Archives for posts with tag: where do we go from here?

I’m sipping my coffee and making a list of things I want to get done this week. Tasks large and small make it to the list. I leave off those tasks that I easily and reliably remember to do. The list is a smattering of things my Traveling Partner asked me to take care of, the bulk of this list is tasks I want to get done, myself. Some of the things on my list could be considered “self-care” of some kind, others are basic housekeeping tasks that I’m not fond of. Writing that last sentence reminds me of yet another of those; I add it to the list. The list is not in any particular order. The list is not some kind of free-will depleting dictator or petty time-management despot. It’s just a list. The needs, and the list, are mine.

…I could ignore all of it, if I chose to…

No urgency this morning, just a quiet Wednesday morning in the time of pandemic. Restless human primates grow more restless the longer they are asked to practice self-isolation and social distancing. Grown human beings start throwing loosely organized tantrums because saving humanity may require some effort or impose some inconvenience on them, personally. It’s fairly comical, if viewed with some emotional distance. I’m stunned by how many “working class” Americans “drink the poison” offered to them by the business community and leisure class, though; the cries to be permitted to get back to normal are profit driven, in the background, and not tied to the real concerns about controlling the spread of this deadly pandemic. No, the economy (and profits of major businesses, and shareholders) does not matter more than human life. It just doesn’t. We may not yet be “grown up enough” to understand the value of life; we’re busy chasing shiny things.

I’m in a cheerful mood this morning. I am “not ready” for the day ahead, though. I hurt. It’s just physical pain. Yoga helps. Not enough, but some. I think this cup of coffee helps as much. lol I sip my coffee contentedly. No shot at boredom today; once work is over, I’ve got this list. πŸ™‚ Any moment of boredom, however brief, brings me to the list. I do a task, I check it off. I feel like I’ve gotten something needful done. It’s enough. It keeps me busy and organized.

I finish my coffee feeling fairly grateful for the situation in which I find myself. I’m in a good partnership, sharing the national lockdown with a human being I truly adore, and whose love for me is apparent, every day. Reading the news, I find myself wondering how significant the spike in divorces will be following the return to “business as usual”? How big will the baby boom in December and January be? How difficult will it be to get workers who appreciate and enjoy working from home to return to their offices? How will the business and retail landscape change? How will K-12 students fare next year, and later on, compared to kids whose educations were not interrupted by a pandemic? What about college and trade school students whose educations were “finished” early to get them into the workforce to help out do compared to colleagues who got the full measure of their planned education, as time goes on? What will the long-term impacts actually be?

I swallow the last of my now-cold coffee. It’s time to begin again. πŸ™‚

I’m starting the morning in a positive place. I feel well-rested. My coffee is hot and tasty – I assume; I haven’t actually tasted it yet, it’s still too hot. lol There’s the key, though; my assumption is positive. I’m grateful for the coffee I’ve got. Gratitude is a reliably good start to a day. (Cool thing about that? I can choose to start with gratitude, if I’ve the will to undertake it.) I sit awhile, feeling grateful. Grateful for love. Grateful for a great partnership. Grateful for indoor plumbing. Grateful that I’m not in pain this morning (well, mostly not). Grateful for the car in the driveway. Grateful for a great team at work. Grateful that there are mornings like this one.

Sometimes my day doesn’t begin so comfortably, or so easily. πŸ™‚

Gratitude is an excellent way to start a day.

I want to be super clear; I understand feeling angry. There’s a lot in the world truly worth feeling angry about. There’s definitely a fair few things that I feel angry about in life. There are challenges and hurdles and problems in the world that are certainly worthy of raising an angry voice. I feel it, too. It’s when feeling angry becomes being angry that things skew towards “the dark side”. “Angry” is a pretty horrible state of being (and fairly exhausting). We become what we practice. If anger is the only emotional state we embrace, we become damned good at being angry, and less and less able to experience much else. Anger gets a foothold and can begin dominating an emotional experience. Anger is “sticky” and immersive. We can become chronically predisposed toward being angry as a first reaction – to everything. That does not sound good to me, personally. (I’ve even given that a test drive. I found it… unpleasant, and worse.)

…I also found that I was more prone to earnestly needing to “be right”, while living a life infused with anger, and a peculiar tendency towards closed-mindedly thinking that I was right, as a default assumption. (Oh, and… I wasn’t. Not so much, no.) Earnest committed assumptions of one’s own righteousness seem to be most commonly associated with great measures of… wrongness. lol Damn. (Do better, Humans!) I’ll also point out, for folks who “tend to be right most of the time” (I see you out there!) – it doesn’t hurt to avoid the assumption of being right, and to leave room for error. Humble looks good on you. πŸ˜‰

Sometimes the wiser path is to”let it go”. To refrain from taking things personally. To make a point of assuming positive intent. To appreciate, to build, to encourage – instead of resenting, destroying, or belittling. (I’m not saying it’s easy.) To make willful choices to be the person I most want to be. Before I get a rousing chorus of “I can’t help how I feel!”, I’ll gently observe that indeed, the one thing we have reliable potential to “help” is our own experience, “how we feel” – it’s just not a matter of force or pure will. Force and pure will can certainly change behavior. Over time, emotions may catch up. Emotion needs a bit more subtlety and real care. Emotional resilience and well-being seem most durably built, over time, with commitment, and practice, and slowly becoming the person we most want to be. Through practice. That has lasting power well-beyond the immediate moment. πŸ™‚

This is a season of change, of transformation, and yes, of gratitude. What are you doing with that? Me, personally? I’m sitting here with my coffee and my thoughts, and a smile. πŸ™‚ (It’s enough.)

