Archives for category: Summer

I’m sipping my coffee feeling the hint of autumn that seems already evident, a certain chill I notice, and the slow turning of leaves to colors other than green; the feel of it is “autumn approaching”. The equinox is tomorrow. Fitting. I sip my coffee thinking about change.

This a good cup of coffee, this morning, and I’m feeling pretty well-rested from a better than average night of sleep. I ache – arthritis cranks things up on the pain scale along with the increased chill in the air, that bit of extra moisture, too… not helping. I shrug it off; pain is likely a notable portion of the remainder of my life – and, let’s be real here, it could be so much worse. (A VA doctor, a resident, recently asked me “Have you tried Tylenol?”, my astonishment prevented my reply, which, ideally, would have been “Have you tried getting your fucking foot out of your mouth??” I mean, seriously? If Tylenol were going to be adequate, what do I need her for?? And who hasn’t already tried OTC remedies by the time they want to take time off work and spend the money to talk to a doctor?)

This morning, though, isn’t about that. It’s not about pain, or pain management, it’s not even about this excellent cup of coffee, or a good night’s sleep. It’s a few words on a page that anchor me in this moment, in this experience, and really… that’s all. I’m here. This is now. Life is, actually, pretty good. Good enough to have comfortable easy conversations about where our money goes – and where it could be better spent. Good enough to sustain romance, and day-to-day comfortable, affectionate intimacy. Good enough to feel generally safe, and generally well. I take time to notice, because savoring the good times, however small the detail, fills me up for those times of sorrow that we each will definitely experience; challenges and heartache are also part of the human experience.

I reflect for some moments on my mother’s relatively recent death… June already seems so long ago. Summer is behind me now. Seasons do indeed change.

I sip my coffee, take a breath, and begin again.

I took some time off. I needed the break from routine, and even from distractions. I just needed some real rest. 🙂 For some reason, I haven’t been sleeping more than 4-5 hours a night, with rare exceptions, for weeks. I was losing the ability to easily keep track of details, and reminders were becoming a necessity on a whole other rather critical level that feels uncomfortable – and sometimes “weak”.

…So… time off? Yep. That’s the plan. It’s also been uncomfortable to manage the day-to-day distractions; my brain is so used to be busy at maximum intensity that not only is my sleep disturbed by it, but also, my every waking moment I also seem to be racing to grasp the next distraction – no time to waste! Hurry! See that?!? What’s that?! And that over there – do I know what that is?? Have I read that article? Am I up-to-date on this new crisis? Have I overlooked a detail? What am I forgetting!?? Distracted and pressed for time have been becoming my default settings – which is neither helpful, nor healthy. So. Definitely some time off, but also… some down time. Properly taking time – real, slow, committed, undistracted time – for myself. To slow down. To unwind. To listen to the breeze, and the sound of raindrops pattering on the deck… for hours. Put down the email. Turn off the tv. Cease the ceaseless conversation – for at least a little while.

Brunch with a friend, perhaps…? Thanks, no, I’m “busy” not doing that, for a couple days.

Want to go to this movie…? Um, no, I can catch it streaming at home, some other time.

What about work email?! Don’t want to fall behind on… Yeah, no. I’m explicitly turning work off for 4 days. Off. Completely off.

Well, but there’s this thing you’ve just got to see/do/experience… Nope. I’m good, thanks. It’ll be there later on, or… not. No “FOMO” here; I am focusing the quality of the life I have right now, just as it is. 🙂 It’s enough.

So, yeah. I haven’t been posting anything to Instagram (the only social media account I still have). I haven’t been “staying caught up” on my email, or the news, or the latest whatever that folks are wound up about. I’m just chilling at home with my Traveling Partner, gently, joyfully, calmly. It’s nice. Pleasant. Relaxed – and relaxing. Most of yesterday was spent in defiance of the busy-ness of the days prior to that; we hung out, listening to music, enjoying our morning coffee together, whiling away the hours content in each other’s good company, without any other agenda. Super chill. I don’t know how I could have spent the first day of this long chill weekend any better than that. I even managed to sleep in, yesterday. The entire day was spent present, aware, connected, and enjoying each moment without feeling any need to race “productively” to the next.

