Archives for posts with tag: consideration

I’m sipping my second coffee on a proper day off. I highly recommend taking the occasional actual day off from work (and yes, even from non-work routines). Real down time. Don’t check that email. Don’t answer those calls. Don’t participate in “just one meeting”. Be available for you, once in a while.

…There are very few things that feel reliably more luxurious, satisfying, and nurturing than having my own undivided attention for a few hours, a day, or a weekend… Just saying. Totally worth doing, even during a pandemic. Even if social distancing. Even staying right here at home. I like the woman in the mirror, rather a lot these days, and I enjoy her company greatly. (If you don’t feel well-disposed toward that human being you face in your mirror each day, well… it’s a great place to begin again, on better terms!)

It is a lovely autumn morning, well-suited to all sorts of things I might like to do with my time.

Autumn is already more than just hints of color, or occasional leaves found on the deck.

It is a chilly morning. Yesterday, there was even ice on the windshield of my car, well past sunrise. I enjoyed my morning coffee with my Traveling Partner. I took time to soak in the hot tub, watching the morning sunshine warm the dewy rooftops, steamy vapor rising into the air. I listened to the birds in the neighbor’s pear tree arguing over the not-yet-ripe pears, hoping they’d leave a few unmarred by pecking, but not particularly concerned about it. My mind wandered briefly to chores and housekeeping, and weekend meals, and I made some “mental notes” (promptly forgotten) about things I could add to my list. No pressure.

Today is definitely about “no pressure”, and that feels good.

The holiday season crossed my mind. Gifts to think about. Meals to consider. Guests to invite. No guests; there’s a pandemic going on. No, seriously – and it is serious – we’re okay here at home, and fortunate to enjoy each other in close quarters over a long period of time. (I sometimes suspect our military experience gives us an advantage; we “work as a unit”, even when we are aggravated with each other.) I know there are people who are frustrated with the constraints placed upon them by pandemic life. I get it. I just think it’s worth making the effort to be generally safe, generally respectful of the wellness of others, and generally fully compliant with the requirement to practice social distancing, to wear a mask, to avoid crowds. Yes, even close family crowds at important family events; those people will go home (and so will you), having shared whatever they’ve been exposed to, and to share what they were exposed to at the event. It’s not an acceptable risk, from my perspective. We see it play out in the news every week; a big gathering, a spike in new cases of COVID-19. It honestly just seems like an easy choice to me… so, since March, my partner and I stay home, except for a handful of difficult to avoid errands. It complicated house hunting. It complicated the closing. It complicated the move.

…Both of us remain well. Worth the complications.

We relaxed enough to allow my partner’s son (my step-son) to visit after we finished moving in. I regretted that more than a little bit, as much I enjoyed seeing him, particularly after he admitted to attending gatherings of friends, more recently than two weeks prior to traveling to see us… and… he did have to travel. He was here less than two weeks. Yes, it caused me stress to consider that with greater care – too late to change the planning. I am unlikely to make another exception as we head into flu season. I’d rather not even get the flu, or a head cold, and social distancing and mask wearing has definitely reduced my exposure to those risks! Win.

…But… Thanksgiving…!?! Giftmas??

Yeah. Thanksgiving. Giftmas, too. Fuck your Thanksgiving feast and holiday parties if they send half your family home to far away places with new exposure to COVID-19, and with increased potential of losing loved ones to it. I mean, seriously? Weddings too. Baby showers. Parties of all kinds. Music festivals. Worship. Celebrations. All of it. Fuck every minute of every “important life event” any one of us chooses to attend that results in the loss of someone else’s life. What right do we have, as individuals, to be callous with someone else’s risk of death?

So. Holidays will be simple this year, here at home. Cards. Letters. Calls. Merriment. A comfy holiday at home – intimate, joyful, and low-stress. Healthy, too, maybe…? (I am one of those folks who nearly always has a head cold, or is “just getting over” – or just catching – the flu, right around Thanksgiving or Giftmas – maybe not this year?)

I sip my coffee and smile. We’ve already figured out where the Giftmas tree will go… and there’s so much room for it… 🙂 Right now, that’s enough. I look at the time. The lovely day stretches out ahead of me. It looks like a good one to take a walk on an untraveled trail… or simply to begin again. 🙂

My coffee is a memory. By the time I got to actually drinking it, it was already rather tepid. It lingers, cold, and bitter, in my recollection. My day is off to a rather poor start for no good reason. At some point, the quality of my experience becomes up to me…

I reflect on things quietly, thinking perhaps I’ll gain perspective through writing, then find myself stalled, unwilling to tackle the “harder questions” this morning, in spite of knowing they would do well to be asked, and where possible, answered. Instead, I make an ambitious list of household chores and resolve to complete those. It’s easier.  Today is, in most respects, an ordinary enough Sunday.

