Archives for posts with tag: be here now

Sipping my coffee, drinking water, sitting here with my fingers poised over the keyboard feeling a little distracted before my thoughts even begin to form into something coherent. I had a really useful and well-considered thought quite early this morning, but I didn’t take notes, and yeah I got distracted before I could really commit it to memory in any lasting way, and now… it’s gone. So human.

Yesterday, I headed home to finish my work day there with my Traveling Partner’s encouragement. He was missing me a lot. I was “feeling the mood” and eager to enjoy some close romantic time with him after the work day ended. We found ourselves in quite a different place rather quickly; he was sort of cross, generally, and my pain was flaring up. We still had a lovely evening together, but romance (or, to be more frank, sex) became progressively less likely as the evening developed. Very human.

I woke this morning with a headache. It’s Friday, though, and the entire day ahead of me yet. I’ve no idea where I’ll be on the other side of the day. I look at my work calendar. Somehow the day looks so long. (It’s actually a short one.) I sigh out loud feeling – still – distracted and somewhat discontented. Hilarious and rather silly. Another very human experience.

I think about tomorrow. I’m eager to “really sleep in”, although I know how difficult that really is for me, generally. I think about going out to breakfast with my Traveling Partner. We had meant to do so last weekend… and I forgot. He politely didn’t mention it to me. I realized my failed plan too late. I’d really enjoy having that out-to-breakfast experience with him, though – and although we’ve lived here now for going on 3 years (wow), we still haven’t gone out to breakfast here in our new “home town”. lol Pandemics suck. Still, I think over the logistics of going to breakfast and remind myself to bring it up with him and see if he’s up for it. We’re both plenty human. Our results vary. lol

Another sigh. It sounds loud in this quiet space. My eye strays again to my work calendar, and I “feel the clock in my head” ticking away. An internal rather self-imposed distraction. I let it go. I let my thoughts drift to other places, other times in my life, other human moments. It’s a bit like “scratching an emotional itch” in some peculiar way. I silently remind myself now and then “don’t pick at that!” – some memories are best left alone, unexplored, generally speaking. Human is complicated, and it’s not all sweetness, warmth, and love. lol

I miss late night coffees with far away friends, and a time in my life when work was sort of seasonal, and there were weeks of downtime between jobs routinely. This is not that life. I’m okay with this life, too – it’s a good one. I’m just saying, I think I could have slept in today, and enjoyed breakfast out with my Traveling Partner, and a lazy romantic morning… sounds pretty good. Work is… work. Today, I’m earning my pay just based on the effort it will clearly take me to steady down and focus on the tasks in front of me. LOL

A new day, a new beginning. What will I do with it? I don’t know yet. Where will this path lead? That’s not super clear right now. I do know this is a very human experience, one of many. Each just enough different to deceive us into thinking we are unique and special in all the world as individuals, when, just as truly we are all in this together, and very much sharing a fairly common human experience. lol

It’s a good day to practice Wheaton’s Law. It’s a good day to begin again.

For love or money? Justice or mercy? Kindness or fairness? There are choices to be made, and I make them for myself every day, all sorts of choices large and small, significant and insignificant, major – and trivial. I’m not sure, though, that I am always quite clear on the difference between a choice that is trivial, and one that shapes my life. Part of the experience is simply making a choice in the first place, or choosing to coast on circumstances and the will of others. Yep. Even that is a choice.

I like to think that reason dictates the majority of my choices, but I am aware that what tends to be the case, in fact, is that emotions dictate many of my choices, and they make reason their bitch by insisting on solid rationalizations for why the choice “made sense”. Self-knowledge, and authenticity have rather firmly demanded that I understand the role of emotions in my decision-making with greater clarity, so I play a fun game with myself based on the underlying assumption that emotion is indeed the foundation on which my decision-making it built – then I go looking for the feeling at the heart of some particular choice. (Ideally before I make that decision in some firm way and back it up with actions. lol) In practical terms, I rarely make “important” decisions without a moment to reflect on it, often giving myself at least a day or two to think things over for major potentially life-altering choices.

Would you make all your decisions the same way if you knew with certainty going into it that you were not going to do so based on reason at all, but were quite likely to ‘react’ to circumstances and make your choices based solely on your emotions? Would you be able to make more skillful, wiser decisions that serve your needs more efficiently over time, and with greater life satisfaction, if you simply acknowledge the role emotion plays in your choices in the first place? Would you be more inclined to delay important decisions for moments that were in a specific emotional context to secure a specific (better or wiser) outcome?

