Archives for posts with tag: are you going my way?

Sometimes things don’t work out as planned. Sometimes the expected fails us, and the unexpected takes over. I’m sipping coffee this morning and giving some thought to dealing with the many challenges life throws my way. Resistance is futile. Change is. Conflict occurs. Feelings are what they are. I have certainly “enjoyed” my share. lol

Yesterday I got home to an unexpected conversation. It could have been messy, fraught with contention, defensiveness, and emotional overload. Instead, different choices were made, and the result was productive, patient, clarified expectations and shored up shared knowledge. A partnership was strengthened, instead of undermined. The evening was relaxed and full of contentment.

So… what made the difference? Mostly listening. Yep. Listening made a huge difference. Just… listening. Actually halting my own urge to talk, to defend, to agree or disagree, to excuse, to scold, or to criticize, and listening first, and deeply. My next step? Affirming shared understanding, and affirming shared goals. Ensuring we both felt a sense of partnership. Planning next steps together, and explicitly clarifying expectations and desired results. It sounds more complicated that it was in the moment. It was a handful of choices to refrain from becoming needlessly defensive, and a handful of choices to remain open to another human beings words, and an assumption of positive intent. (Still takes practice. lol)

I nod my head, pleased, and sip my coffee. The clock on the computer suggests it is already time to begin again. 🙂 I remind myself that we become what we practice, finish my coffee, and head for whatever is next.

Isn’t it interesting how our words can linger in someone’s memory? How easily hurt each of us can be? How we hold onto grudges, and the way small wounds can fester over time? How trivial matters blow up and change relationships? How little regard we seem to give these things… even though, given some thought, it’s pretty commonplace stuff? I’m just saying – pay attention to what you say, choose your words with care. The consideration you give your words can change whole relationships, and even all the many moments to come. 🙂

…I don’t bring it up for any reason. I’m just drinking coffee in the morning and wondering about things, considering stuff, and thinking things over, and listening to music.

It’s been a busy week. The weekend ahead seems short; I have plans. 🙂 The days are becoming more summery, and the garden is thriving. Something nags at my consciousness… like a thing I have forgotten, being forgotten right now… only I can feel the forgetting, and maintain an awareness of something… but… what? I sip my coffee, catching a quizzical expression on my reflected in my monitor. I spend way to much time in front of a monitor… I suggest to myself that I could, perhaps, choose differently (obviously, right?)… Write. Finish. Walk away. 🙂

My birthday is next month. About a month away, actually. 56. I have to keep re-calculating my age; I keep forgetting, and catching myself wondering… 56? 57? It’s 56. Fifty. Six. Five, six. lol How is it even a thing to forget one’s own age??

I realized over this past weekend that my meditation practice has been pretty hit-or-miss lately. A consequence of small disruptions and changes that have been a natural byproduct of my Traveling Partner moving in, more than anything else. And “being busy”. Here’s the thing though; I feel vastly more “busy” because I’ve let my meditation practice slip, than I might if I hadn’t. 🙂 I even know that. I’ve been here before. (So human) I shrug it off. Finish my coffee. Head for my meditation cushion.

It’s a good day for a new beginning. 🙂 How about it – what will you choose to change, in order to become the person you most want to be, living and loving in healthy relationships, in a beautiful world full of wonder, contentment, and joy? Check the clock. It’s time to begin again. 😉

I’m sipping my coffee, before dawn, on a Spring morning. Well-past Winter, and headed for Summer, the morning is mild, and the patio door is open to the cool morning air. I haven’t written a word in days… unless a letter to my Mother, for Mother’s Day, counts. I suppose it does… but…

…I’ve spent lovely hours in the garden…

…I seem to have broken my writing habit. lol Yep. It’s entirely possible to break a habit, however long-standing, however well-favored, and even when that habit is relied upon, enjoyed, and cultivated until it becomes a plot point in one’s life, and an element of character. Still breakable.

Just stop doing it.

