Archives for posts with tag: where does this path lead?

It feels good to be getting more miles on my feet, as I get used to commuting on public transit again. Well… I mean to say is that I feel the benefit of it, as the miles creep past ever so slowly, on feet that hurt, an ankle that chronically and fiercely aches, cane in hand, taking my time with it, making sure to breathe, and regularly reminding myself to correct my posture to a more fully upright gait. lol It’s complicated. I hurt. I do love walking though… I’ve missed it. The slow moment to collect my thoughts. The occasional lovely flower tucked here or there along the way. The scents of flowers and trees and the feeling of the breezes on my skin. All lovely. Hell, I don’t even mind when the rain comes, and I find myself walking in it. I’m okay with that. I’ve got a rain poncho tucked in my day pack. I’m ready.

Ready feels good.

Each day another journey.

Each day the walk to the bus stop feels easier. I am encouraged by that. I’m a tad irked with myself for letting my fitness, generally, fall behind a bit. Having a car made that way too easy, and living a life largely free of day-to-day OPD (Other People’s Drama), I failed to discover soon enough that often what pushed me out into the world to “walk it off” was indeed the need to escape drama or bullshit (my own or someone else’s turned out to be irrelevant). No drama or bullshit? No need to escape. A busy life, and the joy of so easily being able to hop in the car and “go farther” with such ease quickly resulted in driving more than walking, and walking turns out to be very much a “use it or lose it” sort of skill. Well… I’m back on my feet. lol

My feet hurt. I feel very mortal. lol

There are certain to be shitty mornings when I just can’t even. I haven’t sorted out what that looks like from this address, yet. The closest bus stop is about 200 ft away, but on a line that doesn’t begin running buses until much later in the morning that I generally leave for work. So, okay, maybe that means on a rough morning I start my work day later? That seems do-able. I smile and move on from that. It’s not a question that needs an answer this morning.

I sip my coffee and pull myself more fully upright again, noticing that the pain in my back (that I’ve had since yesterday) most definitely does not respond well to bad posture. It’s still fairly intense, sometimes taking my breath away if I forget about it in one moment, only to be reminded of it in the next when I move, or breathe, or… anything. Fucking hell. Aging sucks. What on earth did I do to get this result?? Rather oddly, I noticed on the bus ride last night, it seems to be associated with which direction my head is turned, and I found myself wondering if maybe I sat looking out the window to the right on the bus ride Saturday for too many hours…? I commit to trying to get a seat on the left side of the bus today to encourage left-side-looking… maybe I’ll find some relief.

I glance at the clock. New beginnings come a bit earlier on the bus. lol It’s already time to lace up these boots and begin again. Doesn’t much matter what’s aggravating me in this brief passing moment – I can walk it off. πŸ˜‰

It seems ages since the season last turned… Fall to Winter it was. An eternity it go, it seems now. I smile and sip my coffee, cold brew out of a can. My sleep was restless after foolishly sipping on a 3rd rather overly caffeinated coffee late into the afternoon yesterday. Mindlessness comes at a cost, every time. I woke with effort, groggily pulling myself from dreams that seemed more engaging than life.

For now, the day gets off to an early rather ordinary beginning for a Tuesday on a work day. Later I’ll come home, and there will be sufficient daylight for a bit of gardening, and maybe grilling something pleasant for dinner. It’s a short week, so either tonight or tomorrow will be mostly spent on housework, and getting shit together for the long weekend in the country. I smile, thinking ahead to the weekend.

A late autumn perspective. What will Spring reveal?

I open another can of coffee with a smile. Why does icy cold canned cold brew coffee taste like summertime?

Spring, already? I have plans. My intention is to camp a lot more this year. Hike a lot more. Disconnect a lot more. Having a place to go in the countryside, and the opportunity to enjoy the company of my Traveling Partner more along the way, just makes all of that seem so easy. πŸ™‚

I’d been in the practice of hiking literally every weekend for quite a long while, then, moving into my own place sort of threw off my cadence a bit; there were other things to do, and all of them fell to me, daily. Adulting is busy work. No, I mean, seriously – it’s busywork. lol I ended up spending more time on other sorts of self-care entirely. Moving away from the park, last July, definitely changed the frequency of my hiking. First, the move itself, then… oh, right, my Traveling Partner moved down south, and I gained a car – and a commute that requires one. Then being sick, and the holidays, and more being sick, and then… What the hell? Why was that enough to stop me from hiking every weekend? Oh. Right. I spend of lot of those weekends driving down and back. LOL

Still – lots of great hikes down that way, and all of them are hikes I think I want to do. Time to research, plan, look over maps, and make it part of my experience when I’m down there. Spring is here. πŸ™‚

Where will the journey take me?

Time to begin again.

