Seven November Shifts

    1. Pick a topic you want to understand and start studying it. Give yourself a semester of Spanish or biology, sociology, geometry, or American history perhaps?
    2. Start without forethought, without know-how or talent. Start with bad ideas. Start begrudgingly and without confidence. Just start.
    3. Arrive early so that you have time to look around.
    4. Ask yourself what you are not doing, and then do more.
    5. Give yourself space to be more than one thing, and give each thing that you are its own space to grow.
    6. Turn notifications off. Better yet, silence your phone entirely and put it in another room. You do not always have to be reachable.
    7. Take care of people and things that need taking care of, but remember that some things—and people—can, should, and will take care of themselves if you would only let them.

***

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 virtual cup of coffee.

Post inspired by Nicholas Bate

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Currently // October 2018: A Whole Month of Halloween

And just like that, October is over, but at least it goes out with a bang! At least we get to end by dressing up, gorging on all our favorite candies, and indulging in the sick pleasure of scary movies and ghost stories. If you were lucky, like me, you got to spend the whole month celebrating Halloween. I went to a haunted house, Beetlejuice movie party, and a costume party. I watch some of my favorite scary movies and binge-watched some new creepy shows too. October is by far the flashiest and the most fun of all the months if you make the most of it. I really hope you did.

Productivity-wise, my priorities shifted this month. I had to spend more time on my day job than on my hobbies and passions but somehow I’m not feeling disappointed in the fact. I may not have been productive on the writing front, but a lot of the time I was physically at work, I was mentally brainstorming new possibilities and I am excited to make November the start of big changes.

But first, here is what I am currently:

Writing blog posts, believe it or not. I really wish you guys could see my drafts folder, ugh! It’s full of thought fragments and half-finished pieces. I don’t know what’s wrong with me or why I can’t seem to finish anything I start. I haven’t lost my enthusiasm, I’ve just lost focus. Or, maybe, I’m in search of a focus I never had? This blog, I think, has become too personal and the things I have been posting are no longer what I wish I was posting. I have a solution in mind but it’s not easy to execute. I’m separating myself from my message and writing for one or the other in turn, not both in the same at once.

Making ugly analog collages that I’m too insecure to share. I promise they aren’t all that interesting but I hope with practice they will become good enough to show off. In the meantime, I’m making a new pocket notebook to carry around and staring at my art journal wishing I could think of some art to make in it.

Planning for the new year. I know, I know, it’s entirely too early to even mention the new year. We’ve barely gotten through Halloween, but every year, with all the hustle and bustle, the cooking and shopping, the stress and depression, the end of the year kind of sneaks up on us. I don’t want to be caught so unaware this time. I want to have solid celebratory plans, an editorial calendar that carries me through to Spring, and a plan that sets me up for New Year’s resolution success!

Anticipating upcoming election results across the country! Of course, I am hoping to see the Dems get back some control of either the Senate or the House—preferably both— but I’m also anxiously awaiting the results of some very interesting ballot issues here at home. One, in particular, is Proposition 112, a statewide citizen-initiative to push all new oil and gas development (not on federal land) at least 2,500 feet back from occupied and vulnerable areas. Big Oil is pouring money into attack ads but I have faith in my fellow Coloradans.

Reading The Iliad, still, but making a lot of progress. More importantly, I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I’m still reading On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche too. I was enjoying it, but then I wasn’t. I’m getting back to liking it again slowly now that the end is near. I would have finished both of these by now but I haven’t been spending as much time reading as I know I should. The problem is my phone. So, I’m working on a set of new habits to keep me from picking the damn thing up and to make it easier for me to put it back down when I do.

Watching The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. I actually finished it already. It was so good I binge watched all 10 episodes in one night—from 5 PM to 3 AM the next day. I don’t recommend you do that, but I do think you should definitely check out the show. It’s creepy, of course, but there is also plenty of real-life family drama too. I’m also watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, also on Netflix, and it’s definitely a lot creepier than I thought it would be. Both are 100% worth your time!

Feeling a little withdrawn, but not necessarily down. I’m consumed with finding a path for my writing and that’s made me a bit closed off and distant. It’s gotta be this new space I’m slowly carving out. I had been feeling stuck in a rut for a long while now. I’ve been feeling incapable, ordinary, and unimaginative. I’d even been considering giving up since it seemed clear I had no talent, but this new idea is freeing. I feel full of possibility and this place feels like a place of purpose again.

