Archives for posts with tag: stay-cation

This headache I woke with is no joke. Ouch. Too real. I woke later than usual; sleeping in is one of my favorite “day off” experiences, and I’d taken today off. I woke gently, bumbled around haplessly a bit, made some coffee… felt a bit “off” somehow, but didn’t clearly identify the headache as the cause for some minutes. I wasn’t quite awake enough, yet.

…I definitely “get it” now. :-\

I sip my coffee, and plan my day. This is a relaxed, quiet morning, no work pressure. Feels good. I’m thinking I’ll spend the day tidying up the studio to be more work-ready (for painting – it’s plenty ready for working). Later, a delivery of livestock for my aquarium will arrive (lots more delivery options than there used to be; no one wants to shut their business down, no one wants people in the shops), and I’ll spend the afternoon getting them settled in, and enjoying them. ๐Ÿ˜€

I make a point of continuing to clearly distinguish between work hours (and days) and non-work hours (and days) – healthy boundary setting remains an important practice for long-term quality of life. I see how easily work could become a solution for boredom or confinement stress, but also recognize that succumbing to that short-cut would likely reset expectations long-term regarding my willingness to work through my leisure hours, or at the convenience of my employer without regard for my own needs. I think I won’t do that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ No, not even now. What I want and need from my own life, and leisure, for myself, remains of value to me.

Pulling my focus away from the morning news, to sit a few minutes and write, while sipping my morning coffee, seems to be a worthy endeavor; the headache seems to have lessened, and has begun to fade into the background. Looks like today is not the day to involve myself with the news. Less screen time, more aquarium time. Less “content” more housekeeping, perhaps. Be here, now. This is a relaxed, quiet morning, no work pressure. Why add media chaos to this chill vibe? Meditation, instead of news headlines – that sounds lovely. A second coffee, and some bird-watching, as spring unfolds in the strip of forest beyond the deck, perhaps. Confinement in the time of pandemic feels less confining, and more like a leisurely day at home, if I stay focused on these small delights, and refrain from involving myself in the concerns of the media (which, truly, are already very well-covered, and rather unchanging, at present).

I smile and finish off this first cup of coffee, eager to get on with the day, eager to see new fish swimming in the aquarium, and familiar squirrels on the deck. Eager to begin again – right here at home.

I woke feeling well-rested, well before the sun rose. The sky is just now beginning show a hint that day break is approaching. My first cup of coffee was quite good. It’s also quite gone, now. I have yet to make another. It doesn’t seem the sort of morning to rush, at all. I keep reaching for the cup, nonetheless.

It’s been a proper vacation. I invested the time in myself, just as I would have if I had stuck firmly with my original plans, and purely as a byproduct of location, that investment in time and self has resulted in quite a lot getting done right here in this place where I live. Each time I pass through a room that has gotten a lot of that attention, like the kitchen, or the living room, or out onto the deck, I feel a surge of satisfaction and contentment. I enjoy living well. I enjoy a living space characterized by a certain measure of order. I find tidiness sufficiently aesthetically pleasing to do that work, for myself.

Today is the last day of my vacation. No doubt I’ll tidy up a thing or two; there always seems one more thing that I could do to snatch some tiny bit of additional order from the chaos that is living a human life. There will be more coffee to make with loving mindful hands, and to sip with great delight. There will be time spent reading, time spite in meditation, time spent on yoga, time spent in the garden – all things that nurture me.

Nurturing one’s self is a critical point of adulting skillfully, apparently. The first step on that path (for me) was to discontinue the notion that I am not worthy of my own time and attention, my own care, my own loving affection. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a harder step than it sounds like it could be. lol The rest seemed fairly effortless by comparison; it was all just practicing practices.

Today is a lovely day to enjoy… myself. By myself. With myself. For myself. Totally okay. Nothing about that subtracts from my high regard for those dear to me, or my general kindness and consideration of others, moment-to-moment. We tend to treat others only as well as we are able to treat ourselves, however much we protest to the contrary. To learn to love well, I did have to allow my own self to be part of the set of people I love. That may not be good news if you happen to continue to maintain a significant investment in self-loathing (that’s a choice you’re making, there). On the other hand, you can certainly dismiss my observations out of hand, they are, after all, only a reflection of my own experience. Your results may vary. But… if you find yourself failing to succeed again and again, in life, in romance, in love, in various relationships, please do consider, just maybe, it may be to do with how you feel about (and treat) the human being in the mirror. How we treat ourselves, how we regard ourselves, what we expect of ourselves, what we accept from ourselves… all of this has great potential to affect how we treat other people. So… if that’s a thing that matters to you, I’m just saying, maybe consider treating yourself with great kindness, consideration, and regard – and see where that takes you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Today is a good day for it…

…If it doesn’t work out today, you can always begin again, tomorrow. You may need practice. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s been a strange unscripted spontaneous mostly-not-even-planned-at-all long weekend (short vacation?), and it isn’t even over yet. I smile at the soft homogeneous gray sky. I’ve no idea what today holds… rain, probably…

…I know I get to begin again. ๐Ÿ˜€

 

