Archives for posts with tag: living beautifully

I woke early this morning, ahead of the alarm clock. I showered. Made coffee. Greeted my Traveling Partner over the miracle convenience of the Internet. I am feeling pre-occupied with… things that matter. To me. I found myself revisiting yesterday’s blog post, somewhat pensively, and with a hint of lingering discontent.

(This is often an outcome, if one or another of my closest friends comments favorably on a new blog post; I interpret it to mean that I have made note of something I could benefit from considering further, myself.)

What does matter most? To me, I mean, right now, in this changing, evolving, experience of life and partnership? What small change(s) can I make to live more pleasantly, more comfortably, more efficiently, and with greater joy? What change(s) might make my experience of cohabitation easier on my current (or future) partner(s)? I’m not in any way a perfect person, or wholly completed project – not even at all.

The wheel keeps turning. This is a journey, not a “staying still”. lol I still have room to grow and to become! So… what matters most? To me. Right now. About this experience of life that I have, myself. What would I like to see differently each morning when I wake, and each evening as I retire for the night? What would be a more pleasant arrangement of things or experiences? Are there better ways to use my time, moment to moment to get there?

I ask it of myself, again; what matters most, right now?

I sip my coffee and give some thought to the details. I find myself having to own some things I’m less than satisfied with (living alone, there is literally no one else who could possibly be accountable for any of this! lol). My studio is pretty chronically messy… it’s as if the entire messy potential of being a human primate is carefully contained in this one space, here in my home, and it is… chaotic. Even unpleasantly so, depending on my state of mind. Does it really need to be let go like this? Can I make more order, find more balance, and still hold onto what make me, creatively, me? And what of the floors? I admit it, vacuuming isn’t my favorite chore, and this place has state-of-the-art dirt-hiding carpet most everywhere. Thinking about what I just said in that sentence, I’m pretty annoyed with myself. Yeah, okay, room for improvement right there, for sure. I can definitely do better. Fuck. Well. I find myself admitting that I’m disappointed that this thought exercise was so easy. LOL So human. Dusting? Needs doing. Aquarium? Needs cleaning. Huh. Yep. Room for improvement.

With the holiday weekend quickly approaching, there’s little time left for frantic deep cleaning… but that’s also an excuse. Handy the way those work. (And there’s no reason it would need to be frantic, anyway, that’s just pre-excuse emotional bullshit.) LOL I make a commitment to two specific chores for after work, based on my fairly firm, if very human, commitment to living beautifully. Both are pretty fundamental, and I feel irked to have let them go so long. I have the tools, I have the time, and finding the will to act is (often) the hardest part. Tedium is a tough challenge. lol It can be done! I give myself a moment of mental shade; I’ve been putting these off forever, without any particularly legitimate reason. No excuses. Tonight they get done. 🙂 I’ll start with the vacuuming. I suspect it has been “holding me back” from a number of other small things, and I now find myself eager to be at day’s end to tackle it. (I am definitely too considerate of my neighbors to be running a vacuum cleaner at 4:00 am!)

Another chance to live beautifully,and an opportunity to create the change I wish to see; it’s time to begin again. 😀

The morning is gentle on my waking consciousness. I’m glad of that. The headache pounding away at my forebrain when I woke has dissipated. I’m glad of that as well. I notice, at the same time I notice my half-finished coffee has fully gone cold, I never opened the blinds (or the window) here in the studio when I opened up the windows to let in the fresh morning breezes. It strikes me as odd, until I also notice my latent noise sensitivity is quite a presence, in fact, and recognize that I had simply not opened the window, to dull the sound of the morning commuter traffic, which I definitely don’t care to hear.

Who am I today? Am I headache-y? Am I well-rested and merry? Am I irritable? I’m not actually certain. I may be all of those things at some point today. Right now, in spite of a leisurely shower, a good yoga sequence, and the fresh forested breezes on a summer morning, I remain rather groggy, somewhat irritable, and annoyed by my stuffy sinuses (which may have been the cause of the headache I’d awakened with). The more I focus on this experience, the more it intensifies, and the more irritable I become. Interesting. Sometimes mindfulness brings uncomfortable experiences into sharper focus.

