Archives for posts with tag: savor the good moments

Sumos  are in season, again. I am delighted by the fragrance as I pull the peel away, revealing the whole fruit within. Pulling each segment from the fruit feels satisfying. The scent lingers on my fingers. Each sweet delicious bite seems as luscious as a fulfilled dream. I bite into another one, and relish the sweet-tart juice that bursts from it. Now this? This is a pleasant moment.

A juicy moment of joy.

I grin with pure delight, and take another bite. It’s a work day, and a busy one, but the busiest days seem far more productive, and I feel more purposeful and capable, when I practice good self-care. Today, that means a break to enjoy a delicious favorite citrus fruit, savoring each segment, and letting metaphors about fruits, and segments, and juice, fill my thoughts. A couple relaxed, deep, breaths, and I’m on with my day. It’s a good day. I blame it on my juice. 😉

It’s cold this morning. The apartment is comfortable, but the chill weather on the other side of these walls and windows makes itself felt in odd drafts, and cold that seems to seep in through the walls. The wind chime on the patio is rocked madly by the winter wind, seeming less a delicate chime in a breeze that a cry for help. I shake my head thinking to myself how many times I have reminded myself to take it down for the winter. It’s out of reach for me, even with a chair. A helpfully tall neighbor offered to take it down. We both forget about it regularly, and no action has been taken. There’s no real significance to it, just winter wind, a cold morning, and a clear lack of perfection that doesn’t stop the world turning, or result in any particularly noteworthy change in the quality of the morning.

I think that I want to listen to music this morning. Turns out I only want to listen to one particular track that was already stuck in my head when I woke. I found myself skipping through all the other tracks on my playlist after it played, until an alternate version that happened to be on my playlist came up. With a sigh and a grin, I quickly build a short playlist of several versions and put it on repeat. No, I’m not suggesting this as a cure for an earworm; I just like this track enough to indulge myself on an icy winter morning. 🙂 It’s a track that gets me on my feet, happy to be alive. Now and then, the wind chimes break through, audible through the beats and the bass. It’s a good morning to dance to the music. 🙂

I’m feeling good today. Awake. Alive. Not feeling any significant pain. I remind myself to take time with that, to slow down and savor it. Enjoy this moment long enough for it to seep into my memory. Life isn’t always like this. There are other days – days with headaches, with back pain, with head colds, with sore feet, sleepless nights, brain storms, emotional inclement weather, and circumstances beyond my control that impact my quality of life in a negative way. So… yeah. I’m definitely finding value in taking time to enjoy this pleasant morning – enough to have to remind myself to keep an eye on the clock, too; it’s a work day. 🙂

Today is a good day to enjoy the small things – a favorite song, a pleasant moment, a good beat, a great groove, a moment of laughter or of love – the small things pile up over time, but only if I pause to savor them. Today is a good day to slow down for the small stuff, the inconsequential joys, the details that evoke an unnoticed smile. Today is a good day to notice the smile. I didn’t understand how much of “enough” the life’s small pleasures could be, until I made room for them in my experience. 🙂

 

 

This morning I woke ahead of the alarm – it is, after all, a Monday. A new work week begins, and even between periods of employment, I am “working”. I spent the weekend painting, and aside from a visit with a friend this afternoon, and a possible dinner date with my traveling partner, I’ll be painting today, too. 🙂

I start the morning with meditation, then on to yoga, then coffee, music, and as I sit down to write, I am delighted to find my traveling partner also up for the day, and online. We exchange a few words. It’s a good morning, so far. The apartment fills with the fresh clean spring air, filtered through a couple of rainy days. I close the patio door, and the open windows, and turn the music up. I’m enjoying the music, and I keep the playlist going while I write; it’s a good day for music.

It seems an eternity ago that my experience of my life, day-to-day, was characterized by a quiet durable misery that I invested in considerable effort to keep to myself, feeling both frustration and shame any time it erupted into uncontrolled expression of intense emotion. When I began practicing practices associated with improving my emotional balance, resilience, and self-sufficiency, I lacked conviction that any long-term change was really likely… I mean… I’d already been enduring, long-term, a state of chaos and despair over time that utterly defied the generally pleasant reality of my current experience at that time, as well as many attempts to change it. I practiced anyway. I began again. And again. I kept at it. One practice I continue to practice is a sly one, focused on improving implicit memory and decreasing negative bias – because that negative bias thing is an ass kicker of destruction, insidious, cruel, and hard to avoid. It has been the simplest of practices, and one of the most pleasant; I spend time lingering over the recollection of pleasant events and experiences, I savor them both while I have the experience – which takes practice, itself – and also making a point to enjoy the recollection, to share those experiences, to invest more time in enjoying them, and considering them, than I do ruminating over what didn’t go so well, or doesn’t feel so good. It’s really that simple. Seems inconsequential, doesn’t it? And… at first… it didn’t seem to have a profound effect that I could point to and say “Aha!!”. Not at first.

