Archives for posts with tag: a place of my own

I woke to my alarm this morning. I slept through the night aside from one very brief interruption in my sleep that ended with checking the clock and agreeing with myself that getting up at 1:35 am was silly. I went back to sleep easily. I am adjusting to the new environment. There’s no anxiety associated with my disturbed sleep, which is an improvement. I am simply in a new place and the differences make a difference to my sleep until my sense of things grows to rely on implicit memory of this new place, rather than some other place I have been previously. Waking in the night is no longer so disorienting, and when I reached for my alarm this morning my hand found it immediately.

Incremental changes over time do happen, and applying some verbs from my basic self-care arsenal helps that process along nicely. Taking care of me, here, is about more than stress-relieving meditation, pain-relieving yoga, and healthy sleep, too. It is also about dishes, and vacuuming, and making the bed. It is about maintaining order, and a beautiful home for myself – and not because someone else says these things have value (actually, that approach just doesn’t work at all). These are things I value for myself. I can only have them if I do the tasks and take the actions that building that life requires. The verbs are inescapable.

I woke up this morning with a smile. My coffee is hot and tasty and from the vantage point of my desk I can see, on one side, my as-yet-unmade bed, and on the other my very clean kitchen. Timing, too, is part of my self-care picture – waking to a clean kitchen and no dishes waiting in the sink really matters to me. On the other hand, there is no stress or pressure to make my bed upon rising, and I am happy to give myself time to wake up and have coffee and handle that task a little later. I am gentle with myself in this new space. I am efficient, and also patient with myself about competing priorities, and overlapping needs. I have given up berating and criticizing myself over small things – it’s mean and hurtful when others do it, and I don’t care for it – when I inflict such things on myself, it goes beyond hurting and becomes part of who I am, and changes what I accept from others, or tolerate in myself. It hasn’t been easy to give up the practice of treating myself poorly in the context of environments in which others may be treating themselves poorly, or me, or other people – it’s too much continuous reinforcement of behaviors I have been working to change.

I’m not saying it is ‘easy’ now – there are still verbs involved – it just feels a bit less complicated to practice treating myself gently in this quiet space.

They set a good example of living in the moment.

They set a good example of living in the moment.

My aquarium arrived yesterday, and having it set up here at home delights me. I definitely missed the cadre of tiny eyes watching me while I write, and the fish are a wonderful living example of being in the moment – where else would they be? The fios guys stopped round yesterday and got me connected. Later I stopped at the grocery store and picked up groceries – a far less time-consuming process cooking for one, and that one being me (I know what I like, what is healthy for me, and don’t have to work so hard to accommodate other tastes and needs now) – particularly with the store being a short walk away. My pantry is not yet complete. I don’t have a complete set of pots and pans, either. Those details don’t matter right now; I have enough.

It has been just one week since moving day, and I am moved in (aside from hanging paintings, and storing those that will not be hanging). I feel at home already, and this surprises me – I expected ‘finding my way home’ to be more complicated, and require vastly more work to change…something. Something inside myself. Whatever that something is, it has apparently already changed leaving behind only geography and choices to make. There is no need to rush the choices that continue to personalize my home over time – there is fun in the process of exploring new ideas, as well as growth, and rushing those remaining choices increases the risk of being discontent with the outcome later. I take my time with it, and enjoy the process.

Honestly, it is still very new to live entirely alone. My traveling partner wondered aloud recently what it would be like for me once the novelty wears off. I wonder too. I also wonder if I would notice the novelty wearing off at all – my novelty identification circuitry is quite broken. lol Would I complain if living alone continued to be a wonder and a delight indefinitely? I don’t think I would. 🙂 Real life is real, though, and I’m okay with that too. The kitchen floor creaks ferociously here. The fios equipment is rather awkwardly placed. The dishwasher (brand new) doesn’t work and it will be another couple of days before the appliance guy comes to fix it. My aquarium is not arranged precisely as I had it – the mover did her best, and I did not complain; I am content to have my aquarium at home, and I can make any adjustments I care to, later. The warm evening yesterday, and the open door while the aquarium mover moved my aquarium let some mosquitoes into the house and I woke with some mosquito bites this morning. So, sure… there’s no shortage of imperfections even in this gentle experience. I’m still okay with that. I’m living my life, doing my best to treat myself and others well, and using some verbs.

Who I am, who I once was, and the journey between those points.

Who I am, who I once was, and the journey between those points; it is enough.

 

I am home.

