Archives for posts with tag: Easy like a Sunday morning

There’s a certain level of skill required even for feeling good, I’ve found. This could be part of the whole PTSD/TBI package of lingering chaos and damage, I don’t really know; it is part of my own experience, though, and it’s something I have learned to account for. Feeling good haphazardly, willy-nilly, without regard to those many good practices that support my day-to-day well-being is a poor choice. With (self) care, I can relax and enjoy feeling good along with anyone else… without it, feeling good becomes the foreshadowing of some later “unexpected” (utterly predictable) tantrum-to-come, once I’ve exhausted myself with good feelings and likely accompanied that with being over-stimulated, and failing to get the rest or nutrition I also need for lasting good health and well-being. It’s just not as easy (for me) as passively feeling good. There are still verbs involved.

This morning I have choices. A great day ahead that begins with brunch with old friends promises considerable excitement, joy, and feelings of the good variety. So, this morning my day also begins with firmly adhering to those practices I know serve me well: limiting my caffeine intake, doing some yoga, getting a walk in, drinking plenty of water, taking my medication on time, getting enough rest, meditation, and spending some time on tidying up. I’ve been up since 5 am (I slept in), and “brunch” is scheduled comfortably for 9 am. Plenty of time to take care of this fragile vessel. 🙂

The details matter. The practices matter. There are verbs involved. New beginnings. Repeating what works. Being present. Choices. (So many choices!)

I’m feeling pretty good today. It’s still time to begin again. 😉

I got moved into my new place over the Memorial Day weekend. Movers came and went, and my travelling partner gave me a hand on moving day by taking a look around the house and spotting some things I missed when I carefully sifted through a shared household of more than two years, attempting to gently extricate myself and my household goods from the life I would be leaving behind. All that remains is to move my aquarium later this week. I am surprised at how much I miss my fish.

There was little sadness to it for me; it was a long time coming. I need space to paint, uninterrupted time to write and to meditate, and prefer to live in an environment of reciprocal courtesy, consideration, and shared values – or alone. I don’t cohabitate easily with others, and I am pleased to be at a place in life where choosing not to is quite acceptable.  I handled most of the move entirely alone, aside from the movers – that was eerie, and by far the most disturbing thing about the move was the peculiar way the household withdrew from me in the days prior to moving day. Aside from noticing it, though, there really wasn’t time to invest in that experience emotionally. There was too much to do to allow myself to be distracted by emotional bullshit or games.

In the nights leading up to moving day my sleep became disturbed and restless. Fatigue was a probable culprit in the few emotional moments I did struggle with on moving day. I’m still not sleeping deeply, or through the night, yet. It may be some time before I get to that place; there are new shadows, and new noises, and in the dim of night the shapes of things are no longer familiar. I’ve stubbed my toes several times, and my shins are black and blue from walking into things that are not where I expect them to be. I am in familiar territory here, and this will pass as my implicit memory of my living space improves over time. I am at least getting the rest I need, nightly, and I am not anxious when I am wakeful.

Simple beauty

Wild roses along a new path.

So…here I am…in my wee home, surrounded by paintings not yet hung, and silence – well, at least right now it is very still and quiet. It is just past 4:00 am, and the loudest thing I hear is my tinnitus. I woke around 2:30 am. Meditation didn’t ease me back to sleep. I am in pain, and although yoga helped relax me, and ease the pain, it did nothing to improve the odds of going back to sleep, tonight. I tried another strategy or two or three…and laughed out loud in the darkness when I realized that there was no chance getting up would disturb anyone else, now. 🙂 One luxury of living alone; my restless nights don’t mean a restless night for anyone else.

With so many things about living alone, so far, it is the ease that stands out. I have come too far to make assumptions that I will remain in a state of continuous contentment, or that I will never feel lonely, insecure or fearful. I have no expectation of perfect uninterrupted delight, or heightened satisfaction in all things. Assumptions and expectations hold so much potential to wreck a good experience, or to mislead me. I am content, for now, with simply being, and taking time to sort out who I am, and what I want and need from my experience of myself. I am enjoying the luxury of living alone, and I do so knowing I am quite human – there will be dark days, moments of sadness and doubt, and I will surely cry tears that I don’t see coming, sooner or later. I’m okay right now, though.

There is still a lot to sort out to get my new place in shape to paint without making a mess of things – and I’m eager to be painting again. Now that the move itself is behind me, it’s time to figure out new routines, and new self-care timing. Many of the cues and reminders I have counted on have been associated with shared experiences, or the behavior and activity of others. Hot flashes this morning remind me that I will have to rely on myself much more…and I obviously overlooked my hormones last night. I pause to drink water, take medication, and set calendar reminders and alarms. One miss is a mistake, and oversight – missing regularly, or chronically, would be a choice. Yep. There are still verbs involved.

