Archives for category: Parables

…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. 😉

I woke to the sound of rain. It’s the sort of steady rain of well-separated medium-sized raindrops that keeps the pavement looking soaked, and the air smelling fresh, without every becoming a downpour. I made coffee, standing at the kitchen window, staring out past the driveway to the street beyond, not really watching the cars go by, still half-wrapped in sleep, not quite awake, yet. I’d considered sitting down and reading some news articles while I waited for water to boil (I like a “pour over” in the morning)… decided it against it, after glancing at headlines. I am not ready for the cesspool that is “newsworthy” humanity, before my coffee. lol

California was more or less “as advertised”, generally in a pleasant way.

I got home far more easily, with fewer moments of stress, and a much more enjoyable (quiet) flight. I wondered later if time of day was something to have considered when I made the plans (the unpleasant flight to LAX was late afternoon, getting me there by 6:30 pm, the flight home to PDX departed from LAX at close to 8:00 pm, and we did not land until well-past 10:00 pm)? There were no chatterboxes or fussy children on the flight home; it was filled with quieter people, traveling purposefully, and keeping to themselves. I chuckle to myself as I read back these past couple of sentences; how much of my experience was actually just… me? Something to consider, too.

I missed my roses while I was away.

My homecoming was pleasant, relaxed, easy; we missed each other, we welcome each other with open arms, and smiles, with appreciation, and gratitude. Friday was very busy, and I’d forgotten to grab the power cord for my laptop when I returned to the hotel Thursday evening. The low battery, and the need to pack with care before work that morning, resulted in letting go my usual “best time” to write. Yesterday? Yesterday was mine to cherish, a sweet day of leisure and romance with my Traveling Partner, time to catch up, time to enjoy each other, time to spend together. I didn’t write, yesterday, because it is most definitely a solitary activity that takes my presence away from my partner’s experience, and on a day we choose for deliberately enjoying each other, sharing our time, our love, and our presence, that would be sort of rude, wouldn’t it? 🙂

…It feels like life is settling into a useful cadence of work and life and love, as the months together go by. Was it January he moved in with me? Or December, before the Yule holidays? I don’t remember now; it feels as if we’ve never been separated by different addresses, at all. 🙂

I arrived home to a lovely, tidy, welcoming, orderly, aesthetically pleasing home that very much looks like I live here. That makes sense – I do. 😀 I very much appreciate that I have my partners help with all the housekeeping and household maintenance – it makes for a wonderful shared experience. I notice a few things that are “better than I left it”, and remind myself to level up to better household care, on those tasks, myself. When everyone works, and the work is shared such that each person is valued, the quantity of work is equitable, and the effort is reciprocal, there is no room for resentment, or hurt feelings, over housework. 😀

Signs of autumn approaching begin to turn up in the garden on the deck…and also, a baby praying mantis or two, that have survived long enough to be easily noticed.

Another lovely day begins right here, listening to the rain fall. I feel like walking, although my arthritis flared up with the coming of the rain. I consider the day ahead… visit a nearby farmer’s market… run an errand or two, perhaps… get ready for the work week ahead… It’s an ordinary enough Sunday, pleasant, and relaxed. These are the qualities I am choosing, and choosing to foster, to build, to nurture, to act upon. Beginning again is a willful thing, a considered, deliberate reset, not merely the tick of a clock from one moment to the next; there are choices to make, and verbs to act upon. 🙂 My results may vary…

…None of that stops me; it’s still time to begin again. 🙂

I’m sipping my coffee and trying to recall where I left off, last time I picked up Proust. I’ve never finished “In Search of Lost Time” (also published as “Remembrance of Things Past”). I’ve made progress. Started it a number of times. Enjoyed the bit of it that I’ve read; it lingers in my consciousness. This morning, though, I don’t recall where I’ve left off, and find myself contemplating starting it entirely over. 🙂

It’s a gray Saturday morning, a bit muggy. We had thunder and lightening on the horizon yesterday, before dawn. There is rain in the forecast for later today. My hair is blue. LOL These details don’t contribute much to each other… I’ve only just awakened from a heavy uncomfortable sleep, waking with a stuffy head, and when I woke I had forgotten about getting my hair colored. My reflection in the mirror startled, then puzzled me, until I remembered an honestly unforgettable 8 fucking hours in the salon chair. omg. So much time. lol

…My hair looks great, lustrous shades of teal, cobalt, aqua, and electric blue. I’m eager to see it in the sunshine. I’m eager to see the startled wide-eyed gaze of a child who, for a moment, wonders if blue hair is “real”. 🙂 It looks “real”, with the shades and variations, and tousled from sleep.

I arrived home to so much done around the house, and garage. Wow. Oh. And a list. My Traveling Partner left me a very short “to do list” of a couple things he’d asked if I would take care of, previously, which I had managed not to get to… so… convenient reminder, right there with the mail. lol I guess my Saturday plans are covered! (Note to self; don’t say yes to something you’re not prepared to be reminded to do…or…here’s a thought; fucking do it. You said you would.)

