If We Were Having Coffee // Happy Easter to You, If That’s Your Thing

“You’re invited to join me for a cup of coffee that I’ll be having whether you join me or not.”

— Mutiny Information Cafe

Hello, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by this Easter Sunday. I don’t actually celebrate the holiday, I’m an atheist with no children, so there isn’t much in it for me, but I hope those of you who do are having a wonderful celebration. I hope there are brightly colored eggs, delicious chocolates, good food, and lots of laughter. I hope this morning’s church services fills you with a sense of peace and belonging and hope.

As for me, I’m doing my usual Sunday thing. I was up early, but I fell back asleep and woke up later than I wanted to. Now I’m scrambling to catch up. I’m cleaning and writing, both at the same time and neither effectively. One of these days I will learn.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was a good one. In case you didn’t know, it was my birthday week! People who know me know that my birthday is super important to me and I spend the majority of the month of April celebrating it.

I believe that everyone deserves to be a little self-absorbed around their birthday. I mean, for one, it took the universe a long time and a lot of work to get to you, and also, it took you a lot of time and work to get to where you are, all of that should be acknowledged with lots of good food, drink, and laughter!

I spent my week at dinner with family (it was also my mother’s birthday week), at the movies with my lovely lady seeing one of my old favorites, Starship Troopers, and out for an oyster brunch with my lady too. Today I will be out to dinner again, this time with the in-laws and later in the month, there will be a series of nights out with different groups of friends. There were some gifts, nothing big, but all very lovely but my favorite thing by far is the birthday card my girlfriend DIY-ed for me:

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this past week was a crazy one, politically. Our newest president has my anxiety running high nearly nonstop to the point where i have to check out, from the news, from social media, from friends and family who want to talk about it.

I used to enjoy following and discussing politics but lately, all I can feel is either a vague but deep fear or a burning embarrassment.

Life in this country feels a lot less certain than it did just a few short months ago and the world as a whole feels on the verge of something big and bad. Tensions are high everywhere and as much as I want to get involved and fight back a big part of me wants to cling to the things that feel safe, the things that feel like home, for as long as I can.

Every week I tell myself that I will do more, say more, and find the courage to resist but every week I look out into the world and feel afraid again. Not this week either it seems….maybe next.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that while my body still isn’t feeling much better yet, my mood has improved dramatically. Part of it was all the well wishes, gifts, and spoiling I got, and part of it is the ever improving weather are having as we move further and further from winter, but mostly it’s because summer is right around the corner and with it comes an easier work schedule and a lot less stress.

Summertime is on the way and, since I work for a school district, that means summer break. I still work, but I have much more control over my schedule. I will be cleaning, filing, doing testing and training, and helping make sure that all of our school buses and all of our equipment is ready to go for the next year.

During that time I can choose to work only as many hours as I need to and spend the rest of my time working on some projects and reevaluating what it is I am doing here and with my writing in general. I have more concrete plans for a zine; I want to work on some real poetry and get back to creating some art, and I want to do as much of it outside, in the sunshine and fresh air, as I can.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, slowly, a new routine and a new normal is beginning to sink in as I learn what it really means to live with a chronic illness. I feel more at ease, more accepting, and less tense or angry.

I am learning to let go of some things, like being able to sleep in. I have to be up by 6 every morning to eat and take my medication. I’m working on letting go of being able to eat whatever I want to eat. This week I discovered that anything with nuts or seeds is out, and I may have to cut out beef entirely, which is probably a good thing. I am letting go of wishing to have the energy I used to have and working on making the most of what I do. Naps are back in around here but in moderation!

I don’t want to be fighting myself every day. I don’t want to be disappointed in myself every day. I don’t want to give up. I want to adjust.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the time has passed too quickly, as it tends to do when you are having fun, or coffee, or good conversation. There is a lot for me to do before I head to dinner tonight. The house is in desperate need of mopping, dusting, and vacuuming and the dishes and laundry are piled high.

I hope your week was a good one and that your weekend was relaxing and warm. If you have a minute drop a note in the comments and let me know how you are. I worry about you, you know?

Until next time :)

New shirt to match my new mood :)

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

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When the Universe Celebrates Itself

One this day, an eye blink ago, relatively,
this tiny corner of the cosmos was born.
Today, all that exists whispers, “Happy Birthday to me.”

***

If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? It is my birthday after all :)

Written (a week late) in response to the Ink in Thirds Three Line Thursday prompt: Celebrate

If We Were Having Coffee // It’s My Birthday Month, and I’m Starting Again

“Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.”

