Archives for posts with tag: choices

…Home…work…home…work… Back and forth, pretty much continuously, distractingly interspersed with a couple days off, not quite convincing me that I have ample leisure. lol Omg – fuck this. I sigh and sip my coffee. I breathe, exhale, relax… And remind myself that the bills are paid, and this home is comfortably warm on a chilly morning. I had hot water – and indoor plumbing – and sweet smelling shower gel in my morning shower. This cup of coffee? Work was involved in that, too; coffee beans aren’t free. The electricity that ran the burr grinder? Paid for that, too, with money I worked for. So…okay. Work is thing, I guess I’m stuck with that for now.

…I’m so ready to get off this treadmill. Have been for a long time. It aggravates me to see articles about the need to “raise the retirement age” – let that shit be optional, voluntary, and self-determined! Damn – you think I want to be “gainfully employed”? Um… no. It’s just that our society is built on the exchanges of goods and services made possible by the additional exchange of currency. Currency that represents our labor (and in a most bitter and unfortunate additional bit of truth, the “exchange rate” of life force for currency is neither “fair” nor “equal” and some human beings are most definitely paid too little for their time, whereas others are paid far far more than any real value that could be assessed based their life or humanity). So… work. Home to enjoy. Work to pay for it. Back and forth.

It really does bug me when “retirement ages” are set such that they only account for those who wish to work longer. Of course, it would also bug me if the agency of adult human beings was undermined such that people who are capable and eager are forced out of the workforce solely due to their age. Either way, it’s the lack of agency I’m actually objecting to; we are not machines, we’re not all identical in appearance – or intention. Some people earnestly want to work in their later years – I’ve met a few. (Keeping things real, I’ve met far more who felt they had to continue working because they needed the money and were not financially prepared to retire.) I’ve also met people who are looking ahead to retirement before they were 30. (I’m one of those, but I’m also likely going to be someone who has to keep working due to not being financially prepared to retire.)

Sipping coffee thinking about the work-life treadmill on a Thursday. Of course, I have choices, and I mull them over now and then, fully aware I could, perhaps, paint full time (and be creatively contented and probably below the poverty line), or go into business in my working profession as an independent consultant, or do some other work I’d never considered but is incredibly lucrative – people who have freed themselves from the treadmill do exist. I just don’t happen to be one of them. lol This morning I’m tired, and I woke with a headache from a dream that I was commuting to work driving my car backwards. lol Too many late-ish nights, not enough sleep? Another sip of coffee, and an internal commitment to going to bed “on time” tonight, is the only result of my fatigue-y cynicism.

The truth is, I’m good at my profession. I’ve chosen to continue it a couple times after attempting to escape it. I’m pretty skillful at the “going to work every day” thing, in a way that quite a few people I know are not. I support myself, loved ones, and creative endeavors through these skills, and I feel satisfied with all of that. I’m just tired this morning and yearning for a freedom from routine that I not only don’t have – I’m neither comfortable with, in fact, nor skilled at managing well. lol It is what it is. (This sort of thing is specifically why I don’t make major decisions while deeply fatigued or stressed out; my thinking changes when I am relaxed, and able to face challenges from an emotionally neutral, practical perspective, and I make very different decisions.)

Choices. Verbs. The things that are. The things that are not – or are not, yet. The wheel keeps turning. If I don’t like my circumstances, there are alternatives. If I don’t like the person I see myself becoming, I can make changes. If I don’t like the conversation going on around me, I can walk on. Hell, even when the conversation I’m not enjoying is the internal “conversation” going on with myself, I can definitely “fix that” – I can begin again. 😉

I woke up bathed in sweat. Shaking. I woke up with wet hair, and a sensation of having “survived the night”. Oddly, I don’t recall much from my dreams. Under the circumstances, I am so okay with that. lol

I sip my coffee and over and over I work on “letting it go” and restarting my awareness of the day from a newer, later, more comfortable vantage point. It feels like effort. The effort is real, and I am slow to fully wake up, this morning. That’s okay, too. I have another sip of my coffee, grateful it is now almost cool enough to drink. I’m eager to start the work day and put more distance between my waking life and whatever was chasing me in my dreams. lol

I read a lot of articles about “mindfulness”. They’re split between articles about how “dangerous” or “potentially harmful” mindfulness can be (it is most assuredly potentially very effective), or what a waste of time it is – and often the discussion boils down to the very fact that it is effective being a cause for concern – because it may actually do something for you, and yeah, maybe you don’t get to determine specifically what that result looks like – or how over-hyped it is, and why you shouldn’t waste your money, because you could totally do it for free.

Mindfulness is effective.

Mindfulness practices can be undertaken at no financial cost.

There. Simple. Well, but… also… mindfulness is only effective at the things that mindfulness can do or bring to an experience. If we’re looking for something else/different out of it, well… We’re unlikely to get anything but what it is. If we’ve been walking in our sleep all our lives, or living on autopilot with our emotions frozen, taking those first exploratory steps down a mindfulness path? Scary. Emotional. Potentially not at all what we expected. It doesn’t equip us to ignore our truths or hide from our pain, for sure. It rests heavily on the adage that “the way out is through”. If you are approaching mindfulness hoping for blissful avoidance and a glossy cover-style zen outlook on life, you’re probably missing the point. 😉 It’s work. There are verbs involved. It isn’t always emotionally easy, at all.

