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

It’s too early in the morning. I woke up about an hour ago, at 2:30 am. I feel rested. It makes sense, I went to bed around 7:00 pm, too tired and sleepy to stay up any longer. Is it the consequence of wholly disrupting my routine(s) with a near-continuous-party weekend – or am I still getting over the last bit of contagion that smacked me down some weeks ago? The lingering dry cough suggests it might be that… or maybe seasonal allergies.

I smirk at myself for a moment to contemplate that I spend a great deal of time, these days, in the one part of the country I fully know causes me to have Spring allergy symptoms, of all the places I have ever lived or traveled – southern Oregon. LOL Hell, I’m contemplating retiring there. The thought has me straight up laughing literally out loud… and coughing… but I’m not there right now, so… it’s probably not allergies. Sick again? Still?

Does any of that matter beyond making sure I am able to skillfully care for myself?

This is poison oak. An important part of self-care is recognizing common hazards. Just saying; know poison oak when you see it.

Symptoms of OPD (Other People’s Drama) swirl around my experience without becoming directly part of it. I dislike drama enough to create a very nearly entirely drama-free lifestyle, somewhat at odds with the approach many people take, which is to bitch about drama without doing anything much to stop it, minimize it, or to set boundaries about it. I don’t really understand that. I’ll just be over here, doing my thing, my way.

I sip my coffee and contemplate the weekend to come. I’ll be here at my place, working on feeling more at home in my own space, and being committed more willfully to the path in front of me, myself, and this journey I am on. Does that sound “selfish”? I guess it could be called that; I am living my life. This one. The one I live myself. It is, unavoidably, my own. I’ll get some housework done. Spend some time in the studio, painting. Maybe get a nice hike in – the weather looks like it will be good for it.

I think about my Traveling Partner. I wonder how he is doing. I think about the upheaval in his day-to-day experience, and wonder at his ability to roll with so much change, so regularly. I doubt that I would be able to easily accommodate that amount of chaos in my own experience (these days), and chuckle to recall that I was once the most chaotic element of his experience. Tons of people in my social network live with far more chaos and turmoil than I choose for myself. I don’t really understand the choice to do so, but I’ve only understood it as a matter of choice, myself, for a relatively short while (a handful of years, during which I have been choosing differently, most of the time). It’s a challenging change of thinking to accept that we choose our experience. It is a change that requires practice. Much of the time, a great deal of what we endure, of what we suffer, of what we experience daily is entirely self-selected; we not only chose it for ourselves, we set that shit up with great care. We worked at it.

…Or… We did not specifically work at creating something different. There’s that. Either way; there are verbs involved.

We become what we practice. We live the life we choose (and build) for ourselves. There is so much power in that awareness, so much opportunity to change, and grow, and become the person we most want to be… but. We are each walking our own mile. It’s a very individual experience we’re all having, alone, together. Can you do a better job of it? I can’t answer that for you; I only know I can. It just takes practice(s).

Who do you most want to be? What are you doing to become that person, authentically? Where will your journey take you? I don’t have answers to those questions; I’m over here walking my own mile. 😉

It’s time to begin again.

 

I woke this morning feeling rested, and generally pretty merry. I wasn’t even annoyed with myself for “not getting shit done yesterday, at all”. I sat here a few minutes, reading some news, sipping some coffee, feeling fairly encouraged and encouraging about the day ahead, and still willing to cut myself some slack for “just not doing a damned thing” yesterday, after work.

Spoiler alert: it’s bullshit internal narrative. No kidding. Not the positivity part – the part about not getting shit done. See, there’s plenty to do. It’s a long list. Frankly, life is a long list of stuff to get done, things to learn, places to go, errands, tasks, and moments… and last night, I actually did do some stuff, and even checked a couple things off my list that had been really nagging at me. Is there more to do? For sure. Always is. Did I also take time to relax? Yes! It’s a big part of my self-care to actually care for my self.  I woke this morning seeing the self-care as somehow undermining what I also got done, and this is something to be aware of; how easily I fall back on nagging myself, talking down on myself, negging myself, pushing myself beyond my limits in an unhealthy way, and just generally diminishing my general goodness based on some standard set elsewhere, by someone else, for some purpose not clear to be in my own thinking! I laugh it off, and put it aside willfully as “bullshit” – because it is.

