Archives for posts with tag: what is ‘enough’?

I woke to the usual sounds of a rainy morning. No snow. Not here. I’m okay with that, and I get up and begin preparing for a routine sort of day. There’s been so much talk of snow, I sit down with my coffee and check the weather again, for any sign that I should definitely be working from home. No snow. No. Snow. (Not here.) My backpack is set up for inclement weather, the car is AWD. I’m ready for it, if and when it decides to snow. 🙂

Yesterday was similar, with regard to snow. We watched for it. Waited for it. Talked about it. Muttered about inaccurate weather forecasts, and in the next breath gushed over our favorite local meteorologist or some other climatologist of note, and talked about how much more accurate weather forecasts are “these days” – then went back to waiting, and watching, for snow that did not show up. We want it – and we dread it. We don’t want it – but we’re eager to snap snow pictures. lol Silly human primates.

I take a breath, and a sip of coffee, and relax. It may snow. It will or it won’t, or it’ll find something very different to do instead – maybe an ice storm in the middle of the night? It’s happened before, and is within the realm of things that are possible. I let it go. It isn’t significant until it happens, and either way I am prepared. I wonder for a moment if I should stop by the grocery store after work, then remember that my Traveling Partner is handling that. The amount of relief in the moment that I have help with life’s details, and that this journey is shared, is pretty obvious. I sigh, and relax, and smile. I am comforted knowing he’s in the other room, sleeping. Snow storm? Let it come; I’ll be in good company if I end up snowed in. 🙂

Letting myself become attached to an outcome isn’t generally very useful, even with the weather. Being generally prepared requires some awareness of legitimate ordinary possibilities, for sure, but doesn’t benefit from clinging to one or another in advance of the relevant moment. I smile to myself, feeling confident that this is a life lesson I’ve managed to learn well. I’m a big fan of non-attachment, of being “generally well-prepared in life”, and of sufficiency as a means of reducing the amount of stress in my life associated with disappointments. All of those require some practice (at least, they did for me, and still do). Pretty worth it to have so much less turmoil and drama in my life. 😀

Another smile, another sip of my coffee, another opportunity to begin again – whether it snows or not. 😀

Yesterday was lovely, end to end, in spite of the short, restless, night before. It was a pleasant day of healing self-care, relaxation, and mindful attention to the woman in the mirror…

…[It was pleasant] after having a deeply intimate discussion with my traveling partner during which I revealed to myself (and him) that I’ve been quietly struggling with feeling beat down and dismal, fighting off feelings of being irrelevant, “expired”, no longer useful in the world…because I’ve tended (all my life that I recall) to define myself (in the context of relationships) based on my sexuality and sexual availability (and skill), and my ability to reliably bring in an adequate steady income. Sex and money. I’d convinced myself at some distant point that what I bring to a relationship that has any real value is sex and money, just those. I literally don’t have a good understanding of what else I may offer a partner that has “real value”. No wonder I lost my shit the other night, feeling criticized in some implied way over the housekeeping, my weight/fitness, or my current state of non-employment (outside the home); I felt worthless. Yikes. I have some things to think about, and I definitely need to ease up on the woman in the mirror. She’s doing her best, and it is enough.

A walking meditation on a sparkling summer morning.

A walking meditation on a sparkling summer morning.

I spent the day after that feeling rather tender toward myself. I have the sense that I treat myself generally well, day-to-day, these days and it came as a surprise that I’d snuck in such a hurtful bit of messaging, playing more or less continuously on repeat in the background of my consciousness. I was feeling unwanted – but not saying so. I was feeling “out of date” and “superseded” and worthless – and wasn’t even giving myself the courtesy of hearing it, murmured so quietly, so deeply within.  Acknowledging these feelings came with a measure of awkward sad embarrassment, because I was holding on to the assumption that I “know better” now, and would not choose such a thing willfully with my eyes open… only… I did. It was buried in the fine print on the choices day-to-day made to ease the social tension that sometimes develops around my rather intense emotional life; if I choose to disregard my emotional life in order to be polite, to be practical, to be “grown up”, and then fail to follow-up with myself later to make room for my feelings and deal with my needs and hurts, I am going to pay for it, and so will everyone dealing with me when it finally goes down. I do not always make the wiser choice. I’m very human.

It’s the weekend, and it won’t be quite so hot today if the forecast is accurate. (Remember terrible inaccurate weather forecasts? Is that still a thing at all?) Today is a good day to treat the woman in the mirror well… It’s going to take some practice. 🙂

I am sipping my coffee contentedly as the sun rise leaks through the partially opened blinds. I forget to dodge the orange sliver of light that momentarily blinds me. There is no aggravation in that moment. I am well-rested, and in no more than the usual amount of pain. I’ve seen new images of my spine…I’m no longer the slightest bit surprised by the amount of day-to-day pain I am in. What’s left now is managing it, and learning what else, if anything, can be done to ease it long-term. The morning begins pleasantly, and the pain – being a fairly unremarkable routine thing, generally – doesn’t change that.

