Archives for posts with tag: building a drama free zone

You know that experience where disappointment, frustration, and anger, collide, and the result is a bit of a tantrum, a lashing out, maybe saying “too much”, with too much ferocity? You know the one; the burning of bridges, the severing of connections? That moment when disappointment hits so hard it feels necessary to hit back (metaphorically, I mean)? Yeah… don’t do that. (Also, don’t do violence. Just… yeah, don’t. Not okay.)

I know, it sound super easy to say. Emotions get to the party ahead of our rational minds, generally. Once we’ve lashed out, said a thing, made a messy bit of drama that will need clean up later, it can seem to have been necessary, “reasonable” (it’s definitely not that) – even “paybacks” may sound satisfying. “Fuck them!”

Here’s the thing, though. We’re all human. Most of us perceive ourselves to be “the good guy” in our own narrative, at least. If asked, people seem generally willing to stake a claim to being in a state of “doing their best”, moment-to-moment. It’s very subjective. If, though, everyone around us is as well-intentioned as we believe ourselves to be, is lashing out when disappointed actually an appropriate reaction to that person or circumstance? (If you are not “well-intentioned”, that’s a very different concern, for another day.)

I recognize that life “isn’t fair”, and that most of the time there’s no “save” at the last minute, no “we brought you back as our wild card performer!” moment to salvage our experience if we’ve been disappointed. (Sometimes there is, though, so… maybe don’t talk yourself out of that potential with a lot of cranky bullshit.) I’m thinking about it this morning, not because it’s properly relevant to this moment, but it may be to some other, in the future, so… sipping coffee, thinking thoughts. Certainly, after the fact, it’s usually pretty clear that throwing a fucking fit over some small disappointment is less than ideal for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that the most obvious result is that we look like a reactive, emotionally immature, jackass (at least until we’ve finished whatever rationalization we’re prone to working so hard at, at that point we’re likely to be blinded by our own fiction). lol Not a great look.

Giftmas is coming. Gifts under trees… dinners out with friends or family… holiday events… it’s easy to forget to cherish these rare moments, to make them the best moments of our lives (and yes, even in spite of conflict, and stress). It’s super easy to lose our shit in a moment of holiday stress. We’re making memories every moment, though; what do we want to remember of our life? To be remembered for? The stress? The conflict? We become what we practice. Being a petty jerk about an imperfect gift creates a memory, becomes a practice. How much better to give generously, and receive graciously? To be kind? To show compassion? To laugh with a joyous heart? There are verbs involved, and choices, and yes – your actual will. It is actually possible to choose – and build – joy. I recommend it as a practice. 😀

Let go of the stress. Lead with gratitude. Be merry by choice when you can. Appreciate each moment; the joyous ones are as lovely as butterflies, the ones that are less joyous are extraordinary opportunities to grow, to learn, and to become that person you most want to be. Sure, walk away from drama, definitely do that, and also connect with others more deeply, more authentically. It is a powerful season for change. It’s a real shot at life-changing forward momentum. Your call. Your choice. Your practices.

Give yourself an amazing gift this year; better practices. 🙂 It’s not always “easy”, and “practice” certainly implies effort, and likely an occasional actual failure. The journey is so worth all that. Are you the person you most want to be, standing where you are, right now? What will you do about that, today, right now?

It’s already time to begin again. I finish my coffee, and smile. No headache this morning; it’s a good beginning. 😀

 

A morning with some challenges. I sip my coffee, finding my center through music. Love Rollercoaster feels appropriate. I take another sip of coffee, clean up my subscriptions in YouTube… astonished that I ever subscribed to that. What was I thinking? For real? Life and love, as journeys go, aren’t a smooth, well-lit, comfortably paved, straight broad path from this moment to the next. Like a lot of journeys, sometimes it’s gravel, sometimes it’s grassy, sometimes it’s a steep climb, other times it is so effortless is passes nearly unnoticed, caught up in my own unrelated thinking about it in the abstract. Like a rollercoaster? Sure, near enough, I suppose.

I’m not cross or unhappy this morning, and eventually I settled into a comfortable groove, feeling good. This Love Rollercoaster has many twists and curves, and I’ve learned much about love. The morning just got off to a bumpy start. It happens, and it’s not always about love. 🙂 There are other things going on. Let’s start with aging – and pain. Aging sucks in one or two regards – pain being one of those. I’ve got mine, my Traveling Partner has his. I woke this morning, with him, we each had our reasons for wakefulness to do with physical pain. Feelings were briefly hurt over unintentionally harsh words, because… pain. We both let it go, quickly, because neither of us wants to add to the other’s hurting, and we both mean to treat each other well. Affectionate reassurances, and loving heartfelt apologies, and the moment is behind us.