I breathe. Relax. Pull my posture more comfortably erect as I sit at my desk. My eyes close, and without giving it further thought, my hands rest, quite still, on the edge of my keyboard. I breathe. Relax. My eyes closed. Feeling this space, this moment. My shoulders sink down until they are no longer crammed up against my damned ears. The sound of the traffic blends with my tinnitus. I breathe. Relax. Time passes.

Some time later, some 30 or so minutes, actually, my eyes open. I’m smiling. I needed that moment, I suppose. Just some meditation time, right where I sat, no further fuss or bother. Nothing to disturb me. I feel better than I did. More comfortably aware of the commonplace discomforts that are a thing. I am a mortal creature. This fragile vessel is not always an entirely comfortable thing. lol

The house is nicely cool now. It is sometime past day break. I still have time to water the container garden, do the dishes, make my bed – all the things I like to come home to at the end of the work day. It’s just me, right? So… I gotta do the things. 🙂 That’s pretty much how adulthood works generally; if I want a result, I must do the things. Shopping around for other human beings to do the things on my behalf isn’t nearly as efficient. Partnerships are not a form of indentured servitude, or long-term service, and I’d far rather count on mine for shared experiences I truly cannot have solo in life… sex, shared laughter, intimacy, exchanges of touch and emotion… all stuff I really love, too. How nice to share it! Not to imply that reciprocity with the housekeeping and whatnot isn’t valued – in my relationships it is both valued and required. Everybody eats? Drinks water, coffee, tea, whatever? Everybody showers? Sits on the furniture? Then everyone works to keep the place nice. It’s sort of obvious and non-negotiable. 😀

It’s still early. A good time to begin on the housekeeping. A good time to begin again, living and being, and becoming the person I most want to be.

It gets difficult to juggling all of the tasks, obligations, responsibilities, desires, goals, and ‘things in general’ with 40 hours (more) each week just lopped right off my productive lifetime. I’m feeling that fairly acutely right now, from the perspective of keeping that 40 hours and using it for myself; it’s a rare luxury, and I am doing what I can to take advantage of it from day-to-day.

Yesterday felt comfortable and natural, balanced between self-care, job search activities, and domesticity. Today is planned similarly. I am neither bored, nor hurried, which feels quite comfortable. “Comfortable” is a word that I find coming up a lot in the past couple of weeks, and I don’t mind over-using the word while I enjoy the experience.

The slower pace to life gives me an opportunity to more deeply consider the woman in the mirror, who she is today, where she is headed, what her choices and opportunities may be – and where they may take her. It’s a time for self-work, and for continued education. (I’m not passive about the time between jobs – this is my time, for me, and I hope to use it wisely.) Life – and the internet – provide plenty of opportunities to learn and to grow, like this exploration of emotion that I stumbled upon this morning. Taking care of me still requires attention to detail, commitment to action, and self-awareness – and I still need plenty of practice. At least for now, I really can put myself at the top of my list of priorities, and I do. Totally worth it. (There are still verbs involved.)

A quiet evening hanging out with my traveling partner became a good opportunity to improve on communication practices shared between us. I wake with my heart so filled with love for this one particular other human being that there is plenty to spill over as smiles available for every passing stranger – it feels like a very good day to be alive. That’s a pretty subjective experience, and as I recognize how tied to this gentle emotional climate it is, I also find myself aware that there are subtle choices involved, too; I could have responded (or reacted) differently to the evening, to my partner, to my circumstances… I could be living a very different life than I am choosing. Choosing when the choices feel easy and the outcomes feel pleasant isn’t difficult, or complicated, or messy, or at all challenging… Will I feel this good, or find life so simple, when the choices are more difficult, or the outcome – however desirable or needful – is less pleasant? Will I be able to reliably choose to take care of me, to enjoy my experience, and to live well (and beautifully) when things are hard, too? That’s a piece of the journey as yet unmapped, and quite likely just beyond some bend in the road up ahead at some point along the way. I smile when I hear myself (in my thoughts) hoping not to disappoint myself when the time comes; it has gotten much harder to disappoint myself these days. I am learning compassion, consideration, self-awareness, and love. (I still have so much to learn!)

