Archives for posts with tag: my home my rules my way

I woke feeling better this morning, after a rather dismal early night of feeling fairly ill. It’s behind me. I feel better. I’m grateful.

I made my coffee, and read messages from my Traveling Partner, while waiting for water to boil. I smile, reminded that today is payday. I didn’t quite scamper to my desk with my coffee; time to pay bills!! 😀

…Wait…

…I don’t even like paying bills or “dealing with the money shit“… What is this about?

I sit down and review my budget, look over the banking details and the pending and upcoming bills, even those set to auto-pay (which is most of them). The auto-payments are all set to minimums, though, and generally I like to do better than that, particularly on debt with finance charges or interest. So, I make a few changes, and hit send on some payments.

There’s less cash in the bank account very quickly, but this amazing feeling of contentment, achievement, satisfaction, and… safety. I feel emotionally safer when my bills are paid. This particular feeling “seems new” – it’s at least new-ish, in the sense that for many years I did not at all understand how much of my anxiety and day-to-day discomfort in my own skin was about debt, poverty, privation, not having basic goods and services, not having enough to enjoy small luxuries… “getting by” often did not feel very good at all. I didn’t really connect that experience with my shitty money management.  Back then, I “managed” my finances by way of fear, anxiety, desperation, and panic. It was a less than ideal approach.

Something has changed. My finances are decently well-managed. I’ve come a long way in my career, and my ability to manage my finances (with a lot of help and emotional support from my Traveling Partner). When I need something (like, say, a car), I can usually just go for it. I don’t have the resources to live a fully cash-based luxury life, far from it, I have to plan, and be mindful with my finances, and make it a commitment to look after my resources with care, aware of the future ahead of me, which still has a lot of fucking uncertainty. Still… I’m okay right now. It’s a nice feeling.

This morning, I’m also just… yeah, my mind is still completely blown that the high point of my morning has been paying my bills. lol Something has changed, over time, about the way I view money, and how my experience of dealing with it feels. Having a few weeks riding the ragged edge of dragging my cash accounts back in time to near-zero balances, however briefly (waiting a few more weeks to buy the Mazda would have been, perhaps, wiser) was some eye-opening perspective. Once I got past the initial anxiety, and became more explicitly aware that I was processing trauma associated with money, it stopped being so worrisome, and became nothing more than a few days of waiting, and an opportunity to share my experience with my Traveling Partner, and coordinate limited shared resources more skillfully, with great care, for a couple weeks. 🙂

What a nice place to be with myself. Oh, I no doubt still have some baggage about money, and about not having it. I can do better. There’s more to practice. More to learn. Still… these small celebrations of forward momentum, and positive changes that result in improved quality of life, are important; celebration means awareness, and holding these positive changes happily in my explicit awareness for a time, makes them “more real” in my implicit sense of self.

…And I just love feeling good.

I feel good. 🙂

It’s time to begin again. 😀

I slept in a bit. I’m glad I did; I needed the rest and have a busy fun weekend ahead. I smile and have another drink of my off-brand fizzy water. I didn’t really feel like putting in the effort to make an exceptional cup of coffee. I also did not feel like drinking a crappy cup of coffee. So… coffee can wait.

It’s okay to choose. I’m not “on rails”. A common result of making a plan and forcing into action, even in the face of other circumstances, needs, or inclinations, tends to be less than ideal execution, and sometimes an anecdote-worthy crappy experience. It’s not what I’m going for. I woke up thirsty; I’m drinking water. I was tired; I slept until I was rested. I needed to really relax yesterday evening; I spent the evening making the choices that got me there. This morning, I put my headphones on, drowning out the sound of traffic on a rainy morning, but don’t much actually feel like music (or sounds) this morning; I didn’t turn any on. 🙂

This is a weekend that looks on track to unfold with an unusually high amount of spontaneity. I’d made some plans to do some things, but I find myself mostly just interesting in being. It’s enough. These aren’t choices that “change the world” in any grand sense, but they do change my experience, and I am both in, and of, the world…so… small improvement, then? With enough of that sort of thing, the world is indeed changed. (And in that sense, our self-care, and good general regard for ourselves, and our common decency to others, is in fact world-changing!)

