Archives for posts with tag: Time and timing

Timing is a thing. It’s morning again. I’m rather aggressively slurping my coffee. There’s less time in the mornings, and I am feeling grateful that I started waking up at 4 am weeks ago (months?). I still get an hour for myself before it’s time for feet to hit pavement, and head to the bus that will take me to the office. I’m not complaining, just noting the change to my routine, and to my timing.

I exchange a few words with my Traveling Partner. I am very much missing him. I think about love for some little while. I try not to count the minutes. 🙂

The walk to the bus stop is easier each day as my body gets more used to it, and my brain gets re-calibrated to the time it takes to get to work. The commute is basically doubled in duration, in both directions, and the bus is crowded in the afternoon, on the way home. I’m not surprised by these things, they are merely characteristics of the new normal.

All the way home, each evening, I consider the things I am going to get done once I arrive. I get home too tired for any of that. This, too, is familiar. Yesterday evening was fairly skillfully done. I managed to stay fully on track with my self-care stuff, and even enjoyed the evening quietly before calling it an early night and getting some sleep. I slept through the night. I woke to the alarm. Getting up was harder than usual – I really wanted to sleep on. lol I tried to convince myself it is Saturday (it’s not; it is Wednesday) and almost went back to sleep. So unlike me.

Finally acknowledging, regularly and out loud, that I have been pushing myself too hard allows me to also admit I need more rest, like, seriously. I’m looking forward to sleeping in Saturday, in spite of knowing I’m likely to wake with the dawn, anyway.

There’s really nothing profound about any of this, and the common truth of life is that much of it is mundane, ordinary stuff, lacking in profundity or significance. A good night’s rest still matters, though. A good cup of coffee (if you’re into coffee) still satisfies. Routine is routine. Average is average. Ordinary is what most moments and days are made of – that’s not only “okay”; it provides the framework to understand the extraordinary, and recognize significance of moments that are indeed profound. This morning is not that. It’s just morning. That suits me just fine – it’s enough.

I smile quietly and swallow the last of my coffee, my eye on the clock. It’s already time to begin again. More verbs. My results may vary. 🙂

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 have appointments today, and timing matters. I reserved a car for the day to simplify things, and knowing I have some baggage around ‘time’ (and timing), I made sure to consider possible twists and complications, and allowed myself what seemed sufficient time.

I woke on time this morning, and quickly departed to pick up the car… The bus I planned to take to the transit center didn’t come. I stood patiently waiting for the next one; I knew I had enough time.

I got to the transit center just prior to the start of my car reservation feeling pretty splendid that I didn’t get stressed out about the bus… No car. I mean, no cars at all, anywhere in the car-share lot. Not good. Timing… I take a deep breath, remind myself I planned for all manner of contingencies, and even allowed myself time to write for a moment, later… (spoiler alert – I’m writing!) I call the car-share service, and they admit that indeed it looks like the car I reserved has not yet been returned (um… I know this…). They phone the person who has the car, and let me know that although that person is not answering their phone, the car ‘is now in motion’. They adjust my reservation and give me a bit of a discount for the inconvenience. I breathe. I wait. The person arrives with the car and drops it off without a word of courtesy or regret. I am reminded of the ‘state the world is in’ and I am not puzzled why. I head on home to shower, dress – and omg, have coffee!

I find myself comfortably back on track, and wondering how many such circumstances over the course of an adult lifetime were needlessly complicated (and matters of time and timing significantly worsened) by having some crazy freak out over being a few minutes later than planned, or some sequence of events being not entirely in the sequence intended, or just having some plan fall completely to pieces resulting in a thoroughly unscripted, spontaneous, wildly different experience? So far, this morning is just fine, complications and all.

I look myself over in the mirror, dressed for the day, feeling myself on the edge of finding fault with all sorts of details that seemed not only satisfactory at some other point, but in some cases actually fulfilling and a bit… awesome. Funny how the bit of stress over time feeds so much discontent, later, and about things so unrelated to time, or each other. It’s something to consider another time.

