Archives for posts with tag: small changes matter

Small changes add up to big changes, over time. Some of the small changes I made are a goodness, and result in improved quality of life. Some of the small changes I make are less so, and create potentially problematic circumstances – sometimes entirely foreseeable conflict results. Humans being human. Some of the small changes that are made around me manage to also improve my circumstances. Some, though, are a bother. It is what it is. Not all the small changes are mine to make, or made by me. Not all the small changes that occur are even about me.

I sip my coffee and think about changes.

This morning, there are three less aquarium fish in my tanks. The difficult thugs that were creating so much difficulty have found a new home. I hope it works out better for them. They were certainly too aggressive for my tanks, here. It was a poorly chosen small change to bring them here. I am feeling fairly confident that it is a beneficial small change that sees them on their way elsewhere.

Small changes involve verbs. This morning I broke down boxes for the recycling. Definitely a positive outcome as small changes go; boxes were piling up, and the clutter was an aggravation. This morning? Less clutter. Less aggravation. In the process, I got a paper cut, from a bit of discarded paperwork that was stuffed into a narrow box. Pulling it out, definitely a small change, resulted in blood loss (not much), and a very irritating sensation in the crook of my hand, between my thumb and fingers. Ouch. Annoying. Not a small change I’m super eager to embrace; I’ll have to keep my hands out of the aquarium water until it heals, for sure. I love my aquariums, but let’s be real; it’s not a great idea to immerse an open wound or cut in aquarium water. It’s definitely full of a variety of bacteria.

I remind myself to wash it, again; it bled more, and there’s dried blood all over my hand.

I look around at the many small changes that have resulted from prolonged staying-at-home over the past handful of weeks. There’s more I could do, particularly here in my studio, but wow – so much has already been done.

I finish my coffee, thinking about other small changes I could make to improve my quality of life. I think about spring. I think about the garden. I observe the morning sunshine illuminating the bedroom window, through the blinds. I pause to savor this quiet moment, before I begin again. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s here. The longest day. The shortest night. A dim-not-dark pre-dawn sky. A sunset will follow later, so much later, and then a lingering twilight late into the night – then, Summer, Fall, Winter… the wheel keeps turning.

Summer Solstice, 2018, before dawn

Yesterday ended on a bizarrely anxious note. It’s really super uncomfortable having to recognize that the United States is squirming as the government leads in the direction of fascism, while the population struggles to resist. Uncomfortable barely describes it. I was able to sleep, which brought relief, and I am exceedingly fortunate, individually. That’s something. Yesterday was hot. I took cases of bottled water to protesters downtown on my way home from work. I thanked them for being there. The traffic home was pretty terrible, but I didn’t feel it so much as I felt I’d done something to help.

…Of course, halfway home, I found myself facing a critical inner voice reminding me that plastic water bottles are an ecological nightmare… and companies that bottle water are draining life-force (and life-giving water) from communities all over the globe for profit. Shit. This is harder than it looks.

The anxiety had me in its grip well before I got home. Every conversation I’d had at work resurfaced to be re-evaluated through a lens of insecurity, panic, and fear. Every decision got questioned. Every moment reviewed, critiqued, and used to build further fear-driven anxious narrative in my head. I got home, heart pounding, breathless, and on the edge of a panic attack, doing battle with myself. I fluttered around the apartment distracted and wretched for a few minutes – the air conditioning was a relief, and in that moment of appreciation, I found a hint of relief, something to hold onto for just a moment.

I took a deep breath, and felt myself relax as the coolness in the house wrapped me, and soothed me (it was a really hot day here). I stood looking out at the container garden, still feeling anxious, and aware of the hot day on the other side of the glass. “Right, well, I can at least water the garden, even if everything feels crazy right now – no reason to punish flowers…” Out into the heat I went, but the awareness of the waiting air conditioning was working on my mind in a nice way; I knew I would be comfortable again, soon. I slowed down. Took my time to really water everything thoroughly. I filled feeders. I rinsed and re-filled bird-baths. I tidied and swept. I weeded some pots, removing still more peanuts that had sprouted, thanks to busy squirrels.

I returned to the coolness indoors considerably calmed. The anxiety came and went a bit all evening. More like a nuisance neighbor I’m on good terms with, but would rather not see all the time, than like an attacker that has overpowered me. I felt content with the improvement, and sleep came easily when time came to sleep. I woke feeling rested, and ready to start a new day…

It is the Solstice, today. Hell of a good day to begin again. America is still full of Nazis – we ought to do something about that. We can. We have choices. ๐Ÿ™‚

I have choices. So many choices – in life, in work, in relationships. There are so many verbs involved. Keeping up takes effort, practice, commitment… omg, just spelling it out, it all seems so daunting! One thing at a time, though? Not so bad. I don’t need to “fix” an entire broken world – or even this one entire broken human being staring back at me in the mirror. That’s no longer my approach at all – I just need to water my garden. Maybe tidy up a bit. Do a little weeding. Meditate for a few minutes. Get some dishes done. It’s just one thing, not everything, right now, all the time. “Everything“is super hard – I mean, have you seen all the shit that needs something done about it?? Too much. All that’s needed, really, is “enough”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I think I’m ready to begin again. ๐Ÿ™‚

This morning I sit down with my coffee, a headache, and no clear direction to take my writing. It’s a quiet morning. I woke ‘too early’, but well-rested. The routines of the morning have felt… routine. It’s noย lack of inspiration; I am eager to get back to painting, but the early hour finds me unprepared to do so on other levels (I am very clumsy for some time after waking, for one thing). I feel content and well, save for this headache plaguing me. My coffee is good. The day is loosely structured and without noteworthy stress. Still… these words here, so far? Observational stuff suited only for getting going, really. Mildly disappointing when I consider how frequently in recent days I am taken with an insight or understanding that I find helpful or illuminating in some way… fail to jot it down in the moment thenย discover that however enlightening or powerful that insight had seemed to me to be then… it’s gone by morning. Yep. Entirely forgotten…or… summarized into some very succinct handful of words that I find myself unable to build on, or no longer interested in.

A good day to begin again.

A good day to begin again.

I put my writing on pause for a few minutes to chat with my traveling partner, also up early. A friend reaches out through Facebook. We exchange a few minutes of conversation. I see another friend online and realize we haven’t caught up in a while, and I reach out for another few minutes of conversation with someone dear to me. Life is telling me something… I am reminded that what matters most are these beautiful connections we make with each other. Profound or ordinary, enlightening or humorous, tender or firm, the very most critically important thing I find about living life is, again and again, these connections we share. I am filled with joy to have so many good friends who care, who miss me when I am away, who notice when I am hurting (whether I say so or not), and who similarly find that I matter to them. I am also saddened that the whole of us – the world – suffer so much and so often from nothing more or less than that we don’t extend our courtesy, our hospitality, our graciousness, kindness and good-nature to just every human being we interact with, near or far. It’s morning, and a great time to begin again. I find myself committing to being decent and good-natured with each person I interact with today… sure, I probably won’t change the world, but I may improve some small bit of it for a stranger. ๐Ÿ™‚

Love matters most.

Love matters most.

It’s a gentle quiet morning, somewhat lacking in clear structure or firm plans. I may see my traveling partner today. I may not. Perhaps today I’ll get the phone call for the ideal job in some exciting previously unconsidered field of endeavor – or figure out how to sustainably enjoy life without that, long-term. Today may be the day that ‘everything makes sense’, or the day that I realize it doesn’t have to. It is, at least, a day – wholly new and ready for me to do… something. That’s enough. ๐Ÿ™‚