Mindfulness practices – contemplative practices of any sort, really, I’d expect – do not have to cost money. The exception? What if you know nothing, and need a guide? Someone to “show you how”? Well, that’s where it could become costly. Do you read a book? That’s not too expensive, right there, but it’s hard to ask questions and get an answer. Do you take a class? See a specialist? Go on a luxury retreat? Buy color-coordinated accessories? Remodel your house to include a meditation space? Have a landscaper build you a temple and meditation garden? See what I mean? It doesn’t have to cost anything. That doesn’t mean you, personally, won’t be tempted into spending plenty, based partly on marketing by companies, and partly on what you think a mindfulness practice “looks like”. You have choices.

Speaking of choices… this coffee has gone cold. I’d love to choose to have another leisurely cup, take the morning quite slow, meditate a while, and relax. It is, however, a work day of another sort, and it’s time to begin again. 🙂

I woke unexpectedly. It may have been my partner’s restlessness, it may have been my own. I woke to find him awake, too. We quietly crossed paths in the wee hours. I got up. He already was. I made coffee, offered him a cup, too. He is quietly about his own business in another room, I am here, writing. It feels quite comfortably like the ordinary work morning it so clearly is. I smile contentedly, and sip my coffee.

Man, these particular coffee beans… suck. lol I grin quietly in the dim morning light. It doesn’t really matter. I’m drinking it anyway. lol

I’ve tried to mostly avoid specifically counting down the days to this job change. It’s an unnecessary distraction from the work that must be done to do so skillfully, and that’s what I’m focused on, and committed to. Still… I sip my coffee very much aware that today is one of just two remaining shifts before… change. Wow.

I chose this. I remind myself. I sip my coffee. I feel the excitement. This is now. Feels pretty good.

I sip my coffee aware that “now” isn’t always going to be infused with this heady potion of excitement, eagerness, delight, joy, satisfaction, and love. I make a point to appreciate and savor it; fuel to push past future heartache, perhaps.

I smile at how vain and insipid my writing feels to me this morning, and let even that go, comfortably aware that it is ever so much more difficult to share happiness in words than to entice with bits of chaos, drama, trauma, and darkness. I’d still much prefer the experiences of happiness, however fleeting, however difficult to communicate.

I think of a colleague I’ll miss greatly, and hope that he’ll “be okay” after I’m gone. Experience of being that colleague left behind, I know that he will, and I also make a point to “do something” to shore up a real friendship, instead of leaving things hanging with some cursory “let’s keep in touch” that will feel hollow. I eye a painting that suddenly speaks to me, having been silent since the moment it was completed. “I get it now,” I think to myself, and ready it for the drive to the office this morning.

“Macro & Micro” , 6″ x 6″ acrylic on canvas w/glow and glitter, 2018 (this crazy thing sparkles like madness, seen in person)

It’s not a sad good-bye; it’s a new beginning. 😉

Someone else’s powerful poetry serves this moment up to me, this morning. (Thanks, David Bowie.)

Still don’t know what I was waitin’ for
And my time was runnin’ wild
A million dead end streets and
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
How the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

Surfing the waves of joy and anxiety crashing over my consciousness this morning, celebrating change, reveling in agency, and…but… yeah, also having to manage the anxiety that comes with full throttle adulthood in real-time. Scary. Deliciously unpredictable. My sleep is disrupted, and I woke groggy from having too much to dream. I’m already walking that fine line between “enough coffee” and “what the fuck was I thinking having all that coffee?”

Choosing to make a job change (or career change, depending on how those words are defined, but either way, a change of employer) feels a bit strange and disorienting in this moment. It’s “the right move” for me right now, a good choice, based on sound decision-making (from the only perspective I have in this moment, which is… this perspective, now). Still, willfully acting on that perspective, taking full advantage of personal agency, and acting with clarity of purpose in the context of living the life I want to live, that supports my long-term needs and goals, still shakes me up a bit, and causes me considerable anxiety. Maybe it always will. The anxiety isn’t stopping me; this feels right. A good practice; don’t take my emotions as facts upon which decisions must be made.

…It’s still sort of nerve-wracking, now and then. Small stressors loom larger than they need to be. I find myself sort of “holding my own hand” now and then, and seeking out favored colleagues for moments of connection, sharing, and support. Taking time to acknowledge their importance and value to me before I leave really meets some needs, for me, and seems to for them as well. A good practice; connect with people. Authentically. Even, if I dare to use such words in the context of work, tenderly. With care. Consideration. Gratitude. Joy.

It’s a slow sort of celebration. There’ll be a few days between the one and the other, which I definitely need in order to ensure that I leave any baggage and old business behind, before I start on a new adventure. Another good practice; get my head right, let go of baggage.

I’m taking myself seriously – but not taking my bullshit personally. 🙂 Or, at the moment, anyone else’s. It feels pretty nice, overall. Each dawn brings a new beginning… some beginnings are bigger than others. Some are chosen with great care. Some are simply circumstances presenting opportunities. Some are all those things.

It is afternoon, sometime. I am tired – so tired. I woke in the night for no obvious reason, and after getting a drink of water to soothe me of nightmares I had already forgotten, and checking my email and finding profound connection, and amazing good news, both, I just couldn’t sleep. My mind would not quiet itself. So… I rested quietly in the darkness, smiling.

I’ll start a new job soon. I’m excited about it. There’s nothing much else to say at present. It appears to be a good choice, made in the right moment, and it is an excellent “next step” toward a future that remains unscripted, and wholly unpredictable. This amuses me, considering that a large part of what I do  professionally gives every appearance of “predicting the future” in some way. lol

I’m tired now. So tired. Too well caffeinated, and I may regret that later… but for now, it sustains my attention on the matters currently at hand.

New beginnings? I see several coming up fast. 🙂