A lovely morning of smiles and tasty coffee begins well. The smiles and the coffee are both mine, and I am enjoying the quiet of morning solitude. The past couple weeks of lovely mornings have been built, in part, on my certainty that very soon I will wake thus, each morning, with very little risk of waking any other way. The knowledge that I am within days of moving provides me with unexpected resilience, resolve, and calm; however complicated things may seem, in just days it won’t be a day-to-day part of my experience. There’s strength in choice, and seeing my will manifest through my decision-making. The powerful advantage of skilled research and planning are worth the investment in time [for me], because having made that additional effort, I am prepared for most unexpected results of the will and actions of others, too. “Always have a ‘Plan B’ ready, that you put as much time into as ‘Plan A’, and make it one with an outcome you can really make work; ‘Plan B’ goes live more often than ‘Plan A’ in most tactical scenarios.” Wise words from a military instructor in another life, a long time ago, that have proven to be quite correct, time and again.

I am facing the day with a great deal of eagerness. I am hoping to hear that my application for my studio is approved, and to find myself busy later today with scheduling movers, electric service, and time off to get moved in and settled. Knowing how child-like I can be about facing disappointment, I also set clear expectations with myself that are meaningful right now; it may take longer to get approval, it may be less convenient than I’d like getting the move managed, I may have to plan around work needs for the time off I want… But every bit of that is trivial, beyond how easily it could derail my pleasant morning if I overlook the good self-care practices involved in managing my positive emotions with the same attentiveness that I would give the emotions that I enjoy less. Assumptions and expectations aren’t ‘real’ – but they are powerful. I practice being mindful and aware of this moment right here, enjoying it for what it is and letting go of projections of a future that is not now; change is, and the future will be here soon enough. I am learning to plan beyond the details of events and tasks, and learning to include my understanding of myself in my planning. 🙂

There are flowers where I am going...just as there are flowers where I've been.

There are flowers where I am going…just as there are flowers where I’ve been.

I spent much of the weekend packing boxes. Moving is simple when one residence is simply packed up and moved to another, but this is not that. I am taking time to gently extricate myself, and my belongings, from a larger household.  I find this is most easily managed by taking the time to organize what is mine, and have it in a state of convenient [for movers] readiness. Books, and paintings, and art gear got most of my attention over the weekend. Camping gear, too. My valuable breakables have been safely packed up for some time, with the exception of some paperweights, and some objects too dear to me to put away from view.

On other moves, including the move that brought me into this household, the process of packing things up and moving has been powerfully emotional, and a time of great sadness and turmoil – a departure, and an end of something – and over time the process of moving has become a sad one. Or…it was. This particular time doesn’t feel sad; I am excited to build a beautiful life around needs and values of my own, with only such compromise with life and the world as is truly required. This time, I am moving forward to something new, rather than moving away from something, at all. I’m even having fun with it. 🙂

Today is a good day to move forward with plans. Today is a good day to have a ‘Plan B’ ready, just in case. Today is a good day for choices and for actions, and for the perspective that allows life to unfold however it may, without being harmed by the inevitable surprises. Today is a good day for a smile big enough to share with the world.

Yesterday was fantastic, end to end. There isn’t much more to say about it; it was that rare and lovely day without one flaw or noteworthy challenge. Celebration-worthy, and certainly worth the pleasure of lingering on the recollection for a few quite moments this morning, before moving on.

There was something about yesterday that felt ‘filled with light’, and around midday I couldn’t continue to gaze at the sunshine out the window – I took my lunch break on the move, intending initially to ‘get lunch’,  and quickly found that what I wanted most was simply to walk in the sunshine, unfettered by expectations, or purpose. Seemed harmless enough; I indulged myself, to my own great delight, and the entire resulting day unfolded like a lovely flower.

I took a path that was new to me, and found myself in a lovely place.

I took a path that was new to me, and found myself in a lovely place.

The sensation of remoteness and of stillness must have come along with me; this is no wilderness.

The sensation of remoteness and of stillness must have come along with me; this is no wilderness.

I didn't have to travel far to find delight in the day, I only needed to allow the feelings to make a home in my heart.

I didn’t have to travel far to find delight in the day, I only needed to allow the feelings to make a home in my heart.

Beauty doesn't have to be fancy, or rare, and doesn't require much in the way of 'work'; like change, beauty is.

Beauty doesn’t have to be fancy, or rare, and doesn’t require much in the way of ‘work’; like change, beauty is.

Each flower opens in its own season.

Each flower opens in its own season.

In the distance, the world - and the office.

In the distance, the world – and the office.

For the small price of an hour of my time, and less than two miles of walking distance, I return to the work of the day refreshed, recharged, renewed, and feeling wholly capable and competent, and wrapped in love. A bargain. Seeing so much loveliness so near to where I will soon be living fills me with enthusiasm to greet change as a friend and companion, and motivates me to stride with great purpose toward a future that nurtures me, heart and soul. There are choices involved, verbs to enact, planning to be done – and to enjoy (because I do enjoy the planning). There are sunny days to enjoy, and more long walks on paths I have not yet explored, still ahead of me.

Today is a good day to enjoy standing in the light. Today is a good day to walk away from the darkness. Today is a good day to change the world.