If We Were Having Coffee // A Moment to Acknowledge Progress

Hello, happy Sunday, welcome, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. Forgive me for not sitting down. I’ll have to take my caffeine and converse while I’m getting ready because we have an appointment to tour our dream wedding venue today! I would have waited to chat with you until after but I am afraid I’ll be told the place is out of our meager budget and return broken-hearted and depressed. No, better to visit now, while I’m excited and have my past week still fresh in my head.

“I cannot simply put into words how coffee, stars, and a good conversation turns me on.”

constellationsofmisery

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that there you may start seeing more of me around here than you have lately. I know posts have been few and far between and far from fun, interesting, or informative too. Part of it has been my busy schedule. I give all my best hours and all my creative energy to my day job, and by the time I get home, there is nothing left for writing. Part of it has been perfectionism too. Writing is easy, but editing is dreadful! So whatever I do make time to write just sits unloved and atrophying in my drafts folder.

If I am honest though, most of it is a lack of passion. I haven’t been writing that way I want to write. I’ve been trying to write what I think people want, or the way I think other people do. I haven’t been writing in a way that works for me.

This week I read an old post from one of my favorite authors, Austin Kleon, on his return to daily blogging and it really summed up the way I have been feeling, and where I hope to go, now. I realized that I wasn’t alone. Being online is hard. Being interesting is hard. Delivering something worth reading on any regular basis is really fucking hard.

But even when I am afraid, and I give up for a while, I miss it. Kleon reminded me that blogging is important to both the reader and to the writer. Blogging is a way of thinking and a blog is a container to fill with all the things you think. This place is mine and as much as I love my readers, and as much as I love the attention the internet can bring, this place has to be for me first.

And so it will be. I am not quite ready to jump in and promise you posts every single day, but soon, very, very soon.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been reading again. I’m a book or three behind schedule already, but it’s okay. I’ve found my groove with The Oresteia by Aeschylus, and I’m not rushing at all. In fact, I’m spending most of my time researching the time period, the Gods, the myths, the back stories of every family and every character. I’m reading the notes in the back, and the Spark Notes and the Wikipedia entries on my phone. All the research is making a play that is already rich with emotion so much more interesting.

It took me weeks to get through the introduction alone, and a few more to get a handle on the structure but this week I made it more than halfway through and now I’m worried about what I will pick up next. Luckily I still have a few Penguin Classics left from the set I won last year. In that set, I realized I have both The Homeric Hymns and The Three Theban Plays. It looks like I won’t have to leave Ancient Greece for a while after all.

Oh, and on the subject of The Oresteia, I recently watched The Killing of a Sacred Deer, a creepy psychological thriller/nightmare, that I realized was based on the story of Agamemnon, the very same King that the first play of The Oresteia is named for.

In case you aren’t familiar, Agamemnon was the brother of Menelaus whose wife, Helen, was stolen from him and carried off to Troy. Together the brothers led their armies in a 10-year long war for the offense. But before the war could begin, Agamemnon offended the Goddess Artemis by killing one of her sacred deer and boasting he was the superior hunter. In retaliation, Artemis refused to let his ships advance toward Troy until Agamemnon agreed to sacrifice his daughter. He did. He went to war. He won, and upon returning, he found his wife bitter and bent on revenge and that is where The Oresteia starts.

I think it’s a pretty interesting coincidence that I would be reading these plays and happen to have decided on this film at the same time. I recommend you check out both yourself!

***

 

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I haven’t been driving as much as I should be, but I do feel better about being behind the wheel. The problem lately has been the weather—I’m not ready to drive in the snow—and we’ve been waking up late most mornings, and I’m too slow to get us to work on time. Thought of driving no longer terrifies to the point of tears and fury, and that is progress. Driving feels more and more like something I am capable of doing safely, even if I hate it.

It’s also helping to dream that at the end of this journey to overcome my phobia, there may be the promise of a new car. A car that I get to choose, that fits me. I want a car that makes me feel like I am going off on an adventure, not off to slaughter. A used Jeep Wrangler or a beat-up old Land Rover perhaps. Something I can trust.

