Archives for posts with tag: acceptance

I am relaxing quietly, music playing softly in the background – the sort of soft music that does well in the background without disappearing entirely. I have a tasty cup of coffee – decaf, but ground freshly from freshly roasted beans, and it is flavorful, warming and, when I am holding the cup in my hand, also peculiarly comforting. Plans for the evening fell through. I squash my disappointment with recognition that this is also a lovely quiet evening stretching out in front of me, suitable for all manner of taking care of me purposes.

I had rushed my shower a bit, feeling eager to see my traveling partner, and I make up for it now by lingering contentedly over my coffee. Later, I will sit down with pen & ink, colored pencils, liquid leaf, tiny brushes, and blank note cards; I enjoy hand drawn note cards as a small-scale art form which I can manage while also watching some sort of entertainment on the larger monitor that sits approximately in front of the love seat. Tonight probably Archer – I don’t feel like trying to hard at being an adult this evening. 🙂

One of many creative endeavors - and satisfying without being messy.

One of many creative endeavors – and satisfying without being messy.

Feet up. My own agenda. No pressure. No stress. How did I get here – from ‘there’? ‘There’ seems sort of long ago and far away right now… that’s a nice feeling. A lot of practice goes into this, and I still have difficult moments. Missing my traveling partner is one of the small challenges; I miss him almost more than I feel I can bear sometimes. I always manage to survive it. I’m learning not to linger on disappointment, or allow it to grow beyond the bounds of that simple moment of disappointment to become some sort of ridiculous pestilence of pointless drama. The results make the practicing quite worth it; there is delicious freedom in letting go, in moving past some stale brief moment of hurt – and there is growth.

A quiet evening contentedly sketching, coloring, sipping coffee and watching the grown-up version of cartoons is okay with me…in fact, there’s really nothing at all disappointing about such a lovely evening. Would I rather be hanging out with my dear love? Sure – and there are other days for that, the future is not now. This day, right here? This one is quite a nice one, and unspoiled by childish libido driven tantrums about sex, or lonely tears over hormones or distance. I can thank practices related to letting go, and acceptance, and gratitude as stepping-stones on this particular piece of the journey… Or I can just keep practicing. 🙂

If “practice makes perfect”… what are you perfecting? It’s a lovely night to practice The Art of Being, and take a journey to being the person you most want to be. That’s enough.

It’s a Monday morning. This has only whatever significance I choose to give it. Does my choice to face Monday differently (than ‘Oh, damn, not another Monday’, for example) also determine the outcome? Will I most certainly enjoy a lovely calm Monday without any challenges or stress simply by changing my assumptions going into the day? Realistically, there are no guarantees – I might have a terrible Monday however positive I feel going into it.

When I started down this path, I held onto the fairly childlike notion that good choices, and being open to success and positive outcomes would be enough to ensure the successes and positive outcomes would occur. It was incredibly disappointing the first many times I had a straight up no bullshit bad day – I’d chosen so well! I’d been so positive! I’ve learned a lot more since then. I’ve learned that my will is not the only will that is involved in my outcome – and that whatever the outcome, itself, I still have opportunities to enjoy what is enjoyable, to savor things that nurture me, and to learn from what wasn’t so pleasant. Those good choices all still matter – even if the day goes sideways, or ends poorly – because they determine more than merely the outcome. They say something about who I am, and build memory and experience. All of that matters.

Yesterday I had planned to go for a solo hike in a nearby park I’ve never visited. I planned to get there on transit, and it looked pretty easy to do. I checked my route again on Friday. I woke ready to go, yesterday, and was out the door at the time I had intended to be. The day was beautiful. I got downtown to my transfer point, and checked the bus timing; there was just one bus listed as going to the park I had in mind. Right – Sunday. I had checked the bus schedule on a weekday and failed to account for Sundays. No matter, I check my map again and notice the Sunday bus would still get me within a half an hour’s walk of the park itself. Close enough…right? (Can I pause to observe how convenient this technology is? This powerful computer in the palm of my hand can do so much!) A closer look reveals the walking portion of my route is along a detour – with no pedestrian space. Well…that’s a plan changer, right there. I might walk a few feet along a busy road without a sidewalk or pedestrian easement, but doing so for half an hour, early in the morning seems foolish without at least wearing reflective gear of some kind – and I wasn’t prepared.

