Archives for posts with tag: your results may vary

What an absolutely shit-tastic fucking morning. Maybe I get it back on track, maybe I don’t. Maybe I sort myself out and feel some amount of joy or enthusiasm for living, maybe I don’t. I’m not depressed, I’m just… an emotional trainwreck, this morning. Medicated? Yep – and there are reasons for that, and this morning the medication isn’t enough to overcome my bullshit and baggage. My results absolutely fucking vary. Sometimes I don’t “get it right” and I have to deal with whatever hurt or lack of courtesy I’ve delivered to some (probably) unsuspecting other human being (who may even matter to me)(probably) – and also deal with supporting myself, soothing myself, and managing my self-care. It blows.

…Then I deal with the pile-on bullshit of the aftermath, the feelings of inadequacy, guilt, shame, frustration, self-directed disappointment, the feeling of futility, the sense of “making no progress” and the potential descent into despair, because… “this?? again??” Also major suckage.

Here’s the thing, though, and I’m trying to hold on to it ferociously right now; I do deal with it. I do get past the moment. I do manage – again and again – to soothe myself, sort it out, and move on. It’s just not “easy”, and I’m “having a moment”… about having had a moment. So fucking annoying.

This too will pass. Emotional weather means occasional storms and showers of tears. That’s just real – and very human.

I tried to go to work before I was quite ready, in spite of “where I was at”. I had to park the car and just let the tears fall. I couldn’t really drive. I for sure could not have worked. In an office. Around other people. (I’m 100% done with crying at my fucking desk during work hours. lol) So, I got that over with parked on a dark side street. Then I went on to the co-work space I’m presently working from (working from home is a bit too distracting right now, and sometimes very noisy with the new CNC machine) and got my day more or less started.

…Now I’ve got to begin again, properly. Be the woman I most want to be. Deal with people. Process tasks. Handle communications. Be present and engaged. It’s hard. It sounds like too much to ask. The morning started incredibly poorly and I’d honestly rather just “run away from home” and be literally anywhere else but trapped in my own experience of life and love and self. I’d rather be hiking a muddy forest trail, or a cold oceanside beach. I’d rather be sitting at a sidewalk café with an espresso drink and book. I’d rather be watching a high desert sunrise, or playing with a kitten. Hell, I’d rather be home alone doing the fucking dishes. Anything but being the woman I am, in this moment, living this life, feeling these feelings. Fuuuuuuuuuuck. I’m not a g’damned machine. Just a human being.

…I think about my assorted medications. Is there a pill to take for feeling miserable and emotional and filled with shards of chaos and damage? (No, no there is not. Bitch, pull yourself together. Fucking hell – it could be, and has been in the past, so much worse.)

I sigh out loud, drain my untouched cold cup of coffee impatiently. It’s time to begin again. Again.

It’s been 10 years since I started this blog, and this journey. I mean, I suppose I could choose a lot of dates and say “I took my first step here”, but starting this blog and returning to therapy during a very dark time in my life was more significant than I knew at the time, and I’ve come farther, faster, I think, than I otherwise might have if I hadn’t taken those steps.

I lived in a different place, with different views.

10 years ago. I could measure that in jobs… it was 5 jobs ago. I could measure it in moves… it was 4 moves ago. I could count it off in hours, which is an impressive 87660. A little daunting if I think too long about how still needs doing. I could count it off in blog posts… 2512, an average of 20.9 per month, and more than 1 million words.

My first post was just an brief introduction. My second? It was about perspective. 10 years later to the day, and I’m still writing about how much perspective matters, and how to shift it in a more positive direction.

The first book my new therapist recommended to me, and an important step on a profoundly healing journey.

10 years ago I started reading, and building my reading list. I turned 50. I started keeping an aquarium (which I kept going until just last year). I began an intensely creative period as an artist. I bought new hiking boots and started walking a lot more, and I started making solo trips to the coast to make time for healthy self-reflection.

The beginnings of a piece on the theme of perspective.

