a lesson in contrasts, from my weekend


This weekend was a lesson in contrasts. 

Saturday, we hustled to what I still refer to as "The DMV" even though our state's abbreviation for the motor vehicle department is entirely different. We hustled... Only to find out that the entire system (state wide) was down. No computers online, no registration renewals. We waited (along with a room full of people) hoping the computer issue would be solved before closing, but no. No registration renewal. 

But despite the obvious frustration, we never got upset. It was what it was: everyone else was in the same boat and the boat wasn't going anywhere. (Remy eventually got bored of reading on his kindle, but we dealt with it by interacting with him instead of resorting to letting him play games. M was especially on his game, playing balancing games - we were tucked into a corner, so we had some space.)

We went to lunch after, and grocery shopping and then back home to a comfy-cozy (hygge) day of hanging out and chillaxing. It was wonderful. 

And then Sunday I had an entirely different experience. 

What would have been an adventure date-day (probably going to a nearby museum we haven't been to yet and lunch) turned into a "stay home with the kid by myself" day because M now had work to do so he could come with me to the DMV Monday morning to get the car registration renewed. (Which we did do this morning and the computers were all back online and it took us about 12 minutes to get done. Easy peasy. Which is kinda an interesting statement on how dependent our system is on computers, but since I'm in that system, I can't see a way out, myself.)

Anyway. Sunday. Oh Sunday. 

I ended up in a mood, to put it mildly. 

Date day being cancelled. Tired, because I woke myself up early for no apparent reason (and I'm having my normal insomnia surge at the moment). Feeling picked on. In. A. Mood. 

And yet, I let it be. I let myself be in a mood, but not lash out. (I wasn't completely able to not lash out, but practice does help and I've had lots of practice.)

And despite my mood (or maybe because I let myself be moody and let it pass fairly quickly) Remy and I had a good day together. Even though I was in a mood for more than a few hours of it. 

I took my annoyance out on his art supplies and decluttered and organized them. (Art supplies are in an almost constant need for decluttering and organization around here. They're in constant use.)

Actually, by that point, I think I was past the mood. 

I don't even remember. That's how much the mood meant. Not much, in the long run. 

Except as a lesson in contrasts. A reminder that expectations can still derail me. 

(I expected the DMV to be annoying. I didn't expect the computers to be down or for date day to be cancelled, much less for an extra go-into-work day for M.) 

Ah life. Folding and unfolding. 

One of my very good friends told me privately (after I'd written my #onemomentmemoirs on the moodiness of Sunday morning) that she'd had a similar experience Friday and had actually thought to herself, "What would Alexis do?" and decided I would feel the mood and give myself a big hug and so that's what she did. 

I neglected the big hug part on Sunday, unless writing it out counts as a big hug, which OMG, yes, it does! So nevermind, I did get my big hug in, and yeah, that is exactky what I'd do! 

And being human, I loved the feedback from my friend that I'm known for this self-embracing of all my (so very human) emotions, to the point of being a reminder to her. That made me happy, knowing I am having a positive impact, even if only on one person. Actually, I've had a few comments like this on Instagram and FB lately. I need to update my "positive words" file, so that I can remember, when I have bad days. 

Because we all have bad days. Every single one of us. Being human means all of it - the good and the bad. Embracing it all means letting it all be. Knowing the bad is going to happen even when I resist, which helps me resist less. 

Which still doesn't give me a free pass. Resistance happens. Shit happens. I resist shit happening, by choice or unconsciously. I'm human. I want to feel good. I have expectations. I cannot get rid of my humanity, nor do I want to. I want to let it be and embrace each part of it, this wabi sabi life. Awesome and shitty and fun and boring and painful and ecstatic. All of it. 

Folding and unfolding. 

Ebbing and flowing. 

So I'll give myself a hug when things look bleak by writing it out or doing some yoga or dancing or curling up on the sofa with a good book and lots of tea; and I'll give myself a hug when things look amazing by writing it out or doing some yoga or dancing or curling up on the sofa with a good book and lots of tea. 

Or going for a photo walk when it isn't freezing or having a photo walk inside the house when it is freezing. And lots of baths. 

I've got lots of practice with self-care (big hugs) under my belt. And I'm still practicing because that is what is needed. Especially in winter. 

Especially in winter. 

We have a blizzard headed our way. I'm hoping power doesn't go out, but one never knows. I do expect at least one snow day, tomorrow (today is already a half day), so I'm not sure I'll be writing here tomorrow or not. 

I'll let it unfold as it needs to unfold. 

Yes.