Archives for posts with tag: life

I am feeling tired today, on a different level, as if my heart or perhaps my ‘soul’ is fatigued and needing rest. Hormones, probably. Or some other simple fundamental of being human, perhaps.  I slept well enough, although I woke once or twice briefly, and of course ahead of the alarm clock when my night ended.  I’m eating well and taking care of my nutritional needs.  I’m getting good regular exercise, and I’m not taking medications I don’t need, and those at the lowest effective dose of the most reliable Rx available at this time.  I’m staying with new mindfulness and meditation practices, and yoga, and attending to the needs of my spirit and my heart by ensuring I take time for people and things I love. 

Memories and daydreams mingle as I approach 50. "Sunset on the River" 1994 and 2011. Oil on Canvas

Memories and daydreams mingle as I approach 50.
“Sunset on the River” 1994 and 2011. Oil on Canvas

…and I’m tired.  I feel a bit like I am momentarily ‘paused’ to re-buffer… or something… When my mind is still and quiet I feel the unease of dissatisfaction more clearly.  I’m uncomfortable facing it.  What am I afraid of? Change? There’s so much of that of late I don’t see that it would be all that remarkable. lol.  Hormones. I will be so glad when the over-rationalized, highly resented, chemical driver of my experience ebbs like the tide.  I daydream that I will be suddenly ‘more sane’ and calmer… I hope not to be disappointed. LOL Maybe I am just a madwoman after all? I do wonder, sometimes…

The ‘first half’ is nearly at an end… a dear friend who heard about my new aquarium adventure remarked “one must adjust the temporal currents in ones own body and mind in order to commune with the fish.  it will be very beneficial to your journey, i believe.”  I’m sure she’s right on both points.  So, ever onward…50 staring me in the face, and when I stare back I see it pretty clearly some days.  Still…overall I’m pretty happy. Overall I’m pretty satisfied with most things. Overall I’m in good health, and reasonably rational.  It’s hard to bitch about feeling tired, or share some existential angst, knowing how many friends, family, and acquaintances are really struggling.  Harder still to deal with feeling dissatisfied about things that suddenly look awfully small when I consider the pain and turmoil in our global community. Am I finally becoming a grown up? lol.

7 days to 50…

I was pretty happy to see Monday arrive, this week.  My weekend was a lot of Sturm und Drang and I was frankly relieved to be done with it.  Between my hormones and rampant OPD (Other People’s Drama), the weekend was neither relaxing, nor especially productive, for me.  I’m not really complaining; some good dialogues came out of it.  (I suppose people also learn something about their driving when they are involved in a traffic  accident.)

I have to walk my own path...

I have to walk my own path…

The weekend, on the other hand, was lovely and warm and sunny. Every minute spent in the garden was wonderful.  More roses open their buds every day.

"Nozomi" (Pink Pearl) soon she'll be covered with tiny pink buds...

“Nozomi” (Pink Pearl) soon she’ll be covered with tiny pink buds…

"Nozomi" showing off her delicate blossom, for now just this one.

“Nozomi” showing off her delicate blossom, for now just this one.

I enjoyed getting down at eye level with the garden now that the weather is fair and mild, and the ground isn’t muddy.  The perspective is different, and I definitely needed a change in perspective more than once this weekend!

At ground level with the vinca, dewy from being watered.

At ground level with the vinca, dewy from being watered.

Some of the bold big blooms I am waiting on keep me waiting like an old-fashioned cliff-hanger, tempting me with a hint of color through still-tightly wrapped petals.

Most of the peonies in the neighborhood have opened; mine apparently sense my watchfulness. lol

Most of the peonies in the neighborhood have opened; mine apparently sense my watchfulness. lol

The roses are lovely, fragrant, and totally showing off.

"Ebb Tide" looking her best.

“Ebb Tide” looking her best.

"Kiss of Desire" is new in my garden this spring.

“Kiss of Desire” is new in my garden this spring.

"Secret Recipe" is an old favorite, and one of my most challenging roses to care for; she's high maintenance. lol

“Secret Recipe” is an old favorite, and one of my most challenging roses to care for; she’s high maintenance. lol

I can't take enough pictures of "Baby Love"; cute, easy, and lovely.

I can’t take enough pictures of “Baby Love”; cute, easy, and lovely.

The hummingbirds alerted one of my partners recently that I was slow to refill their feeders; one dive bombed him at garden’s edge, as he attempted to relax with his coffee! Hummingbirds are one of my favorite garden visitors, and it delights me that my garden has such wonderful tiny visitors.

I could go on and on about the garden. It is my refuge from every day stress, when I find my mindfulness and meditation practices need a helping hand. In my garden I am ‘here’ and ‘now’ in a very engaged and present and immediate way, and it feels effortless and natural.  I don’t mind the challenges in the garden; I understand them.  I don’t always understand the challenges between people, and those frustrate me much more than some powdery mildew on a rose, or a slug eating the greens, or a few days without rain.  A challenge in the garden is easy, as easy as recognizing the issue, troubleshooting the root cause (lol), developing/determining a solution, and applying the chosen solution. Repeat as needed. Why are people so much more complicated? (I’d shout that at you if I thought it would be helpful… but shouting rarely makes anything easier to hear.)  Anyway, we all know the answer if we admit it to ourselves, don’t we? Why are people so complicated? Because they choose to be.

