Archives for posts with tag: a quiet place to call home

I woke abruptly from an unpleasant dream, this morning. It was much earlier than I needed to be awake, but I couldn’t go back to sleep. After a few minutes, ruminating over my dream, I got up. My Traveling Partner and I shared coffee. The day began.

Now I’m sitting contentedly in my studio once again (no, the repairs have not yet been done, and the wall and closet are still “torn out”, waiting on those repairs). I was inspired to get moved back in by my unpleasant dream. The details are not critical here, the fundamentals were what got my attention, and I woke motivated to act on what was “suddenly so clear”; I needed to have my studio back, like, immediately. Having my workstation (and conducting my day-to-day work) in the dining room was an acceptable short-term solution while the water damage in my studio was being addressed. (The big air movers that were shoved in to the smallish space were reason enough; it was way too loud for work.) That’s all over with, though. Right now, it’s just a room waiting for some dry wall to be replaced, and some finish work. I’d cluttered up the opposite side of the room, making haste to move paintings to safety, and bookcases out of harm’s way, and the big deal at this point was that I couldn’t get to my desk! I woke from my troubling dream with a clear plan how best to regain the lost space and move forward.

…And it’s not as if I have any expectation of the repair crew coming this week…

It feels particularly good to be seated at my desk. I smile, and gaze out the window, content with the small view of pear-laden trees on the other side the fence, and a wedge of sky beyond my neighbor’s house. My desk is clean, tidy, and looking around the room with some satisfaction, I note that things are as well-managed and neat as before we noticed the leak that caused me to be temporarily kicked out of my studio. In some ways, it is tidier, simply because most of the canvases were moved into another space in the house (permanent solution still tbd).

My Traveling Partner was also inspired to begin “putting things right once again”, and between coffees tidied up his workshop, and rehung the sun shade “sails” that make the deck so pleasant on sunny summer days. They had been taken down during a wind storm, and we didn’t bother putting them back up while the air outside was indexed at “hazardous” – we weren’t spending time outside!

We each (both) remarked how much difference it made to our general feeling of emotional wellness to have the dining room restored to it’s ideal function (as a dining room), and my workstation back on my desk where it belongs. Reclaiming that living space was a big deal for both of us. Reclaiming this space (my studio) was critical for me, and probably pretty fucking helpful for my partner, too. It was getting beyond annoying to have business calls going on all day, in the shared living space where one might expect to be able to just relax and watch a damned video, or read the news. I know it was messing with my partner’s morning routine. It was challenging for me to deal graciously with life and love being so intimately present in the midst of work – my attention was unavoidably divided, and however much I might prefer to turn my full attention to matters of home life and love and my lover every minute, every time, I also felt the tug of the paycheck; my time is not my own during those working hours. It was hard on us both. I had started to feel pretty trapped. My partner made it explicitly clear he was having some feelings about it, himself. It was not a sustainable arrangement.

…I’m almost eager to face Monday’s calendar, from this seat, in this room, looking across my monitors to this window, and those trees beyond. Once again, I feel “at home” – which is much nicer than feeling chronically uneasy and displaced, for sure.

The morning was fairly merry. I find myself ready to begin again. 🙂

I woke around 3 am, and made a point of not getting up. I eventually fell asleep again, and slept in until almost 6 am! I woke slowly in the stillness and quiet of a pre-dawn Thursday. Another day of moving in, but planning to make a final visit to the old place, sweep up, vacuum, and hand over the keys.

I live here now. This new place. My aches and pains are here. My joyful moments will be here too. My peace and contentment are already here… I unpacked those yesterday, I suppose. 🙂 My coffee is definitely here. My restless rather disorganized approach to housekeeping is here, too. My baggage and limitations are here… pretty sure I just saw those a minute ago…but in the calm of a lovely morning, I’ve misplaced them.

Yesterday I finished moving into the kitchen, which really needed to happen quickly; frequent meals out, delivered, or taken home from elsewhere are not sustainable indefinitely. This morning I woke to a minimum balance reminder I’d previously set to protect myself from over-spending during the move. Well, shit. That snuck up on me. My inner dialogue this morning is all to do with money, and budgets, and being attentive to details… less chastising than reinforcing.

4 years ago, I’d have probably been in hysterics for hours, freaked completely out both by seeing that reminder, and also simply because I was having to think about money. Particularly first thing in the morning (or right before bed, or at any time that wasn’t planned in advance, or … ) This time? I rolled over, and before I was even quite awake, calmly moved some money into that account in quite a routine way, and moved on with my morning with a firm thought in mind that I’ve exhausted my moving budget, and life moves on with the regular day-to-day budgeting in mind. Things will be tight this week. I’m not particularly concerned, because I specifically prepared for this. 🙂 It’s a nice feeling.

…I manage to be mildly irked with myself, and realize I’d been betting I could “bring this project to a close on time and under budget”… and I missed. On time, sure, easily… if I only count the moving out bit. lol Under budget? Nope. My skills at anticipating costs and making a budget have grown over time, it wasn’t likely I was going to spend less on this move – I was accurate about what it would cost me. I’ve been pretty accurate about how much time it would all take me, too. lol I sip my coffee thoughtfully and decide to celebrate that I budgeted and planned so accurately, instead of celebrating how much less I was able to spend that I expected I might. 😀 Win!! 😉

I take time to care for the stressed out roses, and also to appreciate “Fireworks”, which arrived and immediately burst into bloom. What needs my attention no longer prevents me from appreciating what can be enjoyed.

On a more serious note, when I allow myself to become attached to an outcome, I may as well also plan to be quite frustrated, disappointed, and chronically unhappy, because those will likely be common experiences. Over time I have continued to practice letting go of being attached to outcomes, simply because my “crystal ball” tends to be sort of smudgy and vague, and I am often incorrect about the direction life may go, or the outcome of one choice or set of circumstances or another. Being willing to embrace change, and able to enjoy what is, even when it isn’t what I wanted, or what I was going for, results in a fairly frequent opportunity to simply enjoy myself, enjoy my life, enjoy my circumstances. It’s nice. Non-attachment is a pretty big deal for me. Effective.

I live here, now.

I guess I call this move done, at this point. I live here, rather than there. There’s more to do to move in, but it’s all right here. The “moving budget” is exhausted. Life moves on from moving to… whatever is next, I guess. Laundry probably. lol  Housekeeping. The moving in, itself, becomes part of… life. Hell, friends have already begun making plans to come around. I definitely live here, now. I slept in. I sleep deeply and wake gently, even in the night. I can find my way around the place, in the dark, mostly. I’ve done dishes here, and cooked a proper meal. The pantry is stocked. My clothes hang in the closet. The miscellaneous crap currently strewn on the bathroom counter is mine. This is home. My new “drama-free zone”.

There’s more to do. More time to do it. There will be verbs involved. My results may vary. I live here, though, and this is my place. I am content. This is enough. 🙂

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.