Archives for posts with tag: be here now

I got a walk in this morning. The mornings are cooler. The sun rises later. I felt rather as if I “slept in”, but it’s more that the sunrise has shifted and affects my timing. I haven’t used any sort of alarm, not even my artificial sunrise on Home Assistant) since I left my previous job. It’s lovely.

Tuesday sunrise.

I sat for a moment watching the sun rise. Today is a work day. No need to rush, though. I have a handful of meetings on my calendar, related to onboarding in this new job. It’s a relaxed, very organized experience without being stifling or rigid. Yesterday was excellent as first days go. There’s a lot to learn, a lot to sort out and understand more deeply, and quite a handful of new tools to msster. No objection from me; there is a lot of opportunity for growth in this.

So far, this is a very good week in a choice new role. Lovely morning, too.

…This cup of coffee is about gone, and I would definitely like another. Sounds like a reasonable point for a new beginning…

I am sipping my coffee slowly this morning. Enjoying the gentle pace of a morning on which I slept in, instead of getting up super early and slipping out with my camera in my hand to catch the sunrise. Felt good. I must have needed the sleep.

My coffee this morning is good. Prepared with care. Hot. The heat of the mug warms my hands, and the pleasure in the sensation reminds me that Autumn is not that far off. It’s September 2nd – one month ago I was laid off. I’m doing okay, though. There’s so much life to live that gets pushed off to the fringes of a work week, and for now I am able to simply live those moments just… whenever. Feel like writing? No problem. Want to put my feet up and read a book? Easily done. Any time I might want to put more time into preparing a meal? The time is my own. Hiking, giving my Traveling Partner a hand in the shop, spending time in the garden, getting some housekeeping done… none of it is strange, fancy, or honestly even at all noteworthy. What makes it significant is that I simply have the time. The time is mine. That is actually pretty luxurious.

I sip my coffee feeling secure and content. Job searching isn’t even the whole of my life right now. Not at all. In the time while I am not working, I also work on gaining and updating credentials on this-n-that. Lovely to have the time for study. I’m also working (still) on my cooking skills (just now I’m working on improving my Italian style cooking), and preparing for an upcoming visit from my partner’s son. If I am already back to work by the time he arrives, there’s plenty of money to go/do/see – and if I am not, there is plenty of time to enjoy whatever we’re doing. It feels like a win all around.

I feel fortunate. I sit with that awhile. It’s the kind of feeling that is easy to forget later, if I don’t take a moment to really savor it, fully aware.

I continue to sip my coffee, enjoying the quiet of the morning. My Traveling Partner was already up before I woke, and already on with his day. I think about the day ahead, and how best to enjoy it without having half an eye on my email all day. I am still hoping for an offer on a recent excellent interview, but it doesn’t do to get wound up about it; sometimes these things take time. I’m not “waiting” on it in the sense of halting all other job search activity – the day-to-day tasks of taking a look at what is available and applying for what fits my skills, my nature, and my needs continues unabated. 🙂 I am “waiting” on it in the sense that I’d really like to get this particular job, and am eager to have the outcome.

I plan to spend much of the day working on the website for my partner’s business. 🙂 Keeps me productively occupied on tasks that feel like work. I know me; it doesn’t do to let 100% of the timing of “work/life balance” fall away or to allow good habits of managing time and tasks to be extinguished over a couple weeks of not working. LOL I’ll need these later!

In most ways, the weekend has started. It’s a pleasant Friday (and possibly a hot one, though I recall my partner saying it might be cooler this weekend and good for working in the shop). Life and business go on. This coffee cup is empty and it’s already time to begin again.

I woke early-ish, pulled on my clothes still only half awake, and grabbed my camera gear. I heard my Traveling Partner call out to me as I neared the door (“he’s awake?”) and turned back for a “see you in a little while” and a kiss. The sun hadn’t yet risen as I reached the highway heading out of town to the nearby nature preserve (great bird-watching, and well-maintained trails). Lovely morning for it, I thought to myself.

Sunrise over a misty morning along the marsh-side trail.

It’s a Sunday, and I’m thinking I’ll get out into the garden this morning. After I finish my coffee. After I upload all these photos. After I finish feeling more like relaxing than I feel like getting shit done. lol

It was a good morning for pictures of birds.

I enjoyed the drive. There was almost no traffic at all so early on a Sunday morning. I enjoyed the misty dawn and the pale pinks and peaches of the sunrise as it developed into a new day. I enjoyed the walk down the trail alongside the marsh. I enjoyed the moments, sitting quietly, watching for the next interesting picture to unfold in front of my camera lens.

