Archives for posts with tag: thriving on my own terms

I slept in today, which was lovely, even though I woke with a stuffy head, a headache, and aching joints. I thought maybe I was coming down with a cold, but as I woke up, moved around a bit, showered, and got myself going for the day, I began feeling better. So… maybe not a cold.

I had a clear plan for the day, it unraveled almost immediately. If I were deeply emotionally invested to the details as planned, I’d be struggling with disappointment, frustration, and feeling aggravated. I’ve learned a lot about contentment over the last couple of years, and generally speaking, lasting sustainable contentment requires a couple of simple-but-harder-than-they-appear practices, in my own experience. Firstly, refraining from becoming emotionally invested in an outcome is super helpful. Then also, it’s a good practice to avoid holding implicit unstated expectations (of myself, events, or other people). Then, one more, sometimes super challenging, practice; letting go of attachment, just generally. Doesn’t mean “nothing matters”, that’s not it at all, it’s more that however much something I’ve planned may feel urgent, important, or necessary, circumstances can and do intervene, other people are human and also have freewill, and sometimes – no, seriously – sometimes I’m just mistaken, or lacking in complete information at some point that results in a plan breaking down.

So, today, when I woke very much not feeling like doing a lot of things, at all, I took a look down my list and noticed that grocery shopping properly, getting fresh produce into the house, and restocking the pantry of some exhausted supplies seemed to be overdue. So – I went to do that, figuring it would be a simple enough errand to run, in the early morning.

When I started the car, the “low tire pressure” warning light came on. Huh. Well – okay, there’s a tire place right up the road, quite nearby. Easily handled. Since I’m doing that, I’ll get the oil changed, and the tires rotated – on the way to the grocery store. Nice. I’m feeling super efficient and adulting with skill, now, yeah? πŸ˜€ I did the shopping. Got my nails done. Got home… and now that list doesn’t seem so daunting. I check off all the things I’d just done (all of which were on my list, anyway).

I continue to assemble a new updated weekend “bug out bag” for spontaneous road-trip-ery; having the car opens a lot of interesting doors. I check my calendar for upcoming weekends to spend with my Traveling Partner down south where he is working. I add some calendar events to my calendar, and find myself wondering about the holidays. Is it too soon to send him an invitation for the Yule holiday hear at home with me? (Not for me, it isn’t! lol)

Right about then is when I realized why the day was feeling so terrifically satisfying; I feel at home. I’m “home making”, today. I smile. Pause for a coffee break and a few minutes to write. I shrug off my utter failure to score tickets to see Macklemore in Portland in October (those tickets went fast) and send my Traveling Partner a calendar event to spend that weekend with him. Nothing to regret about the way that turned out. πŸ™‚

I move down the list, and around the house, checking off tasks as I complete them. I water the garden. Feed the fish. Do the dishes. Start a new batch of sprouts. I’ll probably just keep at it until I hit the 6 hour mark or so, then call it a day well-spent, put my feet up, and relax. πŸ™‚

…I still haven’t hooked up the TV or stereo. lol I guess I could do that too, at this point, with very little risk of over-indulging in “brain candy” (videos, anime, YouTube content…) or derailing my productivity. Taking a break from all that for a couple weeks now and then seems a healthy choice for me, particularly while I am rebuilding broken or bent routines affected by a change in circumstances – or address.

This is where I live. This is “home”. It’s not an instantaneous thing, and there are verbs involved here, too, and a commitment to “make it my own” in so many little ways. That continues, I suppose, until I can find my way in the dark, until I can step into the studio and immediately begin painting, until I can step on the deck and cut fresh herbs for cooking, until each and all of my friends and loves know just where I am on a solitary night, and whether I would welcome them… there is so much to do. I sometimes forget how much I enjoy doing it. πŸ™‚

My coffee is done. I still have several things to do on my list. I guess I’ll begin again, then – it won’t change “the world”, but it certainly makes this wee corner of it more comfortable. πŸ˜‰

I woke to the alarm after a restless night. 4th of July, of course, is a noisy holiday. I’d enjoy it more if more other Americans enjoyed it more often at public fireworks events, rather than in their driveways, streets, and the park beyond my patio. It was well past 11 pm before the bangs, crackles, and booms died away. I let it go, and got what sleep I could.

