I normally don’t get started this early. It’s 617am. I’ve showered and started laundry, put away some laundry, made my bed; I’m sitting at my computer with my coffee to my left and blanket over my forever frozen feet. Fire from the Gods is singing “I have conquered my demons. . .” from the song Survivors Prayer Interlude. Just so that you know – when I enjoy an album as much as I enjoy this one I will listen to it forever – months. I don’t get tired of it as glean the meaning of the lyrics. Today that particular lyric is sticking out to me. Tomorrow it may be another. I did a blog series some years ago called album of the week. It didn’t seem to garner much interest so I stopped. By no means will I stop telling you all what I’m listening to and what it means to me, though. And this particular album, American Sun, is speaking to all of who I am right now.
Anyway, pardon my tangent.
All of my obnoxious lights are lit up in my room, even the string lights around my desk. I love a well lit room. I can’t stand gloom and darkness. Gloom and darkness are good for relaxing, but since I rarely do that everything is lit up in my room like a Christmas tree ninety percent of the time. My overuse of bath and body works eucalyptus mint scent is overtaking the room, and I am thoroughly enjoying my space.
I sat down at 605am and posted a couple photos to the Facebook page; a quote from the book and today’s badass quote from the calendar.
I usually sit down around 630am and address any business I need to attend to – bill paying, emails, etc. Around 7am I log onto the article writing website and get one done by 8am. Then I start to get ready for work. It usually just works out that way, and it’s a schedule that is easy to maintain. This morning I don’t have any new emails, and no other business to attend to. I don’t think I’m writing an article this morning though. I felt the need to write a blog post, so that’s what I’m going to concentrate on.
A couple things I’m thinking about currently – First off, the stylist, like many before her, preached the importance of not washing my hair every day. I abhor dry shampoo. I love how my clean, freshly washed hair feels. I smoke and like to be sure I don’t smell like an ashtray, and this is one of the many ways I insure that. But she told me that because of how damaged my ends are that the color will likely wash out quickly until I start taking better care of my hair. That is not something I want. I spent too damn long in that chair and a considerable amount of money to have to go back in less than a month. Soooo. . .
I’m on day two. She did my hair Wednesday, I didn’t wash it yesterday. I’m not supposed to wash it until tomorrow night to allow the color to fully penetrate. I went out and found a dry shampoo with similar properties as the one she used in the salon, not wanting to spend almost $30 on the product she used. It doesn’t look or feel horrible. It’s just the idea that I haven’t washed my hair that’s getting under my skin. I feel gross.
I slept like the dead last night. I was solidly asleep from 10pm until 515am when my alarm went off. I woke up to several notifications on my phone, one of which was a message from a member of one of the bands I used to regularly see at local shows. He had read So, I did a Thing and had enjoyed it. “It was about more than getting your hair done,” he said. It was, he was right. It was about a lot more. I’m grateful for the people who take the time to read my work and can see that it’s about more than just my day to day. It’s about the things that inspire me to move forward, the things that I’m learning on this journey, how I deal with stresses and demons and how I love despite it all.
I have refreshed my coffee, and now we can get to the point of this one.
Jonathan Swift said, “May you live every day of your life.” I’ve written on this topic before, but this week I feel like I lived this quote. I let go of things I can’t control, I took time for myself, I found even more value in my friendships that I already do. . .
I remember several times in my life when I lived everyone else’s lives. I lived to make sure everyone I cared for was good. I got up every day, and from the moment I opened my eyes at 6am until I closed them well after midnight I was busy working, working, working. Whether it was the job I got a paycheck for each week, or running my house or brother’s house, I was working. I didn’t take much time to ‘live’. I existed. No more, no less. I don’t remember much joy in those periods of my life. Of course I loved knowing my little family was cared for, but when it came to my own goals and my own wants and needs. . . I wasn’t taking time for myself. I’ve had several periods of my life like this. I was always climbing some mountain or another, climbing out of one hole or another. I was busy jumping one hurdle and preparing myself for the next one.
Somehow, without even consciously doing it, I have found a balance. I didn’t realize during these times in my life where I was just existing that I needed to worry about my own mental and emotional well being. I was existing for everyone else around me. I think that I needed to do that at those times. I think that had I been more conscious of what I had going on inside it would have done more bad than good truth be told.
I’ve told you about the time in my life when I worked two jobs and struggled with raising Matthew, prior to his ADHD and ODD diagnosis. I’ve told you of the time after dad passed away, when I slammed energy drinks all day so I could work full time and raise both of my boys and deal with finalizing dad’s business and getting Aaron set up in his new home and helping him adjust to his new life. These are the times that stick out most in my mind. These are the times where I was just existing. There where many others. The majority of my adult life has been spent climbing mountains.
And now I think I’m at a place where there is a lot of peace, where a lot of the really steep mountains have been climbed. I have more to climb – this writing venture being one of them – but writing is something I enjoy, so it’s not a stressful mountain. It’s more of a long hike.
I still have my kids and my brother to tend to. I have my friends ventures that I want to have a part in and help with. I still have a full time job. But these aren’t stressful things, truthfully. Either I’ve become acclimated or in my age have gained wisdom that makes juggling these items not stressful.
So I can live a more fulfilling life.
I sit here in the early mornings with my coffee and Rosalyn, practicing my art. I spend my evenings on the phone with friends, cooking dinner for my hooligans, and then spend more time with my art before bed. Sometimes there’s a visit with Sophia during the week too. My weekends are a whole lot of playing it by ear – I just do what feels like a good idea.
I don’t do anything super exciting. No bungee jumping or rain forest exploring, no world travels. But at the same time, I’m experiencing life. I’m not just existing. I really can’t describe it to you, because to many this may seem like a rather mundane, boring life. But I am taking the time to enjoy it. That’s my point. I enjoy sitting on my deck with my feet propped up, on the phone with one person or another. I enjoy my early morning writing, whether it’s an informational article or a heartfelt blog post. I am noticing more of the beauty in this world of ours, despite there being a lot of turmoil and uncertainty right now. I’m noticing the little things – pretty clouds, rainbows, butterflies – and the big things – how amazing my friends really are, how I have healed and become a better person, how amazing my children really are. . . overall how fucking blessed I am to be where I am, and the route I took to get here.
The previous post on this topic was about living to the point of tears, and this one encompasses that as well. I’m finally able to enjoy this life of mine. I don’t think I took things for granted before, because I’m not that person. But I definitely was very concentrated on jumping the next hurdle. I definitely was concentrated on surviving.
Now I’ve survived. The hurdles are further apart. I can enjoy those times in between hurdles, I can go at a more leisurely pace.
I live life every day.
Happy Friday, y’all. Take the time to notice the things that make up this life of yours, count your blessings, and be grateful.