I’m making other choices for myself these days.  I don’t always ‘get it right’. It’s not a contest. There is no ‘finish line’. There will be no awards ceremony, no report card, no pat on the back.  But I’m taking better care of me, and understanding it more when things aren’t a good fit, or my experience is unsatisfying or unpleasant. I still have more questions than answers…and that doesn’t trouble me, generally. If I’m not stressing the answers, I’m also not worried about ‘being right’, or ‘making it work’.  I’m finding it easier, much of the time, to make good choices that are tending to meet my needs over time, and improve my experience. 

I suppose there is more…but today is proving to be an odd day.  I feel the pressure of ‘things on my mind’ and I am feeling a bit fussy and raw. I have been spending too much time on OPD,  a potentially worthy investment in time because one of my needs is ‘harmony in my relationships and a calm environment to live in’, but I ended up doing so almost entirely at the expense of things I wanted to do for me, or with my partners, and I definitely committed too much limited weekend time to it.  I am very ready to have some of my other needs met.  Today is something a bit new – I’m able to recognize and understand that my subtle shift in mood toward being a bit cross isn’t about what is going on around me right now – it’s about how I handled what was going on around me in days past and that I ‘missed the mark’ on taking care of me in some way.  It is also clearly a ‘me thing’ and not about the choices or actions of others in any direct way.   (It feels good to have a better understanding of my experience, and maybe to the point of being able to make practical choices to meet my needs as a result.)  🙂

Well, having said all that… it’s on with the day, eager to return to the garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…Or not.  I’m taking a day or two off writing. Not because there is nothing to say; it is more a matter of putting the emphasis on now, and being with my partners.

We’ve had a death in the family, you see, and honoring my loved ones, being there for each of them, all of us together and focused on individual and shared grief in an honest and supportive way doesn’t leave much room for musing about the flotsam and jetsam of my thoughts and experiences, however beneficial it is for me.  This is not the time for amusing anecdotes shared with the world, or fun amateur snapshots of flowers as I walk to work, at least, not for me. Life requires my utter attention for now, as do my loved ones, and when the heart’s tide turns, and the emotional storms settle back to calm waves, I’ll write… or perhaps find myself more moved to write at twilight than at dawn, for a while.

I will observe that I’ve been honored to see some amazing moments of strength, grace, compassion, and mutual support from my loved ones.  We’ve each brought who we are to the stress of sudden loss, and I find myself impressed and awed by these amazing beings that share my life; strong, caring, vulnerable, and willing to really give to one another in moments of incredible personal pain. I am wowed, moved, and incredibly honored to be part of this family we have chosen to create together.

For now, it’s a matter of work and routine, as we each ‘hold our end up’ and get on with the business of living our lives while we deal with pain and grief, holding on to what we know in the face of so much we can never know.  Tonight I’ll put birdseed out, and hang the hummingbird feeder, meditate, and perhaps read quietly or watch a show with my partners as evening turns to night.  One foot in front of the other…each night followed by another dawn. I’m ok…I think we all are…certainly we are well-loved, and supported by many.  Certainly love remains more important than death, at least for the living.

The words are not the experience...

The words are not the experience…

Strange weekend. Days of exploration, love, and practicing new things, of connecting with some more than others, of feeling distant pain (because sharing the burden is part of our human experience), of feeling pain close up (and finding myself no more able to help than I can when it is far away).  Mindful words and deeds when I could; practicing every day, but finding that however diligently I practice, the hormones will occasionally have their say – loudly. Still human. I checked.

An odd tangent… Since I was quite young, I’ve had a ‘theme song’ – a bit of tune that lingers in my head, sometimes playing in the background of my thoughts as I have my experience, often unnoticed, sometimes whistled or hummed. Care to guess? It’s a bit on the comical side… the theme music from ‘Dragnet‘ (the TV show). lol. No kidding. 😀  I think, this weekend, it changed.  It didn’t change to what I expected, though. I’d have bet on a simple Dave Matthews song, pure of heart, and strong, and great to sing out loud… ‘Dancing Nancies‘? ‘Gaucho‘? ‘Mercy‘? No, it isn’t any of those. lol.  Turns out it is ‘Lighten Up, Francis‘, a Puscifer track.  I’m not sure what to make of that, but it fits, and it feels right.

It is an amazing journey, but I am not sure what my destination will be.

It is an amazing journey, but I am not sure what my destination will be.