There is a peculiar low-hanging mist on the meadow this morning. The day is forecasted for a high of 88 degrees. I’m dressed for the hot weather, and appreciative how little time I will have to spend in the heat (it’s a work day, the office is well air-conditioned). I try to avoid fussing and fretting about how hot this apartment will be when I return to it, and instead work on cooling it down now. To be relatively comfortable at day’s end, on a such a hot day, Β it needs to be below 70 degrees in here when I leave the house for work. I miss the tree that used to shade this place, keeping it comfortable even on very hot days. I feel my anger about the loss of the trees here surge, and begin to combine with other small irritants that have eroded my contentment here over time. I take a deep breath, and let that go, too.

I got to hang out with my Traveling Partner last night, and it was beautiful and connected and joyful…and…real. We really talked about a couple of things we’d been very careful about for some time. It was…needed. It was even tender. It was… worth having the conversation. I was able to say “I miss living with you…” and feel the tears start as my heart filled with the recollection of us two, living together, in our own place, for that one precious perfectly lovely year of deeply connected new relationship joy… and he didn’t resist, or become tense, or angry, or any of those things. He looked at me tenderly, with concern, and affection, and said something sane and wise… “You thrive living alone…” I don’t recall what else he said, or what came first, or what came after, just those words, and the somewhat puzzled look on his face, and the clear desire to “be there” for me, and to understand. I do thrive living alone, this is a true thing. He’s so right about that. Β I do miss living with him… but… I don’t miss cohabitation generally. I actually do thrive – really thrive – living alone. I am disinclined to easily recognize that, when I think about living with my Traveling Partner, no fault of his; I’d never lived so well with another person, ever, than with him. It was… the very next best thing to living alone (which I hadn’t really done previously for any length of time)! I’d probably feel uncomfortable saying it so boldly and firmly this morning, if we hadn’t had the conversation we had last night.

For him, it is a beautiful thing to see me thrive. For me, living alone is the first time I truly have (thrived, I mean). The conversation at least got to the real point; I would enjoy spending more time with him. πŸ™‚ We agree contentedly it has been a busy year for us both. He’s eager to see me in a more comfortable space, feeling safe again (I just haven’t since the burglary back in November). He steers my excitement about getting moved in such that I stay focused on what works for me, and don’t invest heavily in what might work for him in some abstract circumstance in which he lands on my doorstep for a long stay. He trusts my ability to create a beautiful home. I trust that he wants to spend time there with me. I let go of a little more baggage.

I got to reconnect briefly with another friend over the weekend. We exchanged birthday gifts. It was a fun moment. I smile and think of him every time I see the lovely pin he crafted, pinned on my hiking cap. My cap goes everywhere with me during the spring and summer, and often in autumn, and even sometimes in winter… a good all-purpose cap. It had been rather dull and unadorned. Now it seems to shout “you are loved” or “life has purpose” or… “damn I look good!” or something else positive and lovely, without undermining the practical nature of a good cap. I miss hanging out with him, too. A poignant moment of recognition of how much joy busy lives can rob us of… and I let that go, too. Busy, indeed, and legitimately so; there is no point grieving the positives in life. Are we each thriving? Is that not enough? πŸ™‚

A simple cap, a fancy pin, a life now built on contentment and sufficiency.

It is a lovely summer morning for consideration; this morning that consideration is from me, for me, to me. I consider my feelings. I consider the context. I provide myself perspective. I embrace change and consider the needful things. I consider the planning. I consider the future. This morning I allow myself to be aware that indeed I do thrive living alone. I consider the chaos and damage that brought me here in life, without anger, without frustration, and without judgement. I am here. This is who I am. Thriving. Wow. Thriving… that’s a big deal. πŸ™‚ It’s also very much “enough”.

One day in a life worth living…

The sun peeks over the horizon, tangerine and sparkling, turning the needle tips of the awkwardly place pine just beyond the window quite gold and glittery. There is a female duck at the edge of the meadow keeping a careful eye out for cats while having a look for tasty morsels in the grass. Day is beginning. Where will it take me?