Archives for posts with tag: feeling good

I woke early. Headache? Sure, fine, why not…? Coffee? It’s good. Brain? Foggy.

I put on headphones and queue up some music. I breathe. Exhale. Relax, letting my shoulders drop. I hadn’t noticed they were stiff, tense, and up around my ears. I feel my jaw unclench. Wicked little headache. New one? I’m not certain. I breathe. Listen to the music. Exhale. Relax. I hold my attention on my breath, observing my physical experience. Toes gripping the pedestal of this office chair. I place my feet on the floor, and allow them to relax. Still breathing. Exhaling. Focusing on my breathing. In. Out. Feeling the music fill my consciousness. Track changes allow me, momentarily, to hear other sounds of morning: cars passing outside, the heat coming on, the muffled sound of my own breath from the other side of the headphones. Breathing in. Exhaling. Relaxing, again. My breathing is relaxed and even, and in spite of feeling pretty foggy (I woke way too early), and this headache (which I could frankly do without), I feel pretty okay this morning. A good Monday so far, even if I did wake up at 3:20 a.m.

I sip my coffee, and think about holiday cards, old friends, and the double-edged razor-blade of social media; so easy to stay in touch, so much general ill-effect to take advantage of that technology. Another breath. Another exhalation. Another moment to let go of assumptions, and expectations, and the outrage machinery of modern media. I’m content with this cup of coffee, and this Opiuo track.

Weird weekend. It was full of peculiar little ups and downs, and although there were some moments I easily could have done without, I nonetheless recall the weekend as a good one. I got much done, and my studio is sufficiently tidy to be suitable guest space in a pinch, which feels almost strange after a year of clutter. I smile, appreciating my Traveling Partner’s hints and suggestions, falling short of nagging, but persistent as reminders that I, myself, wanted to create order from the chaos that developed over the year, and during the prior year when I traveled so much, myself. I look around feeling content and satisfied. I eye the next couple of tasks. There are several. Easier to do them, now, though – more room to work. 🙂

I smile recalling my Traveling Partner enjoying the squirrels and chipmunks with me, this weekend. Beautiful memories. Will I always recall these moments? I savor it for some minutes, recalling in detail our shared delight in the antics of the wee chipmunks, and the plumpness of some of the squirrel “regulars”.

With my Traveling Partner’s help, and largely due to his weekday efforts, the house looks lovely. Tidy, comfortable, well-organized; it’s easy to feel good here. I sit for a minute, sipping my coffee and feeling wholly grateful that I am not having to handle all the housekeeping and chores alone. I smile quietly, similarly grateful for a partnership that supports my overall wellness, and even to the point of gently insisting I don’t just sit around, however much I really really really just want to rest, quietly, in a favorite comfortable spot, watching squirrels, or videos. lol It’s sometimes super annoying to hear the hint to get up and move around some – doesn’t matter whether it comes from my phone or my partner, really, but taking the hint and fighting the desire to just sit is likely to be a huge positive for my longevity and health later in life. So… I fuss a bit, then get up anyway. By the end of an evening, I’m just so tired, and often in so much pain… but each opportunity to get up, move around, and do some small thing before sitting down again, is an action toward a longer, healthier life. 🙂 I get up, get a glass of water, or pick out my work clothes, or carry something from where it is to where it more appropriately should be. I get up, do the dishes, or take out the trash, or pick something up, or tidy something else. I get up, go to the garage for a case of fizzy water, or a roll of paper towels. I get up, make a cup of tea, “just stretch my legs”, or use the restroom. Fighting the desire to “really relax” can be hard; a lifetime of stress whispers in my ear that this is the “one path” to finally getting past all that to some imaginary experience in which there is no stress, no pain, no fatigue…

…I sigh aloud in the quiet room. There’s no such thing as the perfect utopian experience of ease; even that takes verbs. Action. Effort. I sip my coffee. I notice the time. Meditation, yoga, a shower… waking up too early makes for a leisurely morning of good self-care. Trade-offs. Regardless, there are nearly always verbs involved, effort, will, action, getting down the path to find that life was well-lived, and characterized by contentment, and an experience of ease and joy. Slow things down, sure – life can definitely be way to busy – but stopping altogether? Maybe not the best idea, however fatigued I may feel. lol

