Archives for posts with tag: choice and perspective

Ever wake up to a lovely morning, resting contentedly in the context of a beautiful moment, begin your day and…

Change? Change. A change that literally “changes everything” – or least feels like it does – can rock my world, shake my foundation, and result in a surreal overload of mixed metaphors, mixed emotions, and general confusion that lasts…well, it used to last until well past whatever the crisis du jour happened to be, and there used to be a lot of them. So many changes and moments were overwhelming crises of circumstance that resulted in chaos, upheaval, and “too much to handle”.

Medical problems. Unexpected bills. Break ups. Lost jobs. Hell – new jobs. Good stuff can do it, too. Love? Love causes some major changes in life and decision-making about the future, I guess I’ve just tended to assume all that anxiety was “excitement”, or failed to notice it in the hormone storm of positive sex-charged emotion. I like to feel emotionally comfortable. I like to plan my life such that even the “unexpected delights” and surprises are not entirely unexpected, nor entirely surprising. I like to feel prepared.

Sometimes I’m not “prepared”. I’m very human. Life can be scary.

Context and perspective are helpful – change is still change. Soon this will no longer be a stopping point on my morning commute.

My anxiety flared up severely – and so did my anger – yesterday morning, as I left for work. I haven’t managed to fully resolve it, but I’m reached an equilibrium with my emotions that feels… manageable. It’s only over a rent increase, really. I’m angry about the circumstances, which seem sleazy, exploitative, and just… douche-baggery for profit. My anger started getting out of hand, my anxiety shot through the roof, and I still had to go to work. I talked things through with my Traveling Partner, gaining perspective as I vented my irritation, resentment, and anger as gently as I could ┬á(Seriously? He’s doing me a favor to be there for me, and isn’t at all involved or responsible, so “taking it out on him” would be inconsiderate and unkind.) So, I talked about it, over messaging, and stayed practical about it as much as I could. I wasn’t “looking for satisfaction” or confirmation that I am “right”, just a reality check, and some supportive understanding. He’s super good at those things, and our conversation ended as I reached the office, feeling… prepared, although still angry. I love feeling prepared!

I’m fortunate that I can fairly easily move, because now I don’t just want to – realistically, I have to (which is why I was feeling so angry, I was making very different plans). The suggested rent increase isn’t sustainable for me, and the circumstances of the increase are such that I certainly don’t care to rent from this landlord anymore, at all, and don’t feel valued as a tenant.

What a strange turn to yesterday’s lovely morning. Still, these days it’s such a mundane bit of adulting, writing about it almost wasn’t a thing… only… it’s still on my mind. I spent my lunch yesterday, and my evening, looking at available rentals, where they are located relevant to work, how much they cost, how soon they are available, and considering each in the context of real life concerns: features, amenities, utility costs, convenience to goods and services, nearness to public transportation (because now I have to move before we have second vehicle – one of the changes we discussed while we were hanging out night before last), nearness to green spaces, nearness to neighbors, and how quiet and safe the communities appear to be. It’s a lot to consider. It’s my life – and worthy of such consideration.

…I had other things on my mind, other things to write about…

I think back, smiling, to hearing my Traveling Partner remind me I already wanted to move (though I hate the process of moving), and that this – however poor the timing – is an opportunity to improve my quality of life through my choices. It’s true, too. The frantic panicked feelings all mixed up with my anger and my anxiety began to fade away as my options began to open up (through skillful Google-fu, and studious inquiry). The number of potential choices became a list of bookmarks in my browser, phone calls and emails to send inquiring about various rentals… houses…duplexes…apartments…condos…townhouses… My criteria stopped being based on “oh-my-fucking-god-what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-do-I’ve-got-to-find-somethingfast!!” and started being based on “wherever I move, the details need to improve, and can”. I struck everything from the list that didn’t achieve that – and still had a decent list of immediately available rentals to act on that shorten my commute, reduce my rent, and improve my day-to-day quality of life – and in one case appears to do so while also keeping me very near to green spaces, and increasing my quiet and my privacy. Nice.

