Archives for posts with tag: gratitude

I woke gently after a restful night. I woke with a song still in my head, left behind by my dreams. A song, in fact, with so many covers and remakes, that I didn’t realize that the version that as for me the version, is, itself, a cover. lol I’d never heard the original, until this morning. It’s a very different song, with a different feel altogether. It got me wondering… what would it sound like in this decade? Like… a really recent version? Is there a trap remix…? lol Of course there is.

…Why do I do this?? lol

I sip my coffee and consider the day ahead, the drive down to see my Traveling Partner this weekend, the days and weeks to come, filled with change. I click “play” on my favorites playlist and change the moment, the mood, and the momentum of the day. As if I pressed a “restart” button on my consciousness. I’ve got shit to do today, damn. πŸ˜‰

I contemplate the timing of changes to come, the planning involved in making them weave gently together, the consideration involved in limiting any negative outcomes for others in changes they may not have expected or planned on, the celebration involved in savoring changes that are chosen, or fortuitous. Have I learned to step beyond accepting – even embracing – change? Have I somehow grown to enjoy it? To seek it? To craft it? Huh. Interesting… I think I may be okay with that. πŸ™‚

I take a moment for gratitude; I have worked at getting where I am in life, but, and this is just real for all of us, I didn’t get here alone. I’ve had some lucky breaks, some assists, some opportunities that were unexpected, others that were almost forced on me inconveniently, but which turned out rather well, and at every turn I have been on a shared journey; we are all in this together. Every moment of feedback that resulted in self-reflection and personal growth helped get me here. Every great suggestion that got me thinking differently about where I stand in life – and what I stand for – helped get me here. Every fumble, stumble, and moment of panic, taught me something that eventually brought me here. Every friend. Every colleague. Every conversation. Every moment of support, encouragement, and help. Every angry conversation that sparked growth. Every example set by another person doing their own thing, and making their own choices. Every bad choice, good choice, or other choice – all of it. I did not get here alone.

…That’s also been true when I’ve stood in shitty circumstances, wondering “what the fuck did I do to get here??”. Whether I have celebrated or suffered, I didn’t make my way to that place alone. Something to consider. Relationships matter. How we treat each other matters. What we accept in treatment by others matters. Boundaries and expectations matter. Our words, actions, and values – all of it matters. πŸ™‚

What are you going to do about it?

…This is a good cup of coffee, and a lovely moment. I sit with it awhile, before I begin again. πŸ™‚

 

Someone else’s powerful poetry serves this moment up to me, this morning. (Thanks, David Bowie.)

Still don’t know what I was waitin’ for
And my time was runnin’ wild
A million dead end streets and
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
How the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

Surfing the waves of joy and anxiety crashing over my consciousness this morning, celebrating change, reveling in agency, and…but… yeah, also having to manage the anxiety that comes with full throttle adulthood in real-time. Scary. Deliciously unpredictable. My sleep is disrupted, and I woke groggy from having too much to dream. I’m already walking that fine line between “enough coffee” and “what the fuck was I thinking having all that coffee?”

Choosing to make a job change (or career change, depending on how those words are defined, but either way, a change of employer) feels a bit strange and disorienting in this moment. It’s “the right move” for me right now, a good choice, based on sound decision-making (from the only perspective I have in this moment, which is… this perspective, now). Still, willfully acting on that perspective, taking full advantage of personal agency, and acting with clarity of purpose in the context of living the life I want to live, that supports my long-term needs and goals, still shakes me up a bit, and causes me considerable anxiety. Maybe it always will. The anxiety isn’t stopping me; this feels right. A good practice; don’t take my emotions as facts upon which decisions must be made.

…It’s still sort of nerve-wracking, now and then. Small stressors loom larger than they need to be. I find myself sort of “holding my own hand” now and then, and seeking out favored colleagues for moments of connection, sharing, and support. Taking time to acknowledge their importance and value to me before I leave really meets some needs, for me, and seems to for them as well. A good practice; connect with people. Authentically. Even, if I dare to use such words in the context of work, tenderly. With care. Consideration. Gratitude. Joy.

It’s a slow sort of celebration. There’ll be a few days between the one and the other, which I definitely need in order to ensure that I leave any baggage and old business behind, before I start on a new adventure. Another good practice; get my head right, let go of baggage.

