Archives for posts with tag: So watcha want?

I had a weirdly difficult day yesterday. My mood quickly soured during the morning commute, though I couldn’t pin down quite why; it wasn’t that bad. I made good time. Drivers were the usual assortment of human beings being entirely human. I shrugged it off and restarted my experience with a cup of coffee, and the completion of some relatively easy-but-tedious tasks that had been pushed off earlier in the week. Satisfying.

My day continued as a rollercoaster ride of along a spectrum of emotions, hitting lows of vague frustration and irritability, riding brief highs of satisfaction, contentment, or eagerness. Up and down. Again and again. Hours of it. Day’s end found me eager to begin the weekend, but the commute home was an unpleasant continuation – more of the same. It was a bit like playing the game of living with all the settings on “difficult”. lol

Something was definitely nagging at me, keeping me irritated, and as much as I wanted (very much) to blame something external, I have come to terms with how often whatever is “up with me” is generally something both within me, and within my own control. So… I went looking for it in the one place I know to check, my meditation cushion. 🙂

Search within; it’s closest.

Yeah…so… I didn’t get anywhere definite with that, but I did feel better. Calm. Content. Balanced. I let go of the irritation. I regained my smile. Throughout the evening, I still caught myself punctuating unexpected moments with a discontented sigh, or a deep cleansing breath. I didn’t take it personally, and the evening was quiet and pleasant.

I woke this morning with a smile, a calm heart, and a clear awareness of what had been aggravating me so deeply in the background; I was thinking about buying a new car. I was considering it with a great deal of excitement. I was taking steps in that direction without really considering all the consequences of the decision. I’ve embraced having a car, and the convenience of getting around with greater ease than public transit allows, but it is a bigger car than I’d ideally like, if I had chosen it for my own needs. I’d love a sub-compact SUV, something with some guts, maybe a little sporty… I pre-shopped over days, and made plans to do some test drives this weekend, with some eagerness (I can just go do this!)… Although… I’d already also planned a quiet productive weekend at home, taking care of home and hearth and meeting other needs, that do indeed need to be met… The conflict implied in that bit of planning nagged at me all day yesterday without really being sufficiently obvious to resolve with any ease. This morning? I get it. I don’t need a new car. I don’t need a different car. I have a car. It’s in good condition. It’s comfortable. It is fuel-efficient. It is safe. It is enough. (More than enough.)

The garden calls to me; there are roses to deadhead, weeding and watering to do… and moments to enjoy.

Feeling like lost balance has been restored. I canceled test-drive plans. It isn’t “time” to buy another car, or a different car, or a newer car. I have what I need. There are other things I would use limited resources for, financially, and it would be an exceedingly frivolous move to buy a new car right now. I decide to put my attention on my actual needs, and take care of the woman in the mirror with greater skill – by telling her “no” on this one. 🙂

I haven’t even finished moving in yet! The studio remains unfinished, and not yet work-ready.

I finish my coffee while I finish reviewing my budget and looking for opportunities to be comfortably frugal, more focused on legitimate needs, and things I can take care of that would be significant quality of life improvements (a car would not qualify; I have a nice one already). I’ve got quite a list of such things, as it happens, and a weekend to do some of those things. 🙂 It’s a good place to begin, again.

 

I woke comfortably after sleeping in, and although the night itself was restless and interrupted, I woke feeling pretty good. The persistent ringing in my ears continues to persist (thus, being persistent); it’s been with me for decades. I think it became quite unavoidably obvious sometime in the mid 80s. It continues without relief, and I generally don’t complain. Over the years, I’ve learned to constantly return my focus to external sounds; my only reminder that indeed I do still hear those is to specifically pause and make a point of refocusing my attention on them. (If I focus on the tones of my tinnitus I hear nothing else.)

Why on earth does any of this matter this morning? Only because I woke listening to my tinnitus, and consumed my first cup of coffee shopping for appropriate hearing protection for future concert going; sleeping between a running generator, and a concert stage was a powerful reminder that I still have more hearing I could lose. I’d rather not lose more of my hearing. 🙂

My sleep was restless and interrupted by nightmares. Strange pointless nightmares parading vague insecurities and nebulous fears across my dreamscape. I dreamt of mocking laughter, and being played, taken advantage of, mis-used, and treated as a disposable commodity in relationships I hold dear. I dreamt of being lied to. I dreamt of being unaware of what my relationships are actually built on, or what goes on in the background, when I am absent. I woke abruptly sometime around 1:30 am, and tossed and turned awhile before returning to sleep at some unknown point. I felt okay when I woke again around 5 am, although my body felt heavy with physical sensations that suggested I’d been crying in my sleep. Another nap, I woke from that feeling that I’d “slept in” and was “well-rested”. I’ve refused to give much further thought to my bad dreams, and just gone on with coffee – and shopping for ear plugs. Sure, sure, a little odd, but… better than getting hung up on the details of nightmares…and if there is any chance I’m going to be doing more music festivals (and there is), I’ll definitely want hearing protection. lol

Coffee two finds me planning the day – and what is left of my weekend. There’s housekeeping to be done. Quite a lot of laundry. So, I make a list for myself (I find that the easiest way to ensure I get “everything” – it’s never really “everything” – done that I intend to do), sip my coffee, and listen to some music while I sort myself out and really wake up. This morning, I find something wise and reassuring about the Beastie Boys. I find admitting that pretty amusing. Pretty much everything on my playlist speaks very specifically to something that matters to me, that I find value in, or repeats some meta message that resonates with me. A reminder of another time, perhaps. A cautionary tale. An admission. A valued perspective. It’s rarely about whatever the artist may have intended in any clear way; music is more personal than that for me.

