Archives for posts with tag: this too shall pass

Damn. Fuck this week. Already. Shit.

I say “this week”, but in all reasonable ways, and well-considered perspectives, this has been building slowly, event by event, detail by detail, day by day, and stitched together by threads of good intentions, affection, kindness, and commitments. I’m still having some moments of major anxiety as delicately balanced circumstances teeter on the edge of not going very well at all, which is stressful on a level I don’t recall feeling in a long time. It’s hard.

…Every new responsibility adds to the burden.

…Every new need piles on still more to a growing list of shit to do.

…Every new moment of stress dials up the intensity of the anxiety in the background.

…Every day… each moment… add another… then another… now one more… still standing? Here, have a little more extra… and more… and again… and still… and even… and then… and now… wait…what?? No time for questions – go go go!!

I caught myself “screaming into the void” on the commute home – a solo rant, with some ferocity, something on the order of a spoken word performance, or poetry, only much less pleasant. lol Not tearful, not exactly frustrated – just mad… about feeling anxious. Mad about feeling ill-equipped to be fully adult, even now. Mad at circumstances that could be just the tiniest bit better and end up quite splendid. Angry just to feel these ancient-seeming feelings of “shouldering the load” again. It’s not any one thing. It’s not any one individual. It’s not specifically work or specifically personal. It’s not lacking in context. I’m not “in it alone”. I’m just one human, having this human moment of mine, myself, and really feeling it. Which is… uncomfortable.

Mid-rant I remembered something I have been finding important; I don’t grow much through experiences that are comfortable, or reliably pleasant, or completely planned and predictable… or easy. That’s just real. Ease does not correlate with personal growth. That thought shut me down completely for a moment. I even stopped being so aggravated by that ludicrously slow driver ahead of me (15 in a 25 – one lane, no passing room) maintaining easily 3 car lengths of distance from the car ahead… during the evening rush hour commute… down a road with intersections more frequently than every quarter mile… with bumper-to-bumper traffic behind him for many blocks (I could see when I got a good view from the top of the hill in my review mirror). Yep. Even that stopped bugging me in the moment that I realized I’d been handed something precious – discomfort, anxiety, and a chance to work through those things and grow.

I’m pretty committed to my personal growth as a human being – I don’t know how much time I’ve got to complete this project, really, and I’d like to get as far along as I can toward being the human being I most want to be. It’s a real and true thing, that “doing better than I did yesterday” is a bit more complicated if the days roll by so gently that what I feel most of the time is delicious simple contentment, wrapped in the affection and high regard of those who hold me dear. I can choose change, but I won’t kid you; I’m not likely to choose to be uncomfortable, stressed out, anxious, fearful, worried, nervous, or in dread of what comes next out of this craze-tacular fun house of chaos and human drama. I like it easy.

Well it doesn’t feel fucking easy right about now. I’m having to bring a lot of attention to maintaining good self-care practices in the face of a lot more stress than has been commonplace for a couple years now. I’m having to skillfully practice “letting shit go” when holding on to it only creates more stress, and has no productive outcome. I’m having to really search for perspective, really work to find balance, and really practice the practices that have brought me so far in such a short time – as if failing to do so could send me crashing into a pit of despair (which it easily could). So many verbs. So little time. 😉

Tonight I’m not doing beginnings – just practicing. 😉

…A soft autumn rain begins to fall beyond the open window. I chat a bit with my Traveling Partner. The scent of petrichor wafts into the room, filling the space with fragrant reminders that this too will pass. Summer is ending. The tightness in my chest and shoulders begins to diminish. My breathing becomes deeper as a smile starts to transform my face. I’m okay right now. I let my thoughts glide over my day gently, finding a kinder truth in tense moments that are now behind me. I listen deeply to my internal dialogue, pointing myself to a compassionate path, reconsidering human beings in the context of their humanity. Reminding myself to assume positive intent, each time I note that perhaps I had not done so. I take time, too, for gratitude; a lot of people came through for me today, in so many small ways. My smile feels pretty steady, and I feel pretty much at ease; the anxiety in the background is subtle now, less a plague and more a pimple. (…Maybe if I don’t fuck with it, it will clear up on its own?)