I woke early for a Saturday. I woke early for a Saturday morning following a late Friday night. ย I most particularly woke early for a Saturday morning following a late Friday night during which I danced, laughed, painted, studied, meditated, and did yoga – did I mention the dancing? I enjoyed an evening filled with movement, music and delight, and tumbled into bed quite exhausted and ready for sleep, just a bit past midnight. I woke at 4:00 am, awake, alert, and… awake. I took my morning medication, and managed to coax myself to sleep another hour or so, finally getting up on the internal promise that naps are a thing, if I need one later. ๐Ÿ™‚

I broke out in a sweat, trembling, while I was making my coffee. A hot flash? Maybe… without warning I quickly went from sweating to nausea to being quite suddenly and very efficiently sick. The kitchen sink is not the ideally appropriate culturally typical receptacle for vomiting, and I was far more uncomfortable with having been in the kitchen at the time, than I was with being sick so suddenly. Any symptoms of illness wereย gone as soon as the vomiting ended, and that wasn’t an agonizing experience. As I said – efficient. I put making coffee aside, and cleaned the sink… then the kitchen… Yep. Uncomfortable with being sick in the kitchen puts it mildly. Well… the kitchen just sparkles this morning…now. ย  (I’m pretty sure it would take a forensic team to tell anyone ever got sick in that sink, or this kitchen, at this point. lol)

I had a ‘date night’ planned (with myself) for last night, and enjoyed myself most thoroughly, although it wasn’t entirely about pleasure or self-indulgence. I was a woman on a mission: get to know the woman in the mirror even better, understand her needs more thoroughly – and understand what holds her back from… whatever. Stuff. Or something like that. I have notes – it was all very organized. lol My honest intent was simply to reach a little deeper into the chaos and damage and tease loose a detail or two worth holding onto, and letting some of the baggage go. As evenings in general go, it was lovely, and I suppose successful. Sometimes the positive results of developing emotional self-sufficiency are pretty subtle, and don’t come in the form of grandiose visions of change, or profound epiphanies. Last night was rather like that, too. Deep, moving… but somehow also quite subtle. More affirming than radically changing anything, which is significant all on its own.

My weekend is entirely solo this week, and I need the space to work on me. I am spending the weekend writing, and painting, and meditating. I built a playlist for last night intended to stoke my creativity, and be thought-provoking…I ended up dancing more than thinking. I’m okay with that, too. Life is movement – there are verbs involved – sitting still is a very slow suicide (at least for this fragile meat vessel I reside within).

I started the weekend in the most delightful way, with three packages. I brought them into the house, but left them unopened until later in the evening, when I finally sat down to enjoy the night. One said ‘gift’ on it, and I opened it eagerly. A present from my traveling partner…

A token of affection. Love on a chain. The only heart-shaped locket I have ever owned.

A token of affection. Love on a chain. The only heart-shaped locket I have ever owned or worn.

I eagerly put a photo in the locket; the same photo that sits on the nightstand, where I see him smiling, relaxed, and enjoying my good company (I remember the day I took the picture very clearly). I touch the locket gently, where it rests on my collar-bone. I smile when I think of it, and of love. Because I generally don’t wear necklaces, I was very much aware of the sensation of it resting on my body through the evening, and the sensation was rather as if my traveling partner was with me. I feel loved.

Later I opened the other two packages – both from me, to me, both relevant to the experience of being me, of being a woman… both are books. Both are first editions (no idea why that matters at all, or why it delights me so – I’m still going to read them, and it’s all I would do with them, regardless; they’re books). One is an old book that I love dearly, written by a favorite author about a favorite strong female character: “Friday” by Robert Heinlein. I am eager to read it again. ย The other is “Fear of Dying”ย newly released by Erica Jong, and I am eager to read it for the first time, and finding myself tempted to reread “Fear of Flying” now that I have some life experience of my own to understand it with (I first read it in 1973…I was 10, and didn’t identify with the characters or circumstances even a little bit). I find that reading adds to the intimacy of a quiet evening. I yearn to sit wrapped in comfort with my feet in my traveling partner’s lap, reading aloud for our enjoyment, and talking it over together.

I’ve been working on treating the woman in the mirror with more genuine affection, respect, and consideration – and one of the ways I ease her suffering and silent fury is to give more time to the voices of women, generally. Bringing Erica Jong to my library is one way of doing that. Certainly, she’s one of many strong female voices ‘of my generation’. Subtle signs of implicit gender bias in our culture exist literally everywhere, even in my own experience as a woman; I had no idea how many books Erica Jong has actually written over the years, or how many of those are non-fiction. It was an eye-opening moment reading the list of her work, and to understand how easy it is to dismiss female authors without realizing the error in the moment it occurs.

I didn’t paint much last night – I spent far more of the evening on meditation, writing, and dancing. I didn’t do any reading at all, although I had planned to. It was a night for love. If it had been a night out with another person, my feelings this morning would be as they are; I have a song in my heart, and a smile on my lips, and I feel valued and filled with joy. It’s nice to find that I can deliver that experience to myself now and then. It’s powerful to discover that these feelings are not specific to sexual love. ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Taking care of me comes in many forms. I am pleased to learn how much I do have to offer myself, and what an array of choices there really are. The weekend continues… Today is a good day to enjoy the woman in the mirror.