Fearing that I’m not taking care of my day-to-day responsibilities as well as I should. My anxiety is bad and while my health has been much better, fatigue is still kicking my ass and causing forgetfulness at times. Just getting up, working, getting down and few words, and cleaning up around the house is all I can seem to do with my days. Anything more wipes me out. I’m afraid to be a burden to my fiance. I’m afraid to be resented one day.

Reflecting on how I’ve gotten too comfortable with my life. I grew up in a household where nothing ever felt secure or certain and as an adult, I’ve—without realizing it or wanting to admit it—built a life where there is as much security, certainty, and predictability as possible. I’ve worked the same job, with the same scheduled, lived in the same house, and done the same things day after day. I’m starting to see just how small of a box I’ve put myself in and wondering if my comfort zone no longer serves its purpose.

Needing more time. I know we all could use a few more hours a day, and I know that no matter how much anyone ever wished, the length of days will never change. I need to reclaim, redistribute, and repurpose the time I have. I mentioned the issue with my phone. I’ve deleted the Facebook app and all games, I’ve started plugging it in across the room and limiting notifications, but my phone isn’t the only problem. My couch is a big one too. After work and all weekend long I lounge around watching shows and movies, or simply sleeping. All that time, lost, sometimes wasted, but no more.

Learning not a lot right now I’m ashamed to say. I’ve not kept up with math lessons on Khan Academy or my Spanish or German lessons on Duolingo. I would like to pick them back up and add this writing course from the renowned Roxane Gay on Skillshare. If I can get back the focus I had just a year ago and start gaining some momentum, some recognition, and a few paid opportunities I’d love to try one of these writing classes from Catapult as well. A good challenge can be a great motivator and I could really use some day-to-day motivation right now.

Loving my amazing friends, who always let me know that it’s okay to be me and that there is plenty of patience and forgiveness for the days when I am not my best self. When I am grouchy, awkward, irritating, angry, or forgetful. People need that. People need to know that their mistakes don’t mean the end of relationships and friendships. You need to know you are loved and liked even when you say the wrong thing, let someone down, or just need time to learn to do better. I’m happy I have that.

Hating the ugliness coming out of the White House right now. The twisting of facts, the outright lies, the dog whistles and the obvious attempts to rile up some of the most dangerous groups in this country. I hate that I feel so unsafe and that I worry so much about not just my rights and safety, but the rights and safety of others too. I hate that I feel so small and powerless. I hate the damage being done to us and how low the price of our collective souls has sunk.

Hoping that liberal voters come through this year and get out there and vote. It doesn’t take much time and your vote could mean a better, safer life for a lot of people if we can bring this administration under control. The recent attacks on the LGBTQ community and immigrants should motivate us all, not to mention the attempted assassinations of high-level Democrats and supporters the Pittsburg Synagogue shooting. I’m hoping for a blue wave and a great sigh of relief come next Tuesday.

So, yeah, all in all, October was great fun, and I am sad to see it go. The winter holidays sound nice in theory but it can be the most stressful time of the year. So, today, for just one more day, I’m going to be a little weird and wild. I’m going to eat all the candy I want, dress up a little, and take time to scare myself some.

Tomorrow the holiday music begins.

But what about you? How did you celebrate the month of Halloween? What is your favorite horror film? (I’m always looking for recommendations.) Have you voted already? Or at least plan to vote on Tuesday? Are you dragging a friend or three down to the polls with you?

Let me know in the comments!

“We were letting go of October, relinquishing color,
readying ourselves for streets lacquered with ice,
the town closed like a walnut, locked inside the cold.”

— Mark Perlberg, The Impossible Toystore

***

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 virtual cup of coffee.

The inspiration for these posts comes from Andrea at Create.Share.Love.