A change of plans requires a change in perspective.

A change of plans requires a change in perspective.

As little as 3 years ago, I might have been frustrated to the point of being sensitive and easily angered, and disappointment would likely have been a companion for some hours, at least. A year or two ago, I’d have taken a few minutes to let that go, and moved on with my day with acceptance – probably returning home to ‘start over’ somehow. Yesterday was different – and delightfully not at all ‘special’ in this regard – I was barely disappointed enough to register the emotion as being part of my experience, and took time to enjoy quite an exceptional coffee at a favorite cafe, and a well-chosen pastry to complement the coffee (ensuring the low blood sugar didn’t complicate disappointment; it was time for some calories). I didn’t waste time fussing that my plan had fallen apart – the park exists, there are more days in the future (as far as I know), and there is so much that can be done with a lovely Sunday. I sipped my coffee, munched my pastry, and watched people come and go while giving the day some thought, without stress or anxiety.

Taking care of me.

Taking care of me.

Back to the wonder of the technology in my hand…I used it while enjoying my coffee to determine what other area attractions of interest to me might be a good ‘plan B’ for my Sunday adventure. Thank you, Science! Thank you, HTC! Thank you, Android! Thank you, Google! Thank you, DARPA and all the contributing developers of the World Wide Web and the Internet! I don’t say thank you enough, but I do benefit every day from the device you have put in my hands.

I observed on the map that a short walk, followed by a short bus ride, would put me on a trail to the International Rose Test Garden located in Washington Park, and felt the excitement of surprise and delight that goes with discovering ‘a better way’ to get somewhere I really like to go. The Japanese Garden is located nearby, too…and miles and miles of the Wildwood Trail, which I have walked very little of in the years I’ve lived in the area…my Sunday quickly began to take on its new form. I’d take this new route to the Rose Garden, visit the Japanese Garden, too, and enjoy the trails to, from, and between, along the way.

New path, new perspective.

New path, new perspective.

I made good choices, and the outcome was pleasant and worthwhile. I’m not sure how connected our choices are to our outcomes, though – sometimes more than others, it would seem, and I admit to being a bit confused by that sometimes, even now.  Acceptance of change is a big piece of the contentment puzzle, and it surely helps to be flexible and adaptable in the face of change. Perspective has a say in my outcomes, too, providing me an opportunity to build a different understanding of my experience, and perhaps a moment of calm in the face of the turmoil of change or an experience of disappointment. My assumptions, and the way I define the elements of my experience, will also have a say in my perception of the outcome; we are creatures of both emotion and reason, and my will can be applied to my thinking as well as my choices. I think what I am getting at is that I have a new understanding of choice and outcome. There’s a gap between them, filled with opportunities to learn, grow, consider, observe, enjoy, adapt, accept…and that gap is a worthy moment to be present and engaged, and to savor life. Or something. Your results may vary.

Why, yes, I think I will, thanks. :-)

Why, yes, I think I will, thanks. 🙂

Today is a good day to make good choices, and roll with changes. Today is a good day to enjoy the journey. Today is a good day to be my own cartographer; perhaps a good map can change the way I see the world?

It’s a quiet evening. I’m sitting with this heating pad on my back, contentedly watching a randomized playlist of favorite South Park episodes, sort of, and checking out tent camping opportunities around the state. Spring will be here soon enough. I’m in pain, but managing to find contentment; I’m not spreading the stress around.

Taking time to hang out with a friend, to pause the clock and enjoy the moment, and to enjoy a well-chosen, healthy brunch...

Taking time to hang out with a friend, to pause the clock and enjoy the moment, and to enjoy a well-chosen, healthy brunch…

...walking urban trails, enjoying a great coffee, getting a massage, lingering in a hot Epsom salt bath, and sharing a favorite show in the evening...

…walking urban trails, enjoying a great coffee, getting a massage, lingering in a hot Epsom salt bath, and sharing a favorite show in the evening…

Today was a good day. It’s enough.