Archives for posts with tag: where are you going?

The menu of options in life is… vast. There is so much to choose from, so many directions one could take life, generally. A nearly unlimited array of choices in a complex choose-your-own-adventure experience that layers the consequences of our actions and decision making over a strange randomized mesh of other people’s free will and a sprinkling of circumstances builds our perceivable context, sometimes bamboozling us into thinking we lack control… or at least influence, and choice. Choice. I keep using that word. It’s a good word. It is a word with a lot of power.

Last night I saw The Hip Hop Nutcracker and enjoyed a rather comfortably adult night on the town that included a relaxed walk through a foggy, rainy, urban nightscape, a pleasant dinner, and a little pre-holiday window shopping. It was a lovely evening. Those were my choices.

This morning, I am contentedly grooving to a DJ’s mix that I adore (the DJ? the mix? both? 🙂 I’m just saying this is a good way to start my morning…or end my evening… or fill my time. lol). Another choice.

We don’t hesitate when we make choices about the music we listen to. That’s a pretty easy one, isn’t it? I like this. You like that. We share some experiences. We don’t “get it” sometimes. It doesn’t seem to be a big deal to like music other people don’t care for, or to acknowledge it when I don’t like some particular band, sound, genre, or track.

Music. Clothes. Style of furniture and decor. Colors. TV shows. Foods. Times of day. Our internal “preferences” settings are by far more complicated than any software. We spend a lifetime “building our profile” as human beings. We spend more time becoming who we are than we do being who we are… It seems useful to be aware of that, and to choose. I don’t mean fall into, and then accept, what we are and what we do – I mean think it over, seriously, and choose, willfully.

Who are you? What do you like? What have you chosen? What experiences and choices are a core part of your “profile” in life? Which ones are “just a test drive”? We grow and learn and change (if only the tiniest bit) every day – how much of that are you considering, selecting, guiding, and living with your eyes wide open?

You know this life is yours, right? What are you doing about that? I mean, like, today? 🙂

I listen to the music, grooving and enjoying my coffee, thinking over life and love and choices, and feeling content on a Thursday morning. It’s enough. Hell – more than enough – I may even be… happy. Wow.

This too will pass. lol No kidding, that’s a given. There will be blue days ahead, some headaches, challenges… maybe I will fail myself – or you – or maybe I will fall short of expectations in a less meaningful way, but still feel dissatisfied? Ups and downs and incremental change over time; however far we come, there is farther to go. Choose wisely. Choose willfully. Be the verbs. (It’s sounds easy, but there are verbs involved. lol)

I look at the clock, and into my empty coffee cup. The music plays on… “…keep it moving…keep it moving… keep it moving…

It’s already time to begin again.

It’s been a satisfying weekend, so far, and it’s Sunday. Back to work tomorrow. A new list today. It’s time to begin again, you see, to return to reliable self-care routines, to catch up on the housekeeping, to wrap up loose ends, to tidy up the studio.

I sip my coffee contentedly. No new work has been completed, but the studio feels “right”, and a great deal of background work has been done (which is to say, backgrounds have been painted, in-fact). I also managed to do a great deal of additional moving in work, because realistically, although I can quickly paint quite a few backgrounds for later use, doing so still results in wet canvases everywhere needing to dry, which results in time on my hands not being spent painting. 🙂 It’s been a lovely relaxed joyful productive weekend that also managed to be wholly restful. I needed that, too.

Today, I look around over the edge of my coffee cup as I move through the rooms of my current residence, feeling settled in, and “at home”, and mildly frustrated each time I recall that I’ve got at least one more move before I can even consider not having to move anymore. I shrug off that bit of discontent (it can wait for some other moment to be fully considered), and take a look around with an eye for starting a new work week. There’s laundry to be done. Vacuuming. Meal prep for work week lunches. I smile with approval at how little things “fell behind” over the weekend. Even today can be relaxed, and simply a day of mindful service to hearth and home, and itself quite emotionally nourishing. I enjoy being the human being responsible for my day-to-day quality of life.

I make my “to do list” with care, and an eye on meeting the needs of the moment, and also my needs over time. My idea of “carpe diem” and “YOLO” include consideration of the future moments of living that are implied by “to live” being a verb that expresses an ongoing condition. Sure, sure, being mortal is a thing, but since I’ve no guaranteed “end date” on this journey, it seems the wiser course to mindfully consider my needs beyond this moment right here; I may need some things from myself (and life) tomorrow, too, or next year… or in 2025, the year I expect to leave the workforce permanently. 🙂 Ideally, embracing life includes that future I am planning for, not just this one singular mortal moment right now. This morning, that future consideration leans heavily on the upcoming week, and some bigger events a bit beyond (holiday season planning, I am looking your way!!). It’s enough. More distant future planning is still fuzzy and daydream-y, enough to consider gently, not quite enough to count on.