Photo by Altınay Dinç on Unsplash

Seven October Shifts

  1. Seek boredom. Create space and time for having nothing at all to do, to watch, to listen to. Go someplace where there is no one to talk to. Make time for you and raw reality to become acquainted again.
  2. Accept the impermanence of things. Autumn is a time of uncomfortable, undesirable, uncontrollable change. It’s best to change with it because it’s a fight you’re only going to lose.
  3. Get tough and resilient again. No more complaining. No more stalling. You are tough enough, brave enough, and as capable and deserving as anyone else. Dust yourself off, accept the current state of things, and figure it out.
  4. Pay attention to your attention. There is a war going on for your time and you haven’t shown up to fight for yourself. Reclaimed your time for you. Work with mindfulness and intentionality.
  5. Trade one episode (or one hour of TV) a night for 500 written words. Trade your nap time for 30 minutes of reading.
  6. Learn to practice. Every passion is a marathon and the only way to win is to train every day. Practice with an understanding of your own ignorance. Practice with forgiveness of your inadequacy.
  7. Embrace what makes you wild. Pursue it.

***

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 virtual cup of coffee.

Post inspired by Nicholas Bate

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Currently // September 2018: Summer is Over and I am Too Late

Summer is over, long over, but I am having a hard time accepting it. These warm afternoons lull me back into a false hope that there is still time yet to make the most of summer but in the evening the golden leaves dotting the trees wink at me mockingly as the cool air creeps in and I am reminded that I am too late. Everything is changing now, the leaves, the air, even my mood and there is no way to stop or slow it. Summer is over and I have to move on now too.

So, I’m trying to find the beauty of Autumn and figuring out what the season can mean to me if I’d let it. I’m preparing for the clouds and the cold, the blowing snow and the sadness they bring. I’m trying, as I do every year, to figure out how I’m going to get through it.

But first, here is what I am currently:

Writing that unknown thing I talked about last month. To be honest I haven’t actually written it any of it anywhere that it can be read. It’s still all in my head but I am working on it and it is becoming clearer every day. Its slowly taking form as a sort of “genetic profile” of trauma. It’s an exploration of the toll that generations of oppression, discrimination, misogyny, abuse, and poverty have had on one life, my life.

Making no progress at all toward creating any art at all. I had pledged to start utilizing my DIY art journal but I let myself down once again. It sits unused and unloved on the “analog desk” of my “creativity room” where I no longer go because I no longer want to face such failure. I hope I can find some inspiration and some courage in October.

Planning for, or rather, preparing for, winter. I don’t far well emotionally over the colder months. Winter is a time of hibernation, and sometimes, death. It depresses me, but this year I want things to be different. I want this winter to be a time to learn to be resilient again. That is what I am preparing for. This year, I will learn to be more accepting of change that makes me uncomfortable. I will learn to face cold, and dark, and dreary with more optimism. Sunshine or snow, there is still beauty in the world. Sunshine or snow, I still have a life.

Anticipating all the spooky goodness October will bring. Halloween is my favorite holiday, despite the season. Well be checking out a haunted house or two, a creepy outdoor mall crawl, and our friends are throwing a small costume party. There are quite a few of my favorite creepy films playing at the Alamo too, including an American Psycho all you can eat cereal party, a Beetlejuice movie party, and one of my girly favs, a Practical Magic movie party. The Shining will be on Netflix starting tomorrow too and I’m always looking for some classic horror recommendations to check out. If you know of any good ones drop them in the comments, please.

Reading On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche, still, but a lot of progress has been made. I’m working my way through the third essay but it is proving even harder than the first two to grasp. So hard I had to take a short break and read The Three Theban Plays by Sophocles. The plays were amazing, but I actually enjoyed the introductions and the translation notes more. So much so that I was inspired to The Iliad further up the queue right after The Collected Poems of Emily Dickenson and The Soul of an Octopus which is technically my reward for finishing with Nietzsche, eventually.

Watching The Sinner, a limited crime, drama, mystery series on Netflix about a young mother who stabs a stranger to death on the beach one day and a messed up detective who tries to help her figure why. I’m also watching The Deuce and Insecure on HBO, and Shameless on Showtime, all solid shows I recommend, but you know what I’m not watching at the moment? The news! Because lately it just leaves me…

Feeling utterly defeated and hopeless. The Supreme Court confirmation hearings and the Republican effort to rush through Brett Kavanaugh is so sickening I’ve hardly been able to turn on my TV. To be clear, I do believe Christine Ford. More importantly, though, I believe that her claims should be thoroughly investigated. I want the truth about Kavanaugh but this is a lot bigger than him. It’s about the process. It’s about stopping for a minute to be sure we are doing the right thing, the thing that won’t keep us all up at night with shame and regret.

