Archives for category: Summer

Well damn. I guess I’m a real grown-up… 6 days to my 60th birthday. Wild. In spite of some hard living, some hardships, some trauma, some misadventure… I am standing in this place, considering this milestone birthday ahead of me. Wow. I mean, I legitimately did not expect that making it this far was ever a given. Wasn’t at all sure I would… but here I am. 😀

My Traveling Partner and I have plans to camp for a few days. Really getting away, out into the trees, away from the traffic, the stress, the work, the world… the people. I know that I, personally, really need a break from “everything”. Just for a minute. A few quiet hours. Some distance. A different view. A new perspective. A moment of my life that isn’t in any way whatsoever about working, earning a living, maintaining a household… just fresh air, soft breezes, sunshine, and birdsong. Maybe the occasional passing shower. 🙂 I already know my results will vary, and that the plan is not the experience, and neither is the map the world. So. There’s that.

…No idea what the days ahead will really be like, I just know I’m looking forward to logging out of my work tools, and locking the door of the house behind us as we leave for a few days. 😀 (Will I write? Maybe, but I won’t have a cell signal, and my words will be ink on paper, for later – I’m also going equipped to paint in watercolor, and I’m taking my camera of course. My Traveling Partner is taking along a couple of good books, and his fishing tackle.)

Slow days ahead. I’m eager to embrace that, without giving a thought to what may be “on the other side” – we’ll see when we get there, eh?

In the meantime, there are flowers in the garden, and sunny days in the forecast. The weather is lovely and mild, summery and warm without being unpleasantly scorching hot, generally. Life (and love) feel good. I’m not rushing through that feeling, either; I’m making a point to slow down and savor it, as much as I can, as often as I notice how very pleasant things seem to be, presently. Quiet reflection is a worthwhile use of my time, particularly when my thoughts feel infused with soft joy and contentment. I smile thinking of my Traveling Partner; he’s also eager to get out on the road. The truck is already packed of all but a handful of last minute items (my camera bag, food…).

I catch myself in a fit of sneezing – seasonal allergies. Fucking hell, where are those tissues…?? It reminds me to check the tracking on my inbound prescription refills… will they be here in time…? Looks like they will, and I find myself feeling relieved about that. One less thing that could cause background stress while I’m earnestly working to rest my busy mind. 😀

Well, damn… looks like time to begin again. 😀 If I don’t talk to you before I leave… I’ll drop a note right here when I get back. 😀

Summer is approaching. Mornings, here, are sometimes still chilly. Night time temperatures still fall well below 50 F/10 C. Things cool off before the sun warms them once more. Some afternoons barely hit 70 F/21 C. Pretty comfortable weather, generally, and very good for sleeping… I wake with the sun a lot of mornings in spite of that. Like this morning. It’s nice quiet time for reflection, though, if I wake thoroughly and don’t find myself stumbling groggily through the first hours of the day.

This particular morning I am sipping my coffee and watching the sky beyond the windows change color, hints of pale grays and strange blues give way to peach, lavender, pink, and hints of orange as the sun rises. Pretty. I think about the flowers in the garden. I think about my upcoming birthday (11 days away, now) and our planned camping trip (5 days!). I think about pain, and pain management, and these stiff contrary bones. I think about recent delicious meals, and how much I appreciate my Traveling Partner’s cooking, and how nice it is that he’s been doing more of that lately. Good times, shared. I think about that, too. No misery here. It’s a pleasant morning. I think about the weekend ahead. I think about spending time in the studio… which competes for my attention, alongside “time in the garden”, “time on the trail”, and “time off-roading with my partner”.

Planted these last fall, and I’ve already forgotten what they are, other than “pretty”.

I pause my musings long enough to really appreciate how fortunate I am to enjoy so much of this life, so thoroughly. “This too shall pass.” Good times are wonderful. Savoring them, and reflecting on them, is delightful and healthy. Healing. Still, part of the point in doing so is to ensure they become part of my implicit memory as well, and a well-spring of future resilience upon which I can call when times are darker, and life feels less rich and satisfying. Just keeping it real; my results vary. I have some rough moments here and there. You too? We all do.

