Today is a good day to “be there” for someone – even if that someone happens to be you. Actually… I’m a big fan of learning to “be there” for yourself. For you, as an individual, you know – as if you were one of your own dearest friends. I mean… why would you not treat yourself at least as well as you treat the person you love most in all the world? Or for sure at least as well as your treat your bestie – right?

It’s a busy Monday. I’m sipping my second coffee between work tasks. A moment of curiosity sends me to the stats page of my blog wondering which posts have grabbed attention, lately. I find myself reading this one, about managing anxiety, and “being there” for one another. I read it again, and consider how well I am living up to my own suggestion to “be there” for myself…

It rained this weekend, pretty much all weekend. I spent lovely hours hanging out with my Traveling Partner. I’m grateful to share life with this person I enjoy so very much; it’d be a long fucking pandemic in the company of a human being I don’t care for. Worth a moment of gratitude, and then some more after that. 🙂

The autumn rain recently began quickly overflowing the rain gutters. One of the “perks” of homeownership, no doubt. I feel fortunate for the break in the rain yesterday morning, and the purposefulness of my partner getting to work cleaning the rain gutters out before the rain began again. Wow. I feel loved, and cared for. (Speaking of being cared for, he also reliably hits me up to take a break together at regular intervals during the work day, which I greatly appreciate – I’m the sort that forgets to take breaks. lol)

It’s a new day. Great chances to begin again. What will I do with that? (What will you do with that?) Will we change the world for the better in some small way? (We could… we should totally do that!)

It’s been a lovely relaxed weekend, filled with unexpected moments of delight and love. Pleasant. Restful. Even productive. I’ve enjoyed each lovely loving moment without reservations. I’ve found purpose and growth in the handful of moments that were less than ideally delightful. Hell, no hard feelings, either; it is probably an unreasonable fantasy (and an unsustainable reality, at best, and only occasionally, if ever) to contemplate a life of endless contentment and joy. Rain falls. Humans are human. 🙂 I value the opportunities to grow and to be more the woman I most want to be, although, sometimes, in spite of how the information reaches me.

It was a rainy autumn weekend, and I’ve no reason to complain about that.

Several times this weekend I’ve taken a moment to reflect on where I am, and where I seem headed, relative to where I began, and who I have been. It’s been an interesting journey.

The wintry wood beyond the deck inspires me to paint scenes of winter. Shades of gray. Whites. Blacks. Winter days. Winter nights. I let my mind wander, thoughts of paintings to come. 🙂

It’s time to begin again.

I woke during the night, several times. I managed to get enough rest, I think, in spite of that. It took a bit longer than usual to fully wake up. Still… it’s a new day, and I’m awake now, and working through the interlude between the first and second coffees of my morning. Pretty routine stuff.

How about that election, eh? Nothing more really needs to be said about that, I think, at least not by me.

At one point, while I was up during the wee hours, I stood in the darkness at the door to the deck, standing in the chill of an autumn night, door open to the smell of forest and creek, listening to peeping frogs and insects, and a nearby owl. I gazed up at the stars for rather a while, before I returned to bed, and to sleep. It was quite a lovely moment, well-spent. It required nothing of me beyond my presence, and it was “enough”. I felt somehow nourished by the autumn-scented stillness, standing there in the dark.

Another time, I woke, and contentedly wandered the house. No purpose to my quiet footsteps, aside from enjoying being wrapped in this pleasant little dwelling, feeling safe and loved, there in the darkness.

Another time, I just woke up to pee was all, and having done so returned to sleep quite easily.

I didn’t give myself any grief over my wakefulness. There wasn’t any stress associated with it. I simply woke, now and then, for some minutes, and returned to sleep afterward. No harm. No injury. No particular inconvenience. I may not have mentioned it at all, if I hadn’t happened to take a look at my blog to answer a question about a date in the past, out of curiosity, and noticed I have not written in some days. lol Sleep (or lack thereof) seems the sort of thing I’d write about, as much as anything. So, I did. 😀

I look at the time. I notice, again, that my coffee is gone. Time to begin again, I think, and why not start with another cup of coffee?

I slept poorly. I slept very little. I woke to the alarm, set for the latest acceptable time to wake before a work day. I made coffee…

…Pretty much all down hill from there, so far. “It is what it is.” I’m in pain. I’m slowed way down with fatigue. I’m cross… with pretty much the world, and everything in it. I’m easily frustrated. Easily angered.

…Did I mention the crossness?

I sat down to work with zero enthusiasm. It’s a very human experience. I’m glad the week is at its end; I’m over it, for sure.

Nothing much sounds any good right now. No solutions that I could consider seem worth considering. If it were solely my own choice, I’d log into a video game and kill monsters for a while, because honestly, that’s what I want to do more than anything else right now; kill monsters. Monster-slaying being generally discouraged “in real life” (most particularly considering by far the vast majority of the monsters most of us face will be in human form, and that would be murder, which is totally not allowed), video games are the near-at-hand proxy.

…I’ve got work…

Yeah. So. I’m in a shit mood, and I’m in pain, and I’d very much like to be left entirely alone right now. The world intrudes. Every minute I have to interact with another person, right now, is an irritant. I’d just fucking go back to bed, if that were an option. Hell, I don’t even want to be around me, right now. Not fun. Less than my ideal best self, for real, y’all.

Work is work. I remind myself I get paid for being a reasonable facsimile of my most professional “best self” for the purposes of completing the work day (and week). I eye my calendar with distaste. Meetings. With people. I look them over with care. Who am I having to meet with? Can it be rescheduled without consequences that ripple into the weeks ahead? Can the underlying need be met without having a meeting at all? Was I invited to meetings I don’t need to be part of? Are there optional meetings that I can simply opt out of without concern? I reschedule what I can. I opt out of those that I don’t need to be part of or have no obligations to. The day still looks unpleasantly full. I frown at my calendar. I frown at my coffee. I frown at the shade still drawn, obscuring the sky beyond the window.

I sip my cold coffee, and allow work to distract me from being pissed off about having to work “on such a completely shit day” (it isn’t, actually). I take a deep breath with each new interaction with a colleague, making a point of being “pleasantly neutral” as much as I can be, seeking to avoid reactions that become over-reactions. Bad moods can be “contagious”. I’d like to avoid sharing this around.

My head aches with fighting off tears; there is no room on my calendar for crying, today. My back aches from the general nuisances of aging, and my arthritis. My cold coffee is gone. Finished. Consumed. I’d like to have another, but don’t really want to interact with my Traveling Partner. (Yep, I’m in that shitty of a mood, this morning, and disinclined to “make shit worse”.) I’ve forgotten my water bottle, too. So… it’s just me and the work in front of me, in this quiet room, alone.

…Looks like I’ll just have to begin again…

This morning the work day seemed to start too early. To be fair, that’s partially a result of waking later than usual, and having an early morning soak before coffee. It’s just not my usual “order of operations” – but my back is pretty happy with me, and my pain feels well-managed. My coffee is just as satisfying as it would have been, had I chosen to have it first. :-)’

Coffee goes so well with an autumn morning!

Really first-rate self-care relies on me to select wisely from the available tools at hand – as is the case with most projects and work. lol 🙂

I sat down at my desk this morning and eyed my calendar suspiciously. Differences catching my attention without being obvious, and it takes me a moment to fully realize that a couple meetings I expected to slog through have simply disappeared from my day. Nice. I look over the other work planned for this week, and the weeks ahead as the year finishes. Good day for it. I consider my tools, and decide I’ll benefit from something that improves my focus. I put my headphones on, and begin again.