I was in a rough place emotionally when I started this blog 10 years ago. At the same time I started this blog, I started an art project on the theme of perspective and experience, and the subjective nature of memory vs lived experience. I used two large glass containers, and into one I dropped dark stones, black glass “pebbles” and mementos of sorrow or grief, and small amounts of black glitter representative of darker moods. Into the other, I dropped light colored glass “pebbles”, glow glitter, and things reminiscent of joy and day-to-day moments of pleasure. Not so much “good vs bad” as pleasant vs unpleasant. I wanted to gauge “how bad is it really?” in some visible way. I kept it going until I was ready to create “Perspective” on canvas, some 6 months later.

“Perspective” acrylic mixed-media on canvas, 16″ x 36″, 2013

As difficult as my day-to-day experience sometimes felt, and as much as I often struggled with my experience, emotions, or circumstances, it was clear that even with “my thumb on the scale”, things were more often pleasant than unpleasant. The ratio wasn’t even close. There was more light than darkness, more joy than pain – and this is true even now. (I say that because it’s been quite a difficult morning and was a weirdly challenging weekend emotionally, and I’m definitely feeling that.) This particular art project opened my eyes to the importance of perspective in building and maintaining good mental and emotional health; if my lived experience felt unpleasant but was objectively better than I was feeling it to be, I figured there had to be a way to correct for that. I mean… I wear glasses because I’m near-sighted. What could I be doing to correct my sense of perspective on my own life? This became an important focus for me from then on.

…As it turns out, there are a number of different ways to gain or restore perspective… You could read Viktor Frankl… or take up meditation… or get therapy… I did all those things and found them each helpful in their own way. There are a lot of other things a person can do to shift perspective.

This morning I am sipping my coffee and thinking about the weird weekend from the perspective of having had a restless night, and being abruptly wakened (too early) by my Traveling Partner’s frustrated plea that I please work in the office today so he could get some sleep, himself. (I don’t doubt my snoring was keeping him awake, which sucks, and my office is adjacent to our bedroom and this manual keyboard is noisy, and my typing tends to reflect my emotions… I get it.) I was seriously looking forward to working from home this morning. I wasn’t set up to leave for the office at all. It wasn’t exactly a pleasant “wake up call”. I didn’t sleep well, myself so I just got up immediately, dressed, and “left for work” – hours before my work day even begins. I thought about just parking somewhere and napping in the car. I wasn’t actually properly awake when I left the house and possibly should not even have been driving (I was pretty groggy, hadn’t yet had my coffee, and was functioning on “auto pilot”, and feeling hurt to be asked to leave). I was feeling pretty “unwelcome in my life” – which is a shitty perspective to take on one’s own experience, honestly, and skewed hard away from the demonstrably positive real life experience I actually live day-to-day. I started the morning moody and emotional, and vexed with my partner. Bleh. I feel rather fortunate that I happened upon the awareness that this blog is now 10 years old, almost to the day (yesterday was the actual date of my actual first post). It’s given me new perspective on my perspective and a chance to write about perspective, generally, which tends to shift my focus from my own perspective to… perspective as its own thing. lol

The tl;dr is that perspective matters – and you can change yours. (Your results may vary.)

…I’m not “in a better mood” or any more well-rested than I would have been without the opportunity to reflect on and write about perspective, but it is much harder to just wallow in a shitty mood over the crappy start to my day once I take the time to slow down and reflect on some positives. I feel myself starting to let that shit go.

The weekend was actually pretty wonderful. We got some things done. Celebrated some achievements. Loved each other thoroughly. We also found ourselves dealing with a couple unexpected moments of strife. Predictable. Human primates are emotional creatures, and barely domesticated. I try not to get hung up on those, although now and then such moments find me reconsidering my life choices, if only for a moment. :-\

I stare into my coffee lost in my thoughts. Often.

10 years. This year I’ll be 60. Another opportunity to begin again.