My sleep last night was as restless and weird as my sleep Thursday night was uninterrupted and deeply restful. I don’t take that personally. I got up once or twice, child-style, for a drink of water and a quick check around for “monsters”. (Somehow tap water always tastes best in the wee hours, barefooted in the darkness, and “monsters” seem an entirely reasonable thing to check for.) My half-awake mind doesn’t question the need for either, though I am certain that thirstily gulping down two big glasses of water at 2:43 am likely contributed to the urgency of getting up promptly at 6:45 am, this morning. The day began earlier than I’d have planned, but late enough to feel like “sleeping in” in spite of that. 🙂 Win and good.

I’ve got a list. I’ve checked it twice. It’s time to begin again. 😀

I drove home through miles of choking smoke yesterday; Oregon is on fire. Scary. Not as scary as some of the alarmist images being shared on social media. So, I re-calibrate my understanding of what is real and true with something more reliable.

Fighting fake news with real data works nicely.

I arrived home to a very different homecoming than I might have experienced at the apartment, in a number of small but important ways. The house was comfortably cool in spite of the heat of the weekend, thanks to having A/C and a good thermostat. My new place also feels very safe – emotionally and physically, which is a win. Because I had closely followed a carefully managed “deployment plan” for the weekend, I also returned home to a nicely tidy apartment, suitable for really relaxing as I unpacked. It was a delightful homecoming with only one fairly obvious flaw. I already miss my Traveling Partner dreadfully. More than I generally do for having so recently been wrapped in his arms, and lit by his smiles. Manageable, fully human feelings of loneliness competed briefly with the all over ease of living in my own space. 🙂

A lovely misty looking view from Sunday’s hike. The mist isn’t mist at all. It’s smoke from distant wild fires.

I drove home as quickly as I safely could, and it became clear it was a safer choice to eschew breaks along the drive in favor of getting to the other side of the worst of the smoke of the many Oregon wildfires currently burning; the air quality could easily be called “not safe to breathe”. My burning eyes, irritated sinuses, sore throat, and the cough I quickly developed in spite of having the a/c set to “recirculate”, were all the confirmation I needed that breathing more of that air more deeply at some “rest stop” along the way was just not a great idea. Visibility much of the way was down to only about a thousand feet. So I drove continuously, content to find relief from stiff joints on my yoga mat when I got home, with only one very brief stop to pee.

…And of course, there was traffic as I got closer to home. It was, after all, the end of Labor Day weekend.

None of the details of the drive are actually particularly relevant to my experience of the weekend, except to observe that the air down at my Traveling Partner’s current address was already pretty shitty from the smoke of the Chetco Bar fire. I got in one decent hike, over the weekend, but didn’t push myself because the air quality was so poor. I stayed on a well-maintained local trail, got some miles while he worked, and took some pictures of the local wild flowers. We stayed indoors and enjoyed each other.

A hike-able trail, a yoga mat and meditation-cushion waiting for me when I arrived; I felt so very welcome. I felt at home.  🙂

My heart is still beating to love’s shared rhythm. It was a lovely intimate connected weekend with just enough hours in it that he had had to commit to work that I also got plenty of “me time” for meditation, yoga, and reading that I felt quite at home. I’m eager to find the perfect balance of proximity and distance and be close enough to spend a great deal more time together, more easily. I definitely want to spend more time together. 🙂 I already miss him.

The details of the weekend itself aren’t really built of anecdotes to share, or life lessons of note. It was time spent on love and loving. That’s enough. It needn’t be anything else; love matters most. 🙂

I sip my coffee contentedly with a soft smile of satisfaction. It’s a good cup of coffee. It’s a pretty nice life. I return gently to weekday routines feeling wholly loved and appreciated, and ready to return to work for another week. Eager to begin all manner of things again, and follow threads and paths wherever they may lead me. There are verbs than want doing. Lessons to learn. Improvement to make. Calories to burn. Choices upon choices upon choices – all of which will likely result in changes. I still don’t know what the future holds, and I am unconcerned; I have now. 🙂

I check the clock. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

 

My evening out with my traveling partner last night was wonderful. My thoughts come back to it again and again. I take time to enjoy the thoughts, savoring the recollections: the emotional connection, the intimacy, shared experience, the music, and the moments.

