Archives for posts with tag: The Big 5

Have you ever noticed how time sort of “stands still” in those fully engaged intimate moments of connecting with another? I know, I know – those moments are so fleeting, so cherished, so hard to pin down, or duplicate later. I still find them “timeless”, at least in the moment.

That’s how it was last night. My Traveling Partner came over and hung out awhile, before he heads off for work elsewhere, far away. We talked rather seriously through the evening. The future is vast, and broad, and the choices on life’s menu seem to… breathe… expanding and contracting day-to-day, sometimes moment-to-moment, and I am having trouble choosing my adventure with any comfort or efficiency.

Sometimes life is uncomfortable – and inefficient.

We talked. We enjoyed a pleasant evening hanging out. No TV. No music. Just us two, talking about things to come, where we’re headed in life, what we each want – or need. As evenings go, it was intimate, nurturing, adult, romantic, supportive, practical, and connected. It met needs upon needs upon needs, no tears or tantrums required. No demands. No frustrations. Two people who love each other, loving each other. Sharing.

Sometimes it’s not about words.

We talked – and we also just chilled with each other, hanging out in my somewhat too warm apartment. He shopped and talked about things he needs in life. I went over recent changes in thinking, and discussed the profundity of change. We shared pictures. We shared anecdotes. We shared concerns. We shared hugs and kisses. The evening was quiet and relaxed. We’d thought about going out for a movie, we could have done it, we didn’t need to “do” so much as we needed to “be” – together. So we did that.

This morning I’m smiling. I slept more deeply, and woke feeling more rested, than I generally do. I grin at myself to notice the quality of my smile. I “hear” a Nicki Minaj track in my head, in the background, it’ll probably be there all day (or at least until a love song replaces it). 😀 I find myself wondering about the connection between feeling so well-loved, and sleeping so well… Is that a thing?

Lovely moment. Lovely morning. Lovely day. Loving love… so… loving life, too. Funny how hard it was to find my way to this place. No idea how long it may last (it’s not really a helpful question). I let the cool morning air fill the apartment, sip my coffee, and smile. There’s nothing to add to this, really. Life is no less complicated, busy, or challenging, just because there is Love, but the love does seem to make all the rest less… troublesome. It’s enough.

Love is enough. Loving starts with me. Starts with the woman in the mirror and how I treat myself. What a strange puzzle. There are definitely verbs involved.

We become what we practice. ❤

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 a simple message. It doesn’t require a lot of words. It doesn’t take any fancy equipment, or elaborate planning or preparation. Just go outside. Get up, step away from the computer, or the television, and put your head – and your thinking – outside the confines of this space.

It’s a challenge, I know, but don’t let yourself drown in the bullshit and drama – even at the congressional level. lol Once you’ve read the coverage once, there’s no special value or extra credit for reading each re-hash of all of those same details. Seriously. News outlets are trying to make money, generate clicks, views, likes, and put their advertisers in front of your eye holes. Advertisers want to sell products. The end goal does not happen to be either truth or accuracy, and it is important to be aware of that.

Go outside.

This is outside.

I’m just saying that there is value in new perspective. There is value in fresh air, sunshine, and even walks in rain showers. There are moments yet left to live – to really live – and most of those don’t happen to become what they could be, seated at a computer, fingers poised over the keyboard, or eyes vague and unfocused as brain candy trickles into one’s visual field.

Also outside.

Some of us don’t have the easy option to “just go outside”, due to physical limitations, illness, literal confinement… things. So – if you’re not in one of those limiting situations, how silly is it to waste the chance? No fooling – the chance to go outside may not exist “forever” (very few things do)… so… What are you waiting for? Get up. Move around a bit. Go outside. Self-imposed isolation has some potentially very unhealthy elements, and…well… outside there are flowers blooming, clouds hanging decoratively overhead or sweeping across the sky, birds, bees, butterflies… There are some lovely sights to see, and paths to wander.

Yep. Outside.

Of course, I write these words speaking from a certain privilege, and I don’t mean to; I’m not plagued by allergies, and I’m still pretty comfortably able to walk, and I don’t immediately burn to a crisp at any hint of exposure to the sun, and… well… I like it outside. lol So, if you have terrible allergies, hate the sun entirely or just crisp up immediately, or can’t put weight on your feet at all, or loathe being outdoors… well, shit. Then I sound like a clueless dick, because I’ve overlooked that we are each having our own experience, and that isn’t at all what I’ve meant to do. Perhaps, instead of going outside, you can distract yourself from the delights of the glowing screen in front of you with a good book, or a conversation with a living person in your actual space, or learn bonsai, or grow a wee container garden, invent a calorie-free-eco-groovy-healthy gummy bear, or… something other than this strange alien digital connection that pumps pre-processed information into your brain by way of your eyes and ears, requiring only that you sit there quietly, scrolling, clicking, viewing, and liking?

That’s really what I am getting at, I think; don’t just let your life pass, sitting there quietly receiving pre-processed, re-hashed, unchallenged information! Make actual use of all the squishy bits stuffed into your cranium! There is a fairly profound difference between “finding stillness within”, by the way, and just sitting still, facing your screen. These are not at all related things.

