Archives for posts with tag: finding balance

Today is weird. I mean… I don’t know. Maybe it’s just a day. lol

The morning was lovely. I shared my morning coffee with my Traveling Partner. Mornings together over coffee are becoming a routine, which tends to crowd writing out of the morning plan. I enjoy my partner’s company. We never know how long we get to travel life’s journey with any one special human being, do we? I’m enjoying the moments as they come.

The work day became a busy bit of chaos unexpectedly quickly. I frankly over-reacted. Not in any notably dramatic way, I just took the moment more seriously than it proved to be worth, given time. One of those “oh. this is not an actual problem at all” moments. I would have benefited from taking a minute, taking a step back, and giving the whole thing some thought… Very much as I too-often, too-insistently, too-ineffectively sometimes suggest someone else do, in some other moment. Very fucking human. At some point, something clicked. I took a breath. I had more context. I rather literally “shrugged it off” with a shrug, when I realized how little the circumstances really mattered, in fact.

…Now I’m sitting here feeling just a little silly, and feeling vaguely fretful about purposeless anxiety and bullshit over nothing, and wondering again what the simplest steps to being the most balanced, calm, reasonable version of myself would be… I look to my day-to-day practices for some minutes, just “thinking things over”, then noticed something… I am finding myself “pretty balanced”, and I’m feeling very calm. There wasn’t anything particularly “unreasonable”, or unpleasant or harmful or rude, about my behavior at any point… just a day, with a bit of unexpected chaos. Handled reasonably. Progress over time. 🙂 Keep practicing.

I take another breath, and begin again.

The work day winds down. I switch over my workstation from my work laptop to my desktop pc. An afternoon sunbeam streams into the room, filling the space with light. It’s so lovely to see blue sky again, after the dark and smoky days of recent wildfires. I breathe, exhale, relax, and let go of the small shit nagging at my consciousness. I hear my Traveling Partner and his visiting son in playful conversation, but I can’t hear what they are saying. The tone is light and joyful and satisfied. Small things in life can fill me with such immense satisfaction and delight.

… Then there’s the chaos… I mean, seriously? I’ve still got this hollowed out closet lacking in drywall or flooring that needs repaired – including the hole straight through the wall to the room on the other side. The recent failure – and replacement – of my aquarium is so recent that it still sits in my “not quite still now” buffer, needing to be processed, but omg there is so much else to do, “right now”… Yeah, so… some of the chaos? I’m clearly doing that to myself.

Another breath. Another exhalation. Another moment to relax and let that shit go. Another moment to enjoy this bit of sunshine pouring into my window. My mind wanders pleasantly… didn’t I have some errand to run this afternoon? I shrug that off, too. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t.

I take this minute, here, now, for me – between the end of the workday, and the return to family life. Me, in my studio, with the sunshine filling the space around me. It’s enough.

Another Monday in The Time of Pandemic. Sipping coffee. Waking up. I’m groggy this morning, a combination of spring allergies I regularly say I don’t have (and which generally don’t annoy me at all), and the antihistamine I took for those symptoms, yesterday, after returning home from a drive in the countryside in the spring. The cottonwood trees have released their fluff into the air, and it drifts along the edges of sidewalks. Definitely spring.

A work day ahead. A busy Monday. A long “to do list” waiting for my attention. A universe of distractions from all those things. The weekend was characterized by a handful of profoundly positive moments that fill me with encouragement and hope, and a single noteworthy disappointing setback, from which I’ve already “recovered”, and moved on. Balance in all things? lol The week begins fairly well, I suppose. My coffee is hot, made well, and satisfying. The can of fizzy water also on my desk is cold, refreshing, and tasty. The sound of my Traveling Partner in the living room, also awake quite early, fills me with comfort and contentment. Things “feel okay”. 🙂

A fit of sneezing. A sip of water. A sip of coffee. A routine morning, more or less, and time to begin again. 🙂

I left work later than I’d planned, after getting both more and less done than I intended – and needed – to do. I slumped against the hand rail in the elevator as the doors closed around me, alone at long last. Tears didn’t wait. I stoically stepped off the elevator doing a first-rate impression of being dry-eyed and calm.

I messaged my Traveling Partner that I would be heading home. It’s of no direct consequence for him, though, is it? Hardly. I’m here. He’s there. Fuck, why do I do this? I wonder as I buckle in for the commute home. Rain. I start the car – my washer fluid warning tells me I’ve run out. Shit. Really? Today? God damn it. As I pull out, the “time for an oil change” reminder comes on, too. My lips tremble. I’m not up to this. I’m not adult enough. It’s too much…

My phone bing-bongs at me. I haven’t pulled out of the parking lot, and stop, set the break, and check the message. Love and well-wishes for a safe drive from my Traveling Partner. More than that, really, a proper love note, heart-felt, yearning, and reminding me how much I would be missed if I didn’t make it home. Wow…

…I cried most of the way home, the slow enduring weeping of strong emotion that won’t be defeated. Not quite “happy tears”, just… relieved? Reassured? Profoundly moved. I took care with the drive, hearing the reminder still fresh in my thoughts and in my heart. I made it safely home in the usual amount of time, maybe less, and with far less stress – I’m sure there’s something to learn from that.

