Archives for posts with tag: be present

Small changes add up to big changes, over time. Some of the small changes I made are a goodness, and result in improved quality of life. Some of the small changes I make are less so, and create potentially problematic circumstances – sometimes entirely foreseeable conflict results. Humans being human. Some of the small changes that are made around me manage to also improve my circumstances. Some, though, are a bother. It is what it is. Not all the small changes are mine to make, or made by me. Not all the small changes that occur are even about me.

I sip my coffee and think about changes.

This morning, there are three less aquarium fish in my tanks. The difficult thugs that were creating so much difficulty have found a new home. I hope it works out better for them. They were certainly too aggressive for my tanks, here. It was a poorly chosen small change to bring them here. I am feeling fairly confident that it is a beneficial small change that sees them on their way elsewhere.

Small changes involve verbs. This morning I broke down boxes for the recycling. Definitely a positive outcome as small changes go; boxes were piling up, and the clutter was an aggravation. This morning? Less clutter. Less aggravation. In the process, I got a paper cut, from a bit of discarded paperwork that was stuffed into a narrow box. Pulling it out, definitely a small change, resulted in blood loss (not much), and a very irritating sensation in the crook of my hand, between my thumb and fingers. Ouch. Annoying. Not a small change I’m super eager to embrace; I’ll have to keep my hands out of the aquarium water until it heals, for sure. I love my aquariums, but let’s be real; it’s not a great idea to immerse an open wound or cut in aquarium water. It’s definitely full of a variety of bacteria.

I remind myself to wash it, again; it bled more, and there’s dried blood all over my hand.

I look around at the many small changes that have resulted from prolonged staying-at-home over the past handful of weeks. There’s more I could do, particularly here in my studio, but wow – so much has already been done.

I finish my coffee, thinking about other small changes I could make to improve my quality of life. I think about spring. I think about the garden. I observe the morning sunshine illuminating the bedroom window, through the blinds. I pause to savor this quiet moment, before I begin again. 🙂

We really are social creatures.

Yesterday, the afternoon got dreadfully noisy, irritatingly so, when a neighbor chose to rev an ATV in his driveway, for well a couple hours, and then also drive it back and forth in front of his house, a couple houses down the street, and up just past ours, then turning it around and doing it again, constantly revving the engine aggressively. He wasn’t going anywhere, just making a fuck-ton of noise. It was grating on my nerves, and also, very obviously, on my Traveling Partner’s nerves, as well. I was maintaining as much “chill” as I could (admittedly having to resort to deep breathing exercises). My partner paced, and snarled abstractly at rude neighbors and noise, generally.

…I got more tense and aggravated, as my partner got more tense and aggravated. It became harder to manage, over time. That was as annoying as the noise. Why should my successful effort to maintain some inner calm fail because my partner is visibly aggravated? Hardly seems “fair”, but then – it isn’t about “fair”, is it? It is what it is. We are social creatures. We exist in shared context with each other. We are “each having our own experience” – but we’re doing it alongside one another, within view, sharing the journey. Our mood may be “contagious”. We spread that shit around.

…Spread the good moods, please, and the harmonious states of being; we could use more of those. lol 🙂 (I bet there are verbs involved.)

We got past it. The evening was lovely.

This morning I sit with my coffee quietly. I am facing a different moment of frustration (life has plenty of those to offer). I breathe, exhale, and work on letting it go, with limited success. So human. Again, it is what it is. Wishing it away, or railing against circumstances isn’t helpful. I allowed myself to get excited about something, and that excitement became implicit expectations in my head – and in my decision-making – and now, the timing is “off”. A whim of circumstance intervenes in my anticipated joy, and I’m… annoyed. Frustrated. Irritated. Waiting.

…I breathe. Exhale. Relax. Let it go. I repeat this exercise several times. It’s harder to let go of it fully; I am anticipating my partner’s annoyance and frustration with it later, and that’s not helping. I begin again. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. Let even that go…

Things change. They change again. Change is. That, by itself, is a layer of complexity in our expectations – implicit or otherwise. I remind myself to be mindful, to maintain perspective, to embrace sufficiency. I sip my coffee, and begin again.