Oh, right… time. It’s time. Today is a good day to give myself plenty of time – and patience. Today is a good day to be enough. 🙂

I overslept my alarm this morning – or didn’t set it. It doesn’t much matter which; I needed the rest. My particular preference for leisurely mornings built around waking up early and taking my time serve me well here – I still have time to be leisurely. 🙂

Coffee is almost ready…

Like moments, the cup of coffee that matters most is the one in front of me now. :-)

Like moments, the cup of coffee that matters most is the one in front of me now. 🙂

It does mean there is less time for writing, this morning, and this, as a result, means I won’t be taking time to write about the phone call last evening that drove my stress level through the roof for some short time, and disrupted the early hours of my sleep enough that when deep sleep finally did overtake me, my brain and body were willing to disregard the strident wake-up call of my alarm clock in preference for another hour of sleep. That’s okay – I allow for that, simply by making my routine to start my morning so early. There’s just no rush, even this morning. I have time.

Approaching my time management from the perspective that ‘taking my time’ can be done my way – I mean, it is my time, after all – definitely eases the day-to-day stress resulting from small things like ‘being late’. I rarely am. (Unfortunately, when I am, I am at grave risk of serious emotional overload. Yep; being late is a trigger for me. I carry around major baggage about time. How suck is that?? it’s not like time itself is escapable.) Starting the morning with some small measure of leisure allows me to begin each day with less stress associated with time and timing – this is huge for me, as an individual. Your baggage is likely in different life areas, of course…how much simpler if we all shared an identical experience? We’d totally ‘get each other’ more easily…right? (I am doubtful…I seem to depend on a sense of individual identity, and personal autonomy, myself…being human, I would bet you also do.) Identical sameness might be dull, though… and it would be difficult to learn some of life’s valuable lessons, perhaps. I’ve wandered off course, here… Weren’t we talking about time?

It’s morning, just that, and no cause to rush. I sip my coffee and enjoy some moments connecting with my traveling partner, chatting and catching up. It is a work day for us both, and we talk over practical matters: budget details, calendars, what we’re doing this week, next week…planning; the practical matters of the logistics of life are also part of love and loving. I may not find it an easy fit to live with other people 24/7 – but I appreciate, value, and enjoy a good partnership with an adult who shares my values and is an equal. I start the day feeling supported, warmed by affection and good-natured regard. It’s tricky sometimes, but I am also learning to feel those feelings within the relationship I have with myself, day-to-day; a more important detail than I understood it could be, as little as a year ago. Taking time to grow matters, too.

If you don’t like where you are in life, right now, please go somewhere different. You have so much power to choose. Seriously. Yes, of course, there are verbs involved, and emotions to experience, and it isn’t always easy, or pretty, or fun – and yes, sometimes things can seem pretty suck as you go along. Incremental change over time is a thing, though, and it is powerful. What are you practicing? Will it take you farther down the path you choose? Will the outcome of your decisions and your actions be contentment, and perhaps happiness – or are you choosing some other goal, or wandering around with your eyes closed? I’m not judging – I’m just saying. Choice is powerful. Practice is powerful. Taking your time with change is powerful – and all of it is power that rests in your own hands, your own heart… are you ready to slow down, take the time you need, and grab a verb? 🙂

Tomorrow – or perhaps tonight – I will share the Parable of the Small Boy Waiting, and the story of a phone call. There’s time for that. Time isn’t infinite…but I’ve got right now. Today is a good day to be here, to be engaged, to be present in the moment. I’m okay right now.

I woke feeling a sense of urgency-not-quite-dread that nearly launched me from my bed at high speed, and that my always helpful brain tried to frame up as ‘feeling purposeful’ straight away, no doubt to keep me moving along productively. My alarm woke me, which is rare. Rarer still, it didn’t wake me immediately, and the strident beeping was likely what caused me to wake in overdrive. Even after stopping myself, slowing down, doing some calming breath work and yoga, I got through my morning routine to the point at which I have coffee and email in front of me in an impressive 13 minutes. (No, I didn’t ‘time it’, I just checked the clock when I grabbed my coffee.) I’m not celebrating that as any sort of achievement; I’m not in the Army, there is no urgent crisis requiring timely action this morning, and I am not ‘running late’. In fact… I may never be ‘running late’ ever again…

