Archives for category: Oregon Trails

I’m looking ahead at the year and sorting out time off plans. Yes, already. I am soooo “that” person. lol I find that doing so gives me a better idea of where I hope to spend my time, and on what activities. It gives me a chance to ensure that I’m also allowing enough opportunity to recover and rest between adventures, festivals, weekends away, and all of the busy things about living life.

There was a point in my life, not too long ago, when such attempts at planning was pure lasting frustration; my planning wasn’t respected by partners, even when the events were shared. It was… hard. For me. My subjective experience, and internal narrative, suggests that I “bent over backwards” to accommodate change, and to be flexible, but… here’s where honest self-reflection has some pay-off; I’m pretty sure I made everyone fairly miserable with noteworthy displays of disappointment, dissatisfaction, and frustration, as much as anything else. Unpleasant on all sides.

Last year was complicated. Lots of well-intended changes of carefully laid plans. Lots of life, and interrupted or changed plans following through on circumstances. Also, rather an enjoyable amount of things that were also planned, and enjoyed precisely as planned, with considerable satisfaction and merriment…so… there’s that. What got missed, often, last year (until near the end) was to also plan, skillfully, with real commitment, the time I needed to care for myself, too.

This year, I hope to improve on that. 😀 It’s not a resolution. It’s just a commitment to myself; I do so much to meet other needs, for myself, for other people, this year I also want to meet my own. Seems doable on paper. I’ve a quantity of time off to use. I’ve some key dates I reliable want to have off every year. I’ll start there. Request that time off now, and see what’s left. Check in with my Traveling Partner on some shared activities and interests. Secure that time off, next. It’s a system that works. This year, I’ll also be mindful that major events need major rest time, and ideally, no two consecutive weekends will have major plans – and definitely any two consecutive weekends of major events or activities needs a real weekend of rest (maybe with an extra day) between them, and anything else planned. Calendar filling up? I start saying “no, I can’t this year – next year?” and getting some variety in the rotation using alternating-year planning. 🙂 Will it work?

…I guess I have to begin again to find out. 😉

Another Monday finished off, in due time. Hardly a routine work day, and I could have easily arrived home in a completely shitty mood, after spending the last half of my work day struggling not to snarl at people (it was that sort of day).

I didn’t. I made other choices, although, honestly, I’m sort of tired now, and… just a tad uncertain which choices had what result. lol Choices were made, however, and some were made differently. New perspective? Different perspective. Close enough.

I got home tired. I’m not even bitching; it wasn’t a particularly long day, and I still have some evening ahead of me to relax, read, write, and do some things to support my own wellness and quality of life. It feels good. It’s a small thing, but keeping some of my focus on my own needs really does make a huge difference, and when I don’t – however worthy the reason, I eventually pay a price for it in a reduction in quality of life, health, emotional resilience, or some moment of aggravation blown out of proportion.

I sat down to write and found this:

…Has it been 6 years?

Funny thing, though… I mean… I write like I breathe (which is to say, reliably, most of the time, and without any particular effort or need to think about it, and fairly unavoidably; it’s part of my existence). How is 6 more years of writing actually an achievement? I nibble at my fairly nutritious dinner, and give that some thought.

6 years ago, I was walking a very different path.

6 years. 6 years of living life. Now that’s an achievement. 6 years of learning to love truly well. 6 years of sharing my heart and my moments with my Traveling Partner. Hell of an achievement right there; love takes some major verbs, done well. 6 years of forgiving myself. 6 years of forgiving others. 6 years of laughing at my own dumb jokes. 6 years spent doing more than crying. 6 years of hiking, camping, and pouring over maps of trails yet to be walked. Those are pretty cool achievements. 6 years of work I can be proud of. 6 years of lasting friendships, and new friends. Definitely some achievements in there. 6 years of more daydreams than nightmares – that’s a big achievement, most particularly because it has continued to improve over time. 🙂 6 years of practicing practices, sharing tales from a journey through a wilderness of chaos and damage, traveling in the twilight of evening light… and somehow, it seems a stroll through a sunny meadow much of the time, in year 6. That’s an achievement I don’t even know how to measure. Feels good.

