Archives for posts with tag: change is a thing

So, real life being what it is, with winter storms, and unpredictable changes in travel plans, and all of that sort of thing… my Traveling Partner did not make it home last night. :-\ Am I disappointed? I sure am. That’ll pass quickly, not because I am callous or insensitive, or don’t love deeply enough, it is, instead, because I have learned, mostly, not to become attached to an outcome that isn’t certain. Generally. Most of the time. I still expect him home “soon” – most likely today, sometime while I am at work. πŸ™‚ It mattered more to know he was safe, somewhere, than to fixate on his planned arrival time.

This perspective is so much easier than getting all hung up on the details that can vary so much.

I imagine it would be tougher to be so chill about it, if I were the one stuck in some random city, waiting for another flight… I find myself wishing my Traveling Partner safe – and merry – travels, and hoping it isn’t unbearably tedious, frustrating, or unpleasant. Travel can be a lot of fun, but it is predictably less so, when all one wants is to go home.

Very little in life is predictable, really. Our results vary. We walk our own hard mile. We are each having our own experience. Our lives are built on what we make of all the chaos and uncertainty. It is our choices to act, to react, to refrain from action, that define us to the world…

I sip my coffee, contented, and grateful. My Traveling Partner is on his way home. I’ll see him when I see him. In the meantime, I’ll do what I do, and let the waiting be part of the background, instead of having it dominate my thoughts. (There really isn’t much I can do to speed things up, so why get spun over the details?) Instead, I let my thinking move on to other things… and rather consistent with the travel theme, I find myself wondering if my efforts here at home are “good enough”. The surge in anxiety reminds me I have baggage to unpack, myself, without even leaving home. lol I breathe, exhale, relax, and remind myself that the anxiety over “good enough” is a leftover from long ago, in a very different relationship, and it’s okay to let that go. Boom! A bag hits the floor – this one, though, is one I’ll let go of, over and over again, for the rest of my life (most likely). It’s heavy, and sturdily made, and this bit of baggage just keeps following me (so far). Still, recognizing it right away, and letting it go, again, is healthy progress. I’m content with that. Enough forward progress and we inevitably end up somewhere else. πŸ˜‰

I had a moment of great delight yesterday, related to Veterans Day. My team at work asked for a moment of my time, and I said “sure” and then followed up some short time later, pointing out “This may not be a good time, I’m sort of cross at the moment, but I’ve got a few minutes, what’s on your mind?” My team grinned at me, and one of them said “It’s the best time!”, and another of them handed me a small gold bag, and an envelope.

“We’d hoped to get it to you Friday, but you weren’t in the office, and then Monday was the holiday…”

I opened the card – a Veterans Day card. What the hell? I’m still surprised. lol It was very… moving. Inside the bag? Very fancy chocolates from a local high end chocolatier (I rarely shop there, way out of my price range). “We wanted to do more than just say thanks…” they said, almost in unison. We all laughed together, and I’m still so… moved, by their appreciation. More palpable than a random thank you, it isn’t about the chocolate, as much as the sentiment (I probably won’t have more than 1 of those elegant chocolates; everything about them is a “restricted” food on my diet, and not ideal for my health lol). It was – and is – a heart-warming visceral expression of appreciation. Special.

How would the world improve if we could make every “thank you” we offer everyone truly visceral and “real” to them? How about if every time we apologize for hurting someone, they could really feel our regret, and that they matter to us? If we could successfully communicate that we are committed to making amends? If when we did our best to do so, it was something the injured person could really feel? How much more valuable would “thank you” and “I’m sorry” be then? (Actually, about as important as now – so maybe we should be putting more effort into it, already? πŸ˜‰ )

Thoughts over coffee on a Wednesday. Today, I’ll work on more effective, meaningful, expressions of appreciation or regret. Effective and meaningful to the recipient, I mean. I guess that implies also being more effective and meaningful to me… “heartfelt made real”, somehow. It seems like a useful starting point with which to begin again. πŸ™‚

