Archives for posts with tag: embrace change

It’s the first morning I’ve had any “writing time” in what seems like a very long while, although it has only been 6 days. “Only” 6 days? It’s been nearly a week! I am struck by how long it actually has been, even as I observe how little time that is, from another vantage point. I try to think about what I was doing before last weekend that would have halted my writing in that way, and finding myself a bit lacking. I startled myself with an abrupt bark of a laugh in this quiet early morning space. Right. That was it…

…The same events that changed the entire character of the “department on-site get together” I went to the city for this week had also altered the flow of my days last week. Just that; work. There it is, though; change. Change is

What had been planned as a fun sort of re-calibrating/re-charging sort of get together of colleagues who rarely meet IRL or work together collaboratively in a shared physical space in a single time zone became a tactical gathering of professionals doing what they do in an extraordinary way to meet extraordinary needs. Instead of a handful of structured pleasant meetings, ice-breakers, team-building exercises, and after hours get-togethers and social activities, it was work. A lot of work, long days, fast-paced and very demanding, and we were mostly all too exhausted to do much partying. Most of the structured strategic planning or informational sessions were just cancelled, and others were re-planned to be recorded content for later consumption. Many of us didn’t make it to any after hours activities at all; too tired. I put in about the same hours in 3 days this week than I generally do in an entire week. lol The week is not over.

I’m not even bitching about any of this. It was amazing to see the team come together as a well-coordinated effective professional powerhouse. We got so much done that was needful and even urgent. Pretty cool. (I would not want to try to sustain this kind of intensity or pace, it would quickly be exploitative and abusive.)

I’m so glad to be home again! I feel rather as if I was very far away for a very long time, although I was only gone 3 nights, and I was only 47 miles away. My Traveling Partner missed me. I missed him. (So much!) We enjoyed a lovely chill evening together. It was nice to cook a simple meal in my own kitchen (we had hot dogs). It was so good to be in my own bed, again. 😀

I’m only half un-packed, and I’m sitting here sipping my coffee thinking about how to most easily pivot from getting laundry done and unpacking to repacking for my wee coastal holiday next week. (So soon!) There was nothing restful about the trip to the city I just returned from, and although I missed my Traveling Partner enough to consider (briefly) canceling my coastal getaway, I know I actually really need to take some proper time for myself, to rest and recharge. I’m so tired! LOL A couple days on the coast, sleeping in, writing, reading, drinking coffee, walking the beach – it will be a healthy investment in my wellness and resilience.

I sigh out loud, remembering an errand I need to run today and making a point of putting that “top of mind”. I feel my attention tugged in the direction of planning the day. It must be time to begin again… 😀

My coffee tastes different this morning. It’s not because I am sitting cross-legged on the surprisingly comfy Queen bed in this seaside hotel, not even because it’s fairly typically-terrible hotel coffee made in a fairly generically terrible-coffee-making drip machine sitting atop the small room-sized hotel refrigerator, but more because I am sipping it solo, with no chance at all of sharing the moment with my Traveling Partner. Right at the moment, in all practical terms, we’re traveling separately (he’s sleeping still, at home, I hope, and I am sitting cross-legged in sloppy-loose blue jeans, laptop perched precariously on my lap, waiting for my terrible coffee to cool enough to drink properly).

I’d say my goal of relaxing and getting some “down time” before shifting gears to start the new job has been successful; I woke having entirely forgotten about Daylight Savings Time, and looking at the clock and finding “6:30 am” to be both believable, and an acceptable time to wake on a leisure morning… I woke up. I laughed when I finally noticed the discrepancy between the clock that I had checked upon waking (which automatically updated) and the one that did not (provided by the hotel, plugged into the wall in the usual way). I shrugged it off and got started making terrible coffee and looking over the notes I took at several points yesterday, as I walked and wandered, waited and reflected, breathed and meditated.

The ocean does not care when or whether I check into my hotel room, nor when I leave. My presence makes no difference to the timing of the waves, or the fierceness of the winds.

I arrived to the shore much too early to check into the hotel, and my room was not yet ready. Didn’t matter much; the endless ocean tickled the shore without regard to check-in times. The hotel graciously allowed me to use the private beach access in the meantime, and I went down what seemed like 1001 concrete steps to the beach. The wind was brisk and cold. There were bundled up families flying kites and enjoying the day. There were even barefooted kids playing in the shallow water of the waves as they spread across the beach, then receded; they seemed as shore birds, running forward as the water pulled back, running back as the waves spread forward. I found myself reflecting on that. There’s something to learn, there, I suppose.

…This coffee is simply dreadful. I add sugar and the available non-dairy creamer. Still awful. I’m still drinking it…

I gave up beach walking when my legs became tired, and trudged patiently up those many steps once more. Room not yet ready, I headed into town and, masked and distant, and wandered through enticing antique shops.

