Archives for posts with tag: a few words from our sponsor

It doesn’t come up, here, very often; I am an artist. Inspiration struck me, hard, rather unexpectedly yesterday, to my great delight. Without thinking much about it, I pushed everything else to the side, headed into the studio, and spent the day painting. I’ll spend today painting too, and maybe tomorrow.

This is another side of who I am. Taking care of the woman in the mirror also means nurturing my creative side, and much of what drove me to move into this place was about my artistic needs, more than emotional needs from any other area of life. This weekend, this place pays for itself in freedom to paint; my studio was right here, ready for me when I needed it. 🙂 It is hard to express the level of satisfaction and joy that has resulted from having my studio this weekend.

Over the course of the day, a number of small canvases took shape, and one was completed. I’ll finish (probably) the others today, start a couple others (to be finished tomorrow, probably), and spend the weekend painting, content and in my element. It’s very satisfying. If I didn’t paint, this quantity of inspiration might erupt as photography, poetry, sculpture (of tiny Fimo figures), short-stories, or oddly, tidying up. When inspiration takes hold of my consciousness, I yield to its demands.

I enjoyed a quiet evening with my Traveling Partner, returning from far away places. He has a fond appreciation for my artistic endeavors, and it is likely that aside from a few precious hours visiting and enjoying each other, I’ll have the entire weekend to paint – conveniently, a long weekend. 🙂 I may not find more time to write… I smile and sip my coffee contentedly.

It is another day to paint, to play, to live.

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This morning I woke with some effort after a night of fractured sleep. I crashed early, and indulged my fatigue and sleepiness by allowing myself to stray from my routine. Once in a while that’s not a big deal, but each and every time I can make such a choice it is a certainty there will be consequences. This is how choices work, generally. 🙂 I started sleeping easily in my new place, then a very fatiguing week drove some choices to sleep at times I wouldn’t typically choose sleep…and now my routine is disrupted such that I’m not actually sleeping well during the night. Oops. It’s a bit of a beginner’s mistake with regard to good self-care, but being a proper grown up, and living alone, I’m the only one here to remind me to take care of me well and consistently. I’m very fortunate that I learn best from my mistakes. I make quite a few.

Last night I crashed so early that I had likely gotten a full measure of restful sleep by the time I woke sometime after 1:30 am. I meditated for some time. It was nearer 3:00 am when I checked the clock. I found sleep again at some point, and I know this for certain because the alarm woke me…I was dreaming that I was awake. (One of my least favorite sleep experiences is dreaming that I am awake.) This morning I am enjoying my coffee gently and giving consideration to self-care practices that I may be more inclined to let slip than others, and what steps to take to ensure that I do not, and wondering how realistic it is to attempt to manage my self-care through awareness and intent alone (which is something I am trying to learn) – the practices reinforced with calendar reminders, sticky notes, and habit are more likely to be reliably maintained. One limitation my TBI places on me as an individual is that habits sometimes just…fail. I wake up one day and have simply ‘forgotten’ somehow some key habitual behavior. It’s quite frustrating sometimes. Add to that my unreliable memory – things that are habitual sometimes don’t leave an impression on my consciousness, and I don’t remember having done them, or lack awareness that I have not. I have occasionally been startled to realize (in some cases weeks or months after the fact) that I simply abandoned some very helpful practice without any particular cause or decision-making – I just forgot. Rebuilding a favored, forgotten, practice or habit is no easier than it was to build in the first place. The importance of a given habit, or practice, has no correlation or apparent causal relationship to the potential I may wander off and forget about it – it seems pretty random.

This morning I am very much aware that living alone requires me to be quite mindful of my self-care practices. In the excitement of making myself at home, and exploring this whole ‘who I am now’ thing, habits are very much at risk of being extinguished without intent. Small things like a ‘bed time’ that nurtures my long-term good cognition and physical health actually matter – making exceptions for this circumstance or that one is ‘high risk behavior’ from the perspective of managing my PTSD, and treating myself well. Details that are very much part of my sense of ‘being at home’ are easily pushed to the side in favor of something more fun, sometimes, especially if I am excited or fatigued, with the result that I may find myself unexpectedly not feeling at home in my own environment – because I have failed to take care of me.

Fruit ripens in its own time.

Fruit ripens in its own time.

This one is not such a complicated puzzle; I will choose to practice the practices that work for me – even those associated with keeping me on task with practicing other practices. 🙂 I don’t find any particular need to be embarrassed or critical of myself on this point, either. I feel pretty capable of taking care of me; I spotted a weakness, and I am considering how best to shore it up, improve upon it, or solve for X.

Tonight I will spend time learning life’s lessons about taking care of me, while also enjoying the company of another. There’s quite a lot to learn there. Today is a good day for continuing education.

Saturday I bought a car. I didn’t write. Sunday, I spent the day on small creative endeavors and enjoying the company of family and a friend. I didn’t write, or manage my time sufficiently well to meditate. I also didn’t have any sort of meltdown, in spite of some small amount of anxiety about buying a car, Saturday. Monday, I worked. I didn’t write. Tuesday was more of the same, only it began wonderfully well in the loving company of my traveling partner, who drove me to work in the new car. I still didn’t write.

