Archives for posts with tag: experience

I didn’t get anything like enough sleep last night.

I saw a great little duplex early in the morning. I got home feeling hopeful and eager, but without any cause to make assumptions about the outcome. The unexpected phone call late in the afternoon, letting me know the unit is mine, and gently inquiring if I am still interested… well, sleep just didn’t come easily on the level of excitement that resulted. I still needed to get up early this morning to return the Zipcar I’d reserved. (From the perspective of going to and from the new place from this place it seemed practical to use a car, instead of public transit.)

Today, I’ll meet up at… holy cow… my new place (wow, I’m still so excited!) to pay the deposit. I’ll take public transit out from downtown (near the office) to the house and try out the commute for ease and travel time on a day when neither is critical.

It’s funny… my move before last, bringing me to the apartment community I currently live in, was a product of months of searching, looking at units, exploring the communities near work, and emotional uncertainty reinforced by Other People’s Drama (well… and mine, too, let’s be real). The choice never felt like it was really mine; it was the choice I ultimately had in front of me when the time came that moving was no longer optional. This current experience began with a similarly forced feel to it, then… it cracked open and changed completely when I met my new landlords yesterday morning, and got my first look at what will be home for the next year (and perhaps as much beyond that as life carries me before I purchase a place truly my own). I walked away feeling yearning and wistful to have the little duplex be my own, before a decision was made; I actually really like it. My landlords strike me as delightful people, and we connected over morning conversation, finding each other more alike than different, really wanting there to be a connection – and creating that experience together, over a common experience; we like that little duplex. πŸ™‚

So, the move is on! It’s real. I have a new place, an old place, and a journey to make between them. Aaaaaand… the move date is sooner than I expected, and a comfortably negotiated compromise for both them and for me. I’d have liked to make the move later, to amass greater resources. They’d like to avoid having it vacant. They are, themselves, moving to another place, in another community. I’m scrambling… and yesterday the excitement caught up with me and wrecked my sleep utterly.

An unexpected visit late in the evening by my Traveling Partner, on his way from one moment in life to another, was an emotional salve and then some. He’s a very calming influence in stormy emotional seas. I wasn’t having tantrums, or meltdowns, or raging – but I was “over excited” like a little kid, and just couldn’t seem to soothe myself or achieve the sort of calm that promotes sleep. He knows me well. He knew just what to do about it to be helpful, and when he left I put out the lights, and called it a night. There really wasn’t anything “wrong” – I’d just had too much of all sorts of good things. πŸ™‚

It’ll be some days before the move properly begins to show signs of actual movement between places, but I’ve got boxes ready, and a to do list, and a lot of experience. The excitement of it lingering in my memory woke me ahead of the alarm clock. I get the morning started, yoga, shower, writing and coffee, and…

…The anxiety hits me like a wall. What if I’m wrong? What if this is a terrible idea? What if this all goes horrible awry? What if it is too good to be true? I pause and stare across the meadow for a while; this won’t be my view much longer. Lingering dew sparkles on the grass and the points of the needles of the pine that seems so poorly placed, just beyond the patio. I sip my tepid coffee. I breathe. I relax. Change is. Sometimes that’s scary. It’s hard to trust myself – harder than I’d like. Second-guessing and anxiety about the move is going to come and go – because I’m human – and that’s got to be okay, too. I consider other moves, other experiences in life. My coffee is finished. I’m smiling.

It’s time to begin again.

…It’s a new dawn…it’s a new day… it’s a new life for me…

 

If each birthday were a new beginning, a moment of re-birth, an awakening, a start on a journey, a moment of profundity, or simply a break from the being we once had been which opens us to being the being we would soon become… would we grow faster?

