Archives for posts with tag: you might die trying

It’s funny the way we so easily (and so often) attempt to divide some facet or another of our experience into two neat, tidy, categories, some simple dichotomy. How often does life actually work that way? No, seriously, think that over – is the political spectrum really a simple division between left and right? (C’mon now, you know that’s not even a thing.) Is each life choice really an either/or? (That seems wildly unlikely.) Is the option generally “everything” or “nothing at all”? (I can’t actually find one moment in my life when that was a literal truth.)

Why do we do that?

I don’t have any answers on that one, I’m just calling out what seems rather obvious to me in this moment right here; it isn’t true. It’s not real. A false dichotomy is… most dichotomies, actually. It’s not even easier to choose between just two options – it’s just easier to think about. Easier to piss and moan about the outcome, too. Easier to build a narrative that suggests we are forced to one or pushed to the other, “without any choice” – even though all of it is about choices.

It’s just something I noticed and started thinking over.

The weekend is just hours away. I have plans. I have choices. I have a full calendar. I have a routine… that doesn’t fit. lol It’s not an either/or situation. I am not faced with the simple choice of doing this, versus doing that; there are many more details. Hell, it’s not even “a spectrum” (that tends to imply a linear direction or sequence that must be followed in one clear way – or the opposite clear way – how often does life actually work that way?). I am faced with a busy weekend and I am choosing… to choose. In the moment, on the fly, perhaps doing things quite differently than usual.

My most spontaneous friends (and my darling Traveling Partner) probably recognize this (to me) very strange (not to them) bit of circumstance as “living”. lol I face it as defiance to routines that tend to stabilize and comfort me, and there is some risk involved there…but… I know there is value in a bit of disorder now and then, and there are both lessons to be learned, and life to live, and that sometimes routine is not helpful. So. This weekend? Planned but unscripted. Tickets purchased. Reservations made. Appointments booked. Brunch agreed upon with friends. Adventure ahead! Fair warning to you, dear Readers, I may not write… because… choices. lol I may write at very different times, or even not at all. I don’t even know.

How does this go? I know people do this spontaneous thing all the damned time (less common for me)… and, hell, how far out of my comfort zone will I really be? I do have plans, tickets, reservations, appointments… all those things provide some structure to the weekend ahead. lol Hardly a fair test, my most adventurous free-living spontaneous unplanned and unplannable feral friends might observe. I know, too, that they are right; I’ve still got that calendar locked down tight, time well-managed… but… far less so for me than I typically do, and it feels a little unsettling to embrace the uncertainty this way – but uncertainty is a big part of life, and the choices that fall between and all around all of my favorite false dichotomies are so easily lost or forgotten or overlooked because my time is so structured, generally, in favor of a great deal of certainty.

This weekend? I’m uncertain. LOL I’m even okay with that.

Last night I finally got some real rest after several days of existing on what amounted to naps during the night, and long hours of quiet solitude that ideally would have been spent sleeping. Fuck I needed the sleep. lol I don’t recall quite when I crashed (it was very early), and I woke once, maybe twice, long enough to groggily flip on a light, realize it was night, and go back to sleep. I woke with the alarm. The emotional disarray that (for me) is definitely part of the sleep deprivation experience is now behind me, and I am finding that calm centered place so much more easily once again. I’m glad.

I have no clear idea of the path ahead, and as I embrace the weekend of uncertainty, I remember that really… I never actually do. 🙂 It’s a journey without a map. The journey itself is the destination. It’s a journey paved with choices and changes. It’s time to walk on…

It’s time to begin again.

Sometimes I need to take a little more time for myself in the mornings. Today is such a morning. I’ve nothing much to say in any specific way and feel more like writing poetry than prose, but lack even those few words. So, I sip my coffee, say good morning to the world, and move on to other moments. 🙂

My eye slides to my bass guitar this morning. My playlist inspires me to keep practicing, and practicing is, itself, my honest goal. I’ve no need to “perform”, it isn’t about that. I chuckle, wondering if I’ll ever let anyone hear me play… It’s a funny place in my head and heart, and my agency in the emotional space in which I play bass is so very fragile that small things break it (“Oh, you should…” “have you tried” “you need to…” “do that this way”). So, easiest to keep it to myself, quiet (for some values of quiet, obviously) and close to my heart, where I can keep myself safe, until some later moment when I feel less fragile and insecure about something I love so much.

