Archives for posts with tag: enough is enough

A quiet rainy morning begins gently. My arthritis pain has flared up, because, of course it has. No arguing with rainy days, chilly nights, or autumn, generally. Summer is fading fast.

My coffee is very tasty. I enjoy having the espresso machine up and running.

Work seems to be proceeding in a pleasantly routine way, in spite of spending the majority of my short week in training. That bit, by itself, is fairly stimulating, almost exciting. There’s something about learning new things that are useful that “wakes me up” in some way that is just a bit beyond the usual.

Not a fucking thing about this morning is “ultimate”, “epic”, “amazing”, “tragic” – or any other adjectival excess. Life is far less commonly extraordinary than it is quite routine and average, although a quick glance at the morning headlines would lead one to expect quite the opposite is the case. I frown at the screen in front of me, resenting the constant “advertising” and manipulation. I turn that on myself with no ill-intent; I use a lot of fucking adjectives, myself. 😉 Perspective? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe consumers burnt out on hyperbole are hard to market ideas, goods, and services to, or harder to engage, generally? (Myself, I use adjectives primarily because 1. I naturally use them when I talk about things, and 2. I’m trying to communicate the contents of my thoughts to someone who can’t share those directly in pictures, or emotions.) (I do over use them like crazy, I’m not unaware of it. It is about sharing, rather than persuasion.)

I let my consciousness move on.

I woke to the alarm, this morning. Once I reached the kitchen to make coffee some minutes later, I was irked to note I’d left dishes in the sink. Not okay (with me –  your needs, and results, may vary). Well shit. Clearly not “epic”. 😦 Nor is it “the ultimate” anything at all. It’s also not “a colossal disappointment” – I’m just mildly annoyed with myself for having let them go until morning because, well, I hate that messy shit, specifically with regard to dishes in the sink. It’s to do with me, and what I value and appreciate for quality of life. I can do better for me. I sigh quietly in the morning chill, and promise myself coffee once the dishes are done. I feel grateful that I had turned on the heat after returning home to rainy autumn weather, Sunday evening. It is in all respects a fairly ordinary morning. I’m disproportionately pleased with that as the day begins; it’s enough.

I sip my coffee. An Americano this morning. I listen to the rain fall and the “ssssshhhh ssssshhhh” of cars passing by on the street. Busy street at some times of day, busier than I’d like. No kidding; I’d love to have some acreage to get sufficient distance from all the goings on of my fellow human beings to hear only bird song, breezes, and the sound a leaf makes when it hits the ground. lol That’s not going to happen here. I love this little house, and I am content, but it can’t be described accurately as “quiet”. It is not. The moments themselves are somehow quieter than the environment ever is, generally. The quiet I do find is the sort that is cultivated within. For now, and most of the time, this is enough.

I look at the clock. It’s still dark outside. Nonetheless, I decide to get on with things. It’s not “epic” timing, it’s not “the ultimate moment”, it’s not “an awesome opportunity”, and I’m not expecting an “amazing experience” – but it is an adequate moment to begin again. 🙂 That’s enough.

This morning I’m sitting out politics. I’m sitting out routine. I’m casually dissing habits. I’m enjoying an odd summer morning that dropped into the mild spring week unexpectedly. Sure, in a few minutes I’ll put on my shoes, grab my keys, and make a point of locking the door behind me before I head to work. I’m still effectively adulting, which puts a smile on my face; I’m not trying to.

This morning practice pays off. I woke on time, and enjoyed a leisurely shower. I sat down to write, and spent the time, instead, looking at new baby pictures shared by friends who are new parents, and watching the sun rise. The windows are open to the morning breeze, and the heat of the coming day has not yet set in. I sip my coffee quietly, listening to the red-wing blackbirds calling each other across the marsh; later they will visit the feeder, but they too seem to be enjoying a lazy morning.

Did I say it is a “lazy” morning? That sounds a tad harsh. I’m just relaxing over my coffee, and things are mostly already quite tidy and orderly here. There is no urgency to force myself through routines that tend to be habitual most days. I smile and wonder if this is how my firm habits break; random summer mornings in the midst of spring?