…But isn’t it? I mean, it could be, couldn’t it? Is that a choice we make? When we’re very young we eagerly look ahead to milestones marked by years… The year we’re promised high heels, or make-up, or a firearm, or dating, or a trip somewhere exotic, or the year we graduate, or get to vote for the first time, or ride a bicycle, or buy a car, or a house, or get married, or have a child… each a big deal, anticipated, considered, maybe yearned for and planned around – are these not re-births of a sort? A new beginning, a change of heart or thinking so profound that “the course of our life” is altered in ways that seem subjectively obvious, and also unexpected? We begin again, so many times…

I took a journey down a road I’d never traveled, predictably it lead me somewhere I’d never been.

My birthday weekend was amazing, and connected, and shared, and human, and delicious with wonder, and adventure. It was eye-opening. It was romantic. It was practical. It was peculiarly wholesome – for some values of wholesome – and it “took me places” I hadn’t thought to travel previously. I’m glad I went. I’m glad I “said yes” to the moment and immersed myself in a something strangely new, made up, as it was, of so much that was entirely familiar.

The music festival weekend was likely not at all as planned by the event organizers. It was cold. When we arrived a freezing rain was falling. It was wet. The rain fell, on and off, all weekend long. It was blustery. I personally helped catch, retrieve, and right 3 different canopies and 1 tent over the 3 days I was there. There was rather of a lot of odd drama which seemed both unexpected and tedious, but it was such a small part of the experience the recollection will likely fade quickly. I met a lot of new people, and I got to hang out with my Traveling Partner and a friend while they did their thing out there in the world. I listened to some great music – and I listened to that music so loud, so bass-heavy, so entirely encompassing that the ground shook with it – for 2 days, from noon to 6 am. No kidding. Sleep was a very new experience in that environment. My dreams didn’t suffer from it, but I made the drive home in silence, listening only to my tinnitus and the sound of the wind along the way. Β The people who came to the event, who stayed through the wind and weather, brought with them a sense of community that I’m still wowed by. The best part? New friends – and time well-spent wrapped in love, just hanging out with my Traveling Partner for a couple days. Wonderful. Just wonderful.

I’m still smiling. It’s Monday night, tomorrow I get back to the office, back to the routine of meetings, calls, emails, spreadsheets, summaries, recommendations, task processing, and commuting. I feel pretty okay with that, sitting here this evening. I smile, thinking about my Traveling Partner. I think about the weekend. I think about his visit this afternoon. I think about shared goals, and the dovetailing of individual goals that is so tidy that even those feel shared; a partnership of equals.

I’m taking a quiet moment at the end of the day to wish the woman in the mirror a happy birthday. This one definitely feels like the beginning of something wonderful, and if nothing else it is enough that the weekend and the day were themselves quite wonderful. Really nothing more is required, it’s all quite enough. 54? Yes, I am. ❀

Doesn’t much matter where I am right now; there is a next step ahead of me on my path. No matter how many choices I have made, already, there is another ahead of me. Approximately infinite. Life definitely gives the impression that the actual living of it is the point of life, no further point, meaning, or necessity required… and, if this is true, then so long as I am indeed living my life, I have succeed at finding – and meeting – my purpose. πŸ˜€

What a nice thought to wake up to. πŸ™‚

I am contemplating my upcoming birthday, which has amusingly skittered way off of any attempt at original planning, and the things I had planned and looked forward are no longer expectations, although they rather strangely still linger on my calendar; I hesitate to remove them, not wanting hurt feelings… or… well, why exactly? lol I take a moment to clean up my calendar – because it is mine, and I actually use it; it matters to me that it guide me like a map of my future journey, as much as it ever can. πŸ™‚

My weekend looks very different than I’d planned it. My Traveling Partner’s commitment to spending my birthday weekend with me later became a request to accommodate other plans he wanted to make, and our time dwindled to just two brief events framing the long weekend (of course I am taking time for me!) Then, the phone call from the road last week, and a question – would I like to come out to a place, and spend the weekend with him…? We live rather separate lives in some regards, and the invitation caught me by surprise – I had to ask myself that question, separately from hearing it in his voice. Would I want to spend a weekend at a music festival in a remote location hanging out with this human being so dear to me – and like, many hundreds (more?) additional other humans that I don’t know? Um…

Maybe?