Sipping coffee, planning for camping, and feeling contented; it’s a pleasant start to the morning. πŸ™‚ I’m excited about my camping trip – and it’s almost here! Next week. Whether I write or not, I’ve no idea, I do know there’s no cell signal available through much of that large beautiful hike-able acreage. Just… none. If my recollection is correct, there’s a hint of a bit of a signal now and then, but only at this one particular spot, and it’s a trek of a couple miles (uphill) to reach it, and it’s not reliable…so… I most likely won’t be posting during that time, regardless whether or not I do write. πŸ™‚

Honestly… lots of past posts to explore, and it’s not as if I’m truly writing wholly original content, is it, since I generally write the same things, most days… drinking coffee… breathing… good self-care… choices, verbs, practicing practices, and beginning again… right? πŸ˜‰ Don’t let yourself down on my account; I’ll be right back. πŸ˜€

There are paths yet to be explored – where will yours take you?

I’m eager for the break in routine, and for the days and nights among the trees. I’m eager to hear bird song, and not traffic, and the loud peeps and chirps and calls of chipmunks and squirrels, instead of the conversation of commuters and random human beings out in the world. I’m eager to read the weather, the actual weather, instead of the news. πŸ™‚

I remind myself not to forget coffee!

I have a list of gear I need to either double-check that I do still have it, or pick it up before I go. I keep adding things to it, and crossing things off. I enjoy camping much more when I am prepared…and I also enjoy traveling light, and without excessive weight or baggage dragging me down. I’ve got a list that makes sense. It’s an observation that doesn’t last long when the next question hits me…

…What if it rains?

I laugh so hard I snort coffee, which is less than pleasant, but now I’m giggling; I literally haven’t made any specific effort to plan for any sort of significant rain. It’s August. Why would it rain? Only… it may, and it could, and it’s been known to happen, and… it’s in the forecast. lol So…?

Like a lot of life’s circumstances, preparedness makes an easier journey, for sure. Also like life, and circumstances, it’s not particularly easy to be prepared for all of everything that could be part of my experience than I might want to… while also traveling light, and keeping baggage to a minimum. The more I am inclined to carry, the more verbs (and effort) will be involved in the journey, itself, and the more there will be to manage, deal with, juggle, find space for, when I arrive at my destination. There are choices to be made. Some circumstances are best accepted, than prepared for in advance in any notable way. (I’m not actually saying rainfall is one of those, I mean… it’s possible to shove rain gear into my backpack without adding a ton of weight to my gear!)

Don’t let a little rain stop you. πŸ™‚

Anyway. Rain is a thing that happens, even in August. I’m giggling because I enjoy the rain… but… I also dislike being soaked to the skin, catching a chill, and miserable because all my gear is soaked. lol There are definitely choices to make, and planning is a useful tool for making them. I give some thought to the rain, and my list, and make some adjustments to also account for chilly nights, and dewy cold mornings. Will I be warm enough? Cool enough? Dry enough? Will I have coffee for the mornings? Will I want paper books, or digital books? Don’t forget to bring a towel! What about tea? Broth? It’s nice to have something hot to sip on that isn’t loaded with caffeine – or sugar. What about sleep…? Do I want my cot, or an inflatable something or other? (I already know I don’t much feel like sleeping directly on the ground, on a thin sleeping mat; I’ll be out there for 4 nights.)

Everything I take on this journey, I’ll have to carry, myself.Β That’s a hell of a metaphor, right there.

I look at the time. Yeah. Already. I smile, and finish my coffee, and put aside my list. Same path, different day. I smile, and grab my keys, and my backpack, and get ready to begin again. πŸ˜€

Change takes time. I mean, obviously when change is forced on us, some parts of change and changing, and certainly the requirement to do so, can hit us with real force in a very immediate way, no doubt about that. What I am pointing out is more that the skillful adaptation to change takes time. I roll with my changes as skillfully as I am able to, in the moment, but it does definitely take me some time to “get used to the new normal”. The experience of “change taking longer to get used to” is something I recognize as part of my TBI and the day-to-day realities of dealing with it, but it is also an experience most people likely have to one degree or another.

When I moved from the smaller apartment (#27) to the larger one right on the edge of the park (#59), the very specifically mirror-imaged kitchen messed with my head for months; I just kept clawing at the wrong side of the doorway for that damned light switch. It was the better part of a year before my brain finished making that change. Even with practice, some things change really slowly.