One or two more things I’ll take care of before I get on the road. My glasses are smudgy… and somewhere around here I have lens cleaning cloths… I put them where I could not forget them, so, obviously, I’ve no idea where they are now. LOL Start the dishwasher… take out the trash…

…Begin again. 🙂

Well, damn. It’s Tuesday, after a long weekend with a Monday off. Shit. It’s time to be getting back to the grind. No fun little emoji for this one; there’s real effort involved. lol

I sip my coffee purposefully, and still smiling. It was a lovely weekend. Right down to the discovery that the tires I had to buy (on Labor Day, when very nearly every tire place, specifically, is apparently closed), actually provided a noteworthy improvement in handling, and an obvious reduction in noise, and may even be improving my gas mileage. Ideally, I would not have had to buy a set of tires for the car until much closer to winter weather… but… buying them sooner also got me a better deal. 😀 So… there’s that.

I spent time in the company of a friend on the other side of town (a former colleague, and collector of my art work), catching up, and repairing a painting that is dear to us both. It was totally worth the drive across town and back. Friendship nearly always is, which makes it worth mentioning. 🙂

It wasn’t a fancy weekend. I didn’t spend much money (other than the tires). I did a couple lovely day hikes, took some pictures, took a class, and mostly spent my time in the company of the woman in the mirror, getting deeply rested, and taking time for me. It was so worth it.

The weekend begins and ends with stray sunflowers, planted by squirrels or chipmunks. 🙂

I’m ready to begin again. 😀

This morning I woke up to the sound of rain falling in the darkness. It was already 5:30 am – still dark? The season is already turning toward autumn. I’m grateful for the rain and stand in the soft cool air flowing in through the open patio door. I love the scent and sound of rain. 5:30 am? I don’t really need to be up so early… it was late when I called it a night. I smile and shrug in the darkness. The rain won’t mind my absence; I go back to bed for a couple more hours.

I woke later, smiling because it is still raining, content because I feel wrapped in love; it’s been a lovely weekend so far, most of it spent in the company of my Traveling Partner. We suit each other so entirely well. lol Even our most human failings tend to dovetail nicely with the quirks or baggage of the other. I smile through my morning, and even the returning recollection that there is no cold brew or iced coffee waiting for me in the fridge can’t budge the smile that I’m wearing this morning. I make a french press of coffee from fairly average (wholly adequate, but nothing special) coffee beans laying about on hand from… months ago (when I more or less completely switched to prepared cold brew in cans for the summer). It’s not awesome, but it is coffee, and it is enough. I was too eager, and added the water to the coffee while it was a bit too hot, and there is some additional bitterness to it that is less than ideal, but… whatever. It’s coffee. It’s adequate. The cup is delightfully warm in my hand in the chill of the raining morning. My contentment deepens to note that the timing feels quite right to return to hot coffee. 🙂

Rain drenched roses are a welcome sight.

This morning is about more than simple contentment over routine things; my experience is saturated with the awareness that I am loved. My awareness of everything else is colored by the love I feel, myself. I feel more complete and more present. It’s not an exaggeration when people comment that love is magical or transformative – that is also my own experience of love, and loving. 🙂 I contemplate my Big 5 relationship values and consider them in the context of the past couple days spent living with my Traveling Partner. Respect, reciprocity, consideration, compassion, and openness, really do cover the basics of enjoying a good relationship with another human being. Most of the other desirable behaviors, qualities, and characteristics spring forth fairly naturally given a relationship build on these things, in my experience.

I got handed an excellent reminder of the value of my Big 5 this weekend when I returned home from work Friday to a home that was tidier than I’d left it, and a partner comfortable, merry, and eager to see me, at the end of a day of “giving back” and helping out. Our time was unscripted, the visit was spontaneous, and I’d made no requests and set no expectations when I left for work that morning, aside from “enjoy the day”. Same thing on Saturday morning; I had plans that took me out of the house for a couple hours, and returned home to tidiness, order, and the presence of love. Quite wonderful. Understanding that a great deal of my own housekeeping and self-care time can get lost to traveling to spend time to see him, he invested some of his time in my comfort at home, himself. I didn’t have to ask. (I never do have to ask, actually; he is skilled at partnership.)