In a shop filled with carefully crafted miniatures, I find room after room of furnishings that seem to be idealized versions of various stages of my own aesthetic, and wonder if, after all, so many of them could really have come from… doll houses?

The tourist “traps” that line the street are the sort common to any seaside town I’ve visited… saltwater taffy shops, “old time” candy stores, antique shops, t-shirts, sea shells, and nautically themed whatsits of all kinds (lighthouse sculptures, pirate “treasure”, glass fishing floats and paperweights, and “the world’s best” of some local dish). I wandered until I was more distracted by my own thoughts than engaged by what I saw in front of me, and returned again to the hotel, and to the beach, to walk and reflect awhile longer.

I sat for a long while, occasionally attempting to light a joint in the fierce coastal “breeze” without success.

I spent a couple of contented hours walking, and thinking. Reflecting on lessons learned, both generally (and recently), and also specifically (with regard to my most recent job, and how to make good use of what I learned in future roles). It was time well-spent. Aside from the wind and my tinnitus, the only thing I was hearing was… me. I walked the beach listening deeply to what the woman in the mirror has to say… about life… about love… about work… about a future that is unknown (and largely unknowable). I contemplated the confounds of expectations and assumptions.

…At check in time, I made my way to my room, let myself into this small space that is more or less my own (until check out time), and unpacked my baggage – literally, and metaphorically.

…Damn this is dreadful coffee. Wtf? Why am I putting myself through this? LOL I stare into the cup, warm in my hand, astonished by its prodigious awfulness with a certain amount of respect; it’s a hell of an achievement for a cup of coffee to be this bad.

I took time to reflect on all I’d seen, and on my notes, and the many “living metaphors” the day had presented to me.

I ask myself “the hard questions” on my mind as the day becomes evening… What matters most? What has me chained to some past moment? What have I accepted as the basis of my sense of self? Is that truly “who I am”? How do I free myself to soar to greater heights? Where does my path lead? The moments, questions, and the thoughts they carry with them crash onto the shore of my consciousness, and recede one by one. I find “embracing change” to be a process, and an ongoing practice. Taking some time alone to be with my thoughts – and, unavoidably, with my self, is a useful break for “sorting things out”. For finding the signal in the noise. Life may not have a map, but I can sure jot down some notes as I might if I were writing down directions to go from here to … somewhere else. It’s important to be clear on the desired destination. It’s important to be aware of where I stand right now. 🙂 With those things in mind, how much more easily can I begin again?

…It’s that time, isn’t it? Beginning again, I mean. The new job starts tomorrow. The new laptop was delivered Friday, and is waiting for me to set it up.

…Fucking hell I am missing my Traveling Partner this morning. I missed him ferociously last night, too. The value in missing him has nuances that are worthwhile experiences of their own. Missing him reduces the likelihood that I will take his precious presence in my life for granted. Missing him reinforces how much I enjoy him being part of my experience. Being absent the many things he does for me (and for us), large and small, reminds me that I legit don’t do as well for myself on my own as I seem able to in this specific partnership. (Not dissing myself or minimizing how much I appreciate myself for (and as) myself, just saying there’s a ton of stuff that just doesn’t seem to stay on my radar, and my sometimes general lack of fucks to give, or pain, results in more chaos than I easily manage… and that seems far less likely in his company, and with his help.)

…And both of us make an excellent cup of coffee that is so much better than this warm brown liquid that I’ve decided can’t at all be called “coffee” – it’s just that bad, and I am seriously missing something better… and my partner… this morning. 🙂

The sun is not yet up. Check out time is not for another 3 hours. There is time to walk on the beach, time for a bite of breakfast, and time to find a better cup of coffee. LOL There’s time to begin again.

A group of rocks along the shore, exposed at low tide, inaccessible at high tide. Even in that, there is something to reflect on, a metaphor in action, something to learn about who I am, and where I am headed.

I look at the clock, and see daylight beginning to show through the curtains. Definitely time to begin again. 🙂

I’m sipping my coffee, looking over some completed work, and taking this firm break to refresh my thinking. The window shade is open, and I can see the wintry gray sky above the neighbor’s house, beyond the fence, and the naked branches of the pear tree. Human and filled with soft turmoil, hints of changes coming… or that could be, if I choose them. I sit quietly with my thoughts, not attached to an outcome, non-judgmentally, just… thoughts, and coffee, and a gray winter sky.

I listen to a jazzy rainy day station in the background; it suits the work, today.