The winter storm hit so precisely on time, here, that I marveled at how far the science of meteorology has come just in the years I’ve been alive and aware of weather forecasts being a thing on the news. Amazing. I did what I could to be prepared, and my Traveling Partner did his part to ensure that shopping lists were complete with various things he might also want or need, himself, as I ran a couple last minute errands. I got to my preferred grocery store – my last errand – and laughed; I was not alone in my desire to plan well for the home-bound holiday. I’ve never seen that parking lot so full. Customers were cruising up and down the parking lot rows awaiting a space to open up, grabbing it, and doing what they could to get in and out efficiently. People were merry, cooperative, and respectful (well, except that person, you know the one – sitting there blocking the way waiting for someone to unload their groceries and back their car out, instead of driving on for the next opportunity the way everyone else was politely doing! There’s one in every crowd).

My Friday off yesterday was lovely, end to end. Well, almost. I ended up pretty cranky at the end of the day, for a few minutes before I went to bed. After dinner, I discovered the sink was clogged and alerted my partner (instead of randomly fucking with it and maybe making it worse). No panic, it was just a bit stressful, a bit gross, and totally unexpected – and I think we were both a bit worried it might be a frozen pipe. My partner set to work on clearing the clog, and we both hoped it would be “easy”… Nope. I offered to bail out the water to make things a bit less gross and maybe easier, and he accepted and pointed out there was a convenient empty bucket near the door on the deck. Sweet. I went to get that and… fell on my face trying to get back into the house. The deck, like everything else in our neighborhood, was completely and entirely iced over – as in, encased in a fairly thick layer of glossy clear ice, following some hours of ice-rain. I guess I’m not surprised. It was crazy slick and I lost my footing as soon as I hefted the weight of the bucket (which had a fat slab of ice in the bottom). I hit the ground with a thud, and knocked the wind out of myself. I couldn’t get back up – the icy deck was too slick. So, I pulled myself over the threshold of the patio door (still open) and once I could do so, pulled myself up, and brought in the bucket.

…An hour later, I felt like I’d been in a fucking fist fight, and I was bruised and banged up from hitting the deck so hard, and yeah, I was pretty cranky and in pain…

Anyway. The story isn’t really any more complicated than that. I bailed the water out of the sink. It wasn’t even a frozen pipe, just a proper clog because I’d somehow rather stupidly (apparently) put a wrapper from a stick of butter into the disposal…? (Why the fuck would I do that? I know not to do some dumb shit like that!!) My Traveling Partner cleared the clog in the morning, and all was well. We’ve been having a lovely day. He’s a proper charmer and we’re both feeling pretty merry. It’s not a fancy morning, although it is Giftmas Eve Day, just a day we’re enjoying together over shared content.

It’s a lovely holiday. I’m not sure that I’ve ever had better. It’s a modest one in comparison to some. Hell, I’d even say it is modest compared to Giftmases in some years that had no business being as lavish as they were in the first place. This one, though? There’s something really wonderfully special about it. It’s sweet, and wholesome, and loving – and rather amusingly practical in most regards. The stockings won’t be ridiculously elaborate, just filled with carefully selected chocolates. The food is good, carefully considered and prepared, and delicious – I’m eager to make tomorrow’s strip loin roast for Giftmas dinner. I’m gonna sous vide that sucker and then give it a reverse sear (on the grill if the ice is gone). There’s ice cream. Plum pudding. Cookies (I made shortbread and strawberry thimble cookies this year). Chocolates – including personal favorites I only buy once a year.

There are gifts under the tree, and the house is filled with love. The icy weather does nothing to diminish any of that. I smile to myself and feel grateful for my good fortune. I hope you and yours are warm and well and safe and merry. Enjoy it while it lasts – and maybe don’t look at the news for a couple days. 😉

Merry Giftmas. ❤

Note: this is a long one (>1500 words), figured you might want to know that before you get started. LOL

I’m on the coast with my camera for a couple days solo. I definitely need this sort of break from the day-to-day relatively frequently – one of my most easily identified regrets in life as an adult is that I waited so long to begin making a point to take this time for myself. I’m fortunate that my Traveling Partner recognizes the need, too, and supports me taking care of myself. The change in my medications has been a good thing, generally, but it also seemed to have accelerated my need to “take a couple days” to pause and reflect deeply on my experience, and to indulge in some time spent alone with my thoughts.

