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

It’s a comfortably cool, somewhat humid morning. The red-wing blackbird outside the window is piercingly reminding me that the feeder is empty. Β It is, and that’s because it is fully summer, and there is no “food shortage” out there in the meadow and marsh this time of year, and I moving very soon. It’s time to prune back the roses for traveling – although this year a friend with a truck seems likely, and perhaps I won’t need to cut them back so much as the last two times I moved? I am now full of enthusiasm for this move, and I smile even thinking about my initial anxiety and frustration with having to, now that I’m past that.

…It’s still really hard to get started. It’s time to box up all the books and breakables. It’s time to take down all the paintings that are hanging. The more prepared I am, and the more small work I’ve done to be ready for the movers (and friends coming ’round to help out with moving), the less time I have to spend actually moving, and the less I have to pay the movers for fewer hours of their work. It’s still really really hard to do the first thing – whatever it ends up being. Beginning again, as often as I say the phrase, sounds so… easy. Just… do the thing, right? Yeah. That’s totally true, and also… totally not as easy as it sounds, often. lol Where to begin?

Any new journey begins somewhere. A moment, a location, an opportunity, a choice; a change-in-progress has to have begun with something. So, this morning I’m a bit hung up on that beginning, because this upcoming weekend kicks off the packing of things into boxes. πŸ™‚ When I go to get the keys, I’d ideally like to have a carload of stuff with me, to bring into the house – I mean, I’m making the trip there, the end result of which will be keys in hand, right? It just seems practical to take stuff over with me. What to bring in that first car load, though? I consider the most likely immediate needs at both ends of the move… a drink of water, a cup of coffee, a quick bite to eat, or a trip to the rest room… someplace to sit down… a plan begins to form.

I figure I can easily take over one or another of three coffee solutions at hand. I’d need to have at least one coffee mug, at least one drinking glass. Packing the pantry seems an easy step, too. A quantity of my breakables have never been unpacked here in this apartment, although I had the space for them – I never reached my “buy a new hutch or curio” goal, in my budget. Higher priorities cropped up more than once over the course of the year. Moving them over is easily done…and goes a long way toward making me feel at home in the new place, and also more relaxed about the move by getting them out of harm’s way early on.

So the morning over coffee goes… I make a list, think it over, shuffle it around, consider cubic footage of space in the car… pack it in my head, unpack it, re-pack it. By the time the day is here, this will feel planned and routine – and hopefully comfortable. I rely on that feeling of preparedness and ease to keep my anxiety at bay; every time I move seems to “change everything”, and getting settled can be a long process for me.

I’m pre-occupied with moving – fortunately, I find it also a great “living metaphor” and as the process unfolds, I am also considering the woman in the mirror and her journey. It’s time to set down some baggage, and get more comfortably moved into my life, and my experience. It may not be easy to get started, but it is time to “walk on” from one thing to the next, with a full tool box full of verbs, and a better idea of who I am – and who I want most to be. My results may vary, but I can begin again, and begin again, and begin again – and incremental change over time is unavoidable; we become what we practice. So.

Begin again? Sure. This path definitely leads somewhere

… Lately (although I’m not really sure if the perception is grounded in anything real, or even if it really has gone on for any measured amount of time, it merely seems so, perhaps…) I feel a bit adrift, as though I am awake and aware of change, in the midst of change, without the certainty of having chosen change specifically, or planned to its effect on my experience.

I am processing recent experiences, and I’m not all done with that complex internal process quite yet. A weekend of stillness in the forest, definitely a prolonged meditation on life – and change – and it was definitely needed. A weekend of the entire and complete opposite of stillness (and also the opposite of solitude), also in the forest, also a weekend of it – and also a prolonged meditation of sorts, on life’s interconnectedness which fulfilled a certain need for community (and then some). Β Next up, weekend-wise, a weekend of details, of tasks, of self-care, of considering the future, of making new choices from new perspective, of revisions, and sorting things out – also needed, and also a meditation of sorts, I suppose, particularly considering the contentment I find in order, and the somewhat excessive bit of disorder I’m finding myself dealing with, due to the chaotic nature of upheaval, and choosing change. So here I am, planning my weekend…

…Planning the future.

Beginning again. Again. πŸ˜€ There’s always room for one more beginning!

