Archives for posts with tag: breathe

I woke unexpectedly breathless, heart pounding, unsure of where I was – and no art on the walls yet to pull me back from The Nightmare City. I told myself it was nothing. Got up. Took my morning medication. Had a big drink of cool, fresh, water. Took some deep breaths. I found myself wandering room to room, throwing open the windows, as if only the fresh morning air could calm me. It did feel good. I made coffee out of habit. I really just want more cold water, although… I’m not actually thirsty.

I stand in a cool shower for some minutes, coffee forgotten, trembling, heart still pounding, and feeling mildly weak and a little dizzy. I finally think to check in with myself more specifically. “Am I okay? Physically okay?” I give that some thought, becoming more aware, and more present, right now. I have no recollection of having had a nightmare, but aside from that, I feel very much as I do when I wake from a really bad one, abruptly.

After my shower, feeling some better, I drop some ice cubes in my now-tepid coffee (damn, how long was I standing in not-quite-cold water at 4 am?) and step out onto the deck “for some fresh air” (as if I hadn’t already thrown the house wide to the breezes as soon as I woke). I’m okay. Still feeling a little unsure of myself, actually, vulnerable, and filled with vague anxiety. It’s been awhile since I woke in the middle of a panic attack. Uncomfortable. It wasn’t helpful that I am in a new environment. I’m okay right now, though, and that’s enough to get by on.

I watch the sky lighten beyond the window of the studio, beyond the security door, beyond the hedge, a few tall trees silhouetted against the sliver of visible sky. There are streaks of clouds, low on the horizon, and clear pale sky overhead. I write a few more words about the weather, then delete them. I sit staring quizzically at my computer screen for some minutes, not just uncertain what to write about, but also simply… unsure. Too aware that I woke up a bit unhinged, still feeling… feelings. Sure, I’m okay, for most values of okay, and I’ll be fine, but right now, in this tender moment, I need something more from myself than small talk about the fucking weather. lol I need a connection.

I decide to begin again. I take my coffee, and head to the deck to enjoy watching the morning unfold its beauty in leaves and light to a soundtrack of birdsong, breezes, and morning traffic. My results vary. Of course. Sometimes there are verbs involved.

 

 

Getting through these couple of work days is harder than I expected. The days drag. I feel distracted. There is a garden waiting for me at home that needs love. There is unpacking to do. There are things to put in their proper place – and proper places to be determined. The work day, yesterday, did eventually end.

I’d taken car yesterday, and will again today. My ankle is still aching and the bus stop is some distance away. On my way home, happily following a suggested route offered by a more experience colleague, I made a stop for some odds and ends but instead found myself wandering discontentedly through the aisles; I no longer cared about the errand, I just wanted to be at home. So, I went home.

I meant to do things. I meant to unpack more stuff. I meant to do some laundry. I meant to vacuum. Instead I made a mug of chicken broth and sat in the stillness, quiet and content. I watched the golden glow of late afternoon fade to twilight. I listened to the birds. I watered the container garden on the deck. Eventually, night fell. I went to bed. It was quiet a deliciously restful evening.

I spent much of that quiet time just soaking in the newness of this place, and continuing to get a feel for it. I still can’t quiet find my way around in the dark here, not yet. There is more to learn.

It’s an exciting time, now that the panic of having to move suddenly is behind me, and I’ve done that bit. So much chaos. I’m looking forward to the long weekend ahead, that begins tonight. Making this space my own is the fun part. Then, the journey ahead begins. I don’t know yet where it leads. I think of my Traveling Partner. It’s funny how much it matters to me that he also be able to find contentment in this space…but it does.

One more work shift… I think about work and I am immediately vaguely distracted feeling, already eager to return my thoughts to home. There is so much to do here! I’ve got keys to the apartment, though, until Friday. If I can get all the boxes unpacked, I can drop off the cardboard recycling in the big bin at the old apartment… handy. Living in a house means no more dumpsters. lol Every detail of getting settled in here is so prominent in my thoughts. It’s hard to recall now quite why I was so stressed out and angry about having to move… having moved, that bit is now in the past, and seems unfamiliar. I know I don’t like moving…but I really like moving in. lol

“Fireworks” burst into bloom as soon as I began watering her. We thrive when we are cared for.