The morning was…different.  I slept well enough, I suppose, waking ahead of the alarm clock by many minutes, heart pounding, with an odd pain in my chest. Stress? Nightmares? Nothing I remembered on waking, nothing that launched into my consciousness when I had flipped on the light. I took my time and woke slowly and let a few deep calming breaths have time to gently sooth me before the physical feelings could morph into emotions of panic or dread.  The morning started well, but began to slide sideways very early, with the rising of my partners ahead of their usual routines, each for their own reasons.  All good; I enjoy the morning with my loved ones…but the morning seemed stressed and strange, and I did something new for myself to continue to enjoy the morning – I left for work early. lol. It just seemed the better choice today; enjoy a leisurely walk to the office, taking my time, and a new route, and giving my loved ones their own time and space to make of their day what they would.  It was nice to choose, to feel the choice as ‘well chosen’, to continue to enjoy my own experience with no strain or weirdness, and to feel confident that we’d all make our own way and do our best with things.

The walk this morning was lovely. No phone. No camera. No anxiety. I turned all that off.  I walked and listened to birds, smelled flowers, heard sounds of all sorts, and felt the soft spring air chill my skin with dawn’s drizzle (it wasn’t enough to call it ‘rain’).  I felt the snugness and heard the ‘shff-shff’ of new jeans as I walked; I’m down another size, and it feels good to be closer to my goal.  I have eager hopes that this evening will be sweet and calm, filled with laughter and kind words; it may not go that way, and I’ve no firm expectations on it, but it’s so nice to feel hopeful and eager, rather than anxious and nauseated from stress, which for many years I would have considered a better than average state of being.

I count the weekend as a good one, small stresses notwithstanding, and I am not deterred from continuing to practice mindfulness in life, even where emotions like grief, anger, or frustration are concerned.  I’m certainly pleased with the results of applying mindfulness to my hormonal experience…that felt like a win, for sure. One thing I really yearn for is the ability to share what I’m learning more easily with those I love when they are having their own challenges…alas, “I am only an egg.”  Maybe someday…

I mentioned recently that I am focusing on 5 basics (The Big 5) for building healthier relationships.  I’m not sure quite what else to say… ‘Eureka!’ seems closest, but a bit grand.  I’m just having an amazing morning of love and connection and the delights of family and friends, and it has a lot to do with being mindfully involved with those Big 5: Respect, Reciprocity, Consideration, Compassion, and Openness.  No fooling…I’m not bragging, for clarification, or trying to sell something (not even an idea), I’m just quite taken by surprise.  I’ve taken only the first steps on the path of learning to treat myself and others well, and I’m so new at keeping a meditation practice that really benefits me, and even simple ‘mindfulness’ is wrapped in reminders and constant practicing…I am not sure I am entirely comfortable with the concept of something so new, at which I am admittedly so unskilled, being so incredibly… helpful? Effective? Valuable? I get so excited about feeling this balanced and calm… more than once I have found myself losing that sense of balance solely because I’ve gotten so excited about it. lol.

There have been some ups and downs the last few days; love requires maintenance, effort, and commitment.  I have done my very best to stay focused on treating myself well… and my Big 5.  I practiced respecting my own values, and  needs – and found that it was much easier to respect my lovers, too.  I gave some thought and attention to what I could be doing to improve the reciprocity in my relationships, and found that even where things were not at a 1:1 level of reciprocity, that life feels more balanced over all, and the sense of ‘sharing the load’ is more definite.  I gently reminded myself of what I enjoy that feels considerate, and practiced those things with others, as well as really listening to what my friends and lovers say that communicates what feels considerate to them, and practiced those things, too.  When moments were challenging or stressful, I practiced treating myself well; understanding that other people’s stress affects my PTSD and causes me anxiety – and accepting myself, and my experience, and giving it room to be what it is, without making it worse by freaking out about whether it is ok to have the feelings I have.  I practiced staying focused on the things I enjoy doing in the moment, and really ‘being present’ while doing them, without indulging in non verbal demonstrations of stress or anger.  I found that treating myself with compassion resulted in a profoundly improved ability to feel compassion towards others, and an improved willingness to express that.  I struggled some with being open, finding it requires a level of vulnerability that is a little scary sometimes, especially under stress, but I kept practicing, kept focused on my own desire to be stronger and more skilled in this area, and the results were telling.  I felt balanced and calm, in the face of occasional stress. I got enough restful sleep. I made good decisions and choices that enhanced my experience without hurting others.

Today, I enjoyed the morning with my partners; good meaningful conversation, love, connection, and really being there with each other.  The walk to work was gentle, mindful, and enjoyable…and I am finding that occasional real life hurdles, stressors, and weirdness, don’t have to ruin my experience, wound me, or be tragic.  It’s quite lovely to feel…calm; to be in love on a gray Thursday, to feel loved and eager to return home, to feel tempted to daydream about all the pleasures life and love offer, instead of compelled to brood on pain and suffering.  😀

There is no report card, trophy, or award.  I’m not crossing any finish lines, or completing any coursework.  I’m still a student of life and love.  I’m still learning, still practicing.   Today, that all feels very good, and very satisfying.  It’s a good Thursday.  😀