Archives for category: more than a little bit of bitching

I’m on my third coffee this morning. I slept poorly. My Traveling Partner slept poorly. I slipped away early in the morning hoping he would be able to get some better sleep, but that didn’t work out ideally well. I am sitting in the studio, drinking coffee and considering the causes and the potential outcomes, and wondering how best to be helpful.

“Being considerate” may very well be one of the most powerful skills (and practices) that a person can bring to social relationships (of all kinds). I have found it sometimes a bit difficult to define “consideration” – in spite of placing it high on my list of things to look for in relationships. I see people who are “considerate” practicing deep listening, explicit expectation-setting, skillful boundary setting, asking clarifying questions, testing their assumptions, yielding their natural desire to be “right” preferring to be kind, making an explicit effort to refrain from “centering themselves” in every circumstance or conflict, and being very comfortable making a prompt apology when another person points out a transgression. That seems like a lot to manage, but it really does all map to “consideration” – as in, genuinely considering what those around them are going through or may need.

Let’s be clear on one point; I don’t see considerate people being doormats or open to being abused or mistreated. They use boundary setting and expectation setting with great skill and comfort. They consider their own needs along side the needs of others, and make a point of practicing good self-care, too.

Lacking fundamental consideration leads people to casually mistreat others without intention – and often without noticing, and sometimes following-up by callously doubling-down on that mistreatment by attempting to deflect blame (by way of excusing their actions as “unintended”). Doesn’t really “make things right” to do things that way, and feels still more inconsiderate. People who are inconsiderate are by far more common than people who are considerate! It has become socially “normal” to see (or have to accommodate) inconsiderate behavior from others. People are busy. Self-involved. Dealing with their own shit. Struggling to heal trauma. Uneducated about the impact their choices/words/behavior has on others. Unaware how much difference consideration can make. There’s a lot going on with inconsiderate people. Most of it is even shit everyone has going on in life. One thing that isn’t going on with inconsiderate people; they are not being “considerate” (probably a huge timesaver, I don’t know…).

Consideration and considerate behavior isn’t “natural” to human primates; we learn it from our social group(s) – and therefore must teach it to our companions, explicitly. Children generally get taught “sharing” – a part of consideration. Every element of consideration probably needs to be explicitly taught. As a culture we’re clearly falling down on the job, there, based on the general rise in inconsiderate behavior, basic rudeness, and prevalent violence. I’m pretty certain that very considerate people are likely less prone to violence. It’s something to think about.

Today, I’m struggling with “my nature”; I tend to be very considerate (of others), but also tend to fail myself on the self-care and boundary-setting side of things. Knowing my Traveling Partner did not sleep well, I consider what I can do to be helpful, or to at least minimize the potential for stress or conflict in our relationship due to the both of us being fatigued and in pain. It’s complicated. What does he need? What does he want? Can I provide those things? Is guessing at them wise? What about me? What do I need, myself? Can I meet his needs and my own? When do well-intentioned inquiries about what he needs become invasive or pestering? How do I prevent my own boundary and expectation-setting needs from being swept aside in the pursuit of a gentle day together (under difficult circumstances)? What is reasonable, and what is excessive? How far do I take “not taking things personally” before it becomes entirely necessary to “push back” or point out a boundary – and how do I do that gently enough to also avoid sounding “bitchy” or unreasonable?

My anxiety simmers in the background, and that’s not at all helpful. Consideration, like “mindfulness”, is something that takes quite a bit of actual practice (at least for me). It’s not my “default” human behavior. It is, however, something I value quite a lot – enough to keep practicing. Enough that it matters to achieve mastery – and balance.

It’s a new day. There are opportunities to be a better person than I was yesterday. There will be verbs involved, and practice required. My results will no doubt vary. It’s a good time to begin again. 🙂

It’s a descriptive phrase, is it not? “Hitting the wall”… That’s where I am. It’s been a long, purpose-filled, practical sort of Saturday, and I got a lot done. My Traveling Partner and his son, too, filled their day with purpose and completed tasks on a big project (rebuilding the CNC machine in the shop). I see my partner’s fatigue on his face, and in his posture as he moves through the room. I heard it in my step-son’s voice. I feel it in my bones – that down deep fatigue that is sometimes the last recollection before exhaustion (and sleep) finally overtake me. It’s easy to confuse this feeling with anhedonia – I am for sure “out of fucks to give” at this point, though it’s only that I’m fatigued. Aside from fatigue and physical pain (still have that headache I woke with and my back aches), I’m feeling mostly fairly merry, although I am utterly unreliable about showing it, I’m just that tired.

