Archives for posts with tag: waking up slowly

This morning I woke from a deep sleep to the strident beeping of the alarm. It was some seconds before I puzzled out what that rather irritating sound actually was. I got up. Did some yoga. Showered. Dressed. Brain still sort of fuzzy, sort of foggy… I sat down at my desk, feeling half-aware ‘something is missing’ and uncertain what that might be…

For awhile I sat here, at my desk, browser open, sort of ‘wandering around the internet’ without purpose or intent. After some while it finally seeps through my consciousness… coffee. I had somehow entirely overlooked making coffee! I started that process and managed to complete it without hysterical laughter – or maddening frustration – and also managed to make very nearly every possible mistake along the way toward the singularly worst cup of coffee I have ever made for myself, possibly in a lifetime (no, that’s an exaggeration – I’ve made coffee that was much worse). This cup of coffee is somewhat bitter, and both somehow too strong and also somewhat insipid – ‘thin’ tasting. Did I remember to empty the hot water from rinsing the paper filter and warming the mug? I suspect not. I definitely ground too many beans – no idea how I managed that, and since I suspected about half what was ground may have been left from yesterday (?), I started over…but didn’t start with a new filter, also… I mean – seriously? Have I ever made coffee before this?

I start completely fresh, once more, and the result is an acceptable cup of coffee, and a clean pair of jeans. Wait – what? Yeah. This is a better cup of coffee, but while I took the first couple sips I was thinking over the earlier attempt(s), and started giggling…which I attempted to stifle, causing me to somehow… sneeze coffee into my lap (avoiding sneezing it into my keyboard). I stop to look at the calendar and wonder ‘how is this not a Monday?’. Followed quickly by some amusement that human beings can take themselves at all seriously, ever.

I consider myself pretty decent at making a cup of coffee…and yet…today. I smile at how messy being human can be, just about the same time I notice I’ve left the burner on… (I find myself wondering how it is no one has designed a safety feature for stoves that shuts off a burner if there is no weight on it for longer than x seconds or minutes… that would be pretty convenient.) What I’m not enduring this morning is any additional stress coming from me, myself, directed at me in frustration or annoyance over this morning’s… challenges. Self-directed ire over such small things doesn’t have much positive value – it doesn’t improve the situation, or effectively cope with it, and tends to complicate matters by putting my heightened potential for frustration or anger between me and any other human being I may interact with later.  Giving myself a break and having a little humor about such things seems so much less likely to push me in the direction of having a crappy experience for an entire day. Bad cup of coffee? That’s just one cup of coffee, one moment of many, and such a small thing that it is literally possible to ‘do it over’ – what would be the point of becoming irate over it? Who would that serve?

More than an hour after waking, my brain finally seems to be coming on-line. I am beginning to feel alert – and it isn’t really the coffee. A few sips of coffee are not really so magical as to provide instant alertness, awareness, and presence – it’s just taking me awhile to wake up completely this morning, most probably due in part to changes in how I manage my medication and my pain on work days. Effective self-care is a complicated puzzle, and timing matters. Change is a thing, and it may take me a couple of groggy mornings to get back to a comfortable work routine. I take a minute to be patient with myself, and to consider the morning; are there steps I can take to be more comfortable, sooner? Is it a matter of patience, and practice? Are there some tweaks to my timing on pain medication that will prevent me being so groggy first thing?

A helpful reminder; I apply it equally to how I speak to myself these days.

A helpful reminder; I apply it equally to how I speak to myself these days.

Being human has its complicated bits and challenging moments. I’m not fighting it or looking for shortcuts. This isn’t a bad morning and, aside from a bad cup of coffee already replaced with a better cup of coffee, the day begins well. I will approach the rest of it one task at a time, one moment at a time, and enjoy the journey – the journey is going to happen either way, enjoying it just makes sense.

This morning I am not waking up easily. I’m awake, showered, dressed…but my consciousness is dimmed, and I am getting a sluggish start to the day. Coffee soon. I sat quietly for some time, unconcerned about starting coffee, in the space between my yoga and my shower. I will have my coffee in hand in some few minutes, and I will return to sitting quietly; there is no reason to rush the morning, the day, or the moment.

That’s one lovely thing I enjoy about practicing mindfulness – the simple pleasure of sitting quietly, breathing deeply, and just sort of…coasting: awake, aware, calm, and simply being present, listening to the sounds of the day, and the world around me. It wasn’t easy at first, sitting quietly has its own challenges in a world that discourages daydreamers, and time wasters. Restless urges to return to motion, to pick up the thread of some idea or ‘problem’, to be productive, all get in the way of the simplicity of stillness.

This morning I am not waking so easily, and because I am a bit slowed down, sitting still is the easier thing. I take the opportunity – and the hot cup of coffee – to relish this quiet morning, and to sit, still, and enjoy it.

There's room for stillness in this moment.

There’s room for stillness in this moment.

Morning came sooner than I’d like. I slept poorly. I dozed off again and again, and the sleep I did get was of good quality. I was not able to sleep through the night, and woke regularly. It wasn’t a bad night in any distinct way, it was simply that my sleep was interrupted, incomplete, and insufficient to result in feeling rested this morning. The experience is not relevant to whether I have a good day today. So far, aside from being somewhat groggy, and writing with far more spelling errors than you will ever see, it manages to be a lovely morning in spite of the poor quality sleep.

Cloudy skies that threaten rain without delivering on their promise.

Cloudy skies that threaten rain without delivering on their promise.

I make my coffee with great care, more because I am too groggy not to follow the process quite carefully, than any wonder of mindfulness. I notice, once completed, that the fragrant brew is quite dark. I think to myself “huh, that really is the color of an ‘espresso finish’ “, without noticing in the moment that I am not drinking espresso – just coffee. The coffee is very good this morning; I made a point to get more of that Brazilian roast I enjoyed so much. I am enjoying it every bit as much as I did the first time.

No raccoons on the lawn this morning, no cats stopping by, no possums, no bunnies, and the birds are quiet. It is a quiet morning. It’s probably best that it be such a lovely quiet morning; I am not awake enough to provide any sort of crisis management, or quick decision-making. I’m okay with that. I’ve got my coffee, and plenty of time to wake up.

Sometimes changing my perspective doesn't change my understanding of things...sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't.

Sometimes changing my perspective doesn’t change my understanding of things…sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t.

I sip my coffee, listening to sounds of morning and thinking ahead to the evening, to the weekend… my traveling partner will be away for the weekend, which is not relevant to anything in this moment but the recollection reminds me of our plans tonight. I smile, anticipating the moment he arrives. I am awake enough to value the deep connection we share. For a brief moment I allow my consciousness to brush past the previously terrifying what-if scenario of ‘what if he didn’t come back from…’. It’s not a pleasant thought to linger on, so I don’t, but as I turn my thoughts to other things, I realize…once I got past the shock of it, the sorrow… I’d be okay. I’d go on with my life, treating myself well, investing in me. I don’t doubt there would be a huge hole in my heart, in my experience, perhaps for always, perhaps not…and there is no loss of affection in the knowledge that I’d be okay – only the loss of the crippling attachment that had built over time. It feels good to let that go. Strong. Safe. Emotionally secure.

It's a metaphor. :-)

It’s a metaphor. 🙂

This morning I have the sense of taking life one slippery rock at a time, crossing a fast-moving creek; there’s a sense of progress, recognition of the distance covered and the journey ahead, and a realization that a missed step, or a fall, needn’t be assumed to be doom. I’d simply begin again. That’s enough.