I got enough done last night to make progress on things I wanted to do. That’s entirely adequate. 🙂

Two more work shifts and then a weekend. Fuck yes. lol It’s time to begin again. 😀

I am sipping my coffee, feeling well-rested, and contemplating the weeks ahead. I’ve got a couple weekends here at home, and a rather lengthy list of “shit to get done” – mostly stuff that’s fallen a bit behind because I spend so many weekends away, these days. It’s basic housekeeping stuff: a handful of “still haven’t finished moving in” sorts of things, some common enough household repairs I can easily handle myself, and some overdue errands… real life, in list form. The list has grown long.

I’ve been enjoying life, without regret, and without allowing the list to get in the way. It’s all stuff that does need to get done, though. I’ve got a couple weekends ahead with which to do it (I am clearly not getting much of it done in the evenings after work). I find myself thinking sternly that it is time to find a proper balance between relaxing and finding chill space, contentment, and a drama free zone… and getting shit done. lol

I listen to the birds singing as day begins to break on the slim slice of horizon I see beyond my studio window. Physical limitations are hard to argue with. Cognitive limitations are hard to argue with. Shit still needs to get done. Every. Damned. Day. It’s only Wednesday morning, but since I returned home Sunday afternoon, I’ve managed to use every glass in the place – and I know this, because they are all neatly lined up on the kitchen counter, above the dishwasher, which is full of clean dishes that need to be put away (from Thursday morning)… except glasses, which I have removed from the dishwasher one by one, to use, then placed neatly on the counter. Omg – am I fucking kidding me??? Not okay. lol

I breathe. Relax. Feel my shoulders drop back down where they belong, after having crept upwards with tension, as I considered the dishes that desperately want doing. I dislike dirty dishes on this whole other “I will have a motherfucking breakdown if this shit does not change!!” sort of level – it’s been an issue for many years. Doesn’t matter that it’s me leaving the mess behind (that may make it matter more, actually) – it just needs to be handled. So human. I don’t think that is really going to change.

I smile and turn the page on my lengthy list of things to get done; it’s grown quite long over weeks and months, and it has become a source of frustration more than a list. So. I turn the page, and I begin again. A literal new list, a list for right now, and that lists some low-hanging fruit, and things that matter most. A list for evenings after work, leading up to this next, one, weekend. Only that. This is a less daunting list, already, and I find myself rather strangely already more motivated to get started.

…I can do the dishes before I head to the office this morning.

It’s time to begin again.

Yesterday was rough. Well… no. Sort of. Not really. Well… not entirely. Just there at the end.

It was a great Monday in most respects, actually, and I was looking forward to my afternoon appointment with my therapist (really just a “check-in & catch up” sort of thing, and very much worth looking forward to). Hell, I even got there without any real inconvenience, and found a great parking spot, right away, (in a terrible neighborhood for parking). So far so good.

We sat down together and I started talking. I talked until I was hoarse. The words just kept coming. The clock ran out on our time. (Those hours always seem so much shorter than any other hours on the clock. lol) I left my therapist’s office, and stepped out into the pleasant warmth of a sunny spring afternoon… and into a wall of anxiety. Fuuuuuuuuck. Breeeeathe. Breathe-breathe-breathe-breathe-breathe. Shit. Damn it. I sit for a moment in the car, but this doesn’t much help my anxiety, roasting myself in the heat of the sun-baked car interior, with cars turning the block at regular intervals, seeing me sitting there, and waiting for a moment, hopefully, then driving on looking aggravated. Nope. Not helpful.

I set my GPS to take me home. It wants me to take the freeway – it’s 2 minutes faster than not taking the fucking freeway. I don’t want to deal with rush hour traffic on the freeway, and I’m pretty certain my GPS is being rather optimistic about the drive-ability of that route. I attempt to set my GPS for “no highways” – and can’t find the options. Damn it. I’m started to feel frustrated and rage-y. I’m also already driving. I half follow/half fight my GPS, which is generally a poor choice. Being aware of this frustrates me further, and I finally just shut it off and begin following side streets in the general direction of “east” based on the compass display on the rear view mirror (true thing, works okay-ish-ly), until I reach a fairly direct, more or less major thoroughfare that isn’t a highway, that will also get me home. In fact, after about 20 minutes of struggling with the GPS, I am, actually, on my regular route, some distance down the road from my typical starting point. lol Because my GPS has a human voice, I lecture it sternly about how dissatisfied I am with the experience of the day, crossly noting “I can do a better job of finding my way, generally, without your fucking “help” you bullshit piece of machinery”. I even feel a moment of awkward disappointment with myself to find myself willing to be so callous and cruel-of-tone; it was probably doing its best, more or less.

