Archives for posts with tag: be here now

This morning I had coffee with a dear friend. This is a friendship that has spanned decades of my life, and however long the time between conversations, there’s an enduring connection. I’ve seen this friend “grow up” from a young adult just out of high school, to a grown man of great intellect, wit, and heart. I respect his intelligence, and astute observations of the world. I miss hanging out together, but we’ve lived quite a distance from each other for many years. This pandemic doesn’t create that distance; life does.

I emailed him. He emailed me. I sat with my coffee this morning reading both missives; a conversation was created, in a sense. I sipped my coffee and replied. Funny that the result is a feeling of warmth, connection, and intimacy. Old friends chatting. It’s a lovely start to my day.

I’m suddenly “missing” my Traveling Partner (he’s only asleep in the other room). Warmth. Connection. Intimacy. The best parts of sharing part of life’s journey, for me. I allow myself room to also acknowledge that I need to give myself more time with me, too. This fucking pandemic messes with my routines, and makes it sort of hard to get that cognitive space I need to simply be still and silent for a while. That’s not a criticism of my partner. It’s more a stern observation to myself that it’s on me to make that room, make that time, and do those things. Inasmuch as this need is within the context of a cherished relationship, and a shared life journey, then I also want to find ways to make that time for myself that are kind, comfortable, and built on gentle expectation-setting and clear communication. So many verbs required! I’m totally bitching about it, although I also understand that it is what it is. Adulting is hard sometimes. lol

The move plans are a lot of what we talk about right now. Conversations are a mixture of unreserved eagerness and excitement, and “concerns”. Very human. It’s almost the weekend, though – a three day weekend. I hope we spend most of it just fucking relaxing together, and enjoying each other. 🙂 That’s very much also worth doing, and worth making time for.

I sip my coffee, think about distant friends, and about my Traveling Partner, and love, generally. Nice morning for it. Almost time to begin again…

…I hear the traffic beyond the window on this busy street. “Quiet neighborhood”, my ass. LOL I hope the new place is quieter. I rather expect it will be… then remember that expectations don’t solve real-life concerns nearly as much as fact-checking, and practical realism tend to. I shift gears to wondering how quiet the new neighborhood will be. lol More useful. I remind myself to point out the “moving checklist” calendar event to my partner. I put it there for my own convenience and ease, and he may find it a handy reference for checking what’s gotten done, what is yet to do, or calling out things we may have overlooked, that could be added. 🙂 That feels collaborative, participatory, and reciprocal. I like that. 🙂

I check the time. One more work shift before the weekend, and it’s time to begin again. 🙂

 

This morning I am reflecting on a moment I experienced while I was meditating, before my coffee. My perspective shifted abruptly while I was meditating, I’m not sure why, and I was suddenly very “self-focused”, while also seeming to be a distant, objective, potentially remote, observer of this self that I feel that I am. I’ve had this perspective shift before, and it wasn’t so unexpected or alien as to be frightening, I’m just thinking about it, after-the-fact, while I sip my coffee. It is the sort of experience that seems to want additional reflection, for some time afterward.

The perspective shift is the sort of thing that gives me a moment to really “consider myself” – not how I am experiencing my life, more how I am delivering the experience of myself experiencing life to others. A bit like looking at myself from an outsider’s perspective – if that “outsider” was also truly me. It’s an interesting moment to participate in. Am I the woman I most want to be? Am I living up to my human potential? How am I seen in the world, if the world looking back is also me, shares my values, shares my perspective on life, love, and humanity? I find myself really letting my guard down with myself; being human it is very easy to cast myself as the good guy in every tale of adventure. I’m not. I’m human. Just that. One human being, being human. This moment, on this morning, challenges those easy comfortable assumptions, and takes another, deeper, look.

…Nah. I’m not sharing more details. lol. Go find your own moment to reflect upon. 😉 It’s your journey, and you’ve got to walk your own mile. 😀 I say this with kindness, and with a bit a frustration; it would be very hard to put my experience this morning into useful words. “Worthy moment of perspective” is accurate, but not useful in any practical “how to do this” way… and I’m not sure how it’s done. It seems to be a cheat to say “meditate, and eventually all will be revealed”, and I don’t know that that is actually true… it’s just sort of how it went for me. I “get there” sometimes unexpectedly. Like this morning. Perhaps with enough practice it will become something I could just do by specific choice?

