Archives for posts with tag: YOLO

The last day of 2020. There’s no point arguing that, and unless we abruptly change calendars, there’s no turning back now; the year is ending. 🙂 I’m okay with that.

This is a season of change. There are choices and plans to make. There are past mistakes to contemplate, to learn from, to avoid in the future. There are future opportunities (and pitfalls) ahead, on which to build still further into the future. My results will surely vary. There will be verbs involved. Practices to practice. Choices with surprising outcomes, upon which to reflect further. It seems like there is almost always “further” to go.

This blog, this humble instrument of expression, these handfuls (fistfuls? bucketfuls?) of words have been incredibly helpful for me, along this strange journey of healing and growth, as I head toward being the woman – the human being – I most want to be. I sip my coffee, flavored with a bit of the buttered rum batter I made this morning, for later this evening, when my Traveling Partner and I toast the new year together. It turned out pretty good, and I’m pleased with the flavors. Pretty good in coffee, too. 😀

I started this blog on January 8th, 2013, as I teetered on the edge of life’s most final decision; whether to go on living. (Breathe. This is all about hope and promise and continuation – it’s not a sad tale.) Since then,

I’ve published 2232 posts here.

I’ve received 10,020 spam comments (blocked by Akismet).

I’ve received 1060 legitimate comments from readers. (Thank you for reading.)

2914 days have passed.

11,304 views of my page were recorded.

When I look closer, I see that some of my posts are hundreds of times more popular than all the others… by far the most popular (in the history of my blog) is “Be My Valentine? How About I Be My Own Valentine?“. It’s followed closely by my reading list. The Parable of the Barking Dog, and The Parable of Poison have also been very popular. When I re-read these, myself, I still find value in them, and room to grow as a person from reflecting on observations made long ago. (That’s sort of how writing works, I guess. lol)

This year, the most popular posts still include my reading list and The Parable of the Barking Dog. Beyond those, the favorites seem to reflect the times rather a lot. Reflections on this journey-of-self, musings about finding balance in challenging times. Thoughts on the passage of time, and shifting perspective, on a birthday.

I take a look at the recorded search terms that took people to my blog this year (it’s always worth a giggle):

…”Don’t be a dick light”? What does that mean?

I find myself mildly frustrated that I can’t see the “unknown search terms” – I bet they are interesting. lol I take another look – search terms over “all time” (I mean, since this blog started, right?)… It is an interesting look at what drives traffic to my blog, and maybe why.

I’m clearly not the only fan of Rick & Morty. I’m interested in what it is about “inspirational word” searches that bring people here… I hope they find something worthy to sustain them on their journey.

2020 has been a wild ride – one of the most peculiar seeming years of my adult life, as far as I can recall. Right up there with 1981 (joined the Army), 1989 (the fall of the Berlin Wall), and 2010 (it’s complicated). It’s not that other years don’t stand out as significant, it’s just that these were “big years” in some harder to pin down way (for me). 2020? Monster year. Plague (well, pandemic). Election year. Black Lives Matter. Australia on fire. California and Oregon on fire. Presidential impeachment. Climate change slowly stops being debated and starts being acknowledged. The “Me Too” movement. RBG died. My Traveling Partner and I bought a home. I mean… yeah. It’s been a big year. I’m glad it’s over.

What about you? Have you taken a moment to reflect on times past? What will you do with the year ahead? Will you fulfill a dream? Reach a goal? Will you persist? Will you let go of old baggage in favor of a new direction in life? Will you change the world?

…I guess we don’t know until we begin again. 🙂 See you in 2021. 😀

Talking Heads and coffee, this morning. 🙂 I find myself wondering if that younger me, that 1980 me, could have seen me, as I sit here now, even in her wildest imaginings. Could she have understood that anything like this fairly commonplace contentment and day-to-day ease and joy was even a potential outcome? Could I have gotten here, in life, sooner? I think about what that might have taken to achieve. Then I consider what it might have taken from me, to have achieved it “sooner”… I mean, timing has had it’s own results, actually. (For starters, I likely would not have ended up in the line of work I am presently, nor would I have met my Traveling Partner.)

