Archives for posts with tag: gratitude

I came home tired last night, ankle aching (it’s mostly built of imagination and wreckage at this point, so… sometimes it aches ferociously), cross and irritable over the commute (I got stuck behind an exceedingly, obviously, impaired driver, who veered back and forth, randomly stopped while straddling lanes, drifted into the bike lane repeatedly, and drove very slowly) and just generally – I wasn’t at my best. I had stopped at the store for dinner, though, and I was happy to be home.

…What the…? I pull into the garage… the clean, tidy garage, which is… clean… and tidy. I know I didn’t leave it that way this morning… Huh. Wow. Yep. Both “huh” and “wow”. Nice. I walk into the house, and… oh damn. House looks great too, like, top to bottom. Clean. Tidy. Some small changes in the way things are arranged that really improve the comfort of the floor plan. I’m in mid-exclamation (and appreciative thanks), when my Traveling Partner becomes aware of my physical discomfort with my ankle… out comes a handy ice pack… he makes sure my foot is elevated… then goes to the kitchen, and makes dinner for us. It was a lovely evening. I definitely went to bed last night feeling well-loved. 😀

I’m sipping my coffee this morning, contentedly; coffee was one of the handful of items on my shopping list last night. (No tea? Nope – tea is generally for when it isn’t time for coffee. LOL Personal preference. Although I may yet, one day, switch permanently from coffee to tea, that day is not today.) It’s a lovely morning. I’m not taking anything personally, or struggle with the details, or fussy to myself over some small thing – it’s just me, this coffee right here, and a new day.

It’s enough. 🙂

I slept decently well, and more or less through the night. My coffee is delicious, mild, and the mug comfortingly warm in my hands. I make a point to let go of a small, fairly petty, moment of resentment that attempts to develop; I changed the grinder settings for the coffee grinder at my partner’s suggestion, and my coffee this morning is better. I wasn’t resenting his suggestion, only the lack of understanding that I hadn’t set the grinder as it was with any deliberate intention; it had gotten jostled, and since then I haven’t gotten the settings quite as I like them. I’m pleased with the current settings. The resentment is irrelevant, and lingers only because there was no moment of explicit understanding to satisfy them, when I spoke up. It’s silly to hold on to that, and not at all helpful. 🙂

It was a good weekend. Short. Well, the same length as usual, but feels short. It was a weekend well-spent. I got good rest. I enjoyed a couple great trail walks. I enjoyed the company of my Traveling Partner. It was pleasant.

I woke in a weird place. Maybe it was my dreams? I just feel vaguely… out of step, or as if there is “something going on” that I’m not actually noticing. I know from experience that it doesn’t do to invest time and emotion into such things; they are often illusions, and where they are not wholly imagined, they will be revealed or sort themselves out, in due time. So… I let that go too.

I think about the honeysuckle blooming along the trail I walked this weekend; it reminded me of childhood and “back home”.

I take a breath, exhale slowly, relax, and sip my coffee. I repeat this a handful of times, until I find myself feeling strangely silly; the inclusion of the coffee makes me giggle, although, for me, it is quite common on a Monday morning. The weather report forecasts a very hot day. I’m grateful for air conditioning – although, and this is true, I’m also grateful for blue skies, and sunny days. 😀 Gratitude to spare.

The vague unsettled feeling I woke with begins to dissipate.

It’s another work week, and already time to begin again. 🙂

This cup of hot coffee tastes well-made, and satisfying. An early hour for it. I woke this morning, ahead of the alarm clock, alone. The morning unfolds quietly, gently, without any fuss. It could be any morning. How does it feel so very different, simply lacking the (sleeping) companionship of my Traveling Partner? The subtle shift in my awareness accounts for that, I suppose; I am not dedicating a portion of my awareness to continuously maintaining consideration for another human being, asleep in another room. I sip my coffee, contentedly. No loneliness this morning, just quiet.