I sip my coffee and continue to reflect… on reflections. Perspective shifts offer new perspective, and that’s generally helpful, I’ve found. 🙂

The morning is, generally, a pleasant one. The sky lightens slowly, revealing a gray rainy morning. My arthritis reminds me how human I am; I am in pain. My coffee is warming and pleasant. There is a small amount of traffic going by. The rainy street alerts me of each passing car with a shhhhhh-shhhhhh as the car rolls by. The computer’s cpu fan spins up, then slows down, as I write, pause, and resume writing. I listen to the day begin. A robin nesting in the hedge out front begins to call and sing as soon as there is daylight. I think about moving to another place, and wonder briefly what mornings elsewhere would sound like, and I recall the sound of mornings in other places I have lived. My favorites? Probably the humid summer mornings of childhood visits to the Eastern Shore, or on my grandparents’ pier jutting out into Weems Creek… or maybe those early mornings on guard duty, deployed at Ft AP Hill for military exercises. Funny that I don’t actually think of myself as a “morning person”. I’m generally up very early, often before dawn, and it’s a choice I’ve made for a long while, so… how not a morning person? Well… I’m not generally cheerful, merry, or inclined to “deal with” people until much later, after I’ve been awake for quite a while. Just… leave me alone until after my coffee, okay? lol I’m more than “kind of a bitch” in the morning, and yeah, it’s generally best to give me some distance until my brain is completely back on line. I’m not proud of that limitation, just aware of it.

…I’ve come a long way as a human. I used to be so vile in the mornings I didn’t even like myself, let alone liking any other people, or being willing to tolerate a word being spoken. You can, actually, have a conversation with me in the morning, now. I often enjoy coffee with my Traveling Partner in the morning. It’s pleasant. We enjoy each other’s company. Here’s the thing, though; I’m quite content to be alone in the mornings, and generally prefer that. The progress I’ve made is that I no longer “punish the world for existing in my presence” first thing in the morning. I’m not hostile. I’m not angry. I’m not ferociously, aggressively, distant. I give myself some space when I need it, but I’m fairly approachable. 🙂 Progress.

I’m not “a morning person” though. Given time, and no schedule, I slowly return to my “natural” sleep/wake cycle, which generally finds me staying up until some time after 2 am, and waking after 9 am or 10 am, depending on the quality of my sleep, and also napping almost every day. I end up on these early schedules largely as a byproduct of the work I do (or have done, in other jobs). Easier to simply maintain that than to bounce back and forth. Discipline becomes habit. We become what we practice. So, I tend to be an early bird – who is not actually a morning person. lol Being human is weird.

Well, damn. Here I’ve been just talking about me all this time… how are you? Are you happy where you are? Are you happy who you are? Maybe it’s time we begin again? 🙂

The morning unfolds quietly. I sip coffee, watch a couple videos. There’s some amazing pandemic content, honestly. Like this. I mean, maybe you’ve got to be a fan of Cowboy Bebop… 🙂 Hard times produce great art. Great art is often about hard times. I feel fortunate to be an artist, myself.

Yesterday was a good day, busy with work, busy with life, and a relaxed leisurely evening of love and conversation to finish it off. I can’t bitch about any of that. I sit here with my coffee and a smile. It’s enough. I mull that over a bit. I didn’t understand “sufficiency” for a long time, and really had to work at that. It took practice to be content with “enough” – and to learn to recognize it. It can be hard not to be overwhelmed by acquisitiveness and yearning. It’s pretty easy to want “more”. And more after that. The pursuit of “more” keeps a lot of people enthralled. People wreck their lives in the here-and-now chasing something other than what they’ve got.

I’m not saying there is value in asceticism. (I’m not saying there isn’t…) I’m just saying finding balance between “nothing” and “everything” has the potential to be fairly easy; it’s a big spectrum. Lots to choose from. One major challenge is simply understanding what really is “enough” for me, as an individual. What do I truly need to live an acceptably good quality of life? How much farther than that must I truly go to live comfortably well? Once I’m there, how much more do I really need? What is enough?? What is excessive? When does desire for a thing or experience cross the threshold from interest to greed? Where does the painful character flaw of “a sense of entitlement” fit in to all of this?

