Archives for posts with tag: stay on the path

It wasn’t especially late when I went to bed last night. It’s just me, here, for now, so the temptations to stay awake past that point at which I am sleepy and it feels like “bed time” are very few. I sometimes read for a few minutes before sleep begins to overtake me; it wasn’t necessary last night. I slept 8 hours, almost uninterrupted, and waking only once. I woke rested, waking almost completely before I noticed I had made the transition from dreaming to… noticing that I was awake, with my eyes open, in the darkness. It’s not yet dawn, and that doesn’t distress me, at all. It’s a Saturday, and the day is mine. πŸ™‚

My coffee tastes good. I still smell a hint of my Traveling Partner’s cologne from sleeping next to a t-shirt he’d worn before he left on business. It’s a shameless, guiltless, joyful admission; I miss him, and the scent of his cologne delights me, and keeps me mellow in his absence. lol

It’s an easy morning, so far. My knees ache from yesterday’s endeavors, although it isn’t about an injury or any sort of crazy activity; I’m breaking in new boots. The ache in my knees this morning hints that I may need to have my hiking books re-soled. Taking a look, I can see how much less straight my gait must be in my well-worn hiking boots, versus the new dress boots. Something to be aware of. I have two pairs of the same Vasque hiking boots – identical other than the color of the trim. They fit my feet incredibly well, and both pairs have had at least one re-soling, I like them that much. I sip my coffee and think about the day ahead… it seems likely that I’ll decide on what to wear from the footwear up… lol What will be least painful for the day? It’s not a bad decision-making framework, even in general, right? “What will be least painful?” is good for decision-making, right?

…Hmmm… I feel myself reject that thinking with unexpected firmness, less because “What will be least painful?” is a terrible way to make decisions (I think it’s probably a safe direction to go on life’s path, more often than not…), but more because making all of the decisions in the context of thresholds, matrices, frameworks, rules, and all sorts of other rigid “help me avoid being responsible for my decision”sorts of decision-making tools are a less than ideal way to be present, to be in the moment, or to really live my life. Those sorts of approaches are useful as tools, in a limited number of circumstances, but perhaps it’s generally better to be awake, alive, and accountable – wholly authentic about the questions, the choices, the uncertainties, and really truly “right there living it”?

I don’t know. I’m nothing like a “perfect person”. Not even close. I’m just one human being doing my best – and I have, myself, found as many failures in my decision-making on auto-pilot as I have embracing change and willful choices. Adulting is hard. Decision-making isn’t effortless, and formulas sometimes don’t work the way I would like them to. So. Hiking boots and jeans today, because my knee aches – even if it is worn boots that may have set me up for this painful experience? Or new boots and tired aching feet, because breaking in boots takes time, and isn’t always a comfortable experience, but hey, it corrects my gait because the soles are not worn down…?

…Fuck it. I’m barefooted. LOL πŸ˜€

What I’m pointing out, I guess, is that dichotomies are fairly rare… and false dichotomies are crazy common. There are often far more different choices available to our decision-making process than we consider. It’s a little weird, butΒ  human primates seem to prefer to narrow things down to just two choices. It’s not even “easier” when we do, but there we are; two choices. Either/or. Yes/no. True/False. Democrat/Republican. Poor/Rich. It’s seriously weird when I pause to just look at those handful of apparent dichotomies; even “true/false” isn’t really “real”. There’s a lot of room between those, other options to consider – life is more nuanced than aΒ  dichotomy suggests. Get used to it. Make room for depth. Take it as an opportunity, instead of fighting it. Be more than a yes or no. πŸ™‚

…How often have I frustrated my partner(s) – or failed a test – out of discomfort with answering a “yes or no question” with a yes, or a no, because it all just seems vastly more nuanced than that to me? Is that a reflection of my injury…? I pause a moment to wonder, before letting my mind move on.

I sit sipping coffee, listening to the rain fall. It’s not actually raining. I just enjoy the sound of falling rain, and have a video on in the background, for the sound of it. It’s one of those sloppy, wintry, rain storms that sounds like icy puddles and unexpectedly slick sidewalks. Soothing – and a reminder of how grateful I am to be safe, warm, and dry. The comfort of the warm mug in my hand, and of this space that surrounds me, is more than pleasant – it’s “home”. I smile and think of my Traveling Partner, starting his day in a hotel room, in a strange city… I miss him. I miss coffee together on a Saturday morning. I’m also greatly enjoying the solo time. There’s a balance to it; I miss him deeply in the same breath that I am greatly appreciative to have this time for myself. No guilt or shame or awkwardness; this is part of who I am.

…I still miss him. I’m looking forward to his homecoming – and not just because we’ll enjoy watching Rick & Morty’s Season 4 opener, either. But… yeah… also for that. LOL I smile and have another sip of my coffee. I settle on a plan for the day that includes some housekeeping stuff on my to do list, and also a trip out to a bigger retail space to continue the hunt for a blazer that fits me sufficiently well to be worth buying. Yesterday, I found a lovely warm winter coat at a great price (just being real; I’m not made out of money, and I try my best to be wise with purchases), and it definitely feels like it will be a winter that requires a coat. I sigh out loud in this quiet room – loud enough to hear myself over the rain. Contented. Feeling loved from afar. Okay with the day. Comfortable in my skin.

