Archives for posts with tag: be here now

Sipping my coffee on Labor Day. I’m not in the office, and I have the day off; that’s nice. I take a few moments of time and consideration for the efforts of each subsequent wave of labor movements over human history that brought us here – to this place and time with 5 day (or fewer) work weeks, limited to 40 hours (in principle), with a minimum wage expectation (still, for some reason, a radical notion), regular weekends off, healthcare, bereavement pay and other benefits, and restrictions on who could be required to work, and at what age… wow. It was not always like this for working people. Powerful. There’s more work to be done, but today? Not the day to fight that fight. Today, we celebrate that fight. 😀

It hasn’t been quite so hot, and the cooler weather definitely limits the impact to our quality of life that the A/C is busted. It’s mostly fixed, and I expected it would be fully repaired yesterday afternoon. Apparently not a reasonable expectation, even after the repair person selected by the landlord assured me he just needed one more part, and would wrap things up between 1 pm and 2 pm; I never saw him again, yesterday. lol I am frustrated – but, and this is just real, I also think it is wholly shitty that he is spending much of his Labor Day weekend working. :-\ So, I feel inclined to be very patient about it, through the weekend, for sure.

Any time I feel subjectively “too hot”, I do have the option to change up the scenery. I can have a cooling cold(ish) shower. I can enjoy an Italian ice, or an icy cold beverage. I can run an errand in the car (it has A/C, and the A/C in the car works just fine) or go for a long drive. I can even, and this does work pretty well, dim the lighting in the apartment and “trick myself” into feeling cooler with a video of rain falling, or a snowy evening. All surprisingly effective, particularly if I don’t fight back with regular reminders of how hot I feel. LOL Thankfully, the weather has been cooler, more around 80 than above 90.

…I’m just saying; there is nearly always something I can do to improve an uncomfortable situation. This applies every bit as much to A/C failures as to relationships, jobs, working conditions, as well as a ridiculously wide variety of assorted miscellaneous other life experiences. 🙂 The answer to “what can I do about that?” is very rarely “nothing at all”.

It’s been a lovely weekend. I’ve gotten a few things done. I’ve enjoyed hours of entertainment with my Traveling Partner. This third day off feels “extra” in a wonderful way, although it is also that last day before I must return to work – I generally spend those more on preparing for the week ahead, and in service to hearth and home, than relaxing. Taking care of me does have some verbs involved. My desire to see a clean kitchen means I need to do the work to make it so. If I want clean clothes to wear, it’s a good day to do the laundry. Just the basic stuff, and plenty of time between tasks to chill with my partner, enjoying the day. It’s helpful that we are equals in this partnership; I often come home to an astonishing amount of housekeeping and care already handled. This week, the laundry is already sorted (and I didn’t have to do that), even started (and a bunch of stuff ready to fold or hang up). We work together to build the life we enjoy sharing. No slaves, no masters, no petty resentment, no servitude.

I listen to the sound of this snow storm playing in the background. I sip my coffee and grin at the subjective sensation of cold toes on a chilly morning. (It’s not actually cold this morning.) I think ahead to dinner, later, and wonder if it is too late (being Labor Day) to get a thick bone-in rib-eye to throw on the grill tonight… and laugh at my terrible planning; I was just at the store, literally at the butcher counter, yesterday. It’s not even necessary to go out; there is plenty to choose from here, already. lol My restless monkey mind wants to seek, to travel, to explore, to experience – and my ankle objects to the effort and distance, in advance. (It’s been a limiting concern all weekend.) I remind myself gently, that if the ankle were up to it, I’d just hit the trail this morning and walk 3 or 4 miles, enjoying the morning birdsong and breezes.

…This morning, sufficiency is enough. 😉 Tomorrow is soon enough to begin again. 😀

I woke with the sunrise. It’s lovely and still cool, this morning. My coffee is hot, and I am appreciative of the good quality of the coffee beans I had selected. The morning is still quiet. The day unscripted. There are a couple things I’d like to get done (fold laundry, grocery shop, get the car washed – routine weekend sorts of things). There is no particular “excitement” in this moment, and I’m okay with that. Contentment is generally not built on moments of excitement so much as moments of well-handled ordinary routine events.

I sip my coffee, smile to myself, and silently remark “enough really is enough”, and let the morning slowly unfold.

I hear the coffee grinder, in the kitchen. My Traveling Partner is awake, too. I am so ridiculously in love with this singular human being. It’s hard to describe easily. 🙂 I’m content with the feelings; there’s no reason to explain them (or even to try). Love is enough.

