Archives for posts with tag: doing my best

I’m sipping my coffee feeling fortunate, this morning. I feel fortunate most mornings, these days. I am lucky enough to be in love with my best friend. It’s lovely. At this age, I am sometimes less than ideally fit to indulge rapacious lust, and we’re not ducking off to a quiet spot for a quick romp as often as when we first got together (nor as often as we’d probably like). The aches and pains of aging and health-related matters sometimes get in the way of sex. You know what they don’t get in the way of? The love.

“Contemplation” 12″ x 16″ acrylic and iron oxide. August 2011

My Traveling Partner – and titular dream lover, and best friend – steps into the studio and plays with my hair for a moment while I write. It’s a sweet romantic moment. I feel loved. Soon enough, he’ll be in the shop with his son working on this-or-that, and I’ll be on with the day tackling an errand or some housekeeping. Eventually, we will connect again – on a break, or with a question, or simply seeking each other out for a moment of connection without an agenda aside from love and loving. It’s easy in these easy moments to think love itself is easy… there are still verbs involved. There is the ongoing need to practice deep listening, to respect and care for each other, to put in the effort when circumstances are difficult…

…Like this morning, actually. I woke with a ferocious headache that feels a bit as if my brain stem is just… on fire. Yeesh. The pain is an unnecessary complication, and I resent having to deal with it. I manage, however, not to drag that into every interaction (so far), and just deal with it quietly in the background without turning it into a thing all its own. Win! 😀

I woke this morning with this fucking headache, the awareness of which interrupted a lovely dream that I was in my partner’s embrace, entwined naked in bed, sleeping in each other’s arms… yep. I was sleeping, dreaming of sleeping. What the hell? LOL When I woke, though, there was – in spite of the headache – a lovely all-over sort of awareness that I am truly loved. I don’t have the words to describe the emotional context in which I woke – it was wonderful, and since that moment, headache and all, I smile every time I see or interact with my partner. I love that guy. lol 😀

Sweet moments matter. It’s so easy (too easy) to put all the focus on tragedy, drama, and pain, or to become swamped by life’s inevitable chaos. This morning, I let the moment be what it is, and sit with my coffee and this smile. Those matter far more than the headache I woke with. Soon enough, I’ll surely begin again – for now? This moment, this lovely late summer morning at home with my partner, is quite enough just as it is. 🙂

This morning is hard. I woke up in pain. It’s a rainy morning; I felt it coming, yesterday. My head aches. I am “not fit for human company” right now. Fuck you, COVID-19 – today would be a perfect day to get out of the house and just wander around aimlessly. lol Or… not.

Fuck, I hurt.

I queue up some videos about fish-keeping. I watch the fish. I drink my coffee. I wait to get over my bullshit.

…I’ll definitely have to begin again. lol

I’m okay, though, for most values of okay. It’s just physical pain, and while it does affect my mood, and tends to “shrink my world”, it’s only this thing that it is – if I allow myself to remain aware of all the rest of the good things life offers, it doesn’t take over, it just exists as part of the experience. Unpleasant, but limited.

I hear my Traveling Partner wake up and start his day. I sigh and put on my best patient and considerate manners, and we interact briefly, greet each other, and I retreat to my studio. No harm done. No conflict. No stress. Nice. That’s a win, right there. I’m positively filled with snarls this morning.

I sip my coffee. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. Watch fish-keeping videos filled with conflicting advice based on fairly commonplace observations. lol I feel fortunate to be willing to learn, without making firm assumptions about who is right or wrong; they try things, I try things. They each have their way, learned over time. I find mine; I’ve got time to learn. Tons of new beginnings. So many opportunities to begin again. My results vary. Even keeping my aquariums becomes a living metaphor for this complicated human journey that is the life I live. I’m okay with that.

Here it is the weekend. Tomorrow, the external canister filter I’d ordered for the shrimp tank should arrive. “2-day shipping” from FedEx has taken more than a week. Frustrating, but real. Life is not about ideal circumstances and experiences. It may be about how well we enjoy, learn from, and make use of circumstances and experiences that are not at all ideal. 🙂 I keep practicing.

Coffee almost gone… soon it will be time to get a grip on my best manners, and fight through this pain to enjoy the day with my partner. It’s the weekend, and it’s already time to begin again. 🙂

This morning I woke rested, comfortable, and generally contented. Problem moments of yesterday remain just that; moments, that were yesterday. Small things stayed small. My Traveling Partner and I had a great afternoon and evening together, enjoying each other’s company without reservations, or lingering baggage or bullshit, after the morning’s one sour note in an otherwise harmonious experience.

…Even great musicians occasionally play a wrong note, why would love – great or otherwise – be exempt? 🙂

I keep working on my ability to communicate skillfully and gently. One book, one practice, one experience at a time, I keep at it. Study. Practice. Learn. Repeat. Resilience takes time and practice to build. (And possibly more than one genre of music… 😉 )

Back to the office today, after a restful and pleasant weekend. I touch the small elephant pendant my love gave me at the holidays this year, and smile. There’s more in life to deal with, more to do, more to savor, more to enjoy, and more to grow and learn from. This moment, though? Quite enough just as it is.

I finish my coffee, and begin again. 🙂

Yesterday felt like a summer day. This morning a soft rain falls on a gray dawn, and the cool rain-fresh air fills the apartment. There will be no pastel sun rise this morning, only this soft rain falling, the sound of birdsong, and flat gray sky over the varied greens of lawn, meadow, and marsh beyond. I’m okay with that, it’s a lovely morning, and we need the rain. Storms pass. There are other days to fill with sunshine. 🙂

Storms pass.