I’m still groggy this morning. My coffee helped little. I find myself looking forward to the cold morning air wrapping me in refreshment as I head to the office. Random thoughts on a Monday crowd my consciousness. I smile. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

There’s a certain level of skill required even for feeling good, I’ve found. This could be part of the whole PTSD/TBI package of lingering chaos and damage, I don’t really know; it is part of my own experience, though, and it’s something I have learned to account for. Feeling good haphazardly, willy-nilly, without regard to those many good practices that support my day-to-day well-being is a poor choice. With (self) care, I can relax and enjoy feeling good along with anyone else… without it, feeling good becomes the foreshadowing of some later “unexpected” (utterly predictable) tantrum-to-come, once I’ve exhausted myself with good feelings and likely accompanied that with being over-stimulated, and failing to get the rest or nutrition I also need for lasting good health and well-being. It’s just not as easy (for me) as passively feeling good. There are still verbs involved.

This morning I have choices. A great day ahead that begins with brunch with old friends promises considerable excitement, joy, and feelings of the good variety. So, this morning my day also begins with firmly adhering to those practices I know serve me well: limiting my caffeine intake, doing some yoga, getting a walk in, drinking plenty of water, taking my medication on time, getting enough rest, meditation, and spending some time on tidying up. I’ve been up since 5 am (I slept in), and “brunch” is scheduled comfortably for 9 am. Plenty of time to take care of this fragile vessel. 🙂

The details matter. The practices matter. There are verbs involved. New beginnings. Repeating what works. Being present. Choices. (So many choices!)

I’m feeling pretty good today. It’s still time to begin again. 😉

I got home last night and stepped across the threshold still feeling a fairly firm commitment to work on my list of things to do. Moving in isn’t completed, really, until everything on the list is done. I sat and stared blankly at that list for a while. I had a shower. I came back to the list. I sat quietly awhile longer.

I mostly just sat quietly for rather a long while. I wasn’t even meditating, just… sitting. I found myself so disinclined to actually do anything that it was a major effort to figure out salad and a glass of water. It felt like real work to write an email to a dear friend. I did more sitting.

At some point it dawned on me (because even my thinking felt seriously slowed down) that I must actually just be that tired. As in, needing rest. Real rest. Not “failed action” or succumbing to exhaustion, but actual self-care-involving real legitimate uncompromised rest.

My evening became a lavish delight of the restful variety; I relaxed and looked out over the deck from my air conditioned vantage point. I watched fish swim in the aquarium. I read awhile – a favorite fiction novel that I can quite contentedly pick up or put down any time, at any point in the story, and enjoy myself quite thoroughly. Even meditation seemed like more effort than I could comfortably manage, yesterday evening, so I simply took gentle care of this fragile vessel and enjoyed a quiet evening of… quiet. I even went to bed a little early. It is telling of how much I did need some real rest that I fell asleep almost immediately, in spite of the earliness of the hour, and slept straight through to my alarm clock going off in the morning, quite dreamlessly.

At some point, much earlier in the day yesterday, I enjoyed a long phone call with my Traveling Partner. He’ll be heading home soon, and I will see him, and he will see the new place, and then –  far sooner than ideal, I’m sure – he’ll head out for the next thing out there on the future’s horizon. I’m eager to see him. Hell, I’m excited for him about the next adventure, too, although it will take him some distance away for a time. Neither the distance nor the time seem to undermine our connection. (There are verbs involved there, of course, and practices for maintaining emotional intimacy, managing self-care, and avoiding needless drama – and certainly, results vary from time to time, but… Love. My perspective is that loving is a verb, not a gift to be received, or expected, nor a resource to be mined, or wasted – everyone involved has to do the verbs, or Love withers, unsupported, un-nourished.) It will be a fun homecoming; I am excited to show him around the new place.