I find myself reflexively seeking to return to work. My hands and eyes drift to more obviously purposeful things… but this break has a timer, and it is not yet time to return to work. 🙂 It may be time to begin again… for other values of beginning. There are bigger questions that need time to unfold comfortably, and, having been well-considered with patient thoroughness and calm, perhaps an action. Thoughts and coffee, first. 🙂

…It’s not as if I really know where my path leads, anyway, is it…?

I smile at my break timer. There are enough measured minutes remaining for another cup of coffee… and that’s enough. 🙂

I’m sipping my second coffee on a sunny Sunday morning. My Traveling Partner is preparing to undertake some household projects, partly to improve our quality of life, and partly (I feel fairly certain) to satisfy his own creative joy. I feel content, and also a certain strange happy satisfaction to see his power tools ready for use, and hear the details of his plan for the project in front of him. It “feels like home”.

…It has taken so long to get “here”.

One perspective on “home”.

In this instance, not a geographical location at all, nor an address, maybe not even a point in time – it’s more than any of that. Feels good, though, and I take a moment to think about a conversation I had with my partner, when he moved into my wee duplex with me. We were talking about the potential need to move into a somewhat bigger place (pre-pandemic). I remember feeling distressed and agitated, and struggling to communicate what felt so “urgent” to me, personally; I did not want to move again unless it was into our own home. It felt non-negotiable after having to move 5 times in 10 years. The constant chaos involved in moving is unpleasant for me, and has longer-lasting emotional wellness impact than I manage comfortably. The frequent change in living space messes with my head, and results in a loss of implicit knowledge of my surroundings – not necessarily a critical detail for everyone, definitely important to me personally.

I sip my coffee, appreciating the warmth of it, on a cool summer morning. The dewy surfaces out on the deck evaporate in the sunshine. My workstation, still set up in the dining room, has a view out to the deck. I can see my partner out there measuring things, taking notes. I smile. This is, if not “everything”, is surely enough to feast on with a happy heart.

“This too shall pass”. Of course. Everything does, at some point. We don’t know when the clock will run out on our fun, or our happy adventures, or the warmth of a smile that is dear to us, any more than we know with any certainty when our miseries or hardships will end. Everything does, though. Everything. I remind myself to embrace this charming happy “now” unreservedly. Enjoy the journey. Embrace change. Invest in love.

…Good cup of coffee… nice morning…

…time to begin again. 🙂

 

My coffee has gone cold. It’s been that sort of morning. Distractions. Being here, “now”, instead of driven by habit.

I woke to a misty drenching rain that I was only aware of once I stepped out onto the deck, shortly before dawn. So lovely. I love the sound of rain on leaves, and the bit of forest just beyond the deck definitely provides it. I’m still smiling. My thoughts are still full of raindrops and birdsong. I started the morning with a rainy day soak in the hot tub, which was soothing, and I’m in so much less pain because of it. The bonus, this morning, was in the conversation. My Traveling Partner opened the door on a fairly deep discussion for such an early time of morning (more or less “pre-coffee”). A rare thing. It went well, and looking back feels as productive as it felt helpful in the moment. New perspective on old issues. Gentle sharing, with consideration, and thoughtful use of language. Win. (Way to do “adulthood” well on a Thursday!)

Raindrops and blossoms on the pear tree beyond my window.

Eventually, the work day had to begin, and so it has. Same great job, same great boss… same real life “harsh reality” that change is a thing. Change just is. Few promises, few guarantees, and a lot of changes – that’s real. Too real this morning. Yesterday I got the news about a personnel change that matters to me (emotionally) a great deal. Hard to see someone I enjoy working with moving on. I mean… I’m glad they found something promising that will meet more of their needs, for sure. I will miss working with them a lot – I’ve learned a lot working with this colleague, and become a more skillful professional as a result. I also appreciate their enthusiastic interest in deep conversations, meta analysis, and unusual tangents and correlations. It’s hard seeing them go.

…I’ve “stood in this place” before, and the time that follows has sometimes been pretty unpleasant, and I’ve left jobs over the loss of… “communion”? Maybe that is the “right word”? Certainly, I’ve left jobs when things reached a point where I no longer had professional relationships I really enjoyed among my closest colleagues. This time, I’m in a healthier place as a human being (in spite of social distancing, pandemic life, and all of the baggage and bullshit I still tend to lug around). I don’t find myself catastrophizing what the future may hold. 🙂 It’s just a change.

Change is.

I sip my now-cold coffee, haplessly left behind on my way to soak and converse with my Traveling Partner as the rainy dawn unfolded into a gray rainy day. It’s still a good cup of coffee. I don’t mind that it is cold. Sometimes changes are just changes, and even though they “feel like” a big deal in one moment, later, in some other, they’ll probably just be what is. 🙂 It’s enough for a Thursday morning. I take a moment to contemplate change.

I begin again.