Archives for posts with tag: so human

I slept well last night, and got enough rest. I woke gently, and quietly made coffee, hoping not to wake my still-sleeping partner. I headed to the studio, sat down with my coffee, and started trying to put my thoughts together, words on a page, on a quiet Sunday. I’m grateful to have had an entire night’s sleep. Today, it looks like I’m going to need it.

This morning, my writing is interrupted, several times, for what I can only describe in this moment as “difficult interactions”. I’m not yet fully awake, and lack adequate emotional resilience for the irritated (I hear it as angry) tone of voice, so early in the morning. My thoughts are fractured, scattered, and now focused on feeling hurt, instead of nurturing something within me. My studio door gets slammed, probably without intent. My tears spill over. A quiet morning is apparently not on today’s agenda, and I am the hapless villain in this story – but who is the author? I feel frustrated, sad, and isolated (as much because I don’t really know what to do with these feelings, in this moment). It irks me that I woke up feeling so soft and amiably inclined toward my partner… and at the moment, I feel only the sting of his irritation, his disappointment with me (“What do I have to do to help you remember??”), and the visceral sensation along my nerves of a slammed door.

Sometimes “doing our best” isn’t enough to overcome opportunities to fail at something, or to miss a detail, and “trying hard” is not enough to ensure success. This is true with or without a brain injury. We have to choose again and again to “do the verbs” and to try again. We have to choose again and again to walk our path, or select a new one. It is also true that we don’t generally grow from the things we are reliably good at, or which we find comfortable and easy. So, okay – routine human shit between human primates. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it isn’t comfortable. Sometimes it is necessary to be reminded what the point of it is, and refocus our efforts, because it matters enough to do that. It reliably takes practice.

…What a shitty morning so far…and less than an hour into the day. Disappointment with myself, with the morning, with the circumstances, it all fills me up and spills over as tears, while I watch a little brown bird on the stoop, picking enough sustenance from the ground and from the sidewalk, just to get by another day. I watch the little bird, and try to nudge myself in the direction of recognizing that I am just experiencing some emotional weather; the climate in my heart (and, I assume, my partner’s) is fine. This? It’s just a moment. It’s useful to begin again, if I can start on that, somehow, then it’s not “a shitty morning” as much as a shitty moment. Moments are brief, and they pass.

This time, when my Traveling Partner opens the door to the studio, his face is softened, and he looks at me with love. The irritation is gone. He steps close, and strokes my hair. I apologize for the difficult start to his morning, through my slow, steady, tears. He tells me “it is what it is” and “I’m not angry”. He’s human, too. If I allow it to, the morning will shift gears to a happier place; we’ve made that possible, now it is just a matter of accepting that change and going with it. A matter of beginning again. I give myself a moment to appreciate having a partnership with so much resilience and potential to bounce back from a difficult interaction. I savor the feeling of gratitude that seeps in, as I contemplate the difference between this partnership, and others I’ve had.

I breathe. Exhale. Relax. Allow my heart to slow, and my posture to lift me more erect. I sip my coffee, and begin again.

I woke yesterday so incredibly groggy that the drive to work felt as if I were sleep deprived. Most of the day passed that way, and by the afternoon, I didn’t feel “well” at all, and on top of being groggy, seemed to be headed toward a migraine. I went home. Laid down awhile. Got up feeling mostly better, a bit later, and called it an early night, well, early.

This morning I woke up feeling entirely awake and alert, and basically fine. Being human is so weird.

I didn’t have it in me to write yesterday. Today feels rather as if I’ve nothing much to say. Which is odd; I’ve had plenty to think about. lol Most of it, though, is just me feeling stirred up and agitated over life or Other People’s Drama. We don’t need to spend more time on it than we already do. 🙂

I realize the weekend ahead is a three-day weekend, and find myself considering a down/back trip south just to see my Traveling Partner, share a hug and a few minutes over coffee, and to drop off some things he’s asked me to bring down “next time I come down”. Recognizing I also need to enjoy some real downtime, and that I’d like to spend the weekend in the studio, having a longer weekend finds me feeling as if I can force everything into the weekend. It’s an illusion… but I may still try. lol So human.