He departed yesterday, some time after I left for work. We’d had our morning coffee together, quietly, contentedly. There wasn’t much to talk about; the planning had been skillfully done, the car was packed, the day was ordinary in most other regards. We sat together, waking slowly, gathering our thoughts, forming our intentions, sipping our coffee. I enjoyed the moment a great deal, and it became a happy platform upon which the day ahead would be built. After an ordinary enough work day, I returned home. All so very beautifully mundane, so easy to overlook the tremendous warmth and affection that infused it, like the strawberries in the infused water in the office – subtle and mild, and quite lovely.

Work was work. Summer flowers are blooming everywhere. The day passed quickly.

…I’ve no idea how any of that was so tiring, really, nonetheless; I had little energy or interest in doing things after work. I got home, more thirsty than hungry, and after quenching my thirst with many glasses of water, and enjoying a few minutes of conversation with my Traveling Partner, (once he arrived at his destination, for the night, moments after I got home, myself) I went to bed. I don’t think it was even 7:30 pm, yet. lol I didn’t “read awhile”, or meditate, or toss and turn; I was sound asleep within some few brief minutes after laying down. My sleep was deep and satisfying. I woke gently – to the sound of a chat notification on my phone, of all things (had I really left the ringer turned up??). When I checked my phone, there was no message, no notification, no sound – and the ringer was off, phone set to Do Not Disturb, for the hours between 11pm and 6am. lol I dreamt the sound. Just time for a new day, I guess.

It feels luxurious to get up, turn on a light without concern about waking someone else, and move through the details of my morning routine unconcerned by clumsiness, or someone else’s needs, just focusing on starting my day well, and caring for myself. I make a point to savor the things about living alone that I enjoy so much; there will be ample time to “appreciate” the things about being alone that are less pleasant, and I will make room for them in my heart, too, and hopefully grow from those experiences, and learn more, better ways to love and to share space. I sip my coffee, and consider the differences between living alone, and living with someone. I take a moment to fully appreciate having a partnership that so skillfully supports my need for solitary time. My Traveling Partner “gets me”, and I feel very loved.

…I take a moment to appreciate the way we “choose” this partnership, every day.

Sometimes our path is illuminated. Sometimes we walk our mile in darkness.

….Mmm… This is a very good cup of coffee. I find myself hoping my partner’s morning cup of coffee is similarly good, and smile at the first hints of day break showing through my studio window. So far, a pleasant morning. 🙂

There’s little truly shareworthy content in this quiet morning, beyond the quiet itself, and that’s only worth sharing if I consider it in the context of yearning for quiet and not finding it, or lacking any conviction that the quiet is worth experiencing, or… well, it’s all very subjective, I guess I’m saying, and not exciting, or the sort of thing that great adventure builds from. I’m just here, now. It is morning. I am content. By itself, quite worthwhile, and exceedingly achievable, with some verbs, and open communication, expectation-setting, self-care, and a well-chosen partnership. Nothing about that is “easy” or without effort. All of it is within reach, based on choices, generally. Real life happens. That’s a thing. I remind myself to be grateful for these easy-feeling moments, and to savor this quiet morning; life can be chaotic. Struggle is real. The wheel turns. This, too, shall pass.

…My coffee nearly finished off, I notice I’ve let myself become distracted by thoughts of work, already. I breathe, exhale, relax, and let that go – it creeps back, anyway. I sigh, and laugh out loud, disturbing the stillness. I check the time, and decide to get an early start on the day; this moment is as good as any to begin again. 🙂

Tooth extraction. I guess I’m more than a little grateful how far dentistry has come. It was, as suggested, not all that painful. Even getting the shots to numb the area was insignificant, pain-wise. The extraction, itself, was peculiarly… forceful. I mean, seriously? My dentist basically pulled a living tooth with no interest in being removed right on out of my jaw, where it was pretty permanently lodged, right? The amount of force required was… impressive. I couldn’t really feel anything but the pulling, and even now, I am ever-so-grateful for the advances modern dentistry has made. It got a tad grim when I could literally hear bone snapping, breaking free, and the taste of blood isn’t particularly pleasant. Still… no pain.

“…Oh, just one thing to cover before you leave… after we get an x-ray…” Yeah, well… okay. A “complication”. A small perforation of my lower sinus, which is, I guess, not an especially uncommon complication of an extraction of one of those back molars. I walked away, face beginning to ache, equipped with care instructions, and feeling very grown-up; I got through it, and it’s done, and I’m fine.

