Archives for posts with tag: welcoming the woman in the mirror

This morning I am fighting off unexpected nausea. I am in more than usual pain. I am still in a pretty good mood, and mostly enjoying the morning in spite of the discomfort. It helps, this morning, that I am feeling encouraged by how yesterday evening unfolded.

Moments of encouragement or unexpected joy are some of life's most beautiful ornaments.

Moments of encouragement or unexpected joy are some of life’s most beautiful ornaments.

I left work at a good time, realizing as I walked home in more pain than usual that I had forgotten to take my mid-day Rx pain relief. By the end of the day, no surprise that I was in pain. I thought no more of it, I felt good otherwise, and it had been a productive work day. I knew I could also count on my vape pen, and medical cannabis, and I wasn’t stressed about the small miss on my medication. The battery on my vape pen flashed at me right about then, to let me know it was also done for the day. No big deal; I would just recharge it at home…

…A bit more than an hour later, and sometime after arriving home, I had determined with certainty that my vape pen’s battery had actually just up and quit. Well. In the meantime I had experienced some serious frustration troubleshooting it, and frustration being my kryptonite, here’s the part where I generally continue to talk about some serious challenge, a wrecked evening, and the efforts involved in getting a better outcome as quickly as possible… only… last night wasn’t like that. Sure, I got wrapped up in the troubleshooting of a small replaceable device that I would not be able to repair, regardless, when I could have been enjoying hanging the new wreath on the front door, enjoying a good cup of coffee or tea, having a bite of dinner, or a long hot shower… in general, I could have been taking care of me, and enjoying my evening, instead of immersing myself in some minutes of frustration. Here’s the thing, though – I didn’t wreck my evening, and neither did the frustration, and I identified the start of that damaging pattern of behavior, and put myself on pause long enough to become engaged and present in the moment I was in, and to give myself an opportunity to re-evaluate what actions would really meet my needs best, both short and long-term. No tears.

I set aside the frantic and frustrated troubleshooting. I have a back up vape pen of another brand, no problem. I ordered a replacement battery for my preferred one. I started some dinner, put on the kettle for a cup of tea, and hung the wreath on my door. I sat down to enjoy an email from a dear friend, and to enjoy a cute selfie my partner sent me earlier in the day. I took care of me, and did so with my full attention. The evening ended well. I didn’t lose my mind over some small thing, or panic because I’d missed on my medication, or frustrate myself into becoming enraged. Pretty cool.

"Welcome home" I think to myself for no obvious reason.

“Welcome home” I think to myself for no obvious reason.

This morning I am getting a slow start, and that’s okay; it’s a good morning to linger over progress, and to savor the small practices that have, over time, changed my experience so very much. Today is a good day to be the change, and to become the woman I most want to be. 🙂

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for me, although I don’t celebrate much ‘pilgrim vs indigenous people’ stuff.  For me, this is a holiday about feasting, gratitude, hospitality, welcoming, and acceptance. Today I’ll cook a fairly lavish meal compared to the day-to-day, as is traditional for so many. It’s a rare year that I don’t have a handful of others invited to join me for the holiday meal, and today the celebration is not dependent on a guest list at all. It’s still a holiday, still about gratitude, and still about being welcoming and thankful – and I care share all those things with the woman in the mirror, too. There have been far too many times I didn’t appreciate her, or even welcome her in her own experience. This is a year to celebrate how much I value the part I play, myself, in my experience, in my choices, and in my opportunities. It’s a year to be thankful, appreciative, and welcoming – of myself.

I begin the holiday season reflecting on gratitude, and good fortune.

I begin the holiday season reflecting on gratitude, and good fortune.

I am sipping my coffee, enjoying the slow encroachment of sunshine on carpet near the patio door, and planning the day’s cooking; small kitchen, small spaces, one oven, no microwave… I’ve had it far worse. Here all the burners work, I have a functioning dishwasher, and every surface is sparkling clean and available for food prep. I am grateful for my tiny kitchen, and all of its convenience – including the pantry almost as large as the kitchen itself, and having everything I’ll need within easy reach. I will happily spend the next hour or two making final recipe choices, smiling over the memories that surface with each recipe card, cookbook, or saved article from some ancient newspaper or magazine, handed down woman to woman over generations. I am grateful for the recollection of so many wonderful home-cooked meals over the years. I am grateful for this smile.

Planning the day has become organizing the cooking, and soon all the planning and organizing will become action – there will be verbs involved, and practices practiced. Safety with knives. Food-safe preparation, and clean-as-I-go practices. Proper food storage practices. Kindness and compassion will be practiced today, too. There’s not likely to be any drama on this holiday – but I could make choices that leave me feeling run down, blue, and angst-y later in the day. Being kind to myself, and compassionate with myself as a human being worthy of consideration and love will make just as much as much sense for me, solo, as it would for me entertaining a crowd. I will take time to treat myself well. I will pace myself, today, and remember that enjoying the day, the meal, and the moment, is the point – not the success of any one dish or the timing with which the meal is served. There’s nothing to be stressed about; this is a holiday about appreciation, sufficiency, and thanks – it’s not a competition, and there are no winners besides the people who put down their stress and agita and simply enjoy the day, present in the moment, and grateful for all that they have.

Facing the approach of winter, I feel fortunate in my cozy home.

Facing the approach of winter, I feel fortunate in my cozy home.

Today I take time to give thanks – I have more than enough.