Archives for posts with tag: enough

Sipping my coffee on a Friday off. Enjoying the sound of my Traveling Partner in the other room, reflecting aloud on content that resonates with him, as he enjoys his morning coffee over some study material. We are individuals, sharing a journey (and an experience of life). It feels good to share this space with him. His appreciation of, and delight in, various details warms me and fills me with joy. I feel accepted, valued, and loved.

I sip my coffee and consider my calendar and budget, and wonder how I ever figured I could make my way in life without both of those things; I need a plan. Doesn’t mean that the plan is always executed precisely as laid out – in fact, that’s rare. Change is. Circumstances occur. Still, having a plan gives me a comfortable framework from which I can more easily adapt to change, and account for circumstances, still moving toward my destination. I take time to look ahead many weeks. I consider the date on which one paycheck ends, and the next begins. I consider the gap between them, and how that will affect my cash flow. I plot out the expenses against the income. I ask the hard questions, as each bill is considered in sequence; is it covered? Groceries too? What about some fun? Is there wiggle room for some discretionary funds? Am I still working toward getting ahead, and recovering from what has been, admittedly, a difficult year financially? What accounts can be – and should be – closed out, now that my Traveling Partner has moved in, here? When can that occur? How does that timing affect this plan?

Detail by detail I work down my list. It’s not easy to remind myself that this is still a fairly tightly planned budget, with little room for error. I breath. Relax. I feel my smile return; I’ve got this. I’ve grown decently good at it over the past couple years and feel safe in my own care. Wow. That’s actually huge. This used to be The Money Thing. Very scary. Literally one of the most significant drivers of day-to-day stress in my experience, chronically. Now? It’s a process. A set of tasks that are part of my everyday planning and attention – and part of my self-care. I still experience occasional anxiety about financial matters; this past year was peculiarly challenging, particularly the latter half. Still, here I am. I’m okay. It feels good. 🙂

I move on to considering more near-term plans, and wonder if I need to grocery shop today, versus later in the weekend. Perhaps a list? Making a list sounds very satisfying, and I decide to move on to that, feeling gently supported by my own endeavors. Very satisfying. 🙂

…Then I pause, realizing yet again that my Traveling Partner is actually here, right now. A wave of love and contented joy washes over me, still thinking about mundanities, like dishes, and groceries, and vacuuming, and cleaning things. Life being lived.

It’s time to begin again. 🙂

It’s a quiet dawn ahead of a hot day to come. The sun shines in my eyes and the light fills my studio; the day will get no cooler than this hour, now, and the windows are open to the cool morning air, the blinds raised to ensure ample freedom for uncertain breezes. The night didn’t cool off so much as it has been. Summer is here. I take my coffee iced this morning, and toast the rising summer sun with a smile – it’s well before 6:00 am, and full daylight.

I have “install the AC” on my calendar today… I still haven’t worked out which window I’ll put it in. The heat expected today is motivation to at least determine which window the AC will go in. lol

Iced coffee, birdsong, and a quiet summer day to enjoy without firm plans. It sounds nice. I’ll water the gardens before the heat of the day becomes unpleasant, and get my walk in before noon. There’s nothing exciting about any of this… except for the bit about how calm it is, how comfortable, how sustainably ordinary. I’m not meaning to brag, so I’ll make the point of saying it hasn’t ‘always’ been this way – there was a time when it was almost ‘never’ this way, and life seemed fairly pointless… or worse. I’m no longer merely enduring an unavoidable cycle of sleeping and waking, separated sometimes by nightmares, sometimes by despair. It’s a nice change.

Being here isn’t a given. Being content isn’t a passive thing. There are so many every day choices involved, and every day I take actions, and practice practices, to bring myself closer to being the woman I most want to be, living a beautiful life of sustainable contentment, comfortable with myself, and moving forward. Every day enjoyed is ended with a moment of delight and a bit of surprise that so much of it is in my hands, and of my own choosing – and much of it was, long before I understood that it could be.

Ready? Verbs!!

Ready? Verbs!!

Iced coffee goes down quickly…and summer days begin to warm up early. It’s already time to get to work watering the garden, and adjusting windows to continue the flow of cool air, and now to also limit the sun’s light reaching into the east-facing rooms. Time to put some verbs into action, and time to make some choices and begin the day. Today is a good day for verbs, for choices, and for a delightful summer day. I can’t change the weather, but I can change what I do about it. 🙂

Sometimes enough really feels enough. Sometimes the choices are plentiful and obvious – but not so numerous (or complicated) as to become difficult to consider. Sometimes outcomes are quite favorable. Sometimes life feels easy – love, too. Sometimes there isn’t much to say about things, or events, and being here matters so much more than anything I can say about it.

I am sipping my morning coffee and enjoying the quiet stillness of early morning. I am feeling grateful to enjoy both the moment, and the context in which I am experiencing it. I am feeling buoyed by love (and friendship) and partnership, and content to be human.

Life is enough.

Life is enough.

I am sipping my coffee contentedly as the sun rise leaks through the partially opened blinds. I forget to dodge the orange sliver of light that momentarily blinds me. There is no aggravation in that moment. I am well-rested, and in no more than the usual amount of pain. I’ve seen new images of my spine…I’m no longer the slightest bit surprised by the amount of day-to-day pain I am in. What’s left now is managing it, and learning what else, if anything, can be done to ease it long-term. The morning begins pleasantly, and the pain – being a fairly unremarkable routine thing, generally – doesn’t change that.