The changes in diet and medication seem to be working out. There are verbs involved, always and of course. It’s one of the “hard things” in my experience. It requires practice. Mindfulness. Repetition. More practice. Some beginning again. Okay – a lot of beginning again. Plenty of study. Some incremental changes over time. Self-awareness. The will to choose change. More practice. Some crying. Plenty of self-acceptance. Persistence. Fearless self-advocacy. Over-coming learned helplessness. More mindfulness. Fewer calories. More walking. Still fewer calories. More yoga. Fewer calories. Fuck. I’m hungry! Am I actually hungry? More mindfulness. LOL Verbs. My results vary. But… I’m making progress, a little at a time, and wishing there were some other word (concept?) than “dieting” to hold this thought, because I don’t see myself as “dieting” so much as changing how I eat, how I live, how I understand the role food plays in my experience, and how I take advantage of the existing body of cognitive science to turn my brain injury into an ally on this part of the journey, instead of my nemesis. 🙂

Every bit of all of this – steps on a journey.

It’s a lovely morning to begin again.

Seriously. Give this some thought; all it takes to make the world better is that we each take steps to do so. No kidding. Just don’t be a dick to other people. Be kind. Be giving. Be open. Love. Treat all people well. Be genuine. Relax. Enjoy life without ruining it for other people. Be inclusive. Be curious. Assume positive intent. Set clear boundaries and take good care of yourself. Did I mention being kind? Yeah, do a lot more of that. Be patient. Be compassionate. Just be. Be here. Be present. Listen deeply. Recognize there is much you do not know. Clean as you go. Respect boundaries. Get consent. Be kind. Be kinder than that. Let go of assumptions and expectations. Be mindful that people are not property.

Remember the part about being kind? Do even more of that. Yep. Verbs. Omg – and all the practice? Yeah, that goes on indefinitely. Easy? Well… easy-ish. Do your best. Do that better tomorrow. Keep at it; we become what we practice.

We can begin again together, this morning, right now. One thing at a time. Start with the person in the mirror. Be kind to that person too. 🙂

…Please don’t tell me this won’t change the world. We can’t know that until we’ve actually tried. 😉

Appreciating what I  can in life seems best paired with not taking the shit I don’t appreciate at all personally. It is a decent arrangement, generally, resulting in considerable calm and contentment. This morning, I am appreciating sleep – the sleep I didn’t get last night – and I’m not taking at all personally that I didn’t get the sleep I needed, which, while I don’t appreciate that, wasn’t at all personal. Sometimes I can’t sleep through the goings on in the world, however local or remote, and sometimes I can’t sleep through what’s going on in my head. I really do enjoy deep restful quality sleep, though. 🙂

With regard to the sleep I did not get last night, it matters far more that I am awake now, alert, feeling merry, and more or less ready for the work day. With just Friday (and today) between me and the potential for sleeping in (on the weekend), this is doable. There’s no tragedy here, and barely any inconvenience. My lack of sleeping is not associated with anxiety or tinged with negative emotions. I am in a manageable, minimal, amount of pain. “My glass is more than half full”, meaning to say that I enjoyed the evening in the company of my Traveling Partner, and feel cared-for and well-loved. Even with the poor night’s sleep, the day begins well. I definitely appreciate that. 🙂

The snow melted away slowly in yesterday’s steady rain. The commute to work was treacherous and slick; the thin layer of water on all the accumulated ice was far more slippery than ice or snow alone ever could be. I skated awkwardly along the walking portions of my commute, appreciative of bus service that kept the walking portion shorter than usual, by far. As the day went on, the snow continued to melt. The journey home wasn’t especially treacherous, slippery, or complicated – just wet.

Coming home to real partnership is something I appreciate, too. My cardboard recycling had begun to pile up, bins were full after the holidays, and later an icy parking lot I could not safely cross on foot with my hands full prevented me handling things. I felt uncomfortable with the clutter, and it had begun to aggravate me. I arrived home to find that my Traveling Partner had taken care of it, and any number of other things: putting away clean dishes, hanging the closet door that so recently came loose unexpectedly in my hands, installing a replacement external hard-drive (he’d also taken time to locate as many of my old back up files and images archived on his network as he could identify, and had already put them on the new drive for me). My quality of life when I returned home was notably improved over when I departed for work in the morning. It’s lovely to be cared for. I appreciated, too, the sweet relief of connecting and sharing time in the same physical space after two weeks of being kept apart by circumstances, pain, or bad weather.