I think about a friend who blurted out, in quite a genuine and spontaneous way, that he loves me. It was beautiful, heartfelt, and sincere. It was unexpected in the office, and I found myself feeling more awkward than I otherwise might – not because the sentiment was unwelcome (it was not at all unwelcome!), it was more a weird little voice from within my own heart saying “did you bring enough for everyone?” – and I wasn’t sure I had. lol I find myself thinking I need to “make it right” with my friend. Platonic love is something we all very much need more of. 😀

…I’m still not entirely awake. Groggy from deep sleep and strange dreams, I keep drinking this coffee, and already I am thinking ahead to the next cup. “What shall I do with the day….?” The thought crosses my mind absent any awareness that I already asked – and answered – this question for myself. It’s going to be that day, is it? LOL

My injured shoulder aches more this morning than my bad ankle. Yesterday, and the day before, it was the other way round. The arthritis in my spine leaves me alone, for now. The chill of autumn will return soon enough, and change things up again. Almost everyone I know is in some amount of pain, much of the time. Is that peculiar? It certainly provides some perspective. I am eager to fully return to strength training, again; I feel like I’d just started to make real progress, when I got hurt. Perhaps that is an observation colored by the experience of getting hurt, itself, and the pain that has followed. I breathe, exhale, relax, and let it go. 🙂

Funny the way planning works… I value having a plan. I consider things in detail, when I make plans. Often my plans don’t predict real life in any noteworthy way; real life has its own plan. lol My equinox camping trip on the coast may need to be canceled; the ankle, the shoulder, and the time taken traveling for work the week before I’ve planned to go camping, have me rethinking my plans. I’d miss a lot of time with my partner.

We have this long weekend here, though. 3 days together to relax, and enjoy “us”. It’s enough. I glance at the clock… and smile. It doesn’t really matter what time it is. Today is enough time. 🙂

Well, last night the guy repairing our A/C came by, fixed a thing, and wryly admitted that doing so hadn’t fixed the A/C. Something entirely else is wrong, and there are parts to be ordered, and it’s fucking hot, in the middle of summer, and uncomfortable as hell, and…

…And my Traveling Partner enjoyed the stifling hot uncomfortable evening in good company, together. It was fine. Hot, sure. Summer, definitely. We drank plenty of water. We stayed comfortable. I enjoyed a cool leisurely shower at some point. Later, I went to bed. It was hot. I still slept. As soon as the outside temperature was equal to, or less than, the inside temperature, we opened the windows to the breezes, and let the house cool down with the night temperatures.

I woke to the sound of rain, very audible through open windows. Lovely. The smell of petrichor quickly dissipated the last of the smell of burning electrical components of the A/C. The house is comfortably cool. I make a cup of tea and sit by the open door to the deck for some minutes, listening to the rain fall. I am thinking about how often what feels catastrophic in life is, after all the fuss and bother, really not that big a deal after all. 🙂

I listen to thunder in the distance, and the shhhhh-shhhhh of the earliest commuters heading down the rain-slick hill beyond my window. I consider how often a moment of patience, of non-attachment, of perspective, have preventing me (lately) from over-reacting to what seems catastrophic in some moment. It’s rarely helpful to treat some circumstance as catastrophic; so few really are. It’s a trap. Stuck in some past or future moment, we let our fear, or our anxiety, or our baggage, call the shots. It’s generally a poor choice.

We could have treated a failed A/C as a catastrophe (it isn’t). We could have bitched endlessly and ruined our shared good time together. We could have been nasty to the repair guy who showed up very late, and then “couldn’t even fix it”. We could have been sour with our landlord, who lives far away, and chose the repair guy based on cost and convenience to himself. Doing those things would not have fixed the A/C faster, and most definitely would have created problems in those helpful relationships. And…seriously? Are there not much more important things to be stressed or angry about than the damned weather, and an A/C failure in summertime? lol The entire fucking planet definitely needs us each to be our best selves – but that’s also a journey, and “the best I can do” right now, in this moment, is likely not the best you can do, or the best some repair guy can do, or the best someone else, over there, can do… we’re each having our own experience. We do well to do our best with each other, because we’re also all in this together. Less a contradiction, than something to meditate on. 😉

…So, we did our best to simply deal with the A/C failure, as we do with so many things that go wrong in small ways (which is most things, when they go wrong in some way), and this morning? The rain falls softly. The air is cool and fresh, and the day unlikely to be quite so hot. Good enough.

I sip my cup of tea, thinking about a friend in recovery. Life took a pleasant turn toward success and security for him, and… he relapsed. Fuck. Recovery is already hard without that. I find myself wondering if he knows to forgive himself? If he will remember to begin again, and simply go forward, counting his recovery time from a new date, or hell, even simply acknowledging that we fail, we fall, we stumble, we struggle – and it’s okay; we can get back up and start over. It’s a hard mile to walk. I wish there were anything at all I could do to make it easier for him. I reached out and let him know I’m still here if he needs to talk. I wonder if he understands? He’s taking steps. Even this mess doesn’t have to be catastrophic, but he’s blinded by his regret and shame, and weighed down by guilt and a sense of “letting people down”. Fuck that’s hard. I want to tell him to let it go, to trust that the rain will come, the wheel keeps turning, and this, too, shall pass.

