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

I love this holiday season. I love giving gifts. Before I understood the challenges my TBI can sometimes present me, I regularly spent myself into negative numbers every year; I didn’t really care about that as much as I wanted to give, just a little more. Small gifts. Big gifts. Unexpected gifts. Handcrafted gifts. Funny thing… I didn’t at all recognize the importance (to me) of giving, at that time. I didn’t recognize the annual yearning to shop – in order to give. It’s fairly specific to gifts. I don’t consider myself charitable in a noteworthy way. I really really like giving a moment of delight to someone dear to me, most of all.

Tonight, I had a couple such moments, myself. I’m still smiling.

First, I arrived home to a rather large package on the stoop. Like… can’t get the door open large. Push it off the stoop to get the door open, because it’s both large and also too heavy to properly lift with ease, large. Large. It’s not for me. It’s for someone else. I laughed and laughed as I struggled with it in the blustery cold autumn evening. I don’t know why it tickled me so much that the physical size of the packaging was so much larger than I expected it to be. Expectations. Man. Damn. Avoid those if you can. lol They can be so misleading.

Then, I remembered to grab the mail on the way in. So much to do this evening… I almost forgot to check the mail. There was just one large-ish plain white envelope in the mailbox. I opened absent-mindedly as I returned to the house, thinking it to be something from the VA, or something of that sort. It turns out instead to be a sweet and wholly unexpected gift – even a tad exotic. I’m still smiling.

So, laundry, dishes, chores generally – and a smile in every direction. I’ll see my Traveling Partner this weekend, and celebrate holidays, birthdays, and friendships under a starring winter sky. The thought reminds me to add a couple things to the morning to do list. There are gifts for birthdays going with me, and I am too excited to give them (although they are wee and of no great consequence) to let myself forget them. 😀 I smile again, thinking of giving a friend a ride to the party. That verb. Give. 🙂 There’s a feeling to it.

The evening begins to wind down. Evenings seem more about finishing things, don’t they, and less about beginnings. I’m okay with that. Things end. It’s not an idea worth fighting. lol

Home. It’s quiet here. I’ve got my hot cup of surprisingly delicious off brand decaf right here. Did I mention the quiet? I definitely need the quiet. lol

I get home many evenings incredibly aggravated, somewhat stressed, sometimes even to the point of being angry; it’s fairly reliably shitty commute. I use it to practice Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Sometimes that helps. Each time that it does help, I’m taken just a bit less by surprise, and it’s just a tiny tiny bit more effective. I guess I keep practicing.

Tonight prescription strength pain relief is needed. I take it, like a proper grown up, aware of the risks, the rewards, the need to be cautious, and the need, even, to be aware. It’s the sort of thing I even keep track of, understanding that leaving it to memory is foolhardy, with my issues in the memory department. But, after a time, I begin to feel less pain. The relief is welcome; it’s been a difficult painful (pain filled) day.

…but the view was lovely…

I make a meal, healthy calories, and sit down with it undistracted for a few minutes. Self-care. Weight and fitness goals in mind. I enjoy the meal.

It is a simple evening, composed of simple pleasures, and as much mindful awareness moment to moment as I can comfortably manage. It’s easier now that I’m not pre-occupied with discomfort. I’ve no need or inclination to make it any more complicated, or fancy, or elaborate – or evening “meaningful”. Just this simple “now” is quite enough.

Packages come. Giftmas is approaching pretty quickly, and the thought of it restarts my smile, which was knocked off my face some time ago after foolishly dipping into the news of the day. Don’t. Just… yeah. Don’t read the feed. Damn. Sometimes, it’s more important to take a step back and care for ourselves, and nurture our spirits, than to be “informed”. Well… that’s an opinion, obviously. Mine. Works for me. Your results may vary.

The rest of the evening looks wonderful for some long while meditating. Later, some strength training. A shower. A book. It’s a quiet evening. I definitely need this quiet evening, tonight. 🙂 Then, tomorrow? Yes, of course – tomorrow I’ll save the world. Well…or… I can at least be the tiniest bit better, generally, as a human being, than I have been today. It’s at least a start.

I like a good beginning. 🙂

11 hours (and a bit more) sleep later, and I woke feeling a bit puzzled why I was waking up… even though the room was beginning to show hints of light through the curtains and blinds, I managed the impression of it being “the middle of the night” and rolled over to go back to sleep, oh, several times. lol It was lovely to wake to the awareness of being fully well rested, with a day of leisure ahead.

I meditated in the chill of dawn, out on the deck. The light drizzle was no deterrent. From there to a deliciously luxurious hot shower. Then coffee… I should have stayed away from my newsfeed a bit longer, though. Fucking hell, America, seriously? Okay, well, that’s not what today, as an individual day, is about, so I quickly move on to other things.

I sit down to plan my day, fresh cup of coffee ready to go. I contemplate plans and actions, intentions and outcomes. I think about my list of things to do. I think about a recent very frank conversation with a physician about my health, my weight, my lifestyle choices, my longevity – and the verbs involved. I look around this room, right here, with a certain subtle-but-honest discontent; there’s always more to do, isn’t there?

Too often starting my day here, writing before living, feels pretty comfortable, and on weekdays it works pretty well with my routine, overall, more or less, but I am finding – too often – that it also results in lazy hours of web-surfing, reading, chatting, and scrolling through other lives being lived, that could be spent, frankly, living my own. I’ve got shit to do, People. lol (Looking your way, Self, don’t let me down!)