…Order from chaos… sometimes I find it helps with other challenges troubling me in the background…It helps to have a list.

Same view, different day. Perspective matters, but we each have to walk our own hard mile.

I remind myself to make room for other perspectives, to listen deeply, to be open to change…

A slight change in point of view can make a difference in understanding our circumstances.

…I wander off to get started on my list. Another new beginning… the day may improve, if I can stay open to that potential. I can always begin again…

…Sometimes this shit is hard. Seems so, I mean. Subjectively. I remind myself “one practice at a time, one step at a time, one task at a time; it all adds up”… I feel unconvinced and blue. Some days suck. I make a mental note that change is – even the most miserable moment is just a moment, and it’ll pass. I have choices. I have practices that I know I can count on to be uplifting. Yeah, not super convincing that time, either. I’ll “get over it” and “move past this”. For now, this is the experience I seem to be having. I try not to take it personally, and stay with both this actual moment, and these feelings; the moment, which is frankly fine, is my anchor, my point of “safety” that gives me a firm foundation to consider the feelings without becoming mired in them (that’s the intention, anyway). I’m okay right now. That’s real. The emotions are emotions. I make a point to refrain from conflating the feelings with actual experiences.

…I make a point to consider the experience separately from the emotions I feel during or about the experience, itself…

…Uncomfortable or unpleasant experiences are something I can learn and grow from. Fighting that isn’t particularly helpful. Getting mired in unresolved emotions isn’t particularly helpful (or comfortable) either. I take a breath and turn towards my discomfort, seeking growth… and begin again, again. I eye my “baggage” and personal demons with some distaste and impatience, and snarl to myself “bitches, I can do this “begin again” shit all fucking day, just go ahead and fucking bring it“. That at least gets a laugh out of me.

I check my list, and yeah, I even check it twice. There’s more to do… and it all begins with a beginning.

Sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes predictably so, sometimes unexpectedly. It’s going to happen. That, by itself, is pretty certain. Life can get messy, complicated, painful, and unpleasant, sometimes.

…Still worth living…

Begin again. Take a breath. Cut yourself some slack. Take a step back and look at the situation differently. Make healthy choices. Express sincere regret, and offer (and accept) an unreserved heartfelt apology. Give people (including yourself) room to be human. Listen deeply. Breathe.

No, seriously – breathe.

Eventually tears dry. Eventually angry words stop lingering in the air. Eventually there is an opportunity to reconnect. Make a point to give room for those things to happen. Beginning again sometimes requires us to let go of hurting, or at least be aware of the hurting of those we have, ourselves, inflicted hurts upon – and ideally seek to do something about that.

I definitely pay the price when my meditation practice falls apart.

No finger-pointing or blame-laying here. I’m a mess and every bit as human as I could possibly be. This is not written from the perspective of me telling you, from atop some lofty tower, these are reminders for me. The woman looking back at me from the mirror is not always the person I most want to be.

I have some things to reflect on. Things I need to grow from. Things I need to make amends for. Things I need to make right. I could do better. I know there are choices to be made. There are practices to practice. There are verbs involved.

…First I’ve got to begin again.

Well I’m sipping cold coffee this morning, and taking a short break from work. I’m thinking over the last 24 hours, and also the last 6 weeks. Giving consideration to the challenges of life in the time of pandemic, and finding some opportunities for wholesome perspective, and balance.

I think about the crazy shipping delays on some goods that have been ordered recently. I sit awhile with the recognition that it is a fortunate convenience to have shipping available at all.

I think about the lack of availability of some goods (hey, these are not the hotdogs I like!). I feel fortunate to have access to delivery services, even for groceries, and substitutions mean still being able to have meals, in spite of stock running low on specific items. I feel fortunate to be able to use such services.

I think of the “sanity projects” here at home, and the occasional frustrations when attempting to order this or that item for those, and getting stalled on depleted stock, shipping times, costs. I slow down and recognize how often my partner and I are able to “work around” those limitations, or how often waiting a few more days really isn’t anything more than a minor inconvenience, and a bit disappointing.

I think about small things that have big emotions attached, like a favorite fish deciding to jump free of an aquarium, and landing on the carpet. The stress of being worried over the little guy was (and is) real – but so far, he’s a survivor, not a fatality. Life gets pretty real sometimes, and where loss of life is concerned, a single fairly common fish is a much smaller concern than “COVID-19 vs. humanity”. Feelings are feelings; perspective makes the weight of most of those a much lighter burden to bear.

