Archives for posts with tag: breathe

Another morning. Another Friday. Another cup of coffee. 😀

I sat down with other thoughts, but as the minutes passed my thoughts just sort of … dissipated. I’m left with this pleasant quiet moment and this cup of coffee. It’s enough. I feel contented, and I am safe and warm inside, while a strangely snowy rain falls steadily outside.

I woke too early. Headed to the co-work space early. I was hopeful my Traveling Partner would be able to get some additional rest (he was already up when I woke), but based on the continued conversation via text, I guess he was not able to go back to sleep. I sip my coffee hoping he has at least had enough rest to support the needs of his day. I’m tired, but not groggy (which is nice), and I would have happily gone back to sleep after getting up to pee at 04:25, but his audible exclamation of relief that I was “finally” up fueled a decision to, instead, properly get my day started a bit early. I’m not cross about it; should be a short day, today.

I think about the weekend ahead. What will I do with it? What will we do with it together? Sunday evening I’ll head into the city for a work “on site” event that spans a couple days, before returning home Wednesday. The week after that I’ve got a couple days on the coast planned. I find myself hoping he is easily able to sleep while I’m gone.

My back aches from the cold chilly weather. My face hurts because my occipital neuralgia has flared up. My head aches, but, honestly, when doesn’t it? It’s all just physical pain. Noise. I breathe, exhale, and relax – which rarely seems to actually reduce the pain I’m in, but sometimes does sort of “push it off to the side” and render it rather harmless. I take time to meditate. Do some yoga. I feel ready for the day ahead. It’s a good feeling.

I yawn and queue up a study playlist – maybe this week I’ll take my next certification exam? Life itself doesn’t give us many “credentials” for basic adulting or successfully thriving… but “credentials” are out there for the taking, on a wide variety of topics and skills, in many areas of human endeavor. Feel like you need one? Go get it! Do the coursework. Do the study. Take the test(s). Looks great on a resume – and feels pretty good to complete. 😀 What are you interested in? Are you learning that? If not, why not? What are you waiting for? You’ve got the entire internet in front of you and you’re sitting here with me? Ready this? I promise you my feelings will not be hurt if you choose, instead, to go learn something that could have a significant payoff in skills, ease, or enjoyment of life – or even money. lol Do you.

The day begins to break through the pre-dawn gloom. It’s snowing now (again). The sky is gray. It’s time to begin again.

I am sipping my morning coffee. It’s already mostly gone cold before I ever thought to put a sentence together, this morning. I started the morning thinking about far away friends, and the vagaries of the job market, and the likelihood of further lay-offs, and the nature of greed. That was pretty grim shit, and I shifted gears as a responsible adult, and did my payday budget and sent that to my Traveling Partner for his review and contribution to our planning and “household wellness”; his suggestions and planning are an important part of us getting where we are together. It’s a team effort. A partnership. Once that was done, I found myself still feeling restless and distracted, with elevated background anxiety lurking in the general “quality of the day”.

…It was as I typed those words that I noticed; I’m not “here and now”, just now – I’m “then”. Some of it is old baggage, and I’m snagged on some past moment. Other details are the pitfalls of worrying over a future that is not now. Doesn’t even matter whether it ever will be; I’m all over the worrying about it, already, well ahead of any need to do so. lol Fucking hell.

I take a breath. Then another. I let my shoulders relax. I drink some water. Another breath. I exhale, relax. I get up and stretch for a moment, breathing. I walk over to the windows and look out, down “main street”, taking in the sparkle of the lights that festoon the trees, and the way they are reflected off the wet pavement. The morning is relatively mild, for February. The snow is gone. I step outside, breathe the fresh cold morning air, and feel the hint of a chill that immediately begins to soak into me. I breathe. Exhale. See the fog of my breath expand and dissipate. I relax, again. I repeat the experience, before I return to my desk. Better.

Here. Now. Just this.

It’s time to begin again.