I’ve hit a wall. I’m done. That’s it. The truth of it? I could force myself to continue to put one foot after the other, if it were urgently necessary for life-saving or crisis management purposes, and I’ve done so under worse conditions by far – but I sure don’t intend to if I don’t have to. I’m wiped out. No “spoons” left at all. It will feel like a noteworthy effort to make my way to bed when that time comes. I don’t see that being very far off, at all, although it is only 19:30 right now. LOL

I have a video on. I’ll end up watching it again some other time if I really want to ingest this content; I’m only half engaged (in anything), and I won’t remember any of this.

G’damn I wish my neck didn’t ache so much. I wish my back didn’t hurt, and that this headache had gone away politely after I took a headache remedy this morning. (It didn’t help, but I had hoped…) I hope to be able to lay this mortal body down and drift off to a deep solid sleep and wake rested and pain-free some hours later. Pain is one of those things that has the potential to prevent me from falling asleep. I’m so tired I just make note of that not-uncommon experience. The thought dissipates as quickly as it developed. I lack concern; I’m too tired for concern. LOL

I sip this glass of iced tea, unconcerned that it might keep me up; I’m too tired to worry about it, and too tired for it to be a thing to be worried over. I think over the day and the week. It’s been good. I’ve gotten a lot done in the days since I accepted the offer for my new job. I’m excited to start, generally speaking, and also excited about this time – my time – between jobs. Leisure time. Productive time. Time helping my partner with his business. Time helping myself through self-study. Time for indulging myself, reading books. Time in the garden. Time soaking in the hot tub. Time learning new, other, things to do with managing my anxiety. Time well-spent.

…I’d say something about “time to begin again”, but I’m honestly too tired for that right now… I’ll begin again tomorrow. lol

It’s a good Tuesday to work from the co-work space. It’s a good day to follow-up on outstanding applications for positions I could be a good fit for. It’s a good day to submit new applications on new leads. A good one to study new skills and new tools, or refresh an out-of-date credential. I’m seated comfortably. My equipment is working. There’s just this one detail that is amiss; I’ve got a massive headache, and it’s quite the distracting nuisance.

I breathe through it. Take breaks. Hydrate. Stretch. Take a headache remedy. Get a walk in. Correct my posture. Have a coffee. Focus on other things. I mean, for real, I’m just throwing solutions at this fucking headache and hoping for the best. lol I’m pretty glad I’m not in my office at home, while my Traveling Partner is working on complex design and problem solving tasks. He’s very sensitive to my “state of being”, and neither of us needs this headache pinging on our consciousness at all. I can, at least, take it out of his environment and do my thing elsewhere. So, that’s what I’m doing. He’s further free to focus on work because I had not even mentioned the headache at any point this morning before starting “the work day”, so it’s not on his mind as a concern even in the background. 😀

…I’ve got a bit of a case of the blues, though I suspect it’s just one more byproduct of this fucking headache, so I work on letting it go and not taking it personally. It’s an uphill fight today; the headache keeps dragging me down. I keep clawing my way back to a positive perspective. (I remind myself that this headache will pass.)

I have an amusing moment, as I sit working; my keyboard speed (on this manual keyboard) is distracting to the two dudes sitting near me (one of whom is staring into a boldly colored spreadsheet, the other appears to be scrolling up and down in some massive list of things). They shift uncomfortably, the faster I type. I am distracted by their being distracted. LOL One finally turns to me and says out loud “wow, you really get going on that keyboard…”. I look up, unsure at first if he is talking to me, then smile politely and reply “yeah, I’ve heard that” and get back to business.

…This fucking headache, though, g’damn…

Between the headache and my arthritis pain, today, I’m really struggle with “the blues”. I remind myself that it is the pain, and that these are common feelings. Humans hurt. Humans struggle. Humans feel. It’s not personal, even when it very much feels like it is. I keep fighting the distraction. Keep returning to the tasks in front of me. Keep working to “lift myself up”. Processes and practices. Having the luxury of being able to invest my time in self-care is pretty handy. It would be lovely to have the security of employment and a steady paycheck right now, yes, but… it’s also pretty nice that I am not having to choose between self-care and work right now. (Although it’s fair to define the job search and continuing education stuff as “work”, it’s very much self-paced, and no pressure.)