There’s a different car in my driveway this morning than there was 10 days ago. I was only getting started on getting used to commuting on transit, again. This morning, it’s back to commuting by car, but the car is different. This is no small thing, but it’s also no big deal. It’s both noteworthy and inconsequential. It likely will be somewhat different; the car handles quite differently. Sounds different. Feels different. Surrounds me differently. There are different features to learn. Different placement of some things, compared to the car I’ve been driving. Some things feel more natural than in the sedan. Other things feel quite strangely placed, as though the manufacturer “doesn’t know me at all”. (It’s mostly more comfortable and familiar-seeming than less, though, which is nice.) The new car is a first for me with this manufacturer, actually. A Mazda. Funny how much difference small changes make. They add up, too. It means driving very mindfully is a thing I need to make a point of for some time to come. I can’t really rely too heavily on implicit memory right now; I have none that applies to this vehicle. lol

One very telling thing? I regularly catch myself humming an old Queen song, “I’m In Love With My Car“,Β  when I am thinking about this car. lol It’s been awhile since I had a car that I felt that way about, myself. πŸ™‚ I’m almost excited to drive to work today. For me, with the injury I have, that also means being very mindful and present is a huge thing, especially the first few weeks driving this car; it’s my one way to keep excitement from resulting in inattention or poor judgement, which can be a common enough result of being overly eager or excited about something, for me.Β  I’m definitely excited to be driving it. So… a good choice of vehicle? πŸ™‚ I mean… it’s not a powerful luxury sedan (they tend to be a bit outside my comfort zone, and always feel sort of… huge), nor is it a fantastical beautiful sports car sort of machine (which, I’ll admit, I adore on this whole other level, but the driving of which bring out personality traits I don’t find are my best)…but, it’s every bit of the machine I find myself wanting most, day-to-day: nimble, quick, and capable of going where I want to go. I smile when I see it there in the driveway.

Some of the fun in life is about change. Every change is a new beginning. A “do over”. An opportunity to become more the person I most want to be. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad I’m getting over this head cold, too; it’s already time to begin again. πŸ™‚

11 hours (and a bit more) sleep later, and I woke feeling a bit puzzled why I was waking up… even though the room was beginning to show hints of light through the curtains and blinds, I managed the impression of it being “the middle of the night” and rolled over to go back to sleep, oh, several times. lol It was lovely to wake to the awareness of being fully well rested, with a day of leisure ahead.

I meditated in the chill of dawn, out on the deck. The light drizzle was no deterrent. From there to a deliciously luxurious hot shower. Then coffee… I should have stayed away from my newsfeed a bit longer, though. Fucking hell, America, seriously? Okay, well, that’s not what today, as an individual day, is about, so I quickly move on to other things.

I sit down to plan my day, fresh cup of coffee ready to go. I contemplate plans and actions, intentions and outcomes. I think about my list of things to do. I think about a recent very frank conversation with a physician about my health, my weight, my lifestyle choices, my longevity – and the verbs involved. I look around this room, right here, with a certain subtle-but-honest discontent; there’s always more to do, isn’t there?

Too often starting my day here, writing before living,Β feels pretty comfortable, and on weekdays it works pretty well with my routine, overall, more or less, but I am finding – too often – that it also results in lazy hours of web-surfing, reading, chatting, and scrolling through other lives being lived, that could be spent, frankly, living my own. I’ve got shit to do, People. lol (Looking your way, Self, don’t let me down!)

…So… I’m going to switch back (again) to writing in the afternoon or evening, during the day, life-in-progress, as my default. I have been finding many of the things I want most to write about come to me, lately, in the late afternoon, or evening, or on the commute home – and by the time I’ve slept through the night, those ideas are long gone, or lack the compelling elements that made them seem worth writing about, initially.Β  I’m going to nudge more of my self-care into my mornings (sounds so healthy!) and more of my writing into the evenings. Figured I’d mention it, just in case someone out there has their own routine built such that my timing change may mess with the flow of their day. πŸ˜‰

This? Right here? Right now? It’s just a placeholder. Life is already in progress, the day has already begun, I’ve got a list in front of me, and hours ahead of me. It’s time to get started on changing the world… ❀