I woke with a smile this morning. My dreams were filled with love and images of some vision of the future, and as I recall there was a kitten involved, somewhere, or perhaps an avocado tree – I’m not sure. It was, after all, the content of dreams. πŸ™‚

The morning feels good. The recollection of a long pleasant phone call with my Traveling Partner lingers, and mingles with the content of my dreams, and the smile on my face feels quite reliably part of my experience. I’m not in much pain, which is another excellent quality of the start of this particular day, and I pause to wonder if it has to do with the acupuncture I’d tried for the very first time this week? It was a strange experience, perhaps a tale for another time, and I am turning it over in my mind whether to go back for more… I dislike pain, and it may have helpled. I prefer “evidence-based medicine” – but have no requirement that the evidence be guided by, limited by, or informed by, “western medicine”. Medicine is medicine. Practices are practical inasmuch as what matters most is “does it work”? Even placebo effect can bring an individual real relief from real suffering… so… I don’t know. I suppose the time-money-pain variables and some committed study will eventually make my decision easier than it is at the moment. lol

I am beginning to feel quite settled in to the new place. I feel fairly at home here. I am pretty continuously aware that it is not actually mine. It makes me ache sometimes; it’s very much what I’d like in most respects. I could so easily make it my own. I smile understandingly at the thought. At 54, I should be planning my retirement, and I guess I sort of am, though I do not feel particularly well-prepared for it. Retirement is something we would do well to be planning as soon as we begin our professional lives, in early adulthood, but I suspect most of us are far too busy figuring out how to get enough laundry quarters together, pay off student loans, figure out how to make rent and utilities payments every month… Retirement is so far from our experience we foolishly believe we can put it off. There are a lot of folks, like me, who end up counting on their Social Security income as the bulk of their retirement planning. Scary. Still… I don’t want to work forever – hell, if I were financially prepared, I’d retire today. lol

One possible future is spent at ease in a garden…

I don’t know what the future looks like. No one does, really. We make all that shit up. Our “vision of the future” is hand-crafted narrative from start to finish, sometimes supported by fantastical unchecked assumptions and expectations of others that aren’t at all realistic. I find it hard to let go of the beautiful daydream of a future in which I’ve retired to write, and paint, and garden, happily sipping my morning coffee with my Traveling Partner, making conversation, making love… never mind that we’re both super cross before our coffee, and that I really like writing at that early morning hour while I sip mine (neither of which is conducive to conversation)… the fantasy future remains what it is. Where does it come from? Why does it linger? Is it truly what I want? Is what I want likely to fill my days with joy, or is that also just one more untested assumption?

One possible future is spent hiking remote trails…

I smile and let go of that daydream future long enough to contemplate the weekend immediately ahead; I will be The Traveler on this adventure. I will make my way to my partner’s home, and enjoy the weekend with him. Fuck, I love this guy! There is something ruinously amazing about being romantically sprung over my best friend. I’m eager to see him. Eager to chatter away about all the things he’s missed, to hear about all the things I’ve missed, to share and connect and get “synced up” again. To feel that natural rhythm of loving each other. To live and work and play together. To discuss. To create. To share. I could happily spend every waking moment in this human being’s company, and dream away every minute of every night in his arms… if I were a different person. LOL That’s the weird thing about daydreams of the future – just as often as I may overlook realities of other people, or realities of circumstances, when I dream of the future, I often also overlook very real qualities about the woman in the mirror, who she is, what she wants, what she needs – and how she actually experiences life and behaves day to day! Damned inconvenient. lol He’s right; I do thrive living alone. I’m right, too; I miss living with him, terribly. There is no particularly obvious or easy way to reconcile those observations. Silly human primates. I wonder what the future holds? I’m content with wondering.

One possible future includes leisurely travel with my Traveling Partner, seeing the world…

I sip my coffee and entertain myself imagining “alternate futures” with equal detail to what I might infuse in my favorite future fantasies. I keep my focus on the woman in the mirror – on being the woman I most want to be – and let the scene around me change. Am I living in poverty? It is one possible reality. I let myself imagine finding contentment alongside privation; I have been poor. I know what that feels like. I understand some of the constraints on my comfort and wellness I would likely face. It’s not my favorite daydream of the future. Am I living with a partner? Am I alone? Do I have a quiet little place of my own? Am I sharing a room in an adult care-providing establishment of some kind? Am I immobilized by unwellness of some kind? Am I stronger, fitter, funnier, angrier, thinner, fatter, happier, sadder, solitary, or the powerful matriarch of a vast social empire? (That last seems wildly unlikely, but somehow it made the list nonetheless. lol I recognize that as a common enough tendency of fantasy; go for the extreme if it promotes a chosen narrative.)

How many shards of daydreams of the future become choices in the moment, and eventually… memories? “I’m in the same place you guys are.” Seriously, aren’t we all? I mean – we’re human. It’s a very human experience. What will you practice? Who will you become?

What does the future look like?