— David Lynch

Hello, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. I probably shouldn’t be having coffee, the caffeine and the acid are probably the last things my stomach needs, but I’m at home today, and coffee means a lot to me, so I will drink and deal with the consequences later. I know it will be worth every sip.

I know I haven’t  been around much lately, and we will get to why in a bit, but before we do I wanted to warn you that today’s post might contain some TMI subjects and descriptions and a bit of bad language. If you don’t want to hear that kind of thing maybe skip ahead a bit or skip away, I won’t mind I promise.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week was fucking awful.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I know you, and everyone else, me included are probably tired of hearing me talk about my health and my medication and my anxiety and my hope that any day now I will start to feel better. You are probably tired of hearing week after week that I am still sick, but here I am telling you once again that I am still sick. Not just still, I’m actually worse and getting more and more worried as each day goes by.

Since my ulcerative colitis diagnosis, my whole life feels upended. All I can think about now is my stomach, and bathrooms, and what foods I can and can’t eat, and whether or not I can work today, and when my next doctors appointment is, and if this new pain is due to the disease or my medication, and what medication I am on and what medication will come next if this one doesn’t work, and whether or not I should call my doctor, and whether or not this is serious, and if I’m sleeping enough or too much, and oh god I have to go to the bathroom, again, again, again, again…..This is my life now, and there has been no room for writing anymore.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I feel overwhelmed by all the things I haven’t been able to do or finish because of all of this. I haven’t written a new post here in days, and the comments are piling up. I failed the Blogging A to Z Challenge before I was able to really get going. I’ve missed submission deadlines, and I haven’t sent a newsletter in weeks. I’m so far behind I don’t know where to even begin to catch up, but I want to.

I want to find a way back to doing all the things that made me feel good. I want to find a way to get back to telling my story and spreading my message. I want to finish what I started, so I am starting again.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I think my first two Blogging A to Z posts turned out pretty good, and even though I couldn’t keep going I haven’t gotten over my need to talk about all the bad things in the world. So, I am picking up the project again and combining it with another project I can never seem to get my shit together enough to finish. I am going to make a zine/chapbook from the posts!

I have no idea when the thing will be done, now that I have given myself permission to work outside of the April deadline but I’d like to have a draft done by the middle of may. This will be my first physical thing I am making so please be patient, but I am promising that this thing will be a thing and I will keep you posted if you promise to keep me accountable.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that my birthday is coming up this week and despite everything, I am still excited. It’s not a big birthday, I’m just turning 32, but it’s my day and I take it very seriously. I like to think of the entire month of April as the time to celebrate me. I mean, your birthday is not just the day to mark when you came into the world but a time to celebrate another year that you got to be on this Earth. What could be more important?

I always think about how each birthday could be my last and it feels wrong not to make each one meaningful no matter how hard aging is or how depressing or bad the year has been. When you consider that there are so many people who won’t be getting a birthday this year your perspective changes. You realize that each one is a gift and worthy of celebration.

This year, like every year, I’ll be making time for dinners and drinks with family and friends and a bit of quiet reflection on the past year and planning for the next. I don’t ask for or expect gifts, I just want to see all the people who make my life meaningful but I know my girlfriend got me something good, she always buys the best gifts, and I’m anxious to find out what it is.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have come to the end of my cup of coffee and, sadly, the caffeine has done nothing for my energy levels. I need a nap. Thank you for chatting with me, it’s been good for me to get up and get typing again. I hope to keep the momentum going.

I hope you had a good week, and that your weekend was a relaxing one. If you have a minute drop by the comments and let me know how you have been and what you have been up to.

Until next time :)

An early birthday present to myself, from myself 😊 #sagavol7

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

I Woke Up This Morning and I Was 30 Years Old!

I feel fine, really. I mean, I knew this was going to happen, I had plenty of warning. I’m not sad at all and I don’t think my life is over.  In fact I feel quite the opposite. I feel like I can now become the person I have wanted to be all along. At worst I feel nervous and anxious because more than anything I want to do things right in my 30s. I want to start making strides into the future I have been dreaming of my whole life.

I’m not sad to leave my 20s, those years kinda sucked. In their defence it was all the fault of my teen years, which were disastrous. Those years are fully behind me now and I have dealt with and suffered any and all consequences. This last year of my 20s was the best one yet and gives me hope that moving forward things can only get better. I have hope that I can finally move on and do everything I should have done in my 20s, in my 30s. I am honestly excited!