I still have a long way to go, and pretty soon my fiance will be traveling for work, and soon she may begin working somewhere else entirely, so I have to keep going. I just felt I’d earned a little break, and a moment to acknowledge my progress. I’m so proud of myself for as far as I have come and I know I can beat this phobia! I’ve got this!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is time for me to get going. A winter storm dropped five inches of snow on us yesterday, and there’s no telling what the roads will be like. I’ll pop in later to update you on the venue tour.

I do hope you had a wonderful week and that your weekend was warmer and more relaxing than mine.

Until next time.

On Living #blackoutpoetry #makeblackoutpoetry #newspaperblackout

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***

Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli

Photo by Ronaldo Arthur Vidal on Unsplash

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If We Were Having Coffee // Happy Traumatic Brain Injury Sunday

Hello dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffiene and catching up. I managed to break yet another French press carafe so we’ll be doing a bit of DIY pour over drip coffee today. Which is fine by me if it is by you. On days like this, when the clouds are hanging about that the temps are laying low, a bit of coffee and conversation will go a long way. On days like this, I’ll take what I can get.

“Life’s too short to drink crappy coffee and cry over [people] who don’t care.”

— Matty Healy

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that, I’m tired. I don’t know what it is but I haven’t felt very rested lately. I can’t get out of bed in the morning and my mind doesn’t work at all. I’m running on auto pilot and feeling so close to death I’m worried I might start craving human flesh. I worry there is something big and wrong with me, but it’s probably just the lack of sunlight, the time change, the weather, and the work. I think I just miss warmth, and leaves, and flowers, and the sun. Oh my God, I miss the sun so much. Sure it comes out but the days are too short and the air is too cold for me to spend much time in it.

According to days.to we have just 43 days to go until the spring equinox. Of course, here in Colorado that doesn’t mean much. Our weather is often erratic and unpredictable and we could see cold and snow into May, but we could also see Spring-like weather return tomorrow. Ground hogs don’t have much say around here.

I think this week I’ll make more of an effort to get out into the fresh air, even when it’s cold. A walk up the block, or around the lot at work won’t kill me, and the sun will do me good despite the cold. I need to get away from my desk, move my limbs, rest my eyes a little, and if it’s really nice, and my work load allows, I may get some writing done out there. I think that is exactly what I have been needing.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am one of those buzz kill Debbie downers who won’t be watching the Super Bowl today. I know it’s America’s sport and all that, and I know it’s not very American or patriotic or normal of me not to watch or to care, but, well, the sport is toxic and violent and I just can’t see the “fun” in all that traumatic brain injury going on.

I wrote a few words about it over on Tumblr this morning and I linked to a great video, article, and podcast episode of The Intercept there all about the violence and economic, racial, and political power struggles in the NFL. Even if you enjoy the sport, I hope you’ll check them out. Sometimes loving something means being brave enough to make it better.

I don’t judge anyone for their love of the sport. I’m not here to make you feel bad. Almost everyone I know and love will be watching today. Someone close to me will even be freezing their ass of at the game! I’m happy for them, and happy for the teams that made it there. I just wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight if I didn’t say I felt for them too. I wish them a safe game. I wish them a future without permanent brain damage, motor impairment, confusion, suicidal thoughts, aggression, or dementia.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the wedding planning is ramping up. We’re still lacking a venue, but we’ve settled on a budget, a brunch ceremony and reception, and a design for the “save the dates”. My wife-to-be is hand painting each and every “save the date” and I am setting up three venue tours for next weekend. We’ve already found ourselves fighting, crying, and wanting to give up and it’s only been a few weeks of planning. We’re staying strong though and trying to remember that after the guest list, the budget,the invitations, and the venue booking, things should relax a bit. We’ll have all summer to figure out the rest.

