Archives for posts with tag: embracing change

4 days to the start of my new job. It’s a Thursday, today. Tomorrow I should get the next update from my new employer with login details and such. The new laptop is already here. I’m excited about this next new beginning, and I am entirely over any grieving that resulted from the abrupt and unanticipated but mostly decently well-managed lay-off from my previous job. I’ve greatly enjoyed the luxury of having two months “off” between these jobs – I feel really ready to get on with things. 🙂 I got a lot of projects done at home, too, and spent ample time in the garden, and out on trails with my camera in my hand. 😀

Yesterday is already a bit of a blur. Honestly, a lot of the days behind me now are a tad “blurry” – my Traveling Partner has taken up quite a bit of our shared time with discussions about his/our new business, the CNC machine that should be supporting it (and frankly isn’t), and the stress of evaluating whether this new CNC machine is the POS that it seems it may be, and what to replace it with (and how to get that done sooner than later). Me getting back to work is a helpful stress reducer for both of us; it’s our safety net, and provides continuous revenue to support growing a young business. Over coffee this morning we follow-up on previous conversations CNC-wise, and make some growth-focused decisions that may have been “too risky” if I were going to be out of work for a longer indefinite period. It’s an exciting time. Stressful, too, but mostly exciting.

Yesterday afternoon I got a couple hours of solo time at home – a rare treat. My partner and his son headed to the city for adventure. I had expected they might be gone many hours… Nope. The city has “gotten pretty bad” over the past couple years, and the rampant homelessness problem that has created a lot of trash and vermin on downtown streets, and seen tent villages rise on corners and in community parks all over, is worse than inconvenient and unattractive – it’s actually created considerable risk just being in those downtown areas at all. Violent crime and property crime, street corner harassment, vehicle thefts and break-ins… it’s all pretty common in the city these days. Shootings are routine. I’m grateful that we moved well away from the city.

My partner and his son returned home after just a couple hours (basically the time it takes to drive there and back). I think their plan is to head out for some other place at some point today. I’m looking forward to having that time to myself to chill, reflect, and be ready for the new job next week. 😀 It’s been nice visiting with my step-son, and hanging out the three of us as a family, but… I am “all peopled out” (and have been for awhile) and I’ll definitely benefit from having some quiet time at home. My partner “gets it”, although we’re quite different in this regard, and he has maintained a steady commitment to getting me that time that I need while his son is visiting. There are for sure things they’d like to do together. 🙂

So… here it is an new day. Heading quickly toward a new beginning. It’s time for change. It’s time to begin again. 😀

Boundaries are funny things. Relationships are fraught with things to do with boundaries: tested boundaries, inadvertently violated boundaries, well-intended willful transgressions of boundaries, and failures to set and manage boundaries with care (or skill). I have, more than once, been situations such that I’ve set a boundary, unsuccessfully reinforced that boundary, and later found myself in violation of my own boundary/limitations! I’ve received firm “push back” regarding a thing I did/said or did not do/say that seemed, in the moment, unreasonable to me, because I’d been letting that person “off the hook” on something very similar that mattered to me, and subsequently feeling a lot of resentment when they undertake to set that boundary, themselves. Instant drama. I mean, for real – this is a major shortcut to conflict, strife, and unhappy discourse. It can develop into a serious see-saw of repeatedly broken “rules” in a relationship, and result in resentment building up over time, even though in some cases it would certainly appear that all concerned want the same basic outcome, and are setting a same/similar boundary on a single clear concern. 0_o

…Humans being human…

I reminded myself, yesterday, to “get off the see-saw” when my partner approached me courteously and set a clear simple boundary (that I had, myself, set at some previous time, under other circumstances). I felt my annoyance flair up. Didn’t I say… I stop myself. Here’s the thing; my Traveling Partner was only asking of me something that I myself want to see be our shared routine. So… what’s with the aggravation? Isn’t a cheerful “sure thing!” more appropriate? If something matters to us both, enough to set boundaries to support it, aren’t we in agreement on the value/importance of that thing or practice? It would seem so. Do I really need to “have my moment” on it? Isn’t it enough to appreciate that we’ve had a meeting of the minds on the topic? Do I actually also need to have “credit” for “coming up with it”? For real?