…It feels like time to begin again. πŸ™‚

What moves you? I mean, literally; what gets you off the couch, puts you in motion, and sees you down the path from what you imagine or dream, to what you get done? Worth thinking about, isn’t it? What’s holding you back from your individual idea of success? Are you feeling stuck? What are you sticking to? If your life is a single narrative, a story, what’s the ending you’d like? How do you get there? Are you even the protagonist of your own tale? All good questions to consider. I sit here with my coffee, quietly considering them.

I watch this video, again. My Traveling Partner had shared it with me. I shared it with my work team.

I watch this video, too. It may not be immediately obvious what connects them, but it is, for me, an important thread.

I watch this video, simple because it’s too fucking obvious – and somehow still needs an occasional reminder.

It’s a lovely start to the day, to be reminded of all the potential life holds – and how much of my personal success is within my hands, if not within my control. My decision-making doesn’t just “matter”; it is the framework on which I build my life. πŸ™‚

…So… choose wisely, eh? πŸ˜€ For sure…but also remember that everything you want in life is probably “harder than it looks” and what motivates you may be entirely out of reach without a lot of work – and may even be completely unfathomable to someone else, entirely. A lot of what is appealing in life only looks easy to reach. Ideally, those harsh-seeming realities don’t stop us, as individuals, they serve to refine our craft, and create the strengths for which we will later stand out among others on the path we’ve chosen. πŸ™‚

…Or something like that. I’m just saying; there are verbs involved.

…And hey… don’t let the internet, or the vast quantities of excess information, or brain candy, become the diet on which your mind subsists. As with the food we consume, it matters that the content we consume be “nutritious”, and that we “limit our intake” in a healthy way. I mean… otherwise, it’s just a huge time-consuming monster that reduces our human endeavors to a series of mouse clicks, and shares. πŸ˜‰ Just saying… get out there and really live.

Seems like a good time to begin again. This coffee is finished. A new day is beginning. The time is mine, as is the dream. Where will this path take me?

The path isn’t always paved…

I slept in. It’s a lovely summer morning, before the heat sets in. Water is heating for coffee. Internal plumbing means I have hot water on tap for a refreshing shower, and air conditioning keeps the place comfortable for the heat of the day. I caught sight of a bunny down in the yard, from the deck this morning, as I watered. I’m not in any particular pain, right now. I feel good in my skin. So much goodness in this one moment.

A chipmunk grabs a quick bite before darting away.

A bit like small, timid, creatures expecting to be hunted, sometimes we handle our best moments fearfully, ready to dart away at the first “sign of danger”, waiting for disaster to strike, or convinced we don’t “deserve” it, or that it isn’t real. :-\

This morning? I’m just enjoying the moment, and this fine cup of coffee, which I’ve only now finished making. It feels like summer, and I am content to enjoy that. I’ll also note that “this”? It didn’t come naturally. I used to face all the good life had to offer me with terrible anxiety – certain that it would all be “taken away”. Soon. That perspective made it super hard to really relax, and really wholly enjoy myself. Contentment stayed out of reach. Happiness was largely out of the question. Life felt harder than it had to.

I’m not sure how to convince or persuade that there is another way, besides living another way, making other choices, and sharing my experience. Your results may vary. We each have to walk our own hard mile; we are each having our own experience. Still. This is a great place to begin a new journey. Or this. Hell, if you’re into reading, there are stepping stones and mile posts all along this path. Yes, it does require effort. Yes, it’s work you’ll do the rest of your life. I’m not trying to discourage you by calling it “effort” or “work”, either, just being real, reading about doing what it will take is not at all the same as doing the things it will take. Still… the effort, for me, has been very much worth it.

…It’s a lovely sunny day. My coffee tastes good. My heart is at ease. It’s time to begin again. πŸ™‚

This cup of hot coffee tastes well-made, and satisfying. An early hour for it. I woke this morning, ahead of the alarm clock, alone. The morning unfolds quietly, gently, without any fuss. It could be any morning. How does it feel so very different, simply lacking the (sleeping) companionship of my Traveling Partner? The subtle shift in my awareness accounts for that, I suppose; I am not dedicating a portion of my awareness to continuously maintaining consideration for another human being, asleep in another room. I sip my coffee, contentedly. No loneliness this morning, just quiet.

He departed yesterday, some time after I left for work. We’d had our morning coffee together, quietly, contentedly. There wasn’t much to talk about; the planning had been skillfully done, the car was packed, the day was ordinary in most other regards. We sat together, waking slowly, gathering our thoughts, forming our intentions, sipping our coffee. I enjoyed the moment a great deal, and it became a happy platform upon which the day ahead would be built. After an ordinary enough work day, I returned home. All so very beautifully mundane, so easy to overlook the tremendous warmth and affection that infused it, like the strawberries in the infused water in the office – subtle and mild, and quite lovely.