Stop a habitual behavior one time, and it has little impact. Stop it again, and it becomes a repeated behavior. Continue stopping it ( as in, don’t do it) and, over time, it becomes part of who you are that you don’t do this thing. We become what we practice, it is that simple.

This is a technique, a practice, that works. It works very well; practice something long enough and changes occur. Practice a desirable behavior. Practice something tedious. Practice something useful. Practice something foolish. We become what we practice.

I broke my writing habit by taking a day from writing, now and then, which grew to amused tolerance of not writing, even for a couple days, which slowly became a small kernel of doubt; do I even want to write? I took a vacation for a few days, to focus on Love, and found myself just… not writing. At all. Good times. Challenges. Adventure. Drama. Practice? Well, one thing I was not practicing? Writing. It’s been interesting to live life without it.

The last day or two I have tended to be somewhat irritable, and easily hurt. At that same time, there’s been something “a bit off” every now and then, between my Traveling Partner and I, in spite of how delightfully well we get along, and how much love exists in this relationship. It struck me as I fell asleep last night that, in some small way, my writing is not only part of who I am… it is part of who we are. When I don’t write, not only do I lose “my mirror”, and regular moment taken for self-reflection, and reinforcement of those practices that tend to make me more the woman I most want to be… it also removes a handy window into who I am, and how I’m doing, that my Traveling Partner is quite used to having available. I wonder if that’s something he counts on? I remind myself to ask, some other time.

This is not to say I sense any obligation among all these words; my choices are my own. I miss writing every day. There is a longing that exists alongside the tempting freedom from this habit of sitting down each morning, over my coffee, reflecting on my thoughts, my actions, my experience… and frankly the longing won. 🙂 That’s okay, too.

I listen to a little bird outside my window, and my neighbor’s car warming up in the driveway. I sip my coffee, and feel the cool morning air fill the house. I think of the happy happenstance of running into a former coworker (current friend) yesterday, that I hadn’t seen in a while. I exist in this vaguely merry pre-dawn state, drinking coffee. I love this “place”, this particular moment and state of being. How is it that even this habit is so easily broken? How is it so easily resumed?

We get to choose. 

Imagine the insane power our freedom of choice actually implies – and what it says, really, about who we each are (and who we are choosing to be). Raw power.

…And…yeah… it means that it matters who we each choose to be, and that who we are is a product of a great many choices we willfully make, each day. We can choose differently, and better, than we often do – and once we notice that? We sort of have an obligation to ourselves – to that person we most want to be – to step up, and walk a path we choose with care, and make those choices that make us more fully who we do want to be, until, over time, that’s who we actually are.

…So… There’s that. I check the time, and begin again. 🙂

This is a good cup of coffee. The morning is quiet, relaxed, and pleasant. I am, in general, physically comfortable. Nice start to the day, so far. 🙂 It’s enough.

My sleep quality has degraded somewhat, notably with considerably more dream activity, difficulty falling asleep, and waking ahead of the alarm. I consider it all of that for a moment or two, while I enjoy my coffee. It’s not all that rare or strange. After a pointless couple of moments of thought, I let it go. Too nice a morning to be spent ruminating over what is not strange. lol

I think about friends far away. I think about the long weekend coming up – my first planned time away from the new job since it started. My Traveling Partner and I celebrating anniversaries. It’s our 10-9-8; 10 years of a great friendship, 9 years as lovers, 8 years married. Wow. Nice milestone… although, admittedly, the “10” starts more as coworkers, and genial associates, becoming a close friendship a bit late in the year… LOL. I stretch it to fit because I’m just that eager to count it a decade with this human being who is so dear to me. 😀 (It’s my romantic anniversary narrative and I shall do the math as I please! LOL)

The lovely sunny weather yesterday has me thinking about the garden, and I’ll be out on the deck among the containers this weekend, putting things right after the landlord’s visit to give the deck a thorough pressure-washing. It wasn’t at all convenient, but the deck does look very nice, and I’m over being irked by the inconvenience. 🙂

