Archives for category: Oregon Trails

It seems ages since the season last turned… Fall to Winter it was. An eternity it go, it seems now. I smile and sip my coffee, cold brew out of a can. My sleep was restless after foolishly sipping on a 3rd rather overly caffeinated coffee late into the afternoon yesterday. Mindlessness comes at a cost, every time. I woke with effort, groggily pulling myself from dreams that seemed more engaging than life.

For now, the day gets off to an early rather ordinary beginning for a Tuesday on a work day. Later I’ll come home, and there will be sufficient daylight for a bit of gardening, and maybe grilling something pleasant for dinner. It’s a short week, so either tonight or tomorrow will be mostly spent on housework, and getting shit together for the long weekend in the country. I smile, thinking ahead to the weekend.

A late autumn perspective. What will Spring reveal?

I open another can of coffee with a smile. Why does icy cold canned cold brew coffee taste like summertime?

Spring, already? I have plans. My intention is to camp a lot more this year. Hike a lot more. Disconnect a lot more. Having a place to go in the countryside, and the opportunity to enjoy the company of my Traveling Partner more along the way, just makes all of that seem so easy. πŸ™‚

I’d been in the practice of hiking literally every weekend for quite a long while, then, moving into my own place sort of threw off my cadence a bit; there were other things to do, and all of them fell to me, daily. Adulting is busy work. No, I mean, seriously – it’s busywork. lol I ended up spending more time on other sorts of self-care entirely. Moving away from the park, last July, definitely changed the frequency of my hiking. First, the move itself, then… oh, right, my Traveling Partner moved down south, and I gained a car – and a commute that requires one. Then being sick, and the holidays, and more being sick, and then… What the hell? Why was that enough to stop me from hiking every weekend? Oh. Right. I spend of lot of those weekends driving down and back. LOL

Still – lots of great hikes down that way, and all of them are hikes I think I want to do. Time to research, plan, look over maps, and make it part of my experience when I’m down there. Spring is here. πŸ™‚

Where will the journey take me?

Time to begin again.

I woke a bit early, showered, and made coffee. I caught up on Facebook, and disengaged as soon as I’d flipped through the posts of dear friends, because that’s all I was there to do. My weekend bag is packed for the weekend. I’m eager to the point of confusing excitement and anxiety, which also means – more, better, self-care, and closely managing behavior with an eye on the potential to reach that tipping point at which excitement might actually become anxiety, because that’s not a place I want to reach. πŸ™‚

Every weekend that I go home – and it does, at this point, feel very much more like home there, than here – I promise myself I’ll write while I’m there. I don’t. It’s not a lack of inspiration, it’s more a lack of will to pull myself from those moments even long enough to write about them (or about anything else). It tends to point to the greater urgency to truly care for myself, and be present in my relationships, over sharing the tale of the moment with others. I’m sort of sorry for that – and sort of not. I don’t think I’ve spent any other portion of my life this emotionally well, and I feel generally pretty okay aside from the signs and symptoms of aging, and physical pain associated with such things (and other similar such things that have lasted far longer than any sense of age). It used to be that I could mock my physical pain because it was nothing compared to the chaos and damage, nothing compared to my emotional pain. Weird to actually notice how very different my experience is now.

Still, here it is Friday. Last week I drove down after work, after an appointment. This week… I’m so eager to get the weekend started I am seriously considering the drive down tonight, in spite of Friday evening commuter traffic being a definite thing for the first 18 miles or so, and likely taking about 90 minutes to get past that mess. I just want to go. I want to be there, more than I want to be here. The yearning makes my heart ache, and makes me breathless with excitement.

I’m so human, though. I remind myself that each journey in life, across distance, also represents – in living metaphors, if we’ll have them – our metaphysical journey through life’s experiences. My last trip down and back was ferociously hair-raising, and uncomfortably so. I’ve been working on the specifics of my emotional experience as a driver on American roads in my commuting. This is no different. I consider my intention. Get there safely. Get there without wrecking my emotional experience. Get there while also following traffic rules. Driving with the average speeding of traffic, neither slowing things down by being needlessly slow, nor screwing with the flow of things generally by aggressively insisting on going faster than the average speed of traffic. Considerate. Polite. Skillful. Safe. Purposeful. Alert. Aware. Unaggressive. Not taking things personally. Mindful we are each having our own experience. Arriving at my destination still happy I made the trip and feeling something other than profound relief to have arrived alive. πŸ™‚ Gotta have goals. πŸ˜€ Committed to the journey, not the outcome. Not the time or the timing. Drive the drive, and enjoy that process first. Get there when I get there, and enjoy that then.

I’m so ready to begin again. Are you? Where will the journey take you?