I was stressed and tired yesterday, by the time I got home. I planted some tomato plants in my garden, and hung out with my traveling partner awhile. My anxiety coming and going in the background of our experience isn’t a comfortable thing for him. Eventually, I decided I’d try a very old-fashioned remedy indeed; I ‘laid down for a little while’. It turned into a night’s sleep, rather unexpectedly. I must have needed it. I slept 12 hours, waking only long enough to get up to pee once, and then later upon hearing the sound of someone moving through the house, and forgetting I am not living alone, I got up and crossed paths pleasantly enough with my partner, who was up during the night, himself. I definitely needed the sleep, and returning to slumber was fairly effortless. 12 hours, though? How tired was I? How fatiguing is stress?

This morning I sat quietly, meditating, for some while before I made coffee. The moment felt rich and fulfilling. How are some such simple moments so joyful and uplifting, where other more elaborate ploys to soothe or entertain oneself sometimes fall so short? Lasting contentment is not built on (and does not require) piles of money, or a 24-hour party atmosphere, or the satisfaction of every craving imagined…’enough’ seems quite ample, even ‘more than necessary’ some days (which seems almost nonsensical). What is “enough”? It matters too much [to me] to let it remain so poorly defined…although…maybe there is room in my experience for that, too. I sip my coffee and think about it; what is enough?

This morning, it is enough that I am safe, well-rested, clothed, fed, and have a good cup of coffee. The headphones my partner shared with me (“until you buy ones you like better” he says with a smile) are enough, too. I smile noticing how much more than ‘enough’ it feels, to me, that he reads my writing and hears me; it feels like the face of love smiling directly at me. It is enough to share some portion of life’s journey – with friends, with loved ones, with family  – and with a partner who returns that love, many times over. It is enough to have options, choices, and decision-making opportunities that offer me course corrections on life’s journey, in any direction I may choose.

Flowers and moments are enough.

Flowers and moments are enough.

It is spring. I am home. This is enough.

 

When I shop for a car, I consider the features that interest me most, and offer me the greatest value. When I shop for kitchen appliances, I check product reviews and closely examine how well the product has performed for other consumers, and consider available options that make one a greater value over another. When I shop for just about anything, actually, I put thought into which specific product, by which manufacturer, with which features, options, or possible later upgrades may be available. I find it remarkable that over a lifetime I have put so much less regard or consideration into how I treat myself, and what my thinking and actions bring to the world…honestly, my value to myself, and to my culture and my planet, has to be vastly more worthy of consideration and great care than a toaster, a home, or a car. Just saying.

It's a big world.

It’s a big world.

Today, in the same small bit of my day that I hold dear, and keep well-tended as ‘me time’, I am considering what I do each day to treat the world well. My thinking isn’t limited to the people, but also to this big ball of metallic rock hurtling through space to which we all cling; what simple things can I do in ways that treat my world just a little more gently, with a bit more awareness for the limited resources we all share, and with an eye on living more sustainably? I am taking time to take a step back from the mirror, to look out the windows of my soul to the horizon of infinite possibilities… Can I do more, better, in my existing experience? Is that also part of taking care of me? I am thinking about something grander in scale than recycling product waste, or composting, or using environmentally safe cleaning products, or purchasing goods with environmentally safe packaging. I am thinking beyond electric cars and solar homes. I am thinking beyond going paperless. I am considering the wellspring of those ideas, the source of the shift in consumer focus that put those things in the marketplace; I am considering my heart, my will, and my commitment. I am considering the content of my thinking, and how to make my intention more real, more clearly manifested in my experience by way of my choices – and my awareness.

It is difficult to experience what is outside my awareness.

It is difficult to experience what is outside my awareness.

This morning, I consider what it takes to hold something in my awareness, mindfully, and to use that awareness to reinforce good choices; ideally, my thinking is that being more aware may result in good decision-making as a consumer, decision-making less driven by advertising, and more chosen by experience, careful evaluation, and well-chosen values. Yes, I think even being a consumer in the world marketplace can potentially benefit greatly from being more mindful. That’s probably more obvious than it felt to me when I first began to consider it this morning. 🙂

Reflecting on life, and the world; what is 'enough'?

Reflecting on life, and the world; what is ‘enough’?