So.

Go outside. Go outside your comfort zone. Go outside your normal thinking. Go outside your usual routine. Go outside your safe feeling space. Go outside your expectations. Go the fuck outside before the whole of your life is wasted on repetition and distraction. Live your life such that there is something to be distracted from, in the first place. 🙂

This is outside, too.

You know that thing you want to do? Why not go do that? Get a start on it at least, start doing the homework, laying the groundwork, learning all of the things…

How about that stuff you want to know more about… maybe a language you have always wanted to learn, or a place you’ve considered traveling, or something that has always interested you, that you’ve not yet acted on? That’s a nice start, too.

What’s holding you back? Probably the same stuff that holds me back – that holds each of us back; there are verbs involved. Effort. Will. Commitment. The requirement to begin it.

So… ?

Definitely outside.

I sip my cold coffee, wiggling my cold toes in the morning chill. I opened the windows and patio door to cool down the apartment this morning before I was awake enough to recognize that it would not be a warm day. I haven’t bother to close them; I am listening to bird song, feeling the meadow breeze, and watching the cottony gray clouds shift and roil overhead. I’ll finish here and then tidy up a bit; my schedule has changed some, to a later start time for the summer months. Shorter evenings, of course, but… longer leisurely mornings, which I love. I feel very unrushed, which I am enjoying rather a lot this morning. What will my perspective be on the other end of the day, I wonder?

It’s time to begin again… I think I’ll go outside. 😀

Sometimes, being heard seems to be a study in actually listening, myself. Sometimes it is about speaking more clearly, more simply, or more explicitly. Sometimes being heard is about being the person listening most carefully to my own heart, my own voice; when I am “unable to hear myself think”, this is a real experience of being unable to hear myself. Sometimes, I am so attentive to the matter of “being heard”, myself, that I overlook the urgent importance of listening deeply. Thoughts over coffee.

The breeze from over the marsh and meadow is scented with flowers and although I have headphones on, as if listening to music, somehow I haven’t yet gotten as far as turning any on. lol It doesn’t matter. This morning, I am busy keeping track of other details – like the precise moment I can start that one load of laundry I need to do before I depart to meet my Traveling Partner at the designated rally point before a final gear check, and departure. Being late would be beyond rude; it would throw off plans and timing for other people, too. I’d like to avoid that. I’m good at deployment. I’ve had a lot of practice. 🙂

There’s a certain uncomfortable free fall in letting other people handle planning. I’m really good at it, and have learned over the years to uphold a high level of self-reliance, generally. It’s not explicitly stated, so I’ll out myself now; I am not so skilled at, or comfortable with, letting go and allowing someone else to plan and lead. So, this weekend – adventure, love, and all – is a complicated bit of life’s curriculum – advanced coursework, even. This weekend I learn to manage my anxiety around loosening my grip on the details, and allowing other decision-makers, other planners, other leaders, to step to the forefront, call the shots, and let the fun of our time together be truly collaborative. Wow. I break out in a literal sweat thinking about it, and I feel my core tighten a bit with anticipated anxiety (which is like, the dumbest and most annoying anxiety, ever).

I didn’t end up, in prior relationships, overburdened with planning and managing life events, travel, and adventure, because no one else was willing to adopt mannerisms indicating they might handle it – it was more because, at least at the outset, I simply couldn’t allow it. I had to have the control. Not knowing all the details of everything could really freak me out. I had to have things done “right” – admitting, even as I type the words, that my notion of “doing it right” was every bit as subjective and centered on my own thinking as anyone else’s would be. Of course, if I offered to do all of the things, the answer would be a relieved “yes” and we all moved on to our chosen roles. The resentment over time was just “a free service I offered” or… an unrequested… enhancement. LOL

I’m okay with learning another way. It’s been a really long time since I participated in an event of this sort – I have no idea what to expect, neither from the event, nor, frankly, from myself. I don’t even know what I want, beyond spending time chilling with my Traveling Partner, making memories. This could be an amazing shared experience…I have to be willing to allow it to be. (I am.) I have an opportunity to connect really closely with my Traveling Partner for a few days, and an opportunity to listen. (Which is, frankly, both more difficult and more important than talking.) Being heard feels really good. Like happiness, it somehow tends to skitter just out of reach if I chase it. On the other hand, in building the skills I need to listen deeply to others, to listen non-judgmentally, to really hear what someone else is saying – to meet that need to be heard for another – I bring profound new opportunities for intimacy and connection into my experience… that results in greater potential for being heard, myself. It’s my plan to practice listening more than talking, this weekend. There is much I do not know, and I won’t learn it by talking continuously. 😀

I heard my Traveling Partner last night – he communicated concern about his own readiness, and mine, and things he hadn’t thought of, and although he didn’t use simple frank language to get those points across, because I was listening deeply it was not so necessary that he communicate completely clearly. It was late. We were both tired. It would be very human and common and understandable if drama had broken out, or strong emotion, or missed understanding – instead, I listened. If I didn’t “get it”, I asked a direct question, no baggage. We narrowed down needs, wants, and expectations very quickly in this way, and my developing anxiety around letting go of control of all the details and all the knowledge quickly gave way to feeling prepared, content, and… ready for bed. lol