Incremental change over time is a thing. There are verbs involved. Practices are practices because they require practicing, and in some cases that is a lifelong thing, not so much a ‘task’ that is completed and done with. Results vary. Expectations and assumptions about outcomes can totally screw with the outcome of this simple practice, too. We are so human… I don’t exist as ‘a positive person’ as any sort of default character quality with which I was born… I have become someone with a generally positive experience, incrementally, over time – with practice.

Roses and a rainy day. One moment of many.

Roses and a rainy day. One moment of many.

This morning I am taking time to enjoy the day, to enjoy love, to enjoy life – to enjoy the experience I am having now. I am my own cartographer – this looks like a nice spot to pause for a moment. This moment. 🙂

Sometimes enough really feels enough. Sometimes the choices are plentiful and obvious – but not so numerous (or complicated) as to become difficult to consider. Sometimes outcomes are quite favorable. Sometimes life feels easy – love, too. Sometimes there isn’t much to say about things, or events, and being here matters so much more than anything I can say about it.

I am sipping my morning coffee and enjoying the quiet stillness of early morning. I am feeling grateful to enjoy both the moment, and the context in which I am experiencing it. I am feeling buoyed by love (and friendship) and partnership, and content to be human.

Life is enough.

Life is enough.

Friday could not come soon enough, although peculiarly, and as anxious as I’ve been in the office, it’s never been actually straight up bad, and often quite a bit less bothersome than I seemed to have set myself up to expect. I’d say it’s weird, but the truth is simply that we are each having our own experience, each possessing free will, each making different assumptions, and communicating from ever so slightly different dictionaries than each other moment-to-moment – and to make things just that much more fun, if we’re all seeking growth, and investing in what we want of the future, we show up each day as a very slightly completely different person than we were the day before – and don’t really realize it, and it doesn’t necessarily show to anyone else, either. How odd. The week ended rather suddenly and without much fuss.

As I left the building, peering into sodden gray skies likely to drip a few drops on me as I walked home, I recalled a team-mate commenting that the park bridge is open again, and that I would be able to “take the shortcut through the park” (it’s not a shortcut – it’s a longer walk, but more scenic, and definitely feels shorter). I took a deep breath, and walked on.

I pause at the top of the hill, excited to cross the new bridge. Is it silly to be excited about something so mundane?

I pause at the top of the hill, excited to cross the new bridge. Is it silly to be excited about something so mundane?

I take my time approaching the bridge, savoring the experience of the excitement and anticipation, and filling my senses with the prolonged yearning I had been experiencing in the background every day, waiting to resume my pleasant walks through the park each day. I make a point of lingering in this positive moment, and really feeling the joy of it.

As with much of Oregon these days, the bridge is higher.

As with much of Oregon these days, the bridge is higher.

I approach the bridge, eager to see the changes. The bridge has been elevated, which is a very good thing since many prior years the creek rose enough to swamp the bridge and make it impassable. I will be walking over this bridge all winter. I notice the very sturdy sides and rails, the closely spaced deck, and that the deck is not actually wood – some sort of durable plastic or composite material, it seems to shed water, and is not slick to walk upon even in the rain. Nice.

I cross the bridge; it feels like a moment.

I cross the bridge; it feels like a moment with significance.

I walk over the bridge, stand awhile in the center watching the water flow by sluggishly. This is not a fast-moving creek; there are many snags and places where nutria or beavers have felled trees and dammed the flow. I hear frogs peeping, and ducks quacking. I find myself wondering why “quacking” exactly? I don’t hear ‘quack’… I hear something more like… ‘gronk’. lol I walk over the bridge and startle a very auburn squirrel who was preparing to cross in the other direction. I reach the intersection of paths that decides whether this is a ‘short cut’ or not – turning right, and it shaves about 7 minutes off my walk, compared to taking the main road, but if I turn left (my preference) it takes me wandering through the park for about the same distance as the walk already was – definitely not a shortcut in miles, but how do I communicate that it feels like a shortcut… to my sanity?

Of course I turn left.

Of course I turn left…just up there…

Where does the path lead? Through the park, and into the evening, relaxed at home, and comfortable – and not even a little bit mad about seeing every square foot of sidewalk along the front of my building entirely inaccessible (having been torn out, replaced, and recently finished, it is not available for foot traffic yet). Nope, doesn’t matter. I carefully pick my way through the mud to the mailbox, and then back to the apartment, and taking my muddy shoes off before I step onto the carpet. I’m home.

I don’t know how or why it would make so much difference just to lose the walk through the park, but getting it back definitely made my evening, tonight. Dinner is cooking, and it seems a fine evening for something fun – a favorite animation, perhaps, or some game time? A movie? Fun and games matter too. It’s Friday night, and I’m taking care of me. It’s enough. 🙂