Archives for posts with tag: mindfulness matters

By the time I got home last night, my brain was just… done. I don’t even have any particular recollection of the evening, aside from a brief chat with my Traveling Partner. I crashed out a little earlier than “on time”.

I wake this morning to a gray storm-cloudy not-quite-sunrise of a dawn, after an interrupted night of otherwise deep sleep. The morning seems both very ordinary, and also a little strange, and a bit surreal. I have the peculiar subjective sense that I’m seeing things differently than usual, but can’t pin down anything obvious. A potential sign of mental fatigue requiring better rest than I’m getting. I’m not surprised, if that’s the case; I’ve been giving a bit more than all of myself at work for the past several days, working to complete a complex bit of analytical work in advance of a deadline. I haven’t been sleeping particularly well. I dream about work. I’m super glad this is the last work day in my week. I’m ready for some rest.

I pause to appreciate a small change that has developed over time; I am more aware of the rhythms of my experience. I more easily observe when poor quality sleep becomes, over time, an impediment to cognition and emotional balance. I am more likely to be aware when the pattern of my emotional “weather” changes over the course of the day, in such a way as to indicate I am more deeply fatigued than I may realize. I am more able to recognize when – and how – I need to step up my self-care, to support and nurture this fragile vessel for further lifetime’s enjoyment. It’s nice. (It took – and takes – practice, and my results vary.)

I think about a friend I know is suffering right now. I think about how far I’ve come, and how little certainty I felt then that my experience would change. I had no understanding that change could bring me to “now” – or that “now” could be this good. I still have some shitty moody angst-y despairing or angry or irritable, frustrated, rage-y moments. That’s what they are, too. Moments.

One moment of many.

Lately, for the past 2-3 days only, I’ve been waking feeling pretty generally content but finishing the day feeling moody, disappointed with life, frustrated, and angry without any particular cause that makes sense. It was last night, sitting quietly with my fatigue and making no point to distract myself from it, that I became re-aware that deeper, prolonged mental fatigue, tends to also coincide with that pattern of slowly losing emotional resilience over the course of the day. I am more self-aware and inclined to observe my experience without judgement these days, and it’s delightful to note that the pay-off seems, in this instance, that I will be able to avoid some unfortunate meltdown or freak out, that would ordinarily go down just at that point that I am not aware how deeply fatigued I am, at the end of some long (probably joyful and exciting) day, because instead I’ll get some damned rest this weekend. 😀

…I make a point of checking my calendar, of course… Well. Obviously, a weekend which I am counting on for rest is that rare weekend fully booked with events, errands, and tasks. LOL Shit. I sit smiling under my furrowed brown, chewing on my lip, mildly frustrated, a tad annoyed… I’m replacing the car windshield; a non-negotiable errand that needs to be done. No room for change there. An appointment with my stylist for Saturday… I could cancel a haircut and reschedule… but it’s hard to get those Saturday appointments. So. A great opportunity to point out how good self-care intentions go sadly wrong. You can say “I told you so” when I’m cross and moody on Monday morning. 😉

I won’t be running myself ragged this weekend, in any case. I’ll make a point of resting, and treating myself with care, gently, because I matter to me. Camping next weekend. My birthday the weekend after that. I suddenly feel tired before those events even get to “now”; my brain is reminding me to take getting some rest seriously. I sass myself silently with a smile and daydream about relaxing out among the trees next weekend. I’ll certainly get the rest I need then, but I know that doesn’t change how much rest I need, now. 😀

Fatigue changes the emotional weather, and the emotional landscape. Just saying. I have become more aware how important it is to get the rest I need.

Speaking of rest… it’s already time to go and do and be. One more work day – then rest.