Small things that frustrate or annoy me may have been piling up over time… now, this morning, embracing a moment of appreciation for what is working, what is going well, and what I enjoy in my life, it’s hard to give any weight to small frustrations and inconveniences. It’s a nice change.

My thoughts turn to moving and I find myself wondering if my frustration with not yet finding a new place have been stalling other healthy processes; frustration is my kryptonite, and I try to be mindful of its sway over my thinking when it becomes prominent in my experience. The lease here runs out at the end of the month. The weather has been intensely crappy for house-hunting, or searching for a rental home closer to work, and there are so few hours in the day available for the purpose, at all. There is little time left. Do I sign a six month extension on the lease here? I don’t want to live here anymore. I want a place of my own – really mine, a home. I know so much more about what I want, and what I need, and what is enough… and I haven’t found it, yet. I’m also… not quite ready. I meant to be. The holiday season got in the way of being more prepared, and I made a practical decision about supporting my Traveling Partner’s goals ahead of my own, short-term. We do that for each other now and then, because… love. So… yeah. Six more months here now seems the pragmatic choice, the practical, feasible, doable decision with the least upheaval, for the time being. I would, in all honesty, prefer to move during the summer months, anyway. Less rain falling on paintings being exposed to weather, carried from residence to moving truck, from moving truck to residence. Thankfully, I have options – and an awareness of options. I make an appointment to sign the lease next Thursday, on a day I will be out of the office on other personal matters. I have another week to keep looking. Hell, I found Number 27 less than a week before I moved, back in May of 2015. 🙂

Today isn’t “perfect” – what ever is, really? It’s enough, though. Today is a good day to appreciate having enough. Being enough. Doing enough. I am content with sufficiency. Today that’s enough. 😀

Thanksgiving is over, and the holiday season has begun. Black Friday is a memory.

Thanksgiving was simple, quiet, intimate and amazing – unscripted, and as it turned out, entirely unplanned. We’d made dinner reservations to go out. It seemed the better choice at the time we made our plans; I have a very small kitchen, and although more than a year has now passed since I moved into my own place, my kitchen efficiency is still somewhat limited by the loss of some favored gadgets and appliances that I have not yet replaced… like my Kitchen Aid mixer, which I miss greatly.

I’d had my mixer for decades; it was a wedding gift left from my first marriage. It had become redundant when I moved in to the big house “with everyone”, and the newer mixer on hand won out. Mine became someone else’s cherished favored kitchen appliance (I no longer remember who). It was a painful moment to move out with the hurt and anger of the break-up flavored by the poignant loss of an appliance I’d never have given up except – love. It’s strange to me that the intense feelings over the break up have diminished, but the irritation over allowing myself to be so short-sighted as to be persuaded to give up my mixer, when there was ample room to store it more or less forever, somehow persists, particularly as this kitchen, now, is so small that there is neither space to store it, nor space to use it. lol Silly primates, emotions lack substance. Better to let such lingering ire just go; it serves no purpose now save to remind me that I do want to replace that mixer – which, I am well aware of, without the emotional reinforcement.

My Traveling Partner and I planned to be spending the afternoon and evening together. At some early point in the day, we agreed neither of us was particularly enthusiastic about our dinner plans, although the restaurant is one we both enjoy. I canceled the reservations. Hell, frozen waffles and powdered hot cocoa shared with my traveling partner in a tent in the dead of winter, wrapped in love and enjoying each other’s good company would still be a Thanksgiving to cherish; it isn’t about the venue or the menu. I looked over the pantry, committed to using what I had on hand. The drenching rain that had fallen all night, and continued through the morning was ample discouragement from any grocery shopping, and most places were closed. Could I pull off an unplanned Thanksgiving dinner for two? Neither of us had any specific expectations beyond sharing the time together and enjoying each other. I would do  my best. My best would be enough.