I had made coffee for us both, but we weren’t really up for coffee together; the morning started too early, and with too much discomfort. I sat down in my studio to chill with some music videos. I’d have gone back to bed, but had awakened feeling “triggered” and on edge by my own pain, and sleep wasn’t going to come easily (or, possibly, at all) – and I was near enough to “well-rested” to let that go, I just needed to restore that sense of balance, and begin again. 🙂 Eventually, my partner pops in to admit that he’s not really ready for coffee, after all, and shares his intention of attempting to go back to bed. Makes sense to me. I would, if I could. 🙂 He offers me his coffee, apologetically, appreciatively, and lovingly. I’m warmed by the gesture every bit as much as I would be by the coffee… sometime later, after I finished mine, I go get his – still warm. I smile, pleased to have a second cup of coffee without running the grinder and potentially disturbing my partner’s rest; I know he needs the rest.

I sit in the warmth of what an amazing weekend this has been for love and loving, without trying to analyze it – just enjoying it.

I think about our lovely evening the night before – dinner out with friends, hanging out at our place, afterward. It was nice. My smile deepens. Brunch with a friend at noontime – also quite delightful. Good weekend. I sip my coffee feeling content and satisfied. Fulfilled? Definitely. Happy? I think maybe, yeah. Feels good.

The difficult moments this morning weren’t personal, weren’t any sort of attack, really weren’t a big deal – just difficult, and actually, very very momentary. I can deal with that. I can also remember a time when a moment like that one this morning would not only have blown my day – it would have blotted out my recollections of this delightful weekend of love, affection, romance, and shared experiences with friends. I’d have drowned my heart in emotional “weather” – unable to enjoy the lovely “climate” in this period of my life, generally. I’m glad I have undertaken so many small practices that prevent me from becoming mired in a painful moment and unable to connect with a joyful life.

Quite a lot has gone into getting from “there” to “here”. 🙂

I sit quietly sipping my coffee, appreciative of how far my journey has taken me, how wonderful love is, and how pleasant it is to be so easily able to let go of the small stuff, and bounce back quickly. Basic mindfulness practices. Real actual practice. Verbs. Incremental change over time. Lots of books (have you seen my Reading List??). Lots of practice. My results have varied, and I’ve avoided taking that as a personal failure, beginning again thousands of times. What works, works; we become what we practice. 😀

…Well… It’s a lovely Sunday. Time to finish this coffee, and start the day. 😀

Yesterday I hung a few paintings. I vacuumed, did laundry, did dishes, watered the garden on the deck, hung out a bit with a friend who made the trek out my way, figured out what will hang over the mantle and got it to the framer’s shop. It was a sweet, quiet weekend, and yesterday was every bit as lovely as the day before it.

By evening, I was sort of just chilling with my foot iced and elevated, and staring at the empty book shelves was nagging at me severely; it seemed inconsistent with the rest of the weekend that the bookshelves were empty. One by one I brought in boxes of books, and emptied them onto shelves… which resulted, more than anything else, in a mess of books out, just everywhere, in small stacks here and there, crowding onto shelves that suddenly appeared to be “the wrong shelf for that one” and now my previously tidy living room is messy with books. A lot of books. A tiny library of books gathered over a lifetime, filtered by moves and gift-giving, added to, subtracted from, and the result being about 500 or so books very precious to me worth dragging around over a lifetime of moving.

Books are heavy. By the end of the evening, which snuck up on me rather unexpectedly, I was really tired, and also a lot more moved in… well, aside from (because of?) the mess of books that I created. 😀 I guess next weekend I’ll be connecting the tv and stereo (maybe tonight)…

…It hits me that my weekend is over. Today is a work day. It’s a new work week. I take a moment to get my expectations and sensibilities in order; being late is still something that causes me rather a lot of stress, so avoiding that circumstance is desirable, generally. 🙂 I look at the time. I look at the weather. I make a note to ensure the air conditioning is on, and that the thermostat is set to keep the house comfortable through the upcoming actual not-fucking-around-it’s-summer-for-real heat that is in the forecast for this week. 110 degrees (F)?? In Portland, Oregon? What the fuck is that about? I stick to a promise I made to myself yesterday, and quickly finish my coffee, and fill up my water bottle.

As I head back to my desk I notice a huge spider struggling in the sticky trap at the edge of the kitchen floor. Wow. A big one. There was one in the bathroom trap this morning, too… Curiosity gets to me. There really haven’t been many spiders on this move. Just 4 so far. (I’ve been keeping count, yes.) There are large ones, and some small ones, in every trap I placed over the weekend, after waking up with a single spider bite on Thursday morning. Yeesh. Ick. I sit down in my studio, paintings stacked everywhere (like spider condos…) and a grim chill runs down my spine; there are no sticky traps in here. (I ran out.) I find myself wondering how many spiders are watching me from crevices and corners right now…

I’ve creeped myself out completely now. So. Yeah. Great. It’s time for work. lol

… It’s time to start a new day. I can begin again. 🙂

It’s well before dawn. I woke early, feeling rested. I got up. It’s a work day. The bull frog chorus in the marsh seems almost to coax the thin band of color gradually developing on the horizon. The night was black and starless when I woke. The horizon is now a strange pale yellow-blue that seems more typical of a watercolor than of real life, and a single planet, or satellite, or some other typically bright celestial object shines brightly. The scraggly pine to the left of my view through the window of my studio is silhouetted against the lightening pre-dawn sky. It is the morning of a new day.