I woke to the sound of rain. It’s the sort of steady rain of well-separated medium-sized raindrops that keeps the pavement looking soaked, and the air smelling fresh, without every becoming a downpour. I made coffee, standing at the kitchen window, staring out past the driveway to the street beyond, not really watching the cars go by, still half-wrapped in sleep, not quite awake, yet. I’d considered sitting down and reading some news articles while I waited for water to boil (I like a “pour over” in the morning)… decided it against it, after glancing at headlines. I am not ready for the cesspool that is “newsworthy” humanity, before my coffee. lol

California was more or less “as advertised”, generally in a pleasant way.

I got home far more easily, with fewer moments of stress, and a much more enjoyable (quiet) flight. I wondered later if time of day was something to have considered when I made the plans (the unpleasant flight to LAX was late afternoon, getting me there by 6:30 pm, the flight home to PDX departed from LAX at close to 8:00 pm, and we did not land until well-past 10:00 pm)? There were no chatterboxes or fussy children on the flight home; it was filled with quieter people, traveling purposefully, and keeping to themselves. I chuckle to myself as I read back these past couple of sentences; how much of my experience was actually just… me? Something to consider, too.

I missed my roses while I was away.

My homecoming was pleasant, relaxed, easy; we missed each other, we welcome each other with open arms, and smiles, with appreciation, and gratitude. Friday was very busy, and I’d forgotten to grab the power cord for my laptop when I returned to the hotel Thursday evening. The low battery, and the need to pack with care before work that morning, resulted in letting go my usual “best time” to write. Yesterday? Yesterday was mine to cherish, a sweet day of leisure and romance with my Traveling Partner, time to catch up, time to enjoy each other, time to spend together. I didn’t write, yesterday, because it is most definitely a solitary activity that takes my presence away from my partner’s experience, and on a day we choose for deliberately enjoying each other, sharing our time, our love, and our presence, that would be sort of rude, wouldn’t it? 🙂

…It feels like life is settling into a useful cadence of work and life and love, as the months together go by. Was it January he moved in with me? Or December, before the Yule holidays? I don’t remember now; it feels as if we’ve never been separated by different addresses, at all. 🙂

I arrived home to a lovely, tidy, welcoming, orderly, aesthetically pleasing home that very much looks like I live here. That makes sense – I do. 😀 I very much appreciate that I have my partners help with all the housekeeping and household maintenance – it makes for a wonderful shared experience. I notice a few things that are “better than I left it”, and remind myself to level up to better household care, on those tasks, myself. When everyone works, and the work is shared such that each person is valued, the quantity of work is equitable, and the effort is reciprocal, there is no room for resentment, or hurt feelings, over housework. 😀

Signs of autumn approaching begin to turn up in the garden on the deck…and also, a baby praying mantis or two, that have survived long enough to be easily noticed.

Another lovely day begins right here, listening to the rain fall. I feel like walking, although my arthritis flared up with the coming of the rain. I consider the day ahead… visit a nearby farmer’s market… run an errand or two, perhaps… get ready for the work week ahead… It’s an ordinary enough Sunday, pleasant, and relaxed. These are the qualities I am choosing, and choosing to foster, to build, to nurture, to act upon. Beginning again is a willful thing, a considered, deliberate reset, not merely the tick of a clock from one moment to the next; there are choices to make, and verbs to act upon. 🙂 My results may vary…

…None of that stops me; it’s still time to begin again. 🙂

I woke up to this simple message, “I’m on the road”. My Traveling Partner is heading home. I smile over my coffee; I’ve missed him a great deal.