My timing is a bit awkward for this getaway; it’s the weekend before Giftmas. My Traveling Partner’s planned work while I am away was almost immediately derailed by a fulfillment error in a part shipped for his CNC machine; it’s the wrong part, which stalls the build entirely while he waits for that to be replaced. Fuck. Furthering his frustration, a recently added (and carefully measured & placed) outlet turns out to be in a less than ideal location (even after taking tremendous care with measuring) and has to be moved. The end result? Well, I potentially should have planned ahead for a couple days after the fucking holidays, if nothing else. …But…I really was seriously struggling to get acclimated to the new medications (and change in timing of existing medications), and I was feeling very short-tempered and cross with… just every-damned-thing, honestly, and wanted to be well away from people in general. So… good timing? Poor timing? Hard to be certain.

I visited some interesting places. The gulls at Boiler Bay were happy to pose for me.

I am certain my partner misses me. I feel very loved. His attentiveness at a time when we both expected minimal contact with each other for reasons isn’t unwelcome – and it forces me to explicitly practice reasonable boundary setting with the one human being in my life with whom I most definitely struggle to do so; my partner. He can’t see what I’m up to when I’m away, so it’s entirely on me to choose to take a look at a message, or to set my “do not disturb” setting on my phone, or set expectations that I am – or am not – available to chat. That’s not even unexpected or unreasonable; it’s part of skillful adulting. Just happens that some of the emotional debris of my trauma history results in some fairly poor boundary-setting with those closest to me, and it’s something I need to practice. Kind of a lot.

Here’s one way this matters, as an example. I won’t text while I’m driving (it’s very dangerous), so if he messages me while I’m in motion, I often find myself parking the car to respond without even checking in with myself whether the conversation even needs to happen in real-time (most often it does not, and frankly when it does he calls me so we can just talk hands-free). It can add a crazy amount of “travel time” to a short errand if I fail to communicate that I’m driving and he’s not aware that I am; he will just go on having a conversation with me that feels reasonable to him, while I seek out a parking spot every couple minutes like I’m lost or something. LOL I even know this is neither necessary nor practical; it’s something I need to work on. Just one example of why the expectation and boundary setting can matter so much. There are for sure others.

…I’m working on it…

When I am reading, writing, painting – all of which require focus – I sometimes get exceedingly frustrated with interruptions. Same when I’m “at work”, at home. Interruptions wreck my focus. This is not “a me thing”, it’s true for a lot of people (including my partner, when he’s reading, or doing complex calculations, or taking measurements). Interruptions break focus. Well… who “owns” that? I think if a clear boundary and clear expectations have been set, the person doing the interrupting owns that shit, and it’s pretty rude (if there’s no actual emergency). More often than not, though, I find that I’m the one who has erred in some way, by failing to ensure that I have set a clear expectation that I’m not available, along with a reasonable explicit boundary established with regard to interruptions of specific sorts of things. It’s for sure not reasonable to be irked with someone who did not know I was engaged in focused work, or needing to be left alone awhile, if they interrupt me unaware of those details.

In more succinct terms, if I don’t silence my ringer it’s not fair to be annoyed with a person who calls me at a bad time; I had another option that would have preserved my focus!

My earliest beach walk began at “first light”.

Yesterday, in the morning, I left for the coast before dawn. I arrived far earlier than “early check-in” for my hotel room (because the prior night’s guest hadn’t even checked-out yet). I spent the morning walking beaches and taking pictures, and in between I drank coffee while warming up in my car. Chilly morning. I drank 3x as much coffee as I generally do, and I expected I’d most likely messed up my sleep, later, but… nope. I checked into my room before 1 p.m., and managed to crash twice for longish naps, and then still went to bed early (like, for real early – around 7:30 p.m.). I slept deeply, waking around 3 a.m. to pee and immediately went back to sleep.

