people who are looking ahead to retirement before they were 30. (I’m one of those, but I’m also likely going to be someone who has to keep working due to not being financially prepared to retire.)

Sipping coffee thinking about the work-life treadmill on a Thursday. Of course, I have choices, and I mull them over now and then, fully aware I could, perhaps, paint full time (and be creatively contented and probably below the poverty line), or go into business in my working profession as an independent consultant, or do some other work I’d never considered but is incredibly lucrative – people who have freed themselves from the treadmill do exist. I just don’t happen to be one of them. lol This morning I’m tired, and I woke with a headache from a dream that I was commuting to work driving my car backwards. lol Too many late-ish nights, not enough sleep? Another sip of coffee, and an internal commitment to going to bed “on time” tonight, is the only result of my fatigue-y cynicism.

The truth is, I’m good at my profession. I’ve chosen to continue it a couple times after attempting to escape it. I’m pretty skillful at the “going to work every day” thing, in a way that quite a few people I know are not. I support myself, loved ones, and creative endeavors through these skills, and I feel satisfied with all of that. I’m just tired this morning and yearning for a freedom from routine that I not only don’t have – I’m neither comfortable with, in fact, nor skilled at managing well. lol It is what it is. (This sort of thing is specifically why I don’t make major decisions while deeply fatigued or stressed out; my thinking changes when I am relaxed, and able to face challenges from an emotionally neutral, practical perspective, and I make very different decisions.)

Choices. Verbs. The things that are. The things that are not – or are not, yet. The wheel keeps turning. If I don’t like my circumstances, there are alternatives. If I don’t like the person I see myself becoming, I can make changes. If I don’t like the conversation going on around me, I can walk on. Hell, even when the conversation I’m not enjoying is the internal “conversation” going on with myself, I can definitely “fix that” – I can begin again. 😉

Isn’t life like that? Endless beginnings… which also means, endless endings. Focus on the endings and life can feel pretty bleak, frustrating, more than a bit of a let down, perhaps. Focus on the beginnings… ? Maybe focus on the journey, itself, present for each moment. 🙂

Here it is a Monday. The days are already shorter than 12 hours. The sun rise will occur some moments past 7 a.m., this morning. The sky is dark; I get up quite a bit ahead of the dawn, now. I’m okay with that, it’s just that it feels, subjectively as if I have more time than I do – now there’s a life metaphor, and a half. lol It pretty much always feels like I have more time than I do. We are mortal creatures, and our time is short.

I shrug it off, sip my coffee, and let my thoughts move on. My recollection of the weekend is a thoroughly pleasant one, although certainly life and love have both deliciously sweet and unpalatably unpleasant moments. It was a good weekend, in a good life. 🙂 Autumn has obviously come, with chill weather a bit “ahead of schedule” and serious thunderstorms that definitely sell the climate change warning; we never used to have such thunderstorms (any, really) in the area I live in. I wonder what becomes of the world, if we continue to abuse our planet? I sigh heavily in the quiet room, sip my coffee, and let that go, too.

I check the time; it’s already time to get my things together for the commute ahead of me. It is already time to begin again. 🙂

Sipping my coffee on a Sunday. Feeling content, and cherishing that feeling even more for having recently been blown off that comfortable perch by stormy emotional weather. I take time to be pleased with the morning, and the moment, and the fact that hurt feelings don’t have to linger for days. Even yesterday was quite lovely, so much so that I never did sit down to write about it; I was busy enjoying it.

But what happened?!

Fair enough. I went to my afternoon appointment, Friday, and returned home. He was up from napping, by the time I got back. We enjoyed a lovely evening – and not “as if nothing happened” in some peculiar surreal or bitter way, faking the moment. It was like that at all. We each had a chance to care for our own needs, and took it. He took time to manage his pain, and got more rest (which he evidently needed). I took the time it took to manage my own pain, and my PTSD, which had flared up over some nothing and derailed our lovely morning. We were both fine, and when we reconnected in the evening, we made a point to check in with each other, sooth hurts, restore broken intimacy, and simply moved on with a lovely evening, without lingering resentment (as far as I know; it’s still true we are each having our own experience).

Then we enjoyed yesterday. Autumn means more indoor cooking. Desired health, long-term wellness, fitness, and longevity goals mean more new recipes, whole ingredients, and fun exploring different sorts of meals at home. Just humans being human.

Today, I woke with a bit of a headache, but well-rested, feeling fairly merry, and enjoying the sound of the rain falling fairly ceaselessly (this entire weekend) beyond the windows. I sip my coffee, explicitly aware of, and exceedingly grateful for, the roof over my head, the central heat and a/c, the indoor plumbing and potable water, refrigeration, the gas fireplace, the comfortable furnishings, and the lovely view beyond the patio. I’ll never be wealthy, but I am so very fortunate. It’s a lovely morning to enjoy that, to embrace contentment, and maybe, later, do a little laundry. lol 😀

…Then I can begin again. 🙂