I am content. Today has been peculiarly productive with all manner of adulthood-related commitments and tasks. In spite of pain I’ve managed it all quite efficiently and will reasonable skill. I am seriously hurting today. The weather is quite wintry, and I spent an amount of it outdoors. The cold seeped into my arthritic bones, and I am stiff almost to rigidity from my waist to my shoulders – and I hurt. Still…I am mostly fairly merry, and lack any shred of irritability or ire today. I have taken care of me in so many ways today, big and small. It’s definitely a bit beyond ‘enough’.

When conditions are right, growth.

When conditions are right, growth.

I have an opportunity to move into a somewhat larger apartment in the community, one that is directly adjacent to the park, and has all the nice features of this unit. That’s exciting for a number of reasons. It is an unexpected and delightful recent development; the associated practices will be mostly to do with feeling the excitement and anticipation of a move I want to make, without becoming invested in the outcome before the lease is signed. I’ll make the observation that life tends to be much easier, and less about drama, having turned my attention toward cultivating an experience of sustainable contentment, rather than chronically chasing happiness and feeling mired in sorrow. Not only has life tended to be ‘easier’ – I’m also actually happy more often. (Your results may vary.) (Oh – and there are verbs involved.) (Ooh – Dude – don’t forget about the choices! You have choices.)

It’s a time of year I spend a lot of leisure time reflecting on what has been working, what hasn’t worked out so well, what I am yearning for and not finding, what I may be stuck chasing that I don’t even want, where I am headed – every journey begins somewhere, so I am also reflecting on where I am right now. My traveling partner was so right; he observed years ago, when we were first becoming friends, that I would benefit greatly from living alone awhile – his thinking was based on my fairly chronic complaint that I did not ‘feel heard’. He suggested, and he wasn’t the last to do so, that the person not listening just might be me. I dismissed that notion out of hand, and went on to fill out the narrative with some understandable, more or less, feminist grievances that seemed to hold up to scrutiny. They may or may not have real substance. He was correct, though; I wasn’t listening. Whether anyone else was is almost irrelevant where I stand in life now. I am hearing me, and it was my own attention I needed most – or at least first. It has been an important experience living alone. I discovered something quite nice; I like living alone. It works for me.

I also discovered some things that are less comfortable. Feeling lonely sucks. Coming home to a cold darkened apartment feels empty. Those are uncomfortable. I greatly miss living with my traveling partner… generally. That’s not uncomfortable. It’s not even uncomfortable that sometimes I don’t miss living with him. Nope. What’s uncomfortable is how incredibly unskilled I am at simply having the experience of feeling the feelings. It takes practice to allow myself some compassion for complex or intense emotions, and to treat myself kindly; I keep practicing. What is uncomfortable is the sensation of missing him alongside the awareness that I also very much enjoy living alone. What’s uncomfortable is that these things really do co-exist – and as it turns out, I have no reason at all to consider the experience one that comes with a comfort guarantee. There is likely to be more to be learned from my discomfort than from my joy. Life’s curriculum being delivered right on time.

Today is a good day for reflection, for choices, and for contentment. Enough really is enough – that’s why it gets called that. 🙂