Archives for posts with tag: mindful living

I’m sipping my coffee and listening to some “deep house” music, and thinking about change. I’m smiling, and enjoying the steady low thump of the beat, and looking around my messier-than-usual studio; signs of change. My smile deepens to a grin, and I think about the lovely evening my Traveling Partner and I shared, and how strange it is that the joy of the evening was the shared experience of embracing change. 🙂

…It was sort of spontaneous. I’m not sure whose suggestion it was, really, a change of arrangements, furnishing, spaces, things could be moved… from here… to there… I’m not usually especially open to such things (no reason to resist the admission, I have real issues with my environment being “disrupted”, and have had some fairly childish tantrums over something being “in the wrong place”).  There we were… the idea out in the open, and it didn’t feel scary or unsettling or disruptive at all; it just made obvious sense. I’m pretty sure it was not my idea, but on hearing it, I was almost immediately taken with the common sense of it, the improvement in flow of daily life, the efficiency, and yes – order – to be gained. We went from idea to “let’s do this thing” in actual seconds. We were off our asses and actually making change happen within minutes. There’s more to do, but we’ve gotten well-started on the thing, and, yeah, I really like it.

…I slept better. Weird, because the rearrangement of objects and placement within the household did not have anything whatsoever to do with the bed, bedding, or nighttime qualities of the room in which we sleep (it was mostly about closets and bathrooms). lol I definitely did sleep very well last night. 😀 Related? Unrelated? Doesn’t matter. I enjoyed the positive experience of change, and the changes we made result in our shared space feeling even more like “us” and quite a bit less like “my place and my partner is moving in”. Feels really good, honestly, and more… coherent. More orderly.

I’m feeling pleased and comfortable and contented; a very positive reaction to change. I don’t always feel this way about such things. I take time to savor it. I’m honestly so tickled, I also try a different perfume today. lol I’m possibly less pleased with that outcome, but admittedly; change can be hard for me. It’s a small step forward to be open to novelty, even on a small detail like fragrance. It’s a small step that needs to be taken again and again, to preserve “neuroplasticity“. Good stuff there. A way forward. A way through. It’s one of the foundations of “beginning again” and practicing practices for making the long journey from trauma to being the person I most want to be. 🙂

I glance at the time. Finish my coffee. Today is my Traveling Partner’s birthday (certainly one human life I am eager to celebrate!) – and it’s time to begin again. 😀

I slept well and deeply, but woke very early (more than an hour ahead of my alarm clock). Pain woke me. Nothing acute or new, just arthritis, but pain is pain, and pain hurts. I mean, that’s literally it’s defining quality… so… yeah. Some yoga eases me into the morning, before I ease myself into my work clothes. Another day, another new beginning. 😉

I have some interesting perfume samples to try; gifts from my Traveling Partner. I choose one. Try it. It has a very familiar scent (not necessarily perfume-related familiarity). I can’t place it. This one quickly goes from “this is interesting”, moving quickly through “this is nice” and settling, before I even make it to the office, somewhere in the vicinity of “well, this is regrettable”. lol Okay. Sampled.

I sip my coffee, and wonder if my keyboarding is “too loud”. It’s early, and the world feels quiet. At this hour, everything sounds “too loud”. I make an effort to lighten my keystrokes, to minimize the noise. Another sip of coffee. I smile with the satisfaction of it; it’s a great cup of coffee.

This isn’t a fancy moment, nor wildly joyful, and it’s generally uncomfortable (physically), and this perfume is now… annoying. But, it is, nonetheless, a pleasant moment, and needs nothing from me besides to be noticed, savored, and appreciated long enough to become a memory of a pleasant moment. (Or I could focus mostly on the arthritis pain, and allow it to become a literally painful memory, but I’m honestly not inclined to do that; I already have quite a few of those. 😉 )

I look around my studio. The house, everywhere else, looks holiday ready and thoroughly tidy. My studio, as a result, looks even more chaotic and… well… not tidy, than usual. I think about the weekend ahead, suitable for laundry and tidying up, for sure. 😀 I make a silent commitment to myself, and decide to begin again in here. 🙂

Oh goodness… it’s already today. Back to the office… and a happy homecoming of my Traveling Partner later, well after the end of my work day. Good times – good timing. 🙂

I sit here with my coffee, content to feel the day begin to unfold. There’s nothing more this moment really needs. I feel comfortable in my clothes, and tickled to wear my new winter coat out into the morning when the time comes to leave the house. My coffee tastes good. I am well-rested. I am refreshed from my shower, and feeling somewhat pampered. My boots are shined. My earrings sparkle. I’m smiling. All of this is lovely, if insignificant. 🙂 (Significance may be over-rated, anyway.)