Someone commented recently about my positive attitude. I remember laughing; I wasn’t always in this place, or so easily able to “be positive”. It is kind of a state of being at this point. Enough choices that favor a positive approach, enough choices to let bullshit go, to compliment authentically instead of give “negative feedback”, to help or support instead of tearing someone down, to politely refrain from mean humor even when I’m hurting so much it seems funny, to make the day-to-day attempt to be – in every interaction – respectful, considerate, compassionate, reciprocal, open, and mindful, has eventually resulted in a fairly enduring positivity, just generally. I didn’t really “see that coming”. It was, initially, mere compliance with a request that I “be” less negative. I started studying up on what that could mean, what it could “look like”, and what sorts of characteristics people perceived as “positive” demonstrate. I started changing choices. I adopted new practices. I explored different styles of humor, of conversation, evening making new choices about viewing material, reading material, even the clothes I wear… and over time, in small increments that felt entirely natural in the moment, I became… still me. Yep. I’m still me, from my insider perspective, only… I’m generally contented, generally pleasant (so I hear), generally positive, even notably inclined (per my associate yesterday) toward lifting others up, and explicitly supporting their personal and professional growth through positive reinforcement. 😀 Wow. Nice.

…Most mornings, all of that just comes out as contented coffee consumption and a few minutes of writing… I finish my coffee, my curiosity nudges me in the direction of reading those earliest posts, to look for “clues” or “signs” or “early indications of change”, a chance to study the actual mechanism of getting from “there” to “here”… only… yeah. I check the time. It’s already time to begin again. No turning back. 😉 There’s an entire life ahead of me to live. 🙂

My coffee is delicious this morning, for those values of deliciousness to which coffee drinkers refer, when we suggest our coffee is delicious, obviously; it may still taste terrible for the non-coffee-drinker. lol It’s hot, though, and well-brewed, with care, and I am enjoying it. The weekend is already over. A new work week already exists as the immediate future. The weekend was lovely; time spent with friends, time spent with each other, savoring existence.

At some point, the phone rang (more common now, than when we had social media). First mine; an unidentified number from Mauritania. Since I don’t know anyone there, or do business with any companies there, I dismissed the call without answering it; walking away from drama, inconvenience, or unpleasantness, that I recognize, is pretty easy. I do it all the time. 🙂 The second ring was a friend, the phone was my partner’s, and the call was to bring up other drama, somewhere else, based on shit-talking other people, and those other people being people prone to talking shit, and this friend being the unfortunate recipient of shit-having-been-talked, he reached out to share the experience, and the shit he had heard. Unexpected OPD. Other People’s Drama is bad enough, but yeah, it’s even less pleasant and more, sort of, well… “sticky” when OPD becomes “personal”. It’s hard not to get emotionally invested when feeling attacked. It’s hard to “let that shit go” and remain mindful that even when it feels so personal, it really isn’t, at all. People talking shit are generally pretty well mired in their own chaos and damage, drowning in their own bullshit, and using the “theater of distraction” to pass the time in hell. It’s not about me.

I shrug that shit off, and walk on. It does make it easier to tell who my friends are, there’s that. lol 🙂

It was a small, tiny, and insignificant moment out of a delightful weekend. I’m glad we let it go and moved on with what matters most. 🙂

Now there’s the work week ahead, and I find myself, for just a moment, getting wrapped up in some other flavor or version of drama – office politics. I chuckle and let that go, too. There is no value or purpose in letting those details become the focus of my work (neither the tasks themselves, nor the characteristics of the days). Letting that go isn’t so hard; I focus on the questions, not the certainty of my answers. Disagreements, in theory, are not personal; we’re all working toward the same goals. I take that as a given, and practice assuming positive intent, and in doing so, all my relationships improve.

…It does take some practice. We become what we practice. I finish my coffee, notice the time, and begin again. 🙂