Fearing what the doctor will have to say this week. While I was sick this month I took cold medicine that I knew was a big no-no for people with ulcerative colitis—I was desperate!—and now my stomach is all…messed up. So, this week I’m getting another colonoscopy, yay! I’m afraid of bad news, but for some weird reason, I’m more afraid of good news. I’m afraid of wasting everyone’s time. I’m afraid people will think I am faking it, or at least being overly dramatic. I’m afraid everything looks fine and we have to hunt for a new explanation for all the pain I have been in.

Reflecting on free will, inevitable human suffering, and death, as usual. Since I’ve started reading Shakespeare, literature from Ancient Greece, and all the classic novels I missed in school, I’m struck by how much of our art is about how fragile, stupid, and sad human beings are. They take all those big unknowns, the big scary things we cannot face and make them bearable to look at. I don’t for a second think I could ever count myself among them but they do make me feel less alone. They understand. They help me understand better too.

Needing my family to start feeling like my family again. We received quite a few shocks over the summer and we’ve yet to recover from the blows. Thing’s have changed that I don’t think can every be unchanged but I had hoped we could find a new way of loving each other. I had hoped for more forgiveness and understanding, but I’ve been let down. Now, I’m in need of it. Now, I’m not asking I’m demanding. Now, I am being pushed past my own limits of understanding. I need something to get better before even I am too far gone.

Learning German, maybe? I was learning some basic Spanish with Duolingo but I feel like I’ve gone as far as I want to with the app but I miss using it. So, I thought, why not try a whole new language. Well, not completely new. I did live in Germany for a short time as a child. I still remember how to count to 10 in German but I’ve forgotten everything else I learned. I thought it might be fun to see if I can get any of it back.

Loving how focused I have been on my work lately. I wish I could find the same motivation for writing but at least I am doing something, and my day job at least pays, you know? It feels good to focus on what I have to do for a while and not hate it so much. It feels good to go to work and love what I do again. It won’t last, I know, and I still want to take some of that focus and put it where I know I will be most fulfilled but for now, I love doing what I do, every day.

Hating how much time I wasted in life. I know we all have regrets. I know each and every one of us wishes they could go back in time and choose differently. We wish we knew then what we know now, that’s life, I know, but I’m having a hard time letting it go. I’ve come a long way from where I once was, but now that I want to go further I find that on paper I’m not much to look at. I wish I had more skills. I wish I had a degree or two under my belt, and a lot less fear. I hate feeling so useless, stupid, and low. I hate that my self-worth depends so much on decisions I can never go back and remake.

Hoping that we are far enough into the school year now that things will start settling down. We’ve been short-staffed for a long time now, and without enough driver, or assistants, or even enough buses but somehow we make it happen. Somehow, we get all those kids to and from school safely, every day, but working magic like that takes a toll and the morale plummets by the day. I am one of those lucky ones who counts her friends among her co-workers but it’s getting harder and harder to see them so stressed out. I hope relief is on the way soon.

So, yeah, all in all, September was a good month, just really busy. I can’t say I’m sad to see it go but at the same time it going just means we’re getting closer to the cold and to the end of the year. I’m not so happy about that but life goes on, no matter how hard we try to hold on to right now. So, what’s best is to just move right along with it. I’ll go into October as happily as I can.

But what about you? How did September treat you? How did you mark the end of summer? Are you a fan of fall? Any good horror film recommendations? Have you lost faith in democracy too?

Let me know in the comments!

“It was September. In the last days when things are getting sad for no reason.”

— Ray Bradbury, “The Lake”, The October Country

***

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 virtual cup of coffee.

The inspiration for these posts comes from Andrea at Create.Share.Love.

Photo by Jonah Pettrich on Unsplash

Seven September Shifts

  1. Read with a pencil. Circle words and passages you like, and, please, feel free to argue with the authors and articulate your own thoughts in the margins.
  2. Build strength of character. Be honest, always, and stick to your principles no matter who is in the room.
  3. Get up and move every hour, get out and walk once a day, and get away from the city once a week.
  4. Allow the good days to be good days and you will find that the bad days grow fewer and farther between.
  5. Delete what distracts you and write the thing—the blog post, the essay, the poem, the outline—anything, just write.
  6. Stick to a bedtime and a routine. Turn off screens, write in your journal, and read. Take off the day so you can rest.
  7. Stop reacting before you think. Ask yourself, what you are arguing for? Not everything you are asked to sacrifice is an injustice.