So… yeah… I guess the tl;dr is “I registered on WordPress.com 6 years ago”. This may not be “happily ever after”… but it is pretty nice, generally. 🙂 I chose to make a change. That was an achievement. I’ve just kept making changes, and when I falter, I begin again. That’s an achievement. Thanks, WordPress.com, you’ve been a hell of a platform for change. 🙂

Still walking my path, paved with verbs and new beginnings, illuminated with love.

It’s the morning of the first day back in the office in a new year. Somehow, this particular day, each year that I’ve been a working adult, reliably feels very much more… significant (close enough) than other “first days” and new beginnings of various sorts. I’m aware it is a matter of subjective experience, my own notions, and context, nonetheless it feels “special”, in neither a specifically positive nor specifically negative way. It is one of the most obviously “this is what I make of it” days in my year, each year.

…Sometimes it is very hard to go back, and really feels like “going backward”.

…Sometimes it is easy to return to the job, and feels very promising.

Today? Today is a Thursday. 🙂

My experience reflects my choices.

I took some additional self-care steps this year, and built my holiday around some skillful choices in time management, and activities. One of those was to allow myself adequate travel and recovery time, instead of rushing myself to get back and also be in the office as of the day after New Year’s Day (you know, the 2nd of January). As it happens, I was so not up to working a shift yesterday, and although the resulting 2-day work week is so short that both days will be (most likely) both a bit long and very busy, I am ready for it, today.

I got to bed relatively early last night, still pretty fatigued from the holiday excitement, and slept soundly through the night. I woke up a bit early, and got up feeling pretty good. Very little pain, and only from all the usual unavoidable bullshit. I sip my coffee contentedly, ready to greet a new day and year. Today effectively restarts the last bit of routine life post-holiday; the job.

…I take a moment to appreciate that although I was “on call” the entire holiday, no one, apparently, needed to call me. Nice. 🙂

The new year will also be the starting point of a new schedule (for me) that should (ideally) allow me to improve on my self-care, by giving me a week day off into which I can schedule appointments and get some things done. Having to take time off of work for every medical appointment gets annoying fast, as well as being overly revealing of how much time I need to spend on that endeavor, which, from my perspective, is a rather personal matter that needn’t be a topic of office conversation. Aging already sucks enough. lol

I’m stalling. It’s time now…

Start where you are. Look toward the horizon you’d like to stand upon. Start walking.

It’s time to begin again.

Although I had intended to write over the long New Year’s holiday…

…I didn’t.

Interesting break from a great many routines. I took time to live life, to reflect on this life I live, to question my choices, gently, to consider new choices to come, to contemplate the path ahead, to let go of expectations, and to clarify assumptions. Productive lifetime in the company of friends, and my Traveling Partner. Solo moments, shared moments, moments of adventure, emotional moments, and a handful of moments of epiphany, all mingling with… moments of pure, lived lifetime. It was lovely.

It was also clearly missing something, but until the moment that 2018 expired, it was less than ideally clear to me what I thought might be missing…

…We really needed a piñata. Seriously. One that could be just beat to fucking death, and explode in a shower of trinkets, mementos, sweets, intoxicants, bits of wisdom gathered through the year, money, glitter and confetti. lol No kidding. I am considering making this a new New Year’s tradition at home. A piñata. 🙂 Something more lasting than a kiss, more visceral than a ball drop, a more powerful metaphor, something a bit physical. 😀 Who’s with me on this?

All of the routines that will remain routine have recommenced. A few got cut from the roster, being less than helpful, or too complicated, or driving more stress than they manage… changes over time mean choices over time, too.

Speaking of time, welcome to 2019. It’s time to begin again. What will you do to save the world?

The world awaits your choices. Your results may vary.

Weird night. I woke repeatedly to answer a question someone asked me – in my dreams. Different dreams. Different questions? No idea, I was confounded each time my attempt to answer (out loud) woke me, because I could not actually recall the question I had tried to answer. My sleep cycled through this strange sequence some 5 times, to my puzzlement when I finally woke, to enjoy the day ahead. No nightmares, although my urgent desire to answer this single question was really frustrating to wake from feeling so incredibly unsatisfied.