…So… I’m going to switch back (again) to writing in the afternoon or evening, during the day, life-in-progress, as my default. I have been finding many of the things I want most to write about come to me, lately, in the late afternoon, or evening, or on the commute home – and by the time I’ve slept through the night, those ideas are long gone, or lack the compelling elements that made them seem worth writing about, initially.  I’m going to nudge more of my self-care into my mornings (sounds so healthy!) and more of my writing into the evenings. Figured I’d mention it, just in case someone out there has their own routine built such that my timing change may mess with the flow of their day. 😉

This? Right here? Right now? It’s just a placeholder. Life is already in progress, the day has already begun, I’ve got a list in front of me, and hours ahead of me. It’s time to get started on changing the world… ❤

 

I woke precisely as the alarm went off, meaning to say, I woke and was in that process of becoming awake, and considering returning to sleep, when the alarm went off. I am not able to decide whether that was “convenient” or “annoying”. lol

My morning has continued in this strange fashion, and I find myself caught in a strange limbo between one understanding of circumstances, and another. The difference between one understanding and another? Mostly a matter of choice, and nothing more – a choice between perceptions or understandings, rather than a choice among actions. If I don’t “choose”… do I then not have a perception? That doesn’t seem to be how it works… eventually I settle on some understanding or another.

I put on headphones and grab a mix to listen to that has really grabbed hold of me lately. (Best on headphones if you don’t have speakers with a lot of bass. lol)

Dancing in my seat, thinking about this existence that occurs in the space between that moment when I am certain I earnestly want to retire… and actually being ready/able to do so. lol Oops. Mind that gap! lol Similarly, existing in the space between meeting that singular human being I yearn to be with…like… all the time… and that moment when I understood living full-time with anyone may not work for me at all. Damn it. Mind that gap! No easier existing in the space between being this one person I’ve “always” been (have not)… and being the person I am eagerly becoming. On it goes, right? So much of life is this moment right here, between then, and later on… this “now” moment, that is what it is, and only that. Even the music holds my attention in an in-between-things place, this morning, made up, as it is, of samples of older things mixed in a new way. lol We become, surely, and the journey ahead is paved in the consequences of our earlier choices and actions; this morning I am also very much aware that those earlier iterations of this person “I am” are still with me, and I am fully inclusive of all those earlier moments, earlier actions, earlier yearnings… I am not separate from myself. Or… am I? How does that work, exactly? Something to think about another time; what are we “made of”? Funny in between sort of morning, this morning.

My mind wanders with the music. It’s that sort of morning. 🙂

The holidays ahead begin to take shape. After a conversation with my Traveling Partner yesterday, I am happily planning for the possibility that he may come up for some portion of the holiday, a nice surprise. It’s not a certainty, and I am reluctant to become overly invested in sharing the holiday with him. I do like planning, though, and I’ll enjoy being prepared if/when. 🙂 It’s about little things, like having things he likes to snack on already stocked, and having gifts under the tree for him, too. The rest easily takes shape on its own; we comfortably spend time together, and enjoy hanging out together. Makes sense – he’s my best friend.

I notice the time. How the heck is it already 5:30 am? Then… I realize it is neither all that late, nor is it at all unexpected. I sigh out loud, and also sort of chuckle, awkwardly. Will today be built on a foundation of surreal weird moments of misperception and cognitive weirdness, generally? I don’t need that, I’ve got a busy work day ahead… I let the music pull me back to that in between space, neither fully “now”, nor truly any other moment, either. It’s enough to be.

I take a deep breath and relax as I exhale. I finish my coffee, and prepare to begin again. 🙂

I woke a few minutes ahead of the alarm, and lingered longer in the shower than is usual. Stepping back into the work routine feels less than joyful or desirable, so far, and I know to expect this after a long weekend away from it. I feel, if nothing else, purposeful.

Strange, lovely, solo holiday, celebrating an occasion generally celebrated in groups. Nonetheless, it was a lovely weekend. The house is dressed for the holidays ahead. The tree is up and decorated.  The first celebration after Thanksgiving is my Traveling Partner’s birthday. I made a point of getting some small tokens of my affection into the mail over the weekend. I marked the calendar for another trip down to visit, weather permitting. I am, for the moment, confused about his plans for the upcoming holiday weeks, and make a note to get clarification. There’s no urgency, neither to the confusion, nor to the clarifying questions.

Looks like a solo holiday season ahead, generally, and I find that I’m not at all averse to that. There are two wee packages under the tree for me (one’s a book!), from me, and of course the new grill on the deck – an early gift to myself. I enjoyed the day spent listening to music, yesterday, and decorating the tree. I wondered, often, if there were something particular I actually “want for Giftmas”, as I hung each ornament with great care. I didn’t have an easy time with that, since basically all of my material needs are pretty well met, generally. So… what then? lol Books. 🙂 A lovely quiet holiday reading by the fire sounds pretty luxurious… and I’ve already a tidy little stack of new-ish books I’ve not yet read. 😀

Festive, and suitable for leisure. 🙂

I wonder, though, from this vantage point, what will Giftmas morning utterly alone look and feel like? Will I find myself blue at some point? Lonely? Or will it simply be a lovely morning, lazing over coffee, enjoying a bite of brunch at some point, and reading books by the fire with a hint of a contented smile? I guess I’ll find out soon enough. lol

There is so much ahead. So much that is well-suited to new beginnings. It’s already Monday… again. 🙂 It’s a good morning to embrace change, and re-commit to healthy practices, and reliable routines. It’s a lovely time to begin again. 🙂