Archives for posts with tag: my results vary

Change is. Taking some quiet time really mattered. Helped a lot.

Memorial Day weekend.

I’ll take weekend and try to s I rt myself out and soothe myself. Garden. Maybe paint. Get some trail time.

There are still verbs involved. My results still vary. I’ll keep practicing. Maybe get some sleep.

I’ll begin again.

I’m sipping my coffee, early, in the co-work space. It’s hours before the work day will begin. I am reflecting on emotional reactions and what sorts of things I react to. My inclination is to think that my reactions are reliably to the real-world events going on around me. You, too? Something happens, and I react to that, right? Only… I have to point out that it’s quite clear that human primates don’t really seem to “work that way” – we react to a lot of things, don’t we? We react to events. We react to things we hear other people say. We react to things we read. We react to the reactions of other human primates. We react to our own emotions. We react to our assumptions.

…Wait… Do we really react to things that lack any substantial reality at all? That seems likely to go very wrong, very easily… But we sure do. News stories (whether fact-checked or not). Books (both fiction and non-fiction). Conversations about future potential events that have not yet come to pass (and maybe never will). Opinions of people we have never met (even if they have no direct influence on our own experience). Our own assumptions even trip us up; we react to things we assume are going on, without a reality check of any kind. How fucking dumb are we? This is an instant short-cut to full-on drama. The map is not the world. Our assumptions are not reality. I don’t really know what to say about that… don’t do that? Maybe check yourself (and your assumptions) and slow down before you lash out at someone over something that isn’t real, isn’t true, or didn’t happen the way you assume that it did.

This isn’t unusual stuff; humans make assumptions. Humans have emotions. Humans react to their assumptions with emotions. Funny that our big brains don’t really help us out with this one. I sit here with my coffee thinking about it. Asking myself “how can I best ensure that I’m not reacting to fictions of various sorts and inflicting my reaction on people who don’t share my assumptions?” It’s a worthwhile question. Another worthwhile question is “how can I make a point of avoiding making assumptions in the first place?”

I stare into my half-finished half-cold cup of coffee. Maybe you assume I could just go make another, if I am discontent with this one? Could I, though? Is there even coffee here in this place? Water to make it with? A cup to use? Some kind of coffee machine? Any actual need or desire to do so? The unknown details begin to pile up… undermining the assumption that I could just go make a fresh cup to address a need that may or may not exist in the first place. Some of our most common assumptions day-to-day are resting on very little actual information. I often find that when I begin checking the details about an assumption I’ve made, I’m quite wrong about it – regardless how commonplace it may be, or how firm my convictions are about what is fundamentally just my imagination going to work, until/unless confirmed through questions and observation.

Assumption making is one of the most common thinking errors. It’s so prevalent and problematic, it’s got it’s own place of honor in The Four Agreements. Untested assumptions cause all kinds of chaos and miscommunication.

My morning began early, this morning. It began with a reaction to an untested assumption (that was likely completely and entirely incorrect). There is a lot of potential to derail a (potentially lovely) new day over that kind of bullshit, so I chose instead to let it go, to just drop it entirely, and move on from that moment. I let go of my assumption(s) (that’s not always easy or effortless, but do-able). I made the choice to begin the day differently and hope for a good outcome.

Here I am. New day. New beginning. New opportunities to be the woman I most want to be.

I’m admittedly still a bit cross. Another cup of coffee might be nice, though. (Yes, there’s coffee here, and a coffee machine, and potable water from a tap, and a clean mug if I don’t want to re-use the one I’ve got at my desk.) It’s time to begin (again).

Fuck, being a human primate can be ridiculously complicated and fraught with misunderstanding, conflict, distraction, and absolutely pointless emotional garbage, sometimes. Just saying, I am not enjoying my Sunday experience, today. I seem to be endlessly at odds with my Traveling Partner, which completely sucks (and not in any of the good ways). I am in pain, which is more suckage layered on top of other suckage, and the end result? Unusual. (Maybe that’s progress?)