Somewhere deep down we are getting excited too and I do know that whatever we end up doing it will be beautiful. I know no matter how the day is spent, that it will be the happiest day of my life.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that despite the lack of new posts around here, I actually have been writing. I have a ton of ideas and a lot of posts that have been started, I just haven’t had time to finish anything. So in the coming weeks you may see posts that would have made more sense a week or more ago. For example I have a post about the movie Groundhog Day half-finished and I was ready to toss it out but I had worked so hard, and what I have to say is important to me, so I am going to finish it and post it anyway.

I know as a blogger I am expected to be organized and timely, but as a person I am messy, forgetful, and sometimes just plain afraid. I’m trying to remember that this is my space, and I can do whatever I want. I can write about whatever I want to write about and I can post it whenever I want to post it. I have no reason to hide, or to give up on a message..

I have things I want to say, not just for you, but for me too, and I would feel like a bad writer if I didn’t follow through and say what I came here to say.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that evening time is coming on and it’s time for me to get going and get ready for the coming week. I hope you had a wonderful and productive week, whatever that means for you. I hope you have a safe Super Bowl Sunday, and whatever team you root for wins. With that, I’ll have to take my leave, and my second cup of coffee to go, and wish you a relaxing rest of the weekend.

Until next time.

***

Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli

Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // A Busy Week, a Broken Espresso Machine, and a Blizzard

Hello dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and conversation. The espresso machine is unfortunately out of commission. My dishwasher is stronger than I thought. Strong enough to take the finish off the filter holder, exposing the metal underneath that now turns the water that runs through it grey. I loved that machine, and I have been in deep mourning over its loss for over a week now. At least I’ve replaced the french press, which cracked the week before, but we can’t use that either. It’s full of cold brew for tomorrow.

So, regular old drip coffee it is, and a bit of catching up while the snow piles up outside. I’ve had my fingers crossed all day hoping it keeps up and I won’t have to go to work tomorrow.

“If I am a witch, then so be it, I said. And I took to eating black things – huitlacoche the corn mushroom, coffee, dark chiles, the bruised part of fruit, the darkest, blackest things to make me hard and strong.”

— Sandra Cisneros, “Eyes of Zapata”

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my first couple of weeks back to work after the holiday break have been rough. I expected to ease a little easier into the year but I underestimated the amount of work I put off to catch up on, and I was blindsided by the amount of work my boss had waiting for me when I got back. So there was no time for writing. That’s not true, there was, but there are somethings I love in this world more than writing, if only barely.

The next few weeks look to be just as packed with work as the last, and I expect I will have to keep putting off the work I’d wanted to do for myself since the new year. Or, I’ll have to cut back in other areas. Less time watching TV, less time napping, less time sleeping in on the weekends, less time on Twitter maybe? I’ll certainly try, but one thing I have learned about myself is that if I can’t get a few words written between 8:00 and 10:00 AM then there is very little chance they will get written at all. My mind just doesn’t work outside of those hours.

Other than that the week was good. I drove a lot and made some real progress in getting over this driving anxiety. To and from work is getting easier but other places and new streets terrify me, but I did it. I drove to the doctor’s, for my first flu shot ever, and to Starbucks, as a treat for trying so hard this week. I’m proud of myself, and I really think I am a teeny-tiny bit less afraid.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend has been a good one.

Friday night after work we met up with some friends for Mexican and margaritas. The margaritas were big, our group was too loud, we probably stayed later than the wait staff wanted us to, but we didn’t care. The laughs were needed, and the sopapillas were good. I was happy, and I felt good about myself for a little while. I can’t wait to do it again. We’ve already planned a night of dinner and drinks and re-watching Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos on Netflix, and we’re working on a camping trip this summer too.

After dinner, I came home for cups of chamomile tea and Blade Runner 2049! Which was so good. I have been waiting to watch it since finishing the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick over a month ago and watching the movie right after. All of it was beautiful. Next, I’ll be starting Amazon’s anthology series Electric Dreams, based on Dick’s short stories, and adding more of his work to my TBR list. If you have recommendations please share them in the comments!

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that yesterday was mostly spent at IKEA, buying that previously mentioned french press and dreaming of new ways to remake a few rooms of the house including new desks for the “creativity room”—where water coloring, bookbinding, sewing, reading, and of course, writing takes place—and whole a new kitchen, one day, someday.