I wasn’t alone on the trail. I wasn’t even the only person on the trail with a camera.

The last several times I’ve come to this location for my camera walk in the morning, I find myself parked next to the same other person. Another woman enjoying her morning walk, camera ready for action, a portable seat or cushion with her (I have a compact folding stool, myself). We greet each other as friends, at this point, and sometimes share a portion of the walk, even stopping for similar shots along our path. We talk of other locations we favor, and share experiences (“Did you see the pelicans?”, “I got a great shot of the swallows yesterday!”). We make jokes now about the morning not seeming complete if we don’t see the other person’s car in the parking lot. She has a much fancier camera and lens than I do. I mentioned how awesome it would be to have that kind of “reach”… she smiles and admits it is pretty nice, then comments that she often regrets the choice; it’s very heavy, and sometimes the weight limits how far she will walk. I admit that I enjoy the lightweight gear I’ve got so much that I don’t have any immediate plan to get a larger lens. We agree that the gear has less to do with the quality of our images than our limited skill – and our good fortune on timing and location. At some point, if we’re walking together as we were this morning, our paths will take us different directions. That’s the way of things, isn’t it? We are each having our own experience, walking our own paths, and any momentary companionship, however genial, is quite temporary. 🙂

I smile and sip my coffee. Does it taste better because I went for quite a long walk beforehand? I for sure appreciate the warmth of the mug in my hand after the chilly morning on the marsh.

Pelican. Also, swallow. This is what “luck” looks like in a photograph.

I finally see a pelican, after a couple visits to this location. People on the trail had been mentioning them for the last couple times I’ve been here, but I haven’t seen them. Probably didn’t walk far enough in the correct direction…? This morning, I see one solitary pelican. I watch for awhile, take numerous pictures, and while I was doing that, I was got seriously lucky; the pelican flared out its wings, and shook itself out in the early morning light. Amusingly, I also captured a swallow in flight in the same shot. I’ve been trying to take pictures of swallows there over the marsh for weeks without luck; they’re very fast, and swoopy. Hard to get a good picture. This time, I got several good pictures of swallows – but I didn’t know it until I got home. They just happened to be in several pictures I took of other things. LOL That’s so often the way of it, is it not? I think there’s something to be learned here.

Where does this path lead?

As the morning began to warm, more visitors appear on the trail. I turn back toward the parking lot, thinking thoughts of home, of love, and of a good cup of coffee. I think about perspective, and of a future not yet determined. I fill my lungs with the scent of meadow flowers, realizing how very much I enjoy the fragrance of wild carrot (“Queen Anne’s Lace”) and yarrow, mingling with meadow grasses and late summer wildflowers.

What a pleasant morning. I think about the garden as I sip my coffee. Seeds are selected. Crops that are finished have been cleared out, their left over leaves and stems chopped up and mulched into the bed. Crops that just didn’t do as well as I’d hoped and seem unlikely to produce a harvest this year (looking your way, melons) will be cleared away, too. Then I’ll add compost and bring the bed level up again (it compressed quite a bit after I initially filled the raised bed my partner built for me), and plant new crops for autumn harvest and for wintering over. I have a lot to learn about gardening. LOL

I sip my coffee and grin at myself at ever thinking I had any idea about “how to garden”. I’ve been gardening in my half-assed way for some 50 years… since I was a kid. My parents had a substantial garden, and I labored in it weekends and summers (mostly weeding and bitching about weeding). I had a small plot of my own that I rather foolishly planted in Jerusalem artichokes, which thrived to an unimaginable degree – cool enough and the flowers were pretty, but no one in the family actually enjoyed them as a food. So… kinda silly and as it turned out, a waste of garden space. Very low maintenance. I learned nothing much from the endeavor besides this one important lesson; grow what you will use and enjoy. That’s not nothing, but hardly worth the mammoth effort involved in keeping those ‘chokes cut back season after season. lol

I have since had small garden beds, container gardens, and patio gardens… all rather fortunately focused mostly on roses and a few herbs. Occasionally I’d grow some veggies, and get something wonderful for my efforts (supremely tasty cherry tomatoes one year, another year a bumper crop of amazing Swiss chard), but I’ve tended to be both lazy and disorganized, and prone to letting shit fall behind when the heat is worst and the garden most in need of my attention day-to-day. No excuses, and I’m not looking to rationalize my results, I’m just saying; I am not my idea of a “great gardener”.