I think about the small aggravations that go along with working from home (so hard differentiating between work time and life time). I’m fairly fortunate to have this as “a concern”, at all. The fact that I am still working is part of what makes some of the other things so minor, so worthy of a moment of perspective.

I think about how fortunate my Traveling Partner and I are to enjoy each other the way we do, and how grateful I am to be staying at home with this particular human being, rather than some other. I’d be fine alone – but I’m glad I don’t have to be.

Sure, there are some inconveniences. There are moments of unique tension and stress. There is emotional fatigue (I mean, seriously? How much more pandemic news do I really need, right now?). There is also real joy, real intimacy, real connection, and real opportunities to continue to learn, grow, and to practice.

So… what now? Another beginning, I suppose. I’ll start with this perspective, and gratitude, and proceed from there to kindness, empathy, and patience; we are each having our own experience. Those are not all uniformly easy, or stress-free (most are neither easy, nor stress-free) – why would mine be?

Here’s hoping each new beginning you embark upon takes you closer to contentment and perspective, and that your days give you reasons for joy, even if you must search for those. ❤

This morning, my coffee “leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth” in a fairly literal way. I’m not sure what I did to ruin a perfectly adequate cup of coffee this morning… good coffee beans, the usual process… Regardless; this is one dreadful cup of coffee. I sip on it anyway, reluctant to wake my Traveling Partner, asleep in the other room. It was noisy enough making just one cup of coffee. Honestly, it’s not that bad – call it “drink-ably terrible”. lol

I woke from what seemed a sound sleep, smack in the middle of dreams of reality, sufficiently plausible that I was surprised to discover myself awaking to the alarm clock. (oh, blech, this coffee!! LOL) The morning has been thoroughly routine, and soon I’ll leave the house, begin the work day, work through that, return home in commuter traffic, relax with my partner for the evening, crash out seemingly too early (it always seems “too early”), sleep more or less through the night, then repeat that for what unexpectedly seems like … a lifetime. There have been years when I’ve felt the experience to be a brutal grind, and my life filled up with petty resentments, other years (like this one) in all practical respects, it simple feels necessary, entirely practical, and if a bit tedious at times, there’s nonetheless no resentment to it. It works – for me, for us, for living life, just generally.

Yesterday I added some work tools to my personal device in preparation for my trip to “the home office”, which will be next week. A plane flight away, to “a far away city”, and I admit I face it more eagerly than not. I enjoy this job, and feel appreciated, purposeful, and prepared. My Traveling Partner doesn’t do things to hold me back or discourage me; it is a healthy partnership. I feel supported. I sip my coffee, and ask myself an important question: am I providing adequate reciprocity with regard to work, to life, and to ensuring I encourage my partner, and nurture my partnership? It would be a poor choice to nurture my career, while leaving love to whither. I’m not that woman, as I understand myself… So, I take time to consider my words, my actions, and how I prepare for this couple of days away. It matters so much to ensure Love itself is treated with consideration and high regard. What could matter more? 🙂

Staying on the path is a choice, and there are verbs involved; the journey is the destination.

My brain attacks me briefly over a perceived “funny vibe” I thought perhaps I may have picked up on, briefly, last night. It’s not a very effective attack, and I grin at myself over my coffee. Questions work. 🙂 Like a beam of light shining into a shadowy corner, a non-confrontational question seeking clarification on an assumption, a subjective experience, something vague and unconfirmed becomes… just an answered question. lol Most of the uncomfortable weirdness in life and in love are “shit we made up” that only exists in our heads – until our own anxiety and stress causes us to make it real. 🙂

I continue to sip my dreadful coffee – really let myself down on this one – and allow myself to briefly consider uncomfortable moments and “funny vibes” that have occurred in various interactions with an assortment of other human beings, and then let each one go. I breathe, exhale, and relax. No need to make up imagined stressors – real life will make sure I get a fair share of real stress, no problem. LOL

Life is not about perfection – and imperfect things are often quite lovely.

I sip my coffee thinking about sky reflected in water. No reason, it just seems something lovely to contemplate. I consider small lovely moments, and recent achievements, and brief unexpectedly deep connections, and enduring love. Love matters so much, on this whole other level. It still feels unsettling and a bit strange that it had to begin with me – with the woman in the mirror. I struggled to find real security in relationships while I struggled to “love myself”, and once I sorted that bit out reasonably well, it seemed to strengthen other relationships, most particularly my relationship with my Traveling Partner.

…Funny… I’m the one traveling in the world, this time…

…Omg, this coffee is just the fucking worst. LOL

I finish off my coffee, grateful to have it, grateful to finish it, and still thinking about how to deepen and nurture love. Love matters most. 🙂

It’s time to begin again, right here, with the love I know. 😀