 

I went to bed feeling sort of moody and irritable, and in a lot of pain. I woke smiling. No particular reason, although I suppose sleeping well and waking rested is reason enough. I have learned, over time, the value in enjoying what is enjoyable – and making a point of it – even something as small as waking comfortably with a smile is worth pausing to appreciate the moment. 🙂

I spent a precious hour or so in the company of my Traveling Partner last night. By the time I returned home, I found myself wondering moodily why it didn’t occur to me to invite him to stay over? I miss him greatly. It feels like a long summer ahead of missing him greatly. lol I will surely appreciate his presence even more when autumn comes. 🙂

It’s definitely been “summer” this week, so far. The apartment was hot when I arrived home last night – hotter than it was outside. I remind myself to ask my neighbors to give me a hand fitting the A/C in the window… then I second-guess myself, recalling the burglary in November; the one window this A/C unit will fit in is the studio window facing the park. The window through which a burglary relatively easily gained access to my apartment one rainy November afternoon…so… Do I really want to remove one pane and replace it with a piece of acrylic secured by a tight fit and taped in place, on a window that faces a public park lacking any impediment to the approach of strangers? How much risk is comfort worth? What would stop someone stealing the damned A/C? How annoying that I am even having this mental conversation? lol More consideration seems required.

I sip my coffee and watch the sky lighten with the approaching day. I start my playlist with a track my Traveling Partner shared with me yesterday. As I often do, I find another version that I also like, and prolong the joy another couple minutes. Somehow I wander into live videos of favorite DJs at huge venues, filled with huge crowds, light shows, all of the everything. lol I lose about 20 minutes before I realize I’ve been pulled in; a favorite track follows, and I am crying. I don’t know why. Heartfelt tears without any particular cause, perhaps just celebrating the strange sometimes fragile beauty of love and missing the company of its manifestation in flesh, over my morning coffee. I have emotions. I ride the roller-coaster.

It’s cooler this morning. The breeze through the open window quickly dries my tears; I’m not actually sad, and the tears didn’t last long. The playlist, and the morning, move on. It’s a good moment to move on, and time to begin again. 😀

Admittedly, thoughts of love are not even at all the same thing as loving, live in real-time, flesh in the presence of flesh, hearts entwined, embraces, words, moments… Not the same at all, and yet… I love. Sitting here in the quiet before dawn, with a cup of hot coffee, and a delicate sliver of moon on the horizon, I love. My heart is just full of it, and it spills over into my thoughts, becoming a smile. There’s no particular cause or occasion, and I am amused and amazed at the strength of it. I love. I am capable of loving. I have enough to share, with plenty left for further sharing. It’s a nice place to be in life.

My smile falters a moment to recall other experiences, other times in my own life, other lives altogether – moments lacking in love. I breathe. I relax. This immense capacity to love is not so easily defeated. 🙂

I sip my coffee, contentedly, and still aware that there exists suffering elsewhere. Even aware that in some future moment, I too will suffer further. Perhaps even later tonight, when I return home to a swelteringly hot stuffy closed-up box of an apartment, unshaded, lacking in any feature specific to cooling, and an 87 degree day just beginning to cool down. lol It’s forecasted to be a hot summer day today. I am trying to cool the apartment down this morning, before I leave for work. The dawn begins to break, amber and orange hues, no hint of mauve, pink, or violet; even the sunrise looks just the sort one would expect on a hot day.

The wind shifts and a refreshing cool breeze blows in from the marsh. I am grateful for the brief chill that lifts the hairs on my arm for a moment.

The calendar suggested, yesterday, that I might hear from my Traveling Partner before the night ended. I didn’t though. I haven’t yet started to worry, and may not for some time. He did not prepare the calendar event, and my understanding of his calendar is not calibrated to other event hosts’ ways of planning. (Was the end time in the calendar the end of the event, the end of the journey, the end of the time away… some other ending… and why aren’t there any notes? lol) We had discussed, in March, what the season would look like, and how little time we’d share through the summer months. So. Nothing to worry about, really, unless I make shit up in my head over which to become overwrought. I think I’ll pass.

I sip my coffee and listen to birdsong, peeping frogs, and the distant sound of commuter traffic. My turn soon enough. I add a contented sigh to the symphony of the dawn.

The best moment to begin again? This one. Now.

I’d just barely hit “publish” on yesterday’s blog post when a severe OPD storm blew in. Other People’s Drama splashed all over my doorstep, and a tsunami of emotion blasted my morning, my afternoon, and my day generally.

In moments of gloom, there are often still flowers.