It can be as simple as this.

The Four Agreements are an old favorite of mine for new beginnings. There are other exceptional ways to seed new thinking, and provoke positive change. What will yours be? (It’s definitely time to begin again. Isn’t it always?)Β  πŸ™‚

I woke to the alarm. My coffee this morning is a tasty Americano. I am wrapped in modest comfort, and feel safe, cared-for, and content. It’s a nice start to a Wednesday.

I hadn’t been up long before I started feeling that weird nagging sensation that is my half-aware recognition that there’s something I meant to do… right. Chickens. I mean, I’d said I would send my chicken references to Her. (Damn, She really needs a better nickname here…) I was delighted to hear her say she’d like to have chickens (me too!!). It felt like a connection, as much as a shared interest.

I put aside my writing to fulfill this commitment, and email over the links to vendors, resources, references, catalogs, and feel warmed by participating in something we share. I remember her asking about pets… I find myself not recalling why, at first, then – her dogs. Of course. πŸ™‚ Chickens – any livestock, really – are pets enough for me. I like creatures. The small wild lizards everywhere there delight me. The inquisitive jays and wily crows make me smile. Her dogs are fun and friendly. What else could I want? Chickens. LOL It’s a small thing to share an interest with another human being. We are so many, and so many of us share interests. It feels good to connect with another person. Get their views. Hear their thoughts. Share my own. Practice listening more than talking, while I’m at it. lol (Still so human.)

I hit send. Finish my coffee. Contemplate the brief remainder of the work week. It was rainy yesterday. There is rain in the forecast for the rest of the week. I’m okay with that. My arthritis is less okay with it. I think about the climate “down there”… “at home”? (Can I say that? I want to. It is a vision of one possible future that I do find very enticing.) My arthritis didn’t bother me pain-wise the entire weekend I was down visiting my Traveling Partner and Her. (Fuck. I need a better name for Her. Something playful and fond.) I still dealt with the stiffness, some, but it wasn’t so bad. The weekend here is likely to be rainy. I’m likely to be in pain. Still… there is much to do and to enjoy.

It’s a good time to winterize the deck and the potted garden.

It’s a good time to give the place a thorough cleaning in preparation for the holidays to come.

It’s a good time to light the pilot light on the gas fireplace for the cool autumn nights and cold winter days ahead.

It’s a good time for a last visit to the Farmer’s Market – maybe the big one downtown?

It’s a good time for long autumn hikes through colorful fall forest along unexplored trails.

There’s nothing fancy on my calendar this week; this one’s for me. A simple enough quiet weekend at home. Laundry, dishes, vacuuming, tidying up, reading a book with my feet up by the fire, sipping coffee in the afternoon…

“WhatΒ  are you doing this weekend?”

Everything. This precious mortal lifetime won’t just live itself. πŸ˜€

 

I definitely needed that break, and some time for me, and some perspective…and I’m back.

Winter walks have a different sort of beauty.

Winter walks have a different sort of beauty.

I took time to contemplate several things, engaged, aware, non-judgmental. Had a couple of moments of general irritation. One or two crying jags. Saw a physician. Enjoyed the company of my traveling partner. Spent some time en famille. Reflected. Meditated. Painted my nails. Slowed things down in general, actually – and I really needed that. My sleep has been somewhat improved, as has my mood and emotional resilience. All good stuff.

I have a solo weekend ahead of me – and a lifetime. My adult lifetime, from one perspective, has barely begun – if I am fortunate, practice good self-care, and act in my best interests, generally, without harming others. I could be around another 50 years. More. That’s a lot of life ahead of me. I realized this week that I may not want to spend all that time doing some of the things I spend my time on now. I don’t know that this is a new realization – it’s still a good one to have; it presents the opportunity for change.

So…I’m back, with a question. “What do I want to be when I grow up?” I could phrase it differently. “How do I want to spend the majority of my limited mortal lifetime?” I bet you see where this is going… That pesky human ‘search for meaning’ thing. Indeed. Something to think about. Is what I do ‘important’ to the world? To anyone besides a few already very wealthy stockholders and executives? Does it impact the world in a positive way? If it does not, and I am aware it does not, what will I choose to make a change to live more in accordance with my own values – which suggest that life is meaningful, and that our choices and actions are most beneficial and enjoyable when they take us in the direction of engaged meaningful work.

The pain will likely always be there; bits and pieces are broken, other bits and pieces do more than their fair share as a result. Aging is. What will I choose to live in a meaningful way in spite of that?

Today is a good day to choose based on my own values. Today is a good day to understand that what is important to a business, a corporate, or even an individual may not be important to ‘the world’… but everything good I do, every good choice, every good action, every moment of kindness, helpfulness, and agreeable good-natured presence makes the world a bit better, without regard to its importance. Today is a good day to change the world.