Archives for posts with tag: good self-care

I went to bed without setting the alarm, figuring I’d be unlikely to sleep very late, but would certainly benefit from a restful natural sleep, waking up… whenever. I can’t overstate the luxury in that experience (for me), particularly if my sleep is good quality. 🙂 It was fairly early, and I expected to read a bit, perhaps, then sleep.

…I never even touched my Kindle. lol

I woke gently. Still dark. I rolled over thinking I would return to sleep, and realized I also had to pee. I laid there in the darkness a few minutes, just sort of waiting to see what my state of wakefulness would really prove to be. Would I just fall asleep in a moment? Would I drift restlessly in and out of a dream? Nope. This morning, I laid there quite awake, content, and calm. So I checked the time. 5:15 am. Nice. Something like sleeping in, nothing too late, definitely not early. Win and good.

I get up. Adjust the thermostat for “awake”. Turn on the espresso machine. The aquarium lights are still off… strange…

I am standing in the kitchen, lights on, starting my coffee, and I glance up at the kitchen clock. 3:24.

3:24?

Damn it. Without my glasses, vision still a bit blurry, in the dim light, sure, a 3 could be misread as a 5 in a great many fonts. Shit. I’m totally awake now. I think ahead to the late night I’ve got planned. Omg. LOL No real option to go back to bed (seriously? I am totally awake)… in a couple hours I’ll be on the highway. By midday I’ll be so thoroughly caffeinated that a nap won’t be possible. Well, hell. I feel myself start to become irritated by this situation.

I found myself rather naturally pausing to consider the morning differently – and this is a change in behavior in comparison to say, 3 years ago – and I make a point of recalling how delicious waking up actually felt. How rested I feel. How entirely awake I was before I ever got out of bed. How comfortable I am right now (relatively pain-free in most regards). I sip my coffee and smile. The coffee is good, too. Good night’s rest. Pleasant (if early) morning. Good cup of coffee. What’s to be irritated about? In fact, my irritation has already dissipated, and instead I am simply enjoying the start to my weekend.

Apparently, I have become less reactive over time, more emotionally resilient, more able to gain and maintain a sense of contentment and perspective, and less need to be attached to specific outcomes. I enjoy this change. I enjoy it enough to take time to really appreciate how far I’ve come.

I’m entirely made of human, of course, and as soon as my news feeds begin to push content into my brain via face holes, I ride that media-driven roller-coaster for a few minutes of internal sass and sarcasm; I’m not reading the articles this morning, merely replying to the headlines, to myself. LOL It goes a little something like this:

Me: Something should.

Or…

Me: Well, yeah… he’s definitely a more professional news source than Fox. LOL

There is, most mornings, no real point in actually opening some of these articles; the headlines are bait. I try not to be baited. lol It quickly becomes a game, and once again, my sense of balance and contentment are restored. 😀

The clock ticks on. My leisurely morning may have started early, but it is a busy day ahead of travel to get to the home place, and there’s plenty to do. I think I’ll get started on that. 🙂

It’s a lovely morning for a new beginning. It’s a beautiful day to change the world – I’ll start with my thinking, an excellent starting point for beginning or changing things. 😀

Expectations and assumptions are a fast track to some shitty experiences in life. Most people move through their experience seemingly unaware, much of the time, that the outcome they are railing against is built, in part, on their implicit expectations, unexpressed emotions, and unverified assumptions. It’s so easy to make up the larger part of what we think we know, entirely in our own heads, of bits and pieces we’ve cobbled together from fragments of awareness, something we heard, and things we think we recall reading. It’s not an ideal approach to living well, I think.

Maintaining a comfortable awareness of the vastness of all that I just don’t actually know is something I practice. Seems worthwhile; I tend to be less annoyed with people as a result, generally. I tend to cry a lot less. I don’t feel so hurt, so often. I enjoy the day-to-day of life as a human primate a great deal more without attempting to do so leaning into the disappointments that are so inevitable when I’m holding on to carefully crafted expectations and assumptions.

…I still have nightmares that seem to be about nothing besides uncertainty, itself. (Fucking hell, even many of my nightmares are weirdly meta) I dislike being uncertain – and I’m grateful to have learned at some point that the opposite of “uncertainty” is not “feeling very certain of the made up narrative in my head”. lol (Because it isn’t that, at all, emotionally; the opposite of uncertainty is being comfortable with not knowing.)

I chuckle to myself and sip my coffee. I don’t actually know that stuff, either. I’m guessing, maybe, or coasting on new assumptions and a different understanding of things, until those also fall to a failed attempt to check them against reality. Cycles of growth and learning. Incremental change over time. The understanding of life and love that met my needs at a teenager, are unlikely to be at all similar to my understanding of life and love as a growth woman past 50, and will also be, most probably, quite different from those I’ll have as a woman of 90.

I’m okay not knowing. I avoid tempting myself with guessing to fill in the blanks – definitely where people are concerned. We are each having our own experience. We filter our understanding of the world through our limited lens of that experience, framed in the context of our fears, and whatever lingering childhood brainwashing we’ve hung on to over the years. We are each so similar. So human. We have much to share with one another. Stories to tell. Trails to walk. Lessons to teach and to learn.