I write less often these days. Not because there’s nothing to say, nor because I am wrapped in joy 100% of my time, nor am I, contrariwise, wrapped in misery. I’m just over here living life. I write less because, honestly, I spent much less time in solitary reflection, and less time forcing myself through practices to pull myself out of some messy emotional quagmire. I live. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. Succeed. Fail. Begin again. I try. I explore. I set boundaries. I yield to circumstances. It’s life. It’s not perfect, but it’s also quite a lot better than “just okay”. I sometimes feel I am on the edge of “thriving full-time”, which is pretty remarkable, considering the entirety of my experience.

I sip my coffee feeling my moment shift gears from “quiet reflection” to feeling filled with gratitude and love. It’s a nice start to a new day. I smile and think about my partner, at home, still sleeping. My heart beats with love.

It’s time to begin again.

Memorial Day is sometimes a hard one (for me). The days leading up to it this year were particularly difficult, though I don’t really have a reason why. I’ve lost a few folks over the years. That will never not be true in my life; once we lose the first one, it’s all “more” from there. Spent some time over the weekend reflecting on those losses, and those people. I spent the time with my Traveling Partner, and it was a very healing time we managed to share. I’m grateful.

Losses are hard. We feel our own pain most (and worst, generally). Running from it doesn’t change it – the way out is through. The challenge is not getting stalled in the momentary misery of grief.

The weekend was summery, and fairly mild. We got out among the trees. I got out into the garden. We drove beautiful miles and shared deep conversations. I needed that. We both did, I guess, and we’re better for it.

I’m sipping my morning coffee a bit surprised at how poorly I slept last night after a couple days of extraordinarily good sleep, deep and restful… last night my anxiety flared up with the recollection that today is a work day. Silly, but real. I woke numerous times to double-check that my “sunrise alarm” was actually set. It was. Every time I checked. lol It remains true that a few days of healing and emotionally gentle and nourishing time don’t “fix” anxiety. It comes and goes. My results vary. This morning I got up and managed to start the day without taking it personally or escalating it beyond the obvious; it’s disordered, and there is no reason to feed it and give it more energy.

I smile when I think about the weekend, and my Traveling Partner. Good times.

…Time to begin again…

How am I still so fragile? After all this time? Tears come and go. At this point, after days of it, I’m not even sure why. Post-menopause, it “shouldn’t be” hormones… but… I keep fucking about trying to “fix shit” with my body as I age, so… I don’t know. Anything I take to remedy some ailment or condition has potential to fuck with my body’s systems and my emotional balance, so… yeah. I just know the world is too much for me. Just… all of it.

…I keep finding myself weeping and in real emotional pain… but why, for fucks’ sake, why??

…I mean… I guess it’s enough that the world is this messy strange violent circus of nightmares, with an ever-increasing body count. That, by itself, is worth weeping over. I just can’t sustain doing all the fucking crying, by myself. It would make more sense to stop the killing, wouldn’t it? I drink more of this bottle of water sitting next to me. Tears = drink more water. A lot more.

…I have the strange slightly hilarious thought that maybe the water drinking itself is causing the tears somehow. That’s ridiculous, it’s just a passing notion.

My sleep is chronically disturbed and restless, this isn’t new, it’s just… yeah… chronic.

Ping…ping…ping…ping… work pings on my consciousness. My Traveling Partner pings me eager to iron out details for this or that, or share something cool. Ping. Scam calls. Ping. Another email. Ping. An announcement in a Slack thread at work. Ping. A walk-up co-work colleague with a question. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Everyone, everything, seems to want a piece of my attention, or a moment of my time. I feel overwhelmed, but it’s all quite ordinary. There’s nothing to see here.

