Archives for posts with tag: keep practicing

I had gone into the office yesterday, and I stuck it out for more than half my shift before calling it a day and going home to be sick more efficiently. I crashed out and slept most of the day away, waking briefly for tea, broth, or a slow woozy chills-and-sweats journey to the bathroom. I slept through the night without waking, when the time came. I woke this morning, still feeling symptoms, struggling some little bit with a stuffy head. Better, but not over it. Today I’ll work from home.

The hard part right now is not over-working myself when I do start feeling better. There are sticky notes all over the house reminding me to slow down and to pace myself. lol A short and unexpected bout of coughing catches me by surprise. Time for a cup of coffee or tea – some hot liquid of some kind.

…And I manage to somehow screw that up… coffee ground, drip cone ready, kettle on; I let work distract me as soon as I logged into work tools, and never heard the kettle’s quiet “click” letting me know the water was hot. Yep. Still sick. I paused when I realized what I’d done (or more accurately, failed to do) and quickly restarted that process, and sat down with a satisfying hot cup of coffee, that went cold before I drank it, because I got caught up in work. LOL Oh my. It’s gonna be like that, is it?

So, I resign myself to work, and capitalize on my early morning energy and willingness to focus on it. The headache I’ve still got, and the stuffy head, suggest I won’t be working any long hours. Probably for the best. ๐Ÿ™‚

The self-care details do matter. It’s a complicated puzzle, though. On the one hand, I know that taking contagious illness into the office drives absenteeism as other people succumb and call out, day after day. On the other hand, there is nearly always also the subtly conflicting messaging that we have an obligation as productive adult citizens to commit to the agenda of our employers and show up. There’s work to be done! Are we really that sick??! It’s a weird and counter-productive conflict that seems to be so commonplace most of us fail to even gain traction on the idea that maybe, just maybe, our employers have a specifically pro-work agenda they are focused on that doesn’t support wellness at all – and can’t. I’m fortunate to be able to take the work-from-home option when I need to, but can’t help but also take notice of my own discomfort with making the choice to take care of myself. If I were a school kid, I would not be going to school today, and I’d stay home bundled up in bed. Period.

Is adulthood defined as “having reached the point in our maturity when we can efficiently take over the day-to-day management of our own employer-serving exploitation”? Well… that sucks. 0_o

Today I’m working on taking care of me, and making the attempt to make that the focus of my day. I’m no good to my employer if I am too sick to function. I’m no good to myself if I work myself literally to death.

Self-care matters. I do, actually, care about myself. So… there’s that. ๐Ÿ™‚ Time for a hot cup of coffee that I can enjoy while it is still hot. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ll just have to begin again.

 

Yesterday was lovely, generally speaking. Good start to the dayย sort of morphed into a pleasant commute that became a productive and jovial work day that finished softly with an errand, a slightly different route home, and gentle conversation with my Traveling Partner, before winding down and becoming a peculiarly early bedtime that was also a night when I did not easily fall asleep. lol All in all, a lovely day.

I make a point to take a few minutes to look back on yesterday, specifically because it was a good day. We so easily fall into the habit of obsessing over the details that were raw, or annoying, or didn’t work out, or which trouble us, picking at those moments like sores – we can’t help but keep fussing with them, but allowing that to become who we are results in a fairly poor quality of life experience, and I’ve been practicing differently. I let myself contentedly gloss over most of the small moments that “missed the mark”; I am entirely unconcerned with those. I focus on what worked. I contemplate good feelings. I smile and remind myself about the bits that were unusually pleasant and replay those in great detail while I sip my morning coffee. I practice “taking in the good“.

I smile again when I remember I just ordered Rick Hanson PhD’s new book, too; “Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness“. I chuckle when I also recall the remnant of youthful cynicism that suggested, last night, that there “wouldn’t be anything really new in this…” in subtle discouragement… but… I can’t help but also be very aware that “we become what we practice”, and that whether this is fully 100% new material is not actually relevant to having a good experience of living life. It matters more to practice the practices that support me on this journey to becoming the woman I most want to be. ๐Ÿ™‚

So far, today is another pleasant day, in a life that is largely characterized by contentment, these days. It’s hard to want to “begin again” when “now” is, in this moment, quite easily enough. ๐Ÿ˜€

I’ll just be over here practicing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What a week. Glad it’s behind me. Relieved to feel satisfied, pleased, and accomplished, instead of terrified, anxious and regretful. It could have gone differently. I am content with the outcome.

Stress is a weird thing, though, right? I mean… once I’m stressed about A, then it’s far more likely that unrelated experiences B, C, or D may also feel more stressful, or seem to be cause for concern. I crashed out last night feeling terribly blue, struggling in a sticky web of anxiety-lies and insecurities being launched at me from within, by an anxious, stressed, fatigued brain. I wept. For the world? It seemed so at moments. Other moments, I just felt “cracked open” and unable to hold anything back however small, however simple – even some lovely tender moments felt like pure heartbreak, and I cried, merely because there was too much emotion to hold back any longer. My executive function limitations hit me in my emotional life pretty hard. This week that was more obvious than most weeks in recent months. It’s been a peculiarly emotionally stable year.