(I hope you’re reading this one, that you get what I’m trying to tell you, and that you are okay. You can begin again.)

My morning started a bit early; the clock tells me it is time to get up. Well… sure…? lol I sip my tea content to be where I am in life, and present in this moment. This morning, after years of practice, years of new beginnings, years of “resetting the clock” and walking my own hard mile, it feels pretty easy, and very natural. It wasn’t an overnight transformation, although there were many epiphanies and “light-bulb moments” along the way – mostly, there was a lot of practice. I see on the calendar that I’ve got an appointment scheduled with my therapist; I scheduled it during a stressful time, shortly before my Mom died (was that really only a couple months ago?). I had to reschedule it, and there it sits on my calendar, in the middle of a week I’ll be out of town for work. lol I smile; rescheduling it doesn’t feel like a catastrophe, either. I don’t actually recall quite why I wanted it, from the vantage point of this rainy morning over a hot cup of tea. Progress. Incremental change over time.

I send my therapist a request to reschedule our appointment, finish my tea, and begin again. 😀

 

Well… It definitely feels like summer, now. LOL In fact, it’s too hot, and it’ll be very nice to have the A/C back. 🙂

…Last night was lovely, anyway.

Here it is another morning. I managed to sleep, mostly thanks to the first rate job of keeping the house cool that my Traveling Partner managed, first cooling it off, then closing it up before the day began to heat up. I say a silent “thank you” – because it could have been much hotter in here, this morning. 🙂

I spend some minutes on my meditation cushion…”thinking cool thoughts“, aware things could be much worse than a couple summer days with no A/C, and appreciating how fortunate I am.

I sip my coffee and think about a friend whose life seemed to veer abruptly “off course” just as things were really turning around for him. I feel fairly helpless, a bystander on his journey, a fellow traveler who has walked a fair few hard miles; I would help, if I truly could. The choices, and the verbs, are his. I want more and better for him, and too see him choose wisely. I sit with my thoughts, remembering darker times, and the support and encouragement that were actually all around me, but that I could not see, and did not know how to accept. I wish my friend well, over coffee, and hope that he really understands I am here if he needs to talk, or even to just sit quietly in the sunshine. It can be a complicated journey to make alone, no map… I hope he remembers to begin, and then begin again, often. I hope he forgives himself.

I realize I’ve left a video of snow falling playing in the background. I grin at myself; I think I feel cooler. LOL

…Definitely time to begin again. 🙂

 

The smell lingers in the air, this morning, something like an electrical fire, something like something different than that – pretty unpleasant, regardless of comparisons. The A/C went out last night. My Traveling Partner tried not to wake me, opening a window in the bedroom so I would sleep more easily. I was grateful for the interruption in my sleep; I was dreaming that I was struggling to wade through an endless field, knee deep in rotting onions. That was also pretty unpleasant… although once I was awake, and the dream had mostly faded, the smell definitely got first place on “things that smell bad in the middle of the night”. lol

I tossed and turned awhile, unable to go back to sleep. I was sleepy, and it was vexing me that I could fall asleep. At some point, I inhaled quite deeply, and sighed heavily, resigned to a sleepless night. I felt my body relax, a bit, and realized I’d been breathing in a very shallow way, almost panting, trying to avoid the smell of the failed A/C. Well. That’s not the sort of breathing that encourages sleep at all. LOL I took some deep breaths, exhaled slowly, and allowed my body to begin to relax again. I focused my attention on the fresh air coming in through the window.

The alarm went off at the usual time… a new day. The forecast? Hotter than 90 degrees (F). Damn. Well… there’s A/C in the office…? I wonder for a moment how long it may take to repair the A/C… in the summertime. I sip my coffee and consider myself fortunate to have this particular problem. I lived most of my life without having A/C at all. I remember that first window A/C, in my childhood home… later… I briefly owned a home (no A/C), rented several places as I traveled with the Army (no A/C), left the Army (no A/C), moving from place to place, rental to rental, A/C just didn’t come up, much. Lived for a time with a woman who owned a lavish home, she had A/C. Another rental, another window A/C – a gift from my Traveling Partner – and that was a pleasant luxury, for sure. It didn’t fit the windows in the next rental, at all. LOL Now here. So… more living without A/C, than living with it. I guess I’ll get by just fine until it is repaired. 🙂

…I miss it already, in advance of today’s likely heat. LOL What an amusing practical opportunity to practice non-attachment, to let go of expectations, to practice good self-care, and to refrain from taking things personally. 🙂

…I can still smell the lingering scent of the A/C failing… I sip my coffee, and begin again (without A/C). 🙂