Archives for posts with tag: old friends

After having a great day, yesterday, I managed to come home in a pretty good mood. That did not last. Like a flash-flood, my irritability developed quickly, out of my physical discomfort, and became “a thing” that really messed with my general contentment. It didn’t wreck my sleep or anything, and I managed to generally, mostly, enjoy the evening, and mostly, generally, maintained a more or less chill approach to things, once I bounced back. Evenings are too short for bullshit; it’s nearly always worth the effort to regain my balance, and restore my typically merry baseline. No time to waste on drama – life is all to brief.

Our path is not always obvious, level, paved, or well-lit. Sometimes it is.

…I did learn an important lesson from my less-than-ideal experience last night, though… it’s too soon for tacos. Yep. That’s it. Practical life lesson. Tooth extractions and tacos don’t really “go together”, and eating foods not well-suited to the healing needs of this hole in my jaw is a poor choice. That’s how I got from “pleasant” to “fuck this shit” so quickly last night; I got something stuck in the still-quite-tender tooth socket which is no longer filled with a molar. lol Between just sort of freaking me out, emotionally, and the actual discomfort, it was a very quick transition from the fragile pleasantness of the evening to momentary misery. It also served as a reminder that practices are always practices, never rising to the level of reliable mastery; I do well to keep practicing. 🙂 I feel fortunate that the evening did not end up worse, and that my difficult irritable moments did not linger far longer. I remind myself it is less about “good fortune” and more about the verbs, choices, and incremental change over time that results from those.

Flower or weed? It’s a matter of perspective, isn’t it?

I sip my coffee thinking about days and weeks ahead. Individual plans being what they are, it looks like I’ll have a couple weeks of solitude at home. I’m looking forward to that, and enjoy my Traveling Partner’s sharing of plans, as he works out this detail or that one, figuring out his route, and timing, and stops along the way. I am eager for him to enjoy his experience. Eager for me to enjoy mine – and patiently, gently, ignoring the subtle hints of anxiousness over the imminent (temporary) separation; I enjoy the solo time quite a lot. I will miss him greatly, nonetheless. I eye my calendar suspiciously, cynically, and with some amusement; he’s re-planned this trip a couple times now, will it really jump from calendar to real life, this time? Well… it did make it to the calendar…

…The woman in the mirror reminds me to take care of me, also, and to see the world, to visit distant friends, to get out onto the highway, and onto the trail. She’s right. I’ve empowered, enabled, equipped, and supported, the various travels of partners over the years, and often failed to so for my own. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen my sister. I have yet to return to Texas, to visit friends down that way. I’m homesick for Fresno (of all things), a hub around which so many old friends make their lives in California, spread out all over, occasionally returning for some event or another, to catch up, and to reconnect with a small close group from long ago. My visit last year (the year before?) was quite wonderful…

…So… what’ll it be? Where will the journey take me? Where do I want to take myself? It’s an important question worthy of my full attention, but it won’t get that this morning. 🙂 There’s a work day ahead. I can at least take time for a walk over my lunch break, and maybe a moment for meditation. 😀 That’s enough, today. 😀

It’s at least a place to start. 😀

Yesterday was a jumble of times, timing, movement, awkwardness, people, more people, and still more people… and cramped airplane seating. Every detail went according to plan, right down to making sure to drink adequate actual plain drinking water before I got to Fresno.

Sometimes basic self-care is really really basic.

A dear friend – one of the dearest – met me at the airport, and I’m so glad we had settled on this plan rather than getting a rental car! Change is a thing, and I’ve not been back to Fresno for something like 20 years… and… wow. The fantastically efficient freeways (pay attention, Portland) are both efficient, and quite fantastical, and I doubt I would have had an easy time of fighting my recollection and implicit understanding of place and placement while trying to cross town during “rush hour” on a Friday in what is now, let’s be realistic, a strange city. Win and good; we had a lovely evening visiting with still more friends, after checking into my room.

I’d love to just skip over the room, but there is a certain tawdry lack of elegance, paired with the most basic fundamentals of “a place to stay the night”, that makes it quite noteworthy. I can’t call it a terrible room… it’s clean, secure, and has ample space to move around, and the bed was well-made with clean linens, and I slept through the night without interruption. But. This place is quite old. It was old when I lived down here. There don’t appear to have been any particular upgrades or improvements. The bare linoleum suggests the 80’s, though, so perhaps the run-down look, and lack of amenities is merely a small roadside motel just trying to hold on and keep costs low? The mouldings are broken in places. Two outlets don’t work – and all the appliances and lights were unplugged when I arrived. The curtains are poorly made, and mismatched. The shower stall is tiled but very dark, and very small, almost seeming to be an afterthought. There is a tall table and a couple of tall stools – no chair. The bed is big, and as firm as if the mattress were built of… a box. A literal wood box. I know there’s actually a mattress there, though, because it is also very noisy. When I went to bed, I rather figured I’d keep myself awake all night. Nope. I woke rested, and headache-y (thanks, Fresno air), with the dawn.

