Archives for posts with tag: this too shall pass

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. ❤

I crashed more or less “on time” last night to get the good night of rest I need to start the work week. I slept deeply, and I feel rested now that I am awake. My anxiety woke me unexpectedly, about 90 minutes ahead of the alarm. This morning I didn’t just get up – I didn’t want to. I got up long enough to take my morning medication and pee, and then I went back to bed. To be clear, I had little expectation of additional sleep, and I wasn’t even thinking I needed that – but I did need to have a moment to wake more fully that wasn’t associated with the anxiety that woke me earlier, so I made one. I snuggled down and found comfort, then meditated until I felt ready to rise and greet the day. Nothing fancy was needed, meditation-wise, only the simplest of breath and awareness, allowing myself to become more comfortable in this fragile vessel, and less driven by unexplained emotion.

This morning the day starts with music, and I’m feeling it on the loud side of joy, so it’s headphones this morning; I am fairly certain most of the rest of the neighborhood does not want to begin their Monday the same way. Basic consideration demands I think twice before I crank the bass on the stereo at 5:00 am. 🙂 I listen to DMX tell me how Monday is going to be, and entertainingly imagine past teams of analysts I have worked with striding into some call center or another, in slow motion, looking totally bad ass. lol Why not? Data is the future of… everything. Practical working analysts are the tacticians of that future. Start-of-the-day bad-assery, indeed. lol 🙂 (Most every way of earning a living every contemplated or enacted has value, but finding my own sense of place, and value, in the working world has been a challenge for me. Finding work that does feel valued and valuable has been worthwhile.)

The weekend was restful, nurturing, and filled with moments of simple delight. I baked holiday cookies, did laundry, and invested time in self-care to be fit to face the work week this morning. I watched the rain fall beyond the window, and generally enjoyed my time quietly, solo. I notice, this morning, as I consider the weekend, that I have been disinclined to share my space with friends since the break-in. Even now, I rarely invite anyone in. Even my close neighbors – friends, more than neighbors – are finding themselves having to specifically check on me, because I’ve removed myself from society rather more than I’d noticed. I’m feeling safer, once again, although I no longer trust that feeling. It’s a healthy choice to open up to friends and welcome them into my space again. It’s difficult to get past the wariness. There are obviously verbs involved. 🙂

Today is a good day to enjoy life as it is, with a smile, and a moment of recognition; however good or bad this moment feels right now, it isn’t going to last. Moments are only moments. Impermanence is. Change is. “This too shall pass.” Today is a good day to embrace what works, to enjoy what feels good, to invest in a future that is in some incremental way better than the past, and to remain comfortably aware that life does not stand still. Today I may not change the world, but I can sure change how I feel about it. 🙂

 

I got robbed last night. Feels odd to say it. Non-metaphorically speaking, my home was broken into,  things were taken. It was a new (for me) and fairly terrible experience. 

This morning’s post is written awkwardly, on my phone. The interface behaves differently. I’ve had little sleep.

The worst of it was in those moments of increasing awareness, as I arrived home, thoughts full of anticipation for the evening ahead. Looking back on it after less than four hours of sleep, it seemed much worse last night. This morning I feel fortunate they only took some electronics. They took my laptop. Other things matter less. It’s a lot to process… but I am okay. That matters most. So… now what? I mean… after filing the police report, and the insurance claim… after getting some sleep, after securing the premises… after the practical things are handled, and the tears have dried up… now what?

…I guess I begin again.