Archives for posts with tag: choose wisely

I’d meant to be writing much sooner, finally getting a good night’s sleep and waking feeling fully rested and wholly clear-headed it seemed likely to be a good day for it.

…I’m still sitting here, more than an hour later, just sipping coffee, and continuing to plan out my upcoming move. 🙂 Coffee’s good, though.

I listen to the red-wing blackbirds, assorted songbirds, the breezes and even the traffic beyond the park. This audible viewpoint won’t be the background music of my at-home experience for very much longer. The water birds on the marsh, and the eagles and owls in combination with the specific songbirds in this eco-system have very much their own sound. I soak it in. I’d like to remember all the very best things about this experience of life, here. I didn’t think twice about letting the writing fall to the side, overlooked, while I took time to savor this moment, right here. 🙂

The dawn came later than I expected. The sky is overcast, a smooth formless gray. The temperature is comfortably cool. I enjoy the view here, although I often find myself carefully positioning myself so that my field of vision does not include the playground to the left, or the basketball court to the right. I enjoy the illusion of uninterrupted nature beyond the edge of the patio, but it has always been an illusion.

The flowers just outside my window are visible from my desk, against a backdrop of green lawn, and meadow beyond, very different than if I look at them from the lawn, looking back at the apartment. Same flowers, though.

Who will my wild neighbors be at the new house? Will the squirrels right here “miss me” – or even notice that I’ve gone? How long will it take for the squirrels at the new house to notice someone different has moved in? I smile and finish my coffee; these are questions for another day, some other moment. I pull myself back into this moment, now. I breathe the meadow breeze deeply, and enjoy the scent of summer flowers. I listen to the coming and going of the commuter train; it is a work day.

I notice there is still time to get some tidying up done, and to meditate. Good self-care works best practiced regularly, for me. I guess I’ll get going on that… or make another coffee, and sit on the patio enjoying the morning for a little while longer… 🙂

 

I didn’t get anything like enough sleep last night.

I saw a great little duplex early in the morning. I got home feeling hopeful and eager, but without any cause to make assumptions about the outcome. The unexpected phone call late in the afternoon, letting me know the unit is mine, and gently inquiring if I am still interested… well, sleep just didn’t come easily on the level of excitement that resulted. I still needed to get up early this morning to return the Zipcar I’d reserved. (From the perspective of going to and from the new place from this place it seemed practical to use a car, instead of public transit.)

Today, I’ll meet up at… holy cow… my new place (wow, I’m still so excited!) to pay the deposit. I’ll take public transit out from downtown (near the office) to the house and try out the commute for ease and travel time on a day when neither is critical.

It’s funny… my move before last, bringing me to the apartment community I currently live in, was a product of months of searching, looking at units, exploring the communities near work, and emotional uncertainty reinforced by Other People’s Drama (well… and mine, too, let’s be real). The choice never felt like it was really mine; it was the choice I ultimately had in front of me when the time came that moving was no longer optional. This current experience began with a similarly forced feel to it, then… it cracked open and changed completely when I met my new landlords yesterday morning, and got my first look at what will be home for the next year (and perhaps as much beyond that as life carries me before I purchase a place truly my own). I walked away feeling yearning and wistful to have the little duplex be my own, before a decision was made; I actually really like it. My landlords strike me as delightful people, and we connected over morning conversation, finding each other more alike than different, really wanting there to be a connection – and creating that experience together, over a common experience; we like that little duplex. 🙂

So, the move is on! It’s real. I have a new place, an old place, and a journey to make between them. Aaaaaand… the move date is sooner than I expected, and a comfortably negotiated compromise for both them and for me. I’d have liked to make the move later, to amass greater resources. They’d like to avoid having it vacant. They are, themselves, moving to another place, in another community. I’m scrambling… and yesterday the excitement caught up with me and wrecked my sleep utterly.

An unexpected visit late in the evening by my Traveling Partner, on his way from one moment in life to another, was an emotional salve and then some. He’s a very calming influence in stormy emotional seas. I wasn’t having tantrums, or meltdowns, or raging – but I was “over excited” like a little kid, and just couldn’t seem to soothe myself or achieve the sort of calm that promotes sleep. He knows me well. He knew just what to do about it to be helpful, and when he left I put out the lights, and called it a night. There really wasn’t anything “wrong” – I’d just had too much of all sorts of good things. 🙂

It’ll be some days before the move properly begins to show signs of actual movement between places, but I’ve got boxes ready, and a to do list, and a lot of experience. The excitement of it lingering in my memory woke me ahead of the alarm clock. I get the morning started, yoga, shower, writing and coffee, and…

…The anxiety hits me like a wall. What if I’m wrong? What if this is a terrible idea? What if this all goes horrible awry? What if it is too good to be true? I pause and stare across the meadow for a while; this won’t be my view much longer. Lingering dew sparkles on the grass and the points of the needles of the pine that seems so poorly placed, just beyond the patio. I sip my tepid coffee. I breathe. I relax. Change is. Sometimes that’s scary. It’s hard to trust myself – harder than I’d like. Second-guessing and anxiety about the move is going to come and go – because I’m human – and that’s got to be okay, too. I consider other moves, other experiences in life. My coffee is finished. I’m smiling.

It’s time to begin again.