A long time ago, in another life, a 14 year old me, feeling something similar, packed a small bag, and lacking any notable experience of the world, just sort of … walked away from her home, her family, and her life, headed… nowhere. Away. I didn’t have a plan exactly… I was “going to Florida”. Why? A rock star I was crushing on lived there, and… I don’t know. I thought I needed a destination? I was fortunate; I survived the adventure to return home to commonplace misery. I survived to see adulthood, to go on to survive domestic violence, military service, warfare, trauma… you know, life. I’m almost 60 now. Still holding on.

…Shit… is this about that? I don’t feel any obvious angst over turning 60, specifically, it’s more… the issues hang on right along with me. How much further does this journey go? How many more verbs are there? G’damn it – when can I relax and just fucking be?? I’m so tired…

Why do I feel so trapped?… Why does this all feel so fucking pointless??

…I’ve got tools. I’ve got verbs. Choices. This isn’t “hopeless”… just hard.

…I’ve just got to begin again. Again.

Iced coffee (black) and a fizzy water (plain, cold) and a day of work ahead of me. I’m not even bitching, it’s simply where the day is, at the moment.

I slept rather badly. Couldn’t fall asleep, but wasn’t stressed about it. Minutes of meditation and daydreaming became hours, and when I finally had to get up to pee, I looked at the time. It was late. I’d be getting a nap at best, and that is what came to pass. I returned to bed and crashed hard, waking abruptly around 04:15, though I don’t know what woke me. I got up, dressed, and headed to the city for the work day. With the changing season, I caught the sunrise on the commute – it was lovely. Shades of peach and pastel pinks and oranges created an exciting backdrop for the blue of the shadow-side of the mountains out on the horizon. It was almost distracting, and I almost pulled over to watch the sunrise with my whole attention.

I’m doing my best to stay engaged. The work day is just beginning. I’m tired though, and my mind wanders, and I keep coming back to some communications challenges that persist for me (brain trauma is a hard one to beat for lasting challenges). I also keeping thinking about my garden.

I clearly planted something here, but I don’t recall when or what.

I’m thinking about a sunny spot in the front flower beds where two clean rows of… something… have now sprouted. I don’t recall what I planted there. I forgot to jot down a note in my notebook, too, apparently. It’s obvious I did plant something; those rows are too orderly to be happenstance. So… what did I plant? I sip my coffee and wonder, and then find myself wading into a metaphor…

…When I look at life as a garden, and consider the care, the cultivation, the practices, it all fits so well, and then… there are these seedlings that have sprouted, which I clearly planted… and eventually they’ll become something, but I don’t know what, and it’s hard to be at all invested in whatever they are. If I water them… well, they might be weeds, do I want to water and care for them? What if they turn out to be something noxious or undesirable? If I don’t water them… well… maybe they’re something unusual, fancy, expensive, or carefully selected with my garden’s lasting beauty in mind? What then? Will I have squandered precious resources?

I find myself still struggling with some things as a human being. Communication is one of those things. Specifically, I have a problem with interrupting. I work on it pretty aggressively, but still (often) come up short of the desired outcome – which is listening deeply and not interrupting people (any people; everyone wants to be heard). The “seeds” of this challenge were planted a long long time ago. The nurturing or care those “seeds” were given most likely either did nothing to reduce the likelihood I’d interrupt people as a chronic issue, or potentially made it worse, by whatever success as a coping mechanism it may have once had. This thing isn’t a fucking “seed” any more; it’s g’damned tree. It’s massive, and it’s branches shade so much of my experience interacting with others that it affects the entire garden, now. What the hell? When I did even plant this thing? How have I not been more successful at least pruning the fucking thing back to some sort of manageable size??

I sip my coffee thinking about what we “plant” in our lives that grow to vex us later. It’s not always a walk in a manicured rose garden, this thing called life. I’ve definitely got to be more diligent about “ripping out the weeds”… and also garden with more care, taking better notes, and making a clear point of being present in the experience.

…If nothing else, I most definitely need to begin again.