We also stocked up plenty of food and hard cider so we wouldn’t have to leave the house today in this blustery winter weather. The snow has been falling since sometime in the middle of the night and not forecasted to stop well into this evening. At noon the snow total thus far read almost 7 inches. That was two hours ago. The wind is blowing hard and our driveway is covered with a sheet of ice. I really hope we don’t have to work tomorrow. Even if the plows are out and the roads are treated, the traffic will still be a mess.

When you work on a school bus the weather plays a big part in how safely you can do your job and how tense and stressful that job will be. Better to stay home I say.

***

Today we’re cleaning, catching up on shows and movies we’ve meant to watch and making more plans for the house, and for the wedding, which is happening this year no matter what! We did have to push the date again, we’ve settled on October at the latest, and made plans to tour a site for the reception this coming weekend. We’re deeply disappointed in ourselves for slacking on the planning but it isn’t easy and it isn’t cheap. It’s stressful as hell, but we’re trying.

I also spent the day working on my bookbinding projects, both of which I had hoped would be done by now, but with work, and wanting to be with my girlfriend every free moment that I have, nothing much has gotten done. This morning I bound the pages of the journal, and I plan to do the gluing and the page gilding before bed. As for the sketchbook, I’ll at least get the stitching holes measured and marked and 3 or 4 signatures bound. Pics soon I promise!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my coffee has gone cold and as much as I’d love to refill it and spend another hour here with you, I think I’d better be off. I have a lot more work to do, and a few things that look more like procrastination than work to do too.

I hope your week was a good one, productive but in a healthy and fulfilling way. I hope that your weekend had room for all the relaxing and recuperation you needed. Drop a note in the comments, I love hearing from you, and keep your fingers crossed for me. Pray the snow doesn’t let up, that school is canceled, and I get to stay home tomorrow, warm and safe.

Until next time.

***

Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Remembering How to Do Things I Don’t Want to Do

Well hello, dear reader. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. I’ve been playing with my old espresso machine again, tweaking the coffee to water ratios and getting closer and closer to the perfect brew. I’m still not there yet, but this one is at least as rich as it should be, even if it isn’t quite as velvety.

I haven’t had much time for coffee chats lately, but I’ve needed them desperately. The last time we met up was Christmas Eve, only two weeks ago but it seems a lot longer than that. Two holidays have passed. I’ve returned to work. I’ve been writing again too. The year has changed, and I think I’ve changed a little along with it. Not as much I as I hoped I would have by now, but less than I am sure I will by this time next week.

“Just coffee. Black – like my soul.”

― Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas or New Year’s celebration.

Christmas was spent with family eating good food, drinking, and catching up. I was happy to see the joy my gifts brought the people I loved, and I was delighted to find out how much they knew me by the gifts I received. I know that everyone knows I like coffee and books because I racked up a significant amount of gift card money to both Starbucks and Barnes and Nobel.

For New Year’s Eve, we got together with a few of our closet friends to get fancy and head downtown for a black tie event. I found a lovely maroon velvet jacket to wear, and my girlfriend was gorgeous in an emerald green dress.

We had a lot of fun, and I was happy to start 2018 off surrounded by people who cared about me. I only wish the overnight temperatures hadn’t dipped so low, that Uber hadn’t jacked up their prices, and that the light rail had been running a little more frequently. By the time we made it home my poor lady’s toes were nearly purple.

Happy New Years! #newyearseve #blacktieevent

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***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had hoped we’d get to ease into 2018 but, wow, this past week was bananas! Half the country is frozen. Our President taunted world leaders on Twitter, again. A Trump tell-all book was published. Then he tried to convince us of his sanity by lashing out and acting completely mental. Oh, and the whole state of California is smoking weed now.

By the end of 2017, I had stopped watching the news, and I felt guilty for not keeping up with what was happening in the world. One week into 2018 I’m ready to give up again. The anxiety I feel every time that man tweets is more than I need in my life. I have my own everyday fears and obstacles to overcome. I shouldn’t have to add nuclear war to the list, and I certainly shouldn’t have to spend my day refreshing social media feeds to find out whether or not nuclear winter is coming.

