Archives for posts with tag: being and becoming

There’s no actual connection between this morning’s rather bitter cup of coffee and the much improved rest I’ve been getting. The coffee, likely bitter because the water was still hotter than ideal when I made it, is a simple, practical failure of process. I’ll still drink it. It’s still coffee. The improved rest? A by product of circumstance and self-care; I took a few days off, which I am still enjoying, and I turned off my alarm clock. I sleep when I like, as long as I like, until I wake naturally. The first night, there was no significant change in my sleep. Since then, I’ve been sleeping long enough hours to fully benefit from the (still) lighter sleep I’ve been getting.

Recognizing that the rest I’ve been needing is only partially about sleep, and definitely also about “cognitive fatigue”, I’ve spent hours relaxed, sitting quietly, meditating, watching the autumn leaves fall, watching rain storms pass by, watching squirrels come for a bite to eat at my deck garden. What I have not been doing is watching a ton of video content, or even reading books for hours. Most of my time is spent entirely quietly and at ease, listening to myself think. lol

A few quiet moments all for me. 🙂

Taking this time for myself has been so worth it. Could I have spent it “more productively”? Sure, but what would I be good for if I had not taken this time for myself? As it is, I still get things done… dishes get done… trash goes out… laundry gets folded and put away… the routine matters of caring for home and hearth are handled. The rest of the time is mine to do with as I please… or do nothing that appears to be anything at all. lol I choose the doing nothing, at least this weekend, this time; it’s what I need to restore my wellness right now. 🙂 No one to talk to? Yep, and that’s precisely okay. 😉

…I do miss my Traveling Partner. The fact that he is away for days and days does have lonely moments. On the other hand, I adore him so terrifically, that when he is here at home with me, I sometimes lose myself in the day-to-day pleasures of his company, and forget entirely about getting enough rest – or getting anything done. LOL It’s a puzzle. I am so grateful to love and be loved in return. I am more grateful still that his love is so deep and enduring that even my silences and solitudes can be included within his affection for me, and not perceived as any loss of affection for him. 😀

This is such a terrible cup of coffee, right here. LOL It is, however, a good life, and one terrible cup of coffee among so many isn’t worth being a source of torment or discontent. A lot of things work that way; terrible in some moment, but considered in context, not that big a deal. I find it helpful to let small things stay small. I take a glance around the room as I finish my coffee. Sleeping in was lovely, and I also have tomorrow off… on the other hand, Sunday is also my “regular day” for weekly chores, and general housekeeping, and I’m inclined to begin returning to routine matters (I feel that much more rested, that I keep finding myself un-anchored from what day it is, and have to keep checking – it’s feels so much longer a time than a couple of days, now. lol)

Sundays are a good day for new beginnings, and fresh starts. 🙂

Isn’t life like that? Endless beginnings… which also means, endless endings. Focus on the endings and life can feel pretty bleak, frustrating, more than a bit of a let down, perhaps. Focus on the beginnings… ? Maybe focus on the journey, itself, present for each moment. 🙂

Here it is a Monday. The days are already shorter than 12 hours. The sun rise will occur some moments past 7 a.m., this morning. The sky is dark; I get up quite a bit ahead of the dawn, now. I’m okay with that, it’s just that it feels, subjectively as if I have more time than I do – now there’s a life metaphor, and a half. lol It pretty much always feels like I have more time than I do. We are mortal creatures, and our time is short.

I shrug it off, sip my coffee, and let my thoughts move on. My recollection of the weekend is a thoroughly pleasant one, although certainly life and love have both deliciously sweet and unpalatably unpleasant moments. It was a good weekend, in a good life. 🙂 Autumn has obviously come, with chill weather a bit “ahead of schedule” and serious thunderstorms that definitely sell the climate change warning; we never used to have such thunderstorms (any, really) in the area I live in. I wonder what becomes of the world, if we continue to abuse our planet? I sigh heavily in the quiet room, sip my coffee, and let that go, too.

I check the time; it’s already time to get my things together for the commute ahead of me. It is already time to begin again. 🙂

For awhile now, I’ve just been sitting here, staring at my monitor. It’s not quite 3:30 a.m., now. My heart is still pounding, and my hands are trembling. There’s nothing actually wrong; I woke up triggered, around 2:50 a.m.,  and I’m fighting off both confusion (from being groggy) and panic. It’s not personal, and it’s unlikely that any detail of waking me into this state was intentional, at all. I’m awake, though, and sleep won’t return in the short time left before my alarm would go off, so… I’m beginning again, a bit early, is all.

“Purple Tiger” blooming on the deck. Life is filled with small delights.

