Archives for posts with tag: mindful living

I woke up at 4:00 am. I didn’t need to. It was even my thought to simply return to bed after getting up to pee and getting a drink of water… but that turned into feeling a bit warm, and standing in the cool open patio doorway for a few minutes, which became turning on the aquarium light, which became checking my phone for messages “just real quick”, which became a question about whether it was worthwhile to just stay up at that point… and… unsurprisingly, I stayed up. I attempted to negotiate with the inevitability of it by staying in my most comfy clothes… by not turning on the grinder for hot coffee and just grabbing a can of cold brew… by not turning on more media… none of any of that actually changes the circumstances at this point. I got up at 4:00 am on a fucking Sunday morning on which I was very much looking forward to sleeping in… and I feel alert and rested. lol

It seems a good morning to practice “non-attachment”. In this case, directing that practice toward my “plan” for the day, which is already utterly irrelevant, since no single element of any of the original planning for this day has remained untouched by events and decision-making that followed that planning. lol Fuck it. Free fall through the day? Thanks, I shall. 🙂 I’m getting better at enjoying the planning without remaining attached to the plan. It’s a powerful approach. It still takes quite a bit of practice. I have no idea what the day holds, though, so getting attached to the outcome would just build a foundation for disappointment, frustration, and drama, and I frankly don’t really value any of that, so… Non-attachment, then? Yep. Indeed.

The weekend with my Traveling Partner has been splendid. Whether he’ll be around today, also, remains an unknown; we both have work this week. If it were me, I’d be on the road headed back before daylight, today, to give myself time to “get settled” and “prepare for the week”. We’re different people. Our approach to life is quite individual. Instead of getting wound up with wondering, I let that go, too. It doesn’t actually matter much; if he’s here, I’ll enjoy his presence. Once he goes, he won’t be here to enjoy. Either way, I’ll roll with it. 🙂

I smile and sip my very early morning coffee. Soon enough, I can make choices that affect the day ahead. Soon enough, really any time I choose, I can begin again. 🙂

I’m relaxing with my morning coffee, ready to start a new week, enjoying a quiet moment before heading to the office. It is, in most ways, wholly routine, as morning’s go. Still, this one lovely moment feels… special. My Traveling Partner sleeps in the other room. 🙂 As “sufficiency” goes, this morning is more than enough. I feel content, and wrapped in love.

This kind of moment is different from the joyful, boisterous, playful, moments of festivals, the busy fun working moments of performance events, the connected intimate moments snatched from those on some visit to spend time together… all those things are lovely. This? This is different. This is calm, and soothed, and heartfelt, and warm, and tender, and gentle, and deep, and enduring… no fleeting bit of fun this moment, here. This is built of stuff that lasts (well, as long as it lasts, and then lingers in memory quite deliciously and poignantly; the best times together manage to be nonetheless quite finite).

I sit with my coffee, enjoying this quiet moment. I don’t need more. I start a playlist that is all love songs this morning, and get ready to begin again. 🙂

I am sipping my coffee in a state of contentment and feeling generally okay after an entire day of rest, following the recreational weekend. It’s worth it to take time to get adequately rested. So often, I enjoy a great time, let that occasion undermine my self-care, and move on to a new work week, and interacting with people, without “getting caught up”, and really caring for myself. It’s a poor choice to take that approach.

How much Monday misery is fully and wholly a byproduct of enthusiastic weekend endeavors? Probably quite a lot of it, and I suspect that Monday’s reputation for being a shitty day of the week is caused more by hangovers of various sorts, than by any actual day-of-week-related flaw. (Don’t even start with me about how you “don’t get hangovers”; the science suggests otherwise, and if you don’t like the word, don’t use the word, but for fuck’s sake don’t bullshit yourself about needed after-care!)

I’m sitting here grateful to be more aware of such things than I was when I was in my 20s – my quality of life could have been so much better, and there could have been so much less fucking drama! “Self-care” was not in my vocabulary.

I smile, and sip my coffee. Yeah… I don’t even try to go off the coffee. I recognize the irony. I don’t avert my eyes from the lessons I learn about addiction, generally, and good self-care, just because this particular intoxicant is legal. The legality of any given intoxicant has not one thing to do with whether it is effective, or what effects it actually has, or whether there is a hangover. Words are not experiences. Experiences exist independent of the words we use to describe them.