I’m not actually writing today… I’m really just observing the non-writing, such as it is. What’s up with this? Did I use up all the words?

This morning I woke anxious. Anxiety with a capital A, resting heavily on my chest when I took my first waking breaths, and settled into my guts and accompanying my every breath, every moment, every thought…it’s been awhile since I last felt it like this. More than likely it’s the work piece that has my anxiety resurfacing in this very visceral way…but there’s not much I want to say about it; I would rather feel it melt away, forgotten, than discuss it.

Tomorrow…Thanksgiving. That one’s a biggish deal for me; this year will be the first Thanksgiving I’ve gone out for dinner that I could have cooked at home. It feels a bit strange, but I don’t know whether it ‘matters’. Maybe I’ll write tomorrow?

Today…is what it is. The day will unfold whether I write or not. Today is a good day to take care of me; the words will take care of themselves.

Each time for the first time, each moment, the only moment...

Each time for the first time, each moment, the only moment…

Subtleties matter in language. There is a distinction to be made between one thing and another, and we use language to make that distinction clear to others. An example? ‘Point of view’ versus ‘angle of view’ – they mean different things, yes? Or…no? How about the difference between ‘being critical’ and ‘critical thinking’? That seems a pretty important distinction to make; those things are not the same at all, they just take advantage of language by sharing a word. Some differences are about how something feels within us, like ‘irritable’ versus ‘angry’; making that distinction helps us communicate our state of being more accurately to others. Some difference seem more a matter of precision about something outside ourselves, but I’m often unclear on the line between ‘within’ and ‘external’, not due to any particular madness of note, but simply because so few people communicate clearly in language sufficiently precise to account for those nuances – or are unclear themselves on the subtle differences between their internal experience (“this is uncomfortable for me” for example) and their external experience (“this is wrong or impermissible, and being imposed on me” for example).  I am learning to listen carefully, and to apply mindful awareness to opportunities to connect and enjoy people in the moment.

It gets complicated when I consider that the words I don’t say have nearly as much impact on other people as the words I do say.

It gets even more complicated when I consider that the tone with which I deliver those words changes their meaning to the person hearing them.

I’m still sort of feeling my way around in the murky shadow lands of good communication, actually. I tend to be strangely ‘face value’ about what people say, much of time. I don’t tend to see/hear subtext very easily, although I can quickly craft numerous alternate meanings or explanations of something said, it’s a very abstract thing. When I have more data, I can be more accurate, but it isn’t really about that other level of understanding for me; I am guessing. Maybe we all are? Those pesky assumptions can really fuck us up!

A journey, a path, a way, an experience.

A journey, a path, a way, an experience.

This has been a lovely few days for beautiful words, too. My partner has showered me with lovely ones, meaningful loving profundities of all kinds, hyperbolic assurances of value, appreciation, worthiness, and fondness. He’s also lobbed a few my way in moments of frustration or hurt that were just flat-out human and mean. I definitely hear the mean part first, and have to fight not to react to that before I catch up with the rest and hear his frustration and hurt; speaking to what is has more value than allowing myself to be chased by my own demons.

Right now, Hardwiring Happiness is the most important book in my kindle. I didn’t realize how little time I was spending really enjoying, savoring, and appreciating the good things, the beautiful words, or the best moments, and how very many minutes I would spend on what hurt, what frustrates me, what makes me sad, what weighs down my heart, or makes me angry – whole hours and days in fact, resulting in implicit negatively bias so extraordinary that I developed a hair-trigger response to frustration that resulted in nasty tantrums, irrational fits of rage or despair, and a lot of irritability because life often felt like it just sucked. I don’t generally feel that way much these days.

Whimsical porcelain figurine; Meissen on display at the Portland Art Museum.

Whimsical porcelain figurine; Meissen on display at the Portland Art Museum.

Words are magical – and not always well-received, or understood at intended. Life’s curriculum is often built on the power of words.

Today is a good day to use fewer words, with more clarity. Today is a good day to use gentle words, with more kindness. Today is a good day to use words with great precision, and great honesty. Today is a good day to change the words.

 

It’s been days since I’ve taken time to write. Time during the week is now quite limited; I’m back to work. I’ll figure it out. It’s really just a matter of new priorities, a new routine, and new balance to find.

Still more questions than answers...kind of feeling my way around in the dark, much of the time.

Still more questions than answers…kind of feeling my way around in the dark, much of the time.

This post isn’t likely to be profound. I am sitting, writing, thinking, and reached a point where reaching for this made some sense.  Funny, I feel okay. A lot has changed for me in just a year, and I’m still okay. I wasn’t always sure I would be.

It’s a lovely quiet Saturday, taking care of me: laundry, yoga, meditation, some reflective writing, some correspondence, a couple great lattes, a good book, a few episodes of Archer. I feel content.

Today I am compassionate with myself, and today I am gentle with my own heart, and the hearts of others. Today is a good day for tenderness.