I’m exhausted already.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that too much of my break was spent watching movies and TV shows, but I regret nothing.

I indulged nostalgia by watching every Harry Potter film again on HBO. Black Mirror season 4 was everything I hoped it would be. Star Wars: The Last Jedi was better than everyone said it was. Dave Chappelle’s Netflix specials were genius. Call Me by Your Name—both the book and the movie—were good but far from great, each in very different ways.

Still, I recommend all of it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my return to work this week was, well, annoying. It’s hard to get through a week of Christmas preparation, Christmas celebration, a weird waiting period where all you do is drink and eat leftovers, the celebrate a whole new year, and then go back to doing the same old shit you were doing before. I’ve had a hard time readjusting back to my old life. I’m having a hard time remembering how to do things that I don’t want to do.

I could have had more days off if I’d wanted, but living in a capitalist society means I feel guilty when I spend my time resting, reading, or doing whatever the hell else I want instead of making money. All I kept thinking about was how much I make per hour times how many hours I wasn’t at work. I kept a running total in my head of all the things I wouldn’t be able to buy if I didn’t go in. So I did.

At least I was able to do office work and ease back into my work schedule before the kids come back on Tuesday. All in all, it wasn’t bad at all, and all in all, my job is a pretty good one, so I’m not complaining too much. I’m only musing on the weird mental toll having so much time off, and dragging myself back, kicking and screaming, into the real world takes on me.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of my week, and the reason I didn’t get nearly as much writing done as I wanted to, was finally getting started on a couple of big bookbinding projects.

The first is my new daily journal. Last week I spent a lot more money than I expected on tools and supplies and got all the paper I needed to begin folding and sewing. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted ruled, grid, or plain, so I picked all three and added a few others: dots, and triangles, and hexagons. I printed them on bright fuchsia colored paper in random order so I can be a little freer in the way I write from day-to-day.

I also gathered up all my loose and scrap paper I had been collecting got it all cut and folded into beautiful little imperfect bundles for a new sketchbook. All the pages are different sizes, colors, and textures. Some are proper sketch papers, some are tracing pages, some are from an old graph paper pad, some pages are white, or black, or light blue, or orange.

I guess I’m trying to make little spaces where every day will be a little different. I guess, without realizing it, I am craving a little less structure and a little more freedom.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have got to get going. Time flies when you are having fun, and it’s even faster with all this caffeine in my system. Loads of laundry need washing, more posts need writing, and I am itching to make a little more progress on those projects too.

I hope your year has been off to a better start, and that all the crap that is going on around us hasn’t already made your spirit weary. I hope your resolutions are still going strong. If they aren’t, don’t worry. There is still a lot more year left to go.

Until next time.

There is no you. #makeblackoutpoetry #share

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***

Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli

Photo by Ben Moore on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Hello dear readers and thank you for stopping by the night before Christmas for a bit of coffee and catching up, or if you prefer, a cup of velvety hot chocolate, or a hot toddy. I will have all three if you don’t mind. It is Christmas Eve after all, and I am at home, enjoying the last of the peace and quiet I will have for another day or two and the first I’ve had in a lot longer. And that is why, despite all I still have left to do, I wanted to take a few minutes to catch up with you.  Because you, dear reader, always calm me and help me place the world into a more manageable perspective.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that today we are doing as close to absolutely nothing as we possibly can. We planned a large brunch for just the two of us, a lunch of just about every snack food we have in the house, and a seafood dinner of crab, shrimp, sausage, corn, and potatoes. Something a little different for just the two of us. In addition, we’ve had a few mimosas, some gin and tonics, and very soon, a spiked hot chocolate, and a maybe hot toddy before bed. As you can imagine, I am thoroughly enjoying Christmas Eve.

We’ve been outside letting the dog play in the snow while we shoveled, and giving her new toys and treats all day. The cat has gifts too, but she’s decided to spend the day snoozing so she’ll get them later I suppose.

