Archives for posts with tag: the map is not the world

Yesterday was lovely. I had a decently long list of things I had determined “needed” to get done, and after a leisurely coffee in the morning, some time lingering on the deck in the morning chill, and gently catching up on world events, I got off my ass to work the list.

I gave up after about 2 decently productive hours. The crisp sparkling autumn sunshine kept catching my attention and tempting me into the outdoors, and I quickly “re-evaluated my life” on a small scale and decided to go hiking instead of doing housework. πŸ˜€ Yep. That’s a thing I sometimes do.

I’m glad I did. The two hours I spent walking in the sunshine felt amazing, and I guess I really needed that time, out there in the trees. The local trail I chose is nearby, rather steep, and “doesn’t really go anywhere” in the sense that one must either commit to a very long hike, or do one of several out-and-back hikes possible on a combination of shorter trails. I hear it is a popular area to hike. I had the trails to myself on a beautiful mild autumn day.

Well, I had the trail to myself, except for these guys, and lizards, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons… I was never alone.

It was quite a lovely hike. I returned home feeling properly recharged and refreshed, and although it had not been my intention, quickly worked off a few more items from my list of things to do.

The busy week ahead may blow me off course in a number of ways, and I contemplate how to best take care of myself this week, as I sip my coffee. In anticipation of my sleep routine being thrown off by my odd work hours ahead (long late shift Monday, very early shift Tuesday, concert night out Thursday…) my brain “helped me out” by getting an early start on that, and I slept like crap last night, waking often, rather pointlessly, and struggling to return to sleep. Anticipatory sleep disturbances are entirely annoying. I’m still smiling. I still feel pretty good. I sip my coffee and put my attention on those positive details; they have more value for building implicit memory that will tend most to support good emotional wellness. It’s a practical thing. It requires practice. πŸ™‚

Figuring out how best to maximize my opportunities to spend time with my Traveling Partner is high on my list of things to do to take care of me. I’m excited that he’ll be in town. Our planning includes a visit to my new residence, and perhaps even an overnight visit, or at least something more than a few minutes to walk through the place. I include in my planning – and in my daydreaming – regular reminders that “things don’t always turn out as planned”; my Traveling Partner lives his life with “spontaneity settings” turned all the way up. lol The way I see it, I may not do any writing tomorrow, and may not write on Friday, depending on time, timing, and how many spoons I really have left.Β  Busy weeks are hard sometimes. Fuck I am eager to see my Traveling Partner, though, and the fact that this is a busy week for other reasons, while inconvenient, isn’t going to prevent me doing it. πŸ˜€

Okay. I’ve got plans. I’ve got a flexible mindset. I’ve got verbs. I’ve made choices. I’m ready for the week… The journey is the destination.

I’m walking my own path. I am my own cartographer.

I’m ready to begin again. πŸ™‚

 

I woke to the sense of being unusually aware of having a new day ahead. A complete, entire, wholly unused fresh new to-be-determined, as in not yet completed, used, spoiled, finalized, wrapped up, or altered in any way. New. An entire new day. Unbuilt. Un-crafted. Un-“hacked”. New and suitable for all manner of beginnings, choices, and verbs.

In this particular instance, it is also a Thursday, a workday, and I woke to the alarm clock. lol

Still a new day.

I smile and sip my coffee. I consider the day ahead. I have a hair appointment in the afternoon, so the work day itself is a bit shorter than usual. No guilt involved; next week I have a long (and very late-ending) Monday with a very early (and long) Tuesday following it. It’s not the usual thing. It’s to do with an implementation that is nearing its conclusion. That’s exciting. I’m tired and eager to get to a “steady state” of things, around which functional sustainable scalable processes can be written – then followed – and iterations of improvement in efficiency can be observed, and managed. lol Exciting stuff right there, eh? πŸ˜‰ (For me? Yes.)

Today’s short work day gets me a bit of additional leisure that I can spend on the woman in the mirror, taking care of other needs than those listed with such care on a meeting agenda somewhere, because we both know that the major upheaval ahead in my day-to-day routine (sleeping and waking particularly) may result in more than usual fatigue by the end of next week.

No particular reason to look ahead and become fused with an experience that is not now, though, is there? (Nope.) No telling how all that actually goes “in real life”. I will say, I’m getting to see a number of close colleagues in other roles managing their stress, and their workloads, in a time of great change. I’m impressed by them. I am content to work where I do. It’s a good place to work. (That matters more to me than I understood 7 years ago.)

