Archives for posts with tag: no OPD

…I still got the invitation to join the fun under the big top. That’s sort of how OPD (Other People’s Drama) works; it’s not your own, but nonetheless, it draws you in, consumes your attention, your time, your resources… if you choose to allow that. The alternative, which is to say, choosing to avoid, or depart from, the local circus of human drama means accepting, first, that you can.

Some people cultivate drama, relish it, and insist you sample it with them.

You don’t get those minutes (hours, days, weeks… whatever) of your life spent on drama back. Ever. You likely also don’t recoup any more tangible losses, should you have been so foolhardy as to waste your literal resources on Other People’s Drama. Most often, our compelling, seemingly unavoidable (it isn’t) drama is that of family members, and friends. We may feel “invested”, or obligated to do something about for… reasons. We may think we can “help” (unlikely; drama is chosen by those who love it, and they aren’t going to relinquish all that attention any time soon).

The drama isn’t “real”…

My weekend was weird. I cherish the time I spent with my Traveling Partner. The unexpected drama swirling around an unexpected couch-surfing house guest staying with his other partner was… both unexpected, and dramatic. It was also utterly willful, built on the narrative in said house guest’s head, and entirely untethered from any obvious connection to reality. Chosen. Emotionally invested in. Shared with persistent enthusiasm. I excused myself several times to be away from it altogether. No advice I could offer will alleviate self-selected willful suffering.

…like a mushroom, what is on the surface of most drama is only the outward expression of something far more vast …

Then there was the alternate undercurrent of drama that is simply the ebb and flow of change as my Traveling Partner and his Other get settled into the new location, and adjust to nearer and farther away friendships also adjusting to those changes. Getting to know new neighbors. The welcoming of deepening associations among now-local friends. The boundary-setting and limitations on resources that must sometimes be placed on friends lacking recognition that generosity has limits, that resources are not unlimited, that circumstances change. Learning to live well in an entirely new context. It’s lovely out in the country on their acreage – it is also not city living, at all. Change is a thing. What works when one can just pop down to the big box chain at the large shopping megaplex down the street isn’t necessarily an effective strategy when the nearest neighbor is a drive away, the corner market doesn’t have all the essentials because it is only the size of a storage shed, and “town” is miles down the highway – and more of a village than a town. I’m not being critical of country living – I’m eager to retire and embrace it – it is simply quite a lot different, and requires altogether different strategies to maintain good quality of life. It definitely drove the point home to be part of the experience of shopping for more complete first aid and emergency care gear; there is no chance an ambulance could arrive to deal with a first aid emergency in less than 45 minutes or so out there, at best.

…like raindrops clinging to surfaces after a storm, tears fall, tears linger, tears eventually dry…

The drive home was… surprisingly restful. lol No traffic and no drama. My timing was excellent. I left after enjoying morning coffee with my partner. I got home in the early afternoon, with plenty of time to grocery shop (didn’t need to, didn’t bother), do some tidying up (didn’t feel like it, didn’t bother), and prepare for the week ahead (didn’t need to, already was). I spent the evening meditating, reading, and enjoying the changes in the shadows as afternoon became twilight, and then night.

…there is value in perspective, and looking beyond the storm of the moment…

I still did not wholly escape the whopping helping of OPD that I “enjoyed” over the weekend; more drama when I got home. I (rather humorously, actually) was “unfriended” by a friend – over the other friends we had mutually shared (who, apparently, he also unfriended). I noticed though (while briefly catching up with the world), and, yep, invited drama rather thoughtlessly by asking him what was up with the unfriending? So… he told me. lol Fuuuuuuuuck. Okay, okay. That one’s on me. But – we’re still friends, I think. I even think that matters, since the entire mess was a reaction to an online exchange which I was no part of, and I actually like the guy. I even enjoyed spending some minutes in conversation with him, once we’d moved on from the drama, itself.

…storms pass.