“Mastering” my emotions has proven to be so much less about squashing them down, repressing them, controlling them, keeping them within some acceptable boundary defined by someone else, or denying them altogether than it is about embracing them, honoring them, making use of them to enhance my experience, and being more mindful of my needs over time, reflecting on what emotions say about my values and understanding of the world. Emotions are powerful, and they whisper things to me about what I value, and what I need; it’s worth finding the time to listen. It also appears to be a true thing that by giving myself some time to explore (and feel) my emotions, I reduce the likelihood that they will “explode all over the place” creating some sort of drama or messy bullshit emotional vortex that sucks the fun out of life and drags everyone around me into it.

Pro-tip: cultivate practices that limit or reduce your desire (or habit) of “venting” your emotions. Consistent with “we become what we practice” venting, as a practice, tends to make one very good at … venting. It sometimes feels like a relief (thus having the name “venting” as if to release pressure), but the longer term consequences are less than ideal. Practice venting your anger or frustration? You get good at venting anger or frustration – not dealing with it, not skillfully coping with your feelings, not understanding yourself or your experience, and for sure not communicating your emotions skillfully as an adult. Just saying. There are other potentially much more useful (and harmonious) ways of communicating emotions than “venting”. We are not pressure cookers, and likely ought not aspire to be such. lol

I am sipping my coffee on a quiet Tuesday. Payday tasks are handled, and the budget is updated. My Traveling Partner sends me an acknowledging reply. It feels good that all this feels so absolutely ordinary and routine. That reflects enormous progress from the profound anxiety I once felt any time I had to “deal with money”.

The future unfolds ahead of me, and I’m untroubled by my lack of view into events that are not yet. It’s a bit like walking a path through a dense forest that curves regularly; I’ll see what lies ahead a bit at a time, for a very short distance, and the view will change, and change again. That’s fine. There’s plenty to see and do and experience along the way, and it’s worthwhile to engage this moment and be present in it. Another choice that is mine to make. 🙂

…I think I’ll begin again. Perhaps with a second coffee?

Weird weekend. (I could stop right there, honestly…)

“Baggage” is a tough challenge for people who have been traumatized. It can be super hard to put that shit down, and properly “begin again”. Our baggage tends to linger in our hidden corners, tucked away carefully where it’s difficult to see how problematic our thinking has become. We struggle with decision-making and outcomes that create an unpleasant experience or prevent us from thriving in our lives. It’s hard sometimes.

I’m hopeful that a particularly painful and difficult conversation with my Traveling Partner really does have the promising positive outcome it appears that it may… I’ve just got to set down some baggage and back away from it, then do some things differently going forward. Him too, I suppose, although in this instance the focus was for sure on me and the chaos and damage I sometimes struggle with.

Love and words. So many words. So much love.

Once we were “on the other side” of that difficult conversation, we enjoyed our evening together. I woke this morning feeling loved (and hopefully he did too). I’ve got a massive headache, still managed to enjoy a cup of coffee with my partner before I left for the local co-work space I sometimes work from. So far a promising start to the day and week. Nice.

Moving back into my studio was a sort of mix of manual labor and thoughtful work and careful selection. Now that it’s finished, I can’t fathom why I stalled for so long. I find myself returning to my studio again and again, thinking about creative projects. I’ve rekindled my eagerness to finish a particular manuscript that has been languishing in a file on my hard-drive for awhile – almost a decade. Long overdue, and I did not understand that two things were holding me back: 1 poem I had included that I had serious second thoughts about, and those journals tucked away in a bin. Funny; I took care of the journals, and now project after project that had been stalled seem to percolate to the surface for their moment.

What’s holding you back? When will you tackle that?

How much baggage are you dragging along every day? How much can you “just set down” and walk away from? Are there things you could let go of, that you… just don’t? What is that doing for you? (Seriously, you probably wouldn’t cling to some of that sticky bullshit if you weren’t getting something out of doing so, if only the strange comfort of familiarity – which is totally over-rated.)

I’m no therapist, just saying – lightening the load makes for an easier journey. 😉

I sip my coffee and think my thoughts. There’s a garden to plan. A life to live. Love to embrace and nurture. Already time to begin again.

Thinking about a question of perspective, of sorts. I occasionally have experiences where it is clear that the understanding of me held by the person I am interacting with is very much not at all consistent with how I understand myself. I often wonder how that comes to be, and whether it is their misunderstanding (of me) causing the mischief or my own potential lack of awareness of how I present myself: how my behavior is received, and how the words I say are understood. Are they “speaking with a golem” of the woman I actually am that stands somehow between us? Is it me? Am I so thoroughly lacking in understanding of my words and actions in a practical way? Is it both? Neither?