Work was work. Summer flowers are blooming everywhere. The day passed quickly.

…I’ve no idea how any of that was so tiring, really, nonetheless; I had little energy or interest in doing things after work. I got home, more thirsty than hungry, and after quenching my thirst with many glasses of water, and enjoying a few minutes of conversation with my Traveling Partner, (once he arrived at his destination, for the night, moments after I got home, myself) I went to bed. I don’t think it was even 7:30 pm, yet. lol I didn’t “read awhile”, or meditate, or toss and turn; I was sound asleep within some few brief minutes after laying down. My sleep was deep and satisfying. I woke gently – to the sound of a chat notification on my phone, of all things (had I really left the ringer turned up??). When I checked my phone, there was no message, no notification, no sound – and the ringer was off, phone set to Do Not Disturb, for the hours between 11pm and 6am. lol I dreamt the sound. Just time for a new day, I guess.

It feels luxurious to get up, turn on a light without concern about waking someone else, and move through the details of my morning routine unconcerned by clumsiness, or someone else’s needs, just focusing on starting my day well, and caring for myself. I make a point to savor the things about living alone that I enjoy so much; there will be ample time to “appreciate” the things about being alone that are less pleasant, and I will make room for them in my heart, too, and hopefully grow from those experiences, and learn more, better ways to love and to share space. I sip my coffee, and consider the differences between living alone, and living with someone. I take a moment to fully appreciate having a partnership that so skillfully supports my need for solitary time. My Traveling Partner “gets me”, and I feel very loved.

…I take a moment to appreciate the way we “choose” this partnership, every day.

Sometimes our path is illuminated. Sometimes we walk our mile in darkness.

….Mmm… This is a very good cup of coffee. I find myself hoping my partner’s morning cup of coffee is similarly good, and smile at the first hints of day break showing through my studio window. So far, a pleasant morning. πŸ™‚

There’s little truly shareworthy content in this quiet morning, beyond the quiet itself, and that’s only worth sharing if I consider it in the context of yearning for quiet and not finding it, or lacking any conviction that the quiet is worth experiencing, or… well, it’s all very subjective, I guess I’m saying, and not exciting, or the sort of thing that great adventure builds from. I’m just here, now. It is morning. I am content. By itself, quite worthwhile, and exceedingly achievable, with some verbs, and open communication, expectation-setting, self-care, and a well-chosen partnership. Nothing about that is “easy” or without effort. All of it is within reach, based on choices, generally. Real life happens. That’s a thing. I remind myself to be grateful for these easy-feeling moments, and to savor this quiet morning; life can be chaotic. Struggle is real. The wheel turns. This, too, shall pass.

…My coffee nearly finished off, I notice I’ve let myself become distracted by thoughts of work, already. I breathe, exhale, relax, and let that go – it creeps back, anyway. I sigh, and laugh out loud, disturbing the stillness. I check the time, and decide to get an early start on the day; this moment is as good as any to begin again. πŸ™‚

β€œLife should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” ~Hunter S. Thompson

…And all the new beginnings that that implies…and perhaps a few more.

I put quite a bit of time, enthusiastic daydreaming, and research, into the trip I planned to take this past weekend. I never did the one thing necessary to bring it to life; I did not begin the journey. I just thought about it. LOL There’s a lesson in there. An allegory. A metaphor. A parable, perhaps. The weekend did not lack of significant XP, however; it was an adventure, a brief journey, and an interesting progression of emotions and events, nonetheless. πŸ™‚

I needed wide open space, and big sky – and found it close to home. There’s a lesson, here, too.

My birthday has been well-celebrated. A new year of life has been kick-started, decisively. There has been feasting, entertainment, the company of friends, and so much love! Errands were run. Housekeeping got done. The garden was cared for. A humble adventure has commenced.

My first orchid. A wee adventure with which to start the year.

It’s been a fast, relaxed, and delightful handful of days, in spite of news of my Mother’s decline. There will be time to process that in full, and there is no need to rush, or to force it down into a dark quiet corner of my heart. It is what it is; we are mortal creatures, and of all the things that will inevitably pass, our brief mortal lives are one of the most challenging to let go of… and then that greater challenging of letting go of those we love. No user’s guide for this one, either. I sometimes feel I am fumbling around in the dark with my emotions. I know that my emotions haven’t killed me yet. πŸ™‚ I’ll get through this, too.

I think about the beautiful broad expanse of meadow, and the scent of wildflowers on the breeze.

I smile, letting the details of the weekend unfold in my recollection. What a lovely time to share with my Traveling Partner.

Life’s pleasures don’t have to be fancy to be enjoyed. Life’s beauty doesn’t have to be costly to be lovely.

I sip my coffee. It’s Monday. I shift gears to “now” and remind myself of the path ahead. The year will continue to unfold. What will July hold? What of September? And the holiday season with my Traveling Partner right here at home? What of the future? And the unanswered questions in life?

Where does this path lead?

It’s time to find out. It’s time to begin again. πŸ™‚