It’s a lovely Saturday to begin again. 🙂

It’s a weird morning. Maybe it’s weird because I slept in? 🙂

Maybe it’s weird because I gave my landlady a heads up that I’d like to sign a new lease? While I shift gears and regroup on figuring out what I really really want out of a place of my own, it makes sense to save some money on the cheaper lease rate.

Adulting is hard – today it is also a little weird.  I’m spending time with money – well, with planning, and budgeting, and yeah – all of the things. It’s not my favorite activity, but rather wonderfully it no longer sends me cowering into the nearest dark room on the edge of tears from panic and dire dread, heart-pounding, unable to breathe at the mere thought of debt, income, obligations, needs, and certain only of my likely failure and future poverty. The picture of my future I carry in my thinking is very different now. It’s no longer stuff that freaks me out.

I smile and think of my Traveling Partner out in the world, feeling a certain quiet “thanks” for a partnership that has had the strength to patiently support me on this journey, and his coaching and encouragement, his calm, his love. His utter conviction that achieving my dreams was within reach, given the knowledge, and the practice(s); I remain so grateful for his perspective, and affection.

I think I know what I want, now. Where I want to be. How I want to live. I have an idea of the steps I’ll need to take. I have a sense of the “order of operations” – the sequence in which I’ll need to take those steps, and what my priorities really are. This is huge. It’s less a settled sense of convenient certainty built on expectations, self-inflicted promises and daydreams about a future that is always somehow out-of-reach, and more a practical thing built on a calendar, a budget, and adult perspective on life’s logistical requirements (which must be handled ahead of life’s options and feature upgrades). Basic sufficiency. My own idea of a great future, less tied to societal expectations, convenience, or “ease”, and built instead on what I want, enjoy, and thrive on, myself.

…I wish I’d gotten here sooner…

I want to phone my Traveling Partner and say “I get it. I understand what I want. I have a vision. I’ve got this.” That probably tells you little about the details, but from my perspective it isn’t the details that make this bit share-worthy in the first place; it’s the getting here, the being here, and the going forward from this place. The map is not the world. The route is not the journey. My dreams are not your dreams. 🙂

There’s work to do. Thinking work. Planning work. There are details to consider, and choices to make. A lot of choices to make; however much I narrow down the list of life’s apparent choices, I find I have more choices. Fractals of choices. Life being lived in a life worth living.

How much is enough? Once I’ve got that, what else is there, really, to yearn for?

Today I begin again. 🙂

 

It’s early. I woke around 3 am. I napped until shortly after 6 am. I’ve been cranking tunes since then, although it’s much too early for having the stereo on – sort of the whole point of headphones, so… no problem. Headphones it is.

Sunshine streams into the apartment through windows open to the morning breeze, blinds raised. The goosebumps on my arms don’t discourage me in the slightest; it’s the scent of flowers on the breeze that I’m after, and it delights me. Chilly? I would be if I hadn’t put on a sweater… it’s sort of the point of having sweaters, right? So, I put one on.

I caught a glimpse of myself reflected on the patio door, and another as I passed by the bathroom mirror. I’m not yet in the shape I’d like to be in, and my plump curves are a bit plumper than is ideal for my desired longevity and general day-to-day comfort and experience of wellness.  Yeah, middle-age comes with some of that for a lot of us, I suspect. Taking care of my health over time matters, so I make choices that meet that need, including changes in diet, changes in fitness plan, and (at least for now) getting the medical care I need to address longer term concerns about my health.

Professionally, too, there have been (no doubt are, and will be) choices to make that could better or worsen my experience of life, itself, and even my experience of… self.

I sip my coffee – it’s cold now. I’m distracted by the music, and the sunshine on morning dew drops. I’m thinking about how much fun I used to have with the “character building” part of role-playing games; the fun of being able to choose who I would become. This morning I am understanding that indeed, this is a “power” I actually have – we all do. I can choose who I will become! I can choose my hair color, the clothes I wear, what words and phrases and style I express, and what qualities I will embrace… I create my future “back story” with the things I choose to do today… I can practice different behavior, learn different thinking, and literally become someone very different than I am today. I am already someone different than I was when I was very young. I can do it willfully, through selection of behavior, values, actions… or through mindlessly repeating memes, slogans, and succumbing to advertising and literal “programming” offered by the media. I can choose who I will become – or a persona to live within, like a tiny box, can be provided for me.

We become what we practice.

We become what we practice.

We become what we practice.

We become what we practice.

What are you practicing?

Begin again.