I am irritated with devices and technology when I finally arrive home, a bit later than usual. I dither awhile, still awash in anxiety and frustration, and feeling also… incredibly tired.

“Baby Love”, a favorite rose in my garden, and a moment of contentment and joy.

Meditation doesn’t ease my anxiety much. Still tired, too. Some dinner? Still anxious. A pleasant, cooling shower? Still anxious. I start going down the list of good basic self-care practices… finally noticing it is 7:00 pm, or a little after. Fuck it. I decide to yield to fatigue and just go to bed, after spending a few minutes in the evening sunlight. Oregon’s winters are sort of long and drizzly and gray. So is Spring. So, too, is Autumn. Vitamin D, precious warming healthy sunlight is a treat in this climate; I linger on the deck, appreciating the first roses blooming, and enjoying the sun. It feels nice. I begin to really relax. My thoughts begin to untangle themselves from the anxiety. Anxiety is a liar. It teases and irritates my consciousness with a very hostile, fearful, view of what may be, and generally with no real basis in fact. It is a poor framework for thought. As the anxiety recedes, my thoughts become more ordered, more useful, and begin to the take the form of plans to get things done that were nagging at me in the background. There are dishes in my sink. Enough to stoke my anxiety by itself, easily remedied on the way to bed, so I am not bothered by them in the morning.

All these practices help. Therapy helps. Taking better care of myself helps. I still have a brain injury – and no amount of meditation changes that. My c-PTSD is still a very real thing – all the practicing of practices I can think to practice doesn’t change a traumatic, haunting, past. There is no “cure” – there is improvement over time. A lot of that. Enough of that to almost feel like… yeah. Hopeful. Positive. Whole. Strong. Contented. All of that and more. Still not a “cure”, and I still have to deal with some shit sometimes… but don’t we all? Incremental change over time is still a thing, and I can still count on it, and it’s still so much better now than it ever was before. Resilience is about bouncing back.

I knew this morning I could so easily begin again. 🙂 I think I’ll do that. It feels good to be so sure I can. 🙂

Waking up this morning felt difficult, and required an effort. I really wanted to just go back to bed and sleep more, deeper, longer. It is Monday. A new work week begins. The weekend is over.

There’s no point grieving the weekend, now passed on; there’s work to do. Even if I weren’t working a regular job, there’d be work to do, no doubt. From my vantage point at my desk, I can easily see things that I’d prefer get done, to having them linger uncompleted. Some housekeeping tasks are always available for doing, being recurring and repetitive sorts of things. Hell, even if every scrap of every possible detail of all the available potential house-keeping tasks were indeed fully complete within the past hour, there would certainly be other things to do. It is Monday. It’s time to get started on that. It’s time to begin again.

I tend to view each day, and each week, as a sort of a “do over” – a genuine new beginning. This only works, I discovered for myself, if I am sincere about it, meaning that I treat myself that way. It’s not about other people’s thinking, or their perceptions of life (or me) – because really, considering we are each having our own experience, and each of us is on our own journey, and each of us is our own cartographer on that journey without a map, no opinion on the matter counts more than mine, where my own life is concerned. People who are that upset about it (or me, or something I have done) can make their own choices, and one of the options in front of them is to walk on. Yup. I’ve no obligation to make changes based on their opinions, not at all. If I choose to do so, ideally it is because I have reflected on their words of wisdom, found them wise, and truthfully prefer their thinking, and choose to embrace a course correction on my own path…but… I don’t have to. They have no power over me.

Even in matters of pure violent force; our assailant has no power over our thinking that we don’t choose to yield to them. That doesn’t mean that we are unassailable or beyond damage or hurt, just that our agency is not up for grabs unless we place it there with a “free” sign. It’s what makes agency so powerful, and it may be why undermining individual agency seems to be such a thing in a some contexts. It’s why living life with one’s agency undermined presents such challenges over time.

Take yours back. Seriously; do you. Own every inch of the real estate from the tips of the longest hairs at the top of your head to the extreme edge of the most durable callous at the edges of the sole of your feet. All that is yours, and the contents of your brain, too! Use it. Use it wisely – become the person you most want to be. Or… don’t. Your call. Either way; you pay the price for your choices, your actions, and your words. It just makes sense to me that since you’re going to pay the bills, you ought to live the life. Your life. Lived your way. (Make no mistake; you’ll bear the consequences of your actions, regardless. That’s just real.)

Anyway. Here it is Monday; a great time for new beginnings, and renewed commitment to self. What will you do with it?