YouTube stalls. I find myself both annoyed and amused. (“Oh no! What will I do without my digital media fix!!?” is a fairly insignificant thing to bitch about in the grander scheme of things, right? Read books. lol) I sip my coffee watching the lights inside my computer tower blink and flash and fade. Pretty. I run the network diagnostic on this computer. Everything appears fine “on my end”. I shrug it off as “gremlins” and try again. Everything’s fine.

How often is life like that? We have a momentary challenge, perhaps a moment of frustration, and we escalate into full troubleshooting “fight the system!” mode, without pausing even a moment for perspective… and that challenge melts away to the petty nothing it always was, at some point. Given a moment, that may have occurred much sooner…but being human, we often don’t give a situation that moment that it needs – a moment of real presence. A moment for perspective. We often put more emphasis (and value) on acting quickly than on acting wisely.  Something to think on for awhile, at least for me. 🙂

The music plays on. I sip my coffee thinking about perspective, and presence, and the value in taking a moment. 🙂

Days go by, even in this life in the time of pandemic. Social Distancing – still a thing. Yesterday’s sunny day brought people outdoors, probably too many, too soon. It makes sense to remain cautious, and considerate. I sip my coffee and plan the day ahead. I’m grateful for delivery services, “contactless”curbside pick up services, and streaming media. I sip my coffee, grateful for “sanity projects”, and a comfortable place to live.

This empty cup, and the clock on my computer, remind me it is time to begin again. 🙂

I’m counting down hours until my Traveling Partner is home again. I’m counting down days until my camping trip. Right now, this moment here? I’m counting down minutes until this coffee is cool enough to drink! lol

…Here’s the thing about all that, though; none of it is “now”. This now. Right now. This present-tense moment, right here? It isn’t about a future moment that may (or may not) happen at all. I know, that hints at a certain grimness, but the future is the future, and we don’t know with any certainty what that future will be. It’s the flip side of “this too shall pass”… So, um, “that stuff, also, hasn’t happened yet, at all”. lol

I pull myself back to the present moment. If nothing else, it is a wholesome exercise in waking up to the new day, shedding whatever baggage crossed over into my waking consciousness from my dreams, letting go of the “what ifs” and untested assumptions on which I could, if I prefer drama and disappointment, build my day upon. Starting fresh with what I observe, here, now, and how I feel in this moment, physically. My coffee is still too hot to drink. The street beyond the driveway is still quiet. The sky is dark, reminding me that the season is slowly changing, and that soon summer will become autumn. I feel relaxed, and comfortable in my skin, and the casual clothes I put on for the day. The pain I woke with seems familiar, and manageable. Although my coffee is too hot to drink, the mug feels warm in hands, a luxurious counterpoint to the morning chill in the room, artificially imposed by the air conditioning. (That reminds me to adjust the temperature to a “day time and I’m not at home” temperature, from the “night time and I sleep best in a cool room” temperature.)

….Ah! That first sip of coffee… so good. Well, I mean, realistically – as good as coffee can be, and only if you’re into coffee (I get it, I really do; it’s not everyone’s thing). lol How does this coffee really taste? Smooth… (not a flavor!), mildly astringent (also more of a feeling), something like… roasted bark… or… damp cardboard… or… I’m not sure. It tastes, to me, like “coffee”. It’s black. Hot. Feels good in my mouth. Comforts and refreshes. LOL I guess I’m a bit vague on what it actually tastes like. I let all of that go, and simply enjoy the experience.

I attempt to apply the same principles of non-attachment, awareness, and presence, to the experiences of waiting for my partner’s homecoming, and even to looking forward to my camping trip. This moment is best lived… well… live. 😀

…I complete that thought, and immediately find myself contemplating the weekend that is just behind me, already drifting out of this present moment, into some other moment that is also not “now”. lol Fucking monkey-mind, always at it. I let that go, too. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. Let those past moments recede into the background, again, and pull myself back to “now”. Whups – there’s that tricksy daydreaming and anticipation of future moments, back at me again. Damn it. Another breath. Another exhalation. Relaxing and letting all that go – again. I see-saw between contemplating some past moment, and looking ahead to some moment that is not yet now; all very normal and human. I keep pulling myself back to “now”. It’s just something that requires practice, and there is no stress or perturbation in it for me, not these days. Progress comes in due course; incremental change over time, well, it takes time. I know I’ll likely practice for a lifetime, regardless – this is one of those instances in which the journey itself very much is the destination.