***

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 virtual cup of coffee.

Post inspired by Nicholas Bate

 

Currently // August 2018: Letting Myself Feel Better

And just that quickly, the summer (unofficially) comes to an end. The kids are back at school. The pools are closing and Halloween decorations are already up in stores. Can you believe it?

Of course, the heat will linger and it will be a while longer before we put away our shorts and swimsuits to make room for hoodies and pants but the signs are already there. The cooler nights, and here and there a tree whose leaves have become tipped with golds and reds. Autumn is on the way.

The summer is slowly fading and with it, a little part of my happiness is going too. I’ve never made it a secret how much I hate winter and autumn is nothing but a depressing descent into that cold barren void…but, not yet! For now, there is still some warmth, some green, some life in this world and in me yet.

Here is what I am currently:

Writing a thing? I mean, I’m writing something but I have no idea what it is or what it will turn out to be. I had planned on outlining a memoir for NaNoWriMo but since starting Nietzsche’s polemic On the Genealogy of Morals I’ve wondered if the genre and form might work for me too? So, I’m starting there. I’m starting with essays but I’m not limiting myself by labeling it one thing or planning on it being another. I’m just going to write this thing and see what it becomes.

Making a pledge to start filling pages in my art journal! I made the thing I don’t know how long ago—months maybe?—but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to soil the beautiful pages with my shitty scribbles. What a waste of hard work and creative space though, right? So, in September I am making a promise not to make any more excuses. I’m going to ruin the hell out of that journal no matter what.

Planning a new editorial calendar system. I’ve been slacking here for a long time now. I know it and you know it. I won’t get into the “I’m sorry’s” or the excuses, you’ve heard them already. I’ll just say that I’m going to try harder because I want to, not because I feel like I have to. Feeling obligated only makes it harder. This place is for me first, and I have missed it because it’s the first place, and often the only place where I feel like I am who I have been trying to be. So, I’m going finish these half drafts and then start fresh with a new schedule and focus.

Anticipating doing more of what I’ve been doing, working. I enjoyed the freedom of July, but I may have had too much of it. It’s amazing how motivating a big or restriction and responsibility can be. Its only been three weeks, but it’s been great for my focus and I’m very much looking forward to more early mornings, cups of coffee, stressful days and easy days too. I’m looking forward to Monday through Friday, regular paychecks, and stressing about real things again. I’m looking forward to nothing changing at all, at least for one more month.

Reading The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche, still. It’s not that I’m struggling, it’s just that I’ve gotten so far off track from my reading goals that I kinda gave up for a while. Now I’m trying again and this time instead of focusing on how many books I want to read for the whole year I’ve decided to just focus on reading for at least 30 minutes a day, every day. I can read as slowly as I want. I take as many notes as I want. I can go back and reread chapters. I can spend as much time as I want in the introductions, the preface, and the prologue. I can enjoy the book my way as long as I do it for 30 minutes a day.

Watching Insecure and Random Acts of Flyness on HBO. I just finished up Sharp Objects too and it was by far the most riveting show I’ve watched in a long time. I’m also watching Castle Rock, the new horror series from Stephen King on Hulu and binging old episode of ER and Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown on Netflix, and Avatar: The Last Airbender on Nickelodeon every Saturday morning.

As for the big screen, Blackkklansman was really good. The whole theater was in tears by the end and I’m still reflecting on the nuanced message I believe Spike Lee was trying to express. I finally got around to seeing Avengers: Infinity War and I’m glad I waited because after that shocking end now I cannot wait for the next one!

Feeling better! I mean, I’m still tired all the time and my joints hurt. I’m moody and I’ve been getting these awful headaches. The medicine may or may not be working and I’m anxiously awaiting results on a slew of lab tests, but I do feel better and I’m doing my best to let myself feel better when I feel better without worrying when about how I will feel tomorrow, next week, six months or five years from now.

Fearing my future self. I’m afraid she will just be me, no different at all. Not better, not stronger, smarter, or kinder. I’m afraid of not changing, of not being able to change. I’m afraid that for as long as I live I’ll never get it quite right, never heal these wounds or grow thicker skin. I’m afraid that I will always be this sensitive and needing thing, trembling, mouth open and wailing.

