Archives for posts with tag: so human

Sometimes it is a thing; we are creatures of emotion and reason. Just like that sentence, emotion generally arrives to the party first. Reason shows up later. I’m super grumpy today. I don’t have any sort of reason for that, it’s simply how I am feeling, at this moment (and for several hours worth of moments since shortly after my work day began). There is nothing specifically “wrong”. I’m just… grumpy. Correction. I feel grumpy. I feel cross. I feel irritable. I feel prone to taking things personally. I feel “out of sorts” and generally aggravated. I feel impatient. These are how I am feeling.

…Still, they’re just feelings

Emotions are funny things. We can argue the factual basis of a subject. We can disagree with each other regarding our understanding of circumstances, and our recollections of details; we are each having our own experience. We’re not seeing the world from identical perspectives. We can’t actually argue against an emotion, though. Those are our own. Not subject to disagreement. Period. I feel grumpy. No one actually gets to tell me that’s “incorrect” as an emotional experience. (People may try, but as arguments go, an argument against someone’s emotional experience is rife with thought-errors, fallacies, and a peculiar assumption of entitlement, inasmuch as it presupposes that other person’s emotional experience is somehow superior or has more substance or value.) I’m mostly not even letting my grumpiness “be a thing”, generally, but it is still there in the background.

…I would have been camping next week. All week. Out under the trees. No other people. Only my own agenda. Quietly sitting. Hiking. Cooking out under the sky. Sipping coffee in the morning chill. Watching the leaves unfold, and the spring flowers bobbing and swaying in the spring breezes. Content, relaxed, and face-to-face with the woman in the mirror for a few days of solitude. Pandemic life being what it is, the location where I would have been camping closed, and canceled all pending reservations, some weeks ago. So, not going is not a surprise. Hell, I’m not unhappy to have the opportunity to still enjoy a couple of those days off, in the good company of my Traveling Partner…but…

Today, right now, for no obvious reason, I feel exceedingly put out by every tiny inconvenience. I feel prone toward anger, over shit I’m not generally angry about. I really “want to rest” – but I’m not talking about physically resting this meat puppet. I need cognitive rest. I need time with myself.

It may be awhile, for all of us, before we get some needs easily met. For some folks, solitude is hard to come by right now. For others, what’s hard to come by is community. Whether we call time spent alone “solitude” or “loneliness” is largely a matter of perspective. The emotions involved belong to each of us as individuals. I sigh and alternate between sips of cold coffee left from this morning, and fizzy water that has gone flat. I don’t care for – or about – either one. It’s almost reflexive, as if I am seeking to satisfy a craving, but doing so quite incorrectly for the craving that it is. So… now what?

Eventually the emotional weather will shift, and “this too shall pass”. I could take the mood, and the moment, very personally, blowing it way out of proportion, catastrophizing it, creating monsters out of miniatures. Or… I could let this shit go. Again.

…And then again, if necessary. And again after that. Yep, again once more if I have to. Maybe another time after that. Just keeping putting it down, letting it go, and beginning again. No reason to vilify the emotions themselves; they are not the bad guy here. Far more valuable to look them over tenderly, honestly, and with as much self-compassion as I know how to practice. Then try again if I miss that mark. There is no limit on the new beginnings I can offer myself.

So… I do.

My Traveling Partner comes in for a moment, and glances at the page in front of me. “I’m sorry you’re grumpy.” He says it tenderly. Kindly. Honestly. This, too, is a moment. A pretty nice one, actually. He gets back to what he was doing. I get back to what I am doing, while taking some time for me – to savor this moment. Far too easy to become mired in my less pleasant ones, even though the lovely ones are so much more worthy of my attention. Human primates and their negativity bias. I shake my head, smiling at myself. So human.

…It helps to take a moment, for myself. Some quiet. Some solitude. A moment to begin again.

 

Every day I am trying to walk my path with my eyes open. I don’t always succeed, but then, few things manage to achieve “always”, or, for that matter, “never”. Those require an unrelentingly high standard of proof. lol I do okay, generally. One step at a time. One practice at a time. One beginning at a time. I just keep starting over, and keep walking. Somewhere along the way, I’ve managed some personal growth. I’ve managed to develop some interpersonal relationship skills. Hell, I have even managed to develop some tact, though I use it less often than would perhaps be welcomed. I am very much a “work in progress”, and my perspective on that, these days, is that there is no “final exam”, no “finish line”, no end in sight – it’s all about the journey. The walking of the path, itself, and the living of this life, is the point. No destination matters as much. I’ll get where I get. I’ll get there when I get there. I try to do my best every moment I can, along the way.

…Still totally human… My results vary.

Today, I write at the end of my day. I’d forgotten I hadn’t written, until the work day ended, and I went back to my blog to review what I wrote in the morning, from the often weary perspective of the other end of a busy day. How’d I do? That’s sort of the point of “checking back”. πŸ™‚ That – and catching spelling mistakes I missed. lol (For real – totallyΒ  human.)

My thinking is sometimes very different later in the day. Real life has had a chance to take the shine off my morning optimism, perhaps, or the day has frustrated or amazed me. Sometimes, I’m so groggy in the morning that my thinking is clouded, simple-minded, or my meandering musings fairly pointless, and my afternoon or evening perspective is sharpened by events that have been more fully considered since the morning. My perspective changes. My results of the day vary. I’ve wrestled with emotion, or found myself struggling with reason, or failed to find a balance between the two. Today, though? Just a day… room to grow.

My Traveling Partner sticks his head into the studio “Do you want to play a cool game and kill some time?”, he asks with a smile. “No,” I smile back, “I want to finish my writing.” He sticks a playful tongue out at me, and closes the door. I’m suddenly stricken by intense anxiety – baggage. Personal demons. Personal demons carrying my baggage. Seriously? This, again? Even knowing my partner has occasionally nagged me for not taking time to do the things that help me maintain balance – and sanity – and that he loves to see me invest some portion of my effort and energy in doing things I love doing, because they are part of who I am; I’m sitting here terrified that he may be hurt and angry, feeling rejected, because I did not drop everything immediately to rush to his side, this time, right now. I don’t berate myself over it. I go gently; there’s real damage here. This? This is scar tissue from decades of abuse in other relationships. This is what surviving sometimes looks like. There’s still “clean-up” to do. Still some healing self-work that needs to be completed. And that’s okay. It’s certainly very human.

I correct my posture. I breathe. Exhale. Relax. I imagine myself gently-firmly taking heavy bags from the hands of the exhausted demon carrying them, and setting them down (really imagining it very clearly), on a curb perhaps, or next to a dumpster. I imagine walking away – away from this baggage. Away from that exhausted, defeated demon, standing alone, and a tad puzzled.

…We get to choose our path. We get to choose over and over again. We become what we practice.

I smile to myself. It’s clearly a good time to begin again. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ˜€