The rest of the day was spent on the couch watching Christmas movies and a few episodes of The Crown. I’ve tried to do some writing but all this holiday stress has chased my thoughts away, and all this drink and laziness has kept my hand still and the cursor blinking in place. Even my journal lays neglected and has since Friday afternoon. But I must get moving, and there is no better place to start than here.

Soon I’ll have to get up. I have to make cookies, to wrap the gifts we have to give, and cook for a dish for brunch with my family tomorrow morning. After brunch, we’ll be off to see my girlfriend’s family for dinner and the rest of the evening, and it’ll finally be over, mostly.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I even though I hate the holidays I do wish there was more time to celebrate all the people  I love in my life. I saw my cousin and friends last night for game night, I’ll see my dad on Tuesday for dinner and Star Wars. The rest of the week will be spent getting my face and outfit together for the big (expensive) New Years bash downtown with friends.

And then, it will finally be over, and I promise I’ll do it better next year.

There were people I forgot to buy things for, and too much was planned and bought last-minute. I didn’t get the tree up, I didn’t get the lights out, and I wasted too much time on indecision and anxiety. I did better than last year, and for that I am proud, and I never let myself forget what the season meant to represent, and that has helped.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that it’s getting late and I have stalled as much as I can. I have to cook, and bake, and wrap the gifts now. I have to get my clothes out and clean some of this mess up. I have to finish off this wine and get the hot toddies started too, and then I have to get to bed because it will take all the energy I have, and a lot more coffee, to make it through the day.

I hope you’ve had a good weekend. I hope that all your careful planning and preparation you’ve done makes for a perfect holiday and all that stressing and worrying will prove to have been for nothing. Most of all I hope you feel loved and connected to the community around you. That is what the holidays are for are they not?

Have a very Merry Christmas, and if we don’t see each other until then, a Happy New Year.

***

Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli

Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Just One Week to Go!

Hello dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and conversation. I know it’s late again, but I decided to wait until after I did my Christmas shopping this time. I didn’t want to feel so rushed, and I knew I wouldn’t be in the mood for chatting before such a stressful activity. But I’m done now, and I am happy to say I’ve made considerable progress. Just a couple of gift cards and a trip to the post office to go and I’m done!

So, I think it’s time for a reward. A nice cup of cold brew, a cookie or two, and a chance to catch up with you.

“I was taken by the power that savoring a simple cup of coffee can have to connect people and create community.I was taken by the power that savoring a simple cup of coffee can have to connect people and create community.”

— Howard Schultz

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m once again trying to work through my extreme fear of driving. I’ve tried before, many times over the years, but my anxiety makes excuses and may need to avoid my fear is so intense I simply don’t think about it, until I have to.

My girlfriend always drops me off at work, and a friend who lives close by was taking me home. The arrangement wasn’t ideal, but it kept me from having to face my fears. Lately, though, my girlfriend’s job is taking up more and more of her time, and this week my friend’s crapped out beyond repair.

Now I’m just getting rides where I can and using Uber when I have to, but it’s hard being such a burden to everyone and spending so much money when I only live 15 minutes away. It’s not just getting to and from work though. Dealing with this phobia all these years has left me feeling like only half a human. I feel low, broken, stupid, and trapped. There is so much I haven’t been able to do because I can’t get around easily or timely, and I’m tired.

The impact on my self-worth and my relationship has become more than I can handle. I am still afraid, but I’ve got to get out there and try. Yesterday I had a breakthrough. I drove to Target and parked, next to another actual car. We went shopping, and then I drove us home, at night. I did it without hitting anything and without crying, not even once.

Tomorrow, and all this week, I’m going to drive to work, and in the evening I am going to drive home. I am going to drive to work, and I am going to drive home. I am going to drive to work, and I am going to drive home. I am going to drive to work, and I am going to drive home…

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m actually looking forward to this work week. It’s going to be an easy one, and it is the last one before I get two whole weeks off from work. I might even get Thursday afternoon and all of Friday off. I don’t think my boss is too happy to give it to me, but since it won’t count against me and I have plenty of writing to do, I’m taking it.