Reflecting on the concepts I linger with and the ways they fade in and out of my life. I started following the poet Topaz Winters on Instagram and one of the first posts was a list she’d made of “concepts of she’d been lingering with lately“. Other poets quickly picked up the idea and made lists of their own and I was deeply inspired. I’ve made a few lists of my own so far, but I’m too shy to share. I’d like make these lists a regular exercise in examining what ideas, emotions, tastes, smells, actions, dreams, objects, people, and words are lingering in my mind. I want to watch the way these concepts change, fade, return, combine, and figure out what they might mean, or what I might make out of them.

Needing for one of these big life goals I’ve been striving for since forever to finally move from the “In Progress” column to the “Achieved” column. It feels like everything in my life, all my goals and every milestone I’ve tried to meet, has been all process and no matter how hard I try I never seem to get reach the end, the result, the completion on “the thing”. I know the journey is supposed to be just as fulfilling as the destination and all, but I feel myself burning out. I need a good stopping point. I need a sense of accomplishment! But, maybe that’s just life. Maybe it’s me and my very human inability to never be satisfied. More likely, I’m not planning enough or following through. Or maybe I just need new life goals?

Learning how to manage my time better! These past few weeks I’ve worked out a compromise between the work I have to do and the work I want to do so that neither is taking up all of my energy and neither is subject to something so unpredictable and out of control as emotion or impulse. Of course, I know this system I’ve put together won’t work forever. My workload will change, my work location will change, the weather will change, my health, my mood, my goals will change and the way I do things will have to change too. So, what I’m really learning is how to balance.

Loving that this August marked the 16th year since my fiance and I officially became a couple. It’s strange to have spent so much of my life with someone else. It’s strange to have spent so much of my life loving, supporting, encouraging, depending on and sometimes fighting with another person all while slowly but surely building a life and making a home. It’s strange to be both a whole being and half of one too. I’m loving it, all the good and all the bad. I’m loving every moment of it.

Hating the return of negativity to my life. Working for the school district, and working through the summer means I got two blissful months of peace While most of the staff was off. Now that everyone is back and properly stressed out moral has taken a nose dive right off of a cliff. I’m doing my best to avoid the gossip and the negativity, but some days I’m dragged down into the thick of it with everyone else and it takes everything in me to claw my way back out.

Hoping my family can get back to feeling like a family again. We’ve been going through some hard times lately, nothing too bad, and nothing I don’t think we could get past, but my family has a talent for taking a small slight and turning it into a grave injustice. We have a talent for hurting one another, for holding a grudge, and for being too proud and too cowardly to simply say we’re sorry. We’ve grown up, and grown closer, we forget there is still so much growing left to do.

So, yeah, all in all, August was a good month. I worked a lot, but it felt good, and I managed to get back to doing the things I love in a way that makes me feel good about who I am and where I am headed. I’m doing good and that all that matters.

But what about you? Are you tired of the heat yet? Does seeing the leaves change and feeling that chill n the air just fill you with gloom? See any good movies, binge-watching any good shows? I’m always looking for recommendations.

Let me know in the comments!

“We are now in August.
The first day of fall is September 22.
You can hear it in the distance.”

Michael Wade

***

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 virtual cup of coffee.

The inspiration for these posts comes from Andrea at Create.Share.Love.

Photo by Agung Pratamah on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // People Exhaust Me

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday, welcome, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. I apologize for the lateness of today’s post, and for the absence of last week’s.

My sister and her kids were in town and I didn’t want to do anything but spend time with them. And then, when it came for them to leave, I was too sad to write. I didn’t know how to get back into it and I didn’t know what to say when I tried. Slowly but surely I’m returning to the version of myself I am without them here and finding the will to write again, starting today.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup, we have a fresh batch of blond roast cold brew, or, as I recently saw it referred to, “anxiety gasoline“. Let’s talk about last week!

“I never laugh until I’ve had my coffee.”

— Clark Gable

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that the world has been overwhelming lately. I have been cowering inside my little bubble more and more and this week managed to reach levels of introversion that I have never experienced before.

Around midweek the old “nausea and the urge to run away just before I turned into my workplace parking lot” feeling returned and by Friday, I was struggling to leave the car and walk in. I remember at one point turning to my girlfriend, sighing, and saying to her, “People exhaust me, even the people I like, they just wear me out” before shutting the car door and walking in.

My headphones have been a life saver, allowing me to pop in and out of the world as I want to or am able. The pets have helped too.

