Archives for posts with tag: go your own way

I’ll head out this morning, and in a relatively short time (hours) I’ll catch up with my Traveling Partner for the weekend. Friends. Music. Goings on. The weekend. Lovely – and I am so looking forward to it! I’ve missed him greatly.

I plan my route with care this morning. See, there’s this particular experience I have pretty much every time I make this trip, and it’s not pleasant. There’s rather a long stretch of “highway” that is almost always gridlocked, aggravating, and populated with frustrated aggressive drivers, a handful of unskilled ones, and lurking in the mix, one or two people who are actually straight up “up to no good” – you know the ones; folks that get angry, take shit personally, and then act out their anger in real life putting everyone else at great risk. Drivers who “brake check” someone following them uncomfortably closely, or who is simply driving faster than they are. Drivers who deliberately cut other drivers off – and then “brake check” them, to “make a point” or otherwise demonstrate dominance. Drivers who “match speeds” with a car in an adjacent lane specifically to prevent another driver from passing them. It’s dumb – and it’s dangerous. Fuck, people, just drive your god damned car, and do it safely. Focus on what you’re doing in the world, yourself. Shit.

See? I’m already caught up in a moment that hasn’t even happened yet. I don’t enjoy that, and I would prefer not to just hand over the keys to my emotional experience to some rando fuckknob in a car. lol So. I am replanning my route with greater understanding of what I want from my experience in life, instead of letting my gps direct me down the same road everyone else is taking.

I have the time to enjoy the drive. I shoot for making it enjoyable, instead of “efficient”. Can I literally not even travel that stretch of highway at all, perhaps? Looks like I can – on a smaller rural road. My gps would not ever even consider this route; it’s a bit too close to the interstate highway, and the gps doesn’t really understand why I would choose anything else. In miles, it’s a bit more distance to drive, but in estimated time it’s very nearly the same. Speed matters, and the section of interstate I won’t be driving rarely moves faster than a residential street as it is. Do I mind not driving freeway speeds? Not at all. Not a thing with me, it’s more about a comfortable experience of  being neither rushed nor crowded. I plan my route down this rural “state highway”, and find that it avoids basically the entire stretch of the freeway that aggravates me. Nice. What will the experience be like? I don’t know – I haven’t had it yet. I do know it won’t be “the same” – because I have chosen differently. 🙂

It’s a metaphor. You have choices. Begin again. ❤

I read a really cool thought-provoking positive post on Facebook from someone on my friend list. New-ish friend, and from the perspective of 54, quite young. I was delighted and fascinated by her approach to the ancient human question of “what do I want to be when I grow up?”, expressed as a question to her friends (and possibly the world) “what is your occupation?” followed by “was it hard to get there?” – I spent some time thinking about it, just as a straight up question, without understanding it to be, more properly, a search query put to the humans in the room, instead of Google. (By itself, that delights me.)

I answered the question. A friend answered the question. Another friend answered the question. One respondent, rather disappointingly I found, myself, very explicitly directs the questioner to consider some specific line of work, as if it isn’t the questioner’s journey, entirely, and a whole wide world of “occupations” to consider, many of which lack that sort of very clear path to a very obvious objective. As if the question had not been specifically phrased to achieve something grander by way of an answer. lol I hope she chooses her path with far less… certainty. Ease and convenience, and all manner of things that are obvious, definitely have less risk – and also promise far less reward.

I realized in considering the questions, I’m not at all unhappy to be where I am. Fuck, it took a while to get here, though, didn’t it? LOL Every step, every turn, there were people attempting to direct my hand, my decision-making, and very few of had any interest of mine in mind.

Walk your own path, young traveler. Make your choices, even in the moment, with your experience and your future in mind. Try things. Taste exotic foods. Tempt your senses with novelty. Find balance and perspective – your balance, your perspective. Do you. The map – any map – is not the world. The plan – any plan – is not the project. You are your own cartographer on a journey into a future that hasn’t been determined. There are verbs involved. You will try. You will fail. You will try. You will succeed. You may find that your notion of what success would look like is very different from the success you actually achieve. That’s okay too. It matters more to succeed on your own terms. To love well. To treat people with great consideration. Your results will vary. What matters most is to be present in your experience, and to love well and deeply. You may change the world…

…Are you ready? It’s time to begin the future. (Don’t worry, you can begin again tomorrow.)