I make my coffee. Answer a couple messages. Still feeling sort of weirdly out of step with the day, the time, my experience, I rather randomly (it felt) threw open the patio door and took my coffee with me to my meditation cushion, and restarted my day. Bare feet extending over the door sill, sipping my coffee, feeling the hints of mist-not-quite-rain tickling my skin and dampening the edges of my pajama pants, I sat a while, smiling to myself, enjoying the chill of the autumn morning with the warmth of the house at my back. One of the squirrels began to approach, but realizing the peanuts were really quite near me, without any door between us, he retreated to the deck rail to flip his tail at me rather aggressively, and chitter his annoyance in whatever passes for language among squirrels. I presume it must be a similar experience as arriving to a breakfast destination only to realize there’s a wait. lol Not meaning to be a buzz kill, I move back a bit and close the patio door, so my squirrel neighbor can enjoy breakfast in comfort.

A rainy day, a squirrel.

I sit quietly a while longer, thinking about spring camping. (You may recall, I’ve said I’m “a planner” by tendency? It’s a true thing; I’m planning my spring camping weekends as “now” as I can; it’s less than 6 months away! I frankly feel a bit rushed. LOL) This past year, my camping plans were almost entirely derailed by the regular weekend trips down to see my Traveling Partner; gas money, and time, that in other years would have been camping trips, and the usual recovery weekends between such things were spent recovering from commuting back and forth to be in my lovers arms for just a day or a few hours. My nail-biting as I review maps and details is less about nights out in forests, and more about days out on trails; I need the exercise, and trail hiking is my favorite way to get it.

Ultimately, we each choose our own path…

I figure, maybe if I put more planning under my hopes and dreams for 2019, I can enjoy more of all the things. 🙂 Other things sort of got in the way this year. Break ups, moves, career changes, lifestyle changes, resource changes, business organization changes… all these sorts of things are incredibly disruptive for people, when they come up. For us (together), we handled at least one of each of those in 2018. It was an expensive, and emotionally taxing, year. In some ways inconvenient, unpleasant, and painful. Disappointing. Hard. In other ways, though, it has been a healing journey, a bit of progress, finding some better ways, forging stronger healthier connections as we end relationships and associations that were toxic or overly costly in human or social currency (or, yeah, financially). We’ve all had our own hard mile to walk this year. You, too? Probably, right? 🙂 We’re all in this together, so it’s a fairly safe assumption we’ve each had our challenges.

The year is quickly winding down. There will be no elaborate “punch line” or “finish” to the end of 2018, I suspect, just a fatigued sigh and a moment of relief that it is over, that love wins, that I made it through from one crazy blow out rager of a New Year’s party at one end, to… what? What will New Year’s Eve be this year? Will I be home alone quietly, spending the holiday as is generally my practice, in meditation, contemplation of the year past, and the year ahead? Will I find myself surrounded by friends (or strangers) at some massively loud banger this year, celebrating full on with a crowd of other people, also celebrating, and all the over-stimulation that provides? Fuck – I’m still blown away by the house party I attended last New Year’s. It was… intense. lol The delicious illusion of inclusion and hopefulness that night really set the tone for what it seemed the year would become… of course, it didn’t. Because that’s how illusions work; all show, no substance. The hopes we fostered that night became the disappointments in the year ahead, but of course, we did not see or acknowledge that, then. lol Why would we? It was as if casting a spell, shared by all of us, over all of us, hoping for something much better than we’d previously had. Or… maybe it was just a party? 😉

Mt McLoughlin, Oregon

This year I expect to be a tad more studious about my New Year, whatever I do with it. It’s always a great time to begin again. 🙂 We can’t really know where our journey leads, but we’ve still got to make the journey. Sometimes what looks like a destination, turns out to be nothing more than scenery along the way. It doesn’t change the worthiness of the journey itself, to discover that our path leads past something beautiful in the distance, rather than directly to it; what we see from our own limited perspective in one singular moment may not be as real (or attainable, or desirable, or as near at hand) as we’d like to make it. 🙂 There are so many more options on life’s menu than we can see from the perspective of one moment.

The map is not the world. The fantasy is not the reality.

I look over maps of trails and camps nearer to where my Traveling Partner currently resides… there are some choice locations that are wilderness, in spite of their nearness. There are choices that are very near, indeed, and so manicured, maintained, and resourced, they would be more glamping than camping. Some cool opportunities to be “near enough” that he could pop over to my campsite, or I could pop over for a few hours of partying and music, and we could still generally be doing our own thing… this is a solution that appeals to me greatly. 😀

I sip my coffee and daydream, as the gray sky shifts in tone and hue from “why are you even up already?” to “why are you still lounging around in jammies?”. Looks like it is time for another coffee…