Archives for posts with tag: contentment

This morning I woke ahead of the alarm clock, feeling rested. I did some yoga. I showered. Made coffee. Dressed for work. I hadn’t yet checked the weather, but so far “snow-pocalypse” has been fairly disappointing, and I wasn’t worried about the weather, because I arrived home last night prepared to work from home this morning. Instead of fussing about the weather, I took time for meditation, no timer. It was a lovely start to the morning.

(I still don’t know what the weather may be like, and still haven’t checked.)

Now, I am sipping my coffee and considering things. Mostly things I am grateful for. It’s not exactly “prayer” – but it isn’t entirely unlike prayer, I suppose. I’m not conscientiously cataloging gratitude-worthy moments, or events, or people, either. More like I’m allowing my thoughts to go where they wish, and as they do, I’m making a point to definitely feel gratitude for things that I happen to be grateful for. It’s an exercise in appreciate, in awareness, and in observation, and I feel lifted up every day that I do this particular practice.

(There’s so much in life to be grateful for.)

My coffee is precisely as I like it. I sip it with contentment, and wonder briefly why no other coffee really tastes quite like this first carefully crafted pour-over in the morning? I let that thought go, and welcome the next. One by one, they turn up, and then depart. Moments considered. It’s been a good week so far, and even my pain has been generally fairly well-managed, which tends to result in being in a “better mood” just as generally. It’s nice. I think about valued co-workers and some exceptionally satisfying positive interactions in this young new year. Promising. I mull over the past year of living with my Traveling Partner, and smile; it’s been delightful to enjoy so much of his company. I appreciate his presence. I think about practical details that are worthy candidates for gratitude, right down to the small details like doors that lock, indoor plumbing, refrigeration, and electric lights; life would be different – very different – without those. I take a moment to appreciate connectivity, and then to appreciate the vast improvement in my day-to-day experience that resulted from giving up social media; those experiences exist side-by-side in a meaningful way, and there’s something to be learned from that, beyond this moment. I sit quietly, absorbed in my thoughts, suffused with a feeling of contentment.

(I allow myself to be distracted by the clock on my monitor for an instant.)

My seamless fabric of grateful musing begins to unravel with distractions. I haven’t put on earrings. My coffee is almost cold – and almost finished. Will I drive or take the train today? Will it actually snow? I wonder what we’ll have for dinner tonight? I wonder if there are “any cool shows on” tonight? I haven’t put on perfume. Did I actually brush my hair? Is my backpack ready for the day? I didn’t forget my laptop or hub, did I? Did I manage not to wake my partner while I dressed? I wonder if today will be sunny? How is my author friend doing? Or that one DJ friend of mine? Or the friend with a new baby? Should I get back in the habit of writing paper letters, and hand-drawing and water-coloring note cards? Oh, I already finished my coffee… I wonder who will be elected president this next time? Shit, the world’s going to hell so fast, it seems like. Where shall we go out for “date night” next time? Oh, hey, what time is it, now?

(I notice the endless possible distractions have lead me far from mindfulness and contentment. I take a deep breath, and another. I exhale. I relax. I bring myself back to now, and begin again.)

The heat comes on, reminding me of the cold morning temperatures beyond these windows and walls. I breathe deeply. I sit quietly. I’m not asking anything extraordinary of myself in this moment, just to be here, now, awake, aware, and listening, observing the world around me. I feel relaxed and contented. Calm. I experience this as a state of readiness, without agitation, or hyper-vigilance, simply present in this moment. I give myself over to a few minutes of simply being present and aware, without any agenda or concerns. It’s a good foundation for the busy work day ahead. I look at the clock. It’s definitely time to begin again. 🙂

Oh goodness… it’s already today. Back to the office… and a happy homecoming of my Traveling Partner later, well after the end of my work day. Good times – good timing. 🙂

I sit here with my coffee, content to feel the day begin to unfold. There’s nothing more this moment really needs. I feel comfortable in my clothes, and tickled to wear my new winter coat out into the morning when the time comes to leave the house. My coffee tastes good. I am well-rested. I am refreshed from my shower, and feeling somewhat pampered. My boots are shined. My earrings sparkle. I’m smiling. All of this is lovely, if insignificant. 🙂 (Significance may be over-rated, anyway.)

I sigh, gently, drinking my coffee. The mug is warm in my hands. Every detail of this one moment feels entirely adequate. It’s enough. 🙂 My hands pause on the keyboard…

…I sit awhile, silently, just taking in this moment…

I got a lot done this weekend. I make room to consider all that, too, with a certain quite appreciation for the effort involved, and contentment with the outcome.

…I sit awhile longer, enjoying the sense of satisfaction I feel, and the soft joy of knowing the house looks great; it’ll be a joy to come home to. 🙂

I sit, reflecting on work well done, and feeling generally contented, sipping my morning coffee. For now, it’s quite enough. At the bottom of this coffee cup? A new beginning. A new day ahead.

