Archives for posts with tag: just do it

I’m sipping my coffee, well-rested, on a lovely summer morning. I scrolled through my news feeds, and at the end of it found myself feeling a bit let down with humanity, with my own relative powerlessness in the face of the world generally, with the drama and bullshit that we allow to impede our forward progress as creatures… We could do better. I mean, obviously. lol Hell of a start to a lovely Saturday.

I push my seat back, and carry my coffee to the deck, and enjoy the rustling leaves, birdsong, the smell of freshly watered plants, the sweetness of a newly ripe tomato fresh from the vine, and a few healthy moments of other thoughts and experiences than the embrace of an office chair, and the bright white pipeline of infotainment shoved directly into my brain through my eye holes. I get way too much of that, and too little of small brown birds daring to come closer to see if maybe I have another seed hidden in my hand. 🙂

When I came back in, I sat right down at my desk, and let the excess of words and pictures continue to stream into my brain. Damn it.

I get up. Again. I breathe. I do some yoga. Somewhere amidst this second flurry of activity, I have a second coffee that I’ve already forgotten now. Some mindfulness. (That’s sarcasm there.) I nag at myself about my baggage. I pause to feel annoyed with myself for nagging myself, instead of simply practicing.

I let that go, too.

I find myself, at some point, wondering about how I create the baggage I carry in life. I mean… some is picked up in some moment of trauma, sure, but what counts? Does it need to be major trauma? (You already know the answer, if you are honest with yourself; it could potentially be the most petty irritation, if allowed to fester.) I mean… hell… I even have baggage about this. Right here. Blogging. No kidding – did you not know? lol (“Do tell!”  “Okay, I will…”)

In December 2012, sometime, during a terribly dark time in my emotional life (one of the worst, darkest, most despairing times of my life had begun, and I was very much at risk of not making it to the other side) I began to consider starting a blog. I had mostly given up writing in a journal – a life habit of many years, that I’d found huge value in, but which had become a ruminating spiral of negativity that developed a fairly self-hateful feedback loop that supported the despair more than the woman writing about it. The saner choice, then, had been to just give it up, for at least awhile. I lost an important voice in my narrative in doing so, and I needed… something. A blog? Maybe; I’d be writing in a public place, read by anyone who cares to read my writing, which, I felt, had a chance of keeping me from falling to the demons of rumination and negativity, and maybe give me some purpose and focus,  a foundation on which I could… maybe… heal. Or at least feel heard.

I approached one of my partners (now an ex) at the time and brought the subject up. I viewed her as being “more internet savvy” than I was myself, and I knew she also had a blog. I suggested I was considering writing a blog, myself, and asked her for suggestions or recommendations for platforms. What I got back was… a hearty helping of ego and discouragement. “Oh, well, you shouldn’t expect anyone will read it, and you most likely just won’t keep up with it, and you’ll probably just abandon it. Most people are very bad writers, and don’t have anything interesting to write about. You should expect that you’ll get bored with the work of keeping it up. I have several followers and a very successful blog because people love my writing. It probably won’t be that way for you, and you shouldn’t be discouraged if it turns out no one cares and you’re wasting your time.” I felt astonished, first that she’d assume anything about my writing, when she’d never taken any interest in it, and also that she had no awareness that I’d been making a practice, my entire adult life almost continuously, of writing 500-3,000 words a day – entirely without a fucking blog. LOL I also felt hurt by the dismissiveness and lack of emotional support, particularly so early in our relationship (there was much about her, as a human being, I did not yet know).

…Then the insecurity kicked in. Maybe I’m not “good enough”? Maybe I lack worthy content? Maybe no one does care – at all? Maybe I am “wasting my time”? I almost didn’t start. I almost gave up writing entirely. A few more days of systematic discouragement at a difficult time in my life, and I even started considering ending it. My life, I mean. It was a dark time, indeed. Then I read her blog – looking for a clearer understanding; maybe it was “too hard” for me? (Clearly not.) I didn’t really know, and I wanted to understand more clearly what limitations I was truly facing as an individual. I read a bunch more blogs by great thinkers and writers, because it was immediately evident that little was to be gained reading hers. I looked over various platforms that support blogging. I asked myself what I wanted to say – and what mattered most about my writing, generally. Let’s be very real about this; I was attempting to do this while also wholly disrupted by mental illness, and family-life stress. I was in no shape to adult without supervision. I still needed to do my own homework; unavoidably, the advice of other people is shaped by their agenda and biases, and filtered through their own bullshit. It has limited value. Ever.

I’m smiling this morning as I sip my coffee. I value my time writing. I appreciate my readers (hey, that’s you!). Six and a half years and 1625 posts later (not quite one every day), and I’m still writing, still finding value in that practice, and still feeling heard. 🙂 I’m glad I didn’t let one voice of discouragement stop me from being the woman I most want to be… or the woman I am. 😀

Baggage is a funny thing. It lingers. I did pick up some baggage that long ago winter afternoon, talking about blogging; I occasionally still question my writing. It’s fairly public. There are some things, perhaps, that would be best unsaid? Should I mention my weekend plans? What if someone might use that to burglarize my house by noting when I am likely to be away? Should I mention when I am happy? Someone who has an agenda of minimizing my happiness may use that to undermine it… What about… her? Yep. Sometimes, even now, I consider the considerable drama, bullshit, and emotional pain she continues to inflict on friends and loved ones at personally inconvenient moments, and I can’t help but wonder… did my writing drive the timing? Am I feeding information to a human being who now places me in her world as an adversary?