I am sitting in the “food court” seating of my local grocery store, thinking thoughts, drinking an electrolyte beverage, and… writing. Using my cell phone instead of my computer at home. My Traveling Partner is trying to get some rest after our unpleasant moment(s) (which were peculiarly interspersed with a couple very nice meals, and some fun hang out time). I can’t seem to find a really good way to create (or maintain) a reliably quiet environment for him to nap, typically. So, yeah, I got the fuck out of the house, without really having a plan… but I did have a couple errands and a short grocery list.

I ran out of errands and shopping in about an hour. That’s shit for nap-worthy time, so I figured I’d just sit down somewhere and write. I don’t have to be at home to put words to page, so… yeah. Tick a self-care box, however awkwardly.

That’s sort of where shit went wrong this morning… My Traveling Partner was feeling restless and wanting to go for a drive – we’d had so much fun doing that yesterday! He invited me to go for another drive. I get it. It did sound fun, and we did have a great time yesterday… only… there were (and are) other things I very much wanted to do today, and I said so. Somehow it managed to become an unpleasant interaction; the more I tried to “explain” with some sort of reason not to go, the more annoyed he got. I felt like I was being criticized for wanting to do things other than “whatever he wants to do”. I don’t think that’s how he intended it (or how it actually was), any more than I was intending to reject him as a person (though it sure seemed at some points that he was taking it that way).

Most troubling for me is that I came away from the discussion feeling perhaps I am “too much to handle”, or that I have no legitimate potential to be a better partner (than I am)… or a partner at all…

He went for a drive, by himself. I had a couple hours to myself. When he returned home things were strained and frosty for a while. I made lunch. We ate. Things seemed to be improving… It’s rarely that easy, eh? So… here I am. Writing a blog post at the grocery store. lol New experience. I wonder what I can learn from this?

Yesterday, though? Amazing. Entirely different experience. What an incredibly lovely day together. We went for a drive out towards one of the interesting camping destinations we had discussed (but which my partner couldn’t reach due to snow just a few days ago). We figured most of the snow would be gone after a few days of heat. (Foreshadowing; we were wrong!)

It was a gorgeous day to go for a drive. A great day to share an adventure with this human being I love so deeply! As we headed further into the forest, we saw a couple unexpected camouflage-wearing guys, just walking down the road… no gear. My partner slowed down and we stopped to ask if they were okay? Nope. They were stuck in a snow bank up the road, and had been walking down the mountain hoping to catch a cell signal. (Good luck with that, there!) My partner offered to give them a ride back to their truck and pull them out, if we could. We could. We did. It was amazing to feel so prepared! Being able to give fellow travelers a hand feels great. It was even fun.

I am impressed and proud of my Traveling Partner and his skill and general readiness. I am super excited to get out there with him again, more, and further. Nothing about today’s stress changes yesterday’s joy, delight, and wonder. I make time to reflect on that and cherish him from afar.

It’s hard to get “everything” “right all the time”, and however much I may feel like this is what is required or expected of me, it’s not a reasonable expectation. What is reasonable is that I will make room to listen, make a point of hearing my partner, communicating that he is heard, continuing to do my best, and keep practicing.

I know my results will vary. I know frustration and disappointment suck. Still, my best effort has to be enough (for me), even when it also “isn’t enough” (for someone else). Intent matters. Will matters. Sometimes I am going to fail. That’s just real. When I do? I will begin again.

It’s a lovely sunny (hot) weekend. I’ve spent some time in the garden. Spent some time making shower fizzies. Spent some time on the trail. My Traveling Partner has spent some time traveling. He’s spent some time unpacking the truck, now that he’s home. His adventures were not ideally successful, camping-wise, it’s just too early (this year) for some of the location he (we) wants to go to. We learned a lot about better ways to pack the gear, and other things we’d like to add to that. We (meaning, in this case, he) learned a lot about what the truck can do out beyond the paved roads, too. Worthwhile.

He sent me pictures along the way. (credit to my partner for this image)

I got some solitary time. I also feel incredibly loved; I can’t even fully wrap my head around my partner’s willingness to just keep hitting the road to give me some space, once he understood how badly I needed that time to myself. I am so very loved.