I made a point of snapping a picture of the holiday lights on the restaurant near the hotel during the wee hours. (It’s not a great picture; I was half asleep and never put on my glasses!)

I woke feeling quite rested, around 7 a.m. or a little after, around the time my Traveling Partner woke and pinged me a greeting. I wouldn’t have been at all surprised by how much I slept if I had felt that I was exhausted, or had felt deeply fatigued. Lacking those sensations, it caught me a bit by surprise to sleep so much. Still… it’s my time, my hotel room, I guess I can do what I like (within reason), including sleep the day away, which I definitely feel like I did, although my fitness tracker logged almost 7 miles of walking before noon. LOL

It’s been exceedingly pleasant (even luxurious) to have so little contact with other people for a couple days. The loudest sound in this hotel room is my fingers on this mechanical keyboard. (My tinnitus is infernally loud, too, but no one else would ever hear that.) The hotel staff go about their business. We don’t exchange words, just smiles; I’ve come here before and they are very respectful (and friendly if approached). I’ve managed to enjoy this trip to the coast without conversation beyond “can you fill it with regular please” or “16 oz Americano, please”. Yesterday was sunny. Today is gray and overcast. I spent yesterday sleeping (and walking and taking pictures). I’ve spent today meditating and writing (and walking and taking pictures). Time well spent all around, and mission mostly accomplished.

…I miss “home” (already), and take a few minutes to reflect with immense gratitude that I experience that feeling when I am away from the house I now live in. It’s already very much “home” – and filled with love, and memories of love, and the presence of this other human being who is so incredibly dear to me. I feel my heart fill up with my affection for my partner and spill over as “happy tears”. I am struck by how easily even the thought of this human being I love so deeply can move me with just the recollection of the love we share. That’s powerful. I miss him greatly any time we are apart – even when we are apart specifically because I just need to be alone for a while. It’s part of who I am. I am grateful that I’ve learned how to meet that need, and grateful to have a partner who “gets it”. I chuckle when I consider how often I do return home earlier than I had planned to, when I have gone, simply because I am so eager to be in the good company of my partner again. How very human. 🙂

Same location, different visit.

I watch the tides rise and fall on each of these trips to the coast. I am amazed by how much the view changes with each visit. The seasons change. The sunrise and sunset changes. The hour of the day for the high or low tide varies. The weather, too. Each detail paints the picture anew. I sip my now-cold coffee and think about that. So many variables. So many small details. I keep expecting to become bored with a single view or perspective. It hasn’t happened yet. I return to some locations with every visit just to see the view with “new eyes” on a different day. There’s something here worth understanding more deeply. I make a note on the notepad I’ve kept with me on this trip, and let my thoughts wander on.

I reflect awhile on the things that have held me back in life. Some of these were pure circumstance, others clearly my own doing or decision-making, few of them were the sort of non-negotiables that were unavoidable or immutable. I’ve had an enormous part to play in where I’ve landed in life. When I’ve chosen wisely, I’ve done well. When I’ve chosen poorly, I’ve often paid the price in consequences. This seems reasonable and “proper”, but when I reflect with care, deeply and honestly, and quite thoroughly, there have also been situations in which my good fortune “over-compensated” for my poor decision-making, and I’ve found my life improved thereby, anyway. Other times, seemingly good decision-making and actions that could be viewed as necessary, appropriate, or “right”, nonetheless resulted in… consequences of a wholly problematic sort. I have had an “enormous part to play” in where I’ve landed in life…but it’s also been a matter of “luck” more often than I can count, and some cases it’s been the help of friends or associates, or… just a coincidence that I’ve done as well as I have. Sometimes I’ve found myself standing in some unexpected moment in life struck by how unprepared I am to be there. Other times, extraordinary happenstance still manages to feel quite… ordinary. It’s hard to know in the moment which events are truly significant and meaningful, and which are simply future memories. Sometimes, when I’ve thought I was being “held back”, the passage of time has revealed how fortunate I really was to follow the path I did. Perspective has proven its worth more than once.