I sip my coffee, feeling the tug of a contented smile pulling on my face. Monday morning, the sky becoming light with a new day, just beyond the hedge. Today I’ll try the bus commute on for size. I haven’t yet switched over to a parking pass, still looking at my budget and making the necessary decisions about my commute – both the time and the money are factors to consider, and ease, and convenience, and reliability, and whether it will be miserable, comfortable, or fun. This is my life. Those details matter.  My Traveling Partner was right, though (as if he’s not right often enough!); I am pleased to have the choices in front of me, and it has been incredibly helpful to have the car – especially after I broke my foot! lol

I look around the studio at the managed chaos and disarray – it’s hardly a space I could paint in, as it is. There are paintings stacked everywhere, mostly by size. The hardest part of moving in is hanging art; every place is different, and wants different things on the walls. Each installation is new, and individual. The window looks out on the dawn, and reflects back at me those stacks of paintings, as if to suggest the future is just beyond those stacks of paintings that are waiting to be hung, stored, or sold. It’s a new dawn, a new day, a new life for me… and I’m feeling good.

“Beauty is everywhere” quote and photo by Thomas Harwood, 2017

Ever wake up to a lovely morning, resting contentedly in the context of a beautiful moment, begin your day and…

Change? Change. A change that literally “changes everything” – or least feels like it does – can rock my world, shake my foundation, and result in a surreal overload of mixed metaphors, mixed emotions, and general confusion that lasts…well, it used to last until well past whatever the crisis du jour happened to be, and there used to be a lot of them. So many changes and moments were overwhelming crises of circumstance that resulted in chaos, upheaval, and “too much to handle”.

Medical problems. Unexpected bills. Break ups. Lost jobs. Hell – new jobs. Good stuff can do it, too. Love? Love causes some major changes in life and decision-making about the future, I guess I’ve just tended to assume all that anxiety was “excitement”, or failed to notice it in the hormone storm of positive sex-charged emotion. I like to feel emotionally comfortable. I like to plan my life such that even the “unexpected delights” and surprises are not entirely unexpected, nor entirely surprising. I like to feel prepared.

Sometimes I’m not “prepared”. I’m very human. Life can be scary.

Context and perspective are helpful – change is still change. Soon this will no longer be a stopping point on my morning commute.

My anxiety flared up severely – and so did my anger – yesterday morning, as I left for work. I haven’t managed to fully resolve it, but I’m reached an equilibrium with my emotions that feels… manageable. It’s only over a rent increase, really. I’m angry about the circumstances, which seem sleazy, exploitative, and just… douche-baggery for profit. My anger started getting out of hand, my anxiety shot through the roof, and I still had to go to work. I talked things through with my Traveling Partner, gaining perspective as I vented my irritation, resentment, and anger as gently as I could  (Seriously? He’s doing me a favor to be there for me, and isn’t at all involved or responsible, so “taking it out on him” would be inconsiderate and unkind.) So, I talked about it, over messaging, and stayed practical about it as much as I could. I wasn’t “looking for satisfaction” or confirmation that I am “right”, just a reality check, and some supportive understanding. He’s super good at those things, and our conversation ended as I reached the office, feeling… prepared, although still angry. I love feeling prepared!

I’m fortunate that I can fairly easily move, because now I don’t just want to – realistically, I have to (which is why I was feeling so angry, I was making very different plans). The suggested rent increase isn’t sustainable for me, and the circumstances of the increase are such that I certainly don’t care to rent from this landlord anymore, at all, and don’t feel valued as a tenant.

What a strange turn to yesterday’s lovely morning. Still, these days it’s such a mundane bit of adulting, writing about it almost wasn’t a thing… only… it’s still on my mind. I spent my lunch yesterday, and my evening, looking at available rentals, where they are located relevant to work, how much they cost, how soon they are available, and considering each in the context of real life concerns: features, amenities, utility costs, convenience to goods and services, nearness to public transportation (because now I have to move before we have second vehicle – one of the changes we discussed while we were hanging out night before last), nearness to green spaces, nearness to neighbors, and how quiet and safe the communities appear to be. It’s a lot to consider. It’s my life – and worthy of such consideration.