There are sights to see on a small scale, in the garden.

The garden is looking good. I finished the spring and early summer planting by adding a couple tomato plants – a yellow cherry tomato, and an heirloom San Marzano plum tomato variety. I tried to ensure that everything I planted in the veggie bed met two basic criteria: we actually eat those particular vegetables, and the varieties can be expected to do well in my location. lol Flavor, novelty, and experimentation were not my first concerns; I want success this year. I want to harvest veggies and take them straight into the kitchen to add to a salad, a side dish, or a stir fry. I want lush green greens, and good harvests. Everything can be relied upon to taste fresher than the store, just because it’s growing right here, and allowed to ripen before picking, no need to strive to achieve better flavor beyond that, really, it’ll be fine. : D

The lupines are blooming out on the trail.

So… a pleasant weekend. Enough. More than enough. Good…


Fuck I am in so much pain. :-\ It sucks. My neck aches, and my occipital neuralgia has flared up. My back aches with arthritis, in spite of the sunshine and the heat. It seems unfair. On top of that, this morning on my walk, I got buzzed by an aggressive jay (I probably strayed to close to a nest, maybe), and without thinking, planted my right foot, and twisted “out of the way”. The twinge of pain in my right leg, outer thigh up high toward my hip, shot through me and immediately impaired my ability to walk (at all). I was (and remain) incredibly grateful I already had my cane with me, but I could have done without the additional pain (and injury). I hobbled carefully back up the trail, and headed home.

My Traveling Partner is in pain, too. He’s been working pretty hard for more than a few days. The pain makes him cross and easily irritated. I suppose I am, too. He makes a point to grief me about mulch left on the sidewalk, assuming that was a byproduct of my gardening instead of the remnants left behind after I cleaned up most of it after cats or racoons made a mess of things last night. I point out the error, and he accepts the correction graciously, but walks away while I’m still talking, and without apologizing for the irritated accusation. It’s that kind of day, I suppose. Pain shrinks our world, and pulls our focus inward, while filtering everything through our negative state of mind. Very human. I don’t make any kind of point about it, instead I just return to my writing, letting the moment go. It’s not personal, it’s just pain.

…Don’t get me started about the allergies. The cottonwood trees are blooming, and I am apparently allergic to those. LOL Fuuuuuuck. Summer’s coming. 🙂

There’s more to do. It’s time to begin again… slowly… while also managing this pain. lol (It’s still a lovely weekend and I am in good company.)

I’m sipping my coffee, a bit groggy at the start of the work day. I spent a portion of the evening swapping messages back and forth with my Traveling Partner. He was out on the road hundreds of miles away. Connectivity wasn’t great, and we’d already had a couple phone calls interrupted mid-sentence due to lack of signal strength. The gist of it all was mostly to do with terrible weather, and a less than ideally fun experience for this shake-down journey to test the gear and how we load it.

…Some things could be improved, and a bunch of stuff did not turn out as planned…

My Traveling Partner arrived home in the wee hours. I got up to welcome him home, greet him, and hear the tales of a traveler. Unexpected flooding, muddy side roads, and poor visibility due to a combination of things, rendered the experience less than ideally fun or satisfying. It made sense to cut it short, make some corrections, and begin again. 😀 I returned to bed after we spent some chill time reconnecting.

…A new day begins…

And so, here I am with this coffee, and falling back on an existing routine, more or less. I’m not vexed by the change of plans. My Traveling Partner understands the relative importance of getting this “me time”, and he’s suggested that he’ll likely give his away time another shot – with a difference selection of trails and camps, and a different direction of travel, perhaps – in just a day or two. I eye my list of things I’d planned to do with my solitary time. Some of it I can as easily do when my partner is at home, it just requires me to make it an actual priority for myself. That’s a healthy exercise, itself. I definitely need more practice putting myself on my own list. lol Over time, my results have varied.

I watch the sun rise through the windows of the co-work space. I’m still groggy. The beams of morning sunlight illuminate the artificial forsythia on this deck, bringing it to life for a time. I sip my coffee and consider beginning again.