I sigh, gently, drinking my coffee. The mug is warm in my hands. Every detail of this one moment feels entirely adequate. It’s enough. 🙂 My hands pause on the keyboard…

…I sit awhile, silently, just taking in this moment…

I got a lot done this weekend. I make room to consider all that, too, with a certain quite appreciation for the effort involved, and contentment with the outcome.

…I sit awhile longer, enjoying the sense of satisfaction I feel, and the soft joy of knowing the house looks great; it’ll be a joy to come home to. 🙂

I sit, reflecting on work well done, and feeling generally contented, sipping my morning coffee. For now, it’s quite enough. At the bottom of this coffee cup? A new beginning. A new day ahead.

…That’s enough, too. 🙂

…List of chores. Yep. It certainly is a huge… list. Fuck. Am I really expecting myself to get all of this done, today? On this knee? With this arthritis pain? 0_o It seems… unreasonable.

…It’s actually not that bad.

I look over my list again. Routine housekeeping, all of it. Regular, commonplace tasks that need to be done with fair frequency. The image doesn’t show that above “Hearth & Home” sits “Self-Care”, and below the list in the image are also “Errands”… I do like an orderly list. lol

I put self-care first on my list these days, because it needs to be; if I don’t take care of myself, who is going to get all this shit done?? I put errands last because it’s pretty easy for a “quick trip to the store” to become a hours long distraction from everything on the list that needs to be done. lol Some things on the list are daily chores, they get checked off each day, and put back on the list the next day (looking your way “do the dishes”!). Other things are weekly, still other things are “occasional”, seasonal, or “as needed”. It’s just a list though; making the list doesn’t imply getting it done. There are definitely verbs involved. 🙂

I consider each task on the list. I move them around so they are more or less in the order I think I’ll want to get them done. I’m playing with my list and drinking my morning coffee, and writing, while also chatting with my Traveling Partner, who is eager to come home. I’m eager for him to come home, too… and I’d love to welcome him home with my list of shit to do fully completed. What a welcoming place to come home to! I smile to myself, recalling what it feels like to come home to order, to a well-cared for living space, and to a calm, peaceful environment. No drama. No work bullshit. No dishes in the sink, or shit in disarray. Just… home. The thought renews my commitment and my motivation to get it all done. Yesterday was mine, for me. Today is for mindful service to hearth and home. 😀

…It’s already past 8:00 am. I’ve finished this cup of coffee, with one last swallow of now-cold brew (nothing at all like actual “cold brew”, I assure you lol). I’ve got this list, and this day, and it is very much looking like time to begin again. 😀

After the chores, perhaps a hot mug of cider on the deck, or meditation by the fire? Something to look forward to, but first – verbs.

It wasn’t especially late when I went to bed last night. It’s just me, here, for now, so the temptations to stay awake past that point at which I am sleepy and it feels like “bed time” are very few. I sometimes read for a few minutes before sleep begins to overtake me; it wasn’t necessary last night. I slept 8 hours, almost uninterrupted, and waking only once. I woke rested, waking almost completely before I noticed I had made the transition from dreaming to… noticing that I was awake, with my eyes open, in the darkness. It’s not yet dawn, and that doesn’t distress me, at all. It’s a Saturday, and the day is mine. 🙂

My coffee tastes good. I still smell a hint of my Traveling Partner’s cologne from sleeping next to a t-shirt he’d worn before he left on business. It’s a shameless, guiltless, joyful admission; I miss him, and the scent of his cologne delights me, and keeps me mellow in his absence. lol

It’s an easy morning, so far. My knees ache from yesterday’s endeavors, although it isn’t about an injury or any sort of crazy activity; I’m breaking in new boots. The ache in my knees this morning hints that I may need to have my hiking books re-soled. Taking a look, I can see how much less straight my gait must be in my well-worn hiking boots, versus the new dress boots. Something to be aware of. I have two pairs of the same Vasque hiking boots – identical other than the color of the trim. They fit my feet incredibly well, and both pairs have had at least one re-soling, I like them that much. I sip my coffee and think about the day ahead… it seems likely that I’ll decide on what to wear from the footwear up… lol What will be least painful for the day? It’s not a bad decision-making framework, even in general, right? “What will be least painful?” is good for decision-making, right?

