Archives for posts with tag: Ill Gates

I am sipping my morning coffee, thinking about my afternoon tea. lol It’s a bit meta, isn’t it? I’m okay with that – I do some of my most personally useful thinking in this way.

This has been a good weekend of self-care and partnership. My Traveling Partner and I spent time in his shop together working on a project – the first “from nothing to something” project to come off this new CNC machine. Exciting! It’s a small thing – a trivet. I needed one in the kitchen, though, to avoid setting very hot pans on our countertops, which are not stone, or made from stone, just some ordinary enough surface that could be at risk of damage from excessive heat. I like to take care with things.

A useful reminder of my partner’s affection.

This morning, I slept in – like, properly actually slept-in later than I might ordinarily, and also quite late considering when I crashed for the evening (and without even reading for a few minutes!). I woke feeling not only “well-rested”, but also feeling that my “mental buffer” was entirely cleared out of things needing to be processed from recent events. Lovely. Self-care win. A big one. If the only reason I’m “sleeping in” is that I went to bed very late, or slept very poorly, it’s not particularly worthwhile – it’s just me trying to get enough rest. This time, I definitely got enough rest, and a little more than that. πŸ˜€

I see a sunny autumn day beyond the window. My coffee tastes good. I feel loved. There is a smile on my face.

My partner ducks in for a moment to see how my morning is going so far, and asks me to check my oxygen on a pulse oximeter. I use the one on my phone and quickly verify that my oxygen level is “in the green zone” – I’m breathing. Yay! πŸ˜€ When my anxiety flares up, even “in the background”, the resulting experience of “hyper vigilance” sometimes finds me “holding my breath” without intending to, after some in-breath or another, as if alert for a threat, waiting, watchful… for some reason, my partner is very sensitive to this detail in my experience, and at some point when a change in my chemistry or pheromones becomes detectable (this is our theory, not confirmed through convincing medical research, so please don’t change your life over it) and if we’re in the same room he’ll fairly reliably have an allergy attack over it. We’re ruled out other more obvious things, so this is where we’re at with that. It vexes us both. For me, it’s mostly an irritating circumstance that breaks my focus when I’m asked to check my oxygen, which is … annoying and also saddening (to potentially be a cause of my partner’s allergies). For him? For him it’s worse, I think; he suddenly, unexpectedly, can’t fucking breathe. Crazy. I hope we figure it out. I don’t talk about it much, but it’s one of our day-to-day challenges. People have those. lol

It’s the last day of a lovely long weekend. I’ve got some errands to run, and a plan to make baked ziti for dinner. Life being lived. Lovers loving. Time passing. There’s still time to get into the garden… to read a book… I’ve got a list of inspired work to get started on in the studio, too…

…It’s time to begin again. Pick something. Do the thing. Repeat.

There are so many tea-related metaphors. I’m more of a coffee drinker, frankly, which you probably know if you’ve read more than one or two of my blog posts. I do occasionally drink tea, though…

Proof I do drink tea. Sometimes.

Here’s a thing, though; tea has been around a very long time. It has ancient origins. The idea of having a cup of tea to relax, or as a pick-me-up, or as a shared moment among friends, or a celebratory or thoughtful ritual, is not new. (This is going somewhere…)

…I mean…damn. Have some tea. Think about how that connects you to your ancestors – and the world!

Life has been “busy”. My anxiety has pushed me back into therapy, because although I worked a long time to manage my anxiety generally (in the face of trauma, stress, and emotional pain), I haven’t actually done much to deal with my anxiety in the face of … success and contentment and a pretty good life. Turns out, that also massively aggravates my anxiety! Fuck. Seriously? Well, shit.

Even a lovely colorful pleasant life rich in love and joy can be a source of stress.

One of the things I had talked over with my therapist is this idea that I feel unprepared for things to go well, and as if I am constantly vigilant, waiting for “the other shoe to drop”, which is a weird source of anxiety, seems to me. I also gave voice to my frustration that I’m struggling to stay on track with my meditation practice – in spite of my awareness and direct experience that it is profoundly helpful for managing my anxiety. How is that even fair? lol

All through the summer, I explored area parks and nature areas with my camera. Thinking, walking, taking pictures of flowers, trees, and birds.

I zoomed in close-up to examine small details.

I developed favorite spots as the weeks passed. I switched up my routine to put me out on the trail with my camera almost every morning for a hour or so before work. It did a lot to inspire, soothe, and entertain me. It met real creative needs that I’d been struggling to meet well for rather a long while. I still do it most days, even though the sun rise is (much) later. I start my work day later, too, and stay closer to home on work mornings (saving the further away spots for weekend mornings). I’m grateful that I can.