10 days left on this perspective…

I got a great start on packing up for the move, this weekend. The dining room space is filled with the boxes and items I intend to move on the very first day, and I’ve moved on to boxing up everything else. Finishing with the porcelain, I’ll move on to paperweights, then perhaps the pantry, then… well, it doesn’t much matter what order I do all that in, really, so long as it is completed before the movers come. 🙂 They are an expensive service, and I am not a woman of great means; it is important to be well-prepared in order to keep costs low. I keep that in mind as much as I can, and work to stay mindful that the goal is to do as much myself and with friends as is practical, avoiding exhaustion, and being sure to take good care of myself, and try to limit the mover time to just those large or awkward items best handled by them.

There is so much more to do… and only 10 days to do it…

I enjoyed a lovely brunch with dear friends visiting from faraway, and one that lives quite close that I rather oddly rarely see; we all live busy lives, filled with details, and distance. It is a rare treat that circumstances brought us all close for a little while, to enjoy one another again. The distance falls away, and we are, for a time, as we were – changed only by the events that have shaped who we are now, and only subtly so in the context of enduring friendships such as these. It was fun. I miss them quite often, and it was a joyful moment of connection to not miss them, however briefly. 🙂

However busy life seems, it is important to take time to connect, to share, to love, to play, to enjoy moments, and to take good care of this fragile vessel. 🙂

I’m counting down the days now. In 10 days I get the keys to a new place, and begin a new journey. I build a new “drama free zone” in which to contentedly reside. I’m excited about that. I only barely recall the initial panic and anxiety of realizing I would need to move more or less immediately, when I had just made completely different plans than that, but it is a very abstract recollection of words that say something, without a visceral emotional connection to the experience.  My memories of this move, so far, are infused with enthusiasm, although I am aware that developed well-after the decision to move was made. I feel more than usually aware of how much of my understanding of my experience is crafted in my thinking, and is very subjective narrative, rather than truly “factual” etic reality. I know I was panicked… I just can’t feel that any longer; I have built this experience differently than that. lol

10 days…

The time will pass whether I measure it or not.

…more than enough time to begin again. 🙂

 

I fell asleep composing coherent sentences, assembled from thoughts and words, suitable for this morning’s writing. It was, as I recall, a good idea for a blog post. Unsurprisingly, it was lost among my dreams, during the night. I woke rested, clear-headed, content – and utterly without a thought that seemed worth writing about.

I hoped the blinds in the studio to let the sunrise illuminate the room. I watched the geese on the lawn, sipped my coffee, and listened to the peculiar suburban hum of existing humanity that seems so nearly inescapable, generally. I notice that my throat is a little sore, and shuffle my weekend plans around to reduce stress, labor, and exposing others to potential contagion, in case I am sick. If I’m  not actually ill, the sore throat remains a sign that I likely need more rest than I have been getting. I decide to take care of this fragile vessel this weekend. Life is more a thru-hike along a breath-taking wilderness trail than a paved loop through a state park; it’s important to take care, and pace myself. 🙂

I hear my Traveling Partner stirring in the other room, making coffee. I smile, content and wrapped in love. Last evening was weird, infused with drama. OPD. Not my drama. I am supportive throughout, although I struggle a bit with resenting that a human being I have made a point to cut out of my life completely can still push so much toxic waste into my experience. The resentment quickly fades to sorrow that my Traveling Partner has this bullshit to deal with in another (any other) relationship. I know a lot of people who do. Myself, I tend to fairly quickly find my way to “troll blocking” and “unfriending” these days, even in real life; I have no liking of, or time for, destructive games or drama, and very specifically define “love” and “affection” as exclusive of those sorts of things. Yep. I said it. If you treat someone badly on the regular, it is not understandable (to me) that you “love” them. From my own perspective, you do not. That’s not love. There’s no room for argument, it’s merely my opinion, and how my own map of the world looks.

No drama today, I hope. I sip my coffee and smile. My Traveling Partner puts his head in the studio to tell me that there is a new season of Samurai Jack. Finally! Season 5. We share a fondness for it. I can’t tell if my moment of delight has anything to do with Samurai Jack at all, it’s all mixed up with my delight that my Traveling Partner is here this morning. I have no idea what the day holds. It is unplanned. Unscripted. I wonder what moment will define it.

Today is a good day for patience, and a good day for contentment. Today is a good day to love, and to live gently. Today is a good day for laughter, kindness, and gratitude. Today is a good day to enjoy small things, and to build a drama free zone. Today is a good day to make the choices that change the world.