(Note: I won’t be answering these questions for you. That’s on you to do, for yourself. We’re each having our own experience.)

I sip my coffee and think about what I have, and what more I may want in life, and wonder where the line is, that separates these things and experiences into categories like “need”, “want”, and “excessive”? What is “enough”… for me?

I still very much want a home of my own. “How much home, at what price?” is a seriously important question. How much square footage is enough? How many rooms meet my needs? How luxurious does it need to be to feel “comfortable”? I sit with my coffee and ask the questions. I consider the answers. It’s a familiar bit of internal discussion with myself. I’ve house-hunted before. I still don’t own a place of my own. More often than not, the cause of my lack of success moving forward from renting to owning has come down to not having enough to go further on the path of getting more. lol Renting, as it turns out, is generally, functionally, more or less “enough”. Mostly. I often experience moments of discomfort or aggravation that could easily be eased with some small change to my dwelling… that I can’t do, because I don’t own it. LOL Reason enough to want “more”, in this sense, but again… how much is “enough”?

This is just one example. Most people want something. We’re wired for it. Our desires drive our forward momentum, don’t they? So many questions to ask myself on a Tuesday morning. It’s not necessary to answer them all right now. Asking them is enough.

…Enough on which to begin again. 🙂

Another Monday in The Time of Pandemic. Sipping coffee. Waking up. I’m groggy this morning, a combination of spring allergies I regularly say I don’t have (and which generally don’t annoy me at all), and the antihistamine I took for those symptoms, yesterday, after returning home from a drive in the countryside in the spring. The cottonwood trees have released their fluff into the air, and it drifts along the edges of sidewalks. Definitely spring.

A work day ahead. A busy Monday. A long “to do list” waiting for my attention. A universe of distractions from all those things. The weekend was characterized by a handful of profoundly positive moments that fill me with encouragement and hope, and a single noteworthy disappointing setback, from which I’ve already “recovered”, and moved on. Balance in all things? lol The week begins fairly well, I suppose. My coffee is hot, made well, and satisfying. The can of fizzy water also on my desk is cold, refreshing, and tasty. The sound of my Traveling Partner in the living room, also awake quite early, fills me with comfort and contentment. Things “feel okay”. 🙂

A fit of sneezing. A sip of water. A sip of coffee. A routine morning, more or less, and time to begin again. 🙂

Sipping coffee on a Friday morning, before work. I’m stiff and aching today, and really missing the experience of anticipating a Saturday brunch with a friend. I mean… brunch isn’t an “essential”, and I’d rather not put humankind at risk over a desire for brunch out, but I do miss it. 🙂 I try to spend more time reflecting on, and savoring, the experiences I enjoy, right now, than I do complaining (or ruminating over) the ones I am missing.

…So, moving right along…

Yesterday was pleasant. My Traveling Partner spent his time doing his thing. I spent the day “at” work – in my studio, doing work things, on the work calendar, using work tools. It was a good day, generally. My partner and I enjoyed each other. The day unfolded gently without tension. I smile, and give myself over to a few minutes of joyful reflection and recollection.

My eye lands on the aquarium next to my desk. Needs some work. My early concerns that the plants would not fill enough quickly enough to provide a healthy environment has, over mere weeks, become concern that the floating plants will take over the entire 10 gallon space. lol Balance is needed. Nature needs a hand, in this instance, with some healthy pruning, a water change, and some aquascaping. 😀 Work I look forward to. The weekend is just ahead…

The “sunrise” is more a vague gray lightening of the overcast sky. It’s another rainy day. My back aches with it. I take something for that, rather than wait until I hurt so much I’m a seething rage-monster waiting for an opportunity to blow an inconsequential challenge way out of proportion. 🙂 Honestly? A fairly commonplace experience, hardly worth commenting on, certainly not worth bitching about for more than a paragraph, today. 🙂

…It’s already time to begin again…