The time spent with my Traveling Partner was lovely connected time, wholesome “family” time, intimate shared emotional time; it was needed, and it is cherished. I smile each time I consider the weekend we shared. πŸ™‚ It was time so precious it changed my thinking. A singularly magical birthday shared with so many travelers on life’s journey… I hope I never forget the way it sparkles in my memory now.

“Fireworks”, a rose in my garden, a metaphor for change.

Today my Traveling Partner, this being I love so much and so deeply, will head out again for a place, elsewhere, to have his own experience. I’ll be here, having mine. I learned a lot this past couple of weekends about what I really want, and what really meets the needs of my deepest heart, and where I could choose to take life – the menu seems more vast than it did three weeks ago. πŸ™‚ It’s a lot to consider.

What next? Sleeping in. Sleeping in is definitely “next” on my to-do list, I think, and I’m so earnest about that one I’ve put it on my calendar. lol Where will the weekend take me? Where will I choose to take myself? I guess I’ll know more… later, further down my path.

It’s a good time to walk on. πŸ™‚

It’s a simple message. It doesn’t require a lot of words. It doesn’t take any fancy equipment, or elaborate planning or preparation. Just go outside. Get up, step away from the computer, or the television, and put your head – and your thinking – outside the confines of this space.

It’s a challenge, I know, but don’t let yourself drown in the bullshit and drama – even at the congressional level. lol Once you’ve read the coverage once, there’s no special value or extra credit for reading each re-hash of all of those same details. Seriously. News outlets are trying to make money, generate clicks, views, likes, and put their advertisers in front of your eye holes. Advertisers want to sell products. The end goal does not happen to be either truth or accuracy, and it is important to be aware of that.

Go outside.

This is outside.

I’m just saying that there is value in new perspective. There is value in fresh air, sunshine, and even walks in rain showers. There are moments yet left to live – to really live – and most of those don’t happen to become what they could be, seated at a computer, fingers poised over the keyboard, or eyes vague and unfocused as brain candy trickles into one’s visual field.

Also outside.

Some of us don’t have the easy option to “just go outside”, due to physical limitations, illness, literal confinement… things. So – if you’re not in one of those limiting situations, how silly is it to waste the chance? No fooling – the chance to go outside may not exist “forever” (very few things do)… so… What are you waiting for? Get up. Move around a bit. Go outside. Self-imposed isolation has some potentially very unhealthy elements, and…well… outside there are flowers blooming, clouds hanging decoratively overhead or sweeping across the sky, birds, bees, butterflies… There are some lovely sights to see, and paths to wander.

Yep. Outside.

Of course, I write these words speaking from a certain privilege, and I don’t mean to; I’m not plagued by allergies, and I’m still pretty comfortably able to walk, and I don’t immediately burn to a crisp at any hint of exposure to the sun, and… well… I like it outside. lol So, if you have terrible allergies, hate the sun entirely or just crisp up immediately, or can’t put weight on your feet at all, or loathe being outdoors… well, shit. Then I sound like a clueless dick, because I’ve overlooked that we are each having our own experience, and that isn’t at all what I’ve meant to do. Perhaps, instead of going outside, you can distract yourself from the delights of the glowing screen in front of you with a good book, or a conversation with a living person in your actual space, or learn bonsai, or grow a wee container garden, invent a calorie-free-eco-groovy-healthy gummy bear, or… something other than this strange alien digital connection that pumps pre-processed information into your brain by way of your eyes and ears, requiring only that you sit there quietly, scrolling, clicking, viewing, and liking?

That’s really what I am getting at, I think; don’t just let your life pass, sitting there quietly receiving pre-processed, re-hashed, unchallenged information! Make actual use of all the squishy bits stuffed into your cranium! There is a fairly profound difference between “finding stillness within”, by the way, and just sitting still, facing your screen. These are not at all related things.

So.

Go outside. Go outside your comfort zone. Go outside your normal thinking. Go outside your usual routine. Go outside your safe feeling space. Go outside your expectations. Go the fuck outside before the whole of your life is wasted on repetition and distraction. Live your life such that there is something to be distracted from, in the first place. πŸ™‚

This is outside, too.

You know that thing you want to do? Why not go do that? Get a start on it at least, start doing the homework, laying the groundwork, learning all of the things…

How about that stuff you want to know more about… maybe a language you have always wanted to learn, or a place you’ve considered traveling, or something that has always interested you, that you’ve not yet acted on? That’s a nice start, too.

