Archives for posts with tag: love me do

Sometimes it’s not enough to reflect. Sometimes it helps to reach out and talk things over with a friend. That’s not always easy; our friends tend, as often as not, to support us as if we are reliably correct, and as if our choices, themselves, can’t be questioned. It feels good to be supported in a 100% accepting and encouraging way, even when we are indeed the person “in the wrong”, or in circumstances when our own explicit choices directed our path, but it may not be healthy. It’s complicated. Feeling supported still feels good, and has real value.

Sometimes, I find it helpful to merely have the words of a friend. Their thoughts, day-to-day, to present a counterpoint to my own, just… generally. My own words are plentiful, but sometimes not enough to gain perspective. I’ve got a couple other blogs bookmarked for that very purpose… I bet you do, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I was recently introduced to a blog of far viewer words than mine. Sometimes I need that. Brief perspective. Like a mental coffee break. Strictly Minimal. No, no – I mean, that’s the name of the blog, “Strictly Minimal“. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy.

This morning I woke to the discovery that I’d allowed myself to run out of coffee. (What the hell??) It’s quite early, and I’m not yet at any particular risk of a headache later. Rather than panic (an old habit I’ve learned to let go of, generally), I more simply decide to get coffee on the way to work, and handle restocking as an errand on the way home. I’ll need to run a couple of errands anyway; it’s a camping weekend coming up. There are things to do in order to prepare. For me, it’s the first camping weekend of the year. ๐Ÿ˜€

It’s a lovely morning. Entirely suited to all manner of new beginnings. I’m smiling, rested, ready for the day, and feeling fairly prepared for life. Generally, in the past, this sensation and state of being have usually preceded some horrible turn for the worse. I shrug that off; each moment is its own moment, and the future is not written. I have a great many reasons to be smiling today – one of them is that it is my anniversary with my Traveling Partner, celebrating 7 years married, 8 as lovers, even longer as friends. It’s a wonderful journey, and fully worth celebrating. Celebrating more, together, will come later – for now, I sit smiling. It’s enough.

Day breaks gently, beyond the studio window. It’s time to begin again.

I called out again today, like, properly. Working yesterday was a bit ambitious, and I wasn’t really as up to it as I thought I would be. I talked myself into it anyway, because… work. It’s an American thing; we over-value jobs, and grossly under-value self-care. Before the work day ended, it was clear I wasn’t up to another.

After the work day ended, I took time to re-calibrate my actions to my intention; the intention being to “get well”, clearly my actions need to be other-than-work-related. I took time to have a healthy meal (soup, a small salad), more tea (and more after that), and treated my symptoms as skillfully as I know how. Then I went back to bed. Other than getting up fairly regularly to sip tea, drink water, deal with my sinuses, or to pee, I slept for the next 17 hours, in spite of the whistling and percolating noises of my breathing. I won’t be out of bed much today, I’m feeling woozy and fatigued just from the effort of standing, and making morning coffee. (I definitely don’t want to add that headache to my afternoon!)

I could have chosen differently – and I almost did. It can be hard to choose self-care. I fight myself for the choice to take better care of me, every time I’m sick. I’m not fighting my boss, or my partner, or anyone else, though – I’m fighting myself, and the remnants of self-abusive programming that lingers after a lifetime of exploitative messaging about the necessity of obligating oneself to an employer, and abusive messaging conveying an aversion to being “weak”. It sucks that we are so prone to treating ourselves poorly. All of that is built on our choices.

I sit sipping my coffee disinterestedly. It is less than ideally palatable, and I am disengaged and feeling ill. It’s hard to care about anything much, just at the moment. There are choices there, too. I will soon choose to go back to bed. ๐Ÿ™‚

I find myself thinking about self-care and how we fail ourselves in our relationships through choices not to care for ourselves skillfully. I think about how often in past relationships I made choices to “let that shit go” when I would have served myself well to speak up promptly; failing to speak up for my needs or interests in the moment often seemed the fastest route to keeping things chill – but the explosive loss of temper down the road, when I finally could no longer bear to undermine my own needs didn’t serve me so well, and didn’t treat others well, either. I could have done better. Failing to test my assumptions, I could so easily be hurt by real life simply being what it was – because I was clinging to a very different vision, and inevitably, there would be conflict when reality finally forced a showdown with my imagination. Holding on to unverified expectations, and allowing a lack ofย Theory of Mind to confound things further, I could destroy a beautiful moment so easily by being intensely upset that life did not unfold as I expected it would. These are all such commonplace things to “get wrong” that whole lives are built on these flawed models of relating to others, without any notable challenges in spite of how fucking crazy that actually is.