…My mind wanders on…

When I sat down with my notes this morning, I had some specific things I wanted to consider. I walked the beach with my camera and my little notepad, thinking, walking, pausing now and then for a tidepool, a bird, or an interesting rock. I don’t know that I “got anywhere” specific – but I wasn’t following a map, or hiking a trail with a destination, or running an errand. I was, frankly, as much as anything, just giving myself the space and time to really “hear myself think”. Was I successful? In every way I that I needed to be, sure, I think so. Is this bit of writing the outcome of all that? Mmm. Doubtful. Not in any clear cause & effect practical sense. I wasn’t seeking to develop a plan of action, or practice a specific practice, or write an essay on a topic. I just needed, rather earnestly, some solitary time to hear myself and to just be, quite as I am, without any sense of needing to chase a change or measure up to a standard. In that sense, it’s been a wildly successful bit of time away. Would a get away of this kind do wonders for you? No idea, honestly, and I’m sure it kind of depends on how well (or poorly) you are able to enjoy some solitary time – maybe that’s not your thing? Maybe you hate being absolutely alone? Your results would surely vary. Hell, my results vary and I greatly enjoy my solo time away, any chance I get make.

I breathe. Exhale. Relax. I check my oxygen. 99%. Nice. I take a moment to “feel where I’m at”, physically. Headache? It’s there, but not distracting. Arthritis pain? Managed. Posture? Yeah, okay. I notice it’s not great and “pull myself upright”. I gaze out the window across the mud flats of Siletz Bay – the tide is pretty low. There are a variety of water birds enjoying that, including a couple of larger birds – some kind of crane, and a heron. The gulls have taken their fun elsewhere for now. The water is flat, smooth, and very calm (what I can see), though I know if I step to the patio door and look out toward the ocean, I would see the waves gently kissing the shore.

I take a moment to reflect on a past that no longer wholly defines me (or holds me back) and to wonder what the future may hold, without becoming stranded in either. I sit quietly with my thoughts, poised in this “now” moment feeling fairly prepared to just “go with it” – whatever “it” may turn out to be. It’s a nice alternative to catastrophe, chaos, and despair. I breathe. In, then out. Then again. Some minutes later, I realize I slipped into meditation, fingers still poised carefully on the home row of the keyboard, expectantly. I’ve got a book (a couple, actually) that I also want to spend some time (reading)…

…Seems like a good time to begin again. 🙂

It’s a good Saturday morning. I’m listening to Megan Thee Stallion reminding me to be who I am without fear or shame. Easier to do when my anxiety isn’t a major problem, and my pain is well-managed. Today is a pretty good day. My recent doctor’s appointment was… surprisingly productive? Better than typical? I feel… hopeful. I’m also on new medication (not even a psych med intended directly for my anxiety, it’s a beta blocker that addresses some of the symptoms that follow prolonged chronic anxiety like my blood pressure). I’m pleased that it is, so far, actually helping – it’s even obvious to both me and to my Traveling Partner. We’re comfortably hanging out again without triggering each other, and without him seeming actually “allergic to me”. It’s super encouraging when medicine works.

