Archives for posts with tag: choose

I woke much earlier than my alarm. Early enough to do yoga, shower, dress, and make an Americano before my alarm would have gone off. I’m quite alert and wide awake, and feel rather as if weeks and weeks of fatigue and illness are finally behind me. Still have the weird headache. Still have more future appointments to deal with it. Still have the arthritis pain. Still bitching about that. It is morning. I am human. 🙂

I sip my coffee contentedly, noting how good it is this morning and just really enjoying that. It is a Friday, tomorrow is the weekend. I feel relaxed and at ease – because, partly, I’ve chosen to practice having this experience of relaxed contentment, learned to build and sustain that over time, and it’s become (if not my default “state of being”) quite common to feel this way. It is a huge improvement over being mired in despair, chronically frustrated, and wondering endlessly what the point even is to living. 😀 I’ll straight up say it; I got here with my choices. I got here with practice. There were – and are – verbs involved. Practicing practices is an ongoing thing; this is not a task, these are processes. This is me, living my life, and my results vary – right now, this moment here? It’s very pleasant. 🙂

There is stuff yet to do. Housekeeping. Tidying up. Maintenance. Repairing, cleaning and maintaining. lol There’s also brunch with a friend, hang out time with another, and perhaps a lovely hike with a new camera on a pleasant Sunday morning. 😀 I get to choose. 🙂

I’m ready to begin again. Let’s start this day!

The menu of options in life is… vast. There is so much to choose from, so many directions one could take life, generally. A nearly unlimited array of choices in a complex choose-your-own-adventure experience that layers the consequences of our actions and decision making over a strange randomized mesh of other people’s free will and a sprinkling of circumstances builds our perceivable context, sometimes bamboozling us into thinking we lack control… or at least influence, and choice. Choice. I keep using that word. It’s a good word. It is a word with a lot of power.

Last night I saw The Hip Hop Nutcracker and enjoyed a rather comfortably adult night on the town that included a relaxed walk through a foggy, rainy, urban nightscape, a pleasant dinner, and a little pre-holiday window shopping. It was a lovely evening. Those were my choices.

This morning, I am contentedly grooving to a DJ’s mix that I adore (the DJ? the mix? both? 🙂 I’m just saying this is a good way to start my morning…or end my evening… or fill my time. lol). Another choice.

We don’t hesitate when we make choices about the music we listen to. That’s a pretty easy one, isn’t it? I like this. You like that. We share some experiences. We don’t “get it” sometimes. It doesn’t seem to be a big deal to like music other people don’t care for, or to acknowledge it when I don’t like some particular band, sound, genre, or track.

Music. Clothes. Style of furniture and decor. Colors. TV shows. Foods. Times of day. Our internal “preferences” settings are by far more complicated than any software. We spend a lifetime “building our profile” as human beings. We spend more time becoming who we are than we do being who we are… It seems useful to be aware of that, and to choose. I don’t mean fall into, and then accept, what we are and what we do – I mean think it over, seriously, and choose, willfully.

Who are you? What do you like? What have you chosen? What experiences and choices are a core part of your “profile” in life? Which ones are “just a test drive”? We grow and learn and change (if only the tiniest bit) every day – how much of that are you considering, selecting, guiding, and living with your eyes wide open?

You know this life is yours, right? What are you doing about that? I mean, like, today? 🙂

I listen to the music, grooving and enjoying my coffee, thinking over life and love and choices, and feeling content on a Thursday morning. It’s enough. Hell – more than enough – I may even be… happy. Wow.

This too will pass. lol No kidding, that’s a given. There will be blue days ahead, some headaches, challenges… maybe I will fail myself – or you – or maybe I will fall short of expectations in a less meaningful way, but still feel dissatisfied? Ups and downs and incremental change over time; however far we come, there is farther to go. Choose wisely. Choose willfully. Be the verbs. (It’s sounds easy, but there are verbs involved. lol)

I look at the clock, and into my empty coffee cup. The music plays on… “…keep it moving…keep it moving… keep it moving…

It’s already time to begin again.