Another morning suitable for beginning again. πŸ™‚

I am enjoying the literal darkness, quite specifically before dawn – already the days shift such that the sun is no longer already beginning to rise when I do. Now I’m up sooner, sipping coffee and listening to the bullfrogs on the marsh well before the sky even begins to lighten. I’m okay with that – seasons change. If I weren’t okay with it, there’s nothing at all I could do about it – seasons change. πŸ™‚

Change is, whether I choose it or not, whether I am able to embrace it, or fight it every step of the way, clinging madly to what once was. Change just is. When I am able to participate in change in a wholesome aware sort of way, I generally find it isn’t even unpleasant to face change. I think this idea explains the quick (fairly painless) shift from panic regarding an unexpected rent increase that I wouldn’t be able to afford long-term, to enthusiasm about an upcoming move; I recognized imminent change coming, and dived right in to make choices that willfully guide my path through that process. Or something. I at least like how that sounds. πŸ™‚

There is so much to do. I guess I’ve got to just keep diving into these changes. lol πŸ™‚

…In the meantime, there is life to live, alongside and mixed in with moving. Fucking complicated. lol I often feel very distracted lately, caught up in the move going on in my head, already. I have to pull myself back to “now” again and again. The value in making a point of doing so is obvious to me now, where perhaps once I wouldn’t have really understood why it was worth the bother; life happens outside my head. Living requires more verbs than daydreams. My most precious memories are not about what I was thinking at the time, they are about what I was doing, and who I was with. πŸ™‚

Today is a work day, and it is my “Friday”. Ahead of me there is time to pack things in boxes, and time to take down paintings, and time to take things from here to there – although that is still a couple weeks away. Behind me are memories. Here I am sipping coffee in the one fully real moment I’ve ever got – now. I’m taking time to enjoy it, just as it is, pre-dawn darkness and all. πŸ™‚ Why wouldn’t I? It’s enough.

 

Strange weekend. Pleasant, oh yes, wholly pleasant – uninterrupted pleasantness, actually – nonetheless, it was a bit odd as well. More than once I found myself in a moment that was similar in perspective to peering over a high garden wall on tiptoes, wondering curiously how to get in there, from out here; a sensation and perspective I tend to associate with yearning for change.

I spent more than usual time with my Traveling Partner, but in some moments felt very much an outsider looking in onΒ a relationship I cherish, wondering how it is that it is what it is, and yearning for more – for a deeper more intimate connection between adults. We each play a part in limiting that depth, in restricting that connection. I wonder why we do that? I sip my coffee, and consider it. In the quiet of early morning, there is no cause for discontent, and I decline the subtle attraction of the attack my brain offers me. I let it go. I breathe. I relax. Nothing to see here. Yearnings are sometimes merely… yearnings, lacking any more substance than any other stray emotion or thought in the earliest hours as my day begins. To want a deep connection is, on its own, not a problematic thing. πŸ™‚

I spent a lovely quantity of weekend time simply relaxing, and doing things I enjoy doing: hiking, meditating, exploring new recipes that meet all my nutritional needs, reading, writing, gardening, enjoying the birds at the feeder and the wind chime in the breezes. It was a relaxed weekend of self-care and ease. Still, in some moments I felt distant and hollow… yearning for more… for a deeper more intimate connection… with myself? With something. With someone?

I had, several times, the sort of brief emotional experiences that suggest I am “seeking but not finding” or missing something that is limiting my joy in life. The words “intimacy” and “connection” keep coming up in my thinking, associated with a feeling of “yearning”. What to do about it? If I were in my 20s, I’d figure I “just need to get laid”, and I’d be fairly grumpy and cross about it until I sorted out “solving for X” and met those basic animal needs. I’m no longer sure that it is that simple… I’m no longer willing to re-purpose sex to meet non-sexual emotional needs, but… I don’t actually know quite what it is I’m yearning for. (Maybe it really is “just the sex thing”; over-50 the opportunities are considerably diminished, but my appetite has not decreased – something to look forward to, for those of you who don’t see it coming. 😦 Just saying. Your turn will come, and no words will soothe the ache in your heart, and no lover will be by your side to dry your tears with kisses… and it sucks. lol)

I pause and appreciate how far I have come; I am willing to take time to sort myself out before grasping at solutions. The timing is good for more self-awareness, for deeper consideration of longer-term needs, to learn more about how to best take care of me. Life is a solo-hike of considerable distance (if I’m lucky); it makes sense to do what I can to be well-prepared, and I am feeling a bit like I’ve stepped off the map to stand at an unfamiliar/all-too-familiar trail head, uncertain whether to back up and re-consider the moment – and the path ahead – or to just boldly continue, taking things as they come and hoping for the best.

In the past, these subtle nuanced moments of deeper reflection have led me quickly astray, down dark spirals to some unexpected morass of internal conflict or some corner of chaos and damage held together with ancient rage – mostly, I think, because I did not know what to do with them at all. I would quickly become a primate with a locked puzzle box, resorting to rocks and rage, and hoping that smashing the problem to pieces with my tears would amount to a solution. This morning, I sit quietly, considering the puzzle box, quite content to give it further thought, over time, without being rushed, or self-critical. There is more to know, more to understand, and I do not yet know what I don’t yet know.

No tears this morning. No drama. It was a lovely weekend.

One very lovely weekend.

I still need to begin again. πŸ™‚