Archives for posts with tag: pandemic life

It’s a quiet Sunday after Thanksgiving in the time of pandemic. Weird year. I’m sipping the (cold) last dregs of my second coffee, and listening for the dryer to finish. Quite a routine sort of quiet Sunday; I’m doing housekeeping, and relaxing between tasks. There is ample time for meditation. There are opportunities for shared merriment. I hear the sound of aircraft taking off (or landing) from my Traveling Partner’s game room. I feel relaxed and at ease. Contented. Emotionally comfortable.

I sigh aloud. A sign of contentment and quiet joy. A sound that means, in this time and place, “I’m okay right now, and it’s enough.” I have not always had the good fortune, or decision-making, to be in this place. Feels good. I have been luxuriating in the wonder of it all weekend, and filling my soul up on its goodness. I don’t want to waste these moments by taking them for granted, or rushing them along, or failing to really properly savor these lovely moments. I have so much to be grateful for. I sit with my cold coffee, my gratitude, and this smile on my face, just enjoying the quiet.

The setting was simple, dinner for two, and a quiet holiday.

Thanksgiving came and went. Dinner was delicious, and compared to some years, quiet modest. We shared the cooking as well as the meal. Home-cooking. Together. It was fun. We’d each laid claim to the items we would prepare, in advance. No confusion. No fussing at each other. Just wholesome fun, intimacy, and love in the kitchen. It was splendid. Prime rib. Pumpkin pie. Everything made at home, in our own kitchen. It was lovely. Clean-up was orderly, and easily handled later in the evening. We shared that, too.

2020 has been a weird year. I’ve much to be grateful for, even so. This lovely home. This reliably supportive partnership. Love. Literacy. Hell, the basics, too: indoor plumbing, hot & cold running water, a well-stocked pantry, safe clean drinking water (I hope), a secure home in a friendly community, employment, leisure time, friends, family, places to go when the pandemic is behind us all… and hope. I’ve still got hope. I’m grateful for that, too.

There is also this lovely sunny Sunday ahead, and aside from a few housekeeping details I’d like to get done, it’s a good day for leisure time, well-spent, enjoyed on the things I find enjoyable. It doesn’t have to be fancy, expensive, or far from home. I’m good right here. This is enough.

I finish my coffee, and begin again. 🙂

What a peculiar and volatile time we are living in. A pandemic. The struggles of power and the trials of the powerful. Technological advantages changes what it means to be human, and how we think, and perceive the world around us. Social media “access” to the world that gives us each a megaphone to shout our opinions to anyone/everyone, unaware that we are still just as “unheard” as we ever were, but changes the way we hear others nonetheless. Messy. Difficult.

Change is.

First this change, then that change. Another change to another thing. A new different day. Another election or transition of power. Changes of jobs and roles and tasks and circumstances. Breathe through it. Another change is coming. lol Put it all on pause for a moment, and just sit with yourself. Let your thoughts and worries go, for a moment or two at least, and just be. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. Tears? Let them come. Laughter? Let it fill you up. Be present and fearlessly authentic in your own life – most especially when it’s just you, in a quiet moment, alone in some quiet place. Give yourself at least that one small opportunity to find calm, and to embrace contentment.

Breathe. Exhale. Relax. Begin again.

Autumn is a season of change.

Fighting off change doesn’t prevent or halt change from coming, but – and this is worth noting – very few of the shadows that fall over us signal impending doom. Most of them are just shadows. 😉

The morning began gently, with coffee shared with my Traveling Partner. It was a lovely quiet morning, followed by what is, so far, an utterly ordinary, rather relaxed work day rather typical of my Fridays. Good enough. The state is back on a strict “lockdown”, and more businesses are shuttered for the time being than were closed two weeks ago. Thanksgiving is coming… there’s still this pandemic going on. No big event for us, just a quiet joyful celebration-for-two at home. Still feels like something to celebrate. I’m certainly adequately thankful.

I eye my cold coffee mug after a last swallow of long-cold coffee. It’s a fine time for a second coffee… and that’s another chance to begin again. 😀

“I’ll be writing while I wait for the oven to pre-heat,” I said as I walked away, headed toward my studio. “Okay” he replied, already having returned his focus to the task in front of him. I smile, contentedly, figuring whether he actually heard me or not, it was probably enough to say so; he’d walk right past the open door of my studio if he sought some moment of shared time. There I would be. 🙂 It ‘s a strange moment to focus on, I grant you… It’s just, well, it was a strangely specific moment, and a lovely sensation of “being settled in”, and I don’t recall that I’d had it quite so intensely yet, since moving in to the house. I sat down to write, and the feeling lingered, dominating my thoughts.

…And here we are…

One moment of many.

It’s been raining. Still. I’m okay with that. I enjoy the rain. I set out to walk this afternoon, counting on a soft rain. The rain wasn’t going to have any of that – it came down as a drenching downpour instead. Instead of a walk in the rain, I put on my mask and went to the store. Change is.

The oven beeps to alert me it has pre-heated.

I head into the kitchen and get dinner going. I smile rather stupidly the entire time; I feel good. I mean, pain is pain, I deal with it. The rest of the experience is pretty fucking splendid – overlooking physical pain (this quantity, this day, this time) seems achievable. Mostly is. I make note to say something to my Traveling Partner about the lights, when I notice, all over again, how very much I like the new ones he put in, and the way they enhance the “feel” of the room. It’s interesting how much difference “the color” of the light in a room can change the vibe.