Begin again.

Begin again.

Today is a good day for forward momentum, and for getting things done. Today is a good day to enjoy living, and to share a smile with a stranger. Today is a good day for compassion, for patience, and for perspective. Today is a good day for change. 🙂

I slept poorly last night, waking at 1:34 a.m. for no identifiable reason, and failing to return to sleep before sometime after 3:48 a.m. It doesn’t matter much at this point; I slept until I woke, then got on with my day. The lack of clear routine served me well this morning. 🙂

To limit unproductive losses of precious time to random noodling around on the internet, or being sucked into Facebook when I had other intentions, my everyday ‘to do list’ is now on a notepad, getting my day started on an analog basis, in real life, firmly in the tangible world of touchable things (like housekeeping, laundry, and gardening). This has been useful so far. One thing I haven’t quite worked out comfortably is when to write. I mean, besides ‘any time I want to’, which seems totally delightful on its own. I like a bit of routine to build on, and it is already clear that I don’t write as well, as often, or with as much clarity of thought (my own opinions, one and all) without that bit of a routine. Today it is well into afternoon before I sit down to write…and almost grudgingly. (There are interesting new visitors to the bird feeder… and… a long soak in a bath would be quite nice… and… there are still one or two things left on my list that I could get done today… and… )

A new path, leading... where?

A new path, leading… where?

The practical details seem fairly well worked out, already. It may take me a bit longer to work out the impractical details as clearly. 🙂

…Change the experience. It definitely does seem to work that way. This does not diminish the effect of a changing experience also similarly being one route to changing my thinking, this seems quite true, too. How I experience my experience, and what my experience happens to be, influences my thinking… and my thoughts influence my experience, or at least some qualities about it.

I had a ‘what now??’ sort of moment yesterday, walking from one place to another, when I noticed that my face ached rather peculiarly. I took a moment to consider the sensation without panic, and without leading myself astray with fearful thoughts about aging and health. Yep. My face aches. At the edges of my jaw mostly, and a bit more toward my cheeks also, and this is a new development… I consider it further and bust out laughing out loud, startling some geese. Sure my face hurts… I’m smiling that much. I have been smiling, just… smiling… so much since I left my job that my face hurts! That’s a hell of a ‘reality check’ on a major life decision.

Yesterday passed quickly, and also seemed vaguely timeless and enduring. It was a pleasant day and I got quite a few things done. By the end of the day, I was feeling a bit as if the day were not productive, although looking back I no longer understand why. I made room for those feelings, and didn’t beat myself up over it; I accepted that by some definitions of productive, I wasn’t, and also made a point of recognizing that I was, myself, entirely content with what I did get done. This morning as I moved through the apartment, I am struck by how much I got done yesterday, as seen when I look at things with “new eyes”. Awareness really matters. Perspective remains very helpful. “Enough” is achievable.

My traveling partner and I celebrate 5 years this weekend. The thought puts a smile on my face that lights up my heart from within. I may not write over the weekend; my attention will be on Love. We have plans, and I’m very excited about celebrating love with this being I hold in such high regard… Any excuse to hang out together, really. lol 🙂

Today is still Thursday, and an entire day away from the start of the weekend. There are Thursday things to do, some verbs to choose from, and I’ve got a list of all the many things to do that can be done. Looking ahead to the weekend makes it to the list, but it’s well down past mundane chores like ‘take out the trash’, ‘do the laundry’, and ‘do the dishes’.  Much higher up on my list of things to do today are ‘live beautifully’ and ‘enjoy the day’… those seem pretty important, too. 🙂

Today is a good day to stop and smell the roses.

Today is a good day to stop and smell the roses.