I sat quietly after we got off the phone, considering years of weekend Renaissance fairs – a different era of my life, and I admit, it went from delightfully fun, exciting, and reliably great times hanging out with friends to stressed, rushed, hurried, pressured, too broke, too much, too often, no down time, no “me time”, no privacy, no time to think, no quiet to recover in… and… the relationship I was in at that time couldn’t do much to lift me up or ease the strain. I was doing most of the “heavy lifting”, literally, financially, and logistically, and I grew… tired. Want to know why I gave up weekend road trips, weekend travel, and weekend event fun of all sorts? Because I got tired of doing all the planning, all the preparation, and all the work getting to/from and handling clean up at home afterward, too, and not just for me – for everyone in the household. It was too much to ask, and I continued to do it long after I’d begun to resent it, didn’t really speak up about it, and didn’t have the skills for setting clear expectations and reinforcing boundaries then, that I have (think I have) now. I just stopped doing it as the only way I could take care of me that I understood then, problem solved.

I’m not even in that relationship anymore. So… Fuck yeah, I want to head to the trees, hear some great music, and hang out with this delightful human being so dear to me! πŸ˜€ I happily accepted.

There’s not much for me to plan here; the event exists and is a thing. My Traveling Partner and his traveling friend/colleague have logistics handled; this is their thing. I still need to know things. (A hilarious conversation on its own, including such witty repartee as “What do I need to bring?” “Wear clothes. Bring the clothes you want to wear, be prepared for cold nights.”) As I inquired what I may need to do or bring or when I need to be ready… I started feeling stressed about the trip itself. Where am I going?? What will happen when I get there? Where do I go? How will I find…? What will I be expected to do, bring, carry, be responsible for…??? What the hell is going on with my weekend??Β LOL

Instead of drama or wild emotion, I tried out some new adulting skills. I allow myself to experience the relief and delight of experiencing this weekend in the context of a partnership in which I am actually not responsible for every damned thing. I consider my own baggage and issues as things that I am indeed responsible for managing, and identify where my stress is coming from. Time. Work. Agency. I suggest that I travel separately to ease my time-based stress about being back to work on time (knowing they live on a very different sense of time/timing than I do – and also don’t have any pressure to “punch a clock” work-wise). My heart soared when my Traveling Partner seemed pleased that I would take that step to take care of myself, meeting my own needs without requiring him to rebuild his plans, or troubleshoot my experience. Win and good. They’ll likely depart sometime today. I’ll leave tomorrow – possibly after doing a load of laundry. I feel comfortable, content, and excited about the weekend. πŸ˜€

Wherever my path leads…

This is an adventure, and I am eager to see where it leads. I’ll be away for a few days… if you find yourself missing me, perhaps return to the beginning, and begin again? I’ll be back before you’re all caught up to now, I bet; it’s a lot of words. πŸ˜€

Are you familiar with CGP Gray? He’s got some basics laid out that chart the course to misery pretty well… so… go the other way? Do something different? At any rate, he’s right; you may already be doing the things necessary to be miserable, and if you are – the journey to less misery may be pretty well-mapped right here. I’ve spent hours, days, and years basically saying what he’s said so well and so precisely in one video. πŸ˜€

Enjoy the day. Enjoy the journey. πŸ™‚

…Don’t forget to pause to appreciate beauty along the way. πŸ™‚

3 days, two nights, one purpose, and I return to my apartment by the park with sore feet, aching muscles, stiff joints, and a smile that Β won’t quit.

3 mosquito bites, two unexplained bruises, 1 blister over 17 miles of trails, and I shot more than 100 pictures, and spotted a rainbow’s worth of different wildflowers in bloom.

