Archives for posts with tag: choose wisely

We human creatures make much of some small details, don’t we? Well… I do. lol A birthday is a birthday. It’s a day. Just one of 365 – and an arbitrary sort of celebration, as if to make a point of calling out life for being challenging, and potentially dangerous. “I lived through another year, y’all!!” 😉

…Well… I did, though. lol

I enjoyed my birthday in the company of my Traveling Partner. It was sunny, summery, and suitable for both grilling – and air conditioning. Hell of a nice luxury to have on a hot day! I find myself appreciating it, even as I endure a sneezing fit kicked off by the air conditioning starting up, this morning. (Time to appreciate some tissues…)

We’re mortal creatures so skilled at creating our own personal hells… celebrating our own survival once a year seems both worthwhile, and faintly silly. I’m okay with that. I sip my coffee this next day in a new year of aging, contemplating my mortality, without being grim about it. I remind myself to ensure my will is up-to-date, and consider what other steps I can take to ensure my partner is cared-for, not burdened, if I happen to face death before he does.

…I’m also thinking about meaning, context, richness of experience, contribution to society and culture; what will I do with this lifetime ahead of me that meets those needs? Big questions.

Here it is, a fresh, new, summer day. What will I do with it? It’s time to begin and find out… choices, verbs, questions; stepping stones on a path that is a destination, to a finish I can’t understand in advance. 🙂 It’s time to begin again.

 

I’m sipping my coffee and contemplating the day ahead. Something’s nagging at me, and since it’s to do with how I interact with a colleague, I’m both hung up on the aggravation, and also inclined to stifle that feeling and disregard it. Here’s where finding that subtle difference between “letting it go” and “ignoring it” becomes its own tiny monster of conflict; what’s the difference, actually? What matters most? If I sit by silently and don’t manage my boundaries skillfully… then what? This small insult is actually a pretty big deal for me, and I’m frustrated that I also find myself concerned about “taking it too seriously”, because I am, suddenly, exceedingly aware of simply being female in the workforce.

Damn it.

I sip my coffee. I “let it go”, in the sense that I set it aside for the morning, which I enjoy for myself because it’s mine, and this is what I do. 🙂 When I eventually come back to it for a moment, it does not seem so huge or so looming, it’s merely a moment to “use my words”, set clear expectations about what is, and what is not, okay with me, personally. It’s time to point out that a boundary has been transgressed, however unwittingly, and that it does matter, and that I take myself sufficiently seriously – and treat myself with sufficient consideration – to voice my concern, clearly, kindly, and also quite firmly. It’s for me, definitely, and also for other female colleagues, who likely also don’t want to be treated disrespectfully. The challenge is to prevent a flash fire of emotion in the moment, which can be a serious distraction that holds the potential to undermine being heard. People are so peculiarly uncomfortable with emotions. So. There’s that. lol I move on to new beginnings, and delicious cups of coffee. 🙂

It was cloudy and gray when I got home yesterday. I still have pictures of sunny afternoons, and the memory of flowers in the sun, and their delightful scent on the breeze. There’s something to be learned from this.

Even a small moment to “begin again” can be powerful – this change of paragraph, alone, so small, is ample new beginning to support this moment, right here. 😀

I sip my coffee. My neighbor’s car starts up in the driveway. The television continues to softly read Herodotus as my Traveling Partner listens, in the other room. My headache is less important than my contentment, and I give it little attention, being much occupied with feeling content, generally. A pleasant morning, actually, and a weekend ahead.

I turn 56 next week. I’m not exactly counting it down, and I’m not grieving over it. I just… don’t know what to do about it, really. I’m going to dinner after work, the night before, with friends. This one makes more sense to celebrate in that way; attend to the end of the previous one, more closely, than to shout about the one to come. 56 doesn’t seem like a significant milestone as numbers go. I just… I don’t know. I feel strange about it. There’s nothing I can call to mind that I would want to ask for as a birthday gift (land and a home of my own seems a pretty tall ask, as birthday presents go!), I’ve got most of what I need in life, and most of what I want. When I consider the day, I only want to spend it well-regarded and in good company. Isn’t that enough? To be celebrated as a friend, a lover, a colleague – valued, enjoyed, appreciated? I don’t really need “proof” of affection, or ritual gifts. So… I took some time off to enjoy with my Traveling Partner. A very long weekend. A luxury. Time to rest, to recharge, to paint, to read, to walk among the trees. It’s enough. 🙂

I look at the time. Almost 56?? Shit – It’s definitely time to begin again! lol 😉

 

I woke early. Ridiculously early. 2:22 a.m. early. lol Doesn’t wreck the taste of my (early) morning coffee, and I am content to be here, in the early morning quiet, a bit earlier than usual.

…To be fair, I went to bed early, too, as a result of not really sleeping the night before; I was just wiped out, after a busy day of working through the fatigue, and the extra work of seeking to manage my moment-to-moment behavior in the context of shared work, all day, with colleagues I respect, and who see me as both adult, and as a management professional, well… yeah… I was exhausted by the time I got home. My Traveling Partner kindly suggested I just go ahead and go to bed, fairly early in the evening. Realistically, I was a bit too stupid with fatigue to think of that. LOL “Bed time” came early last night. I’m up early this morning. No surprise. No stress. Good coffee.

I sip coffee. Breathe. Relax. Let the stray thoughts come and go. Let fears and doubts go. Another breath. Another moment. 🙂 I think back on moments from yesterday – not the work moments; the work moments will take care of themselves in the context of work, when I am in the office and on the clock, once again. Nope. Those don’t need my attention right now. Instead I am thinking back on flowers, on the scent of the early morning breeze, the smile of a friend in passing, a hilarious joke I’d already forgotten; this is a moment for building a firm foundation of emotional resilience through a favorite practice. I am “taking in the good“, and enjoying my morning coffee, contentedly.

