Archives for posts with tag: sufficiency

We’ve all got something, right? Something broken, something that doesn’t work the way “everyone else” manages the thing? Some quirk or bit of eccentricity? What the hell is “normal”, anyway?

I sat with the results of yesterday’s handiwork more than a little frustrated to be so thoroughly stalled by “a hole in my thinking”. It happens. I just couldn’t actually make knowledge and action cooperate in the necessary way. The stereo and TV are hooking up now, the connection to the digital world is established. The sub-woofer – trust me, necessary with the music I favor – is not yet hooked up. I couldn’t quite get it done. Another day perhaps, or with help from my Traveling Partner – if he ever does make it over to see the new place before I eventually, some day, move out. (The lingering mild bleakness is simply that shred of personal frustration that I need help with something I know how to do, because knowing how is not itself enough to get past my injury every time.)

There have been moves which resulted in quite a lot more disruption over hooking up the stereo. This time? No tears. No panic. No anxiety – just that last moment, there at the end of the day, when my brain just completely failed me, sitting there staring at the back of the amp, the back of the sub-woofer, cables carefully laid out… and I couldn’t make sense of any of it. I had marked all the other cables so it was more a color matching game than anything else, just to keep things fairly efficient. For some reason, perhaps feeling rushed, I didn’t mark the sub-woofer or tag the cables when I readied them for the move – and I didΒ do something I make a specific practice of not doing these days… I had unplugged both ends of all the cables associated with the sub-woofer. Oops. Shit.

I’ll tackle the sub-woofer again next weekend, early in the day. I often find my injury is a bigger deal cognitively when I am fatigued, so my next step is try again, in the morning, a couple hours into the day. No point being stressed out about it; I live with this. πŸ™‚

I bitched about the moment on Facebook, and a friend commiserated in a healthy way. I felt less alone with my issues and grateful to be a social creature. I sip my coffee and smile. Learning to be kind and to be compassionate, myself, has definitely paid off in more good relationships that are mutually nurturing and supportive.

My sleep is wreckage this weekend. No idea why. I’ve managed to sleep in both yesterday and today – but it’s merely been the consequence of prolonged wakefulness during the night, and needing to get more sleep after being wakeful. My nights are currently like two longish naps. lol I feel pretty well-rested though.

I’ve ended up with this nagging sensation that there is “a great deal to sort out”, but when I attempt to turn my attention to it, there’s nothing there, really. It’s strange. I end up feeling highly distracted, this morning. It’s reason enough to begin again. Breakfast? Coffee on the deck? I think so. πŸ™‚ It’s a good day to take care of the woman in the mirror.

The news? Pretty nearly all bad. The song in my heart? Pretty much, most of the time, all good. The way I get that done? I choose. You can too.

But wait – am I so cruel and clueless as to suggest that people struggling with mental illness can just “choose” to be okay? “Choose” a happier song? “Choose” to get over it? Omg – no. Not really. When we’re sick, we need care. We may need appropriate medicine to treat our illness or injury. We may need a visit with a doctor, or a stay in a hospital. We may be offered a treatment plan to follow… and a different one when that doesn’t quite work out… and another after that… and then… more verbs. Fuck. And results will vary. We each walk our own hard mile. It’s so not as easy as “pick a different song to sing“… except… It’d probably help though, and why would we not, if we can make the effort, choose to do the things that help?

So… I choose. I am, myself, among the “mentally ill”. PTSD is a real thing. My TBI on top of that (or underneath it, as it were) complicates things. I struggle with anxiety. I struggle with emotion, generally. I’m very human. This is a journey in progress. I have hard days. I also choose better practices than I once did. Meditation really works well for me, helping me find that chill space in my own head that prevents me descending into despair on some spiral of tears and rumination. Taking better physical care of this fragile vessel has been of value; I am less likely to quickly exhaust myself due to lack of sleep, or poor nutrition. I have fewer nightmares, and I have learned better “sleep hygiene”. Developing better emotional intelligence has incredibly worthwhile; my relationships are more fulfilling, and less fraught with confrontation, because I am more able to take time to listen deeply, to avoid becoming fused with someone else’s emotional experience, or to be manipulated by their expectations and assumptions. I am more able to avoid coloring my experience with an internal narrative built on my own untested assumptions or implicit expectations. These things have value. All of these improvements required making choices, and changing some behavior and thinking. Turns out that isn’t so hard, in most cases – although it also isn’t as easy as just saying words, either. There’s been quite a lot of practice involved – there always will be. Β I’m even okay with that. Incremental change over time is a real thing; we become what we practice.

