Archives for posts with tag: celebrating life

56 today. Feels a lot like 55, yesterday. lol I’m okay with that, too, and chose a lot of what it has taken to be here, now. I sip my coffee looking back on the year with considerable contentment. It was a year well-lived, and greatly enjoyed – even if the first half was largely spent “being there” for my Traveling Partner, as he extricated himself from a sticky, damaging, abusive relationship (and doing so at some expense). I lived my life, and my values, and that matters, so much.

The garden is lovely. My coffee tastes good – the sort of great cup of coffee that leaves a thirst for more, once it is down to the last sip. I’m home, enjoying the day, in the middle of the work week, celebrating life, and love, and self. I feel rested. The forecast is for another very hot day (above 90 F). I’ll finish here, and take my coffee out onto the deck, water the garden, and meditate.

The pointless loveliness of a flower is, for me, rich with meaning.

This all feels so… comfortably ordinary. This isn’t a feeling that I’ve spent a lifetime with; it’s new. Well, relatively new. New enough for me to be acutely aware I have not always “lived here” in this way. The takeaway, this morning, is that healing is frankly very possible – for a lot of us, many of us, most of us (perhaps), and that’s incredibly powerful. It requires a lot of self-work, a will to be wholly frank with oneself, open, able to reassess implicit assumptions and biases, skilled at recognizing those internals attacks that hold us back, and tear open old wounds unexpectedly. It sounds like so much to have to take on, and it feels… impossible. Overwhelming. Isolating. Depressing. Devastatingly permanent. At least, at first. Is it weird that getting from hell to my garden has been a journey that begins (again and again) with a breath, and ends on a meditation cushion (again and again), feeling content, and whole? If it ever really ends. I could call yesterday an ending…

…But isn’t this morning a new beginning? Am I not here, beginning again? (I assure you, I am, at least for now, in this mortal life.) It’s been a journey. I’ve had help along the way – and I’ve needed it, and often felt unable to ask for it. Being able to accept it when offered, was an excellent place to start. I pause for gratitude. I think of my Granny. I think of friends. I think of my therapist. I think of my Traveling Partner. I haven’t made this journey alone, except in that limited way in which is happens to be mine.

Dinner with friends last night was celebratory and beautiful. It pushed aside, however briefly, the news I’d gotten moments earlier that my Mother is ill… like… end of life ill. Rejecting care, ill. Wrapping things up, ill. My heart, for the moment, is surprisingly light; she has been, in my life, a source of intellectual inspiration, and I find that I am not able to disrespect her thinking on this important choice in life. I feel the hint of the pain to come, like taking a sickening blow the back of the head – I know the pain is coming, but it isn’t here, yet. I’m okay, right now. We are mortal creatures; even life is something we must let go, sooner or later. I’ll call her later. I’ll find words to say.

Beginnings and endings. Mortality. Choices. One pure moment of real contentment, a spot to stand in life’s chaotic stream that feels calm, for just a moment, one deep breath in, released as a sigh – contentment saved my life. I found I could build and sustain it, and that in doing so, happiness could find me, and I could stop chasing it. It’s not permanent. None of this is.

I’ll always remember my Mother’s age; she’s twenty years older than I am, and the dates are rather close. Easy. I suspect I won’t find it so easy to remember when she passes… 56? 57? 58? When it comes, it is likely to hit a year that seems insignificant in so many other ways… (and let’s be real; most of the details of our individual lives are fairly insignificant) I guess that seems reasonable. Isn’t her life of more value to me, even in its end, that her death ever could be?

Beginnings and endings. Birthdays. We live. We celebrate. We die. “This too shall pass…” Even life. Make it worthy through your choices. Take care of the fragile vessel in which you reside. Love with your whole heart – and yes, include yourself. Be present. These are all choices within your reach… if your baggage is in the way, just shove that shit to the side – and begin again. ‚̧

The ‘main event’ that is the December 25th holiday observance for so many is now behind us all. It’s December 26th; Boxing Day for some, for many it’s just a Friday. My day so far is warm and gentle, and characterized by good-natured day-to-day tasks and activities, like morning yoga, a good latte, a hot shower…and the sense of the holiday season lingers in a pleasant way. I am relaxing and enjoying some solo time at home, while the rest of the family embraces holiday traditions of visiting distant family and friends and takes a road trip down south a way. I need the time to meditate, to reflect, to embrace perspective and prepare for a new year – so near at hand that it feels urgent to take a moment just to breath.