This morning is a routine Monday morning. It seemed to start too early. It feels utterly ordinary in every possible way. I’m on my “second coffee”, but only because I made the first one, and as I turned to walk to my desk, it slipped from my hand, spilling everywhere. Quite a bit of it into the sink that was near me as I turned, a bit on the carpet, a bit on my jeans. Just spilled coffee. I mopped up and made a fresh cup. I was sitting down before I really noticed that nothing about the experience caused me any particular alarm or distress. I’m fine. The morning is fine. The coffee I ended up with… also fine. Just a Monday morning, nothing to see here.

…There’s something to be learned from this…

I glance over the industry-related news linked in a feed in a work channel. I just skim the headlines for anything properly “new”. Nothing to see here; it’s all retreads and updates. Click bait. I look over my list of tasks, projects, and work activities. Pretty routine. In a very real sense, “nothing to see here” either. I breathe. Sip my coffee. Put on some music in the background that I promptly stop paying any attention to.

A pounding rain begins to fall on the skylights overhead. It sounds like thunderous applause. lol I grin, enjoying the thought of thunderous applause over an ordinary Monday morning coffee. The notion is ridiculous and this delights me. My mind wanders through thoughts of heroes and villains, and paintings yet unpainted. My Traveling Partner pings me a good morning emoji and my morning feels somehow completed by that.

I remind myself of a couple errands that need to be run, and then I begin again.

Sipping my coffee, drinking water, sitting here with my fingers poised over the keyboard feeling a little distracted before my thoughts even begin to form into something coherent. I had a really useful and well-considered thought quite early this morning, but I didn’t take notes, and yeah I got distracted before I could really commit it to memory in any lasting way, and now… it’s gone. So human.

Yesterday, I headed home to finish my work day there with my Traveling Partner’s encouragement. He was missing me a lot. I was “feeling the mood” and eager to enjoy some close romantic time with him after the work day ended. We found ourselves in quite a different place rather quickly; he was sort of cross, generally, and my pain was flaring up. We still had a lovely evening together, but romance (or, to be more frank, sex) became progressively less likely as the evening developed. Very human.

I woke this morning with a headache. It’s Friday, though, and the entire day ahead of me yet. I’ve no idea where I’ll be on the other side of the day. I look at my work calendar. Somehow the day looks so long. (It’s actually a short one.) I sigh out loud feeling – still – distracted and somewhat discontented. Hilarious and rather silly. Another very human experience.

I think about tomorrow. I’m eager to “really sleep in”, although I know how difficult that really is for me, generally. I think about going out to breakfast with my Traveling Partner. We had meant to do so last weekend… and I forgot. He politely didn’t mention it to me. I realized my failed plan too late. I’d really enjoy having that out-to-breakfast experience with him, though – and although we’ve lived here now for going on 3 years (wow), we still haven’t gone out to breakfast here in our new “home town”. lol Pandemics suck. Still, I think over the logistics of going to breakfast and remind myself to bring it up with him and see if he’s up for it. We’re both plenty human. Our results vary. lol

Another sigh. It sounds loud in this quiet space. My eye strays again to my work calendar, and I “feel the clock in my head” ticking away. An internal rather self-imposed distraction. I let it go. I let my thoughts drift to other places, other times in my life, other human moments. It’s a bit like “scratching an emotional itch” in some peculiar way. I silently remind myself now and then “don’t pick at that!” – some memories are best left alone, unexplored, generally speaking. Human is complicated, and it’s not all sweetness, warmth, and love. lol

I miss late night coffees with far away friends, and a time in my life when work was sort of seasonal, and there were weeks of downtime between jobs routinely. This is not that life. I’m okay with this life, too – it’s a good one. I’m just saying, I think I could have slept in today, and enjoyed breakfast out with my Traveling Partner, and a lazy romantic morning… sounds pretty good. Work is… work. Today, I’m earning my pay just based on the effort it will clearly take me to steady down and focus on the tasks in front of me. LOL

A new day, a new beginning. What will I do with it? I don’t know yet. Where will this path lead? That’s not super clear right now. I do know this is a very human experience, one of many. Each just enough different to deceive us into thinking we are unique and special in all the world as individuals, when, just as truly we are all in this together, and very much sharing a fairly common human experience. lol

It’s a good day to practice Wheaton’s Law. It’s a good day to begin again.

