Archives for posts with tag: it’s not a competition

My view of the meadow, covered by morning mist rising from the marsh, is obscured by condensation on the window, left open during the night. My view is obscured by my perspective. Something to think about, generally.

Low mist on the meadow before sunrise.

Sometimes I have to change my perspective to enjoy the view…

Today my traveling partner [figuratively, metaphorically] becomes my literal traveling partner, headed to a favorite festival. I smile every time I think about him enjoying himself there. I come back to the thought frequently; I enjoy his joy. 🙂

I caught myself getting caught up in the news… the usual horror and tedium, frankly, and fairly dismal. Getting mired in it does no one any good, and doesn’t change things. I can change only those things that are precisely and specifically changeable by me. It’s entirely a worthwhile endeavor to be the best human being I can, without bothering with the day-to-day stress and drama of comparison, or competition. Yeah, life?  It’s so not a competition. What a lie I’d been sold there! When I allow myself to be distracted by how well you are doing, or how well that famous person over there is doing, or how well a motivational speaker suggests I could be doing, or any number of other frankly revenue-generating (for someone) bits of bamboozlement, I lose precious time on my own authentic journey. Sometimes the journey is difficult. It’s mine. Sometimes the journey is a disastrous maze of detours. It’s mine. Sometimes the journey is fraught with confusion, sorrow, or anger. It’s mine. Sometimes the journey is delightful, joyful, and fun. It’s mine. My journey to make on my own terms; I am my own cartographer, having my own experience. Sure – we’re all in this together, and that matters, too. Still my journey, on my terms, in my own time – and similarly, yours belongs to you. We don’t gain much when we try to use someone else’s map… and we lose a lot when we’re sold on someone else’s destination. Just saying. Do you.

The mist begins to lift, the sky to lighten. I hear crows discussing their plan for the morning. I see the earliest hints of autumn in the trees on the far side of the park; shades of yellow and orange beginning to show in the summer green foliage.

Today is a good day to wish the world well, and my traveling partner too; each of us having our own experience. Each of us on our own journey. Today is a good day to be authentic, genuine, and also the very best of who I am able to be. (Each of us doing so would change the world.) 🙂

Saturday is finally here. It was a longer than usual work week, with longer than usual days. I intend to set very firm boundaries about over-work, but it’s a small team, and vacation time gets covered whatever that takes. By the time I got home last night, I was exhausted, and ready for a quiet night. I managed to push myself through laundry and self-care basics, and spent the rest of the evening quietly, reading. I crashed pretty early, and slept through night – hell, I ‘slept in’ more than an hour past the time my alarm usually wakes me, and woke feeling rested, the work week finally behind me. 🙂

This morning there are a couple of light chores to take care of, and I’ll spend some time in the garden before the heat of the day. I may hang a painting that is nagging my consciousness for a place to be. Sipping my morning coffee, I wonder if it fails to satisfy because I am looking forward to having coffee with the wanderer, later this morning.

A change in perspective is generally  worthwhile.

Looking forward to Saturday in good company.

I dither a while over my rather mediocre morning coffee wondering if I should go back and check every use of ‘traveling partner’ – should those all be capitalized? What about ‘the wanderer’? Capitalized? No? I wonder if I have been consistent – it’s the potential lack of consistency that grates on my nerves most. Do I yield to the sensation and let it drive my behavior? Do I allow myself to react to it? If I do, how far back ‘should’ I go? Any? lol I quickly move on to wondering why I am even allowing my consciousness to pick at this point – do I actually even care one way or the other? Well…maybe….if it results in not being understood…am I being understood, I wonder? I sip my coffee and wonder how I managed to make such a relatively poor cup of coffee on such a lovely morning. Then I wonder how important it actually is for each reader to clearly identify the wanderer and my traveling partner in this narrative as specific people identified thus…maybe that’s only important to me? (It isn’t likely I’d forget.) I sit here considering a trivial point of grammar (yeah, I said it), and realize that it is more important to me that the choice be mine, whatever the outcome, and since I already have that I lose interest in the internal discussion and move on.

There have been a lot of things lately where the outcome of some choice was less important to me than that the choice be my own, in the moment. Sounds a tad child-like in some fashion, and I don’t allow myself to be berated (by myself) over it; it also seems a natural enough developmental step to find myself taking on this journey. I am flexing my will a bit, perhaps, but after a lifetime of over-compromise and de-prioritizing myself and my needs, it seems appropriate to take the opportunity living alone presents to live my own life, and the outcome of my own choices, more fully. Sometimes it plays out predictably enough; perhaps I find myself wanting cookies, I bake cookies, I over-indulge on the cookies, I find myself annoyed with feeling over-full on cookies, and moody from too much sugar….all my choices, all my actions, definitely no potential for blame-laying, or being annoyed with someone else, but the actions/reactions lack the developed control and will an adult might ideally show. I continue practicing specific practices that focus on self-restraint – learning skills that limit the effect of having a disinhibiting brain injury, and do so without resulting in frustration or discontent, and rely less on habitual behavior than good decision-making. Yesterday, in the morning, I made cookies, because I wanted healthier sweets on hand. I did not over-indulge. This morning there is a container full of cookies, and they may last days, although I made batches appropriately sized for solo-living. Practicing good practices results in improved outcomes. I like that phrase better than ‘practice makes perfect’, although it is less quippy, and no doubt less effective as an aphorism or ad slogan than the old stand-by.

Sometimes the journey is an uphill climb.

Sometimes the journey is an uphill climb.

There is no room in my day-to-day experience for guilt, shame, or emotional self-flagellation over the picayune details of everyday life. My rules, my home, my way…and I take a moment over my gradually cooling mediocre morning coffee to consider how long overdue this experience is for me, and how little self-possession and consideration I’ve allowed for myself, from myself, for so many years. Better to indulge, to err, to learn, eyes wide to what my experience can teach me, and prepared with self-acceptance and rational accountability to grow and move forward. This may mean the occasional mediocre cup of coffee – but it also means fresh cookies, sleeping in, long showers, and happy laughter when I master a new yoga pose. Choices matter a lot – giving myself the freedom to enact my will through action is pretty huge, too.

I am finding my way home.

I am finding my way home.

This is a much less anxious place to be. It’s a much less angry place to be. The undercurrent of subtle continuous resentment and the sense of being imposed upon almost continuously by rules external to my own thinking and practices are dissipating. Instead, I smile a lot, and I feel content much of the time. I make my own choices – and sometimes change my mind with new information, or experience a less than ideal outcome, or find  my understanding of circumstances has changed. I don’t rush myself to get a faster decision made to avoid inconveniencing someone else. I don’t think I know how to have this experience in the context of living with others – not yet – but I have the glimmer of an idea of what that might require of me. Realistically, cohabitation may not be ‘for me’ with the issues I have – I’m even okay with that, from the vantage point of a lovely Saturday morning, content, calm and smiling over my coffee. For now, this journey is about will and action, action and reaction, and practicing the practices that help me on my way to becoming the woman I most want to be.

Today is a good day to practice The Art of Being – and there’s no doubt in my mind that that needs to be capitalized. 🙂