I am looking ahead to living in my studio, and considering what I really need to feel content, satisfied, comfortable and safe? What is ‘enough’? Do I need a 10 ft solid mahogany Queen Anne dining table with a lovely glossy finish, and 8 well-crafted matching chairs? That seems more than a little excessive for a woman who doesn’t prefer big dinner parties, or crowds…but it was something I yearned for when I was younger, and I considered it pinnacle of dining style, myself. That isn’t where I am in life, now. Feeling the distance between self-then and self-now so clearly is sometimes a little strange, but it can be measured in goods, and changes in aesthetic. I recently saw a dining table I found myself liking very much, that suits me now: small, a merry honest birch and a natural finish, ample for two, adequate for four, and…simply enough.  I found it a healthy reminder to maintain a beginner’s mind, even about who I am and what I enjoy; I am not the woman I was 30 years ago. Hell, I’m not the woman I was last year…or yesterday. 🙂

Today is a good day to consider who I am, and how my journey may have changed me. Today is a good day to consider my impact on the world, and how my choices can be of greater value. Today is a good day to deliver on my promises to myself, and to take my future in hand, and craft it more carefully with my will. Today is a good day to participate fully in my experience, and to enjoy the place I choose to hold in the world.

What is ‘enough’, anyway? Is it ‘everything’? I think we all know ‘enough’ has never been expected to be ‘everything’. Is ‘enough’ some measure more than I’ve got?

Half empty? Half full? Why does the size of the glass matter if the contents meet my needs?

Half empty? Half full? Why does the size of the glass matter if the contents meet my needs?

There’s the thing, isn’t it; ‘enough’ varies depending on the intensity of the need being fulfilled, the difficulty fulfilling it, and our own wisdom and perspective, too – we can’t recognize ‘enough’ unless we’ve gone without, perhaps, or somehow directly experienced the contrast between ‘feast’ and ‘famine’, in some way. ‘Enough’, in my own experience, tends to require just that amount of whatever thing (or experience, or emotion, or resource) is required to meet the need adequately, nothing more. ‘More’ would go beyond ‘enough’, and thus the expression ‘more than enough’.

This morning is enough. I’ve not asked the dawn of this new day to be perfect. I’ve nothing specific in mind for the coming week. ‘Enough’ will do, nicely. The weekend? Realistically, it was ‘enough’ in many respects. Could it have been improved? Well…damn…it’s a bit late to be thinking that over, right? The weekend is behind me now. I think I’ll just put that question off to the side, over here, with this dusty list of questions that didn’t seem worthy of the time to answer them, because answering them would change nothing. I’m all about questions, but I do strongly prefer the questions that provide their greatest value in the asking. 🙂

It's about where the question leads, not about the answer.

It’s about where the question leads, not about the answer.

My weekend camping trip was completely and entirely perfect, inasmuch as I did learn what I needed to know about my readiness for longer – or wilder – solo hiking/camping trips; I’m not ready. No, not really, not yet – just not quite ready. Simple things went sideways early on that resulted in the decision to shorten my trip a bit, primarily challenges with building a good fire in the damp conditions (I need practice on that specific skill, and on fire building in general), on top of forgetting to bring coffee (or tea), and over-looking my bee sting kit (which I didn’t forget, but chose not to bring – the swarm of bees I encountered was a very serious wake-up call). Aside from a bit of general embarrassment over my lack of readiness, making the wiser self-care decision to come in from the woods early was as easy as a phone call. My traveling partner took time out of his day to come get me, and I spent the remainder of the weekend in a fairly ordinary way – and it was enough. I like ‘enough’.

It isn't about rare wildflowers previously unseen by human eyes for me; it is about simple sufficiency, and the simple beauty of any flower.

It isn’t about rare wildflowers previously unseen by human eyes for me. It is about sufficiency, and the simple beauty of any flower, simple questions, too, and ideally simple answers.

What will ‘enough’ be today, I wonder? What questions will light my path most beautifully? What experiences will I enjoy, cherish, and invest my heart in? What experiences will teach me a profound lesson about life, or love? What will frustrate me as I deal with cravings and attachment? What will uplift me as I succeed in beating back my demons? On which small choices will I build my future? Will prior other choices appear as hurdles today? What can I learn from now? Which moments will become moments of long-standing joyous recollection?

This guy is probably not concerned with so many questions.

This guy is probably not concerned with so many questions.

Today is a good day for ‘here’ ‘now’ and ‘enough’. Today is a good day to savor each moment, and each experience, to either learn the lesson presented, or enjoy the journey simply because it is enjoyable. Today is a good day for love, loving, and investing will and wholesome intention into mindful love; what could serve love more skillfully than being awake, aware, and engaged in the moment? Today is a good day to enjoy the journey; change is, and it isn’t necessary to force it along.

The journey is not without challenges; the challenges do not detract from it's beauty.

The journey is not without challenges; the challenges do not detract from the beauty of the journey.