I listen to the traffic go by outside. The house is very near to the street, and the walls don’t keep out much noise. Right now it isn’t bothering me; I am aware of the open window. That makes a difference to me for some reason. The noise doesn’t matter. The smile matters more. This gentle moment matters more. Taking a little time to enjoy the moment matters more. Following through on moments and smiles may not save the world, but right now, in this moment, it’s enough. 🙂

There are now open boxes of tissues in every room of this place, one on each side table, near each place I sit, on every counter top, and next to each of those, small bottles of hand sanitizer – which I don’t use unless I am down with some sort of contagious ailment. Which I am. Down with a contagious ailment. By which I mean, I’m sick. With a cold.

In spite of a fair bit of misery, I managed to get my Friday managed decently well, and the day even ended with a car in my driveway, again. I’m fairly pleased with all of that. I crashed out almost as soon as I got home, got up a couple times for soup, tea, to pee, or to attempt to ease my symptoms. All very human. I slept through the night, I think. I at least don’t recall waking. 3:38 am, my lack of ability to breath woke me. I’d planned to go directly back to bed, feeling woozy and uncoordinated. I ended up here, instead. 🙂

I spent an hour conversing online with a friend having a rough time at the moment. Quality conversation is too often built on someone’s suffering, which is shame, but nonetheless it is good to spend time chatting with a friend to ease the boredom and ennui of being sick. I’m sleepy again, and it’s back to bed to continue to work on getting over this latest bit of ick. (Fucking call centers. They are often disease incubators every bit as much as they are places to work. Don’t get me started about public transit.) Conveniently, from a work perspective, I am sick over the weekend. Inconveniently, from my own perspective, I am sick over the weekend. Balance in all things, I suppose. 0_o

Time to go back to bed. I can try a new beginning a little later. 😉

Not my alarm – I woke up ahead of that one, this morning. We had a fire alarm go off in the office yesterday and evacuated the building. Turned out to be a mistake by a construction worker, I heard. These things happen. What came next was hard; it had triggered me.

My anxiety and symptoms of my PTSD flared up. The noise of the alarm itself worked my nerves over as I calmly and efficiently left the building with haste. What got me, though, was “civilian behavior”. My anxiety continued to increase the longer I was exposed to the chaos and disorder of folks ambling down the stairs in distracted confusion, chatting about the day, and milling around outside very close to a building they had no reason to believe was still safe. I began scanning the crowd for an unseen enemy – we were all so exposed, to vulnerable, they seemed so unaware. The hyper-vigilance lasted the remainder of the day. My startle reflex was turned way up. My chest felt tight. My mood had become detached and mildly aggressive, “battle-ready”. By the time the all clear was given, I was no longer “safe for work” in some difficult to describe way, but had meetings left in the day, and workload to attend to.

I did my best. I went home as soon as I could. The commute was just more verbs and more practice. My startle reflex is dangerous in commuter traffic; cars or people approaching from my periphery reach my consciousness as an imminent threat. My hyper-vigilance combined with my agitation, anxiety, and aggression, result in a seething mess herding powerful machinery capable of killing, down crowded streets, too slow to feel satisfying, frustratingly slow, and being wholly made of human, I really just wanted to go home and cry quietly until the feelings passed.

My face still hurts this morning from gritting my teeth the whole way home.

I’m okay. I did get safely home. No one got hurt. No fender bender. No angry tirade – either on the road, or in the office. I managed to keep my shit together, and that’s something to pause for, to be aware of, to value – and this morning I sip my coffee focusing on the recollection of what worked, and how well, and less on the alarm itself, or the “civilian behavior” – people are people. My coworkers are not machines. They are not soldiers. This is not (no, seriously, it’s not) a war zone. My coworkers were the ones being rational; there was no cause for (the) alarm. 🙂 Admittedly, I still think they would do well to move with purpose in an emergency, to gather in an organized fashion and take a count of folks on their teams to be sure every is safely away from danger… but… they’ll probably need to actually experience danger to understand how important that actually is. So. There’s that.

This morning is so much more ordinary. I take a moment to be mildly irked with myself that my mental health situation last night threw off my timing getting ready for the weekend. I’m behind on my “to do” list. lol I’ll get over it. Yesterday was hard. I’ll get over that, too.

The sun is not yet up… I think I’ll get an early start on a new beginning. 🙂

It’s been raining a lot. There have even been landslides. That’s something that definitely gets me thinking differently about homeownership; houses perched on hillsides hold less appeal. Mostly, though, I think about the rain, when it is raining. I enjoy the sound of it, the smell of petrichor, the strange changes of scene as storms sweep through town. I watch off and on, all day, through endless windows that wrap the office.