…That’s enough, too. 🙂

It wasn’t especially late when I went to bed last night. It’s just me, here, for now, so the temptations to stay awake past that point at which I am sleepy and it feels like “bed time” are very few. I sometimes read for a few minutes before sleep begins to overtake me; it wasn’t necessary last night. I slept 8 hours, almost uninterrupted, and waking only once. I woke rested, waking almost completely before I noticed I had made the transition from dreaming to… noticing that I was awake, with my eyes open, in the darkness. It’s not yet dawn, and that doesn’t distress me, at all. It’s a Saturday, and the day is mine. 🙂

My coffee tastes good. I still smell a hint of my Traveling Partner’s cologne from sleeping next to a t-shirt he’d worn before he left on business. It’s a shameless, guiltless, joyful admission; I miss him, and the scent of his cologne delights me, and keeps me mellow in his absence. lol

It’s an easy morning, so far. My knees ache from yesterday’s endeavors, although it isn’t about an injury or any sort of crazy activity; I’m breaking in new boots. The ache in my knees this morning hints that I may need to have my hiking books re-soled. Taking a look, I can see how much less straight my gait must be in my well-worn hiking boots, versus the new dress boots. Something to be aware of. I have two pairs of the same Vasque hiking boots – identical other than the color of the trim. They fit my feet incredibly well, and both pairs have had at least one re-soling, I like them that much. I sip my coffee and think about the day ahead… it seems likely that I’ll decide on what to wear from the footwear up… lol What will be least painful for the day? It’s not a bad decision-making framework, even in general, right? “What will be least painful?” is good for decision-making, right?

…Hmmm… I feel myself reject that thinking with unexpected firmness, less because “What will be least painful?” is a terrible way to make decisions (I think it’s probably a safe direction to go on life’s path, more often than not…), but more because making all of the decisions in the context of thresholds, matrices, frameworks, rules, and all sorts of other rigid “help me avoid being responsible for my decision”sorts of decision-making tools are a less than ideal way to be present, to be in the moment, or to really live my life. Those sorts of approaches are useful as tools, in a limited number of circumstances, but perhaps it’s generally better to be awake, alive, and accountable – wholly authentic about the questions, the choices, the uncertainties, and really truly “right there living it”?

I don’t know. I’m nothing like a “perfect person”. Not even close. I’m just one human being doing my best – and I have, myself, found as many failures in my decision-making on auto-pilot as I have embracing change and willful choices. Adulting is hard. Decision-making isn’t effortless, and formulas sometimes don’t work the way I would like them to. So. Hiking boots and jeans today, because my knee aches – even if it is worn boots that may have set me up for this painful experience? Or new boots and tired aching feet, because breaking in boots takes time, and isn’t always a comfortable experience, but hey, it corrects my gait because the soles are not worn down…?

…Fuck it. I’m barefooted. LOL 😀

What I’m pointing out, I guess, is that dichotomies are fairly rare… and false dichotomies are crazy common. There are often far more different choices available to our decision-making process than we consider. It’s a little weird, but  human primates seem to prefer to narrow things down to just two choices. It’s not even “easier” when we do, but there we are; two choices. Either/or. Yes/no. True/False. Democrat/Republican. Poor/Rich. It’s seriously weird when I pause to just look at those handful of apparent dichotomies; even “true/false” isn’t really “real”. There’s a lot of room between those, other options to consider – life is more nuanced than a  dichotomy suggests. Get used to it. Make room for depth. Take it as an opportunity, instead of fighting it. Be more than a yes or no. 🙂

…How often have I frustrated my partner(s) – or failed a test – out of discomfort with answering a “yes or no question” with a yes, or a no, because it all just seems vastly more nuanced than that to me? Is that a reflection of my injury…? I pause a moment to wonder, before letting my mind move on.

I sit sipping coffee, listening to the rain fall. It’s not actually raining. I just enjoy the sound of falling rain, and have a video on in the background, for the sound of it. It’s one of those sloppy, wintry, rain storms that sounds like icy puddles and unexpectedly slick sidewalks. Soothing – and a reminder of how grateful I am to be safe, warm, and dry. The comfort of the warm mug in my hand, and of this space that surrounds me, is more than pleasant – it’s “home”. I smile and think of my Traveling Partner, starting his day in a hotel room, in a strange city… I miss him. I miss coffee together on a Saturday morning. I’m also greatly enjoying the solo time. There’s a balance to it; I miss him deeply in the same breath that I am greatly appreciative to have this time for myself. No guilt or shame or awkwardness; this is part of who I am.