It’s Friday. A busy work day. Another doctor’s appointment. A long weekend ahead. A trip down to see my Traveling Partner for a couple days, and hang out where love lives, watching the shadows on the mountain shift, and the many tiny chickadees picking between the gravel of the drive. It’s been a couple weeks, and although I definitely needed the break from the frequent trips down, and time to really rest and also care for my current residence, I have missed being there. 

Each trip down to the The Place Where Love Lives feels a little more like “real life” and less like being a welcomed guest, which is lovely. I make a point each trip to find some new way to feel more at home, to be more appropriately prepared for life there, and inevitably I leave a bit more of my heart behind when I return to The Place Where I Live, myself. This time I am taking art down with me. 🙂

I notice my coffee is finished. The clock advances the day minute by minute and it’s time to participate. 🙂 Enjoy the weekend! (Hell, I think this weekend, I’ll even write…)

I have managed to get genuinely rested over the past couple weeks, a bit at a time. Good sleep hygiene restored after a carefree disregard for it through the holidays that required another 3 weeks or so of recovery time. We’ve all got to pay for our thrills. lol

It’s an ordinary Monday following a chill, modestly productive, imperfect, still adequately restful weekend. I miss my Traveling Partner on this whole other level that nags at me in the background. I remind myself that the upcoming weekend will see me heading down the highway for another visit. 🙂

The week will end on yet another visit with yet another doctor. I honestly have too much other shit to do, but with these being health-related concerns, getting them seen to is sort of non-negotiable. So. Doctor’s appointments it is.

I look around, coffee in hand, and notice a few things I’d prefer not to return home to, and lacking a full-time domestic in residence (a level of luxury I don’t aspire to), I decide to give up a bit of leisure morning to finish up some housekeeping left from the weekend list of things to do. This is a “me thing”; I find that my thinking is more orderly when my environment is also orderly. I finish my coffee. Finish this lackluster bit of writing. I look my Monday in the face with a smile and begin again.

Life is a pretty dynamic thing. We live this one moment – “now” – again and again. I’m not just playing word games with you, this is our experience. Now. These now moments add up to “the future” as each subtly affects the as yet unexperienced outcome to come. Once lived, they are our immediate experience of “the past”, although we quickly edit our recollections to more comfortably fit our chosen internal narrative.

I wrote awhile. The toxic seed around which that pearl was wrapped colored the result in a subtly unpleasant way, far more suited to self-reflection and growth than to publication. The draft sits unnamed in a list of similar never-published-probably-better-that-way drafts, balled up digital paper tossed toward a digital waste basket, and left carelessly where they fell. The music in the background changed. I began again.

It’s still “now”.

I smile, listening to the music. Feeling relieved that my headache has finally eased somewhat. Feeling content with what I’ve gotten done over the weekend, although it wasn’t everything I noticed needs to be done. I’m okay with that. There’s still time left in the day to be a good friend, to be a better person than I was yesterday, to treat someone well, to help someone out, and to be the woman I most want to be. 🙂

There’s still time to begin yet again.

My mind rarely really rests. When I sleep I often dream vividly, rich in detail, color, emotion, and confusingly real-seeming. When I am awake, driving, shopping, handling some task or another, I am often also “writing” poetry or blog posts – that rarely see publication, having inconveniently become more than my limited memory buffer can store. It’s a continuous internal lecture or conversation with myself. Pause a human being in front of me, chances are I will, at some point, begin to do something rather like attempting to make conversation, but with such high risk of becoming a monologue that eventually, I am likely just chattering away without purpose or focus, or worthy content, even if I actually wanted to sit and read quietly, or work. Not talking when I don’t want to talk requires practice.

I like living alone for something besides the “solitude” (which can, I admit, occasionally become lonely); I like it for the “cognitive stillness” and emotional ease. I like it for the cognitive rest I am now able to get, at least now and then, with so much less work to reach that quiet place.

I have a pretty firm, well-established meditation practice. Meditation has helped me build emotional resilience, a calm “center” I can return to with relative ease, and a certain chill something or other which has made life considerably more pleasant, less volatile, less chaotic, and enduringly characterized by contentment. I don’t know that I would call myself “happy”; it’s not a word I’m so prone to using, at all, these days. It’s a mental magic trick that makes more people unhappy than happy to be focused on the pursuit of that elusive beast as a goal, so I stopped doing that. I don’t “pursue” contentment either; I build it. I build it sustainably on healthier choices, and healthier practices. I have been regularly surprised by how much of the forward progress has been entirely dependent on my own decision making, and my own actions.

Meditation did not “cure” my PTSD, or “fix” my injured brain. Meditation is, however, a reliably good practice for improving my day-to-day experience of my life, and that’s enough heavy lifting for one practice, surely. 🙂

It’s a busy brain, broken or not. I wrote 3, maybe 4, really fantastic blog posts in the past 24 hours – in my head. Catchy titles, engaging and amusing openers, fanciful plays on words with layered meaning… gone at the next annoying intersection, or distracting other moment. lol I woke with a completed utterly beautiful bit of poetry in my head at 3 am, got up to pee, forgot what I was thinking on my way back to bed. This morning, upon waking for the day, I have only the recollection that it ever existed at all still remaining. I play “Tribute” in tribute, and giggle over my coffee; these moments of creativity, lost, forgotten, omitted, or overwritten, litter my life experience. I can’t take them personally after so long. lol

A new day begins. So do I. Another day to write, to love, to feel, to practice – to live.