Now I’ve got this home that is mine, and this raised bed out front that my partner built for me, surrounded by flower beds. I’ll only get the results I work for, and that’s one of life’s immutable truths, isn’t it? My partner has set me up for success, though, with a raised bed that is comfortable to work in, close to water, within constant view, and I do adore it. 😀 I find myself ready to admit I’m not a very good gardener and work toward being a better one. That’s a nice place to find myself. It’s a good place to stand, considering options and looking ahead.

It’s time to begin again.

I sometimes think I suck at waiting on an outcome. It’s not really true – the experience of waiting is quite subjective, both in the moment and on reflection later. This time, the waiting commenced yesterday, after an excellent interview the day before. I mean… my experience of that interview was excellent… and the feedback from the interviewers was highly encouraging. They offered great expectation-setting regarding the outcome, and with that in mind I am not waiting impatiently or feeling particularly down, just… waiting on an outcome. I hesitate to build up expectations in my mind; that’s just generally a poor choice. Still, I feel quite hopeful. 🙂

…Still waiting, though…

It’s a good day for waiting. lol

I was first into the nearby nature reserve to walk and take pictures.

I grabbed my camera before first light, and headed out the door as quietly as I could, hoping my Traveling Partner would be able to sleep in. He pinged me kiss emojis shortly afterward, so… he was up early, too. It was a quiet morning on the trail, overcast, comfortably cool, and a little misty down in the marsh lowlands. I got home in time to enjoy a bite of breakfast with my partner before a morning call. Nothing else on my calendar, so I guess the weekend begins – waiting included. LOL

I’m okay with waiting. I remember the frustration of it when I was a young soldier beefing about “hurry up and wait”, lacking the emotional intelligence to recognize that the hurrying was potentially the more problematic piece, or to place waiting in a larger context of preparedness, or to forgo any attachment to the outcome.

Non-attachment rears its head again; it is a valuable practice for me. Allowing myself to succumb to assumptions and expectations before an event can even begin to unfold doesn’t work for me. I breathe, exhale, relax, and refocus my attention on the here and now. I am contented and feeling comfortable at home with things as they are. I look around – no shortage of shit to get done around here. LOL Good day to begin planning out the winter garden… I smile and take a sip of my coffee. No rush. Damn, I do love that feeling.

I take a deep breath, and let it out as a slow contented sigh. It’s time to begin again. 😀

What’s lighting your path? What are you using for a map? What processes and values guide your steps? Where are you going? Does this path even take you there… ever? If you make some very different decision, will you find yourself somewhere very different than you expected to be?

If you get to the donut shop late, you have less selection from which to choose. (It’s a metaphor.)

It is a pleasant Thursday morning. I slept in. Took my camera out on the trail and enjoyed the sunrise over the marsh out at the Tualatin River Nature Reserve. It was a lovely quiet morning, and not much going on. The day had already started to feel like it would be a hot one, by the time I headed home.

I am “not waiting” to hear back about a job interview that went (I think) very well. It’s hard to maintain my chill factor and stay focused on other things; the wait is what it is, and obsessing over it doesn’t help or speed things up.

The future is filled with unknowns. This moment, now, is filled with the potential for joy. I have choices.

I breathe, exhale, relax – and have another sip of this excellent cup of coffee. My Traveling Partner has some big shop projects going. I am helpful when I can be, otherwise I focus on not being in the way. LOL It’s a nice time to enjoy us, together. The days linger gently. We share moments, often, that might ordinarily be overcome by the demands of work and employment. I savor the time as it is. It’s likely to be all too brief. 🙂

My partner is merry and encouraging as I do the job search things. It’s nice. I feel loved and supported. I feel appreciated. I can’t say enough about how much it really does matter to have this kind of support while I look for a new job! I hope I am clear with him about how much I appreciate and value it, when we’re discussing the progress together. 🙂 I smile, feeling loved, and remind myself to also be one of the people loving me so well. That matters too.

It’s a good day to run some errands and get some things done around the house. It’s already time to start preparing the garden for winter crops and general cleaning up before the rains come again. It’s a good day to take a look around and improve my quality of life (and sanity) by tidying some things up… this studio is a bit of a mess (again) and could use my attention. I feel hopeful – and purposeful. The path ahead “feels paved” and illuminated, and it’s a good time to begin again.

Sometimes it feels deceptively easy to “see where I’m going” – it’s still a journey with no map. 🙂