I woke much earlier than my alarm. Early enough to do yoga, shower, dress, and make an Americano before my alarm would have gone off. I’m quite alert and wide awake, and feel rather as if weeks and weeks of fatigue and illness are finally behind me. Still have the weird headache. Still have more future appointments to deal with it. Still have the arthritis pain. Still bitching about that. It is morning. I am human. πŸ™‚

I sip my coffee contentedly, noting how good it is this morning and just really enjoying that. It is a Friday, tomorrow is the weekend. I feel relaxed and at ease – because, partly, I’ve chosen to practice having this experience of relaxed contentment, learned to build and sustain that over time, and it’s become (if not my default “state of being”) quite common to feel this way. It is a huge improvement over being mired in despair, chronically frustrated, and wondering endlessly what the point even is to living. πŸ˜€ I’ll straight up say it; I got here with my choices. I got here with practice. There were – and are – verbs involved. Practicing practices is an ongoing thing; this is not a task, these are processes. This is me, living my life, and my results vary – right now, this moment here? It’s very pleasant. πŸ™‚

There is stuff yet to do. Housekeeping. Tidying up. Maintenance. Repairing, cleaning and maintaining. lol There’s also brunch with a friend, hang out time with another, and perhaps a lovely hike with a new camera on a pleasant Sunday morning. πŸ˜€ I get to choose. πŸ™‚

I’m ready to begin again. Let’s start this day!

What a peculiar few days (couple of weeks?) it has been. I haven’t done anything particularly noteworthy… I go to work. I return home. I meditate. I read. I do just enough yoga to continue to use all my joints. I do just enough housekeeping to stay mostly fairly tidy. I don’t feel mired in sorrow, or at all blue. I’m just dealing with more pain than usual. It takes a lot out of me. I feel less like going anywhere or doing anything, once I’ve managed to put a work day behind me. Weekends aren’t much different; more meditation, more reading, no work of the employment sort, lots more squirrels, still managing pain.

I miss my Traveling Partner, but I am glad I’ve taken the time to get rested. I’m even, generally, sleeping (mostly) through the nights, and getting to bed at an hour that ensures I’ve gotten adequate rest. It’s something. Right now, it’s enough. Clearly I’ve been needing the rest. I’ve even finally gotten entirely over all of whatever contagious crud has been going around. Other than the pain I am often in, I feel pretty good. πŸ™‚

I sip my coffee. The weather seems already inclined to turn toward spring. I’ve begun carrying the new camera with me everywhere. I look ahead to the weekend, another on which I will be generally at home. I’ve brunch plans Saturday with a friend that will take me an hour across town – which, these days, hardly seems like a drive at all. lol I’ve got a ticket to a concert Saturday night.Β In between those, regularly planned time hanging out with another friend. Busy Saturday. Sunday looks like a good day for rest and laundry – or a hike! If the weather holds up, Sunday could be a lovely day to take the camera on her first outing into the trees down some near-ish trail. A plan begins to take shape.Β  πŸ˜€

I smile into my coffee as I take a moment to recognize I’ve probably been quite slowed down just by the fact that it is winter – that’s a thing, it happens to all kinds of creatures, our seasonal clocks don’t all affect us the same way. I don’t consider myself someone with any sort of profound seasonal affective symptoms, but I am still a mammal, a primate, a living creature with circadian rhythms, and it is still winter. πŸ™‚

…I’ve got a plan to begin again. This morning, that’s enough. πŸ™‚

 

Well, shit. Writing in the evening is a very hit or miss thing for me, isn’t it? How… disappointing? Inconvenient? Well, something – it definitely falls far short of being a routine. lol I am fortunate that it isn’t an obligation. πŸ™‚

I consider the nature of routines, and the consequences of undermining routines that work in pursuit of some other ideal, or the satisfaction of some other need. In this instance, less than ideally successfully. There are so many small details that are not obvious – nor obviously related. Is there a relationship between the lack of writing, and the more frequent occurrence of dishes in my sink? Or that growing pile of earrings that hasn’t been getting put away? Or the fact that (although steady progress is being made) Giftmas is still not quite entirely put away? Did breaking a longstanding routine “cause” all this? Was the desire to break that routine and try something else part of what has also “caused” all these other strange eruptions of chaos around me? Are these questions that need answering at all?

I guess one way to learn more is to return to writing in the morning. Will the result be a sudden return to unyielding orderliness? I guess I’ll be finding out. πŸ™‚

A rainy day, a squirrel, a new camera.

I love the new camera. I caught myself continuing to grab my camera phone, though, for “difficult” or out of reach shots. I found myself agreeing with my own observation that “the camera phone is by far superior [for me] for opportunities requiring speed or nimbleness” – getting from “no camera” to “camera in hand” very quickly, I mean. It was a thought that resulted in more camera phone, and less camera. I considered that with great care for a day or two, and realized that to achieve that kind of speed-to-image nimbleness with my new camera, I need to do one thing I’ve tend not to do; I’ve got to carry my camera everywhere I go. It’s what I do with my phone. lol Of course speed-to-image is faster with a camera phone – the fucking thing is always already in my damned hand. LOLΒ  It is an observation that seems beyond obvious. I feel just a bit dim that I didn’t have that concept firmly in mind in the first place, but I am okay letting that go, and picking up my camera. πŸ™‚

A new day begins. I begin again, myself. I’m bringing my camera. πŸ™‚