…If I were paying less attention to my state of being that I am, I might perceive this experience to be an anxious one. The homecoming of past partners wasn’t reliably a joyful thing, and I may still have some baggage from that journey. It’s also, likely, a simple enough matter of practice; being attentive, present, aware of my experience – physically, as well as emotionally – and letting go of any assumptions about “what it all means” that could rest on old pain. It matters to allow new experiences to be new. 😀

This morning I contentedly sip my coffee and consider what remains on my to do list. Sunday is generally my day to care for hearth and home, and to prepare for the upcoming week. Working such items off a list seems a good fit for the day, and not any kind of anxious or overly-eager-to-impress kind of flurry of activity. I’ll do as much of the usual Sunday work as I’d ordinarily expect, and throw in a couple tasks specific to preparing for my partner’s homecoming (still just housekeeping details, honestly, nothing out of the ordinary), and be content with that. 🙂 I sip my coffee, pleased to have a plan.

The weekend has been a restful one. Yesterday’s forecasted heat wasn’t all that bad, and things didn’t warm up until quite late in the day. Most of the morning a soft misty rain fell, and I read, napped, and listened to the rain fall through the open patio door for hours. It was lovely, and I must have needed the deeper quality and additional quantity of rest; I went to bed on time last night, and slept through the night.

I eye my coffee suspiciously for a moment, until I recall that just yesterday afternoon, I’d refilled the grinder with new beans. Different beans. My mouth wasn’t fooled, although it took my brain a moment to get caught up. I’m still waking up. I pause to be present in this moment, more deeply, more aware. I feel the cool air that pours in from the open patio door swirling around my ankles as the room cools off. I feel the heat of the mug in my hands, when I pick up my coffee cup. I feel the slick, subtly concave surface of the keys on my keyboard slide under my nimble fingers as I type, and the ache in my back that eases when I correct my posture, again. I hear a dog barking in the distance, and my tinnitus. A car passes on the road just beyond the driveway. I yawn, and stretch, and smile, thinking “hear I am!” and the day begins.

Another sip of coffee, looking over my list of things to do today. It is already in the “ideal order”, more or less, although I spot a couple improvements, and because I find it satisfying to do so, I move things around a bit. Still sipping coffee and writing, the tasks themselves will go so much more smoothly if I approach them efficiently – and they’ll take less time. 😀 Time is precious, and I would honestly prefer to spend it contentedly reading on the couch, listening to the wind chime ringing in the background, than on housework…so… efficiency, then? 😉

It is not particularly early in the morning. In practical terms I “slept in” a bit. It’s also not particularly late; it is rare for me to be able to sleep at all late. It’s simply “now” – a lovely Sunday morning. I smile at my half finished coffee, and at the clock. A new day, a new beginning – it’s unlikely that this humble list of house work and chores will change the world at all, but it is, nonetheless, a new beginning, and these simple acts of service to hearth and home, and self-care, change my world, quite a lot. A worthy start on beginning again. 🙂

Actually, no. Let that one go. This one, here? This one, too. Let it go. A moment isn’t really meant to last in any enduring way; it’s only a moment. It’ll pass. Good or bad. Each moment (and experience) is its own thing. Discreet. Individual. Transitory. Impermanent. Breathe. Relax. It’s gone. Set up the dominoes again, and watch them fall one more time.

Roses on a sunny day, impermanent, like moments.

I take a moment to enjoy my coffee. I take a moment for my small list of things I’d like to get done before I leave for work. I take a moment to be grateful – in advance – for the day ahead, hoping it will be filled with laughter and wonder. I let it go in advance, too; it is not yet “now”. 🙂

So much of life’s turmoil seems wrapped up in our clinging and struggling. This cup of coffee, right here, required no struggle to make this morning, in spite of waking feeling rather distracted, a bit dizzy and stupid, and uncertain; it’s a lovely morning. I got to enjoy a few minutes of my Traveling Partner’s company, too. A nice start to a Spring morning. I sip my coffee contentedly, thinking about summer days to come.

I look at the time… how is it already “now” so soon? 😉 I chuckle to myself, wondering if I can maintain this balanced moment of “now” – all day long? My smile deepens, and a minute ticks over on the clock. Close enough! 😀 Feeling ready for this moment, and this day, is enough to get started on. This one seems as good a moment as any to begin again. 🙂

Enjoy another rose – they’re quite lovely. 🙂