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

 

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  (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! 🙂

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

I woke this morning wrapped in the stifling stillness of a too-hot-for-real-comfort apartment, and committed to asking one of my friends next door to give me a hand putting the a/c in the studio window this week – if it fits. I started opening windows, and didn’t notice until I’d finished, that I was also singing “Cooling Down the House” (to the tune of “Burning Down the House“, by the Talking Heads lol). lol Freedom to be feels pretty good… and it’s super hard for anyone to take that from us; much more common is that we give it away. Usually we give ourselves away quite early in life, before we are aware of our choices, and often quite permanently, as though we have no choices to make. It is one of the most singularly sad things to see occurring in the human experience, I think.

Come out, come out, whoever you are! (Oh, hey, shit – I could have written about this for Pride! Damn it. lol)

Seriously – who can do “you”, as well as you can? 🙂 I’m smiling, and listening to a cover of Cypress Hill that makes me smile, because it’s somehow both totally this very familiar track, and also quite uniquely the band covering it. Art is transformative, and each artist rather unavoidably borrows from their own experiences of life, and other art – not copies, not reproductions, no; totally new art, created with new vision, is still built on bits and pieces of other art, other lives. There’s no worry that something will be lost for lack of duplication (except, maybe, knowledge itself?). I’m babbling. Here. You can listen, too. 🙂

One track and I’m down a rabbit hole listening to a band I’d never listened to before… fun. 🙂

The point, though, is simply this – and I’ve no doubt repeated myself to say so – investing time, effort, energy, and intent in being/doing what everyone else is also being/doing in the same way they are being/doing it, whether for acceptance, or out of fear, or by way of some explicit directive in our early years, is a waste of precious individual resources. Life is not generally improved by squashing myself down into a little box marked “acceptable” or limiting myself wholly to those activities and ideas noted as well-received by others – and I have so much more to offer! (You do, too.)

Besides… how very freeing to simply be? 🙂 …And how exciting; if you don’t like who you are, there is a universe of choices you can make to truly change all of that. 😀

You can choose you, anytime. You can be the person you most want to be – it’s a choice away, nothing more. Your results will vary (I know mine do). There will be verbs involved, and plenty of opportunity to practice. There’s only one thing you must do, unavoidably, to get started on your way – your way… You’ve got to begin again. There are verbs involved. 🙂

Ready? The sun rises on the choices you make each day. 🙂

Have you ever chased something? Run hard, run fast, kept running after whatever – or whoever – pushing yourself beyond expectations because you’re just that close to catching up… only… “chasing” and “catching” are not specifically connected in any particularly firm way. I’ve chased things I never ever caught up with – or achieved. At some point, perhaps I reconsidered the worthiness of the goal, or just… couldn’t quite get there.

I woke feeling groggy. The apartment was stifling and still, in that “it’s going to be a hot one today” sort of way. I’d feel foolish to bitch about a “hot” day forecasted at 87 degrees Fahrenheit; my Fresno friends have it much worse. They’re expecting 107 degrees or so – real heat. I take a moment to enjoy sipping hot coffee in the cool of morning as the sun rises. Perspective. Gratitude. Nice ways to begin the day.

I’m thinking about how easily I am tempted into pursuing something desirable without really being mindful of the journey, itself… Chasing something, instead of… well… what else? It’s worth thinking this over.

I have friends chasing Love. I wonder if they’ll catch up with that? Seems an odd way to go about it…

I have friends chasing Success. That’s a tough one – and so subjective. I never could catch up with that one, until I understood that I could only achieve satisfaction through understanding Success on my own terms. I’m likely an abysmal failure seen through the lens of another person’s definition of Success. I’m undisturbed by that.

I have friends chasing Money. Fuck, it would be so lovely if that weren’t a thing. I even wish I could help; I’ve had to find my way to being content with “enough”, just generally in life, to clear that hurdle and let go of a chase that only ever seemed to wear me down, fairly pointlessly, without ever ending or achieving anything of note.

I used to chase a good night’s sleep, pursuing Rest as though it were a mugger who’d taken my handbag; I wasn’t going to let it go, and I wasn’t going to stop, and… I wasn’t going to catch up to it by chasing it, either. lol

Sex, too – Personally, I’ve probably chased Sex more often than most other things. The yearning tempts me into it and off I go with the wanting and the needing and the pursuit… Easily won at 20, 25, 27, 30… less so at 54. Perhaps what I think I want hasn’t caught up with where I am in life? Perhaps chasing shit just isn’t the most effective approach to living life? (Or getting sex!) (Or finding an intimate emotional connection!) (Or knowing myself!)

For me, the word itself is telling, “chase” suggests pursuit without end, a frustrating journey without a satisfying conclusion. The very notion of being encouraged to “chase” one’s dreams seriously irks me, because, for example, for me it implies that they are always just out of reach – so have fun with that. lol Built in frustration – no, thank you.

I’ve stopped chasing my dreams. I’ve stopped chasing Sex. I’ve stopped chasing Love. I’ve stopped chasing Money. I’ve stopped chasing Success. For now, I’ve even stopped “chasing” homeownership – because once I realized I was chasing it, I knew I wasn’t going to catch it. “Chasing” a goal doesn’t end that way for me, because what I understand about “chasing” means something quite different from that.

This morning, this moment, my experience of life is a little like that breathless pause, mid-chase, bent to catch my breath, heart pounding, chest heaving with the struggle just to breathe… having given up pursuit to rest, to reconsider… to be. Aware that I’ve been chasing shit again, and can go ahead and stop that. 🙂 It’s a nice morning to sort things out. To think. To pause. To appreciate what already is, and re-examine what my resources are, and what I really need, and where I am heading in life. There are, of course, verbs involved – my results will vary – I’ll probably need to begin again. 😉

…Like… a bunch of times. LOL