Archives for posts with tag: check yourself

I slept well. I woke rested. My coffee is adequate, and I’m content with that. It’s a generally pleasant morning. Sunday’s bit of afternoon aggravation in traffic seems far behind me, and it would be easy to just let that go so completely that I leave myself at risk of repeating that experience for lack of fully considering the circumstances, and how best to care for myself and build lasting emotional resilience such that it doesn’t ever happen again (a lofty, potentially unreasonable goal, also worth keeping a watchful eye on).

The flowers in my garden may bloom on their own, but they do so more beautifully, more generously, more reliably, if I care for them with skill.

This morning I take time to consider what opportunities for self-care got overlooked, or set aside, and which among the later consequences turned out to be unacceptable compromises after-the-fact; it’s a helpful way to re-calibrate what matters most. It’s helpful for ensuring I continue to practice those practices that support my long-term wellness, even where that may occasionally also mean a long-term lifestyle change. (Trust me, making the changes in my lifestyle needed to skillfully support my emotional wellness, over the past three years, has been a journey all its own!)

Are there things I wasn’t doing, that reliably work for me?

Are there things I was doing, that reliably don’t work for me?

Are there things I hadn’t considered previously that, as practices, would support a healthy life, both physically and emotionally, and support activities like late night art shows, all night parties, social weekends, limited sleep, and being generally exceedingly busy? (“Is this an unreasonable expectation?” seems a good follow up on this one.)

Am I doing enough to care for this fragile vessel? (If I answer “no” to this question, are my expectations too high? If I answer “yes”, am I kidding myself?)

This morning I water my garden, turning these thoughts over in my head. Where is the path to success, to balance, to perspective, to wellness…? What path will I take, myself, on this journey through life? What matters most… to me?

What matters to the wellness of the world? Where do I fit in, there?

Every flower has its place in life’s garden.

I reflect on my choices. Am I the woman I most want to be? Am I living up to my promise, as a human being? What does it take to get there? Can I have/do/be that, too?

I reflect on my experience. I’m not hard on myself, although I am as honest as I am able to be from this wholly subjective perspective on my own experience. I could do better.

It’s time to begin again.



I woke gently to a lovely morning. It seems…unflawed. Being human, I enjoy the moment aware that even lovely moments pass. Savoring the pleasant ones is lovely…but sometimes leaves me wondering what to write about. I have a handy list of things I thought about writing at some other time, but didn’t…I check the list and the very first thing reads simply ‘spelling mistakes’.

Flowers. Sunshine. Light.

Flowers. Sunshine. Light.

I will admit I read my own writing. I don’t know whether that’s an odd thing. I review new writing for spelling mistakes, grammar, syntax, incomprehensible weirdness, an overabundance of commas, a surplus of poetry resulting in a shortage of coherence; these are basic editing steps and sure, I do them. I also read my own writing. I find it is an excellent reminder of how far I have come, how far there is yet to go, and also serves to bring me back to understandings and knowledge I’ve already got, that I may lose sight of now and then. Poetically speaking, sometimes my writing serves to communicate with me – getting ideas across to me, past my injury – like passing notes to myself.

I rarely catch all the spelling mistakes. (Let’s leave my grammar and punctuation out of this. There’s only so much the features in WordPress can do to fight me off!)

Obvious spelling mistakes are pretty easy, and of course the spell-checker handles most of them, but I routinely miss at least one that I catch later, when I am reading my own writing. Sometimes a lot later. Years. It messes with my head to catch a spelling error in an older blog post, months or years later, if I am reading on the train, or under circumstances when I would not be able to immediately fix it; I am not likely to remember quite where or what it was, just that it exists. Most of the spelling mistakes I don’t catch fall into one basic category: real words that don’t fit. ‘Form’ instead of ‘from’, for example, or ‘that’ instead of ‘than’, and of course these are mistakes a spell-checker doesn’t generally pick up – and they change the meaning of the sentence! My least favorite outcome of a spelling error is being misunderstood. I can so easily get past the part where you may think I’m an idiot, or just dreadful at writing things down. Being misunderstood feels frustrating, unsatisfying, and alienating, sometimes shameful, as though the entire burden of successful communication rests on me. (If I am writing, it sort of does…doesn’t it?)

(My brain throws a humorous, encouraging scene into my imagination to lighten the moment, my own voice as an authority figure, calm and firm, an airport baggage claim carousel nearby, “Ma’am, please set the baggage down and back away quietly, and no one will get hurt…”. I smile, and let perspective win.)


Another perspective. Sunlight and flowers.

I guess what I’m on about is that practicing good practices – whatever they are – does not lead to ‘perfection’. It leads a lot of wonderful places, depending on what I am practicing, of course, but ‘perfect’ isn’t actually one of them. ‘Proficient’ seems achievable, perhaps even ‘masterful’, ‘skillful’, ‘growth’, or ‘change’ – there are a lot of different outcomes to practice that are powerful or positive (again, depending on what I am practicing; not all practices are created equal). Perfection is not even on the menu, unless I redefine ‘perfection’ to be something achievable in the first place – and such a definition of perfection would have to leave room for the occasional mistake.

I make spelling mistakes. More often because I type very fast, than because I don’t know the correct spelling of the word I wish to use, some of them are a result of damage…but however carefully I write, I manage to make the occasional spelling mistake. My mistakes sometimes frustrate me, but they also tie me to this very human experience in a very human way. I’m okay with that. I still like to be understood, and to present my writing with great care and consideration; it is ‘speaking for me’. I know that when I read an old post, a missed spelling mistake can be very jarring, halting the flow of my thoughts, like a scratch on a beautiful wood finish. What about you? Do they mess with your reading enjoyment? If they do, let’s use the opportunity to connect; reply with a comment to the post, and tell me what the spelling error is. I’ll fix it and say thank you. 🙂 We are each having our own experience – but we are also all in this together.

I make mistakes. We all do. This morning is a lovely morning, and so much so that contemplating life’s small missteps and making time for perspective about the small things that can go wrong feels safe and comfortable, not the least bit worrisome or stressful. Mistakes are pretty human. Letting them stress me out is pretty human, but not very useful. Finding perspective on the every day stresses in life – like the spelling mistakes in a blog post – is a simple practice that I find builds emotional resilience over time.

Today is a good day for perspective.

Today is a good day for perspective.

Today is a good day to practice good practices. Today is a good day to be so very human, with all the wonders and delights that are just beyond the suffering, when I practice good practices and make good choices to support my needs over time. Today is a good day to take next steps, to try new things, and enjoy moments. Today is a good day to enjoy the world.