…Why do I care who gets “credit” for a quality-of-life-improving idea, within the context of a healthy partnership?

Clinging to our righteous position on some detail or another (particularly something as facile who suggested what first) when all seem to be in agreement on the basics of what has value and what is to be done about that, well – it’s just stirring up drama. lol I don’t much care for pointless drama. I really don’t. So, I took a breath, offered my enthusiastic agreement to the requested boundary, and moved on with my day. Why would I choose any differently? 🙂 In relationships in which people have shared values, similar (or the same) ideas, and yes, even boundaries, are highly likely. Staying focused on the outcome instead of the request (or suggestion) makes so much more sense than fussing over being asked to do what we, ourselves, would ideally like to see done. lol

I smile to myself over my coffee. Sure, sure, changing a habit, and building a new practice is a lot of repetition. Being responsible, accountable, and aware of my actions is routine stuff (and yeah, sometimes challenging) – ideally, I catch my own mistakes and correct those, and move on. No fuss, no bother, no nagging, no turmoil. 🙂 Practices need practice. I’ve got time for practicing. The same is true of my Traveling Partner. We’re both equally human. My TBI doesn’t make me more (or less) human – it just requires me to be mindful, to need a few reminders, a bit of patience, and a lot of practice. 🙂 We have time for that.

I listen to birds seeing beyond the window, and let my thoughts wander to mornings at the new address… what will those be like? What birds will be seeing? Will there be squirrels on the deck there? I was out there yesterday, briefly, tape measure in hand. The neighborhood is quiet. I could hear birdsong and breezes. It’s exciting to contemplate this move… another beginning. 🙂

…I like beginnings…


My traveling partner updated my operating system for me yesterday. Change is. It has been, so far, the least stressful such change I’ve experienced. Building my first pc kept me up all night, two nights in a row, struggling with connectivity on an unfamiliar OS. Another iteration, years later in a lifetime long ago, resulted in a weekend of frustrated tears and arguments, emotionally tripping over the well-intended ‘help’ of another partner. In the more recent past, my traveling partner has endured my tension, fear, and anxiety over upgrades to my computer…what if something goes wrong? What happens to my data? My pictures? This is part of… me; I had grown to experience my computer, my hard drive(s), as an extension of self. My challenges with memory, with finding a sense of continuity and enduring self, resulted in an unhealthy emotional attachment to the machine – my computer. I could easily be pushed to panic by any perceived threat to my data. It made updates, upgrades, and changes pretty emotionally complicated.

Life does not stand still. We don't remain where we begin.

Life does not stand still. We don’t remain where we begin.

This is a strong partnership. My traveling partner ‘gets me’ more than most. He silenced the Windows 10 nagging for me, ages ago, and I forgot all about the imminent threat of change to ‘my back up brain’. He quietly went about his own business for a while, did his upgrade himself, used the new OS awhile, brought it around my place on his laptop and there were opportunities to say ‘”h hey, can you just do that while I…” . I expect someone else’s laptop or computer to be set up differently than mine; I approach that situation very openly, handling the machine and myself with care, and unconcerned about little things like ‘change’. A couple of weeks ago, he observed that support for my current OS would likely go away ‘eventually’ and it made sense to consider the new one. I agreed, in the abstract, and he suggested letting Windows have those files ‘ready when the time comes’, and turned the Windows 10 nagger back on. That didn’t sound like a big deal, and I comfortably agreed. Over the weekend, he suggested he may have the opportunity to do the upgrade for me, if I were willing. I waffled a bit, and settled on ‘yeah… okay, I guess, sure’ or something equally vague and half-hearted. He pointed out it would be easy enough to do myself – for some reason, that felt very reassuring, and I even considered doing so, more than once. The day came – yesterday – he mentioned in the morning that he’d probably go ahead and take care of it while I was at work. Years ago that by itself would have caused me huge anxiety – someone in my machine while I was away?? This is not that relationship. (Please note, throughout, his use of affirmative consent practices – win and good.)

