A few more bits of randomness before the weekend

It’s been a rough week, personally and professionally, and I don’t have a coherent post in me right now. But I have some thoughts on various things (don’t I always?) so thought I’d share some of the snippets of what’s on my mind…So, one thing I’ve managed to actually get better at with age is admitting when I am wrong. I’m a pretty stubborn person and (to put it mildly) this is something I did not excel at earlier in my life. And yet, as I’ve gotten older, it’s become easier. It’s not that I am any less passionate or stubborn. It’s more that I realize that things change. Or that, um, the story I was telling myself about something isn’t actually what is true.

This happened last weekend, when I was planning to have dinner an hour and a half away with old friends. Old friends who have drifted away over the last 5-6 years due to, well, political disagreements. I’m quite passionate about my politics and beliefs, and to know that these old friends held opposite views was… hard. Really hard. So I was kind of dreading dinner. I felt like a kid having a tantrum, because I just didn’t want to go.

But I did. And you know what? It was really, really good to see them. We didn’t touch politics with a ten-foot pole. We talked about what their kids are up to. We talked about jobs, and life in general, but nothing too, well, sensitive. And it was fine – it was good, even. I’m glad I was able to see them and that I talked myself out of my self-induced tantrum. I’m glad I was wrong about how hideous it was going to be.

Also? You’re stuck with me for a few more years, at least. I renewed my domain this morning for 3 more years, which means I’ll be randomly showing up here to share, well, whatever is on my mind. I’d say you’re welcome, but you might not be thanking me for doing that. đŸ˜‰ (Seriously, thank you to those who have wandered here and read my ramblings the last few years… it means a lot)

Hm, third thing? Let’s just say the to do list is so out of control right now that I’m kind of ignoring it to write this post. I just needed a bit of me-time this morning. It’s been hard to come by this week, and I needed a bit of normal. This weekend will be another working one, sigh. But I do hope to take a bag of books to the half price book store and make a few bucks back, so that will be kind of fun? I hope your weekend plans involve more fun than mine! Oh, I do have one fun thing – the family Zoom is this afternoon so that will be a nice break before I dive into the weekend and work.

And, it seems winter is on the way. Next week – highs in the low 40s and lows in the 20s. Quite the 180 from a few weeks ago! It seems like it’s been this way the last few years – really warm for longer than we like, then all of a sudden the cold descends and overstays its welcome.

I’m hoping to share something a bit deeper than just these forays into my scattered brain sometime soon. I have a post brewing about conformity, middle school, and why that’s important for me now, when I am … definitely not in middle school. (And good grief I would not go back if you paid me lots of money…)

I hope, wherever you are, you have a wonderful weekend, filled with the things and the people that you love. Thanks again for being here, even when I’m less than coherent and posting rather intermittently.

Do not overlook the little joys! ~Hermann Hesse

Monday morning musings

Taking a break from the heavy and challenging to think about a few things making me happy this week (despite a rather daunting schedule the next 2 days…)

  1. Family. This is kind of a COVID thing, to be honest. Before all of this started, I would have said that I was very close to my family, that they are some of the most important people in my life, etc. But now, after going through not only the pandemic but the other things my family has dealt with in the last 2 years (and it’s kind of a lot when you list it out), I realize just how important they are to me. I know that some people do not have this kind of relationship with their family of origin, but I have to say that I am glad I do.
  2. On a related note, and also a COVID thing, the weekly Family Zoom. And yes we capitalize it. As much as I knew I loved my family and enjoyed connecting with them, I was never very good about keeping in touch other than the usual weekly phone call to my parents. I talked to my brother occasionally but no often. I would still say we were close, but not nearly as close as we were earlier in our lives. The Family Zoom – weekly, for the most part (we have only missed a few weeks since March 2020) has been such an unexpected blessing. I get to SEE my family, to make sure that they not only sound okay, but that they look okay, too. My brother and I always join, sometimes joined by others in the family depending on availability. It’s just so much fun to catch up (my mother does most of the talking) and to know more of what’s going on in each other’s lives.
  3. Fall weather. Finally. We had our third summer, I swear, in the last few weeks. Bring on the cooler temps. And while you’re at it, could you bring on the sunshine, please? We’ve had clouds for the last week+ and it’s getting old.
  4. Realizing that yes, my schedule is daunting today and tomorrow. But for the most part? These are meetings I set up that I want to have (not meetings that were, well, foisted on me). There’s a difference, there really is.
  5. It seems odd to end on 4 so number 5? Vegan “cold cuts”. I know, I know, they’ve been around forever. But they have recently been just what I want for dinner at the end of the day. With vegan cheese. In a warm tortilla. I know, it’s like the simplest dinner ever but for some reason it’s working for me. While I am not vegan, I am edging in that direction. The one thing holding me back is the lack of a great substitute for cottage cheese. I know that people have Strong Feelings about cottage cheese, but I love it. And while there are “easy” recipes out there, they’re not THAT easy. Holding out hope that someone will be able to replicate it soon…

Off to start the day with something else that makes me happy… coffee. Why on earth did I ever give it up? What was I thinking? đŸ™‚

“One of the best secrets of a happy life is the art of extracting comfort and sweetness from every circumstance…
People are always looking for happiness at some future time and in some new thing, or some new set of circumstances, in possession of which they some day expect to find themselves. But the fact is, if happiness is not found now, where we are, and as we are, there is little chance of it ever being found. There is a great deal more happiness around us day by day than we have the sense or power to seek and find.
If we are to cultivate the art of living, we should cultivate the art of extracting sweetness and comfort out of everything, as the bee goes from flower to flower in search of honey.”

Thomas Mitchell

About that breathing thing…

First, thank you all for your wonderful, supportive, and helpful comments on my last post. I feel terrible – writing that post, then disappearing for, well, weeks.

I came here about a week after writing that post, ready to share how I was trying to give myself some grace, and space, to breathe.

And then, just as I was about to do that, my life took a sudden and unexpected turn. I don’t want to share details – at least not yet – but I’ll just say that the path that I was on at this time two weeks ago is not the path I am on right now. It flattened me. For the last two weeks, it’s been more about surviving, which yes, includes breathing. But it hasn’t included much time for true reflection, and thinking. It’s been hard to work, too – sleep deprivation and emotional turmoil do not make me productive. I doubt they do much for anyone’s productivity. And that’s hard for me – someone who has always escaped into work. I’m starting to find my rhythm again, which is a relief, but there are still hard moments in every day.

As always, in times like this, I seek wisdom from others… and David Whyte (one of my favorite poets) came through again this week.

Just Beyond Yourself

David Whyte

Just beyond
It’s where
you need
to be.
Half a step
and the rest
by what
you’ll meet.
There is a road
always beckoning.
When you see
the two sides
of it
closing together
at that far horizon
and deep in
the foundations
of your own
at exactly
the same
that’s how
you know
it’s the road
to follow.
That’s how
you know
it’s where
to go.
That’s how
you know
you have
to go.
how you know.
Just beyond
where you
need to be.

I find myself on that new road, without really knowing where it will lead. I only know that it will lead somewhere, and that I will come out the other side stronger, and (I hope) a clearer vision of my potential future.