Another morning. Another day. Another opportunity to practice being in this moment, here, and open to the next, whatever it may bring. I’m ready with some verbs. I’m ready to begin again. πŸ™‚

I woke to the alarm. My coffee this morning is a tasty Americano. I am wrapped in modest comfort, and feel safe, cared-for, and content. It’s a nice start to a Wednesday.

I hadn’t been up long before I started feeling that weird nagging sensation that is my half-aware recognition that there’s something I meant to do… right. Chickens. I mean, I’d said I would send my chicken references to Her. (Damn, She really needs a better nickname here…) I was delighted to hear her say she’d like to have chickens (me too!!). It felt like a connection, as much as a shared interest.

I put aside my writing to fulfill this commitment, and email over the links to vendors, resources, references, catalogs, and feel warmed by participating in something we share. I remember her asking about pets… I find myself not recalling why, at first, then – her dogs. Of course. πŸ™‚ Chickens – any livestock, really – are pets enough for me. I like creatures. The small wild lizards everywhere there delight me. The inquisitive jays and wily crows make me smile. Her dogs are fun and friendly. What else could I want? Chickens. LOL It’s a small thing to share an interest with another human being. We are so many, and so many of us share interests. It feels good to connect with another person. Get their views. Hear their thoughts. Share my own. Practice listening more than talking, while I’m at it. lol (Still so human.)

I hit send. Finish my coffee. Contemplate the brief remainder of the work week. It was rainy yesterday. There is rain in the forecast for the rest of the week. I’m okay with that. My arthritis is less okay with it. I think about the climate “down there”… “at home”? (Can I say that? I want to. It is a vision of one possible future that I do find very enticing.) My arthritis didn’t bother me pain-wise the entire weekend I was down visiting my Traveling Partner and Her. (Fuck. I need a better name for Her. Something playful and fond.) I still dealt with the stiffness, some, but it wasn’t so bad. The weekend here is likely to be rainy. I’m likely to be in pain. Still… there is much to do and to enjoy.

It’s a good time to winterize the deck and the potted garden.

It’s a good time to give the place a thorough cleaning in preparation for the holidays to come.

It’s a good time to light the pilot light on the gas fireplace for the cool autumn nights and cold winter days ahead.

It’s a good time for a last visit to the Farmer’s Market – maybe the big one downtown?

It’s a good time for long autumn hikes through colorful fall forest along unexplored trails.

There’s nothing fancy on my calendar this week; this one’s for me. A simple enough quiet weekend at home. Laundry, dishes, vacuuming, tidying up, reading a book with my feet up by the fire, sipping coffee in the afternoon…

“WhatΒ  are you doing this weekend?”

Everything. This precious mortal lifetime won’t just live itself. πŸ˜€

 

Beautiful weekend. The sort of beautiful weekend I mark on a calendar, look back on frequently, contemplate, wonder over, and reference in the future. So… I’ve marked it on my calendar. I’ve been looking back on it, already, contemplating it, wondering over it, and here I am in my own “future” (at least, I’m one day beyond the weekend) referencing it. It represents change. It whispers to me about love, family, and contentment. It was weird. Beautiful. Unexpected. Relaxed. Delightful. Peaceful. It was filled with the company of friends, defined by long moments of joy and contentment. It was easy to find stillness – and to enjoy companionship.

I spent the weekend with my Traveling Partner, down at his place, which he shares with his other partner, who was an ex of mine. I put that in the past tense, because I use the term “ex” very specifically, and sparingly, to refer to former (and now discontinued) partnerships and relationships which have been firmly, permanently, completely, entirely, and without any potential future, ended. No continuing contact. “I’m done with that.” She definitely doesn’t fit that definition, now, although I lack language to define our current… situation.

I had a great weekend at her place. I enjoyed her company and her conversation. I realized that there are things I have missed about her (duh, we were in a relationship, once). She was a gracious and delightful hostess this weekend. We had a good time (I say, based on my own experience, from my perspective, without any cause to assume she feels differently, and having heard her affirm the same in her own words). I’ve been invited back, and not just by my Traveling Partner. Wow. I feel so welcomed. I felt so very much at home, in my relationships, as well as wrapped in the gorgeous landscape of Southern Oregon’s Oak Savanna. Beautiful sunrises. The warmth and connection of dear friends and family. It was a wonderful weekend.