Take care of yourselves out there in the world, Party People! It’s Monday. Tomorrow is “terrible Tuesday”, too, and intoxicants vary widely in both effect, and duration of effect. If you’re working, you may not be at your best. That annoying argument? Probably a byproduct of your chemistry – you’re usually so much more reasonable, and measured in your responses. That flare up of bad temper? Yeah, excessive is a good word for that – it’s worth reminding yourself that you’re probably prone to being a bit over-reactive right now. You could do better. Are you drinking enough water? Have you had nutritionally dense healthy calories? Have you gotten the rest you need? You don’t need to dissolve into a private emo nightmare of drama and woe – you can practice good self-care, and heighten your self-awareness. Being more considerate of yourself (and, let’s be frank, of others) may ease some of the (literal) headaches of a (hungover) Monday… I’m just saying; you have choices. 😉 Your results may vary, but you can choose how to deal with that, too. 🙂

…Adulting takes so much practice. Have you “already completely fucked this day up”? Just begin again. ❤

Yesterday was a good one. Productive at work, minimum hassles, an easy commute in both directions, a comfortably chill evening that was also an evening on which I got a few things done; it was lovely.

I sit sipping my coffee and considering it, smiling, feeling content. It’s not that it’s some specific requirement to give yesterday more time, today; it’s just a great practice to make time to savor good moments. Doing so regularly has the power to slowly rewire my brain to be more easily able to bounce back from stress, to live in the context of implicit recollection (and limited certainty) that more difficult moments will be quite temporary, and that life is, generally, good. I have found it a highly effective practice, and along with practicing explicit willful gratitude, it is a practice that has taken me a long way from those dark days, well behind me now, of being mired in past trauma and present stress.

The day begin most delightfully with a ludicrously easy commute. I hit all the lights green. There just wasn’t anyone in front of me. It was… relaxed. There was that big full moon in the sky. It was quite pleasant and utterly stress free. I got into the office, got the work day started, and noticed that big beautiful moon sinking low over the city. I made time for that moment, right then and there, and alerted a camera-toting coworker of the opportunity to grab a couple cool city shots, each of us, sharing that experience with each other. It was fun. A great way to take a break.

One lovely moment. One beautiful city.

The day continued from that point, a series of moments, a series of opportunities, a series of choices. It was a very good day. The evening, and even the commute home, was equally pleasant, and, yes, productive. I managed to get a few things done before yielding to fatigue and arthritis pain, and those things were more merely the end of a day, than any hardship. Balance. It was… worth remembering. 🙂

So, I sit here with my coffee smiling. One nice thing about such an extraordinarily pleasant day? I experienced that, which means it can occur, and if it can occur, and has occurred at least once previously, it could occur again, making it all quite possible. I like that idea. 🙂 It wholly undermines that annoying experience that is characteristic of despair – the feeling that nothing good can come of anything we say or do, and that only bad outcomes truly exist, and well, fuck… then why bother, at all, it’s only misery and more misery, anyway? Yeah. Not pleasant. Also – not true. 😀 I can do better.

I notice the time. I finish my coffee. The day awaits, and it is time to begin again. 😀

I woke to the sound of rainfall this morning. I didn’t realize it when I woke. It was an early-but-counts-as-sleeping-in-anyway sort of time. I stumbled to the bathroom to pee, took my morning medication, and went back to bed intent on sleeping in “for real”…

…Then I heard the rain falling. I expected it to rock me to sleep, most delightfully. It did not. lol Not this morning. I contentedly lay there wrapped in comfort, listening to the rain fall. I listened to a gentle patter on the window panes. I listened to a drenching downpour that lasted only minutes. I listened to the characteristic rustling of wet Big Leaf Maple leaves, tossed in the pre-dawn stormy breeze. I lay there in the darkness, listening, smiling, resting. I wasn’t sleeping though, and the inevitable did happen; I got up for coffee. lol

An autumn morning before dawn.

I “lit a fire” in the fireplace as I headed to the kitchen, to take the early morning chill off the room, feeling exceedingly grateful to have a gas fireplace. I’m okay with trading the scent of a wood fire for the cleanliness and ease of use of the gas fireplace. 🙂 It’s autumn. Yesterday was the Equinox. It seems only fitting to enjoy warming my toes by the fire with a fresh cup of coffee on quiet fall Sunday morning.

Don’t forget to embrace simple pleasures, and savor moments of joy and contentment that aren’t expensive or flashy. 🙂 There’s much in life to be enjoyed, even in the depths of great misery, and it make so much difference to our experience of “quality of life”.

I sip my coffee and contemplate the day ahead. I settle on a plan of housekeeping, garden work, and find myself content to keep the day simple and purposeful. I’ll finish here, and the day will be spent off-line, engaged in needful tasks, and present in my life. (Oh, there’ll be verbs involved; I’m a human primate, and it will require effort not to return to the internet, again and again, but I’ve got self-care needs on this one. I want my attention span back.)

Have you considered this? How much you, too, may need your attention span back? We become what we practice.

It’s time to begin, again.