My coffee, now, is precisely the correct temperature for comfortably drinking it, while also having the subjective experience of “hot” coffee. It’s very relative; my idea of “hot coffee”, and yours, likely vary by some degrees. I have a friend who drinks it near to scalding hot – I don’t even make coffee with boiling water. I have other friends who just don’t ever drink coffee hot – iced coffee 24/7/365. We’re each having our own experience. 🙂 (Hey – cool metaphor! lol)

I check the time. Monday already, and an entire new week ahead of me. Doesn’t matter. The entirety of the lifetime behind me doesn’t “matter” much more, in one particular regard; it isn’t “now”. The moment I’ve got to work with, at any given time, is just this “now” moment, right here. I’m not encouraging any sort of FOMO or YOLO foolishness, or painful clinging to things-that-are-not-now, either. I’m just saying, and I’m not the first to suggest it; be here, now. It’s an ideal starting point on all manner of journeys, physical, metaphysical, and beyond. Actually… it’s damned difficult to start anywhere/when else – and attempting to do so is a sure fire impediment to making any real progress.

I smile, and sigh contentedly. The sky is lighter now, a shade of pale blue-gray, with a hint of violet at the edge of darkness, and a hint of peaches and pinks yet-to-come at the edge of the sunrise. I finish off my coffee. This opportunity to begin again isn’t going to handle itself; there are verbs involved! I breathe. Exhale. Relax – and finish my coffee. It’s definitely time to begin again.  🙂

 

The first time I heard “YOLO”, I remember being rather struck by it in a positive way, which was before I was fully aware how often it is attached to a level of foolhardiness or stupidity so vast as to be quite noteworthy, and… on purpose. Wild. Kinda scary. Definitely not at all what I might mean were I to observe that “you only live once“. Not at all. I’d be saying “live your life – truly live it, awake, and aware, and willful, you may not get another shot at this, so do your best”.

I try, every day, to take my own best advice. Sometimes I even succeed.

I am enjoying a relaxed quiet evening, but it isn’t “everything”. I plan the weekend, making sure my needs over time are considered ahead of the needs of the moment (which often aren’t truly needs at all, but instead some distraction or alluring momentary fancy). I smile when I realize how excited I am to have two days in a row to sleep in, and no driving. I feel that twist, and become a pang of regret and loneliness; I won’t see my Traveling Partner this weekend. I do need some real down time, though, a chance to rest, and a chance to take care of this space I live in, and some time to finish moving into my studio, so that days I am inspired to paint are as effortless as days I am inspired to write. These are things I need. 🙂

My mind wanders to that dark corner labeled “all the shit you forgot to take care of”, and instead of a panic attack, I find myself just sort of mentally “tidying up”, letting myself consider a large number of very assorted sorts of loose-end-y kinds of things I am prone to forgetting, just generally. I moved in July. Did I account for 100% of everything? Did I pack something, forget about it, and continue to overlook it because I don’t recall it even exists? So many distracting weekends away. How does a person rediscover what they have entirely forgotten, when that is a needful thing? That’s only sort of rhetorical; I do manage it, but I couldn’t explain in a million years quite how, and it’s very hit or miss. So… I guess I only sort of manage it. LOL Nice that such things don’t set off a storm of anxiety these days. The fear made it terribly difficult to catch things up, fix them, or complete them, or address whatever had or might go wrong with any skill. Now it generally just feels like another thing that needs doing, and once done, I’m done with it completely. I check off a few things, an address or two to update, things like that.

Strange night. I’m in a lot of pain, and the headache is just… extra. I’m managing a good mood in spite of that.  I’m still smiling from a few minutes of chat with my Traveling Partner. It’s a nice evening. It’s… a nice life. I frown, remembering how my every day moments “now” had been so thoroughly tainted by past events… when did that change? Will it stay like this? I feel the weight of my frown become stress in my shoulders and pause, breathe deeply, and sit more erect as I exhale. I’m okay right now. Right now isn’t something that needs troubleshooting. Right now I’m okay, and that’s enough. 🙂

Tomorrow I’ll begin again. 🙂