It’s been raining a lot. There have even been landslides. That’s something that definitely gets me thinking differently about homeownership; houses perched on hillsides hold less appeal. Mostly, though, I think about the rain, when it is raining. I enjoy the sound of it, the smell of petrichor, the strange changes of scene as storms sweep through town. I watch off and on, all day, through endless windows that wrap the office.

I left the office at the usual time, which is “later than I meant to”. Some of the most productive conversations seem to begin as I leave the building. I’ll work on that. 🙂

Rain in the distance.

It was raining when I left, but it was that gentle misty rain on a warm-ish evening; it seemed of little consequence, and I enjoyed the feel of it. The skyline on the other side of the river was obscured in places by low hanging clouds clinging to hilltops, and a certain gray sort of moving density that hinted at an approaching shower.

I walk on. It keeps raining.

Sure enough, the shower caught me just as I reached the bridge. I smiled in spite of being caught in the drenching down pour long enough to be soaked in spots. I smiled as I waited out the worst of it from beneath the bridge. I smiled as I walked on, once it had passed. It seemed an easy enough journey home.

It makes sense to seek shelter from the storm.

I headed home eager to enjoy dinner. I arrived home to discover I was out of literally everything I had considered making. I shrugged it off, had something different, and looked forward to a relaxed, quiet evening. What I actually had was quite different; I had noise. A lot of noise. I had the noise of a professional carpet cleaning service (the sort with a loud van operated vacuum and pump system of some kind), which commenced sometime after 7 pm, and was still at it well-past 8:30 pm (on a “work night”). The parking spaces are just steps from front doors and thin walls that keep out basically no noise, so it sounded more or less like that truck was parked in my kitchen. I spent the evening wearing hearing protection. It rattled the walls. It rattled my consciousness. It was inescapable. The headache and anger were pretty nearly inevitable. Because I am up at 4:30 am, I’m usually at least trying to get some sleep by 8:30 pm, most nights, or at least making my way in that general direction for the attempt. That wasn’t going to be possible; it took more than 90 minutes from when the noise finally stopped (at 8:47 pm), for me to be sufficiently at ease to sleep. Meditation helped. Meditation (almost) always helps (me) with a great many things associated with emotional reactivity, regardless of the cause.

I woke rested, and in a good place. Tired. Not enough sleep. This too shall pass, like a rain storm. The rain passed. The noise stopped. Sleep happened. Lack of sleep will also resolve, in time, because change is a thing. In most respects, an utterly ordinary Thursday.

I look over the new list from my Realtor, and smile, sipping my coffee; even this “will pass”. Eventually, there will be a house, there will be an offer made and accepted, there will be a closing, and there will be a move. There will be excited bliss, a sort of relief, great contentment. There will also be paperwork, and small moments of homeowner reality-checking-frustration-driving-angst-making moments of doubt and inconvenience, and there will be a home, nonetheless. It’s what I am working towards, and incremental change over time, and the inevitable outcome of practicing suggests that if I simply keep at it, patiently, persistently, refraining from taking a process personally, I will find myself transformed (into a homeowner)(with massive debt)(and a mortgage)(instead of renting)(and the freedom to really make a home that meets my needs over time).

Another day. Another beginning. Another opportunity to make the choices that bring me closer to being the woman I most want to be. Today it’s enough.

 

I woke in pain this morning, to a chilly gray rainy day. Yesterday’s sunshine is a memory. Today, pain takes a firm determined step forward; I am often in a lot of pain on the rainy days I love so much. It’s an arthritis thing, I suppose. Still, it’s a lovely morning so far in spite of that, and I sip my coffee and make my list contentedly. I look at my list and realize I’ve jotted down a task I’m unlikely to be physically able to do today…I cross it off. Tomorrow, maybe.

Yesterday's sunshine...no more real now than any other memory unless I savor it and make it my own.

Yesterday’s sunshine – a lovely memory.

It’s early, still. Meditation, yoga, a walk, and a shower – the morning is well underway. My physical pain distracts me. I pull my mind back to other things – things that matter more to me; it’s ‘date night’ with my traveling partner. Our time together is so genuinely at ease, so deeply connected and passionate, so emotionally supportive, so playful… I’m still awed by this amazing love we share. 🙂 It’s worth pausing often to appreciate it, especially with impermanence being what it is, and change being a thing. I don’t know what obstacles may exist on the path ahead, or what twists life may sneak into future of love. I am learning to enjoy what is, without wailing over what isn’t – or taking every damned thing so personally that I am unable to understand that we are each having our own experience. Incremental change – incremental progress. 🙂 I keep practicing.