I recently heard from two very dear old friends. The Goth Technician and The Author replied to email I had recently sent of the “how are things?” variety. Makes me smile even now, though I read those emails and replied quite some time ago. It’s the connection. There is so much value in our human ability to connect with each other, even over email. It prompts me to send another friend and email – it’s been too long – and yet another. Somehow, these don’t aggravate my headache at all, as though to direct my attention to building and maintaining relationships, and away from task-processing like a machine. 🙂 Something to reflect on? Probably.

I sit sipping my water, thinking about lunch time (which I plan to spend at home with my partner), thinking about sunrises and new beginnings, and thinking about… this fucking headache. LOL Very distracting. I definitely need to begin again. 🙂

Every sunrise is a new beginning.

I arrived home smiling. My Traveling Partner was also smiling. As I started making my coffee, he started telling me new/other/additional details about the CNC he is building. Interesting stuff. There was a break in the conversation, and I started to tell him what my day plan had in store… “I wasn’t finished talking,” he advises. I apologize and make room for him to continue.

Somehow we continue to be “out of step” with each other. I don’t think I ever actually get to telling him what my day holds (as far as plans go). I indicate I’m going to take my coffee into the studio and write a bit before I head out for the errands I’d planned. He restarts (continues?) the conversation about the CNC as I walk down the hall, so I stop and turn back to avoid being rude and hear him out. I’m interested. I also have an idea in mind for my morning writing. (It’s gone, now, and was by the time I sat down at my desk.)

We continue to be out of step with each other. I feel a bit sad and tired over it. He sounds hurt and annoyed when he sticks his head into the studio. So far the morning is…uncomfortable, awkward, and emotionally unsatisfying. When I think about the smile on my face (and in my heart) as I arrived home, I’m irked. With myself. With circumstances. It’s aggravating. We both want to hang out, and it’s fairly clear (to me) that one (or both) of us is not actually in a place to make that easy, for some reason. I don’t actually understand it. I just see it. Am I helpless in the face of this shitty moment? No. I could take action – I’m just, at least for now, unclear on the best course of action to take.

…What a shitty cup of coffee this one is. I made it just as I make other cups of coffee, but this one right here? Dreadful. Feels like a metaphor… (nonetheless, it is a pretty terrible cup of coffee, and no fooling, I’m still sitting here drinking it.)

I look over my list of errands. One of them is to a retailer that will apparently be closed today. Fucking hell, I’ve had this on my list for days, and I just keep missing the window. I breathe and exhale, letting go of the moment of frustration; it’s excessive for the concern at hand, and reflects the emotional tone of the moment in the background, more than anything to do with the errand itself. I feel myself teetering on the edge of running out of fucks to give far too earlier in the day – it is an unreasonable reaction to feeling frustrated with my partner and the dynamic between us in this moment.

…G’damn this is one awful cup of coffee…

I clearly need to begin again. Like, for real, all over again. LOL

The morning is very overcast. The meadow is dull and dry looking this morning. I sit with my coffee in the grass, on the compact three-legged camp stool I keep in the car. My camera is set up, but the birds are shy this morning. I sit watching the colorless sunrise, and listening to the noise of my tinnitus and… helicopters? Yep. It’s the air show weekend. No wonder the birds are laying low this morning.

Another sip of coffee. I manage not to fall on my ass as I set the cup down abruptly hoping to quickly get some shots of a small mouse or vole or other small mammal in the grass. I failed to make the adjustments needed quickly enough to get the picture, and subsequently also missed a small yellow bird who decided to stop precisely where my camera had been pointed. Yep. It’s one of those days. lol

I reach for my coffee and knock it over. lol

The air quality seems poor today. It’s warm again this morning, and very muggy. I don’t envy folks attending the airshow; it’s going to be uncomfortably hot before noon. I definitely don’t feel like I am missing anything by not attending. The constant sound of aircraft overhead makes me tense and cross. The heat and humidity leave me feeling irritable and sticky.

There’s nothing on my calendar for today. I had planned to go camping again next week, but the heat discouraged me, and as it turns out I have a final interview with a job I interviewed for this week… so I canceled my camping trip. Very adult of me. lol I plan to enjoy today as part of my weekend.

Lanscape crews turn up… I expect they’ll mow this lovely meadow, and I am feeling annoyed by that.

Is it me, or is it this moment? I notice that I am already struggling to manage my pain, on top of “everything else”. Sounds like it’s me. I give the landscapers a wave and start gathering up my gear. There’s a pleasant park on my route home, a lovely spot for meditation. I will relocate, and begin again.