My coffee is good. The morning is a relaxed one. Somehow, already time to begin again. 🙂

Sipping my coffee on Labor Day. I’m not in the office, and I have the day off; that’s nice. I take a few moments of time and consideration for the efforts of each subsequent wave of labor movements over human history that brought us here – to this place and time with 5 day (or fewer) work weeks, limited to 40 hours (in principle), with a minimum wage expectation (still, for some reason, a radical notion), regular weekends off, healthcare, bereavement pay and other benefits, and restrictions on who could be required to work, and at what age… wow. It was not always like this for working people. Powerful. There’s more work to be done, but today? Not the day to fight that fight. Today, we celebrate that fight. 😀

It hasn’t been quite so hot, and the cooler weather definitely limits the impact to our quality of life that the A/C is busted. It’s mostly fixed, and I expected it would be fully repaired yesterday afternoon. Apparently not a reasonable expectation, even after the repair person selected by the landlord assured me he just needed one more part, and would wrap things up between 1 pm and 2 pm; I never saw him again, yesterday. lol I am frustrated – but, and this is just real, I also think it is wholly shitty that he is spending much of his Labor Day weekend working. :-\ So, I feel inclined to be very patient about it, through the weekend, for sure.

Any time I feel subjectively “too hot”, I do have the option to change up the scenery. I can have a cooling cold(ish) shower. I can enjoy an Italian ice, or an icy cold beverage. I can run an errand in the car (it has A/C, and the A/C in the car works just fine) or go for a long drive. I can even, and this does work pretty well, dim the lighting in the apartment and “trick myself” into feeling cooler with a video of rain falling, or a snowy evening. All surprisingly effective, particularly if I don’t fight back with regular reminders of how hot I feel. LOL Thankfully, the weather has been cooler, more around 80 than above 90.

…I’m just saying; there is nearly always something I can do to improve an uncomfortable situation. This applies every bit as much to A/C failures as to relationships, jobs, working conditions, as well as a ridiculously wide variety of assorted miscellaneous other life experiences. 🙂 The answer to “what can I do about that?” is very rarely “nothing at all”.

It’s been a lovely weekend. I’ve gotten a few things done. I’ve enjoyed hours of entertainment with my Traveling Partner. This third day off feels “extra” in a wonderful way, although it is also that last day before I must return to work – I generally spend those more on preparing for the week ahead, and in service to hearth and home, than relaxing. Taking care of me does have some verbs involved. My desire to see a clean kitchen means I need to do the work to make it so. If I want clean clothes to wear, it’s a good day to do the laundry. Just the basic stuff, and plenty of time between tasks to chill with my partner, enjoying the day. It’s helpful that we are equals in this partnership; I often come home to an astonishing amount of housekeeping and care already handled. This week, the laundry is already sorted (and I didn’t have to do that), even started (and a bunch of stuff ready to fold or hang up). We work together to build the life we enjoy sharing. No slaves, no masters, no petty resentment, no servitude.

I listen to the sound of this snow storm playing in the background. I sip my coffee and grin at the subjective sensation of cold toes on a chilly morning. (It’s not actually cold this morning.) I think ahead to dinner, later, and wonder if it is too late (being Labor Day) to get a thick bone-in rib-eye to throw on the grill tonight… and laugh at my terrible planning; I was just at the store, literally at the butcher counter, yesterday. It’s not even necessary to go out; there is plenty to choose from here, already. lol My restless monkey mind wants to seek, to travel, to explore, to experience – and my ankle objects to the effort and distance, in advance. (It’s been a limiting concern all weekend.) I remind myself gently, that if the ankle were up to it, I’d just hit the trail this morning and walk 3 or 4 miles, enjoying the morning birdsong and breezes.

…This morning, sufficiency is enough. 😉 Tomorrow is soon enough to begin again. 😀

I came home tired last night, ankle aching (it’s mostly built of imagination and wreckage at this point, so… sometimes it aches ferociously), cross and irritable over the commute (I got stuck behind an exceedingly, obviously, impaired driver, who veered back and forth, randomly stopped while straddling lanes, drifted into the bike lane repeatedly, and drove very slowly) and just generally – I wasn’t at my best. I had stopped at the store for dinner, though, and I was happy to be home.

…What the…? I pull into the garage… the clean, tidy garage, which is… clean… and tidy. I know I didn’t leave it that way this morning… Huh. Wow. Yep. Both “huh” and “wow”. Nice. I walk into the house, and… oh damn. House looks great too, like, top to bottom. Clean. Tidy. Some small changes in the way things are arranged that really improve the comfort of the floor plan. I’m in mid-exclamation (and appreciative thanks), when my Traveling Partner becomes aware of my physical discomfort with my ankle… out comes a handy ice pack… he makes sure my foot is elevated… then goes to the kitchen, and makes dinner for us. It was a lovely evening. I definitely went to bed last night feeling well-loved. 😀

I’m sipping my coffee this morning, contentedly; coffee was one of the handful of items on my shopping list last night. (No tea? Nope – tea is generally for when it isn’t time for coffee. LOL Personal preference. Although I may yet, one day, switch permanently from coffee to tea, that day is not today.) It’s a lovely morning. I’m not taking anything personally, or struggle with the details, or fussy to myself over some small thing – it’s just me, this coffee right here, and a new day.

It’s enough. 🙂