We choose our path, but sometimes the way ahead is not obvious until conditions are right.

We choose our path, but sometimes the way ahead is not obvious until conditions are right.

There’s plenty to practice, isn’t there? Life is rich with complexity, full of stress, and so busy it all seems to happen so fast – too fast, sometimes. Yesterday morning, I could feel how very precariously poised I was, between a full on meltdown, and something different from that. I was uncertain I would be able to maintain emotional balance, perspective, and contentment in the face of the numerous stressors piling up, and the growing feeling of being overwhelmed somehow. I took the day, and I took care of myself. Meditation. A walk in the sunshine. More time meditating. Time spent in the garden among green living things. Some time enjoying coffee in the sunshine on the patio. Meditation. Healthy nutritious meals made from whole fresh ingredients. Adequate sleep. Mediation. Comfortable clothes. An orderly environment. Appropriately timed medication. I spent the day being purposefully kind to myself, and as much as possible taking action, rather than reacting. By mid-afternoon, I felt reliably, sustainably content, comfortable in my body, safe with my thoughts, and secure physically and emotionally. 🙂 My results vary – it could have gone quite differently, and I was prepared that it might.

There's more than one path, more than one way, more than one choice; there are a lot of verbs involved.

There’s more than one path, more than one way, more than one choice; there are a lot of verbs involved.

So here I am today. Today seems nice so far… the pain is not relevant to that, and it may not be an impediment to enjoying the day in relative comfort. Even here there’s a balance to be found, the balance between distracting myself from hurting, and being sufficiently aware of it to take appropriate measures at regular intervals: moving around, taking those effective pain relief measures available to me, taking ‘yoga breaks’… It’s easy to get mired in the sensation of pain and overlook that it would ease if I got up and did something else for a few minutes. 🙂

I keep practicing.

I keep practicing.

Even my heart is at ease today. That was not so much the case yesterday. Ah, but it isn’t yesterday now, is it? I begin again. Today is a good day to take care of me. Today is a good day to enjoy the things about life that I find most enjoyable – and maybe find some new things to enjoy as well. Today I begin again – again. 🙂

I’ve been ‘homesick’ for a long time, decades, actually. It’s not exactly ‘homesick’ as in missing some place I once was, or still call home… it’s homesick for a specific sense of ‘home’ that I’ve experienced only rarely. I have moments when I feel this particular feeling of ‘home’, and it fills me up and nourishes my soul in a way I don’t have quite the right words for. I don’t yearn for it continuously, or seek it with any regular method or pace. The feeling comes and goes. When the homesick feeling arrives it feels as if it were there in the background, already. When it dissipates I am relieved, and continue on as if it never were, and I go on enjoying the moments that feel like home.

I sometimes feel a sense of being at home when I am sitting quietly, watching the fish in my aquarium.

I sometimes feel a sense of being at home when I am sitting quietly, watching the fish in my aquarium.

During my lunch walk I considered thoughts of ‘home’ and what ‘feels like home’ to me, as an individual. I walked, smiling, feeling the fresh spring breezes tickle my skin with the fringe of over-grown bangs I chronically tuck behind my ears. I felt the sun warm my face, and enjoy the way it glows through the new spring leaves along my way. My way. That feels like home, too. I stopped to swing on the swings in the park for a few minutes before walking on.

Is being at home a feeling I take with me?

Simple pleasures feel like home...

Simple pleasures feel like home…

Is being at home something one practices?

There's more than one perspective on 'home'...

There’s more than one perspective on ‘home’…

Do we ‘find our way home’, or do we ‘build the home of our dreams’?

Life's curriculum wrapped in spring breezes and blue skies - I'm okay with that.

Life’s curriculum wrapped in spring breezes and blue skies – I’m okay with that.

Is home ‘where the heart is’? What does that actually mean? An interesting thought to finish the evening; a meditation on home and heart.

Today is just about finished, here. Where will tomorrow take me? What will I learn? Will I wake and find the day as gentle and amenable to growth as I have found the evening? Tonight I close my eyes, smiling, wishing the world well, and hoping everyone gets home safely.