Archives for posts with tag: choosing wisely

Between what? Between plans and outcomes, perhaps, or between what was and what may be, at some future point – in either case, I live just the one moment, ‘now’, and what I choose to do with it seems to matter so very much more than what may be planned for the future, or may have been planned for the past. It’s a quiet morning to contemplate time, planning, and outcomes. I find change far less unnerving when I plan things out, then prepare a good Plan B, then follow that with some alternate plans, contingency plans, wild cards plans, and anticipate potential outcomes of the unplanned possibilities – rendering them much less unexpected. Doesn’t matter that much, though; life tends to be quite unscripted and spontaneous regardless of planning… Which doesn’t have any tendency at all to stop me attempting to plan my life. 🙂

flowers

Perspective. 

The emotional climate seems very nice ‘here’. The emotional weather lately has also been sunny and mild. Storms of change are on the horizon, piling up like distant clouds – will it be a spring shower, or a powerful thing crafted of nightmares, hurricane winds, and monsoon rains, that sweeps aside all other considerations for a time? For planning purposes, scale matters a lot – or seems to. Opportunity sometimes seems to transmute change from something uncontrollable and potentially devastating to something almost festive…a see-saw on life’s playground. Here I stand, between moments, between metaphors, staring at the horizon on this perplexing and wonderful journey… still smiling, still okay, and feeling fairly ‘ready for it’.

flowers

Life is busy. It’s easy to miss details that matter.

I need to get some solid contemplative time alone at some point in the very near future. I find myself considering a day trip to the coast or up to ‘the big city’ (Seattle is the nearest of those), or a hike out in the trees, somewhere more distant than nearby nature parks. In any case, I need time to sort some things out with care, whether it is at my desk, at my easel, on foot, or traveling by some other means; my mind needs time and opportunity to wander. Easily done… there are verbs involved.

Walking my own path, one step at a time.

Walking my own path, one step at a time.

Today is a good day to walk on, to consider the alternatives, to choose wisely and with great care. Today is a good day to take care of me, to love without reservations, and to listen deeply. Today is a good day to “stay on the path”… It’s definitely leading somewhere.

I’ll be moving over the next day or two, and while I am sure I will have plenty to say about it I am also aware that all that can keep another day or two besides, and that once I power down my laptop for the last time before the movers arrive tomorrow, it will be a week before my internet connectivity exists outside my phone, or my office. I could tether and go on with writing, but instead I will take a break, enjoy some down time, and focus on the tasks and process at hand.

If you are missing me, in the interim, and we’re associates offline, please email me or phone or reach out on Facebook; all those things are at my fingertips most of the time. (It is the 21st century, after all.)  If your sole connection to me is through these words, and you find yourself missing the sound of my voice, please check out the Reading List or play a nice hand or two of blog post roulette – I sometimes find some lovely moments lurking in past posts.

I’m ready and excited to move. I feel capable, and the time spent planning has paid off enormously. I will miss these few still moments in the morning, writing over my coffee, even for the handful of days that I am away from it. It is a valued self-care practice, and a lovely nurturing routine, for me. I do have others, and they will get their turn to shine this week. 🙂  I hope your moments are well-chosen, and that you take care of you. Enjoy the journey!

See you on the other side…

I will, thanks. :-)

I will, thanks. 🙂

I remember a handful of childhood things, memories I feel fairly confident are actual memories, rather than recollections of anecdotes shared by a family member. One of the things I remember is my Granny’s ‘button drawer’ in her sewing room. It was nothing more (or less) than the bottom drawer of her sewing machine table. It was nothing more (or less) than entirely filled with all manner of buttons. When clothing wore out and was cut up for rags, baby or doll clothes, quilting squares or strips for braided rugs, all the buttons were removed and put in the button drawer. There was no order or organization to it. It was a deep, vast, plentiful and chaotic assortment of all manner of buttons, some very old (having come from her grandmothers clothes), and some buttons were so new they were still stitched to cards in groups of 4, 6, or 8, waiting for just the right project.