I try not to let the weather slow me down. 🙂

I sip my coffee. It will be another hour before I lace up my boots and walk the rainy path through the park. I consider going the opposite direction than the path I typically take. Being comfortable with change seems  healthy. This week has felt both productive and leisurely – relaxed without being effortless, focused and purposeful without being obligation and drudgery. I have enjoyed my time, and my self.

Today my ‘to do list’ is focused on tying up loose ends of a variety of sorts, mostly basic housekeeping. I have a date with my traveling partner tonight, and I like to be able to set aside the housekeeping entirely while he is here and simply enjoy him, without a lot of fuss and bother.  One task (hanging drapes in the studio) has been carried forward from other lists on other days for some time now… I’ve been irked to see myself procrastinate on this detail of the moving in. This morning I notice again why I have put it off; it will require me to move my desk. I’ve no objection, it just makes hanging the drapes a project of a couple hours work, instead of a couple minutes, and overcoming the inertia caused by being content with my desk as it is, and the view out the window beyond as well, it’s hard to bother. (Once summer comes, I’ll be quite annoyed if I have still not hung the drapes; my studio is the warmest room in the house, and challenging to cool because the sun hits the window for a large portion of the day.) Hanging the drapes has value, although it isn’t my highest priority day-to-day. I could treat myself poorly over the continued procrastination on this task… I don’t. It’s simply not that big a deal. I let it go.

My sleep cycle has been thrown off a bit due to late nights in the charming company of my partner recently. I’m not complaining – totally worth it – I’m hoping, however, to rebuild good sleep habits before I go back to work. I woke this morning at 3:00 am, feeling that I’d slept through the night (but only about 5 hours), and when I tried to rise, was so groggy with fatigue there was no wiser choice than to return immediately to bed, but I slept quite restlessly and wakefully after that. Once or twice, now and then, this isn’t any sort of problem, but over time my emotional resilience and general well-being degrade if I don’t get enough sleep. (For me, ‘enough sleep’ tends to be a very routine 7.5-9 hours of more or less continuous sleep ‘through the night’, on whatever shift or hours I am living.) Good sleep requires practice. Yes, I’m serious – and practicing good sleep practices is another bunch of verbs. There are any number of informative articles about good sleep hygiene.

I stretch. Sip my coffee. Consider the day. Wonder why I wrote this blog post, which suddenly seems fairly mundane and somewhat uninteresting. I think about nice days, pleasant conversations, and easy moments; most of those are fairly mundane, and uninteresting to write about too, but they are experiences I enjoy greatly, and cherish. I think ahead to a romantic evening, and smile; my fingers and toes match (mani-pedi), and after I finish the laundry I’ll have favorite comfortable cute clothes laid out, ready to put on after my shower. It’s not so much ‘vanity’ as that I am a mammal, a human primate, and ‘sexy’ feels good. (Like a lot of things, practice, verbs, results vary; some of my challenges occasionally put me at risk of being slack on self-care details, and practicing good self-care is worth reinforcing.) I am eagerly putting effort into being ready to spend time with my partner; he’s absolutely worth the best I have to offer. There’s no stress to it, and the effort isn’t about being ‘good enough’ or being someone I am not; I make different choices in life, now. Self-acceptance, being comfortable in my own skin, and personal growth (and the effort to use the verbs) don’t seem to be mutually exclusive… I find it entirely okay to work at being me with greater skill. 😀 Today is a good day for that, gray skies and all.

Today is a good day to celebrate Love. (Most days are.)

No, seriously, it’s not. I made a point of not reading the news, and the information gleaned from sensational headlines is sufficient to be certain of two very basic things: 1. the news remains firmly focused on all manner of very negative things – and making money – and 2. it’s neither novel, nor presented in a reliably neutral and factual way. There’s just no point filling my head with poison when I am putting so much attention into taking my experience a very different direction.

Simple and lovely.

Simple and lovely.

Beyond that, I’m just not well, tonight. I am feeling ill, probably with the latest ick going around the office, and I am in pain – the arthritis just isn’t letting up yet, and probably won’t until summer. Being sick, I also feel run down, cross, emotional, and fatigued…fussy and ‘out of sorts’ rather remarkably like a sick child. (That’s got to be annoying to be around… I tend to assume so… I don’t actually ask, and simply do my best to handle my care, myself.)

Tonight self-care involves chicken soup, and firmly insisting with myself on an appropriately nutritious meal, plenty of water to drink, and an early night. Yoga, meditation – all those good practices still have their moment, but I add simple extras tonight like being patient with myself; I am slower than usual. I take a moment to think simple tasks through more carefully to minimize mistakes; I can feel that my thinking is also slowed down. You know what isn’t slowed down at all? My emotions. One more good practice I am practicing tonight is to give myself a little space, and enjoying a relaxed evening taking care of me. I’m relaxed and content writing, meditating, and watching South Park, but emotional disinhibition can quickly derail an otherwise pleasant shared evening, and when I am not feeling well I am even more than usually vulnerable to that particular challenge; quiet solo time makes more sense.

Next, yoga, a shower…sleep. I would love to sleep through whatever has me feeling ill. If I wake feeling sick tomorrow, it will be a good day to practice the very best self-care.