Speaking of writing, if we were having coffee I would tell you that I have been making a lot of progress on my project. I even told In Real Life people about it! I never tell In Real Life people anything about my writing, which, I suppose, is another fear I should try to get over soon. One thing at a time Lisa. One thing at a time. Anyway, I have two pages of notes now, one more than I had last week, and this week I’d like to end with four.

More and more I am letting myself hope that this thing might be a real book one day. Not the book. Not the one I set out to write when I first let myself dream to be a writer, but it’s a book. It’s an important book. It’s what I need to write, and I hope, God I really hope, that other people might need it too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had a good reading week too. I finished Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. It wasn’t an easy read by it was really good.

A friend loaned it to me after he found out I hadn’t read it and I hadn’t seen the movie, Blade Runner, either. I read it quickly so I could return before I ruined it and he gave it back. He said I could keep it and then he bought me Blade Runner too! Which was also really good…if I pretend I saw it for the first time in 1982. Maybe this coming weekend I’ll check out the sequel, Blade Runner 2049.

I also finished Things Are What You Make of Them by Adam J. Kurtz, which was also really good. It’s one of those books I’m going to keep on my desk, so I can come back to it whenever I start to doubt myself or lose direction.

Next up I’ll be reading Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman. It isn’t the usual kind of book I would choose to read but my girlfriend read it, and she wants me to read it too so we can talk about i. When I’m finished, we’ll be seeing the film version too.

Oh, and I finally watch Mother! on Saturday night. I’d wanted to see it in theaters when it was released, but the reviews were so blah I decided to wait in case it was bad and I might feel I’d wasted my money. I was wrong, and I totally should have seen it in theaters. It’s good, but only if you get it and once you get it, it’s fucking genius. Jennifer Lawrence is now my favorite actress for this, seriously.

***

If we were having coffee, I would apologize for keeping you up so late. I’ve been distracted by housework and the TV. I’m glad got to catch up with you though. I wouldn’t want to miss a coffee chat with you the weekend before Christmas.

I hope you’ve got your gifts bought and your dinner plans in order. I hope you won’t have to work so much and that your stress levels stay within healthy and manageable levels. If I get busy, and I don’t see you before the holiday, I hope you get everything you wanted, and you are surrounded by people you love to share it with.

Take care of yourselves, okay?

Until next time.

***

Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli

Photo by Ryan Riggins on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // It’s Gonna be Smooth Sailing into 2018

Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. We’ll have to be quick though, I have a full day of Christmas shopping planned and it’s probably best to start early, before the crowds and before I realize how much I really don’t want to do this. I’m hoping a cup or two of strong brew will wake me up, and I’m hoping a lovely conversation with you will get me in the mood to go out into the world today.

“‘Delectable,’ Ulysses said. ‘Of all the drinks that I have drank on all the planets I have visited, the coffee is the best.’”

― Clifford D. Simak, Way Station

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m finding it harder and harder, the further we get into the winter weather and the holiday season, to keep up with writing. I’m working more and worrying more. It’s cold outside. It’s dark when I leave home and dark when I return, and I never seem to sleep well. Winter has never been conducive to my creativity, but this year I’m aware and determined not to let a little thing like seasonal depression get me down and keep me from doing what I love. So, I’m trying to do things a bit differently.

Last week work was beyond hectic, and I had little time for this blog, but I wasn’t idle. I finally have an editorial calendar set up—I’ve already been adding to it regularly, though I still have to work on sticking to it—and I have really, actually, seriously this time started working on my “death anxiety” project.

I spent my lunch hour at work at least three days this week brainstorming essay topics, art, titles, and structure. I won’t pretend any of my ideas were actually good but I my gut tells me this is a numbers game. The more bad ideas you get out there, the higher your chances of finding a good one, right? So I’m churning them out as fast as I can. I have a whole notebook dedicated to failures and bad ideas, and at this rate, I may need another very soon. It’s been great fun, and I feel like I’m getting closer to doing the kind of writing I always wanted to do.