Assuming positive intent is a big help. Not taking things personally is a great approach, too. Understanding we are each having our own experience is also definitely an important tool in the emotional intelligence toolbox. Avoiding contradicting or disagreeing with people’s emotions is something I find useful as well (there’s just no disagreeing with emotion, people – those are facts of their own sort, and very subjective). So… here I go. It’s nearly time to load the car (my dining room is currently my “staging area” and everything is ready but the laundry), to do that one load of laundry, to meet my Traveling Partner, check gear and if necessary make a pass by an appropriate retailer for missed this-or-that we ought not do without (totally necessary; I’ve already made a list)… then… the journey. A destination. A weekend. Love.

54 and still daydreaming about love. 🙂

…The Love part is my favorite. 😀

It’s time to begin, again. See you on Monday.

 

Doesn’t much matter where I am right now; there is a next step ahead of me on my path. No matter how many choices I have made, already, there is another ahead of me. Approximately infinite. Life definitely gives the impression that the actual living of it is the point of life, no further point, meaning, or necessity required… and, if this is true, then so long as I am indeed living my life, I have succeed at finding – and meeting – my purpose. 😀

What a nice thought to wake up to. 🙂

I am contemplating my upcoming birthday, which has amusingly skittered way off of any attempt at original planning, and the things I had planned and looked forward are no longer expectations, although they rather strangely still linger on my calendar; I hesitate to remove them, not wanting hurt feelings… or… well, why exactly? lol I take a moment to clean up my calendar – because it is mine, and I actually use it; it matters to me that it guide me like a map of my future journey, as much as it ever can. 🙂

My weekend looks very different than I’d planned it. My Traveling Partner’s commitment to spending my birthday weekend with me later became a request to accommodate other plans he wanted to make, and our time dwindled to just two brief events framing the long weekend (of course I am taking time for me!) Then, the phone call from the road last week, and a question – would I like to come out to a place, and spend the weekend with him…? We live rather separate lives in some regards, and the invitation caught me by surprise – I had to ask myself that question, separately from hearing it in his voice. Would I want to spend a weekend at a music festival in a remote location hanging out with this human being so dear to me – and like, many hundreds (more?) additional other humans that I don’t know? Um…

Maybe?

I sat quietly after we got off the phone, considering years of weekend Renaissance fairs – a different era of my life, and I admit, it went from delightfully fun, exciting, and reliably great times hanging out with friends to stressed, rushed, hurried, pressured, too broke, too much, too often, no down time, no “me time”, no privacy, no time to think, no quiet to recover in… and… the relationship I was in at that time couldn’t do much to lift me up or ease the strain. I was doing most of the “heavy lifting”, literally, financially, and logistically, and I grew… tired. Want to know why I gave up weekend road trips, weekend travel, and weekend event fun of all sorts? Because I got tired of doing all the planning, all the preparation, and all the work getting to/from and handling clean up at home afterward, too, and not just for me – for everyone in the household. It was too much to ask, and I continued to do it long after I’d begun to resent it, didn’t really speak up about it, and didn’t have the skills for setting clear expectations and reinforcing boundaries then, that I have (think I have) now. I just stopped doing it as the only way I could take care of me that I understood then, problem solved.

I’m not even in that relationship anymore. So… Fuck yeah, I want to head to the trees, hear some great music, and hang out with this delightful human being so dear to me! 😀 I happily accepted.

There’s not much for me to plan here; the event exists and is a thing. My Traveling Partner and his traveling friend/colleague have logistics handled; this is their thing. I still need to know things. (A hilarious conversation on its own, including such witty repartee as “What do I need to bring?” “Wear clothes. Bring the clothes you want to wear, be prepared for cold nights.”) As I inquired what I may need to do or bring or when I need to be ready… I started feeling stressed about the trip itself. Where am I going?? What will happen when I get there? Where do I go? How will I find…? What will I be expected to do, bring, carry, be responsible for…??? What the hell is going on with my weekend?? LOL

Instead of drama or wild emotion, I tried out some new adulting skills. I allow myself to experience the relief and delight of experiencing this weekend in the context of a partnership in which I am actually not responsible for every damned thing. I consider my own baggage and issues as things that I am indeed responsible for managing, and identify where my stress is coming from. Time. Work. Agency. I suggest that I travel separately to ease my time-based stress about being back to work on time (knowing they live on a very different sense of time/timing than I do – and also don’t have any pressure to “punch a clock” work-wise). My heart soared when my Traveling Partner seemed pleased that I would take that step to take care of myself, meeting my own needs without requiring him to rebuild his plans, or troubleshoot my experience. Win and good. They’ll likely depart sometime today. I’ll leave tomorrow – possibly after doing a load of laundry. I feel comfortable, content, and excited about the weekend. 😀

Wherever my path leads…

This is an adventure, and I am eager to see where it leads. I’ll be away for a few days… if you find yourself missing me, perhaps return to the beginning, and begin again? I’ll be back before you’re all caught up to now, I bet; it’s a lot of words. 😀