It was important for me to be able to give my doctor an opportunity to treat me. To be open to change and to success – and sometimes that’s a more complicated detail than I am aware of. Learned helplessness over time, frustration with prior failures, anger and frustration, these can all get in the way of treatment (whether for physical or emotional ailments). I went to that appointment way more prepared for more frustration and failure than to communicate openly and honestly with my physician, and to be clear and purposeful in that communication. I got a lucky break by way of my relationship with my Traveling Partner. He was rather unpleasantly insistent that I specifically communicate some details to my doctor that he felt were especially relevant from his perspective. I could have dismissed that; my body, my doctor, my health & treatment! The thing is, though, he was on to something – I tend to minimize my own health concerns. It’s a long-standing bad habit developed during military service. “Go hard.” “Be strong.” “You’re a fighter.” “Don’t be a pussy.” “Endure and adapt.” I mean, that’s all fine for soldiers heading into a deployment, but, um, less than ideal in one’s relationship with a physician seeking to develop a good treatment plan for legitimate health concerns, for fucks’ sake. So. In spite of some internal resistance, I made a list. I literally read it off to my doctor, and answered her questions about each item. It was a tad comical, I found, but… I’m also on a new medication we’d never discussed previously, got a bunch of new lab work done (and have a plan to also adjust my thyroid medication based on the outcome of some of those tests), got a referral for a CT scan of my head (looking your way 8-year-headache – we’re coming for you!), and further, even got her wholehearted support of also treating my anxiety more directly (and a commitment to reach out to the clinician supporting that appointment, which is next week, to confirm which options are a good fit for the new medication).

I’m feeling myself this morning. I feel self-assured, comfortable in my skin, and happy to be who I am in this moment. Cardi B “gets it”. I’m not wealthy. Not focused on money all that much. It’s the wholesome (and obvious) confidence that resonates with me. When I am the woman I most want to be, I’m not mired in doubt – I know me. That’s what I want for myself, like, all the time; to rest comfortably in a sense of myself. Self-doubt is an insidious poison. I grin when She turns up in my playlist. I love the confidence of these women. I find myself thinking back to a younger version of the woman in the mirror… I wonder where Megan Thee Stallion will be as a woman of 50? 60? What about Cardi B? Where will their power rest when they are adult women farther along in their lives? Will it be in their financial power and economic influence? Politics? Intellectual endeavors? Philanthropy? How will they change the world from the other side of menopause? When life is less about a WAP than it is about knowing who they are and being that woman?

This coffee is good…

In 191 days I’ll be 60. Fucking hell, and still working to improve my mental health, resolve my chronic anxiety, ease the symptoms of my PTSD, improve my fitness and physical wellness, and become the woman I most want to be. The clock is ticking, eh? It’s a hell of a journey. I make a point of mentioning it because although I’ve made a ton of progress… I’m still walking this path, and there’s still a long way to go. It’s not “easy”. It’s not “certain”. Success is not a given. There’s no report card at intervals. There’s no trophy at the end of the journey. Is it worth the effort? For sure. It definitely has been. The incremental improvements are so very worth it. Yes, I still find myself frustrated, angry, or blue over ancient pain. Yes, I still find myself occasionally mired in my chaos and damage. Yes, there are still tears and they still fall. I’m just saying – don’t give up on yourself. You matter and you have so much to offer the world – and yourself. Get the help you need. Make small steps. Progress so infinitesimally immeasurably small is still progress and it will still get you somewhere, and it adds up over time. There will be interesting “a-ha moments” when you notice how far you have come, and how different (and better) life feels. There are verbs involved. Your results will vary. No one else can do the work for you. Just keep at it, okay?

Begin again. And again. One practice at a time, one step forward from a bad place, one new decision in favor of your wellness… it adds up, I promise you. Your darkest nights will be followed by a dawn – and a new day. (I mean, we’re mortal, so… yeah, but that’s a different conversation.)

It’s a cold Saturday morning late in the Autumn. My arthritis is bothering me. I took my Rx a bit earlier than I would on a work day, putting my self-care ahead of any other consideration today. Later I’d like to get a walk in, once the sun is fully up, and the day a bit warmer. The holiday tree is up and decorated. There is a Giftmas plum pudding steamed and aging for the celebration ahead. It’ll be a modest holiday this year; we have chosen to put our attention and money elsewhere this year (without resentment or regret), and I’m still eager to bake shortbread, to enjoy the lights and the carols, and to spend this time with my loving partner. It means so much to have that option, and to feel so well-loved. 🙂

I’ve rambled long enough – it’s time to finish this coffee and begin again.