I’m sitting outside on the screened-in porch in our new house right now. My dog is so spoiled and gets so much outside time that he doesn’t feel the need to sit out here with me. It is absolutely beautiful out and I am digging it.
I finally got around to setting up the card table out here one night last week when Casey was working late. That night I sat outside and read my latest book (Boy, do I have book reviews in the pipeline) with no music on. Bo and I just got to enjoy the fresh air.
Fresh air is something I’ve come to realize I could never live without again. When I was living in Baltimore, I realize now that I would spend days at a time without going outside. Even worse, I wouldn’t open my windows so we wouldn’t even get fresh air. Working from home in a city without a daily obligation outside (even my gym at the time was IN my building’s basement) is not something I think I could do again. I feel so much more fulfilled now. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if I started working out here a couple of days per week. It’d be harder to work on just the one screen, but it might be worth it just to be able to be outside.
I would say that my life has been pretty great lately. Really. I’m making progress on my debt. I’m surrounded by an amazing support group of friends in Fayetteville and around the country. This place feels like home, which I’ve come to realize is a definite luxury in life. When Princeton stopped feeling like home, everything about that place changed and it definitely made it a lot easier to leave.
Appreciating that in this moment things are good, that I feel like I’m home, that Bo (the dog) sometimes likes to lay on my chest in the morning and make faces with me after he’s felt me stirring away, that the fresh air is nice and I can sit outside without a sweat shirt, that we have a yard to call our own, that I’ve finally paid off all my credit card debt, that Casey is the just the most wonderful in a way I can’t explain, that I have a brain and career skills and (for the most part) really enjoy data engineering and writing code, that I have professional mentors who mean so much to me and I’m really blessed with- appreciating that I am blessed to be learning, growing, and loving all at the same time is such a feeling of abundance.
I never really knew what abundance meant. I’ve come to realize it’s a sense of satisfaction that gives you permission to breath differently. This is only more of a drive for me to work to pay off my debt. Having a permanent sense of abundance seems like a beautiful thing.
As I’m sitting right now, I can hear the ranges going off in the background. They’re not that far from the house and there are some serious training exercises going on right now. Things are going boom and it’s a constant and real reminder of what’s constantly hanging over my head in this phase of life. Fort Bragg lost a first lieutenant in Iraq and two rangers were killed in Afghanistan this week. Good morning kisses and good night squeezes are not to be taken for granted.
I’ve been gone for a couple of days. More specifically, I’ve been away from home since Saturday. We got back mid-afternoon yesterday. Being away from home is always a tough thing. I just like my flow, my routine, my life and I don’t feel like I get to do that when I’m away from my spaces.
This particular trip was not exactly for pleasure, though. You see, we were traveling for funeral. I won’t go into too many details, as they’re not really mine to share. Funerals, while always hard, always do something to bring families together. When my Nana passed away back in 2015, I reconnected with cousins I never talk to. I felt the same way this weekend.
Funerals, like many of life events, aren’t things you can plan for. Despite being gone for only four days, there was also time spent preparing. I’d say I probably “lost” all of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings, as well. I don’t regret how I spent my time those nights at all, but I couldn’t get the things I needed to done. I didn’t get to plan and prep snacks for our drive to Ohio. I didn’t get to meal plan for the week. I didn’t get to share my Weekly To Do Lists and I didn’t get to finish reflecting on my April goals to plan for May’s. I didn’t update my planner for the week. I didn’t fold last week’s laundry. I’m behind where I wanted to be on a couple of different projects I’m working on.
Every week I’ve been failing at “getting things done,” something I always prided myself on being able to do. It’s because I haven’t been giving myself grace- grace for the moments where I want to just sit outside with my dog and not be working/reading/cleaning/doing something and grace for the moments where life happens and I’m going to lose a day or two to something unplanned. It seems almost counterintuitive to say I need to plan for “wiggle room,” but right now that’s what I need to do.
I’ve known this for a bit now, but I hadn’t given myself permission, so this is me giving myself permission to plan for less, to do more things that are worth my energy, to live in abundance, to be in the slow moment, and to enjoy the fresh air.