We spent our time together talking, planning, playing and just enjoying each other. We caught up on movies we wanted to see together. We worked out logistics for the upcoming autumn and winter. We talked about our eagerness to see each other more becoming so much easier with both of us having cars; it’s already true, and sort of goes without saying. We enjoyed saying it. We talked about love, partnership, and our enduring satisfaction with each other. We connected and caught up, and savored our shared time. I am still smiling. I’ll probably be smiling for days. It was, admittedly, both poignant and painful to see him pull out of the driveway, headed for other places once more. Still, I was soon smiling again; he’ll be back often. 😀

A big challenge with regard to hanging out with other friends, and doing other things socially, is that because I’ve undermined the time I have available to handle basic care and upkeep of this human being I see in the mirror each day, and the time I need for housekeeping and shopping, anything else I plan to do makes all that even tougher to catch up on, and I slowly fall way behind either on the housekeeping, or on maintaining adequate social contact with friends. Because keeping order at home is (for me) essential self-care, it’s often the social contact that gets left out. Having some help while my partner was here totally erased that challenge. Human beings are social creatures, and even though I enjoy living alone, I don’t thrive in the total absence of real in-life human interactions – I need that, too. It is a lovely experience to look around, see the house looking great, observing that I’m caught up on all the things, that I am well-rested, and also see that I have still more time and opportunity to enjoy more of the company of friends – the weekend is only half over. 😀

How is it that I can miss this one specific human being so intensely? lol I sigh out loud in the quiet room, and go refill my coffee.

I sip my coffee contentedly. It’s not really that bad. It’s a lovely morning, and I’m fortunate to have what I need in life to be comfortable, to be content, to be at peace, and even inspired. I’m fortunate – very fortunate – and the good fortune I enjoy in life seems tied to the love thing; the more love I invite into my life, the more skillfully I am able to share the love I feel myself, and enjoy the love expressed for me by others, the more I enjoy life itself. Love is not an inconvenience, or an add-on, it’s worth being studious and learning to love skillfully, it is worth investing my time and attention in love and loving. It is so worth sorting out where sex ends and love begins; they overlap so much, it’s sometimes easy to forget how different they really are. I glance at my calendar – I’m hanging out with an artist friend today – and I check the time.

A single exceptionally lovely weekend (rain and all) may not be enough to change the world – but it doesn’t have to; it’s enough that it change a moment, an experience, or some small piece of this long long journey. I’m content with that. It’s a place to start down the path of a grander vision, or simply a moment to enjoy in merry recollection for years to come. 🙂 It’s enough.

It’s time to begin again. ❤

Some days it is enough to wake up smiling. 🙂

I am sipping my coffee, and listening to my Traveling Partner’s quiet breathing as he sleeps in the other room. This, too, is enough. 🙂

It’s even Friday – how much better will this one moment get? 🙂

This? This is what “happy” feels like. There’s no point chasing it; it doesn’t come to us by way of chasing it down. I sip my coffee, enjoy the moment. I am content that this, too, yes, will pass. Change is. New beginnings are. Fighting change is as pointless a waste of time as chasing happiness. It’s just not the most effective approach.

I sip my coffee, while I embrace change – all the many small twists and turns on life’s journey, the opportunities, the challenges, they add up over time. Skillfully managed, incremental change over time is simply part of being, and part of becoming. It helps to have a result in mind – and to refrain from clinging to that outcome as though it were a given (it isn’t). It helps to make choices – not just endure the changes inflicted upon you by circumstance.

Small things are slightly different this morning. The door to the studio is closed to minimize the noise of the keyboard that might reach the bedroom. The car is in the garage to make room for another car in the driveway. There is a warm, breathing, much-loved human being sleeping in my bed. The wheel keeps turning. I may wake up alone tomorrow. I’m even okay with that.

This moment? It’s enough, just as it is.

It’s already time to begin again, nonetheless.