I arrived home. Relaxed for a few minutes with my Traveling Partner. Reviewed those care instructions… carefully. Wondered about what I’d be able to eat for the next few days. Frowned at the likelihood that it may be 2-3 weeks before I could vape again, or drink through a straw, or do literally anything that results in any notable amount of suction (trust me, this affects my quality of life! lol). I was pretty quickly overcome with a serious case of “I don’t actually care about any of this, actually”, and crashed out for a “nap”, that turned into about 18 hours of solid sleep, interrupted only long enough for interludes to sip water, sit up for a handful of minutes, go to the bathroom, and have a few very finely minced calories with great care. lol I still feel like I’ve been hit hard in the face, several times. I still taste blood, faintly. I’m still incredibly careful about every swallow of liquid, every bite of food.

…2-3 weeks??

Fourth of July. Well… no BBQ for me. I’m still “injured” enough that I don’t actually much care about that. I’m grateful for Ibuprofen; it’s getting me by nicely for pain management. My mouth “feels weird”. Talking, too, seems affected by the change in the shape of my mouth, the swollenness of my gum, and the pain in my jaw. I know it will pass.

…I think I’ll have another nap. LOL

My eyes opened at 3:00 am. No surprise. I went to bed early, sleepy, and tired, and earnest about being well-rested for today’s life pop-quiz; tooth extraction. lol So… I guess I’m well-rested. 🙂 I spent the extra time on a leisurely shower, yoga, meditation, and then… comedy. Humor. Laughter. Light-heartedness. Joy. Sure, why not? Got a few extra minutes? To what better use can you put it, than a few moments of merriment?

The clock ticks on. We are mortal creatures (at least for now). Grief is a thing, part of our experience as human beings. Sorrows come and go. Hurts happen, some of those become festering wounds. We rage and storm against perceived slights, and harvest personal resentments from our carefully curated personal narratives. Anger, too, is a thing that is part of our experience. It’s too easy to let the “dark side” of our emotional spectrum to take over; it’s powerful. So powerful. So… I make a point to invite in the joy, the merriment, the humor, the contentment. I let happiness wander in to join the fun, whenever possible. While I’ve given up on treating my emotions as my enemy, I recognize that some emotions are definite “party crashers”, uninvited, generally unwanted, and totally willing to just take over, and suck the fun out of life. Making a real point to seek out the positive and uplifting experiences helps a lot, by building resilience, and a more positive implicit experience.

Where to begin, though…?

It’s hard to go wrong with good basics…

I sip my coffee, contentedly. I feel okay about the tooth extraction, less anxious after doing some reading about typical experiences, after-care, and looking at x-rays online of how that particular tooth commonly fits in a human jaw. All of that helped reassure and calm me (your needs – and results – may vary). I feel ready. My time is managed to support after-care (no work tomorrow, I can stay home and take it easy), although I won’t be eating any enticing holiday foods. lol I pause for a moment of gratitude; I have a good dentist, with whom I am at ease, and was able to get a prompt appointment, the day before a holiday, simplifying the time needed for after-care. I’m fortunate.

I’m surprised, again, by how really good gratitude actually feels… 🙂 I spend a few moments happily appreciating things for which I am grateful… this can of room temperature coffee, for example, which allows me to easily and conveniently support my coffee habit even while waiting on an appointment to have a painful tooth extracted. Oh, hey, and the weird glue-y stuff the dentist used to protect the exposed stump of this tooth, until the day of my appointment, so I can eat, and rest through the night, and drink water (and, um, room temperature coffee). I’m grateful for the good night of sleep I got. Grateful for the running water and indoor plumbing. Grateful to see another sun rise. 🙂 All good stuff. I begin to feel a wholesome feeling of being uplifted – nothing going on aside from this simple exercise in gratitude. It’s nice, and also quite portable, convenient, and inexpensive. 😀

I sip my coffee, smiling, pleased to have shifted an experience fraught with anxiety to one characterized by contentment, and positivity. I glance at the clock, aware of my commitment to being in the office a bit early, since the day will be shortened by this appointment. This feels okay. It’s enough. 🙂