It’s a good day to take care of the woman in the mirror. It’s a very good day to begin again.

First night home alone in a new place. The moving in process, itself, is one I associate more with excitement than dread, and it comes with a nervous energy that isn’t quite enthusiasm, and falls short of panic. It’s already hard to choose to go to bed, already hard to find sleep; there is more to do. This the part where I get to create order from chaos, so… more a fun project than a chore in most regards. Then there is the part where I am getting used to new noises.

The refrigerator here is quieter than the old one, generally, but sounds completely different, and the sound turns up in some unexpected corners. Each time I trace some odd noise back to the fridge it surprises me, because each experience is “about” a slightly different quality of the noises it makes. It isn’t “bothering me” so far, just new.

The house itself is rather “wide open to all the noises”, or seems so; the noise of the busy street I’m on is easily audible during peak traffic. The nearness to the airport is now quite evident, but limited mostly to fly overs that are on an approach directly overhead. I don’t hear the neighbors (so far), except when they use the shower; the fans in the bathrooms are loud enough to hear through the walls. (Why do we not stop building things in this slipshod fashion? We can do better.) I know that once the paintings are hung, it will be quieter. I contemplate backing the largest ones with some sort of foam for additional quiet…

Last night I heard sirens, a fire truck passed by quickly, then an aggressive knock at the security door – loud voices? I was in bed, dozing off… my feet hit the floor immediately to get to the door. In the darkness, it became a real problem that I was in a new place; the security door was locked, I knew I’d need my keys – I could not find either a light switch, nor my hand bag, and omg – this place may be noisy, but in the dark of night? It’s really really dark. In my half-waking panic, I walked directly into a wall, turned and banged my shins, stubbed my toe, and tripped over something. I finally got to the door – without putting on my glasses. Without finding my keys. Just wanting to reach the door to speak to the stranger with the aggressive knock that followed sirens…

…No one there. Quiet peaceful night, aside from… fireworks? Fireworks. There was no knock. Just firecrackers, which is probably what the fire trucks were called for. Damn it. I stood there a minute, then patiently worked my way back to the bedroom one light switch at a time, to put on my glasses and “check for monsters”. My heart was still racing, and I was shaking all over. I took time to meditate and calm myself before returning to bed, fairly confident my potential for sleep was just destroyed for the night.

I woke from a sound sleep 4 minutes before the alarm went off. So…okay. I can sleep well and deeply here, even right after I am freaked right the fuck out by sirens. Nice. πŸ™‚

My morning here feels different…the leisureliness of it feels longer… more relaxed… it’s all made up in my head, of course. It’s a new place. I choose a lot of how I will feel about it. I watch the sky lighten beyond the window of my studio. It’s a very different view. I look through the window, to look through the security door, to look into and across a tall Β healthy hedge to trees beyond, and just a sliver of sky. I see the edge of the step into the entry, and a small patch of ground. No expanse of meadow, no horizon. I’m not disappointed with the view. It’s just different. It’s a very emotionally comfortable view; no one can approach me by surprise, and from outside the window, on the other side of that security door, no one can see in. It feels very safe here. (It needs a hummingbird feeder in the small bit of view, perhaps.)

It is a work day. There is one more just like it, then another long weekend to spend getting all moved in (for some values of “all moved in”), a luxury I don’t fail to appreciate, carefully planned because it supports me to do so.

I hear a bird singing in the hedge and smile a broad happy smile at the idea of morning. I feel good. I feel safe. I feel content. This is enough.