It was a splendid autumn weekend, it’s only fitting that it came with a wonderful view. πŸ™‚

The flora and fauna are lovely down there… I want to say “at home” or “back home” or… Yes, I liked it there that much, and for the quality of the company as much as for the landscape. Relationships matter. There was no hint of tension or animus between her and I, and that was lovely. Recognizing that one can indeed “begin again” allows me to do so, even with relationships. It’s a little scary; it could go very wrong (this, whispered to me by the hurt child lurking within, who is, frankly, no judge of good quality relationships at all). The big challenge of new beginnings, by far, is letting go of old baggage… so…

…I begin again. πŸ™‚

Let me circle back on one detail; this was all her. I didn’t take the step across that firm moment of having ended things years ago. I don’t know that I would have. I’m not sure I’m that skilled as an adult. I experienced a moment of powerful respect for this woman who did put her fears and baggage aside, stepped up to me and started a new conversation. “I’d like to start over.” She couldn’t have chosen better words – aren’t I all about beginning again? Wow. How could I not agree? Still, though, this was her moment. I’m still pretty blown away. Nicely done, Woman. Hell of a teachable moment. πŸ™‚ I’m still smiling.

It was a lovely weekend spent with my Traveling Partner, and his lovely Other (who clearly needs a better nickname, here), walking the land, and talking about the future. Our future. (Wow.)

Now here it is Tuesday. The long weekend is over. It’s time to face a new work week. It’s time to begin again. πŸ™‚

What a week. Glad it’s behind me. Relieved to feel satisfied, pleased, and accomplished, instead of terrified, anxious and regretful. It could have gone differently. I am content with the outcome.

Stress is a weird thing, though, right? I mean… once I’m stressed about A, then it’s far more likely that unrelated experiences B, C, or D may also feel more stressful, or seem to be cause for concern. I crashed out last night feeling terribly blue, struggling in a sticky web of anxiety-lies and insecurities being launched at me from within, by an anxious, stressed, fatigued brain. I wept. For the world? It seemed so at moments. Other moments, I just felt “cracked open” and unable to hold anything back however small, however simple – even some lovely tender moments felt like pure heartbreak, and I cried, merely because there was too much emotion to hold back any longer. My executive function limitations hit me in my emotional life pretty hard. This week that was more obvious than most weeks in recent months. It’s been a peculiarly emotionally stable year.

I went to bed worried, even, about my relationship with my Traveling Partner. No reason for it, really. At least, nothing I could easily identify. I woke this morning without that insecurity or doubt, feeling rested, anxiety gone; I’m excited about the road trip ahead of me. 3 day weekend with my lover? Yes, please! Sign me up. πŸ™‚Β 

Fuck, I am so glad my “default setting” is no longer despair. I feel fortunate to have survived the first 50 years of my lifetime. Emotions come and go. Like weather. “Who we are” is less volatile, less mutable, and sometimes feels rather… permanent. It isn’t. It’s more like climate; tends to be what it is, but still changeable over time. We become what we practice. No kidding. It’s a slow thing to change the climate – but it can be done. Choose wisely. πŸ™‚

Are you unhappy? Make changes. There’s no map on this journey… it’s rather like setting off on a road trip to see someone you love, unclear of specifically where they are, but with a direction in mind… generally. lol This may help. πŸ™‚ It’s a favorite of mine for reinforcing healthy basics; do the opposite of everything it suggests. lol (Here’s a follow-up on that…)

Maybe something simple this morning? One thing that could be easily improved by one little change in your decision-making, habits, or actions? Start small – committing to a marathon, while breathless from walking across the street may be a bit unmanageable. It’s so easy to become discouraged. I’ve been there…

After years of frustration, despair, and inactivity, I decided to go to the Farmer’s Market, one year. My feet hurt all the time, stupefying medication and unmanaged pain had pretty much nailed me to my couch between work shifts. Doing so would mean a two block walk uphill (barely) from the light rail station. I look back astonished (because I regularly go to the Farmer’s Market quite easily and comfortably, now, and often walk miles, not just blocks) – it seemed hard then. It required effort. Commitment. Patience with myself.

I don’t look at it the same way now, at all. My perspective has changed with my experience over time. Incremental change over time; it wasn’t easy the first time, the second or third times, the fourth time… but eventually, it sure didn’t seem hard, and then… at some point… almost unnoticed, it became quite the natural thing to easily and comfortably do. (For my less physically able readers out there, I’m using an example familiar to me, only, and part of my personal experience, no intention of falling short of being inclusive, but I see where my example could be. I regret any aggravation, or sense of being left out of my consideration that this may cause. Start small, is all I’m saying. πŸ™‚ )

It’s a good reminder for me, too. There is further to go. There is more to do. I still struggle with my weight, health, and fitness. There are changes to make. There is future progress out there on the horizon to be experienced. Incremental change over time takes both time – and verbs. A lot of fucking verbs.

Oh hey, look at the time! It’s definitely time to begin again. This journey won’t make itself. πŸ˜‰