I’m moving. I am okay with that. Change is. I sometimes wish it weren’t so much, so often, but… wishing is a child’s plaything, not a productive tool for managing change. So, I let that go. I confidently choose a move date. I’ll be somewhere new on August first. I don’t know where – but I know I’m moving.

Beginning again? And then some! ­čÖé

…It’s a new dawn…it’s a new day… it’s a new life for me…┬á

There is so much free will in life. There are so many choices! I like that about the experience of living. Similarly, I am sometimes frustrated by the limits I place on myself, often without recognizing that I have also chosen those.

Even when we are awake, aware, and observing the world through a beginner's eyes, we choose much of what we see.

Even when we are awake, aware, and observing the world through a beginner’s eyes, we choose much of what we see.

Mondays get a bit of bad press. This morning I’m choosing a different Monday. (Because I can, that’s why. lol) This particular Monday is one that I will use to make choices, eyes open, willfully, in favor of things I enjoy. Today, simply, I am choosing joy, choosing delight, choosing pleasantness, choosing small things that put big smiles on my face. Will it be time in the garden after work? Will it be pen & ink sketches on my lunch time walk, or photographs of spring flowers? Perhaps I may choose to create small figures from┬ácolorful modeling clay to create a tiny world at the foot of my wee ornamental pistachio tree? I could choose to create order from chaos with mindful service to home and hearth; a wonderful way to put practices to good use on a number of levels. I could read a great book I love – or a book I know nothing about, but comes highly recommended by someone who matters. I could wrap up a productive work day over dinner with a friend, or in meditation. I could share a movie night with family, or enjoy a long walk.

Choosing my path with care seems worthy as choices go...

Choosing my path with care seems worthy as choices go…

What I’m saying is that I choose a lot of my experience, and it begins with a pretty vast menu of options. I filter those options – we all do – down to some much shorter list of things that in that moment seem most probable, most ‘do-able’, then peculiarly I sometimes find myself left with the illusion that this much shorter list is actually the whole of it – ‘all’ my choices. It isn’t. There are so many more choices than I generally lay before myself for consideration in any one moment. ┬áThis is not an uncommon experience, I see it in others – most often that scenario that begins with distress that ‘there’s no other choice’ or ‘nothing else I can do’. My reaction is often one of commencing to throw other options into the mix for consideration – behaving as if that person is unaware of the vastness of their unlimited options. It’s not helpful; people know they have more choices. They have excluded many of them, by choice. I am learning to take a new approach – even within myself – in the face of ‘I have no other choice’; I am finding value in asking to what purpose┬áthe choices have been limited thus, rather than offering more choices. Sometimes it isn’t at all that ‘I have no other choice’ – it is more likely that I have made the choice, and am not content with either the choice itself, or the anticipated outcome. It is an interesting exercise in perspective to make a point of changing what I anticipate the outcome of an uncomfortable choice to be, and reconsider it – it has the power to change what I think about the choice, and has often proven as likely to be a valid possible outcome, in practice. My ‘outcome predictor’ is quite broken; I anticipate catastrophe far more often than I anticipate profound success. I am regularly wrong, in both cases.

It feels very different lately to make more of my choices based less on some predicted outcome, and more on what the experience itself feels like for me – and to choose more frequently from the list of ‘Things I Enjoy Greatly’ rather than from the list of ‘Things I Must Do Or There Will Be Consequences’, or worse, the very short list of ‘I Have No Other Choice’ (a list most of us have, I suppose, and it seems dreadfully short on options, and usually made up of unpleasant ones).

Today is a good day to do things I enjoy, because I enjoy them. Today is a good day to do things that must be done – and to choose to do them, also, in a way that I enjoy. Today is a good day to choose well, and to choose wisely, and to keep myself high on my list of priorities. Today is a good day to explore The Art of Being, by being – artfully, joyfully, and fully embracing the best of who I am, from my own perspective. Today is a good day to take the time to enjoy my experience.