I am not the sort of person to turn someone fleeing domestic violence away from a moment of safety, though, and my OPD-free zone is certainly a safe space. I invited my friend in, and started working to help her calm herself; difficult decisions in life are most easily made from moments of calm, I find. I make a point of checking in with myself regularly, too, because this shit hits all of my buttons, and I am myself on the edge of panic being around domestic violence, at all.

When conditions are right, flowers bloom.

My friend and I took a walk through the park, “enjoying” the flowers. To be more precise, I was enjoying the flowers, my friend was moping along beside me, less than fully engaged in the moment. I didn’t really intend to give up on 100% of the beauty and fun of my weekend, just because someone else has drama to choose to invest in. 🙂 It was a lovely walk, and I’m sure the fresh air and sunshine did her some good too. She talked. I listened. Sometimes I talked. I hope she made a point of listening, but it’s not something I can confirm with any confidence. We walked in silence some, too. I did my best to respect her emotional experience and be present, welcoming, and comforting.

I’m not always sure what one flower or another actually is, and this does not stop me from enjoying them.

She figured out what to do with herself in the short-term, and where to go. Her things were already packed up and ready for all of that. I gave her a ride. I gave her hugs. I gave her my time. I came home. The evening from that point was very quiet. Her now-ex is a friend, too. I know he must be hurting, and I’m here, even for him, if he wants to talk. He hasn’t reached out. I don’t expect that he will. The situation saddens me. Not my circus. Not my monkeys. Not my drama.

Sometimes, a closer look.

I slept restlessly, waking often toward the end of the night. My restlessness got me out of bed more than once, to walk through and around the apartment before returning to bed, no particular purpose in mind. It was a weird night. I sip my coffee contemplating the weekend behind me, and the day ahead. Yesterday’s investment in drama was time-consuming; I didn’t get my laundry done, and I didn’t paint my nails. I didn’t read that book I started. I didn’t get much housework done. All of that will inconvenience or annoy me this week, at some point, more than likely…but… what I did do counts too, and comes up less often; I spent time with a friend who needed me.

It’s a journey.

Still, I’m looking around the place this morning and recognizing opportunities to take better care of the woman in the mirror. Today seems like a good day to begin again. 🙂

 

Changes of plan are just a thing. As much as I enjoy the safe comfort of planning my day, my week, some moment, or even life – plans are only plans. The map is not the world. The journey is independent of the destination (which oddly seems to remain true even from the perspective that the journey is the destination…).

My plan, this weekend, was first to see some acreage Friday. It went pending and changed my plans. There is more to see, and I could drive out to see it today. The drive would be lovely regardless. I’d settled on getting the windshield of the car repaired or replaced on Friday and made time for that, but it turned out there was no available appointment time on that day, and that’s now scheduled for next Friday. Okay, no problem…but I was also going to get the car detailed, after the windshield was replaced, and it’s pointless to do so with that crack in the windshield…so… no. Next week. Okay… well… it was a lovely day, yesterday, and friends and I made the decision, rather spontaneously, to drive out to the coast together, today. I woke in pain, couldn’t make myself really wake up very well, and drifted in and out of sleep a long while until something like sleeping in happened, which sort of through off the timing of the day, but beyond that, I woke in too much pain to spend a large part of the day in the car. Again, the plan for the weekend changes. I’m not even complaining, just observing how little effect on my reality my plans have had at all. lol

I sip my second coffee rather sleepily, and nibble on a breakfast salad of garden-fresh vegetables, wilted greens, and still-warm hard-boiled egg. I’m pretty sure I could go back to sleep this very moment, if it weren’t for the pain I’m in directing me rather firmly to get out of bed and move around some. At this point, I’ve given up planning anything at all with what little remains of the weekend. Maybe a hike? Unscripted, unplanned – really just a walk down the nearest trail for some comfortable distance, and then returning home? I may be up to that. 🙂 Or a nap. A nap later sounds lovely, too. No planning required, just a modest amount of attention to the quantity of coffee I drink. 🙂

Mornings, moments, plans, dreams… and another cup of coffee. A little later, perhaps I will begin again. 😀