This morning, a new day begins. I’m awake earlier. A vague sensation that I’d meant to do something specific today nags at me, but I’ve reviewed the budget (it’s a payday, so that’s a thing I do), took a look at upcoming bills, and accounted for expenses we’d discussed being part of this pay cycle, before moving on. I guess maybe I mean to go grocery shopping, and since I’m sitting here drinking coffee, the lurking desire to also shop feels like a weight on my consciousness… damn, I’ve needed a proper break.

So, yeah… that’s what I’m up to, right now, taking care of myself and this fragile mortal vessel, by getting some down time. Maybe I write… maybe I don’t. I recommend it. 😉

It’s time to begin again… gently. 🙂

My tinnitus is bad this morning. I’ve got headphones on, no music playing, just sort of… seeking quiet. Doesn’t matter; the shimmering, ringing, chiming, faint high-pitched whine that persists in my ears 24/7 is notably loud this morning. I hear more than one frequency, more than one tone, various “noises” – a cacophony of background noise that never really lets up.

…I have another sip of my coffee, and look for YouTube content to distract me from the ringing in my ears. Listening to the tinnitus, itself, is a poor practice; as I begin to focus on it, over time, it becomes harder to hear anything else. A function of attention, perhaps, more than volume. Distractions help, some.

I notice the time, earlier than “usual” – more properly, earlier than the alarm was set. My Traveling Partner’s restless night woke me early, and rather than fight the inevitable, I just went ahead and got up. More time in the small gym at the office, I suppose. The exercise is healthy, and I value the opportunity. For now, I just chill here, with the ringing in my ears, drinking my coffee.

It’ll be time to begin again, soon enough. This moment, here, now, seems well-suited to meditation. I find something to drown out the ringing in my ears… this will do nicely. 🙂

With the return of the rain, I have a sense that autumn approaches; seasons change.

The weekend was relaxed and joyful. A nice kind of weekend to have, and I enjoyed it. This morning – a Monday – it’s time to “begin again”, in the specific sense of returning to work routines with long-standing value, practicing those work practices that begin and complete the week, fulfilling the promise of my role. In other words – time to get back to work. 🙂

The trip down to the “home office” was worthwhile. I learned a lot, helped out some, and got things done. Still, it also through off most of my careful planning and everyday routines. A “positive disruption”, in a manner of speaking.

…I definitely needed a weekend with which to relax, recharge, and think things over. Now that I’ve had that, it’s time to make use of the the knowledge gained during the time spent away.

Definitely.

I double-check my backpack while I make my coffee. A few things get taken out. A couple things get put back in. I find my badge to get in and out of the office. Practical details. I consider the morning commute… drive? Light rail? I sip my coffee. I remind myself to take out the trash on my way out this morning. Generally speaking, a very ordinary morning… it’s enough. I don’t need anything fancy to begin a great day. 🙂

…For some reason, prosciutto with melon crosses my mind, along with thickly cut, crispy, locally produced bacon, and a mimosa made with fresh squeezed juice of delicious sumo tangerines, crosses my mind. My idea of “fancy in the morning”, perhaps? I giggle quietly to myself, sip my coffee, and take a moment to appreciate what a delightful and wily “brain attack” that bit of imagination is. It could render me entirely discontent, envying what I don’t have in front of me in the moment, and send me seeking things, and stuff… it didn’t, but it could have. lol  I sip my utterly average cup of morning coffee. I’m okay with it, just as it is; it’s enough. Sufficiency. Pretty powerful if I allow it to be.

I sit for some minutes, contemplating sufficiency, perspective, and the meaning of “having enough”, and sipping coffee. My next glance at the clock reminds me it’s time to 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. 🙂