I woke with a smile this morning. My dreams were filled with love and images of some vision of the future, and as I recall there was a kitten involved, somewhere, or perhaps an avocado tree – I’m not sure. It was, after all, the content of dreams. 🙂

The morning feels good. The recollection of a long pleasant phone call with my Traveling Partner lingers, and mingles with the content of my dreams, and the smile on my face feels quite reliably part of my experience. I’m not in much pain, which is another excellent quality of the start of this particular day, and I pause to wonder if it has to do with the acupuncture I’d tried for the very first time this week? It was a strange experience, perhaps a tale for another time, and I am turning it over in my mind whether to go back for more… I dislike pain, and it may have helpled. I prefer “evidence-based medicine” – but have no requirement that the evidence be guided by, limited by, or informed by, “western medicine”. Medicine is medicine. Practices are practical inasmuch as what matters most is “does it work”? Even placebo effect can bring an individual real relief from real suffering… so… I don’t know. I suppose the time-money-pain variables and some committed study will eventually make my decision easier than it is at the moment. lol

I am beginning to feel quite settled in to the new place. I feel fairly at home here. I am pretty continuously aware that it is not actually mine. It makes me ache sometimes; it’s very much what I’d like in most respects. I could so easily make it my own. I smile understandingly at the thought. At 54, I should be planning my retirement, and I guess I sort of am, though I do not feel particularly well-prepared for it. Retirement is something we would do well to be planning as soon as we begin our professional lives, in early adulthood, but I suspect most of us are far too busy figuring out how to get enough laundry quarters together, pay off student loans, figure out how to make rent and utilities payments every month… Retirement is so far from our experience we foolishly believe we can put it off. There are a lot of folks, like me, who end up counting on their Social Security income as the bulk of their retirement planning. Scary. Still… I don’t want to work forever – hell, if I were financially prepared, I’d retire today. lol

One possible future is spent at ease in a garden…

I don’t know what the future looks like. No one does, really. We make all that shit up. Our “vision of the future” is hand-crafted narrative from start to finish, sometimes supported by fantastical unchecked assumptions and expectations of others that aren’t at all realistic. I find it hard to let go of the beautiful daydream of a future in which I’ve retired to write, and paint, and garden, happily sipping my morning coffee with my Traveling Partner, making conversation, making love… never mind that we’re both super cross before our coffee, and that I really like writing at that early morning hour while I sip mine (neither of which is conducive to conversation)… the fantasy future remains what it is. Where does it come from? Why does it linger? Is it truly what I want? Is what I want likely to fill my days with joy, or is that also just one more untested assumption?

One possible future is spent hiking remote trails…

I smile and let go of that daydream future long enough to contemplate the weekend immediately ahead; I will be The Traveler on this adventure. I will make my way to my partner’s home, and enjoy the weekend with him. Fuck, I love this guy! There is something ruinously amazing about being romantically sprung over my best friend. I’m eager to see him. Eager to chatter away about all the things he’s missed, to hear about all the things I’ve missed, to share and connect and get “synced up” again. To feel that natural rhythm of loving each other. To live and work and play together. To discuss. To create. To share. I could happily spend every waking moment in this human being’s company, and dream away every minute of every night in his arms… if I were a different person. LOL That’s the weird thing about daydreams of the future – just as often as I may overlook realities of other people, or realities of circumstances, when I dream of the future, I often also overlook very real qualities about the woman in the mirror, who she is, what she wants, what she needs – and how she actually experiences life and behaves day to day! Damned inconvenient. lol He’s right; I do thrive living alone. I’m right, too; I miss living with him, terribly. There is no particularly obvious or easy way to reconcile those observations. Silly human primates. I wonder what the future holds? I’m content with wondering.

One possible future includes leisurely travel with my Traveling Partner, seeing the world…

I sip my coffee and entertain myself imagining “alternate futures” with equal detail to what I might infuse in my favorite future fantasies. I keep my focus on the woman in the mirror – on being the woman I most want to be – and let the scene around me change. Am I living in poverty? It is one possible reality. I let myself imagine finding contentment alongside privation; I have been poor. I know what that feels like. I understand some of the constraints on my comfort and wellness I would likely face. It’s not my favorite daydream of the future. Am I living with a partner? Am I alone? Do I have a quiet little place of my own? Am I sharing a room in an adult care-providing establishment of some kind? Am I immobilized by unwellness of some kind? Am I stronger, fitter, funnier, angrier, thinner, fatter, happier, sadder, solitary, or the powerful matriarch of a vast social empire? (That last seems wildly unlikely, but somehow it made the list nonetheless. lol I recognize that as a common enough tendency of fantasy; go for the extreme if it promotes a chosen narrative.)

How many shards of daydreams of the future become choices in the moment, and eventually… memories? “I’m in the same place you guys are.” Seriously, aren’t we all? I mean – we’re human. It’s a very human experience. What will you practice? Who will you become?

What does the future look like?

Another morning suitable for beginning again. 🙂

Just three work days to go. It was my first thought as I woke. My second was “damn, morning already?” My enthusiasm balances against my obligations for the week. Eagerness balances against fatigue. I take a few deep breaths. I meditate before I write, enjoying the slow lightening of the pre-dawn sky.