…I had other things on my mind, other things to write about…

I think back, smiling, to hearing my Traveling Partner remind me I already wanted to move (though I hate the process of moving), and that this – however poor the timing – is an opportunity to improve my quality of life through my choices. It’s true, too. The frantic panicked feelings all mixed up with my anger and my anxiety began to fade away as my options began to open up (through skillful Google-fu, and studious inquiry). The number of potential choices became a list of bookmarks in my browser, phone calls and emails to send inquiring about various rentals… houses…duplexes…apartments…condos…townhouses… My criteria stopped being based on “oh-my-fucking-god-what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-do-I’ve-got-to-find-somethingfast!!” and started being based on “wherever I move, the details need to improve, and can”. I struck everything from the list that didn’t achieve that – and still had a decent list of immediately available rentals to act on that shorten my commute, reduce my rent, and improve my day-to-day quality of life – and in one case appears to do so while also keeping me very near to green spaces, and increasing my quiet and my privacy. Nice.

I’m moving. I am okay with that. Change is. I sometimes wish it weren’t so much, so often, but… wishing is a child’s plaything, not a productive tool for managing change. So, I let that go. I confidently choose a move date. I’ll be somewhere new on August first. I don’t know where – but I know I’m moving.

Beginning again? And then some! 🙂

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

Okay, so… there will not literally be party hats, cake, or ice cream. I am, however, celebrating – and you’re invited! Let’s do this thing! First, we need to set the mood. Jessie J? I think so.

Note: the links are all music that I like, that feels powerful and celebratory in some way – your results may vary. Just saying; it’s a matter of taste. 😉

One piece of growth and progress I often miss is celebrating the win – when I ‘get it right’ on a new level, or in an unexpected way, or after trying and trying for so long, I forget to just pause and really appreciate that moment, to let is soak into my consciousness, and to really enjoy the win without reservations, and without needing validation from an external source. I’m done with that. It’s not a very nice way to treat myself – to work so hard, and then just shrug off success in pursuit of the next thing to fix, or because perfection is unattainable. This morning I am celebrating yesterday; there’s a party in my heart, and I’m the guest of honor. (It feels really good, I highly recommend appreciating your small successes.)

I had some challenges yesterday – but I managed them myself, which feels pretty self-sufficient and powerful.  It wasn’t that the day was perfect and easy – it had some really difficult moments, and that didn’t stop me from having a great day. No meltdown. Good choices. I bounced back! More than once. I got through the entire evening (after being profoundly tested during the commute) on my own strength, even taking time to attempt to gently express a small moment of hurt, without using emotional weapons of mass distraction; finding success there was a surprise. This morning I woke up feeling calm, strong, and in a pleasant mood. This, too, is worthy of celebration.

Yesterday I brushed off the small stuff with good self-care practices, awareness, self-compassion, and the will to take myself in hand and help myself out of the muck…even Facebook joined the fun; a good friend redirected my focus gently in the moment with a soft question redirecting me to a mindful moment. Friends matter. Connection matters. Being open to success, too, matters. (A lot, actually; it is a choice to remain in a bad place.) Love matters – particularly that love I have for myself; it’s been hard to get here. Is it strange that feeling strong and capable also feels beautiful? If I had that sort of art at my command, I would find the words for powerful statements of beauty, autonomy, strength of will – that’s all very sexy stuff.

This isn’t about bragging about a good day; I want to celebrate the successes more than I grieve the misses. The positives in life really rate more attention than I’ve given them, more delight, more focus, more opportunity to linger on what feels good. Some beats and some dancing! So here we are – party hats on! Today is a good day to be open to success – and to appreciate it when it comes, whether through skill and practice, or good fortune and good friends. Feel the win! (What will you celebrate today?)

Taking a moment just for me to enjoy my own moment - totally okay, too. :-)

Taking a moment just for me to enjoy my own moment – totally okay, too. 🙂