…Am I the woman I understand myself to be, and if so, is that true only when I am alone, or also when I am interacting with others? If I am not she… who the hell am I? A construct of the expectations and assumptions of others? That doesn’t seem quite right to me, so I keep thinking about it…

I think about it during the commute to the office. I think about it over my morning coffee. I think about it while I bite my nails. I think about it as I walk down the hall to a meeting. I think about it in the break room. I think about it at my desk while I work.

I think about this question now and then – and today is definitely one of those times. I think about it without gaining wisdom or coming to some sort of reliable conclusion. I think about it…

…Then I put it aside and begin again.

I’m sipping my coffee and enjoying the quiet hours before the work day begins. I woke with a stuffy head, and started my morning with a long hot shower, which helped immensely. I definitely have more difficulty with anxiety when I have difficulty breathing! (How very mammalian of me.) My voice is a little “froggy” – I notice when I greeted my Traveling Partner (I think I woke him when I got up…?). I find myself wondering if I’ve managed to pick up a head cold somewhere… ? Well, it is January, and there is still a nasty pandemic raging all around us. (I remind myself to mask up if I go out.)

New year, new beginning. The holiday decorations are all packed up and ready to go back up into the attic space for another year. I’m pleased with how compact and tidy they are.

A clear indication that the holidays are over.

At the end of last year I switched up my meds, and I’ve noticed that I seem a bit… clumsier? Less precise in my movements in very subtle ways, at least. It shows in unexpected bumps, bangs, and things unexpectedly dropped. I can count on one hand the number of holiday ornaments I’ve broken as an adult over decades of celebrating the yule season… and one of those was this year. 😦 It was an antique glass bell ornament that I remember seeing on the family Christmas tree as a child. I was saddened but not “struck down” over it. From the perspective of this moment, here, now, that feels like amazing growth.

It’s not a tragedy, just a small loss.

New year, new beginnings. I’m making a point to walk more, and I’ve returned (comfortably and easily) to previously practiced practices that really help me stay fit. Simple changes like parking as far from the door of a place I intend to shop as I can within their parking lot, for example, really add up over time. I’m allowing life to be “less convenient”, simply to get more steps in and exert more effort. It works surprisingly well. The more I do, the more I can do. Bit “late in the game”, sure, but every small change adds up. Details like walking further from the car to the store, and having to get up for the remote (every time, because I put it too far away to reach), and not trying to “make one trip” when I unload the car – those are tiny details that often get worked precisely in the “other direction” as we master adulthood – more ease, more convenience. Cooking real food from fresh ingredients takes so much more effort than a quick trip for fast food. Giving up convenience 100% means exerting more effort. More effort is more calories burned, more movement, and, over time, more fitness.

I’m quite a bit heavier than I’d ideally like to be. My goals are practical and health/longevity focused, and I try to keep them achievable, so small steps first makes sense. I’ve got dumbbells at home and I use them. There are trails and pavement all around for getting more miles on my boots. I’m even getting back to healthier eating habits and foods that support my health.

A recent weekend breakfast, simple and nourishing.

My focus on improving my sleep seems to be paying off, and I am getting better quality rest in the hours that I sleep. Win! 😀 None of this is costly. Most of this comes without a direct cost, for many people. (Let’s note that it can be quite a bit more expensive to buy fresh good quality ingredients for cooking wholesome food, and kitchen gadgets are not cheap, either.)

Have you noticed that I’m not talking about this stuff in terms of “resolutions”? Yeah… resolutions in that classic American-New-Years-y sense just don’t really work for me. They get dropped along the way, and by the end of February they’re just a memory of an intention once formed and never fulfilled. LOL I prefer to think in terms of making change and practicing practices. Seems to work out for me far more often. When it doesn’t? I can more simply shrug off that “false start” and begin again. No guilt, no shame, no awkwardness. 😀 My results vary – I know that, and I plan on it, account for it, and don’t take it personally.

How about a New Year’s book recommendation? I’ll be adding this one to my reading list once I’m finished reading it myself… Have you read The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck? The author, Mark Manson, provides an excerpt on his website. Not gonna lie, it’s a very approachable take on mindfulness basics, and a usefully practical approach to what could be called “secular Buddhism” for 21st century humans. So far I’m finding it helpful, useful, and wholly entertaining. I’d definitely sit down for a coffee with the author and enjoy a conversation if the opportunity came up. 😀

Anyway. If you haven’t already, what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time to begin again?