I don’t enjoy living with most people, my traveling partner is a rare exception and I definitely miss him, often. I realized some time over the weekend, as I unpacked so many things that matter to me…I’d been missing me for a long while, too, and I am very much enjoying living with me, now. Right now, it is enough. 🙂

Sometimes the least familiar path is most promising.

Sometimes the least familiar path is most promising.

I’ll admit it; I’m easy.

Elephants are a favorite metaphor here...

Elephants are a favorite metaphor here…

Seriously, I am actually committed to gentle harmony among peers that allows jovial good-natured fun, shared humor, and fosters shared pleasures and nurtures personal growth. I dislike hostility. I especially dislike the sort of hostility between lovers that immediately results in all parties feeling like they are confronted by an adversary.  I don’t at all concede that passion must be paired with contention and anger, or that good conflict management within relationships must involve frustration and grief.  I admit that my feelings on this topic may rise to the level of a ‘religious conviction’ in the sense that I am unwilling to be swayed to another point of view, and feel quite convinced I am ‘right’.  It sounds like an awesome environment to build between lovers, and consistent with my ‘Big 5’ relationship values: respect, reciprocity, consideration, compassion, and openness.  If those 5 characteristics define a romantic relationship, it seems unlikely that the participants would feel ‘adversarial’ or ‘hostile’ toward each other, even when they disagreed. Sounds like a good goal, if nothing else.

There’s another side to “I’m easy”… it has regularly stopped me from taking care of me.  I’ve often chosen to compromise beyond my values, my boundaries, or my limitations, to achieve harmony with a lover or partner. Or said “I’m fine” or “nothing’s wrong” or “I’d love to…” choosing to be ingenuine or evasive for the sake of keeping peace, rather than connecting more intimately by being who I am in a frank and compassionate way. Hell, I’ve even gone years without listening to even one piece of music I really loved, rather than fuss over it with a partner who found my taste in music unpleasant. lol.   That’s probably OK, now and then, but I’m beginning to recognize that as a pattern of behavior, as a methodology, or a routine practice, it results in resentment over time, because my own needs don’t get met, or because I perceive a lack of reciprocity in the relationship when others are unwilling to similarly compromise beyond their values, boundaries, or limitations. Seeing it in print underscores what I have begun to understand – that resentment directed outward toward partners or lovers when I over-compromise isn’t appropriate, however unhappy I may become.  The better result is to be had by understanding my own needs, boundaries, values, limitations and then communicating them explicitly, setting reasonable expectations, and being willing to ‘take care of me’ – honoring those values, and myself, rather than tossing myself onto a sacrificial fire. (Seems a pretty simple idea now…it didn’t until recently; if I am being overly obvious, I laud your wisdom!)

A vessel of great beauty and value  is best handled with care, cherished, and filled with great love.

A vessel of great beauty and value is best handled with care, cherished, and filled with great love.

I’m getting better at taking care of me. I’m getting better at stating boundaries, and recognizing my limitations. I’m still easy…I still want harmony in my relationships.  My Big 5 make sense to me, for my relationships, to meet my own needs in my living environment.  It is a little scary for me to understand that taken together, these understandings lead gently to acceptance that some of my relationships in life didn’t ‘make the cut’ …that some of them likely never could have… and that some of them, in the future, may not meet my needs over time.  As with a precious porcelain cup, I really can’t afford to be careless about what relationships I fill my life with.

I’m easy. I admit it. I am also living more mindfully, and embracing a genuine experience with who I am. Changes are scary… I would love my heart to float like dandelion fluff across the tops of life’s challenges, as if challenges were meadow flowers – my heart untouched by hurts, my challenges bending to my will like flowers in the breeze… but I don’t have that strength of will, or that certainty of what is and what is not… Aristotle lost my attention when I discovered S. I. Hayakawa and R.A. Wilson, and the world is too rich and wonderful to divide neatly into is/is not; there are some damned ‘maybes’.  🙂

For now, ‘easy’ is observing, accepting, experiencing, and waiting for events to unfold as they will. I can’t force the world, or love, to be what I want, I can only enjoy what it is, and be who I am… hopefully becoming, over time, the woman I most want to be, embraced in love by the lovers I cherish most beyond all other beings, with values I respect, who treat me well, and a lifetime ahead of us to share who we are.

Another sunny day in my garden…