I chuckle at my self for a moment and enjoy my self-directed merriment while it lasts; life has far too few such moments, and I find them well-suited to being savored. Every one of life’s destinations, goals, and benchmark moments, seem also to be beginnings. Endless beginnings, even though from the moment we are born, our clock is also winding down. It’s definitely felt more stressful to view life through a filter of being goal-focused and purposeful; the frustration that often results is an emotional kick in the groin every time things go a little sideways. Viewing life more as a journey, a solo hike through time, across experiences, with the “purpose” being to make that journey, nothing more, feels much less stressful (to me). Your results, of course, may vary.

My plans (and my alternate plans) are made with as much care as I can bring to that process. I’m eager to be able to take other actions. I am bored with packing things in boxes, perhaps. lol This morning, anxiety creeps in around the edges, and I second-guess myself over my morning coffee. I remind myself, for perspective, that getting the keys is not the end of the journey (by far). It’s a good idea to keep it in mind, to prevent ending up feeling frustrated and lost, or overwhelmed emotionally, by the very predictable challenges of moving to a new place. Some shit is going to go wrong. Definitely. No idea what, but this is still happening in the context of real life, so… it’s a given; something will go wrong. lol But… It isn’t necessary to deal with whatever that is in advance, because I won’t know what it is until it happens. 🙂 I take a deep breath, sip my coffee, and let it go.

I look out over the meadow. 3 days until I have the keys, but there is another count down happening in the same head space… 7 days until this is simply no longer (ever) my morning view, as I sit and write, or while meditating on a cushion in front of the patio door. The short expanse of lawn, the summer-tall grasses of the meadow beyond, the park, the playground, the trees on the horizon… I pause to really soak it in. I listen to the red-wing blackbirds greeting the day, and the crows, ducks, geese, and doves, and the early morning commuter traffic on the not-so-distant freeway. I watch a neighbor’s cat stalking something along the edge of the meadow. I watch the sky change colors as dawn approaches. I breathe the breeze filling the room with the scent of meadow flowers. “More ‘and’ than ‘but’…” I hear myself think, rather oddly and apropos of nothing particular. I like the way the phrase sounds in my head.

I glance at the clock. Mornings are shorter on Sunday (from this address) due to the hours I work, and limitations of public transportation. I smile and remember that I have the car. I smile more thinking ahead to getting home earlier in the day; there are a few more things I can box up, a few more boxes…and all I need to get that done is a little more time. 🙂

The sun begins to peak over the horizon. It seems a good time to begin again. 🙂

 

It’s a weird morning. Maybe it’s weird because I slept in? 🙂

Maybe it’s weird because I gave my landlady a heads up that I’d like to sign a new lease? While I shift gears and regroup on figuring out what I really really want out of a place of my own, it makes sense to save some money on the cheaper lease rate.

Adulting is hard – today it is also a little weird.  I’m spending time with money – well, with planning, and budgeting, and yeah – all of the things. It’s not my favorite activity, but rather wonderfully it no longer sends me cowering into the nearest dark room on the edge of tears from panic and dire dread, heart-pounding, unable to breathe at the mere thought of debt, income, obligations, needs, and certain only of my likely failure and future poverty. The picture of my future I carry in my thinking is very different now. It’s no longer stuff that freaks me out.

I smile and think of my Traveling Partner out in the world, feeling a certain quiet “thanks” for a partnership that has had the strength to patiently support me on this journey, and his coaching and encouragement, his calm, his love. His utter conviction that achieving my dreams was within reach, given the knowledge, and the practice(s); I remain so grateful for his perspective, and affection.

I think I know what I want, now. Where I want to be. How I want to live. I have an idea of the steps I’ll need to take. I have a sense of the “order of operations” – the sequence in which I’ll need to take those steps, and what my priorities really are. This is huge. It’s less a settled sense of convenient certainty built on expectations, self-inflicted promises and daydreams about a future that is always somehow out-of-reach, and more a practical thing built on a calendar, a budget, and adult perspective on life’s logistical requirements (which must be handled ahead of life’s options and feature upgrades). Basic sufficiency. My own idea of a great future, less tied to societal expectations, convenience, or “ease”, and built instead on what I want, enjoy, and thrive on, myself.

…I wish I’d gotten here sooner…

I want to phone my Traveling Partner and say “I get it. I understand what I want. I have a vision. I’ve got this.” That probably tells you little about the details, but from my perspective it isn’t the details that make this bit share-worthy in the first place; it’s the getting here, the being here, and the going forward from this place. The map is not the world. The route is not the journey. My dreams are not your dreams. 🙂

There’s work to do. Thinking work. Planning work. There are details to consider, and choices to make. A lot of choices to make; however much I narrow down the list of life’s apparent choices, I find I have more choices. Fractals of choices. Life being lived in a life worth living.

How much is enough? Once I’ve got that, what else is there, really, to yearn for?

Today I begin again. 🙂