The

The lovely evening became a lovely morning.

After affectionately good-bye-ing, I spent the day on taking care of me, and getting things done that are tougher to do during the week. I got what seems to have been a vast amount of laundry done. All the linens got done. All of the everything, I think. 🙂 I spent time meditating. I spent time on crafts, something that I am not often inspired to do; it is a sign of approaching holidays, perhaps, or the thought of packing up the studio for the next move.

The evening feels strangely festive, a fire crackling in the fireplace, and the tiny lights on the wee “gratitude tree” I made this afternoon reminding me of fireflies. I found myself peculiarly inspired, thinking about childhood holiday crafts, and how delightful even the most meager holiday can be, seen through that tender wholesome lens. I spent time recalling very specific ornaments, made with loving hands, that lasted through my recollections of childhood, into my own adult celebrations…ceramic holiday trees with real lights… Christmas balls of styrofoam carefully covered with sequins pinned in place one by one, oranges stuck with cloves in elaborate patterns, construction paper garland made in school, and strings of popcorn and cranberries to festoon outside trees in the yard… other things, too. My memories of Yule holidays, and Thanksgivings look rather like elaborate renderings of Hogswart’s feasts from Harry Potter movies. I don’t mind that, they are among the most wonderfully beautiful of my memories.

The holidays are coming. I have much to be thankful for.

The holidays are coming. I have much to be thankful for.

So, yeah. Today I recreated something I think I recall, though I don’t at all recall where I am recalling it from, or in what context, other than Thanksgiving. It was a whim, and a few moments spent enjoying great delight, in between loads of laundry and other assorted housekeeping tasks. Now and then I gave thought to something I am thankful for, and happily added it to the little tree. Now and then I took time to meditate. I went for a walk. I sat quietly considering things. I happily added all those things to my experience. It’s been a lovely day.

Time well spent, considering many things from another perspective.

I considered many things, from a variety of perspectives. Time well spent.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin again. There is no standing still. Stillness itself is more like a float bobbing on a current, than it is like any lack of movement. Sometimes when I am most “still”, I am also very moved.

Today might be too much, I feel it already. Rare these days, so the feelings really stand out –  helpful, more than aggravating, and I could use more of it. I can’t put my finger on something specific right now, or be certain things will go sideways at some point, but the potential for it exists as a distinct recognizable set of physical sensations that add up to an experience I recognize. It’s been a difficult day or two, and although I’ve adulted through it with considerable skill, generally, I’m quite human and there’s simply the possibility – leaning toward likelihood – that today it may all catch up with me. Can I make use of this awareness to treat myself well and gently, still get the day done, and perhaps dodge a meltdown, too? I guess I’ll find out as the day unfolds.

Well, sure. This.

Well, sure. This.

“Too much” is sometimes a thing to deal with. It’s not any more real than a lot of what I find myself mired in. “Too much” often reflects an unhealthy attachment to an outcome, or expectations that are unreasonable, or assumptions that are incorrect, piling up with circumstances that don’t bear that sort of emotional weight well. It’s that way today. A date with an acquaintance became a disappointment. The new job felt like a certainty, but fell through. A routine visit to a doctor becomes a referral to a specialist to rule out cancer – first. Disappointment adds to insecurity, which adds to worry, which adds to fear, which slowly becomes a soup of darker emotions, and a high risk of an emotional moment…or two…or some sort of meltdown. All very real. All very human. I could cash in my ticket for “a good cry” – haven’t done that, yet. As is so often said, it would probably do me good to just let go…once I can. Making a clear distinction between ‘balance’ (and treating myself well) and ‘repression’ (just sort of squashing everything down into a manageable presentation that seems appropriate to others) has huge value; hiding from my hurts doesn’t really work for me. “The way out is through” is real and meaningful today.

I have my ‘to do list’ for the day. I have events on my calendar. Purpose. A plan. I’ve also got this fragile vessel of flesh and bone to tend, and that’s rather non-negotiable for general wellness. I reconsider my list, move some things around, ensure that I keep a compassionate eye on myself today. I decide to trust my judgement – who knows me better than I do? – a meltdown today, you say? I think I have an opening on my calendar for that… if I must. lol Maybe later? Sometime after lunch? (Maybe not – that would be quite nice.) Either way, it won’t be necessary or useful to take it personally; I’m here for me.

Storms pass.

Storms pass.

Looking my concerns in the face eases them somewhat, at least for now. I sip my coffee, and start going down the list of things to do today. Today is a good day to be, and to do. 🙂