…Just yesterday, I was relaxing and giving thought to how content I am, how lovely life is, how comfortable I feel in my own skin day-to-day, and how fortunate I am to have the healthy relationships that I do. The contrast with my internal state this morning is a useful reminder that emotional wellness is built over time, and that taking it for granted is not an ideal approach to maintaining it. The phrase “the damage is done” seems fitting here. I can heal a lot of chaos and damage, over time, and doing so is a pretty extraordinary quality of life improvement, in general. What I can’t do is change what I’ve been through, or eliminate the trauma in my history, and even now, sometimes it “comes back to me” in a problematic way. I still have disturbed sleep. I still have some uncomfortable moments. I still don’t “bounce back” as easily from some emotional experiences as someone else might. “Much improved” still doesn’t mean “forever and always symptom free”.

Early hints of autumn approaching have turned up in the garden.

What a great weekend; in spite of both my partner and I being in considerable pain, we had a great time together. A local power outage ended our evening, last night. It didn’t seem necessary to stay up until power came back on. Rather unfortunately, I went to bed without really considering which lights had been on, when the power went out. I woke abruptly to bright light (when the power came back on?), confused, startled, and frightened. My Traveling Partner was up, apparently trying to make sense of whatever mess the bed linens were in, also awakened by the return of power, but at the time I was trapped in my confusion, and still startled, and I felt “trapped” in the room, and my panic started to build, quickly. I was on my way to a serious over-reaction, and chose simply to go ahead and get up, instead, hoping that pushing myself through regular morning routines would soothe me quickly, and help to calm my nerves. I was not clear on what time it actually was, in that moment.

I started coffee and dressed myself, still sort of bumbling around clumsily, not yet fully awake or entirely calmed, and doing my best to stay focused and present in this “now” moment. My heart was still hammering away in my chest, and I was feeling short of breath. My partner approached me, and asked “aren’t you coming back to bed?” I felt my jaw clench and un-clench, working to shape words that fit. I tried “the way I woke up… I won’t go back to sleep, now”. I felt self-conscious, and dreading that anything I said could “make things worse” (What things? More chaos and damage – that hell was a long time ago, in a very different relationship.) I did what I could to explain that I woke triggered without placing any blame; my PTSD isn’t something my Traveling Partner caused, and there is no circumstance under which he would trigger my symptoms deliberately. Nothing personal in any of it. I felt tears start. Neither of us reacted to that; we’re experienced with emotionality as a shitty byproduct of my chaos and damage. I turned toward my studio. He went back to bed.

One of the most horrible things about PTSD is how often there is a negative consequence to people who love us, who didn’t do the damage that made us who we are, but so often find themselves paying a pretty high price to love  us, anyway. Spectacularly unfair. I try to be considerate about that sort of thing, when I can hang on to the presence of mind it takes to do so. :-\

Meditation continues to be a key practice supporting my emotional wellness.

…It’s just two minutes shy of 4:00 a.m. now. I’m not shaking any more. My heart rate is back down to 62 bpm. My breathing feels relaxed. I feel calm. I could probably go back to sleep now, if I chose to… but the alarm would go off in 30 minutes, and I’d likely wake groggier and less well-rested feeling than I am now. I sip my coffee, and rub the sleep out of my eyes, and hope the day ahead is not an overly complicated one. I feel my anxiety surge in the background. Small things are likely to set me off today; it’ll need to be managed attentively, compassionately, and with a commitment to caring for myself skillfully. I breathe. Exhale. Relax. I set a couple reminders on my work calendar to take 10 minutes to meditate during the day. Each moment today may be a needed chance to begin again; that has to be okay with me, to really get this handled well. I feel my shoulders relax. “I’ve got this…” The reassurance swells from within myself, built on experience. That feels pretty good – solid, and reliable. Safe.

I give thought to my Traveling Partner, and hope that he has returned to a deep and untroubled sleep, and wakes well-rested. I finish my coffee, and prepare to face a new day. It’s a good time to begin again. 🙂

Sipping my coffee this morning, thinking about time. No particular reason, and thinking about it doesn’t have any notable effect on time, itself. Random bits of consciousness are sort of just… milling around bumping into each other this morning. I take a breathe. The AC comes on. My thoughts move along to other things.

Life’s mundanities sort of take over my awareness for a little while, as I sit with my coffee in the stillness of morning. A hair appointment (time to get the color refreshed)… A business trip (I get to do these now??? wow!)… A painting I notice I haven’t signed (not my first)… The work day ahead of me (it can wait)… The weekend that follows (just in time!)… Bills that need paying (seriously routine stuff)…  I think “nothing to see here” and sort of nudge myself along a different path. 🙂

I take a few minutes for myself, still, quiet, reflective.

Life feels good right now. I savor this moment, present, and aware. This, too, shall pass; that’s just real. I take time to properly enjoy it, content with it just as it is. 🙂 It’s enough.

…All that, and a good cup of coffee. It’s time to begin again. 😉

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. 😀