The cat comes and goes from around me as she wants, and the dog is available to bring me out of myself, making me feel loved and appreciated in a way that humans can’t. Of course, my main source of support is my fiance, but this time of year is her most stressful and she needs more from me than she can give back, and that’s okay. My problems aren’t always the most pressing and I, like almost everyone, need to be reminded every once in a while to pull my head out of my own ass, put my own sufferings aside, and be a source of support and empathy rather than continually seeking it.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that not all is so bleak as it sounds. Work has been a bit tense sure, but my team and I are killing it! We’ve tackled every task thrown our way with no complaints or drama between us. See, my main job is riding on school buses with special needs kids, keeping the kids happy and safe, but that is only part of what I do. The other part is teaching new employees how to do it too and keeping our existing staff trained and knowledgeable.

This time of year is very busy for us too. We want to make sure everyone has the knowledge they need to start the school year on the right foot and we have new people starting too. We also have to get ready for our own routes and get used to coming in early and going home much later again. Still, my team and I, we’re doing our best to be our best and we can only get it done by showing up, with positivity and determination. I’m grateful for at least that.

Even if I can’t always love what I do, I can show up and find, even on the worst days, an encouraging environment and the motivation to do my job well.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that, as far as writing goes, things went as they usually do. I wrote plenty and posted almost nothing, and as usual, I hope things go a little bit better in the coming week.

I want to get back to posting my “journal” posts and finish up a couple of found poems I started the week before last. The trick will be finding the energy to work in the evening. I will be too busy during my usual “writing hours”, 9:30 to 11:00 AM or so. I don’t expect to produce very much but anything at all would be better than none and that is all I am asking of myself before Friday.

I didn’t get my newsletter out as I had hoped to but I’m hoping it will be ready next weekend. I may send it earlier if it’s done. I think opening up the schedule and allowing for dispatches whenever I can get them out might help me send them more often.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that despite all the stress and depression around me, I actually had a really good weekend. Friday night we went out to find a place where we might get a few good oysters and a nice bottle of wine. We found the place and proceeded to shack off the stress of the week and enjoy the first date night we’ve had in weeks. Afterward, we walked over to Whole Foods for a few sweetie treats and then back home to pick a romantic movie to fall asleep to.

Yesterday we checked out the Museum of Contemporary Art during their “$0.01 admission fee for local residence” event. Walking around art galleries has always been one of those activities that I want to do, but feel like I don’t know how to do right. What I mean is, I like looking at art, but I’m not very good at analyzing art. I’m better at finding the beauty, less at meaning, but for one cent! I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

I’d never been to the MCA. I’ve been to the Denver Art Museum plenty of times, but this was something very different and I quite enjoyed it. Plus I learned about new programs and found out about the “Octopus Initiative“, a chance for Denverites to borrow artwork the way you might borrow a book from the library. I signed up immediately and can’t wait to find out if I’ve been picked to take home a piece, to hang and enjoy for a while, before replacing it with another.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I spent a lot of my time bingeing the newest season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix. It was…okay. I like that the show brings to light much of the injustice found in the American judicial and prison system, but it’s hard to immerse yourself in that feeling and awareness when you have Piper, the shows main character, walking around being idiotic and completely ridiculous with little or no consequence.

I’m still watching Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown too, but I’m not rushing it. I like watching one or three episodes and then letting them sit with me for up to a week before diving in for a few more.

I also watched the first episode of the new HBO show, Random Acts of Flyness. I don’t know how to describe to you what this show is about. HBO has said it’s a “fluid, stream-of-consciousness response to the contemporary American mediascape.” It’s surreal, dark, and overwhelming which makes it hard to decide at first whether you like it or not, but eventually, you get it. Think of it as a kaleidoscope of black experience but from the inside looking out rather than the outside in. It’s a must watch for sure!

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that it’s getting on toward dinner time, which means it’s time for me to panic over everything I haven’t accomplished yet. It’s time to rush around to get the laundry done, the dishwasher loaded, and emotionally prepare for the coming work week which is somehow already impossibly packed with assignments to complete.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you were productive. I hope you found a way to stay cool and to take care of yourself. I hope you were able to relax this weekend and that your coming week will be better than the last in whatever way you need it to be.

Until next time.

***

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

Photo by Alex Loup on Unsplash