Some relevant seeming notes, that sort of summarize some things I’ve learned along the way, because now I’m just tired and ready to go back to bed:

  • We don’t know what we don’t know – and can’t.ย 
  • We are each having our own experience; what is “obvious” to me, may not be obvious to another at all.
  • There is no requirement (or legitimate potential) for others to “make us happy”, however lovely it is that we are happy in the company of another; our happiness is our own to find, build, and sustain.
  • We “aren’t all that” – count on it – somewhere, someone is tired of our bullshit. We can do better. Every fucking one of us can do better today than we did yesterday.
  • We are perfectly divine, too, and “deserve” to be treated well; paradoxically, we must teach each other what that means to us individually, in every relationship we share.
  • When we are the one who is “always upset” or “always stressed out” in our relationships, we are also the one with the most immediate need to do a better job of caring for ourselves. It’s us, not them.
  • Self-care is not abusive of others, and does not have to come at the cost of treating others well.
  • Boundary-setting is hard. A lot of the very best adulting practices feel that way, and require considerable practice.
  • We can only do our best – and it’s on us, ourselves, to know what that is, and be real about it when we’ve depleted our resources and just can’t do more/better.
  • What we want from our partners and loved ones does not obligate them to provide that to us, however much we want it.
  • All of these bullet points apply equally to them.
  • We are individuals, not property.
  • We are equally obligated to treat others well, as they are obligated to treat us well; not at all. It’s a choice. (Although if we go around treating people badly, it’s not at all realistic to expect to be treated well, just saying.)
  • Some people don’t care the way we care. Sometimes we are the person not caring.
  • A lot of things improve when we listen deeply, instead of waiting for our turn to talk.
  • We can demand change from others until we’ve lost our voices, it is an empty unsatisfying endeavor; change comes because we choose change.
  • Attempting to force others to change is a form of emotional abuse – yes, and even if those changes we so earnestly demand are “good” or “better” or even “ideal”; it’s literally not our decision who that other person chooses to become.
  • Sometimes the wisest choice and best way to care for ourselves is to walk on. The mere fact that we want something to work out is no assurance that it will.
  • We are the cartographers on our own journeys. The map we make is not the world.
  • We can choose change. Any time. Any day. Any relationship. We do this by being the change we wish to see. We do it with our choices.
  • We become what we practice.

Ready? The day ahead is a blank page, and you are the author of your experience. Choose your adventure.

I’m sipping my coffee and listening to the rain fall. The dawn is gray, and it’s hard to accept that day break is past, and this… is it. Morning. No “sunrise” in any obvious way. The sky is a drizzly homogeneous featureless gray. I woke planning to paint. I still feel peculiarly energized to paint, and likely will. I’ll probably “go off script” from there, though, and “just paint” instead of working with purpose, plan, and structure on pieces that I have already sketched out in my head. I know what works for me, artistically.

I contemplate conversations with friends from yesterday. The afternoon was spent wrapped in warmth and intimate affection, connected close friendships, easy hang out time. We shared a bite of late lunch-not-quite-dinner, sufficient to fuel the afternoon hours without the distraction of hunger to throw off the genial vibe. Both very good friends of mine, neither had met the other previously, and we all had a great time – it was a well-connected, deep, experience. The conversation was lively, fun in spots, serious in others, and quickly exceeded any sort of “getting to know each other” limitations to become fully invested, authentic, and yeah – deep. Really talking over life. Love. The world. It was soul-nourishing time.

Hanging out and talking, watching cartoons, listening to music – these are very much favorite activities of mine to share with friends. Yesterday was a day well-spent.

I miss my Traveling Partner. I smile, feeling the warmth of his love as a sort of carrier wave on which the details of my experience travel across my consciousness. He would have been so welcome, yesterday. He remains so welcome today. He’s just hundreds of miles away, is all. lol I wish him well, and wrap the thought of him in my love. I would enjoy sharing coffee with him, this morning, and talking over yesterday – and tomorrow. lol Soon enough.

Openness is one of my “Big 5” relationship values. It’s a tricky one – what does that even mean, “openness”? For me, it means both acceptance and non-attachment. It means listening deeply, not just waiting to talk. It means being willing to change my thinking with new information. It means being observant in the moment, and prepared to “go with it” when circumstances or people reveal something more about themselves. It means embracing authenticity, myself, and sharing who I actually am, with others who are sharing who they actually are, too. It means creating an emotionally safe environment for that authenticity to exist. It means learning to communicate without tools like criticism, discouragement, or ad hominem attacks. It means “yes, and…”, instead of “no, but…”. There you go. Go forth and be open! LOL – I know, I know, it isn’t that easy, it does take practice, and your results will definitely vary. ๐Ÿ™‚

This morning I got schooled on being open in the most delightful way; I woke to a message asking me where my boundaries may be, on the subject of “getting closer”. Gently handled, clear, frank, and worded such that there just wasn’t any chance of being hurt by the inquiry, or any possible mistake about the intention – quite the contrary. I live pretty openly with this being I have grown to become over time, and I’m not surprised someone besides me would like to be closer. Going beyond the platonic relationship we share now is an exciting thought. No need to rush things along; that’s sort of new, mixed in with all this extra adulting I’ve learned to do. I offer reassurance that I’ve got no preset rules against growing closer, and no objection to it. I find myself wondering if I were sufficiently gracious about it – did I communicate my appreciation? For the desire? For the question? I smile. Everything’s fine. There’s no room for pointless anxiety here. There is always time enough for love. ๐Ÿ™‚