It makes sense that choosing our practices in a willful way, understanding of our needs, and who we most want to be, would result in eventually getting to that place.Β It ends up also being very helpful, along the way, not getting overly attached to that vision. Outcomes don’t always look quite the way we planned them out in our heads. πŸ™‚

I have an appointment with my therapist next week. Yep. It’s a journey. I still make choices. I still practice practices. I am still walking my own hard mile. Sometimes I still need help. πŸ™‚ I’m okay with that too.

My “stay-cation” destination.

I sip my coffee and consider the short work shift ahead. Change is a thing. I’m back to Monday through Friday, but I have firm plans for today (at the start of the week, it was my day off), so the weekend begins at 11 am, and is a bit longer than usual. πŸ™‚ I hear sleeping in is nice – I’ll try that sometime. Maybe tomorrow. πŸ˜‰ The weekend unfolds ahead of me rather gently. It feels good to contemplate staying home, doing some more moving in stuff… maybe a walk to the Farmer’s Market (it’s time to start trying to put reals miles on these feet, again)… morning coffee in the garden on the deck… just generally saying “yes” to life.

I’m ready to begin again.

Crap. I’m stuck on finding a particular item, post-move, and it is most likely still packed in one of the few remaining boxes. I’ve been stuck on it since yesterday evening after work, and I woke with it nagging at it me. An old “day planner”…

Remember having a “day planner”?

It’s not what’s in that old day planner that I’m looking for, though. It’s the cover. I painted on the plain coarse fabric cover. I’m looking for that original piece. The ideas and inspiration behind it persist in my consciousness, even going on to become other pieces of work on those themes, using similar colors, similar compositions. Iconic. Metaphoric. Allegorical. I’d share a picture… but… that’s sort of the point just now; I can’t find it. LOL

Wait. Stop. I need “do over”! I haven’t found it yet. I will though. Or… I won’t. There’s always a slim chance that in some moment altered perspective, or left brain/right brain weirdness, I looked at it with new eyes, finding it lacking in value – being just an old day planner – and tossed it. Oh yeah. I totally do that shit. Regrettably often.

I keep looking in the same boxes hoping I over looked it. Fucking hilarious. It will take unpacking every one of the remaining boxes…but… I want it before Friday. I guess tonight I am at least opening those two boxes I just keep hoping I won’t have to open prematurely; breakables. It’s not time to unpack those. I may have to open those boxes nonetheless – just to quiet my mind. I’ll almost certainly be unable to refrain from unpacking the remaining boxes of books – in spite of the lack of shelves for them. Damn it.

“Stop it.” The sound of my voice in the stillness startles me. Right. Let it go.

I sip my coffee. Breathe. Relax. Let the music in my ears reach my attention. Remind myself that satisfying the compelling idea I’m stuck on is not actually the sole solution to this aggravation – and possibly only a second best solution. Letting go of attachment to finding that day planner is a first-rate solution, also, and doable. Meditation is the verb I could be reaching for there. Helpful. Yeah. I put myself on pause. I give myself that precious gift of time, my own awareness… and I let it go. Really let it go.

Maybe I find it.

Maybe I don’t.

Maybe I choose to open those boxes.

Maybe I don’t.

…And hey… Hasn’t the intention been, all along, to unpack all the fucking boxes, at some point? πŸ˜‰

Imperfect circumstances and impermanence are part of the experience. I breathe, relax, sip my coffee and begin the day again.

My schedule is suddenly Monday through Friday again. Less than ideal for me, personally, but I adapt to the changes as they come, as comfortably as I can. There will be amusing moments when colleagues offer expressions of appreciation, relief, or recognition of some ‘good fortune’ involved (“Well, at least you get weekends off…”), but for me, this is a shitty change. Sure, sure, “everyone” I know (not everyone at all; it’s a misperception) has weekends off. I like having weekdays off and working the quieter weekend days – and the commute on weekends is definitely more pleasant. Having days off that permit doctor’s appointments, errand-running, and provide more retail options is just a better fit for my lifestyle. I don’t find it helpful to miss work to go to therapy – it’s adding stress to the process of relieving stress. It’s inconvenient to be in the middle of a large painting and discover too late that I’ve run out of a particular color that I won’t be able to replace on the weekend. Stuff like that. Monday through Friday work schedules? Keep my share. But… it’s what I’ve got, starting yesterday. Yeah, I’m kind of bitching about it. Sorry. I’m cross over the whole mess. I’ll get past it. Find the good in it for myself – the good that matters most to me, personally.

(It’ll make visiting my Traveling Partner a bit easier. That’s something.)