What’s holding you back? Probably the same stuff that holds me back – that holds each of us back; there are verbs involved. Effort. Will. Commitment. The requirement to begin it.

So… ?

Definitely outside.

I sip my cold coffee, wiggling my cold toes in the morning chill. I opened the windows and patio door to cool down the apartment this morning before I was awake enough to recognize that it would not be a warm day. I haven’t bother to close them; I am listening to bird song, feeling the meadow breeze, and watching the cottony gray clouds shift and roil overhead. I’ll finish here and then tidy up a bit; my schedule has changed some, to a later start time for the summer months. Shorter evenings, of course, but… longer leisurely mornings, which I love. I feel very unrushed, which I am enjoying rather a lot this morning. What will my perspective be on the other end of the day, I wonder?

It’s time to begin again… I think I’ll go outside. πŸ˜€

If each birthday were a new beginning, a moment of re-birth, an awakening, a start on a journey, a moment of profundity, or simply a break from the being we once had been which opens us to being the being we would soon become… would we grow faster?

…But isn’t it? I mean, it could be, couldn’t it? Is that a choice we make? When we’re very young we eagerly look ahead to milestones marked by years… The year we’re promised high heels, or make-up, or a firearm, or dating, or a trip somewhere exotic, or the year we graduate, or get to vote for the first time, or ride a bicycle, or buy a car, or a house, or get married, or have a child… each a big deal, anticipated, considered, maybe yearned for and planned around – are these not re-births of a sort? A new beginning, a change of heart or thinking so profound that “the course of our life” is altered in ways that seem subjectively obvious, and also unexpected? We begin again, so many times…

I took a journey down a road I’d never traveled, predictably it lead me somewhere I’d never been.

My birthday weekend was amazing, and connected, and shared, and human, and delicious with wonder, and adventure. It was eye-opening. It was romantic. It was practical. It was peculiarly wholesome – for some values of wholesome – and it “took me places” I hadn’t thought to travel previously. I’m glad I went. I’m glad I “said yes” to the moment and immersed myself in a something strangely new, made up, as it was, of so much that was entirely familiar.

The music festival weekend was likely not at all as planned by the event organizers. It was cold. When we arrived a freezing rain was falling. It was wet. The rain fell, on and off, all weekend long. It was blustery. I personally helped catch, retrieve, and right 3 different canopies and 1 tent over the 3 days I was there. There was rather of a lot of odd drama which seemed both unexpected and tedious, but it was such a small part of the experience the recollection will likely fade quickly. I met a lot of new people, and I got to hang out with my Traveling Partner and a friend while they did their thing out there in the world. I listened to some great music – and I listened to that music so loud, so bass-heavy, so entirely encompassing that the ground shook with it – for 2 days, from noon to 6 am. No kidding. Sleep was a very new experience in that environment. My dreams didn’t suffer from it, but I made the drive home in silence, listening only to my tinnitus and the sound of the wind along the way. Β The people who came to the event, who stayed through the wind and weather, brought with them a sense of community that I’m still wowed by. The best part? New friends – and time well-spent wrapped in love, just hanging out with my Traveling Partner for a couple days. Wonderful. Just wonderful.

I’m still smiling. It’s Monday night, tomorrow I get back to the office, back to the routine of meetings, calls, emails, spreadsheets, summaries, recommendations, task processing, and commuting. I feel pretty okay with that, sitting here this evening. I smile, thinking about my Traveling Partner. I think about the weekend. I think about his visit this afternoon. I think about shared goals, and the dovetailing of individual goals that is so tidy that even those feel shared; a partnership of equals.

I’m taking a quiet moment at the end of the day to wish the woman in the mirror a happy birthday. This one definitely feels like the beginning of something wonderful, and if nothing else it is enough that the weekend and the day were themselves quite wonderful. Really nothing more is required, it’s all quite enough. 54? Yes, I am. ❀

Sometimes, being heard seems to be a study in actually listening, myself. Sometimes it is about speaking more clearly, more simply, or more explicitly. Sometimes being heard is about being the person listening most carefully to my own heart, my own voice; when I am “unable to hear myself think”, this is a real experience of being unable to hear myself. Sometimes, I am so attentive to the matter of “being heard”, myself, that I overlook the urgent importance of listening deeply. Thoughts over coffee.