The rain intensifies, and perversely I now want to be in the garden. lol Instead, I set a course for the kitchen, a second coffee, and my meditation cushion. It’s time to begin again. ๐Ÿ™‚

The rain continues to fall. I woke early and got my boots on for a hike. It ended up quite short; the trail I’d chosen was slick and muddy, and the steep bits were treacherous. I turned back when it stopped being pleasant, because I didn’t head out with any need or intention of conquering a challenge; I was just out for a pleasant hike. ๐Ÿ™‚ The rain had other things in mind, and I’m frankly not the one to argue with the weather. lol

Yesterday was delightful. I continued to tidy things throughout the day. I read. I meditated. I worked in the container garden on my deck. The experience of increasing order over the course of the day seemed to also result in a deepening sense of contentment and order in my thinking. It occurred to me that today would be a weekday, and ideal to get an appointment to have my hair cut. Today began to take shape; I would spend the afternoon “in the city”. I added a couple casual errands to my list of stops, not with any firm outcome in mind, but more a sightseer on life’s journey, today. A favorite wine shop… just to check out what sherries and ports may be in stock. A favorite spice merchant…because spices smell good and inspire me. I could get my nails done… I could go to the museum… the library… that fun little shop that is always closed when I pass by…

…I feel a wave of poignant memory wash over me and sorrowful tears spill down my cheeks unexpectedly, as I recall the first time I shared a work commute with my Traveling Partner, and shared with him my earnest desire to go to a shop at a particular train station along the way. I’d only barely pointed it out, and he was on his feet, extending his hand to me, “Come on,” he said. I followed him – because I wanted to be with him. We enjoyed browsing together, and sharing excitement over this or that artisan ware or beautifully crafted piece. Year after year, ever since, at every birthday, and every Giftmas, I’d asked him to buy me something specifically from that place. It wasn’t the most convenient location, generally, for either of us, and so it never came to be – and it never will. That shop closed permanently after the holidays were over this past year. It exists now only as a precious memory. A moment missed. I let the tears fall; it’s just a feeling. Feelings also pass. ๐Ÿ™‚

There are still tears on my cheeks, and already I’m okay. It’s nice to be in this more resilient place as a human being. There is no particular chance that a poignant moment, a sad memory, or a regret will blow an entire day, these days – and why should it? These are things to consider, surely, but no more than that. Moments to learn from. Moments to cherish and to understand. Moments that make for a nuanced experience with real emotional depth. I reach for my Rick and Morty earrings, a cherished gift from my Traveling Partner. He “gets me”. I smile, feeling well-loved.

It’s a lovely morning to begin again.

Some things are worth the effort to experience them.

(I should just stop there, perhaps; it is 100% of what I am meaning to say this morning…)

I sip my coffee, and contemplate the weekend behind me. It was definitely worth the drive down. I went to a good party. Met some cool people. Reconnected with people I know and cherish. I felt that warm welcome I love so well. It was an intimate connected weekend filled with fun – and strangely enough, also with sleep. Well, sleep did occur, and it was luscious and restful and was, itself, worth the drive down. You see, after basically 36 hours awake (just due to the way timing and my sleep worked out), I crashed out in my Traveling Partner’s bed, and in his arms, and we slept harmoniously together, quite soundly, for something like 12 hours. lol No regrets there; I’m quite delighted to make the drive down to enjoy that experience.

That’s what I’m saying, this morning, some experiences are worth an investment in effort, in intention, in awareness – they linger in memory, holding on to some magical quality about life or love, preserving it and bringing it back to life every time I recall it. I smile again, and sip my coffee.

I think about a cup of coffee my gracious and charming host (of the party I went to Saturday night) made for me in the wee hours on Sunday. I know, I know, small thing, right? Not really… big party, lots going on, and my host is a new friend – I would not have imposed. I was, rather naturally I think, as it was a bit after 5 am, starting to lose enthusiasm for partying (and starting to feel the sensation of “going without coffee” around the edges of my consciousness). In the context of the conversation, I admitted being a junkie for the stuff (coffee, People, coffee), and he very sweetly offered to make me a cup, himself, personally. It was a damned good cup of coffee, too. The sort of strong cup in the morning after partying all night that reaches into my brain from my tummy and sort of just punches me right in the fatigue, refreshing me and restoring my merry wit. ๐Ÿ˜€ Fuck – I hope I remembered to say “thank you”! ๐Ÿ˜€

It was worth the drive down to meet this new friend, and to enjoy that cup of coffee. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now it is Tuesday. A work day. A different set of timing constraints, rules, limits, and obligations are in place for the week ahead. The coffee? Made it myself. The sleep? Solo. The morning? A new beginning.

It’s time to begin again. ๐Ÿ™‚