I went to bed worried, even, about my relationship with my Traveling Partner. No reason for it, really. At least, nothing I could easily identify. I woke this morning without that insecurity or doubt, feeling rested, anxiety gone; I’m excited about the road trip ahead of me. 3 day weekend with my lover? Yes, please! Sign me up. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Fuck, I am so glad my “default setting” is no longer despair. I feel fortunate to have survived the first 50 years of my lifetime. Emotions come and go. Like weather. “Who we are” is less volatile, less mutable, and sometimes feels rather… permanent. It isn’t. It’s more like climate; tends to be what it is, but still changeable over time. We become what we practice. No kidding. It’s a slow thing to change the climate – but it can be done. Choose wisely. ๐Ÿ™‚

Are you unhappy? Make changes. There’s no map on this journey… it’s rather like setting off on a road trip to see someone you love, unclear of specifically where they are, but with a direction in mind… generally. lol This may help. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a favorite of mine for reinforcing healthy basics; do the opposite of everything it suggests. lol (Here’s a follow-up on that…)

Maybe something simple this morning? One thing that could be easily improved by one little change in your decision-making, habits, or actions? Start small – committing to a marathon, while breathless from walking across the street may be a bit unmanageable. It’s so easy to become discouraged. I’ve been there…

After years of frustration, despair, and inactivity, I decided to go to the Farmer’s Market, one year. My feet hurt all the time, stupefying medication and unmanaged pain had pretty much nailed me to my couch between work shifts. Doing so would mean a two block walk uphill (barely) from the light rail station. I look back astonished (because I regularly go to the Farmer’s Market quite easily and comfortably, now, and often walk miles, not just blocks) – it seemed hard then. It required effort. Commitment. Patience with myself.

I don’t look at it the same way now, at all. My perspective has changed with my experience over time. Incremental change over time; it wasn’t easy the first time, the second or third times, the fourth time… but eventually, it sure didn’t seem hard, and then… at some point… almost unnoticed, it became quite the natural thing to easily and comfortably do. (For my less physically able readers out there, I’m using an example familiar to me, only, and part of my personal experience, no intention of falling short of being inclusive, but I see where my example could be. I regret any aggravation, or sense of being left out of my consideration that this may cause. Start small, is all I’m saying. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

It’s a good reminder for me, too. There is further to go. There is more to do. I still struggle with my weight, health, and fitness. There are changes to make. There is future progress out there on the horizon to be experienced. Incremental change over time takes both time – and verbs. A lot of fucking verbs.

Oh hey, look at the time! It’s definitely time to begin again. This journey won’t make itself. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We become what we practice. I still suck at listening, by the way; it takes more than a day with a friend to gain, hone, refine, and maintain a new skill. It would be quite silly to expect things to be easier, faster, or simpler; practice is a verb, sometimes of the sort that must be used daily. So… I keep practicing.

recommended summer reading

Recommended summer reading.

I had a wonderful day listening. Talking too much. Being fairly wrong, fairly often. Being insightful once in a great while. Laughing. Sharing. Connecting. It was a first-rate good day with a friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

Today? More listening. More practicing. More sharing. A drive to the beach to beat the heat, perhaps… There are choices, opportunities, and verbs involved. My results will quite likely vary. ๐Ÿ™‚

being a beginner has some distinct advantages

Being a beginner has some distinct advantages.

The sky lightens slowly beyond the trees. Hints of peach and salmon hues this morning, nudging away a vaguely violet fading night sky. There is bird song. There are crows handling their project planning in coarse calls across the meadow, back and forth. Unnecessarily loud runners pass by, enjoying unnecessarily loud conversation; it is too early to regale the sleeping community along the park with discussion of conference calls gone bad, but… it happened anyway. lol I want to shout out the window “use your inside voice!” or… something ruder. That’s not necessary either, and the runners run on by withoutย suggestions from me.

I sit smiling, sipping my coffee as the dawn reveals the new day. Life feels easy. I enjoy the feeling without insisting life remain “easy” – impermanence is also a thing, and life is unlikely to comply with my expectations or be ruled by my assumptions. It’s enough to enjoy this moment now; there will be others. ๐Ÿ™‚

It's not necessary to chase the dream; we become what we practice.

It’s not necessary to chase the dream; we become what we practice.

Today is a good day to practice the things that work best – and the things I want most to improve upon. Today is a good day to enjoy the woman in the mirror, and all her beautiful humanity. Today is a good day to listen, to share, and to savor life. It may not change the world – but it’s likely to be a lovely day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yesterday is behind me now. I’m glad to see it gone. As days goes, it was a bit like Snow White’s poisoned apple, perfectly lovely and enticing on the outside… tasting of bitterness and rot. The morning was a rare delight, a storm of positive emotions, and spent awash in feelings of love, loving, and being loved. The day’s delights took a hit from unexpected (and unwanted) email from an ex, a message from another ex (similarly unwelcome), and from there just sort of dropped into an abyss of heart-break, and it just wasn’t apparent going into the evening that it would be that sort. I’m glad the day is over with.

I woke with a headache. Eyes scratchy. Heart heavy. Feeling pretty… crappy. Sad. Wrung out. Tossed aside like bad fruit, unworthy. It wasn’t my favorite wake up.

I made coffee, resigned to existing another day. The misty raining morning seemed quite appropriate. I do okay. I’ve weatheredย other, far more horrible storms. I’ll survive others in the future. We are born to suffering, because we choose suffering. I started the morning prepared to endure more…. Love’s funny. Well… funny/not funny. I sure wasn’t laughing yesterday evening. I’m not really laughing, now.

I made my coffee and sat down to write. My traveling partner woke earlier than usual, and with the skill I know him for, put me back on the path of love… I’ll just call it magic. Sure, there were verbs involved. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now the morning seems… right. I feel content. Calmed. Soothed. Loved. I sip my coffee listening to the rain fall. My head still aches, but now it’s just a headache, instead of some sign of personal failure, or the hallmark of great tragedy. Yeah… this injury makes a lot of life’s details far more dramatic (intense?) than they have any reason to be.

Contentment isn't so far out of reach; it's about being here, now, and recognizing it when I have enough.

Contentment isn’t so far out of reach; it’s about being here, now, and recognizing it when I have enough.

It’s just a day. I’m just a person. This is just one human experience. Love still matters most. I become what I practice… and I’m okay right now. ๐Ÿ™‚