I’m taking myself seriously – but not taking my bullshit personally. πŸ™‚ Or, at the moment, anyone else’s. It feels pretty nice, overall. Each dawn brings a new beginning… some beginnings are bigger than others. Some are chosen with great care. Some are simply circumstances presenting opportunities. Some are all those things.

It took awhile to get here, today. At this point, I am relaxed, content, and more or less comfortable. I spend the day in pain, working, doing the things needing to be done, dodging interruptions and distractions as well as I could – some of them are my own doing, purely a product of being human, and enjoying that moment of connection with other humans. I probably need a few of those, anyway. πŸ™‚ The commute home was routine. Nothing terrible… well… no more so than usual, and somehow less aggravating.

Today was fairly shitty. It was hard, and I hurt all day. It was hard to smile. It was an effort not to complain. It was a struggle to fight back tears, more than once. I feel awkward and graceless on my cane. I feel old to be struggling with pain, and mobility challenges. Did I mention what a shitty day it was? I was mired in it all day.

I endured. I mostly endured through successful application of a favorite very portable practice (and I’m pretty sure that this particular practice, in part, resulted in the better-than-average commute experience, just saying). It’s too simple. Please don’t laugh…

It’s hard to stay angry or be annoyed with life when I am experiencing gratitude. Just that. Feelings are tricky, though, and faking it doesn’t work. I start with things that seem obvious to appreciate – and I take a moment to appreciate them. Continue until I’m not in a bad mood. Repeat as needed. It’s not any more complicated than that, really, although it can take a bit of practice to get comfortable and easy with it; sometimes it feels like I really want to be mad about shit. That’s hard to let go of.

I start with something immediate and in-the-moment… some small comfortable detail that, by itself, isn’t crappy at all. Like… looking out the window at the office to the workers on the roof across the way; I’m not working outside in the wind and cold. Yeah, okay – I’m grateful for climate controlled indoor work, for sure. Oh, and indoor plumbing, and potable drinking water from a tap any time I want it. The rest room at the office stocks feminine hygiene supplies. I don’t need that stuff on this side of menopause, but I really appreciate that we provide such obvious basic necessities. I value the basic day-to-day courtesy and consideration of our work culture. I have a coworker who sits near me who good-naturedly lifts my spirits on the regular with light-hearted banter. I am grateful for the decency and humor of my colleagues. On it goes. I can continue to list things I am grateful for, until gratitude has filled me up entirely and I have no room for anger, irritation, or surly bullshit.

One note of caution; this is a positive thing, this gratitude thing. I find it more effective to focus on positives for that reason, so, while it is definitely worth being grateful that I don’t have malaria (and it’s amusing to say as much, in any number of contexts), it’s sort of askew from the point of the practice. More useful, perhaps, to note that I am grateful to have had anti-malarial drugs available when I did work in an area that put me at risk of getting it… an observation that tends to lead me down the path of other medical tools, practices, experiences, skills, and medications which I am grateful exist. Yay! More gratitude. That’s the thing with being grateful for the lack of something, or the negation of something else; it’s hard to build on a negative without slowly becoming more negative. Well… that’s my own experience. Your results may vary. Negativity definitely has more comedic potential, if that’s what you are going for. I just wanted to feel better, and enjoy my experience more easily while enduring so much pain.

I got home still managing my pain with little more than my positive attitude. Medication was a huge, if not immediate, relief. It’s an Rx pain reliever tonight. I feel grateful to have it available. I feel grateful that it works. I feel grateful that it ensures I can get some better quality rest (it’s hard to sleep through pain).

I’m grateful that tomorrow I can begin again.

So human.

This morning, I wrote, as I do, but to a dear friend, only. It met my own needs, and I considered no others this morning. Huh. Still human.

The other day, I got poked by a rose thorn, but thought nothing of it; roses have thorns, it’s a thing people know about. Today I am fussy and irritated by the discomfort of the thorn still lodged in the pad of my index finger, rather inconveniently precisely where my finger strikes the keys of my keyboard. I don’t actually do anything about the thorn, I just bitch about the discomfort. Still human.

