Archives for posts with tag: doing my best

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. ūüôā

Storms pass.

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

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 Рrelaxed 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. ūüėÄ 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.

This is a lovely gentle moment. Last evening was also very nice. In between these moments, ideally, would be several hours of sleep. I am content with the handful of hours of sleep I got, and a couple¬†more of rest and meditation, and I woke to my alarm feeling comfortable. My arthritis is felt as a distant thing, this morning, managed and of no real consequence. My coffee is very welcome. My jeans, a size smaller than I’ve been wearing, feel comfortable, relaxed, and soft against my skin, like very old broken in favorite jeans – a very nice way for a new pair of jeans to feel. There is a lot to smile about, this morning (and even most mornings).

I will take today as it comes, practicing good practices, shoring up practices that I know work that I may not be fully committed to, practicing not practicing practices that don’t work as well…and treating others well.

One spring moment of many, with all the possibility and potential of any new moment.

One spring moment of many, with all the possibility and potential of any new moment.

This is a lovely moment. Many of them are, actually, even in the face of my own chaos and damage; so often it is embracing the fundamental loveliness of some ‘now’ moment or another that calms my storms, and helps me ‘find my way home’ to a gentler heart. A few deep breaths, a moment or two of real stillness, the solitude to find calm; these are so essential to maintaining balance and building resilience. Learning to allow myself to meet those needs has been challenging, and totally worth the time and effort to learn, and to practice.

However loving the lover, however caring the caregiver, however tender the heart of someone who wants to support me, first and perhaps of greatest importance has been learning to love and care for myself, my own heart, my own life – and not because there’s no one else out there, or because others cannot be relied upon, or because the world is in any way ‘unworthy’ – but because it is my own ability, and will, to care for myself well that shows everyone else ways to love and care for me, too. Besides, who else would be a better fit as ‘lifelong super best friend’ for me than me?

Does it seem odd to bother with writing such a simple post, on such a slim bit of an idea? I find that some of life’s best bits are painted across my experience with a very delicate brush¬†– it’s not all drama, big deals, or epiphanies. Some of the stuff that has mattered most to me is pretty simple, basic, every day living. I’m okay with that; simple is easier to practice. ūüôā

Today feels full of possibilities. Today is a good day to embrace the moment with wonder and enthusiasm. Today is a good day to connect, and to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Today is a good day to change the world.

I may as well have ordered from a menu…”I’ll have the Random Emotional Overload, please – does that come with Feelings of Not Being Heard? I’d also like extra Not Well Understood, please. Can I have that with a side of Fail Sauce? There’s no Diary in that, is there? …Oh, Honey – you should try the Accusations and Dismissiveness, I hear that’s really exceptional here…”

Yesterday, I went, in mere seconds, from feeling content, comfortable, and enjoying quite a lovely day, to… something very different. The tiniest of difficulties with communicating a very simple idea (“yes¬†and¬†I am uncomfortable”, versus “No, because I am uncomfortable” – quite different concepts, truly) quickly became an embarrassing loss of emotional regulation on a level that is difficult to accept, explain, or excuse without some understanding of how a disinhibiting brain injury might complicate PTSD. It is what it is. I continue to do my best and work to grow and improve on what I can’t rely on without exerting will and continuous practice… It is what it is, and what it is just happens to be my experience, which sometimes sucks rather a lot.

I moved on, the evening unfolded, eventually I slept. The damage is done, of course. There are no ‘take backsies’, once I’ve hurt someone – they hurt. It’s the crumpled paper model of regret; the apology is necessary, and making amends is important, but the damage is done.

My head hurts today. I didn’t sleep well. Hormone Hell sucks like crazy, but it’s still 100% on me to do my best to be the best person I can be, moment to moment. It sucks that a few painful moments on a single day out of many can have the potential¬†drive pain and stress into so many other potentially entirely unrelated moments even on entirely different days, but there it is. It’s one major reason why mindfulness matters so much, why I keep harping on being in this¬†moment, and reminding myself that we are each having our own experience; there’s just no sharing some of it, and becoming mired in what sucks is so much easier than becoming wrapped in what is warm and lovely and good. Be. Here. Now.

This moment was lovely...

This moment was lovely…

Today is a good day for practicing practices. Today is a good day to be this amazing woman I am Рchallenges and all Рand to continue to do my best, and to grow, and heal, and walk on, until I reach a new perspective. Today is a good day to embrace all the vast character and wonder of this creature I hold so tenderly in this broken vessel. Today is a good day to stand between myself, and the world, and be the person I can count on right now to care for me, reliably well, every day.  Today is a good day to make choices that meet my needs over time.

It’s still dark outside, the day has barely begun. ¬†It will unfold soon enough, in pink and lavender, and a hint of orange along the horizon. What sort of day will it be? Mostly, it will be the sort of day I choose, the sort of day I make it become through my actions, my circumstances, my decision-making – and my perspective.

Dawn, effort, and progress;  my morning skyline as a metaphor.

Dawn, effort, and progress; my morning skyline as a metaphor.

When I take a mindful and observing approach, so many details are revealed that the landscape of my day, and my experience are altered (usually for the better).

There is more to see than what is obvious.

There is more to see than what is obvious.

Today is a good day to choose well, to make choices that are compassionate, choices that are kind, and choices that recognize that we are each more similar than different – and that both our differences and our similarities are worthy of acknowledgement, respect, and kind humor. “Good-natured” is a characteristic I would like to associate with myself. ¬†Today is a good day to cultivate that quality.

Choose a path.

Choose a path.

Choices upon choices – it is no wonder so many opportunities arise when the easier course of action seems to be inaction, or that the easier choice is to refrain from choosing and allow events to unfold ‘as they will’. ¬†I consider for a moment that events unfolding ‘as they will’ – how clearly that spells out that the will of others is involved, and that a lack of will on my part doesn’t really get me off the hook on the matter of choice – or will; someone has chosen something at some point that becomes an element of my own experience. ¬†Being involved in my own experiences seems a wise choice.

Today is a good day to be kind. ¬†It is a good day to show compassion for myself, and for others. It is a good day to coach with praise more often than with criticism, and to offer encouragement over frustration. Today is a good day for hugs, and a good day for smiles. ¬†Today is a good day to let go of fearful assumptions, and reading sub text into the words of others. ¬†Today is a good day to be open to the possibilities – known and unknown. Today is a good day to be who I am, wrapped in this fragile vessel that is my body, on this roller coaster ride that is my experience. ¬†Today is a good day to accept struggle, and acknowledge challenges, without being cowed by them. Today is a good day to remember that feelings like despair, futility, apathy, and frustration are parts of my experience now and then – along with joy, delight, hope, excitement, enthusiasm, contentment, confidence, and love. ¬†Today is a good day to remember that everyone’s pain hurts – and nearly always hurts them more than any other pain they might be aware exists, because it is their own. ¬†Today we are each having our own experience.

Today I am kind, I am content, and I am compassionate.  Today I am hopeful and enthusiastic about life. Today I love, and I am worthy of love in return. Today there is more about me that is whole than is broken. Today I choose, and in my choices hope to thrive and treat myself and others well.

Today I will change the world.