For love or money? Justice or mercy? Kindness or fairness? There are choices to be made, and I make them for myself every day, all sorts of choices large and small, significant and insignificant, major – and trivial. I’m not sure, though, that I am always quite clear on the difference between a choice that is trivial, and one that shapes my life. Part of the experience is simply making a choice in the first place, or choosing to coast on circumstances and the will of others. Yep. Even that is a choice.

I like to think that reason dictates the majority of my choices, but I am aware that what tends to be the case, in fact, is that emotions dictate many of my choices, and they make reason their bitch by insisting on solid rationalizations for why the choice “made sense”. Self-knowledge, and authenticity have rather firmly demanded that I understand the role of emotions in my decision-making with greater clarity, so I play a fun game with myself based on the underlying assumption that emotion is indeed the foundation on which my decision-making it built – then I go looking for the feeling at the heart of some particular choice. (Ideally before I make that decision in some firm way and back it up with actions. lol) In practical terms, I rarely make “important” decisions without a moment to reflect on it, often giving myself at least a day or two to think things over for major potentially life-altering choices.

Would you make all your decisions the same way if you knew with certainty going into it that you were not going to do so based on reason at all, but were quite likely to ‘react’ to circumstances and make your choices based solely on your emotions? Would you be able to make more skillful, wiser decisions that serve your needs more efficiently over time, and with greater life satisfaction, if you simply acknowledge the role emotion plays in your choices in the first place? Would you be more inclined to delay important decisions for moments that were in a specific emotional context to secure a specific (better or wiser) outcome?

“Mastering” my emotions has proven to be so much less about squashing them down, repressing them, controlling them, keeping them within some acceptable boundary defined by someone else, or denying them altogether than it is about embracing them, honoring them, making use of them to enhance my experience, and being more mindful of my needs over time, reflecting on what emotions say about my values and understanding of the world. Emotions are powerful, and they whisper things to me about what I value, and what I need; it’s worth finding the time to listen. It also appears to be a true thing that by giving myself some time to explore (and feel) my emotions, I reduce the likelihood that they will “explode all over the place” creating some sort of drama or messy bullshit emotional vortex that sucks the fun out of life and drags everyone around me into it.

Pro-tip: cultivate practices that limit or reduce your desire (or habit) of “venting” your emotions. Consistent with “we become what we practice” venting, as a practice, tends to make one very good at … venting. It sometimes feels like a relief (thus having the name “venting” as if to release pressure), but the longer term consequences are less than ideal. Practice venting your anger or frustration? You get good at venting anger or frustration – not dealing with it, not skillfully coping with your feelings, not understanding yourself or your experience, and for sure not communicating your emotions skillfully as an adult. Just saying. There are other potentially much more useful (and harmonious) ways of communicating emotions than “venting”. We are not pressure cookers, and likely ought not aspire to be such. lol

I am sipping my coffee on a quiet Tuesday. Payday tasks are handled, and the budget is updated. My Traveling Partner sends me an acknowledging reply. It feels good that all this feels so absolutely ordinary and routine. That reflects enormous progress from the profound anxiety I once felt any time I had to “deal with money”.

The future unfolds ahead of me, and I’m untroubled by my lack of view into events that are not yet. It’s a bit like walking a path through a dense forest that curves regularly; I’ll see what lies ahead a bit at a time, for a very short distance, and the view will change, and change again. That’s fine. There’s plenty to see and do and experience along the way, and it’s worthwhile to engage this moment and be present in it. Another choice that is mine to make. 🙂

…I think I’ll begin again. Perhaps with a second coffee?