Playtime

Playtime at Granny’s house.

On visits, particularly rainy days, when Granny was at her sewing machine, I had the entire button drawer for my play set, my toys, my treasure. I strung buttons into long garlands of sparkly buttons, and bracelets of colorful bead buttons. I sorted and organized the buttons again and again, endlessly fascinated by their variety and materials. I could bury my hands deep in the drawer of buttons and feel the larger, heavy buttons that had slowly settled toward the bottom of the drawer. Pulling some strange, previously unseen button from those mysterious depths was exciting.

Building blocks were available for play, too, and I enjoyed them.  I have in mind a morning at play, old-fashioned square blocks, Linkin Logs, and some odds and ends – and a lot of frustration that the pieces, seemingly very ‘regular’ and organized, didn’t work together the way I wanted them to. Unlike the buttons, the clear purpose of each block was both obvious, and limiting, at least for me. I have a recollection of frustrated little girl tears, and a male figure exclaiming with similar frustration “How can  you not like this? They’re building blocks!!”   It wasn’t at all that I ‘didn’t like them’ – but they sure weren’t buttons of endless variety, with sparkles, carved shapes, colorful forms and limitless purpose in my imagination; they were just blocks. Motionless. Massive. Firmly and clearly geometric. Built with a specific purpose. Designed for a singular sort of play. Not buttons.

Although I was already a ‘chatterbox’, I couldn’t express my emotional needs, or articulate my emotions with clarity. I’m still easily frustrated by difficulty communicating emotions clearly.  Metaphorically, I’m still turning building blocks over in my head, and trying to figure out how to make something of them that really sparkles. lol  These ‘building blocks’ are different; values, ideas, principles, boundaries, standards… the decision-making of my life has become the ‘building blocks’ of my future experience.  I’ve got my blocks… now to build something with them.

My building blocks are simple enough, and so far they seem quite sound. My ‘Big 5’ relationship values are my ‘gold standard’ for a thriving healthy relationship composed of thriving healthy individuals. They work for me, and give me room to grow (and demand that I do, because it’s always about practicing). My Big 5 are: Respect, Reciprocity, Consideration, Compassion, and Openness.  Experience tells me that any relationship [of mine] grounded in these values will thrive, and I will thrive, myself.  As an individual human, with my own issues and baggage, and wading through considerable chaos and damage as a trauma survivor, I’ve got a couple ‘building blocks’ that are ‘all about me’, too – how do I guide my own experience? What principles can I rely on to keep me on the path to becoming the best of the woman I have the potential to be? I find that, for now, three very simple ideas are all I need there: mindfulness, perspective, and sufficiency do the job nicely.

8 words, and time and practice to build those basics into a content and satisfied life; it isn’t a destination, it is a journey.  My Big 5 and my basic principles are less a map, or a goal line, and more like… a backpack, base layers, and good preparation, before heading into the wilderness.  Good preparation matters for any project.  Planning supports any endeavor, even when events later stray from the plan.  Good fundamentals result in improved game play.  I could throw metaphors at this all day. I doubt that makes the point any clearer.

Here’s where it gets complicated, for me.  I’ve got my Big 5.  I’ve got my partners.  What have they got? I mean, other than me, practicing my Big 5? We’re all in this sandbox together, and everyone brings their own toys… compatible sets of blocks are helpful, if we’re all going to have a good time.  What happens in that sandbox if I’ve got buttons, and my playmate has blocks? What if someone comes along with an Erector set? Or Fischer-Technics? Playtime just got more complicated; our play sets are not easily going to work well together.  That’s a jigsaw puzzle for another day.

No blocks? How about a wheel barrow?

No blocks? How about a wheel barrow?

Today is a good day to build something wonderful. Today is a good day for kindness. Today is a good day to smile and acknowledge that we’re all in this together. Today is a good day to change the world.