A reflection of stillness, contentment, and illumination.

A reflection of stillness, contentment, and illumination.

Last night, after everyone had crashed for the night, and the lights had been dimmed everywhere but in the holiday loft, I stood quietly in the glow of colored lights and listened to the hushed household, so quiet and still it was as if more than the people slept, giving the very world itself a moment to pause, take a breath, and prepare for what might be around the corner, or peeking over the horizon with the next dawn… I stood, quietly. I felt my breath, and my contentment. I lingered in the still moment of calm joy, just feeling it. No analysis, no root causes, no justification, no excuses, no reasons…just one lovely still moment, at the end of a special day, quiet and content. It was enough – it was more than enough – I still feel this one, beautiful, moment of contentment in my heart each time I contemplate it – or see the picture I took, trying to capture it reflected in the window, somehow; definitely a memory worth keeping, worth savoring, worth lingering on.

It seems the sort of holiday when living the moments has so much to offer that writing some handful of words attempting to share them seems inadequate. If I am writing less for these few days of holiday, away from the routine of work and life, it’s only this; for the moment, living takes up so much time, I’ve not made time to write about it. ūüėČ

Today is a good day for a holiday. Today is a good day for love. Today is a good day to celebrate everything awesome and lovely with the world.

 

 

Well, or something like that; it’s my birthday. I make rather a big deal of some of them, less so of others, this one has been a strange wobbly roller coaster ride of achievement, change and the passage of time. ¬†51 isn’t generally one of the ‘milestone birthdays’. ¬†51 isn’t even cool enough to be a prime number birthday. It’s just… a year older than 50. ūüôā

To be fair, 50 kicked ass in so many ways, how could 51 really challenge it on the very first day? So, we’ll keep things simple;¬†dinner after I get home from work, a restaurant I like and consider a bit of a treat, and near enough to home that it won’t be a ludicrously late night. Sleep matters to my well-being and good cognition;¬†50 taught me a lot. I reached greedily for change, and learned a lot about choice, will, and love. I spent much of the year deeply invested in study and growth, and standing on the doorstep of 51, I feel a sense of purpose, and find that I have goals of my own that matter enough to build my life around them, to make my choices consistent with those desires on a daily basis, and to be willing to lean on those goals a little bit now and then and say ‘hey, I missed the mark here, I’d like to do this one differently…’. The occasional ‘course correction’ or adjustment in everyday trajectory feels less disruptive than it once did, generally. I am, overall, less stressed out, generally less confused, mostly more chill, and rarely deeply unhappy – only¬†briefly, now and then. ¬†It’s been a good year for change.

So…here I am. 51. As with most birthdays, it really doesn’t feel any different than 50 did, yesterday. ¬†I’m okay with that. ¬†Every day is a new experience, and it isn’t about age. Age and aging just don’t seem to be the Very Big Deal people so often make them¬†out to be. ¬†Yesterday I enjoyed a video that proves that point. ¬†I’ve started hiking again, myself. I still work in my garden. I manage about 5 miles a day on foot during the week and yoga every day. ¬†I feel pretty good, in spite of pain. ¬†I feel strong and capable. Hell, I feel more beautiful at 51 than I felt at 20, and the photographs support that, mostly because the pained and tense, vaguely angry look on my face at 20 was off-putting, to say the least. At 51, I am smiling, joyful, and generally delighted with life and love. 51 is a very nice place to be in life.

Here’s to life and love and 51! Today is a good day to celebrate life. Today is a good day to enjoy love and work and growth and the small delights that keep things fun. Today is a good day to enjoy the world.

Where will my path take me?

Where will my path take me?