…It’s a hell of a beginning, this particular beginning again. πŸ™‚

I dislike moving. It’s true. I mean, I’m eager, today, and excited about the new place, but… generally speaking, I dislike moving, and I’d like very much not to have to do so again. I am aware that I have at least one more move awaiting me regardless; this is another rental. πŸ™‚

I got out of the Army hoping to settle and not move again. You know, put down roots in a community of friendly neighbors, build a life, that sort of thing. That was… 25 years ago. That was… 3 long-term relationships ago. That was… 10 moves ago. 10 moves. That’s including one address at which I lingered for 13 years; all the other moves lack a significant time commitment to a single address. I’m tired of moving. Since 2010, when I moved out of the only address in my life that lasted me more than a decade, I’ve moved 5 times. So tired of moving. 54 years of life…31 addresses. So… moving again. Moving with enthusiasm. Moving with considerable planning and preparation. Moving into an address that looks entirely livable and more than sufficient. Moving into a suitably pleasant neighborhood. It is a move that amounts to a quality of life upgrade. I still have to move, and get settled again, and meet new neighbors again, and rebuild my routines again, and learn all the new noises and shadows again. I’d still like to settled down somewhere and not move again. lol

Someday… a place that is really my own…

So here it is, moving day. It’s time to begin again. πŸ™‚

I woke this morning to the alarm. I don’t feel particularly well-rested. I am over-excited about moving, now, distracted and restless with the eagerness of getting to the next point in the journey; keys. Keys to a new place, a new adventure, a new home, a new drama-free zone, a new haven from the world… a place to feel safe, and content, and inspired…just a few hours still out of reach. lol The summer meadow beyond the window already exists as a memory. I inhale the cool pre-dawn breeze, scented with flowers. I listen to a symphony of birdsong and commuter traffic, wondering what the morning will sound like… there. I sip my coffee in the cool stillness of morning, waiting.

Any number of the stray thoughts that have filtered through my consciousness today would be something I could write about…only… I’m pretty focused on this move. Instead I make some notes for later, which I will doubtless overlook using, and in the rare case that I actually do follow-up on one of those ideas, it will become something entirely different than what my notes suggest it might have been becoming. lol Sometimes I am rather irked by that. Today is not that day. Today, I’m merry and mildly distracted, looking forward to a moment that is not now – which has its own risks and limitations. I take a deep breath of cool morning air and let that go for now. (By that, I mean quite literally “in favor of being here, now”.)

So what about today, then? What about now, then? What about being right here, in this moment, in this place? It isn’t new, or exciting, it isn’t “the future”… it’s been a decent place for a while, though, and I have been content here. Much of the time I have felt safe. I’ve often felt happy. It’s been enough – sufficient for the purpose of housing me. I smile thinking about my eagerness when I was moving into this place, as the sun turns the horizon a lovely tangerine shade moments before it will rise into view. There’s been a lot of personal forward momentum since I moved into my own space, and even some adventure. Few regrets. The past couple of weeks have been a slow good-bye, and an opportunity to linger on pleasant recollections, and cherish details that mattered most.

I notice that I’ve shifted from the future to the past. I take a few deep breaths, look out over the meadow, and return to this moment, here.

Tomorrow is filled with plans, events, and moments. The final walk through, keys, and then… a few quiet minutes filling up on the sense of the new place, alone, before returning to this place to load up the car and begin moving things I prefer to handle myself, and other such odds and ends as will make the moving generally easier (trust that indeed a way to make a cup of coffee goes with me in the very first car load! lol). Then…the joy and camaraderie of friends helping when they can, a long time friend arriving late in the day to help over the weekend, the discovery of all the things I thought I moved, hadn’t yet, and realization that there always seems more to do… and… another day of moving things… then the movers come and handle the big, heavy, awkward stuff… then… Certainly the work week (which will begin on Sunday) will come too soon, and although just 3 days in the office are between me and getting fully settled in at the new place over another long weekend, they will likely seem an eternity. lol I know me.

…Then, at long last, there will be that Saturday morning… perhaps even sleeping in… mostly completely moved in… quiet… still… waking gently… sipping coffee on the deck, listening to the birdsong and squirrels rustling in the trees… new pictures to take, new memories to make, new moments to enjoy…

…And I notice, again, that my consciousness has shifted into that future moment. LOL Silly primate, bring that brain back here! Now is where I am… for now. πŸ˜€ I begin again. It takes practice. We become what we practice. I smile at the woman in the mirror as the sun climbs above the horizon.

Each time for the first time, each moment the only moment… it sounds easier than it is. I keep practicing.

It’s a very good moment to begin again.