There’s a whole morning ahead of me, before I have to head to work. I think I’ll get on with that, differently than usual. 🙂 There is much to do, and there are verbs involved.  What about you? What will you do today to care for that person in the mirror? (I hope it’s something nice!)

 

To change the world
It starts with one step
However small
First step is hardest of all
Once you get to your gate
You will walk in tall

by Dave Matthews Band

I start the morning with music. Yesterday was a good day of self-care, and housekeeping. Needful things. I woke feeling rested and cared for, with the smile left over from visiting my Traveling Partner still lingering at the edges of my mood. So far, another good day. These good days are not coincidental in my life, I build them with my choices, and my results vary. Oh, that’s not to say that circumstances can’t (they do) intervene and change the course of a day for the worse (or for the better), it’s just that over time I have learned how much power over the quality of my days I actually do have. It’s enough. It’s more than enough, generally.

Today is a work day. A day in a life. A day of choices and practices. A day of moments and opportunities. It could be any day of so many. Where will it take me? What will I do with it? Will it go to waste, lost among bad choices and disordered thinking? Will I build lovely memories from a quality experience? Will I commit to action, but find myself resenting it as “wasted time”, wanting instead to play? Will I snatch the chance to meditate in the evening from the waiting clutches of more moving in that could be done?

Last week was a reminder that my choices are my own, and that how I make them is what my week – and my life – are built upon. I all but gave up on self-care trying to force everything I thought needed to get done into the limited time I had available to me. I ended up exhausted, aggravated, and too tired to follow through on the entirety of my original plan for the weekend. Lesson learned? I’d like to think so, but it’s doubtful. I’m a human primate. I’ll need more practice. 🙂

Today I’ll meditate in the morning. I know this works for me. I’ll have any dishes started before I’m out the door. The bed will be made. The garden will be watered. I’ll have had my coffee, my oatmeal, a shower, brushed my teeth, and fed the fish. I’ll make a point of hitting the gym at work for some strength training, and get a good walk in over my lunch break. I’ll get home after work… and the evening will be mine. Then what? I don’t really know all that yet; I’m satisfied to have mornings more or less worked out at this point. lol

I notice I’m tugging at a jagged bit of cuticle. In the dry hot weather, my cuticles have begun to split in places. I fuss with the edges mindlessly, often. I try to stop that behavior when I catch it. The effort required is hard to adequately describe, even after a lifetime of partners, friends, and family members nagging me about it. I make the effort of will this morning. Put myself on pause. Actually fully mindfully stop myself… but then, I have to also stop writing, also go get the little cuticle nippers to trim that up so it isn’t so tempting… again with the damned verbs, right? lol Yep. There are always verbs involved, somehow this is true even of the things I want not to do.

Oh hey – it’s already time to begin again. 🙂

 

I took my first trip away from the new house this week. I departed on Thursday, plans in disarray, leaving from a point on the map that wasn’t what I planned, running additional errands “on the way” at the request of my Traveling Partner, resenting the heat of the day, and feeling excited, fussy, and a bit irritable.

It got worse before it got better. The first 33 miles I drove, the traffic was terrible. The first 9 miles of the freeway portion of the drive crept by at an abysmal not-quite-10-miles-per-hour. I was tired from days without good sleep. I was irritable in the heat and frustrated by the lack of good visibility with the car loaded to the roof with gear. I was more than a little stressed out by driving all that equipment so far, while I was so tired. My foot was aching. I had a terrible headache, and my self-care had been fairly poorly handled and thoroughly compromised for days because my planning had been so completely undermined, I didn’t have time for what needed to be done. It was pretty shitty.

Every mile of highway took me closer to my Traveling Partner, and farther from thinking about my headache, or the traffic, or the cargo, or the time, or really anything else besides getting to see him and reconnect and chill together.

We had a lovely visit. It was quite nice to be a guest in his home. It was … beyond words, really, the deeply connected time we got to spend together met so many needs. 🙂 We slept together, and that, too, was a rare and special treat. It didn’t much matter how little really restful sleep I got, I spent the night cuddling with my Traveling Partner as he slept, feeling his heartbeat, listening to him breathe. I dozed on and off, and certainly got enough rest to enjoy the day that would follow. He had to work for a couple hours. I used that time to get caught up with the woman in the mirror, and check out how my old home town has grown (I went to high school there… that’s the house I lived in, it’s changed a lot… that’s where my grandfather’s office was…), meditate, and also made a run to the grocery store for my Traveling Partner.