My coffee is good. I think about coffee and life, generally; I can’t drink all the infinite potential coffee I might drink in a day, from a single cup, made in a single moment. The cup won’t hold it all. The intoxicant is also too strong for that behavior; I could sicken myself on too much caffeine, or wreck my sleep later on. I also can’t just drink cup after cup of coffee all day – same outcomes remain problematic. Too much of something I enjoy can have undesirable consequences. It’s a metaphor. It’s important to pace myself, even in life itself, to enjoy only what is (and remains) enjoyable. Choosing to refrain from over-indulging allows something I enjoy to continue to be predictably enjoyable.

Choosing to do things that wreck my body, my mind, cause me pain, or degrade my general quality of life seems fairly silly. I at least suggest considering the longer-term outcomes and consequences, and choosing based on how much value your body/mind/soul-wrecking choices may really have. A fleeting sensation? Likely not worth destroying your relationships or your career, right?

Oh hey, don’t be discouraged if the choices you’ve made in the past have been less than ideal (or even really terrible) you can commence making very different choices any time. You can begin again. 🙂 Even every single day! Was yesterday terrible? Do today differently. (Easy to say, and yeah, there are verbs involved, and no one can live the life you live aside from you, yourself. Choose wisely. Be present. Your results will vary.) Choose one thing, make choices differently, and build on that. We become what we practice.

What are you practicing? For real. Does that represent the person you most want to be? Who would that be? What would that version of you choose to practice?

Begin again. 🙂

I woke early this morning, ahead of the alarm clock. I showered. Made coffee. Greeted my Traveling Partner over the miracle convenience of the Internet. I am feeling pre-occupied with… things that matter. To me. I found myself revisiting yesterday’s blog post, somewhat pensively, and with a hint of lingering discontent.

(This is often an outcome, if one or another of my closest friends comments favorably on a new blog post; I interpret it to mean that I have made note of something I could benefit from considering further, myself.)

What does matter most? To me, I mean, right now, in this changing, evolving, experience of life and partnership? What small change(s) can I make to live more pleasantly, more comfortably, more efficiently, and with greater joy? What change(s) might make my experience of cohabitation easier on my current (or future) partner(s)? I’m not in any way a perfect person, or wholly completed project – not even at all.

The wheel keeps turning. This is a journey, not a “staying still”. lol I still have room to grow and to become! So… what matters most? To me. Right now. About this experience of life that I have, myself. What would I like to see differently each morning when I wake, and each evening as I retire for the night? What would be a more pleasant arrangement of things or experiences? Are there better ways to use my time, moment to moment to get there?

I ask it of myself, again; what matters most, right now?

I sip my coffee and give some thought to the details. I find myself having to own some things I’m less than satisfied with (living alone, there is literally no one else who could possibly be accountable for any of this! lol). My studio is pretty chronically messy… it’s as if the entire messy potential of being a human primate is carefully contained in this one space, here in my home, and it is… chaotic. Even unpleasantly so, depending on my state of mind. Does it really need to be let go like this? Can I make more order, find more balance, and still hold onto what make me, creatively, me? And what of the floors? I admit it, vacuuming isn’t my favorite chore, and this place has state-of-the-art dirt-hiding carpet most everywhere. Thinking about what I just said in that sentence, I’m pretty annoyed with myself. Yeah, okay, room for improvement right there, for sure. I can definitely do better. Fuck. Well. I find myself admitting that I’m disappointed that this thought exercise was so easy. LOL So human. Dusting? Needs doing. Aquarium? Needs cleaning. Huh. Yep. Room for improvement.