…Should I stop writing??

More baggage. I laugh it off, and remind myself that she has no power over me that I don’t give her, myself, and no current place in my life, now, at all. Like any bad memory, or former association ended with cause, there’s no real need to revisit that time, place, or person, other than to heal myself. Certainly no reason to give it power over me now. lol

Consequences (of our words, or our actions) are real things, though, and I do consider the consequences of my writing; I spend far longer reviewing a finished post, and refining my words, than I do writing it in the first place. Consequences matter. People’s hearts matter. Being authentic, practical, and frank, matter. Being a better person today than I was yesterday matters. Sometimes I delete whole posts rather than publish something that might cause a stranger undue pain, or “out” someone’s private experience without explicit approval. or even just fall short of adequately expressing my thoughts in a true-to-self way.

What I’m getting at, I guess, is “do you” – support yourself in your endeavors. Don’t let “the world” slow you down or change your mind – but be prepared to face the consequences of your choices (good and bad), and consider them with care. Choose wisely. Be your best self… but do be you. No one else can do it so well, although a few bad sorts may try to steal your identity, your words, your very soul – authenticity can’t be faked, and over time, those stolen facades break down, revealing the real person beneath the lies. Walk on from that drama. 🙂 No direct confrontation can be sufficiently satisfying to make the fuss worth it. lol Life is too short to leave the trolls in charge. 😀

Bottom line? We really do choose – and carefully craft – most of our baggage in life. It’s okay to put that down, and walk on. Let it go. Just… let it go. Move on with life without it. It can be a choice… if we care to choose it. Yes – sorry – there are verbs involved. It may require some practice. You may have to begin again – any number of times. Still worth it.

It’s time to begin again. I’m sipping my coffee, well-rested, on a lovely summer morning, smiling, and content. I am enjoying the morning with the woman in the mirror – she’s a survivor, a bad-ass, and this morning? There is no other woman I would want to be more. 🙂

I woke to a drizzly rainy winter day of the sort that characterizes our winters here; wet. Gray, chilly, and wet. If I were to cross the meadow on foot, walking on apparently firm ground covered in grass, it would squish under my feet, yielding, soggy, unsteady, the entire length and breadth of the park. Bare branches reaching for the sky loom uncertainly over expanses of green meadow grass, interrupted by swaths of taller growth that has fallen to winter, now brown, and beaten down by passing showers. Everywhere little birds perch, sharing their observations with one another. The feeders are full, and the nearest pine has a large-ish red-wing blackbird letting his buddies know breakfast is on. So far no surprises; it is a rather ordinary winter day.

My night was restless. I woke often. I returned to sleep with relative ease each time. I was up past midnight, waiting for the change of the calendar (for no reason other than to see 2016 end in a clear way, and see the calendar “begin again” before calling it a night). Sleeping in wasn’t really about getting more sleep – just the usual more-or-less-enough quantity. When I did get up, I was acutely aware of how groggy I was, and dithered briefly over whether to return to sleep yet again… coffee won that round. 🙂

My coffee is hot and bitter on my tongue this morning, a rather amusing state of things (most particularly since my sense of taste isn’t particularly sensitive to “bitter” in the first place); I like coffee. I ignore the bitterness. There’s a metaphor in there, somewhere…

It is a new year…one of those grand sorts of moments on which to begin something that makes it a very appealing starting point for some things… which tends also to result in a higher than usual rate of “fuck it” reactions to things begun, and failed, rather than the more productive “begin again” that I so generally favor. I smile to myself as I consider that puzzle. Are new beginnings best unstated, without a firm noteworthy, calendar worthy, starting point? Or is that an illusion? Does it matter at all, or is the question itself a distraction from actually beginning… anything?

I sit quietly, sipping my coffee, listening to the rain tap on the eaves, and watching the birds come and go from the feeder. All over the world, today, and rather impressively, a huge quantity of human beings are beginning things. New diets are being started. New exercise and fitness routines are commencing. New skills are being learned. Old habits are being abandoned in favor of new ones. Promises and commitments are being made, full of hope and enthusiasm. Relationships are being strengthened. Boundaries are being set. Daydreams are becoming plans. Plans are becoming actions. Today, a huge quantity of human beings, across many nations and cultures, are reaching out for their future, grabbing the edge of it, and pulling it closer. For a few days, the full might of human will can be seen in the magnitude of humanities dreams, goals, and desires… Powerful.