I arrived home and it was done. New OS, new emotional experience of such; I felt eager to log on and check it out, but put it off to enjoy the evening together over dinner, and some quiet hang out time. I woke to the alarm, from a deep sound sleep, having entirely forgotten that my computer is on a new OS. My morning has been an explorer’s adventure, checking it out. Things are different. Not bad different. Hell, mostly not good different. Just different. I am rarely confronted by evidence of the quantity of small tweaks and changes to settings I actually do on my computer to be really comfortable… some of those are overwritten by this upgrade, and I am pleasantly surprised to observed that I am not stressed out by small things this morning; today they stay small.

The rain falls beyond the window. I hear traffic in the distance, and the sound of some sort of machinery humming, strange and far away – probably a train paused, idling, alongside the platform not too far from here, on the other side of the nature park, and just beyond the adjacent business park. My coffee is tasty. I wonder again how it is that my partner sleeps through the terribly loud burr grinder in the still of the wee hours each day. I disregard the work day ahead; it gets nothing from me until much later. I consider the small delights of home and hearth, and the joys of having my traveling partner staying with me awhile; I am unconcerned about small deviations from the routine – there’s always room for love here. We make the choices that welcome love home.

Love matters most.

Love matters most.

Today is a good day to embrace change and be open to what is new and unexpected. Today is a good day to reduce negative bias by enjoying all manner of pleasant things, being present for each moment, and lingering contentedly over the recollection of them; they are more important [to me] than the stressors. Today is a good day to continue to change my experience – and my world.

The week ended well, which wasn’t something I expected, but I do often find that dread is a poor choice of foundation for anticipating or predicting things with any reliable level of accuracy. My back is aching, and it will be a short weekend, but I am not suffering, or struggling, or fussing with frustration over what is not, or even what is.

It was not obvious at first glance what the day might hold for me.

It was not obvious at first glance what the day might hold for me.

I am home, comfortable, and relaxed – although I am still in street clothes for the moment. Dinner is in the oven; it made sense to get it started before I shower away the last reminders of work (the tension in my shoulders, and the subtle sense that a presence of the office lingers on my skin).

I allowed myself to enjoy the beauty of the dawn uninterrupted by anxiety or dread.

I allowed myself to enjoy the beauty of the dawn uninterrupted by anxiety or dread.

I let my traveling partner know I’d be offline this evening after scrolling through my Facebook feed and realizing I could easily kill all the hours of my short weekend doing so; I choose differently tonight.

A bold blue evening sky lead me home.

A bold blue evening sky lead me home.

There are a lot of changes coming, some seasonal, some grand, some inconsequential to the point of going unnoticed were I not the person I am. I forget sometimes that this quantity of change is sometimes stressful for me in ways I can prepare for by being aware – and being kind to myself. There are as many good things about change as there are uncomfortable things about change – and there are so many changes I straight up embrace (still dealing with some of the consequences of change, nonetheless). I’m not bitching about change – there’s no point. Bitching about change is a little like complaining about spelling mistakes; the complaint changes nothing whatever, and really… it just is, sometimes. I can observe the change, accommodate the change, resist the change, embrace the change and build on it… I definitely have choices. Change is okay.

I took the scenic route; this is my life, why would I cheat myself of beauty or of love?

I took the scenic route; this is my life, why would I cheat myself of beauty or of love?

It’s a quiet autumn evening solo, and it feels comfortable, safe, utterly without anxiety in this precious tender moment of my time – spent entirely on me. It’s beautiful, and it’s enough.

Being love. Being the woman in the mirror. Being content on an autumn evening.

Being love. Being the woman in the mirror. Being content on an autumn evening.

