Archives for posts with tag: building a drama free zone

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.

Yesterday went sideways for a painful moment or two. I am more resilient than I was even a  year ago; some tears, some words, and a hot soak in Epsom salts later, I was okay. Saddened a bit that I am less skillful at face-to-face communication than I would like to be. Irked with myself failing to recognize that communication is not always what someone else is after, at all. Still…okay. The evening ended quietly, and pleasantly, and I managed to pass an interesting milestone that is quite new for me, although it was  painful moment – I asked my traveling partner to go, rather than continue an unpleasant moment for both of us. I didn’t regret the decision. I didn’t candy coat it. I didn’t go after him, changing my mind. I didn’t plead for him to return – or even actually want that. I took care of me, gently and without guilt or fear. Last night, I needed me.

I miss living with my traveling partner – the convenience of his nearness and warmth is lovely – but one advantage to living alone is being more able to invest in my self-care, and to continue to pursue progress in therapy at a time when much of what I am working on/through/with touches on intimate relationship experiences, emotional self-sufficiency, free will, and developing/maintaining a comfortably adult sense of self with an injury and trauma history that tends to push me in a co-dependent direction with any being that may wish me more good than ill. Living with me is not easy on anyone – me, included. For now, developing that relationship I have with myself is an important part of what I am doing lately. It’s harder to do living with a being I adore with whole-hearted enthusiasm, commitment, and affection so strong that I routinely put love – and my traveling partner – ahead of my own needs. This is a poor choice over time, I know, and I’ve felt it like a weight tied to our experience together. We both need a break from the chaos and damage, figuring out how to get one has been a challenge. How unfair that he has to deal with it at all? He didn’t bring me to this place, but he’s been quite a good sport about walking part of this journey with me in spite of that… but… I am my own cartographer. It doesn’t just ‘have to be that way’ – it simply is. Eventually, following someone else’s path leads me predictably astray from my own. There’s no ill-intention to it; we are each having our own experience.

It was my traveling partner who first made that observation to me, in these words, “we are each having our own experience”. It has been a powerful observation that holds great meaning and perspective for me.

A good reminder

A good reminder

This morning I woke gently from a night of deep restful sleep. No tears. No nightmares. No residual ‘ick’ or emotional hangover. This is an interesting change, and I’m not inclined to question it. I feel appreciative of progress made over time. I am living my own life – right now. There are still going to be some painful moments; emotion is part of my human experience, and there is no ‘happy ending’ besides the one I create for myself.

Yesterday is behind me. Today is ahead of me. Tonight is hours away, and it is still the middle of the work week. There is plenty to do here at home – some housekeeping, a few remaining moving in tasks, a stereo to hook up. I decided to give up on the huge wall-mounted monitor – even on its stand it takes up too much wall space for something that is of little importance to me; I am quite content watching movies, anime, and favorite shows of all sorts on my laptop, or a bigger monitor than my wee laptop – but I earnestly prefer my wall space be reserved for art, and don’t really watch much television at all. On the other hand… music doesn’t sound the same on the laptop, even with my sound bar. It’s not at all the same as listening to music through a good amplifier and great speakers – filling the house with sound, and feeling the bass in my bones. I want that experience back in my day-to-day existence with the music I like best, myself. It’s been more than two years of compromising my musical taste because it wasn’t preferred in the household – now the household is mine, and I play the music I love, myself.

Somewhere across the distance of life's journey, I am connecting with myself.

Somewhere across the distance of life’s journey, I am connecting with myself.

I find this slow process of unfolding and becoming and allowing myself to acknowledge, accept, and invest in my own taste and needs without distraction or compromise both interesting and sometimes quite emotional. So far I am delighted with the results, and not inclined to take direction, or be blown off course by what suits anyone else – even my traveling partner. This sometimes sets up some powerful internal conflict as I untangle me from all the baggage that isn’t actually ‘me’. Love is what it is, and loving well demands that I open my heart to others – but also that I nurture my own heart, and satisfy my own needs. When I take the best care of me I am more able to love well…but I may not be the person my lover assumes me to be. Is there risk that love will be lost along the way? That’s a complicated question that lacks a clear answer…but I am certain of one thing; I can’t love easily if I am not the person I actually am, and any love returned to me can’t easily be experience, enjoyed, or sustained if it is intended for someone other than the me that I actually am.

The sum of many parts.

The sum of many parts.

This is not a sad morning, or moment. I feel encouraged and strong, and something like the way I feel in that moment at a trail head, pulling on my pack, adjusting the straps, and double checking my map before I head down the trail, eyes wide with wonder, awake and aware. I don’t know where my path will take me, and I’m okay with that. Today is a good day for solo hiking.