Just this morning, at dawn, I had a realization…

I think I’ve been “getting too close” to the issue at hand, and as a result failing to find a thread that connects some of it in a useful way, with other things that are also going on with or around me…

It’s easy to get too close to something, and miss the important details I’d easily see if I took a step back.

I drink a lot of coffee in the mornings. I often write in the mornings. I do camera walks in the mornings. I feel fresh and wide-open to possibilities in the morning. Once my two coffees for the day are over, I’m generally pretty well wrapped up in work, or moving on with a list of things that need doing, or errands that want running. By nightfall, I’m exhausted, irritable, in pain, and struggling to find emotional balance. There’s a lot of time between the end of that second coffee and the end of my typical day. I’m going to start stopping for a cup of tea in the afternoon. πŸ™‚ An easy moment from which to begin again, to reset, to reconsider, to reconnect with myself… I plan to make a commonplace ritual of it, as so many people do, and I will seek to be very mindful, and deliberate, and take advantage of the break in my routine each day to really pause, reflect, and appreciate my circumstances.

…If nothing else, it will use up the tea in my cupboards, and give me a reason to use the tea cups in my porcelain collection. Delightful. Self-reflection, a break in the afternoon, and delight?? Sign me up. (Oh, wait, I already did…) A new practice. Sometimes it takes a bit of new along with the routine to find my way along the path. Something with which to begin again. πŸ™‚

I sat down with some water, to write and reflect. My first week at a new job wrapped up quite pleasantly and productively. I’m listening to Lizzo remind me “It’s About Damn Time“. I’ve got a little stack of flower seeds for fall sowing. It’s time to decide specifically where they go and put them there. Other fall seeds are sown in modules, waiting to be planted in the raised bed. Summer-sown veggies are sprouting in the autumn sunshine. We got our first real rain of the fall this week, too – so lovely!

While my Traveling Partner’s son visited us, I made a short trip up the road on a wee adventure to look at garden statues and the sorts of dΓ©cor suited to turning some corner in a garden and discovering some delight. Why not? It’s the sort of thing (for me) that daydreams are made of. I went to Dundee Garden Art, and wandered their lovely collection of things for gardens. So worth the visit!! I see several things I want for my garden… but this is where planning and dreaming collide; the moment of whimsical speculation, the “what if…?”, the temptation, and the wondering. I don’t need to rush this, or take any sort of immediate action. This kind of aesthetic detail, I find, benefits from some time and consideration. I’ll daydream about it awhile, and eventually probably do the thing that caught my fancy first. lol

Quan Yin is surely worthy of a place in my garden.

My Traveling Partner asks for my thoughts on some upgrades to the shop. His business is developing, and already the small CNC machine that was “enough” when he got started is no longer enough machine to do the jobs he needs to do. It just can’t be counted on to get the job done. We sit down and look over his plan. This is no time for daydreams; we are practical and cautious, with an eye on hopefully just doing this the one time. (Things don’t always work out that way, particular now that so many items have to be purchased unseen, from an online store. Return-and-try-again is a real risk.) Our results vary. We roll with it. Talk it over together. Finalize a plan. Take action.

The Autumn sunshine sneaks through the blinds, filtered and softened. I smile. We’re in a good place together. Sunshine and love.

The new job is hard to assess from the vantage point of the first week. I’ve been doing “onboarding” tasks, and tackling various “annual compliance training” modules. No daydreaming. No planning. Just action, a bit of task processing and box ticking. I’ve got a checklist. πŸ™‚ I’m enjoying the vibe, though, and the company doesn’t waste time on excessive meetings. It’s nice to have the time to get real work done, even if I’m just onboarding right now. πŸ˜€ In all identifiable respects, so far, this is a great job for me. I enjoy the team I’m on (and I’ll get to meet them in person next week), and there are enough familiar faces around to feel very much “at home” with my peers. I’m even having fun. No complaints. πŸ˜€

Time passes. I’m not the woman I was at 21 (I’m fairly sure I would have found her insufferably arrogant, and doubtless she’d have viewed me similarly harshly). Am I a better person than she was? A better human being? I can’t be sure of that, but I know I am happier, more content, more resilient. Finally. All those new beginnings have gotten me somewhere… and I didn’t even have to give up my daydreams. πŸ™‚

It’s time to begin again; my path does not end here. I think I’ll have some tea. πŸ™‚