The room felt stuffy when I woke, so I opened the windows feeling both surprised and relieved that there were screens on them. I turned on the ceiling fan, pleased to note the tops of the blades had been cleaned very recently and it efficiently moves the air around without spraying down a cascade of dust. The sun hadn’t yet risen, and I showered, dressed for the day, and enjoyed the sunrise as it slowly cleared the hillside on the other side of the road, beyond the front window. This is a place. I could be here – or I could be “there”, wherever “there” could happen to be. Either way, I have the tools I need to enjoy this moment with the woman in the mirror, if I allow it. It’s a pretty amazing choice to have.

I hung out with my friends until late in the evening. Got to meet the long-time partner of one friend, and their young daughter, who has not yet decided that I am an acceptable human being. I’m okay with that. Better that her agency be respected now, and that she has a chance to learn to use skills for social discernment now, rather than leaving her without them to break her own heart again and again against the rocky shores of what dicks people can be. I met a pack of dogs, who find me to be an entirely acceptable human. So… there’s that. It got later than ideal for dinner, and we all went out for dinner somewhere near-by-ish – the drive was every bit as good as the meal. I’ve missed these dear friends. Already the weekend is quite wonderful.

I sip my iced coffee beverage, smiling about the limited options for such things in the local market, undisturbed by any of that, and feeling content. The view beyond the window is one of rolling golden hillsides, oaks, and stone, and I feel at home. The breeze is still cool and comfortable. I tempt myself with the fantasy of not having to turn on the fairly dirty looking air conditioner, based on this delicious morning breeze. I know I’m being silly; it’s going to be quite hot later, and the sun is already beating down on this place right now. I frown at the thought of the air conditioner, expecting it will likely fill the room with cool air… but… also some sort of less than ideally pleasant odor (most likely cigarette smoke). I’ll no doubt find out later. lol

I miss these views. I miss this place. I miss these friends, even though they are generally very much within reach through the magic of internet connectivity. This spartan room doesn’t allow much opportunity to avoid deep meditation, and self-reflection, and I find myself appreciating that quality over all my bitching… this, right here, is very much what I’ve been needing. It’s been a year, so far, rather intensely dense with OPD and foolishness, and finding truly restorative down time has been challenging. Now? Now it’s time to find some breakfast…. 😉

My anxiety chased me slowly all day yesterday before finally subsiding during the course of an evening phone call with my Traveling Partner. There’s just been so much drama so far this year, of the OPD (Other People’s Drama) variety, that it eventually had begun to affect my consciousness, generally. The outcome? Anxiety at the thought of being any more distant, or distracted, or uninvolved, or unavailable to my partner than I absolutely have to be… making traveling rather anxiety provoking; it held the unspoken potential of somehow leaving him in harm’s way without my support. Yep. I take the safety of my Traveling Partner, and his well-being, rather seriously. I had become, in some fashion, literally “here for him”, and was losing my perspective on being “here for me” as well. lol Oops.

He is so dear, and strangely, humorously, wise; he pointed out that my trip would be taking me to a point almost the same relative distance from him that I already reside, day-to-day, and that digital communication being what it is, and friends, and personal resources, being as they are, certainly if any great need were to develop… I’m no farther away than I am right now. Well, damn. That’s some excellent perspective right there, and my anxiety could find no further foothold, and quickly dissipated, and has not returned. I woke feeling rested this morning, eager to enjoy the weekend with friends, and feeling chill and content. 😀

Well… I guess I’m glad I checked the weather for the weekend… lol

I’m packing light on this trip. I don’t just mean my baggage – I also mean my “baggage“, and that feels good. I’ve got clothes suitable for the weather, which looks to be… typical. Hot. lol Different than here. So different. I checked. 😀 I’ve got my laptop. My kindle (so… all the books). My device (camera, phone, tiny super computer…). A notebook… for notes, obviously. (Actually, it’s for writing poetry, which just “feels better” on paper, with ink, than on a keyboard.) That’s pretty much it; one small carry-on bag, with a couple changes of clothes and basic toiletries. I like to travel light – it’s so much less to fuss with and keep track of. This is true of my metaphysical, emotional, and social “baggage” as well… I feel so much lighter and less “weighed down” today! 🙂

I’m seeing old friends this weekend. Dear friends. The very best of “friends for almost 30 years”, friends. As many of them as can make time for it on this trip down their way, who live close enough to work with me to make it happen. I have a peculiar sense of home-coming, returning to a place I haven’t lived for 20 years (as of this coming October). I also have a lovely sense of “this is already exactly as pleasant as I’d hoped”, in the sense that I have no specific expectations, requirements, or needs beyond enjoying a chill weekend away. 🙂

55 soon… just 11 days. Numbers, emotions, time… it’s a good weekend to reflect gently on life, and to ask all the questions without worrying too much about the answers. 🙂 It’s a good time to begin again.