I reached my campsite and set up camp well before dusk settled in, on Wednesday evening. I managed more than 4 miles of hiking that evening, just getting my gear to the hike-in camping area, and exploring the nearest trails after making camp.

A coffee well-earned, an evening of quiet.

It rained most of the night, and I laid wakefully, contentedly listening to the rain fall, more than necessarily pleased that my tent doesn’t leak.

The rain-drenched morning didn’t quench my enthusiasm for the day ahead.

I spent Thursday meditating, after morning coffee and a short hike to stretch my legs, and didn’t do much else. I brought a journal to write in, and a notebook, a sketch pad and colored pencils for drawing, my camera, my kindle… and other than my camera, I didn’t touch any of the distractions I brought along to pass the time; I didn’t need them. Time passed just fine without any help from me. πŸ™‚

Given the necessary conditions, I bloom in my own time. It is often enough to sit quietly and allow the moment to unfold.

I spent Friday hiking, departing fairly early in the morning to walk a new path. The trail I chose was sufficiently challenging to push me, lovely enough to be utterly worth it without any other “reason” to go the whole distance, and totally within my ability. I returned to camp in the afternoon, got my boots off, put my feet up, and made coffee. Out among the trees, coffee doesn’t seem to keep me from sleeping, ever, however late I may be drinking it. I bet there’s something to be learned from that…

Where does my path lead? It’s helpful to have a map, but the map is not the world.

…Instead of learning anything about coffee, though, I learned something different. As campers arrived to fill nearby sites for the weekend, I learned that my needs were met, and that I was “done”. I learned that I didn’t really want to sit through a chilly evening overhearing loud conversations about corporate headaches, challenges with the kids’ teachers, or sports. I learned that I didn’t find value in enduring another camper’s choice to bring a generator into the forest for the weekend.

Ultimately, we each choose our own path…

I learned, this weekend, that it really is quite okay to make my choices my way, without any pressure from my own expectations, or anyone else’s; I broke camp late that afternoon, taking my time, packing up skillfully and efficiently without feeling at all rushed. I packed my gear out of the park (taking the same three trips it took to bring it down to the campsite in the first place), still smiling when the effort was completed. I let the park rangers know I was checking out, so they could release that camp site to another camper – it’s a great spot.

The beauty in the world exists whether or not I choose to observe it. My choice to observe the beauty in the world is necessary only to my own appreciation of it.

I got home before the sun set, unpacked enough gear to begin properly unpacking a bit at a time. First, a leisurely shower. A fresh salad. A hot cup of coffee. A moment to begin the upload of all the photographs. No music. No social media. No TV. Patio door open to the breezes and the sound of birdsong. A quiet evening, alone in the stillness, aside from a few minutes checking in with a friend from next door.

Roses blooming on the patio welcome me home, rain-drenched, fragrant, and lovely.

Yesterday I woke, still feeling fairly wrapped in my own purpose, and disinclined to be particularly social. I wrote a dear friend. I unpacked some things. I meditated. I gardened. It was a chilly gray day, and I enjoyed the morning with a crackling fire in the fireplace – which I might also have done if I had remained out in the trees another day. There seemed no urgency to connect to the digital world with any haste – no one was expecting me to, in any case. (Good expectation-setting for the win!) I watched the birds come and go from the feeder.

It was a lovely day of bird-watching.

Here it is, today. (Isn’t it always? πŸ˜‰ ) I figured I’d sleep in… I didn’t. I woke with the dawn. I figured I’d move purposefully down a long list of things I’d like to get done… also not happening, at least not so far. I sip my coffee, smiling softly, watching the birds at the feeder with my laptop balanced on my knees, writing from a slightly different perspective – though whether that is a matter of my laptop, a chilly morning, and cold coffee on the patio, or simply that my perspective remains altered by my time out in the trees is neither known, nor relevant to the experience.

What now? Just this. Isn’t it enough? πŸ™‚

A patio with a view.