I read the news, get caught up, feel annoyed with myself for wasting precious limited lifetime on media bullshit, again, knowing it messes with my head for hours, sometimes days. I sometimes do it anyway, even to the point of reading and rereading the same news, covered the same way, by nearly identical media outlets, multiple times…until I finally notice I’m learning nothing new, and don’t even actually care. Still human.

I make a cup of chamomile tea to enjoy as the evening winds down, and can’t quite enjoy it, either because it is still too hot to drink, or perhaps because now I don’t understand why I didn’t make coffee, which I’ve already had more than enough of today…but I don’t know which, and don’t move to change anything. Still human.

I distract myself from all of these things with thoughts of love, and loving, and feeling grateful to be so well-loved, and so thoroughly accepted – and then distract myselfΒ againΒ with my disappointed recollection that my Traveling Partner still has not made it over to see my new place once… Which… well, he’s hundreds of miles away, and has only been within an hour’s driving time of this address for about 24 hours in the past 5 (6?) weeks, so it’s not really a realistic expectation. Still disappointed. Still human.

It’s a life. My life. It’s not the life I had 7 years ago. Hell, it’s not the life I had 3 years ago. It’s a pretty good life. I’m content – and this is true nearly all of my time, even moment-to-moment, generally. That’s… yeah, so much beyond what I could have hoped for a decade ago. Sure, it’s taken awhile, and I’m still so very human. Still have ups that are too far up. Still have downs that are scary far down. Still have many moments and emotions in between the extremes. It’s a life. My life. I’m very human.

Just one moment of many

Tomorrow, I’ll begin again.

I woke this morning, too early. My fitness tracker buzzed me; my Traveling Partner reached out in the wee hours, checking in, not feeling well. I drift in and out of a light sleep for another few minutes, simultaneously relieved and regretful that we’re not in this same space… I would do what I could to provide comfort and care (that’s the regret; I am too far away for that)… but… I’m also glad that my own rest was not disturbed through the night by his discomfort. Yep. Very human.

I’m not hard on myself about the regrets I have in life. I mean…. not anymore. I used to be the one boldly and firmly asserting I had no regrets. Well… snarling it, really, as if I had something to prove. Funny that “regret” is something we seem to look poorly upon, as if there were no opportunity to learn from our regrets. How do I offer a sincere and heartfelt apology if I am not able to acknowledge and regret my error? It’s an odd emotion to discourage, is it not?

No regrets? Really??

I frankly regret tons of stuff – mostly small things. I regret every time I’ve hurt someone’s feelings with careless words. That’s one of my most common regrets. I regret the pleasant moments I overlooked because I was more invested in pissing and moaning about something else, that mattered less. I regret every affectionate embrace I was too awkward to welcome, and all the ones I was too self-conscious to offer. I regret severed connections, and lost friendships – whether or not it was the wiser choice. Those are generally the sorts of things I do regret. I’m not the slightest bit uncomfortable with admitting to regret – if I didn’t regret those things, what would it say about who I am?

You know what I don’t “regret”? I don’t regret being human. I don’t regret that I have some quirks and limitations that may not be immediately obvious to the world, day-to-day. I don’t regret that it has taken many years (decades) and many relationships to find my way to this place in life where I am mostly pretty able to adult for myself with fair skill. I don’t regret not having it all. I don’t regret not being the prettiest, the smartest, the fittest, the sexiest, the richest… I don’t see those as things to regret. (How much misery in the world is caused by our creating a “best” characteristic, placing it on a pedestal, and saying “there can be only one!” Never even giving ourselves a chance to just be?)

Regret gives me a moment to appreciate a better path, and to calibrate my personal intent with my real-life actions, choices, and behavior. Regret reminds me to keep up on the housework (I definitely regret it when I find I’ve allowed things to become untidy). Regret reminds me to choose kinder words, and gentler behavior. Regret asks me to consider my choices with greater care. Regret nudges me to book a camping reservation, buy concert tickets, and make time for my friends – because the alternative is regretting that I have not lived my life.

This morning I pause for a moment of regret. I’m okay with that. πŸ™‚ I also pause for a moment of appreciation, a moment of gratitude, a moment of joy. Life is rich with moments. It’s a lovely morning, and it’s enough. My moments of regret keep me focused on where I am headed as I begin again. πŸ™‚