Even the flowers in urban landscaping can become a meaningful moment of delight, contentment, and joy.

I think back to an earlier starting point on this journey, and how much misery filled my moment-to-moment, hour-by-hour, day-to-day experience of living. It often felt so entirely pointless. It was, at first, a major challenge to “find” even small moments of anything wonderful, beautiful, uplifting, joyful… and here I am, a couple years down this very strange path, and in spite of the often overwhelming seeming miseries and hardships of the world, I can find a moment of joy to savor, almost any time, almost anywhere. It’s a nice change. (Yes, of course, there were verbs involved, and a lot of practice. Worth it.)

A moment of will, a decision to “let it go”, and the choice to turn attention to something small, something beautiful… can change the character of an entire day.

I breathe. Relax. Repeat. Moments to contemplate simple beauty. Moments to savor a good cup of coffee in the chill of morning. Moments to enjoy being, without an agenda, without the stress of time or timing. Moments, so often, are enough. Stuck in a shitty one? Breathe. Relax. Let it go. Just let that shit go. Take another breathe. Sky still blue? Are you okay, right now? Another breath, another moment. Repeat as needed. Take a walk. Keep breathing. Let the stressors weighing you down fall away for a moment – you can pick those up later, if you really feel you must. Another breath, another moment. Another choice.

…I catch myself thinking about a singularly unexpected (and challenging) moment, yesterday; a colleague’s emotional investment erupting to the surface, catching me by surprise. I value their opinion, and experience. I spend a moment considering a question; what do they need to feel heard, on this? I make a point to set a reminder to follow up, to take time to listen deeply. I don’t know everything. This is a shared journey.

…Then I let that go, too, and return to this quiet moment, and this delicious cup of coffee. Soon enough it will be time to begin the day, for now, this moment here is quite enough. 🙂

Well…actually, no. I woke up in pain this morning, just like I went to bed in pain last night. I’m still smiling, still mostly merry, and definitely not taking it personally, at this present moment, which is a pleasant detail. The peculiar pre-dawn gloom has begun to lift, and even though it’s not yet 5:00 am, there is sufficient light to see the garden. I take my coffee on the deck, and spend a few minutes listening to birdsong and breezes, before the commuter traffic begins to take over.

…Soon enough, a new work day will begin…

The blue skies aren’t my doing; how I choose to face the day, is.

I sip my coffee and sigh contentedly. Another day ahead. I’m good with that. 🙂 I take a moment for meditation, less out of any hope of significant pain relief, more about being emotionally well for the day ahead. Yesterday was a long day, and by the end I was struggling to manage my pain, and very happy to get home. I’m back to having a pretty steady motherfucker of a headache, on top of my arthritis pain, in addition to my torn up ankle… still have to work, still have to stand up to the day-to-day. Hell, even if I didn’t work full-time, I’d be having to tackle the effort involved in routine self-care. LOL Aging sucks.

…It’s better than the only currently available alternative, though, right? 😉 I take a moment for gratitude.

A quiet moment passes. Breathing in. Breathing out. Letting go of the clinging and bullshit attachments. Another breath. Another moment. Another sip of my coffee.

Yesterday’s sunshine has a lingering effect; I find it in my smile, in a relaxed moment.

I remind myself not to leave my cane behind as I prepare for the day. Still yawning, still rubbing sleep out of my eyes, still reminiscing about the rather shitty night’s sleep just behind me, and the long work day ahead; it’ll feel long, regardless, that’s how pain works, and I’ve yielded to it before the day has begun. I shake it off, and let that shit go. I remind myself to speak gently, and be mindful we are each having our own experience – pain isn’t unique to my experience. We could all use a bit of kindness.

There’s quite a bit to be learned from yesterday’s experience. This morning, I find myself present in this moment, here, and I’m okay with that. I quash that weird “what am I forgetting to do??” sensation as likely just an illusory disruption in my senses, and I move on from that, too. I take some deep breaths, and make a point of just… letting shit go. This? I let it go. That? Yep, that, too, I let that go. Over there? Oh, hell, yes. Gone. 🙂

…Another breath. A glance at the clock. I finish my coffee; it’s time to begin again. 😀

Actually, no. Let that one go. This one, here? This one, too. Let it go. A moment isn’t really meant to last in any enduring way; it’s only a moment. It’ll pass. Good or bad. Each moment (and experience) is its own thing. Discreet. Individual. Transitory. Impermanent. Breathe. Relax. It’s gone. Set up the dominoes again, and watch them fall one more time.

Roses on a sunny day, impermanent, like moments.

I take a moment to enjoy my coffee. I take a moment for my small list of things I’d like to get done before I leave for work. I take a moment to be grateful – in advance – for the day ahead, hoping it will be filled with laughter and wonder. I let it go in advance, too; it is not yet “now”. 🙂

So much of life’s turmoil seems wrapped up in our clinging and struggling. This cup of coffee, right here, required no struggle to make this morning, in spite of waking feeling rather distracted, a bit dizzy and stupid, and uncertain; it’s a lovely morning. I got to enjoy a few minutes of my Traveling Partner’s company, too. A nice start to a Spring morning. I sip my coffee contentedly, thinking about summer days to come.

I look at the time… how is it already “now” so soon? 😉 I chuckle to myself, wondering if I can maintain this balanced moment of “now” – all day long? My smile deepens, and a minute ticks over on the clock. Close enough! 😀 Feeling ready for this moment, and this day, is enough to get started on. This one seems as good a moment as any to begin again. 🙂

Enjoy another rose – they’re quite lovely. 🙂