Seriously, though? What is up with all the fucking drama? I mean, I’m not really surprised. We elected drama. We gobble up drama in our feeds every damned day. We make more if we run out. It’s pretty gross, actually; we are not ready to be content, or even to enjoy a moment of quiet. I mean, as a species, or a culture. Me personally? So ready. In fact, I spend much of my time utterly without drama. It’s pleasant. I plan to do more of that. 😀 I’ve even gotten pretty good at it. (If you read my blog regularly, you are probably getting pretty good at it, too. 🙂 )

There’s more to life than drama. Seasons change.

I woke at 2:32 am, this morning, when the power here went out in the strong wind and stormy rainy night. I might have slept through it (most of my neighbors likely did), but the back up power on the aquarium beeps in a friendly but hard to ignore fashion, about every 30 seconds, until shortly before it has done all it can, at which point it beeps rather more aggressively before becoming silent. Once it was silent, I went back to sleep for an hour. The power came back on minutes after the back up power to the aquarium was exhausted (just about perfect, and I remind myself to thank my Traveling Partner, who suggested it), about an hour and a half after the power went out. I dragged myself out of bed earlier than I meant to when my phone, carelessly left on my nightstand, buzzed when morning emails and message notifications began to arrive.

What we contribute to our experience ripples outward into the experience shared with others.

A new day, a new week – hopefully no new drama. lol It’s time to begin again. 😀

I woke with a smile an hour ahead of my alarm. It’s a calm quiet morning. It’s more than enough, in all the best ways. I sip my coffee, smiling still, very much aware of my good fortune in this lovely moment.

I saw my therapist yesterday. It’s been a long while, and the visit had its own flow, its own unique vibe, familiar, intimate, comfortably supportive, safe enough to reach into the darkest pit of anxiety, fear, or damage, and come through the experience still whole and with my sense of self intact. I arrived home to enjoy the evening with my traveling partner. It was a lovely fun evening, and we shared some of that with friends.

Only one thing marred an exquisitely lovely evening of fun among friends; drama. OPD (Other People’s Drama). Close friends, in a quiet moment, began an obviously stressful conversation about personal finances. I did my best to give them some privacy and overlooked it as things started to escalate emotionally. My place is a “drama free zone” by choice and by design; once things began to escalate, I attempted to communicate a boundary, first by gently working to change the conversation. I was not effective. They continued to have their moment. Although we had planned to have dinner together, one partner stormed off all door-slamming-ly to deal with things elsewhere, leaving the other rather morosely working to deal with it from the vantage point of my dining room table, staring into a personal device, exchanging messages at length. Who hasn’t been there?

It's hard to unsay the words.

It’s hard to unsay the words.

In spite of my sympathy, and my compassion, my own self-care is a higher priority than OPD, and the house rules include such things as “don’t slam the door, or the cupboards, or – yeah, actually don’t slam shit”, and “don’t yell”. These are non-negotiable. Says who? Um… me. My house, my rules, my way. The eventual return of the partner who stormed off was accompanied by an air of “who me? nothing happened with me, why?”, and followed by an abrupt departure by the pair, headed for other things – and no apology for the drama. My final attempt to communicate a reminder to the door-slamming friend that my home is a drama free zone was met with a weirdly childish defensiveness, as though it were more important to assign blame than to be accountable for ones actions and show some consideration for my space, and my boundaries. It was uncomfortable. That discomfort lingers. I’m not yet certain how I’ll deal with the whole mess once I have a chance to process it.

I set that aside and return to the morning, here, now, this lovely quiet morning. Last night was unexpected and delightful – what does tonight hold? There’s nothing on my calendar for the weekend, and a quiet weekend at home sounds really good. I laugh about that, reminded that last night’s great joy was built on a foundation of music, laughter, and boisterous good times. It was not quiet here last night. I think about my traveling partner, and smile. I am well-loved indeed. Finding that comfortable balance between planned and spontaneous, boisterous and chill, rules and anarchy, boundaries and the things that lay beyond them is all part of the journey, I suppose.

Love matters most.

Love matters most.

What a lovely morning to begin again.

I woke to my alarm this morning. I slept through the night aside from one very brief interruption in my sleep that ended with checking the clock and agreeing with myself that getting up at 1:35 am was silly. I went back to sleep easily. I am adjusting to the new environment. There’s no anxiety associated with my disturbed sleep, which is an improvement. I am simply in a new place and the differences make a difference to my sleep until my sense of things grows to rely on implicit memory of this new place, rather than some other place I have been previously. Waking in the night is no longer so disorienting, and when I reached for my alarm this morning my hand found it immediately.