With the holiday weekend quickly approaching, there’s little time left for frantic deep cleaning… but that’s also an excuse. Handy the way those work. (And there’s no reason it would need to be frantic, anyway, that’s just pre-excuse emotional bullshit.) LOL I make a commitment to two specific chores for after work, based on my fairly firm, if very human, commitment to living beautifully. Both are pretty fundamental, and I feel irked to have let them go so long. I have the tools, I have the time, and finding the will to act is (often) the hardest part. Tedium is a tough challenge. lol It can be done! I give myself a moment of mental shade; I’ve been putting these off forever, without any particularly legitimate reason. No excuses. Tonight they get done. 🙂 I’ll start with the vacuuming. I suspect it has been “holding me back” from a number of other small things, and I now find myself eager to be at day’s end to tackle it. (I am definitely too considerate of my neighbors to be running a vacuum cleaner at 4:00 am!)

Another chance to live beautifully,and an opportunity to create the change I wish to see; it’s time to begin again. 😀

I woke during the night with an unsteady tummy. I took steps to be prepared for being sick if things were to turn for the worse; I left the light on in the hall bathroom and a hair tie on the counter. It’s not the closest bathroom of the two in this place, but it is bigger, and more suited somehow to being ill. It’s near enough. Easy to get to, too. So. I was prepared, and I went to back sleep.

I woke sometime shortly past day break. 6:30-ish. I slept in. 😀 Well… that’s my idea of sleeping in. I’m usually up by 4:30 am. I woke to a tidy home, a clean kitchen, and a smile on my face. Nice. There are a few things to do today, to face the short work week ready to travel: some tidying up, laundry, vacuuming, empty the dishwasher of clean dishes… basic household care. It’s a good day for it. I feel rested. The gray featureless sky doesn’t tempt me to the trail – or to the studio. I have brunch plans, and a partially read book. Brunch and housework sounds like a fine when to spend the day, and winding things down with a quiet evening reading sounds lovely, too.

As I sip my coffee, first one brunch friend, then another, lets me know they can’t make it today. I hear from my Traveling Partner as we cross paths in the digital world, as I wake up, and he winds down from a long night. By the time I finish my coffee, brunch “with…” has become “brunch solo?”. I barely register any disappointment – and perhaps this sets me apart from some sorts of people; I genuinely value and enjoy time spent with myself (particularly now that I’ve learned to treat myself well, generally).

I pause for a moment to consider, seemingly rather randomly, that “genuinely” and “generally” positioned so close to each other in a sentence seem a tad repetitive, even though they are totally different words. Then I find cause to be irked with the frequency of -ly endings. I notice my coffee is finished. I feel irked by that and slightly irritable. I take a deep breath, relax, and allow myself to recognize that I am, actually, a bit disappointed about brunch falling through. Acknowledging the feeling, however fleeting, prevents it from becoming festering discontent. The moment needed nothing more than awareness, respect, and acknowledgement, and the feeling dissipates. Emotions are funny that way. Fight them, they fight back. Embrace them, feed them, they deepen, and sometimes take over. Resist them completely, they flare up in the background, influencing our experience of other circumstances in sometimes subtle ways, and altering our understanding of other moments. Acknowledge them with awareness, respecting the experience without fueling the fire, and they become a sign post on a journey, a reminder, and a moment observed; that tends to be what I’m going for these days.

I find myself still a bit irritable, and not finding anything in my immediate environment or experience to explain that, I pause my writing and do a quick “self inventory”. I take a moment to simply breathe and feel my feelings, both those of my physical experience (sensations) and those of my cognitive experience (emotions). Emotionally, I feel pretty at ease, and content. Physically, I find myself having to take note of a substantial amount of fairly ordinary arthritis pain in my thoracic spine. Well shit. Okay. That’d be enough to feel sort of grumpy and out of sorts “for no reason” – only, there’s clearly quite an obvious reason to it, once I am aware of it. Awareness is such an amazing tool! I continue checking in with myself, and notice that in spite of the arthritis pain, no headache. Hey, that’s pretty nice. Uncommon these days. I enjoy that experience, and allow myself to sit with the awareness of “no headache” awhile, while I decide on the morning, and what to do about the pain.

I think over the day ahead. I’ve got what I need, generally speaking. Maybe a bite of brunch and a stop for art supplies somewhere? I head to a search tab to look up my options…

It’s a great day to begin again. 😀