It was a simple meal. Chicken breasts baked in foil, seasoned with sage, onions, and chives from my container garden. Steamed baby Nero di Toscana kale, and savory baked heirloom carrots, from my autumn vegetable garden. Canned corn and box stuffing; durable staples always on hand from my pantry. I even had a solitary can of cranberry sauce left from… whenever. It was a lovely meal. We had a great evening. Around the time that our friends next door returned home from dinners with family, we were also settling in to relax and we all gathered together over music and friendly conversation. It was appropriately festive and joyful. It never needed to be elaborate.

I slept in Friday morning, and woke to my Traveling Partner awake ahead of me, working on his set list for a gig later in the day. We had coffee together. A bite of lunch a little later. When the time came he packed up his gear and I played roadie helping load it into the car. Then he was gone and quiet filled my solitary space, along with happy daydreams of love, and good intentions about housekeeping that never quite came to fruition. 🙂

I did my traditional Black Friday thing, which is to say, I stayed home and did not participate in the retail frenzy that exploits so many workers on a day of the year when they might like to be at home with their loved ones. (Go ahead and take a moment to reflect on how few potential four-day weekends exist for most “entry level”, retail, restaurant, or service industry employees, and then reflect on how much you have valued and needed that precious limited down time in your own life…I’ll wait.Do you suppose you really needed that discount on a crock pot more?) I’m okay with paying a reasonable price for goods and services, and I’m more than okay with doing my part to refraining from adding to the literal Black Friday body count that seems unique to American greed.  It is my tradition to spend Thanksgiving weekend setting up the holiday tree, lights, baking holiday treats… it is a long weekend, suitable for all those things. I didn’t do any of that yesterday, I just relaxed in the happy glow of being well-loved, reading, meditating, daydreaming about the future, and just generally enjoying myself quietly and in a state of great contentment. It was lovely. It was enough.

Misty mornings seem to offer the potential to remake the world, differently.

Misty mornings seem to offer the potential to remake the world, differently.

This morning I woke from a night of peculiarly interrupted sleep, and feeling rested, in spite of that. I gazed out over the misty meadow, considering where to the put holiday tree, sipping my coffee, watching the Canada geese stepping through the meadow, feasting on whatever it is they pull up from the mud along their way. My squirrel visitor returned, too, and enjoyed breakfast while I had my coffee. The Northern Flicker who comes by regularly joined us, taking a few moments to enjoy the seed bell and the suet feeder before departing. A flock of red-wing blackbirds took his place. There is nothing spectacular about this gentle morning, nothing to exclaim about, nothing I am inclined to change. I am content. As it turns out, contentment is quite every bit of “enough”, and far more easily reached than “happily ever after”.  I smile, and sip my coffee; it has grown cold in the morning chill of the room. I pause my writing to consider lighting a fire… later, perhaps. A lovely long walk on a misty morning, first, sounds like just the ideal thing to precede a hot shower, a mug of cocoa, and a crackling fire in the fireplace. 🙂

As with most things, even "enough" is a matter of perspective.

As with most things, even “enough” is a matter of perspective…

...What is "within reach" depends, too, on our perceptions, and our tools...

…what is “within reach” depends, too, on our perceptions, and our tools…

...We are each having our own experience.

…We are each having our own experience.

I’m still sitting around in comfy clothes, sipping my now-cold coffee, smiling out over the meadow whenever I glance out at the world. This feels good. I feel safe. Content. Loved. I have enough to get by on – and not that “oh fuck what now, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, we’ll all get through this, just breathe” level of “enough” that requires real commitment to staying present in this moment. (We all have those moments, eventually, it’s part of the human experience.) This morning it is the “oh hey, nothing to fear, nothing to want for, it’s all good my friends, can I pour you a coffee?” level of enough, and those times can feel so delicate, so precious and rare… I think because it has taken me so long to understand that they must be enjoyed with the same deep commitment to savoring them, lingering in that headspace, and revisiting the recollection again and again, as one might do for some grave challenge or anxiety-provoking moment, otherwise they seems to slip away. So, this morning, I’m here, enjoying now, enjoying me, and even enjoying my cold coffee in this chilly room, before I do something different – just to be sure I don’t forget how awesome this moment here also is. 🙂 Today, this is enough.

Merry Everything, everyone, and Happy All-of-whatever-the-fuck-this-is-right-here! May your day be merry and bright; it’s not holiday-dependent. Enjoy this moment, too. 😉