Incremental changes over time do happen, and applying some verbs from my basic self-care arsenal helps that process along nicely. Taking care of me, here, is about more than stress-relieving meditation, pain-relieving yoga, and healthy sleep, too. It is also about dishes, and vacuuming, and making the bed. It is about maintaining order, and a beautiful home for myself – and not because someone else says these things have value (actually, that approach just doesn’t work at all). These are things I value for myself. I can only have them if I do the tasks and take the actions that building that life requires. The verbs are inescapable.

I woke up this morning with a smile. My coffee is hot and tasty and from the vantage point of my desk I can see, on one side, my as-yet-unmade bed, and on the other my very clean kitchen. Timing, too, is part of my self-care picture – waking to a clean kitchen and no dishes waiting in the sink really matters to me. On the other hand, there is no stress or pressure to make my bed upon rising, and I am happy to give myself time to wake up and have coffee and handle that task a little later. I am gentle with myself in this new space. I am efficient, and also patient with myself about competing priorities, and overlapping needs. I have given up berating and criticizing myself over small things – it’s mean and hurtful when others do it, and I don’t care for it – when I inflict such things on myself, it goes beyond hurting and becomes part of who I am, and changes what I accept from others, or tolerate in myself. It hasn’t been easy to give up the practice of treating myself poorly in the context of environments in which others may be treating themselves poorly, or me, or other people – it’s too much continuous reinforcement of behaviors I have been working to change.

I’m not saying it is ‘easy’ now – there are still verbs involved – it just feels a bit less complicated to practice treating myself gently in this quiet space.

They set a good example of living in the moment.

They set a good example of living in the moment.

My aquarium arrived yesterday, and having it set up here at home delights me. I definitely missed the cadre of tiny eyes watching me while I write, and the fish are a wonderful living example of being in the moment – where else would they be? The fios guys stopped round yesterday and got me connected. Later I stopped at the grocery store and picked up groceries – a far less time-consuming process cooking for one, and that one being me (I know what I like, what is healthy for me, and don’t have to work so hard to accommodate other tastes and needs now) – particularly with the store being a short walk away. My pantry is not yet complete. I don’t have a complete set of pots and pans, either. Those details don’t matter right now; I have enough.

It has been just one week since moving day, and I am moved in (aside from hanging paintings, and storing those that will not be hanging). I feel at home already, and this surprises me – I expected ‘finding my way home’ to be more complicated, and require vastly more work to change…something. Something inside myself. Whatever that something is, it has apparently already changed leaving behind only geography and choices to make. There is no need to rush the choices that continue to personalize my home over time – there is fun in the process of exploring new ideas, as well as growth, and rushing those remaining choices increases the risk of being discontent with the outcome later. I take my time with it, and enjoy the process.

Honestly, it is still very new to live entirely alone. My traveling partner wondered aloud recently what it would be like for me once the novelty wears off. I wonder too. I also wonder if I would notice the novelty wearing off at all – my novelty identification circuitry is quite broken. lol Would I complain if living alone continued to be a wonder and a delight indefinitely? I don’t think I would. 🙂 Real life is real, though, and I’m okay with that too. The kitchen floor creaks ferociously here. The fios equipment is rather awkwardly placed. The dishwasher (brand new) doesn’t work and it will be another couple of days before the appliance guy comes to fix it. My aquarium is not arranged precisely as I had it – the mover did her best, and I did not complain; I am content to have my aquarium at home, and I can make any adjustments I care to, later. The warm evening yesterday, and the open door while the aquarium mover moved my aquarium let some mosquitoes into the house and I woke with some mosquito bites this morning. So, sure… there’s no shortage of imperfections even in this gentle experience. I’m still okay with that. I’m living my life, doing my best to treat myself and others well, and using some verbs.

Who I am, who I once was, and the journey between those points.

Who I am, who I once was, and the journey between those points; it is enough.

 

I am home.