…I still miss him. I’m looking forward to his homecoming – and not just because we’ll enjoy watching Rick & Morty’s Season 4 opener, either. But… yeah… also for that. LOL I smile and have another sip of my coffee. I settle on a plan for the day that includes some housekeeping stuff on my to do list, and also a trip out to a bigger retail space to continue the hunt for a blazer that fits me sufficiently well to be worth buying. Yesterday, I found a lovely warm winter coat at a great price (just being real; I’m not made out of money, and I try my best to be wise with purchases), and it definitely feels like it will be a winter that requires a coat. I sigh out loud in this quiet room – loud enough to hear myself over the rain. Contented. Feeling loved from afar. Okay with the day. Comfortable in my skin.

…It feels like time to begin again. 🙂

Sipping my coffee on a Sunday. Feeling content, and cherishing that feeling even more for having recently been blown off that comfortable perch by stormy emotional weather. I take time to be pleased with the morning, and the moment, and the fact that hurt feelings don’t have to linger for days. Even yesterday was quite lovely, so much so that I never did sit down to write about it; I was busy enjoying it.

But what happened?!

Fair enough. I went to my afternoon appointment, Friday, and returned home. He was up from napping, by the time I got back. We enjoyed a lovely evening – and not “as if nothing happened” in some peculiar surreal or bitter way, faking the moment. It was like that at all. We each had a chance to care for our own needs, and took it. He took time to manage his pain, and got more rest (which he evidently needed). I took the time it took to manage my own pain, and my PTSD, which had flared up over some nothing and derailed our lovely morning. We were both fine, and when we reconnected in the evening, we made a point to check in with each other, sooth hurts, restore broken intimacy, and simply moved on with a lovely evening, without lingering resentment (as far as I know; it’s still true we are each having our own experience).

Then we enjoyed yesterday. Autumn means more indoor cooking. Desired health, long-term wellness, fitness, and longevity goals mean more new recipes, whole ingredients, and fun exploring different sorts of meals at home. Just humans being human.

Today, I woke with a bit of a headache, but well-rested, feeling fairly merry, and enjoying the sound of the rain falling fairly ceaselessly (this entire weekend) beyond the windows. I sip my coffee, explicitly aware of, and exceedingly grateful for, the roof over my head, the central heat and a/c, the indoor plumbing and potable water, refrigeration, the gas fireplace, the comfortable furnishings, and the lovely view beyond the patio. I’ll never be wealthy, but I am so very fortunate. It’s a lovely morning to enjoy that, to embrace contentment, and maybe, later, do a little laundry. lol 😀

…Then I can begin again. 🙂

I’m looking at this list of bullet points. It has become an outline of future work, mapped across future days. My morning coffee has become a can of cold fizzy water. The day is nearing the end, and I am smiling. I’m smiling, in part, because I love what I do. The other part of that smile is because I’m not being asked to yield what remains of my day, or my energy, beyond an utterly routine commitment to a shift. Comfortable. Sustainable.

There is no clock on the wall. My sense of aesthetic suggests there should be. There is no potted plant on my desk, or standing in the odd corner between a structural post, and the wall; a plant would look great right there. There is no bookcase with books, filled up notepads, coffee mugs, and tchotchkes, against the wall, where I expect to see one. The floor is bare concrete. The bare overhead light contributes to the very industrial look of this place. I’m not bitching; the temperature is comfortable, the break room is amply stocked with icy cold fizzy water, and very hot coffee, both in reliably good supply.

I arrived eager and confident a couple days ago, and the fit is natural; I belong here. I am still in that “assessing needs-gaining access-learning tools-looking ahead” sort of place, and that seems appropriate to the circumstances. I let myself fill my awareness with this moment, and these circumstances. No holding back. No trepidation. All in. I am comfortable here.

…The walls need art…

…I’ve got plenty of art…

Tomorrow is another day. Another beginning. Another step along this path. I’m ready for it – I’m also tired, at least, tired right now. Relaxed, contented, fatigued – the fatigue of a day’s work, done well, and fully appreciated. All of that. No more than that. It’s lovely.

The challenge, now, is shoring up healthy practices, and building new routines around these new circumstances. The commute is different. The location is different. Simple things like badging in, logging into tools… finding my way directly to my office, all new, and all such simple things, generally; it’ll still take me weeks to get comfortable and functioning on updated implicit memory. In the meantime, I laugh at myself each morning as I go down the hallway toward the office in which I spent my first day, by mistake. My office is the next corridor over. lol I’ll chuckle when I attempt to login using credentials from the last place I worked. I’ll grin with merriment when I find my way to the men’s room, instead of the ladies’ room, having to back track, then reverse through a seeming maze of hallways and glass boxes to the opposite side of the building, because, at least for now, it’s the only route by which I remember where the ladies’ room is. I’ll laugh out loud when I walk into my boss’s office, thinking it is mine (mine is on the opposite side of the hallway).

I’ll go home still smiling. Tomorrow, I’ll begin again. 🙂