The box on the stoop reminded me again how loved I am. I sat down on the stoop, in the rain, and just fucking wept. “Too much.” Too much stress in the week, too much emotion in the moment, and it all came pouring out at once, on my front step, on a rainy night. When I became to cold for sentimental moments, too rained on to pretend I wasn’t cold, and my tears had dried, I gathered up my package and went into the house. I messaged my partner, so he’d know I was indeed home safely. His evening had already moved on to other things, and I don’t expect any immediately reply, so I move on to a hot shower, a few more tears, and then make a healthy bite of dinner.

I hurt, but it’s just pain. I’m not on the edge of tearing someone’s head off over nothing, or disintegrating into a sodden tearful wreck. It’s a quiet evening. I have made a lovely home here. I start a fire in the fireplace and take a seat on my meditation cushion, and feel “too much” begin to fall away, leaving behind only enough.

Thrown off balance and freaked out by what you are seeing in the news? I get it. Scary.  Seriously, though, however hard “now” is, however scary and rocked to your core you feel in this moment, breathe. Just that – breathe. Stay with that until you begin to feel settled (don’t keep checking, as though watching water to boil, just breathe and let the process unfold). Be aware of your body. Take a moment, and just be. Struggling with it? Begin again.

Some moments are hard. Crazy hard. Chaos can be terrifying, and most particularly when it catches us by surprise. Breathe through it. Don’t fight it. Just breathe. Take a moment. Get the oxygen you need to live. Feel the tension in your body and start letting that go. You can. There are some verbs involved. (Notice that “breathe” is a verb.) This too shall pass. No kidding. Change is. (You faced change to get to this moment, here.)

A change of perspective can be really helpful.

A change of perspective can be really helpful.

It’s hard to turn away from the political mayhem, even briefly. Those of us who care deeply, and feel great compassion for others directly affected by the hate and xenophobia and greed of the incoming administration – as well as the sheer incompetence due to lack of any relevant experience – are frightened and frustrated – what do we do to make things right? What can we do to help?  Others, driven less by compassion and more by fear, or hate, or greed, are likely also feeling disrupted and stressed out to see associates they didn’t understand would object, protest, or refuse to participate. suddenly rising up in organized protest, literally everywhere, and even calling people out for being racists, haters, bigots, and just basically completely vile, instead of quietly tolerating it. Families are torn apart by partisan bickering and refusal to communicate in a rational way. Whole industries are thrown off course by the weird hailstorm of executive orders spewing forth from a seemingly unhinged Washington. It’s understandably hard to look away… but… now and then, for sanity’s sake, you must. You’ve got to also take care of you. This isn’t going to be a short journey, and we need every decent human being to endure, and carry on… And you need you, too, so very much.

Embrace a peaceful moment. Breathe. Repeat.

Embrace a peaceful moment. Breathe. Repeat.

Take a minute and breathe. Have a coffee with a like-minded friend. Relax with a book, or a few moments of quiet. Watch the birds. Play with your kids. Go for a walk. Something that gives your heart a moment of ease, pleasure, and even joy. You need it to keep you going; we’ve got to pace ourselves for the long fight. It’s revolution, now, you see. Change is coming.

I’ll probably avoid saying much else about all of this. I’d like to focus my writing on more positive things – the practices that work, the day-to-day eye-opening moments that push me forward on life’s journey, things revealed, and baggage set by the wayside. I have already learned the lesson that when I focus on nothing but the pain, nothing but the challenges, nothing but the fears, my life becomes a painful, challenging, fearful place to endure my mortal time. I’ve grown beyond that, generally; it’s taken miles of walking, hours of practicing, and the slow incremental changes over time that result from doing my best moment to moment to be the person I most want to be. We become what we practice.

We become what we practice. Think about that. There’s nothing there that says “don’t be angry” – and there are things worth being angry about – but being angry, over time, without a break for good self-care and moments of joy, we become anger, and unable to experience our lives in its absence, unable to view content through any other lens. Be sure to take a break from anger, from outrage, from fear – there are other things to be. Don’t forget to be Love. ❤

He has his own agenda.

He has his own agenda.

This morning I woke feeling much better than yesterday, happily over being sick. A crow called to me from the tree top beyond the studio window with a stern reminder that the world beyond includes more moments that those being endlessly revisited, repeated, and recylced in the news. I linger over my coffee, bird-watching. I leave writing for later. Yoga, meditation, a lovely chat with my Traveling Partner, and the weekend’s housekeeping all seem more important, this morning, than the news; I’ve already read it once, you see. The rest is repetition, and there are healthier things to put on repeat. 🙂

Today is a good day to be. Today is a good day to breathe. Today is a good day for verbs. Today is a good day to ask “how can I help most?” and do that thing. Be in this moment. Be who you are. It’s enough.