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.