The plan, when I arrived, was that I’d stay both Thursday and Friday night, and go out into the forest late Friday afternoon, help set up a music event, and sometime much later be around to see my Traveling Partner perform, listen to a lot of great DJs doing their thing, and then… sometime in the late afternoon on Saturday, I would return home. By the time my Traveling Partner got home from work, it was beginning to dawn on me that actually, if I followed that plan, I was going to be pushing myself up the highway late on a Saturday afternoon, on even less sleep, tired, noise-sensitive, and in pain… arriving home to face dishes in the sink (because of my rushed departure on Thursday), unprepared for the next work week, and having no time to recover before diving back into another week of working for a living before I could really take that time I need…

The more I thought that over, the less I liked it. Sure, I’d like to see my Traveling Partner perform, that would be amazing and awesome, but I’m equally certain that neither he nor I benefits from me doing so on terms that reduce my quality of life, or contribute to poor health and wellness! He’d crashed for a nap after work to prepare for the long night ahead. When he got up I let him know I was thinking about heading back a little early… He didn’t seem surprised, and was very much okay with that, himself, although we were both immediately overcome with that sad feeling that comes of being attached, and also choosing to part, however briefly. He understands my needs.

So… I came home. The drive back was as uneventful and smooth as the drive down had been fraught with peculiar stress. I made good time, and delighted myself to note that my estimated arrival time from the perspective of planning the drive was within 5 minutes of my actual arrival time. I pause in this moment, right now, and give myself time to really appreciate that feeling again.

It was still daylight when I got home. The house was comfortably cool in the summer heat of late afternoon. The squirrel was on the deck rail, and didn’t run when I opened the curtains to the deck and saw him there. There were really one 1 bowl and 2 coffee cups in the sink, and the first sound I heard after I returned home was the sound of my own merry laughter. I’d even gotten home in time to communicate my safe arrival to my Traveling Partner before he was out of touch for the night. It felt good to come home. I feel welcome here.

I feel welcome in my life.

The day stretches ahead of me. There’s quite a bit to do. Some of it is the everyday sort of stuff that lands on weekend days most of the time: housekeeping, laundry, gardening. Other stuff on my to do list lingers from the move. There are still boxes to unpack. Shelves to organize. Things to do to make this space more usably obviously my own. There’s the woman in the mirror, too, she needs a few things out of the day, herself: meditation, some time in the garden, yoga, good moment-to-moment decision-making, a bit of fun (Farmer’s Market?), and all the love and affection I can provide to her. Rest. She also needs rest, and good self-care.

The sun is up. My coffee is finished. The fresh breezes of early morning have filled the house with the scents of forest and summer flowers. My thoughts are filled with love. What a pleasant moment on which to begin the day. 🙂

The weekend is almost over. My right now moment is a tad challenging, emotionally, and I turn to words for moderation, mediation, resolution, spin…damage control. I’m feeling sad, distant, and cut-off, emotionally, from my traveling partner.  I miss hugs. I miss touching. I miss kissing. I miss looking into his eyes, and seeing his smile. I miss the sound of his voice, his warmth, his scent, and his humor. I miss his strength of character, his moments of weakness, and his will to choose wisely and treat people well. I miss the immediacy and warmth of his love, and however much love I still feel for him every moment, and how very real his presence is in my experience, it’s not the same experience as being in his arms, or bumping into him in the hallway early in the morning. I miss connection. I miss intimacy. I miss his words, and his choice in music. I miss the details, and I miss the trends…

…And tomorrow another work week starts, and there’ll be no time for regrets or loneliness, and no time to notice how much I miss him. It makes sense to say it now, to honor the feeling, and for just a moment take that profound loneliness I am feeling and turn it on its head, and observe what a powerful love this must be to cause me so much pain, to feel lonely, even for a moment.

Of course, I miss him...how not?

Of course, I miss him…how not?

Love is amazing stuff. Tonight, I am lonely, and tonight, I miss Love.