I feel the silky smooth surface of the keys of my keyboard. Already, some are more worn than others. The music in the background feels welcoming, and pleasant – “non-invasive” – adding to the sensation of “smoothness” in this moment. The juxtaposition of sensations extends even to my hair, grown long over the pandemic, resting heavily on my shoulders, spilling forward, ends curling across my chest. Soft. I breathe it in, and sit here with it, just… being. It’s enough.

…Change is… soon enough I’ll have to begin again.

It’s been a lovely relaxed weekend, filled with unexpected moments of delight and love. Pleasant. Restful. Even productive. I’ve enjoyed each lovely loving moment without reservations. I’ve found purpose and growth in the handful of moments that were less than ideally delightful. Hell, no hard feelings, either; it is probably an unreasonable fantasy (and an unsustainable reality, at best, and only occasionally, if ever) to contemplate a life of endless contentment and joy. Rain falls. Humans are human. 🙂 I value the opportunities to grow and to be more the woman I most want to be, although, sometimes, in spite of how the information reaches me.

It was a rainy autumn weekend, and I’ve no reason to complain about that.

Several times this weekend I’ve taken a moment to reflect on where I am, and where I seem headed, relative to where I began, and who I have been. It’s been an interesting journey.

The wintry wood beyond the deck inspires me to paint scenes of winter. Shades of gray. Whites. Blacks. Winter days. Winter nights. I let my mind wander, thoughts of paintings to come. 🙂

It’s time to begin again.

The sunlight is beginning to fade – early evening, approaching sunset, and still another couple hours (guessing) of day light before dusk settles. This is a favorite time of day, for me. I love the light, in the evenings. I enjoy the way the peach and gold and amber tones give a moment a certain luster it might otherwise lack.

…The election is approaching… Yeah, I know, me too; no real desire to talk about, struggle to avoid the inevitable next news story, talking head, or conversation in which the election is the topic of conversation. I mean, for fucks’ sake, vote. Please take at least that quite seriously. There’s no point in attempting to sway your individual viewpoint; we’ve all “shown up” and we’ve all attempted to make our point very clear over the past four years, with little success most of the time, and we’re all exhausted, frustrated, and saddened by the friendships ended by the divisiveness of the current administration. It’s been ugly. Let’s just get this shit over with, and just maybe begin life anew, sometime in November, rebuilding relationships, reaching across divides, maybe even “unburning” some bridges? I mean… we could. We so easily could begin again. 😉

Where will your path take you?

It can be so tempting to hang the entire future on a moment. Election or otherwise, there is so much more potential to an entire future than one moment. Just saying.

I’ve stopped reading news articles that lead with a headline of some doomsday scenario that is 100% pure imagination and potential, with nothing actually supporting the likelihood. I mean… I could tumble into a nearby creek after being struck by lightening while being bitten by a snake… but it seems unlikely. If I plan my day around that potential, or imagine a future that is dependent on the outcomes that could only result from that happenstance, I haven’t done anything particularly useful for my emotional wellness, my outlook on life, or even managed to be adequately prepared for what may actually be in my probable possible futures. lol I’m taking this thought farther than a “don’t catastrophize” reminder…

…It wasn’t so long ago that I was reading the news so compulsively, and so often, that my “state of mind” was adversely affected. I was anxious to the point of madness – and mostly over shit that had neither truth to it, nor noteworthy probability of actually occurring. I’ve stopped doing that, figuring that “falling behind on current events” by hours or days is a small price to pay for enjoying my life, and maintaining my sanity. 🙂 It’s already difficult enough to know how to be effective in the world… trying to do that on the basis of a bunch of alarming made up shit makes it just that much less likely that I’ll do anything besides become spun out and exhausted with frustration and outrage. (Perhaps that is truly the point of that style of “news” reporting? Render us captivated… but ineffective…?)

Reminder: COVID-19 – the pandemic? Remember that? Yeah. That’s not “made up shit”. That’s real. Just saying. Your choices matter. Protect each other. Practice social distancing. Wear a mask. Stay home when you’re sick and work on getting well. The pandemic is not a wholesale attack on our fucking civil liberties, and yes, it can “get to you” too. The lockdowns are a drag, I know. People are bored and eager to get out again. It’s hard. I get it. Fine. Do you. The death toll is climbing. Your choices affect other people – people who matter to you, not just far away strangers. (If you don’t believe that, I won’t convince you, now, I just don’t want to be that person who didn’t point it out when it came up in conversation. I guess I’m literally “just saying…”)

Weird time. The pandemic has been part of this entire year… I take a moment to consider that. I let myself begin again, new moment, new thoughts.

It’s quiet here in my studio. I hear the sound of a saw in my Traveling Partner’s wood shop in the garage. Sounds of home. I smile. Contentment may not be “the same as” happiness… still, I like it very much… and at this point, the line between feeling “happy” and feeling “contented” is rather blurry. I’m okay with that. I can so easily practice contentment, through sufficiency, observation, presence, acceptance, and non-attachment. Contentment builds over time. Practice by practice, moment by moment. Chasing happiness was neither satisfying, nor, as it turns out, was it particularly achievable. 🙂 I’m pretty okay where I stand in my life, today. It’s enough. 😀

What does it take to be “happy”? Sometimes autumn pears are enough… sometimes it takes a bit more work (and patience, and practice).

I think over the day. The week. The summer. The move. This peculiar year. Life in the time of pandemic…

…Then I begin again.