Archives for posts with tag: good self-care

I am sipping coffee on a Sunday. Good coffee. Pleasant Sunday. I am reflecting on what makes some moments “special” and others so seemingly “ordinary” and wondering if there is really any difference outside my own subjective impression of each moment.

I recently went to the seashore for “a bit of a break” and some “me time” away. I walked the beaches and nature trails. I took pictures. A lot of pictures. Many of those were pictures of entirely ordinary birds standing or walking along the beach, or parking lot, or some strip of not-quite-lawn. Why did I bother? They weren’t special or fancy birds… just gulls, crows, jays, and little brown birds of a variety of sorts. What’s so special about those birds? Nothing, right? It was getting the picture at all that was special (to me) – taking pictures of birds is hard. lol

A dandy gull strolling along in a parking lot. He was aware of me, and unconcerned, just walking along.

Were the moments themselves particularly “special”? I don’t actually recall them as unusual moments in any way, aside from being part of this particular beach trip. If I were to glance quickly at one of the many hundreds of beach photos I’ve taken over the years, I’m not sure I could easily identify one trip from another. They illustrate a more general experience of “going to the coast” and “being at the seashore”. Special inasmuch as it is not the routine day-to-day experience of life…but often very similar to each other (if for no other reason that I am always me when I go do these things, and generally I am doing them with similar motivation and goals in mind).

This crow was not interested in being photographed and quickly walked away when it noticed my gaze.

In a certain sense, isn’t every moment “special”, in that there is a predictably finite number of them for any one of us? We don’t even have the advantage of knowing in advance how many there will be – only that they will eventually just run out, often unexpectedly.

Even for little brown birds on mellow summer days; moments are finite and limited.

It seems far more likely that all moments are special than to assume no moments are special – it’s easy enough to identify one or two special moments (just look for lingering significance or fond memories!), which immediately debunks the proposition that “no moments are special”. So… moments are special in a quantity somewhere between “some” and “all”. Tough to know going into a particular moment how special it may prove to be, even immediately afterward. Some moments are so spectacular it’s probably obvious that those will become lasting fond memories for someone (or recollections of profound tragedy – “special” isn’t always “good”, right?).

Thoughtful? Distracted? Just having a moment?

This last beach trip was special, for sure. I was out on the coast giving my Traveling Partner room to work on complicated CNC build details without me being underfoot, or becoming a distraction. That’s not what was special about it (for me), although it is always wonderful to know I am missed when I am away. What made it special was the combination of finding new awesome locations to take pictures, new trails to wander, and also – that’s where I was when I got the call from my new employer with their offer, and knew that I would be returning to work soon.

I got the news sitting in my car, parked, watching the waves roll in, just after getting off the phone with my partner, after receiving an automated rejection email sent in error. lol

When I was mired in the worst of my bullshit, baggage, chaos and damage, I often felt as if “nothing is special”. That feeling (and experience) has a name, anhedonia. Life feels gray, meaningless, and very much as though nothing matters and no effort will change that lack of meaning. It’s grim. It’s bland. It’s very hard to pull oneself out of that pit. I had it wrong. I mean, obviously (anhedonia is an experience of disordered thinking/feeling). It’s just that I’m sort of blown away by how wrong I’d gotten it (as a result of poor mental health) – because it’s apparent now that the truth is so much closer to “everything is special” (even to the point of potentially numbing us to the “specialness of the ordinary”).

I smile and finish my coffee. I’m happy to be where I am these days. I delighted with the pictures I’ve been getting of birds. I’m okay with the birds themselves being entirely ordinary. Most things are. Moments, too. I’m done with insisting that anything “special” also be entirely out of the ordinary – that seems, now, to be a needlessly high bar to set for what is special to me. Sure – love is special, and very much out of the ordinary… but a great cup of coffee, a picture of a bird that turns out well, or a gentle relaxed Sunday morning are all pretty ordinary experiences – and also comfortably special. I’m good with enjoying the specialness of the ordinary, and embracing contentment and joy.

It’s time to begin again.

I woke early, eager to begin a new day. The cuts on my fingers are healing nicely, and I had my gear ready to grab time camera time with the sunrise.

Lovely morning to enjoy a few quite minutes watching the sun rise.

My Traveling Partner is up to his elbows in 3D printer and CNC rebuilds. He seems happiest when he is quite busy with something complicated. I enjoy hanging out nearby for stray comments, and invitations to take a look at some bit of progress or concern. I am helpful when I can be – and when asked for assistance. I try to “stay out of it” otherwise. That’s comfortable for me. I’ve got my own things going on, mostly to do with the job search tasks and general household stuff, and I’m taking advantage of not having a job right now to enjoy some of my own time more freely. It’s lovely.

…My most recent interview went well, and I am excited about the possibilities, but I’m not leaving my mind there in that place…

A lunch late with a friend later… life is… life. Rich. Filled. Characterized by contentment. At least today feels that way, and I’m okay with that. It’s enough, and I plan to thoroughly enjoy it and savor each delicious moment. That’s the well-spring of future resilience, right there; be present, enjoy the moment, savor the recollection, and celebrate small wins. 😀

Well, look at the time… looks like time to begin again. 😀

Awake. Okay with it.