The point, really, is that there is work to be done; this affects all my planning for the next… 4 months. Yep. I’ve got plans on the calendar – shared plans – 4 months in the future. Damn, I’m glad I hadn’t yet planned the winter holidays. lol Another point? It affects this coming weekend, and the weekend after that; both weekends I’d made firm plans. Well, shit. So… some plans will change, other plans will require changes to my time off planning… it’s a good think I enjoy planning. lol

Was there really a point to any of this? I take a sip of my coffee, brow furrowed, acutely aware that my attention was on something else as I made coffee this morning, and I considered not writing a blog post in favor of writing to a dear friend… then, this. How strange.

…I really want to find that day planner…

I head back to my meditation cushion to begin again.

…Funny thing about meditation…

20170817_060419

… I couldn’t quite let it go… but… I also found it.Β 

Got that splinter removed. πŸ™‚

 

 

I slept in today, which was lovely, even though I woke with a stuffy head, a headache, and aching joints. I thought maybe I was coming down with a cold, but as I woke up, moved around a bit, showered, and got myself going for the day, I began feeling better. So… maybe not a cold.

I had a clear plan for the day, it unraveled almost immediately. If I were deeply emotionally invested to the details as planned, I’d be struggling with disappointment, frustration, and feeling aggravated. I’ve learned a lot about contentment over the last couple of years, and generally speaking, lasting sustainable contentment requires a couple of simple-but-harder-than-they-appear practices, in my own experience. Firstly, refraining from becoming emotionally invested in an outcome is super helpful. Then also, it’s a good practice to avoid holding implicit unstated expectations (of myself, events, or other people). Then, one more, sometimes super challenging, practice; letting go of attachment, just generally. Doesn’t mean “nothing matters”, that’s not it at all, it’s more that however much something I’ve planned may feel urgent, important, or necessary, circumstances can and do intervene, other people are human and also have freewill, and sometimes – no, seriously – sometimes I’m just mistaken, or lacking in complete information at some point that results in a plan breaking down.

So, today, when I woke very much not feeling like doing a lot of things, at all, I took a look down my list and noticed that grocery shopping properly, getting fresh produce into the house, and restocking the pantry of some exhausted supplies seemed to be overdue. So – I went to do that, figuring it would be a simple enough errand to run, in the early morning.

When I started the car, the “low tire pressure” warning light came on. Huh. Well – okay, there’s a tire place right up the road, quite nearby. Easily handled. Since I’m doing that, I’ll get the oil changed, and the tires rotated – on the way to the grocery store. Nice. I’m feeling super efficient and adulting with skill, now, yeah? πŸ˜€ I did the shopping. Got my nails done. Got home… and now that list doesn’t seem so daunting. I check off all the things I’d just done (all of which were on my list, anyway).

I continue to assemble a new updated weekend “bug out bag” for spontaneous road-trip-ery; having the car opens a lot of interesting doors. I check my calendar for upcoming weekends to spend with my Traveling Partner down south where he is working. I add some calendar events to my calendar, and find myself wondering about the holidays. Is it too soon to send him an invitation for the Yule holiday hear at home with me? (Not for me, it isn’t! lol)

Right about then is when I realized why the day was feeling so terrifically satisfying; I feel at home. I’m “home making”, today. I smile. Pause for a coffee break and a few minutes to write. I shrug off my utter failure to score tickets to see Macklemore in Portland in October (those tickets went fast) and send my Traveling Partner a calendar event to spend that weekend with him. Nothing to regret about the way that turned out. πŸ™‚

I move down the list, and around the house, checking off tasks as I complete them. I water the garden. Feed the fish. Do the dishes. Start a new batch of sprouts. I’ll probably just keep at it until I hit the 6 hour mark or so, then call it a day well-spent, put my feet up, and relax. πŸ™‚

…I still haven’t hooked up the TV or stereo. lol I guess I could do that too, at this point, with very little risk of over-indulging in “brain candy” (videos, anime, YouTube content…) or derailing my productivity. Taking a break from all that for a couple weeks now and then seems a healthy choice for me, particularly while I am rebuilding broken or bent routines affected by a change in circumstances – or address.

This is where I live. This is “home”. It’s not an instantaneous thing, and there are verbs involved here, too, and a commitment to “make it my own” in so many little ways. That continues, I suppose, until I can find my way in the dark, until I can step into the studio and immediately begin painting, until I can step on the deck and cut fresh herbs for cooking, until each and all of my friends and loves know just where I am on a solitary night, and whether I would welcome them… there is so much to do. I sometimes forget how much I enjoy doing it. πŸ™‚

My coffee is done. I still have several things to do on my list. I guess I’ll begin again, then – it won’t change “the world”, but it certainly makes this wee corner of it more comfortable. πŸ˜‰