Through all of that brainstorming and I learned a few things about the way my mind works. I learned that the best time for me to focus on one project and get tangible work done is in the middle of the morning, between 8:00 and 10:00. I learned the best time for me to let my mind wander, and to connect fragments and inspiration in ways that aren’t obvious at first is in the middle of the afternoon, between 1:00 and 4:00. I’m hoping knowing this about myself will make my work more efficient and lead to better ideas faster.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that in an effort not to get sucked into negativity and false perspectives I’m practicing gratitude with greater intensity than ever. I’m taking time to acknowledge that even on my worst days, during my greatest frustrations and inconveniences, I have every reason to be happy and all the opportunity I need to change whatever I don’t like about my life.

Being alive is scary, embarrassing, annoying, confusing, and painful, but it’s also a goddamn miracle and good things happen just as often as the bad. Here are some that happened to me:

  1. I had a delightful conversation with my sister and her kids this week. I’ve been a bad sister and aunt, and I haven’t called in far too long, but only because I missed them so much and had no idea what to say. I will do better from now on.
  2. I got a ton of overtime at work, and even though I didn’t really want it, I’m still grateful for it. I got to take care of things for my coworkers who are going through some tough times, and my paycheck won’t be so bad after winter break.
  3. A wonderful friend of mine loaned me his copy of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick and bought me the definitive director’s cut version of Blade Runner as an early Christmas gift.
  4. Another wonderful friend who I haven’t seen in far too long invited me out for dinner ad drink for her belated birthday celebration. It felt good to be there to celebrate her, to catch, and let her know how important she is to me.
  5. I’ve started cooking more and more, and I am actually starting to enjoy it. Last week I made Creamy Vegetable and Tortellini Soup with Pesto and Oven Baked Lemon Pepper Wings. Both of which my girlfriend—the best cook I know and the only one I am ever trying to impress— loved!
  6. We made big party plans for New Year’s Eve with some other wonderful friends entirely, and then those plans got canceled, and then they were back on again! And I might wear something I would never ever usually wear, and I might look amazing in it.
  7. Black Mirror finally revealed it’s release date for season 4! December 29th people! A perfect end to a very disorienting and anxiety-inducing year.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am looking forward to the coming week which I am almost positive will be a lot less stressful than this past one was. My workload ought to be much lighter, and warm weather is returning. I have a new book to read, a bunch of new posts to write, and a ton of podcasts to catch up on. I can’t wait to get started.

Actually, the entire rest of 2017 should be easy peasy and thank God for that because I  cannot wait for this politically infuriating and disorienting year to wrap the hell up. Not that I expect 2018 to be any better, in fact, I foresee things getting a lot worse as one side begins to tire and the other simply waits us out. They are going to start winning, and no matter how we scream and fight, they will go on doing just as they please.

But a New Year is always encouraging and the way time has been flying since summer I know it’ll be over before I know it. I’ve only got to get through this week and the next of Christmas prep and small tasks at work, then Christmas day, and it’ll be smooth sailing into 2018.

I feel good about that. Or, I feel just as good as I do bad about that. This year has been hard and as happy as I am to see it end, the forward march of time is always a little sad. Every day on this Earth is one day closer to your inevitable end. I’m learning to cope with that too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that our coffee date had gone on much longer than I planned and as much as I’m enjoying it, I really must get going. The mall is filling up by the minute I’m sure, and the more people there are, the more anxious I’ll be. The more anxious I am, the less effective and efficient I am, and if it all goes too far, I’ll be in tears. God, I hate Christmas shopping.

I hope you had a good and productive week, if you didn’t I hope you have no regrets. I hope you’ll drop a note in the comments and let me know what you’ve been up to. I do love hearing from you.

Until next time.

P.S. Excuse the time discrepancy between the time of day I described and the time of day you may have read this. I wrote it early in the morning shortly after waking, but I failed to hit publish before I left, and so, didn’t post it until late in the evening.

***

Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee. Thanks again!

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli

Featured photo by Mikesh Kaos on Unsplash