I was stressed and tired yesterday, by the time I got home. I planted some tomato plants in my garden, and hung out with my traveling partner awhile. My anxiety coming and going in the background of our experience isn’t a comfortable thing for him. Eventually, I decided I’d try a very old-fashioned remedy indeed; I ‘laid down for a little while’. It turned into a night’s sleep, rather unexpectedly. I must have needed it. I slept 12 hours, waking only long enough to get up to pee once, and then later upon hearing the sound of someone moving through the house, and forgetting I am not living alone, I got up and crossed paths pleasantly enough with my partner, who was up during the night, himself. I definitely needed the sleep, and returning to slumber was fairly effortless. 12 hours, though? How tired was I? How fatiguing is stress?

This morning I sat quietly, meditating, for some while before I made coffee. The moment felt rich and fulfilling. How are some such simple moments so joyful and uplifting, where other more elaborate ploys to soothe or entertain oneself sometimes fall so short? Lasting contentment is not built on (and does not require) piles of money, or a 24-hour party atmosphere, or the satisfaction of every craving imagined…’enough’ seems quite ample, even ‘more than necessary’ some days (which seems almost nonsensical). What is “enough”? It matters too much [to me] to let it remain so poorly defined…although…maybe there is room in my experience for that, too. I sip my coffee and think about it; what is enough?

This morning, it is enough that I am safe, well-rested, clothed, fed, and have a good cup of coffee. The headphones my partner shared with me (“until you buy ones you like better” he says with a smile) are enough, too. I smile noticing how much more than ‘enough’ it feels, to me, that he reads my writing and hears me; it feels like the face of love smiling directly at me. It is enough to share some portion of life’s journey – with friends, with loved ones, with family  – and with a partner who returns that love, many times over. It is enough to have options, choices, and decision-making opportunities that offer me course corrections on life’s journey, in any direction I may choose.

Flowers and moments are enough.

Flowers and moments are enough.

It is spring. I am home. This is enough.

 

Journey’s are fraught with obstacles. This one, too. This morning I am feeling a bit ‘stuck for a topic’, not because there is nothing worth writing about, more because there are so many splinters of issues, small things, and bits of background anxiety this morning it’s simply difficult to determine what I can most productively put my attention on, for myself.

The work day yesterday was complete turmoil and not very productive due to a system outage. The transportation to/from my appointment was notably unpleasant with rude people, ludicrously heavy fragrances, loud voices, and emotional content. I spent much of the day in pain, with both a headache, and my arthritis giving me grief. Therapy itself was disruptively powerful, and as efficient as it was effective – thought-provoking? Eye-opening? Forward progress. Incredibly emotionally painful. I arrived home with an aching jaw having spent the ride gritting my teeth and avoiding lashing out at hapless fellow travelers unaware how urgently I needed quiet to get myself back together. Just as the evening began to wind down it was shot through with intense anxiety and… more stress. It wasn’t about me, and no threat to love or family harmony, it was ‘just a thing’, but I wasn’t at all up to it. I held my own, avoided any nasty drama or emotional bullshit, and retired for the evening at more or less the usual time. My sleep was restful enough, but I woke already filled with anxiety. The day begins, lacking in enthusiasm and joy, and filled with lingering stress over so many things…real? Imagined? Mine? Other?

“Anxiety” 10″ x 14″ acrylic on canvas w/ceramic 2011

“Anxiety” 10″ x 14″ acrylic on canvas w/ceramic 2011

So…now what? From a practical perspective, I address the stressors where doing so can fairly easily be done. I work on ‘letting go’ of what isn’t actually mine and trust that things will work out, rather than borrow additional stress, and worry obsessively over things I can’t ‘fix’. It’s a very difficult practice, as practices go – “let it go” sounds so simple. I struggle with it this morning. I keep practicing. Work related stress I examine with some detail, finding it useful for sorting out what I really want from employment, adjusting my resume to more clearly reflect utility, vision, purpose and personal fit for work I might enjoy more.

I consider how the stillness both highlights the anxiety, and allows it to more easily dissipate. I breathe. Relax. The anxiety comes and goes. I spend some time in quiet reflection. More time meditating would be good this morning… My perspective could use some re-calibration. I would benefit from being more present in this moment, and more easily able to tap into the day-to-day positives, and some measure of gratitude. There are verbs involved.

I allow my anxiety to climb into the front seat long enough to deliver a powerful worst-case scenario. I breathe calmly and let it unfold in my imagination as fearlessly as I am able to allow. Could I cope? Strip it all down to the basics, and most likely outcomes, would I be able to get by? I consider it point by point, allowing myself to recognize that change is, and that even if every possible thing went terribly wrong, I would most likely be okay (for some values of ‘okay’). There really are verbs involved, and how I feel about my experience is something I have a lot of choice in. I remind myself simultaneously how damaging it can be for my ability to feel content, to burden myself with comparisons. I remind myself, too, of how much of what I love and enjoy I could also comfortably do without…even this blog, and the internet connection that makes it possible…well…I wrote using ink, on paper, for so many years, right? I smile, recognizing the differences between ‘want’ and ‘need’ more clearly, and the anxiety recedes for the moment; I am okay. My head is still fairly busy with weird nagging details and subtle stress, but even in my worst case scenarios, contentment is possible – and contentment is powerful.

This is a good morning to fall back on The Four Agreements.

Stick with the basics - it's a great place to start.

Stick with the basics – it’s a great place to start.

I read the brief statements, simple, encompassing, and deeply relevant. I fill up on a sense of adequacy, sufficiency, and self-acceptance, and prepare myself for the day to come. This journey isn’t always an easy one, but it is mine – and that is enough.