I do have a ‘complicated relationship with time’.  That’s how I’ve framed up my issues with it, lately.  Before I started down the path of being more mindful and taking care of me, I referred to it as ‘The Time Thing’.  It was a very big, very ugly, very problematic deal with me. Being late, especially if caused through no action of my own, and unavoidably circumstantial, could set me off on a screaming tirade, real fury and rage, on this utterly inappropriate level that isn’t really describable with words. I wore, at one point in my late 20s, multiple wrist watches, carefully set to the same time. I was quietly compulsive about time and timing, and any suggestion that a work task was particularly time-sensitive could set me off taking time & motion data for days until I stripped the task down to its most pure elements, and mastered the timing completely for a more predictable experience.

Yep. I have a complicated relationship with time.  It hasn’t been as bad as all that for a long while, but planning things remains pretty critical to my every day experience, and although I’m damned adaptable in the face of plans deviating from reality – because they nearly always do – I still experience pretty significant stress from small things like being a few minutes late. (I’m salaried, but in spite of that I walk into the office each day at a very predictable time, with little deviation, quite as a matter of practice, rather than effort.) Many of my other behaviors around habits, routines, and productivity build off my issues with time, and timeliness.

I may be done with that. (I may not be.) This morning, over my coffee and my Facebook feed, someone linked an article with a headline that caught my attention. “The Day I Stopped Saying Hurry Up”  I rarely expect an article to resonate with me on this level. We lose so much when we hurry. Why do I keep doing it? Why all the stress over a moment in time that is not now? Isn’t the first most important thing right now always right now, itself? Find my moment? I’m standing on it. Suddenly, I feel so free.  Has the burden of Time been that heavy for so long?  I’m not saying I want to be late for work, but I think I’m okay with leaving late, early, or at some moment on the clock that isn’t pre-selected.

Taking a moment to observe and experience life unplanned, unscripted, and unafraid is worth 'being late'; it is living life.

Taking a moment to observe and experience life unplanned, unscripted, and unafraid is worth ‘being late’; it is living life.

…And I’m okay with enjoying this feeling and not analyzing it more.

Progress, moment by moment, day by day, like a flower blooming its own way, in its own time.

Progress, moment by moment, day by day, like a flower blooming its own way, in its own time.

I enjoy planning things. Learning the how-to of not over-investing in a specific outcome releases planning from its future job assignment of ‘driving stress’, too, and leaves the fun of planning with the planning, allowing anticipation to be a lovely enjoyable experience all its own. I enjoy anticipation. I dislike disappointment. The only thing connecting those experiences is attachment to an outcome. Learning to plan without attachment to the outcome is an interesting exercise in mindfully balancing past experience with potential experience, and preparing for what could be, while enjoying what is. I’m obviously still thinking about attachment, and clinging, and how much I lose when I let go of ‘now’ and immerse myself in what isn’t, more than what is. I’d like to become very skilled at letting go of attachment, and still loving, still feeling, still exploring compassion and joy.

Each ‘now’ moment is so incredibly precious.

Another work week begins. The weekend was not without its highs and lows. I could be unhappy that I didn’t go hiking yesterday… or delighted that I had such a lovely quiet Sunday and got so much done, and enjoyed my leisure time in other ways; the Farmer’s Market, a pleasant walk, Chinese food for dinner.  I could be blue because of some mistake or misstep or other, and bemoan my essential humanity and how much work it takes to do my best and be this amazing woman I am becoming…or I can celebrate the being and becoming of this amazing woman I am growing to be over time, and the unspeakable joy life sometimes brings me now. I could fuss frustratedly that the moments of love and connection with my partners are so few some days…or be grateful to love so well, and be loved in return, when so many don’t have that opportunity at all, through circumstances, or the choices they make. Perspective matters.

So many opportunities, so many decision-making moments, making choice about time can be very limiting.

So many opportunities, so many decision-making moments, making choice about time can be very limiting. Today is a good day to choose ‘now’.

Today is a good day for a fresh start. Today is a good day for choices that meet my needs over time. Today is a good day for acceptance, compassion, and kindness. Today, the most important thing is right now.