…Hmmm… I feel myself reject that thinking with unexpected firmness, less because “What will be least painful?” is a terrible way to make decisions (I think it’s probably a safe direction to go on life’s path, more often than not…), but more because making all of the decisions in the context of thresholds, matrices, frameworks, rules, and all sorts of other rigid “help me avoid being responsible for my decision”sorts of decision-making tools are a less than ideal way to be present, to be in the moment, or to really live my life. Those sorts of approaches are useful as tools, in a limited number of circumstances, but perhaps it’s generally better to be awake, alive, and accountable – wholly authentic about the questions, the choices, the uncertainties, and really truly “right there living it”?

I don’t know. I’m nothing like a “perfect person”. Not even close. I’m just one human being doing my best – and I have, myself, found as many failures in my decision-making on auto-pilot as I have embracing change and willful choices. Adulting is hard. Decision-making isn’t effortless, and formulas sometimes don’t work the way I would like them to. So. Hiking boots and jeans today, because my knee aches – even if it is worn boots that may have set me up for this painful experience? Or new boots and tired aching feet, because breaking in boots takes time, and isn’t always a comfortable experience, but hey, it corrects my gait because the soles are not worn down…?

…Fuck it. I’m barefooted. LOL 😀

What I’m pointing out, I guess, is that dichotomies are fairly rare… and false dichotomies are crazy common. There are often far more different choices available to our decision-making process than we consider. It’s a little weird, but  human primates seem to prefer to narrow things down to just two choices. It’s not even “easier” when we do, but there we are; two choices. Either/or. Yes/no. True/False. Democrat/Republican. Poor/Rich. It’s seriously weird when I pause to just look at those handful of apparent dichotomies; even “true/false” isn’t really “real”. There’s a lot of room between those, other options to consider – life is more nuanced than a  dichotomy suggests. Get used to it. Make room for depth. Take it as an opportunity, instead of fighting it. Be more than a yes or no. 🙂

…How often have I frustrated my partner(s) – or failed a test – out of discomfort with answering a “yes or no question” with a yes, or a no, because it all just seems vastly more nuanced than that to me? Is that a reflection of my injury…? I pause a moment to wonder, before letting my mind move on.

I sit sipping coffee, listening to the rain fall. It’s not actually raining. I just enjoy the sound of falling rain, and have a video on in the background, for the sound of it. It’s one of those sloppy, wintry, rain storms that sounds like icy puddles and unexpectedly slick sidewalks. Soothing – and a reminder of how grateful I am to be safe, warm, and dry. The comfort of the warm mug in my hand, and of this space that surrounds me, is more than pleasant – it’s “home”. I smile and think of my Traveling Partner, starting his day in a hotel room, in a strange city… I miss him. I miss coffee together on a Saturday morning. I’m also greatly enjoying the solo time. There’s a balance to it; I miss him deeply in the same breath that I am greatly appreciative to have this time for myself. No guilt or shame or awkwardness; this is part of who I am.

…I still miss him. I’m looking forward to his homecoming – and not just because we’ll enjoy watching Rick & Morty’s Season 4 opener, either. But… yeah… also for that. LOL I smile and have another sip of my coffee. I settle on a plan for the day that includes some housekeeping stuff on my to do list, and also a trip out to a bigger retail space to continue the hunt for a blazer that fits me sufficiently well to be worth buying. Yesterday, I found a lovely warm winter coat at a great price (just being real; I’m not made out of money, and I try my best to be wise with purchases), and it definitely feels like it will be a winter that requires a coat. I sigh out loud in this quiet room – loud enough to hear myself over the rain. Contented. Feeling loved from afar. Okay with the day. Comfortable in my skin.

…It feels like time to begin again. 🙂