I woke thirsty. Drank water. My neck felt twisted and my shoulder felt cramped. I did the exercises from my recent physical therapy work.

My tinnitus is loud in this quiet. I listen to it. I listen to my heartbeat. I listen to my even, relaxed breathing. For a long while, it seemed like. I realize I am drifting in and out of my dreams. I am dreaming that I am awake. Realizing this wakes me – the sound of a single startled out loud laugh breaks the stillness.

I sit up, check the time and write these few words. I sit quietly for some little while…

I guess I am for sure sleepy enough to sleep, at this point… I suppose I’ll do that next.

I am awake in the wee hours. No stress, I am simply awake, for the moment. I crashed eary, hard, definitely expecting I might sleep through the night, though my Traveling Partner turns out to be correct; I woke up, a few hours later, and here I am. Awake in the quiet still hours before a new day begins.

Yesterday was strange. I think it was, good, though. That’s how I recall it. I spent the morning running errands. came home, settled down to relax… A spontaneous suggestion by my Traveling Partner put us headed up the highway to see something in person that disappointingly wasn’t there to see. I had suggested calling before we went… No harm done.

I got home honestly too tired to cook. We’d grabbed a snack on the road, anyway. I was also too tired to realize I was too tired. I completely set things up to make dinner…chopped things, mixed things, readied this-n-that for cooking. My partner noticed my efforts, and also my lack of real engagement; I was on autopilot, exhausted. He suggested having a fancier than usual lunch the following day, instead, if the preparations would keep…? I agreed, grateful for the help sorting things out, and unconcerned about things keeping or not.

…Lunch today will be yummy, and pretty easy; everything is ready, just needs to come out of the fridge beforehand. Convenient.

Sitting up, awake, for this little while, quietly, does not prepare me for the sneeze that catches me by surprise as a yawn overtakes me. Who knew sneezing and yawning are so thoroughly incompatible? lol The heat comes on, a soft whisper in the background that seems to encourage sleep… Yeah, I could go for more of that.

Another yawn. I wonder what tomorrow holds…

Here it is, another holiday season. 🙂 Still got this pandemic going on, although it’s clear that many folks are sort of just pretending that it doesn’t exist (which is frankly a bit terrifying, and the lack of basic consideration involved there is disheartening). “The world” seems a bit askew, but I’m not really certain that there is legitimately more (or potentially actually less) violence going on “out there” (none at all in here)… it definitely seems so. The news is filled with an alarming number of articles alerting us all of a huge assortment of violent events, from the very peculiar outbursts from adults on aircraft to truly heinous reprehensible acts of terror and gun violence in schools and on our streets. The long term solutions are complex – but achievable, if we were to bother with them as a society. The short term solution is easier; change the channel. Turn off the news. Log off of social media. Be here. Now. (This does assume that your “here” is safe and quiet and calm… which sometimes feels like a very privileged position to be in, these days. Yeah…. turn off the fucking news for awhile.)

I am sipping this tasty mocha I made for myself after running a quick errand. I’m feeling a bit run down and “off” – I had my seasonal flu shot and my Covid booster (both) yesterday. I’m not ill, just… feelin’ it. lol This mocha, though, is super tasty, and I’m delighted with it, as much because I made it for myself as for the taste of it. 🙂 Self-care feels pretty nice. What are you doing for you? So much effort, and heart, and time goes into these holidays – it’s important to take care of yourself. Life is an endurance race, not a sprint. 😀

I had an idea before I sat down here… thought I’d write about this or that, things that have been on my mind, vexing details of life, how to do this or that in a way that would be more productive, useful, or… something. Those ideas faded when I looked into my Traveling Partners eyes after arriving home, and feeling his embrace. lol I thought then, perhaps, that I would write about love in some way… it’s not always easy to love skillfully, and my own awareness of that halted me; what do I even know about that? I’m a student of love, still learning the basics. 🙂 I’m feeling more inspired to live and to love than to write about either – and I surely need practice at both. lol

I load my favorite playlist. I don’t sort it very often, and listening to it “takes me back in time” in an interesting way. Leave it on long enough (it’s many hours of music) and it rolls the clock back by years, through complicated times, through memories of life and love, the beats a steady reminder that time passes, and that our joys are fleeting – but they live on in our memories, when we allow it. It’s too easy to focus on the shit that has made us most miserable over the years, and too easy to forget all the good times. This particular playlist hints at the miseries now and then, but mostly it’s a merry romp through the good times, and a celebration of joy. I mean… if you like dance music, and videos. lol 😀 (Not all of these tracks are what I’d call “great art” – some of them are just “catchy tunes”, others are amazing works of video art supporting music that maybe isn’t so impressive, and others that it’s the music that gets my attention, and a few with no video at all, just happens that I found the track on YouTube.) Enjoy. Merry Giftmas in advance, and thank you for continuing to read my writing. 🙂 I’m glad you’re here.

My holiday earrings tinkle and jangle with the turn of my head, as my Traveling Partner walks by. G’damn, all these years and I still absolutely adore him. I tell myself that I’ll write more tomorrow, maybe… 🙂