Resolutions don’t work for you? They don’t “work” for me, either. It’s a lifelong habituation associating the word “resolution” with slow failure, with giving up, with a lack of change, I suspect – more to do with the word, than with my will. It’s almost a given; if I label my intent with the heading of “resolution” at the start of the new year, I am most likely going to give up on it fairly quickly, lacking any clear idea why the endeavor failed. Silly primate – choose another word, then choose some damned verbs. 🙂 There is effort involved in bringing our will to life as an outcome. Verbs. Practice. Beginning again. So… I don’t do “new year’s resolutions” at all. I begin again nearly every day – on something. I’ll begin some things today, too. No “resolutions”.

I’ll recommit to things that matter, and with which I struggle to make progress.

I’ll embrace positive changes, with careful consideration, choosing different verbs, and practicing often.

I’ll let go of some old baggage – as much as I can figure out how to set down.

I’ll give thought to my daydreams, and look for opportunities to shift from dreaming to planning.

I’ll make a point to seek out events and activities that I’ll enjoy (alone or in good company) and set calendar reminders to get tickets, and make adjustments to my budget that account for the things I want to enjoy.

I’ll continue to practice the practices that improve my quality of life – and my ability to recognize how good it generally is.

There are quite a few verbs involved in becoming the woman I most want to be, in nurturing my best qualities, and the best qualities of the human beings around me, and in reaching whatever goals I set for myself. I’ll probably fall short of my own expectations now and then, or simply fail to succeed at some task or another. I’ll continue to be quite human all through the coming year.

I’ll begin again, as often as necessary. No “resolutions” required. 🙂 2017? We’ve got this! 😉

Another morning. I sip my coffee and breathe through the sensation of unease that begins to develop each time my thoughts land on moving; I have the keys, the lease is signed, and for the moment I live between places, in the thoughts of going from one to the other. It’s peculiar.

One day, one moment, of many.

One day, one moment, of many.

Today moving begins in earnest. Do I move the kitchen first? Maybe the bathroom? Just start with the farthest closest? Patio garden first to get it out of the way of carrying things through the convenient patio door? Across the muddy strip of winter lawn? These are not new thoughts, and they drift past in more or less the same order that they do each time they get my attention, again. The repetition I rely on to firm up good practices is a nuisance this morning; I have been here and it does not need to be revisited. It’s the unease; there is anxiety in the magnitude of changes, and a fear of ‘doing it wrong’, even though the only person making the call on whether it is going well or poorly is me. My home, my rules, my way; I am the sole architect of my joy or discontent on this move – and I’m a tad irritated with myself to be throwing my heart into turmoil over something I approached with eagerness and enthusiasm from the outset. These are the emotional circumstances that develop for me around change, and the greater the change the higher the likelihood that I will find myself, at some point, weeping or raging – lost in a storm of uncontrolled emotion, unable to function until it passes.

I am relying heavily on myself on this move. I generally do, then get tangled up in the help of friends in moments of humanity, things lost or things broken, feeling frustrated when real-life doesn’t meet expectations. This time I am leaning on lessons learned in the most recent 3 or 4 moves; I will handle what I can, and reach out only for the specific help I really need, when that time comes. I have professional coming to handle the very heaviest pieces. The satisfaction in self-reliance is pretty profound, and I am in a place in life where living focused more on contentment than on profit has resulted in household goods of fair lightness, with only a handful of pieces I can’t lift or maneuver on my own. I expect to ‘work my own way’, which often means sipping coffee between tasks, sitting down for a minute quite frequently, and taking my time – but also working in an organized way, and quite continuously at my slow steady pace from waking to crashing at the end of the day, passionately involved in creating order from chaos. Embracing change awake, and aware, and mostly fairly fearlessly… well… except for the occasional moment of nauseating unease.

I am missing my traveling partner. I am not regretting my decision to handle the move without his help, though. Every move we have done together has taxed our relationship during that period of time between beginning the moving, and finally getting entirely unpacked and settled in; I don’t handle change well, and it is uncomfortable to live with. (That’s putting it mildly, based on what I see reflected in my journal notes.) I don’t know what to expect from this particular move, emotionally, and I endeavor to set myself up for success by being okay with the unknown, on this one, rather than attempting to nudge myself in line with some specific expectation or another; maybe this is the move that shows me it doesn’t have to be such a disruptive experience? I’ve come pretty far. Still… I do miss him. I think about him often. Love anchors me to the move with a sense of purpose and security.

New perspective.

New perspective.

One more work day… then, The Move, and only The Move. I figure I’ll be living in the new place more or less full-time by Thursday afternoon… which also means I will be disconnected from FiOS for a handful of days until the provider cuts over my circuit to the new location some days later. I consider it – is it an inconvenience? I can tether with my phone, so it isn’t as if I am facing being without connectivity completely… Funny that internet access feels like a necessity in life, like drinking water and secure housing, or medical care; it is the unimaginable future of my childhood.  Still, maybe some digital downtime while I move is an opportunity more than a headache? More room and time to simply breathe, simply be. There will be time for dissecting lessons learned and having meta conversations later, and there is much to be said for having the experience I am having.

Today is a good day for time…and motion. Today is a good day to ‘walk on’ in life, with eyes wide with wonder and a playful sense of purpose. Today is a good day to remember that plans are not the goal – just as the map is not the world. Today is a good day to live life.