I spent a restless night, dreaming strange dreams, waking, returning to sleep and repeating the cycle without any stress or agita. It was a restless night nonetheless. I had to take a break from some medication I’d been taking, due to other health concerns, and over days wound up standing on the threshold of Hormone Hell once again. Annoying. Now…now I get to adjust to the hormones all over again, and that’s a few restless nights and strange dreams. It’s not so bad – I think I am getting some better at this. 🙂

In other areas of my experience, the endless practicing of practices, compassionately applying fail sauce when needed, and dusting myself off to practice some more is paying off; every day more small details play out in a way that feels, from my perspective, as though it is my experience, indeed, and that I am generally enjoying much of it – and what is not enjoyable, still tends to be reasonable, understandable, and an opportunity to grow. Perspective matters. Good communication basics matter. The will to let things go, and refrain from making someone else’s experience personal to my own – yeah, those things matter a lot. Is life ‘perfect’? Is it ever, for anyone? Listen to some of the peculiarly specific Bitching of the Rich and Shopping sometime, at a place like Whole Foods – even the privileged and the mighty find things to be discontent about. (Can you imagine a mom barely making ends meet on minimum wage complaining in the grocery store about the packaging at the meat counter being a potential choking hazard for her dog – and how her dog will only eat prime rib, but the cook won’t feed the dog, and is she really expected to open the package, herself? I doubt you’ll ever hear such a thing from a woman on minimum wage or assistance. Whole Foods is great place to listen in on privileged foolishness.) There is a lot of perspective to be had in the world, quietly observing fellow human primates in their natural environment – be careful even around the domesticated ones; human primates are quite dangerous, and easily provoked to verbal or physical violence. (They just aren’t as tame as they look.)

Perspective is a very big deal for me. I sometimes move too quickly through my experience, before I give myself the opportunity to reason, and to choose well. This is an effect of disinhibition – I feel, I react –  I have the thought, I say the words; sometimes it is embarrassing and quite public, sometimes it is frustrating and quite lonely. It is a part of my experience, and I am learning practices to help me manage it. The most critical one is probably meditation. The time I have spent so far really embracing stillness, practicing meditation as though it meets the most basic of biological needs – like sleep, like eating, like breathing, like sex – has taken me a very different direction that I had been headed. One that is vastly more positive, compassionate, agreeable, engaging – supportive of the needs of others, without under-cutting my own. One that refuses to abdicate my decision-making, sense of self, or joy, and refuses to over-compromise when it comes to meeting my basic needs as a human being. “Life-changing” is a fair observation. Perspective matters so much that it not only helped me get this far – it helps beat back the not-as-uncommon-as-I’d-like despair that sometimes hits me when I come face to face with having to put myself first among my priorities, and face rejection, resentment, anger, or the defense forces of the status quo; change is not always a comfortable fit for everyone facing it. My changes impact the experience of others who interact with me. The limitations of my injury sometimes leave me unprepared that what I want and need and will be good for me may face opposition, or be in conflict with the needs of others. There’s perspective, standing by for me in the those moments, reminding me to be kind, compassionate, and remain focused on what matters most – to me.

Like awaiting the inevitable first rose of spring, it is important to trust the process, and know that mindful living, good self-care, and putting my oxygen mask on first will take the journey in a positive direction.  "Baby Love" in the garden, the most loved rose in my garden opens first this year.

Like awaiting the inevitable first rose of spring, it is important to trust the process.
“Baby Love”, the most loved rose in my garden opens first this year.

Sometimes I have a peculiar feeling that I ‘don’t know who I am’; it always passes when I realize what I am feeling is really the chasm between who I am, in my own experience, and how different that is than who I sense I have been defined as external to my own experience, by others. Lucky me, this one’s easy; I am the sole and exclusive subject matter expert on my experience, on how I feel – on who I am. There is no ‘second opinion’, only other perspectives not my own. Better still? I choose. I decide. I create my experience. No, those things are not ‘selfish’ in any inappropriate or cruel sense; they are a natural statement of personal power and autonomy, utterly necessary for self-love, self-compassion, self-assurance, and a comfortable sense of self. The Art of Being would seem to require that I go right ahead and be; it’s a verb, and the verb is to choose. 🙂

Today is a good day for choices, for changes, and for love. Today is a good day to be at the top of my own agenda. Today is a good day to embrace what I love about who I am. Today is a good day to enjoy my experience.