I left the office at the usual time, which is “later than I meant to”. Some of the most productive conversations seem to begin as I leave the building. I’ll work on that. 🙂

Rain in the distance.

It was raining when I left, but it was that gentle misty rain on a warm-ish evening; it seemed of little consequence, and I enjoyed the feel of it. The skyline on the other side of the river was obscured in places by low hanging clouds clinging to hilltops, and a certain gray sort of moving density that hinted at an approaching shower.

I walk on. It keeps raining.

Sure enough, the shower caught me just as I reached the bridge. I smiled in spite of being caught in the drenching down pour long enough to be soaked in spots. I smiled as I waited out the worst of it from beneath the bridge. I smiled as I walked on, once it had passed. It seemed an easy enough journey home.

It makes sense to seek shelter from the storm.

I headed home eager to enjoy dinner. I arrived home to discover I was out of literally everything I had considered making. I shrugged it off, had something different, and looked forward to a relaxed, quiet evening. What I actually had was quite different; I had noise. A lot of noise. I had the noise of a professional carpet cleaning service (the sort with a loud van operated vacuum and pump system of some kind), which commenced sometime after 7 pm, and was still at it well-past 8:30 pm (on a “work night”). The parking spaces are just steps from front doors and thin walls that keep out basically no noise, so it sounded more or less like that truck was parked in my kitchen. I spent the evening wearing hearing protection. It rattled the walls. It rattled my consciousness. It was inescapable. The headache and anger were pretty nearly inevitable. Because I am up at 4:30 am, I’m usually at least trying to get some sleep by 8:30 pm, most nights, or at least making my way in that general direction for the attempt. That wasn’t going to be possible; it took more than 90 minutes from when the noise finally stopped (at 8:47 pm), for me to be sufficiently at ease to sleep. Meditation helped. Meditation (almost) always helps (me) with a great many things associated with emotional reactivity, regardless of the cause.

I woke rested, and in a good place. Tired. Not enough sleep. This too shall pass, like a rain storm. The rain passed. The noise stopped. Sleep happened. Lack of sleep will also resolve, in time, because change is a thing. In most respects, an utterly ordinary Thursday.

I look over the new list from my Realtor, and smile, sipping my coffee; even this “will pass”. Eventually, there will be a house, there will be an offer made and accepted, there will be a closing, and there will be a move. There will be excited bliss, a sort of relief, great contentment. There will also be paperwork, and small moments of homeowner reality-checking-frustration-driving-angst-making moments of doubt and inconvenience, and there will be a home, nonetheless. It’s what I am working towards, and incremental change over time, and the inevitable outcome of practicing suggests that if I simply keep at it, patiently, persistently, refraining from taking a process personally, I will find myself transformed (into a homeowner)(with massive debt)(and a mortgage)(instead of renting)(and the freedom to really make a home that meets my needs over time).

Another day. Another beginning. Another opportunity to make the choices that bring me closer to being the woman I most want to be. Today it’s enough.

 

I started my morning with a good night’s rest, which I have followed with music. This morning, mostly Skrillex.  For one thing, this is music that moves me, physically, in an irresistible way, which is quite helpful for easing the discomfort of the arthritis in my spine. Movement hurts – movement helps.

As I danced through the morning, music loud in my ears, headphones on to preserve the morning peace for others, I had an interesting moment of awareness – and I hope I can hang on to it. Listening to this very young music (EDM is still a very young sort of music, isn’t it?) being made by this rather young human being (at the time I write this, I think he’s about 28) represents a very real peek into the future. Human beings of 16 to 30 are queuing up, as generations before them have, to be our future. Future politicians, too – even this man, making music now, may one day hold office, or lead the world in some other way that isn’t directly musical. In his audiences are our future. They aren’t just ticket holders, and partygoers – they are future politicians, future rule makers, future leaders, future wielders of great power. Like it or not, however heinous the current political climate (left, right, or in between matters not at all)… human beings are mortal. This too shall pass – and the future is already here, if we’re willing to turn and look and see what is following us.

Are you paying attention? 

Anyway. Just some thoughts on taking a long view, and maintaining a historical perspective on the future of history. 😉

Today is a good day to be aware of what is, what isn’t, what seems to be, and to be open to what is not yet. Today is a good day to be reminded that much of our experience of the moment is made up shit in our head. Today is a good day to be mindful that we have already changed the world. ❤