The breeze from over the marsh and meadow is scented with flowers and although I have headphones on, as if listening to music, somehow I haven’t yet gotten as far as turning any on. lol It doesn’t matter. This morning, I am busy keeping track of other details – like the precise moment I can start that one load of laundry I need to do before I depart to meet my Traveling Partner at the designated rally point before a final gear check, and departure. Being late would be beyond rude; it would throw off plans and timing for other people, too. I’d like to avoid that. I’m good at deployment. I’ve had a lot of practice. πŸ™‚

There’s a certain uncomfortable free fall in letting other people handle planning. I’m really good at it, and have learned over the years to uphold a high level of self-reliance, generally. It’s not explicitly stated, so I’ll out myself now; I am not so skilled at, or comfortable with, letting go and allowing someone else to plan and lead. So, this weekend – adventure, love, and all – is a complicated bit of life’s curriculum – advanced coursework, even. This weekend I learn to manage my anxiety around loosening my grip on the details, and allowing other decision-makers, other planners, other leaders, to step to the forefront, call the shots, and let the fun of our time together be truly collaborative. Wow. I break out in a literal sweat thinking about it, and I feel my core tighten a bit with anticipated anxiety (which is like, the dumbest and most annoying anxiety, ever).

I didn’t end up, in prior relationships, overburdened with planning and managing life events, travel, and adventure, because no one else was willing to adopt mannerisms indicating they might handle it – it was more because, at least at the outset, I simply couldn’t allow it. I had to have the control. Not knowing all the details of everything could really freak me out. I had to have things done “right” – admitting, even as I type the words, that my notion of “doing it right” was every bit as subjective and centered on my own thinking as anyone else’s would be. Of course, if I offered to do all of the things, the answer would be a relieved “yes” and we all moved on to our chosen roles. The resentment over time was just “a free service I offered” or… an unrequested… enhancement. LOL

I’m okay with learning another way. It’s been a really long time since I participated in an event of this sort – I have no idea what to expect, neither from the event, nor, frankly, from myself. I don’t even know what I want, beyond spending time chilling with my Traveling Partner, making memories. This could be an amazing shared experience…I have to be willing to allow it to be. (I am.) I have an opportunity to connect really closely with my Traveling Partner for a few days, and an opportunity to listen. (Which is, frankly, both more difficult and more important than talking.) Being heard feels really good. Like happiness, it somehow tends to skitter just out of reach if I chase it. On the other hand, in building the skills I need to listen deeply to others, to listen non-judgmentally, to really hear what someone else is saying – to meet that need to be heard for another – I bring profound new opportunities for intimacy and connection into my experience… that results in greater potential for being heard, myself. It’s my plan to practice listening more than talking, this weekend. There is much I do not know, and I won’t learn it by talking continuously. πŸ˜€

I heard my Traveling Partner last night – he communicated concern about his own readiness, and mine, and things he hadn’t thought of, and although he didn’t use simple frank language to get those points across, because I was listening deeply it was not so necessary that he communicate completely clearly. It was late. We were both tired. It would be very human and common and understandable if drama had broken out, or strong emotion, or missed understanding – instead, I listened. If I didn’t “get it”, I asked a direct question, no baggage. We narrowed down needs, wants, and expectations very quickly in this way, and my developing anxiety around letting go of control of all the details and all the knowledge quickly gave way to feeling prepared, content, and… ready for bed. lol

Assuming positive intent is a big help. Not taking things personally is a great approach, too. Understanding we are each having our own experience is also definitely an important tool in the emotional intelligence toolbox. Avoiding contradicting or disagreeing with people’s emotions is something I find useful as well (there’s just no disagreeing with emotion, people – those are facts of their own sort, and very subjective). So… here I go. It’s nearly time to load the car (my dining room is currently my “staging area” and everything is ready but the laundry), to do that one load of laundry, to meet my Traveling Partner, check gear and if necessary make a pass by an appropriate retailer for missed this-or-that we ought not do without (totally necessary; I’ve already made a list)… then… the journey. A destination. A weekend. Love.

54 and still daydreaming about love. πŸ™‚

…The Love part is my favorite. πŸ˜€

It’s time to begin, again. See you on Monday.