I have this feeling that there are great things waiting for me right around the corner. I think all I have to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other until I get there. I never felt like that in my 20s. In my 20s I felt lost. I had no idea which way to go and I was afraid of heading the wrong way so I froze, I stood absolutely still. I don’t feel like I improved much but one thing I did accomplish was figuring out which way to go. Once I did that I also gained a sense of urgency.

I feel more mature and sure of myself now. In my 20s I was basically a teenager with the full rights and responsibilities of an adult. I made a lot of bad decisions simply because I didn’t know any better or because I was scared. I paid my bills late, I got fired from jobs, I treated my significant other badly, I ate terrible foods and drank and drugged, and, worst of all, I didn’t love myself. Now I know better, now I know what is right and wrong, and now I know how to be brave enough to do the tough things.

I have learned to make the right kind of friends. In my 20s I was a social butterfly. I talked to anyone and everyone and they were all my friends. I got hurt many times thinking that someone cared about me or could be trusted. I learned the hard way that not everyone can be your friend. Hell, I had to learn what the word friend even meant! Now I know they are people who have proven they are there for you. They are people who have your best interests at heart. They are people who really do love you and accept you for exactly who you are.

I feel more in love than ever with my girlfriend. I have always loved her but in my 20s I didn’t know how a relationship was supposed to be. I didn’t know how to express my love in the right ways. I didn’t know how to balance me, and us, and her and I didn’t know how to talk about the problems. We got lucky, we both gave the other a second chance to make things right and we have learned how to love each other the right way. I look forward to the rest of my life with the best girlfriend anyone could ask for.

There’s more but the bottom line is everything is looking up and I am happy to move into a new age in my life. I feel like I have shed my old skin and slithered into something new and wonderful, something more fitting and comfortable. I feel like I have all the energy and drive I did before but I have a better brain to match.

For me, turning 30 isn’t the end of the world, turning 30 is the beginning of something great. I feel nothing but hope and positivity at the chance to move forward.

If We Were Having Coffee – Spring Break!

If we were having coffee I would ask you if noticed anything different about me. I would stand in front of you and wait to see if you could tell that….I have finally gotten new glasses! I am so excited, it’s been over two years since my last exam and my old pair had been through so much, including what I call the “hot tub incident” which left several deep scratches.

But now I have a new pair which are bigger and have much better, much more resilient lenses. Hopefully this time I can keep them in good condition but I also hope not to have to wait another 2 years before I can get another eye exam too.

If we were having coffee would tell you that last week was a really hard one. I started waking up at 3:30 AM for work and at first it wasn’t so bad but by the end of the week it had kicked my ass. Add to that the fact that I had gotten a bit overworked from my bosses. My team hasn’t been very accountable so I have taken on more work than usual and I wasn’t happy about it.

So when we had our meeting this week and I kinda let loose about how I have been feeling and everyone was a bit shocked, my boss included. I hope things will change for the better now.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that luckily, this week is spring break and since I work for a school district I am technically off until April 6th. But because I work for a school district there is always so much to do and everything is always changing so I will probably work at least 3 or 4 days out of the week.

I do plan to take it easy and focus as much of my time as I can on getting my A to Z Challenge posts written and edited for as many days in April as possible. I also forgot that I had joined The Great Villain Blogathon and had signed up to do two posts so I have to work on that too. I am still keeping my own posting schedule of at least 5 or 6 posts a week too. So in April you will see about twice the usual posts from me, I apologize in advance.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that my birthday is fast approaching (another thing to worry about in April) and I have no idea how to celebrate it. I am turning 30 and I figure I should do something kinda big right? Or maybe I should celebrate it low-key? I have no idea what to do nd I only have a few weeks to get it together and let my friends know!

I am trying not to panic….

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had better get going, today is cleaning day here at the homestead and there is a lot to do. Because I work such long hours there isn’t much time between work and the need for sleep to keep this place clean and clutter free. The weekends are for cleaning and this weekend there is more than usual….bleck!

Thank you for stopping by, the coffee was wonderful. I hope that you enjoy the rest of your day, remember that Monday is just hours away so take in every bit of what’s left of the weekend that you can.

Original image via https://flic.kr/p/5tJSAJ

If We Were Having Coffee – Forgivness, the Cats and the Snakes, and a Big Birthday Countdown

If we were having coffee I would order something iced and insist we drink it outside since the weather is so nice. I want to enjoy it while I can because here in Colorado you never know if spring has finally come or if Mother Nature has decided she would like to play with you emotions and let you think has arrived right before dumping 6 or 9 inches of snow on you. I am a bit paranoid when it comes to the weather here but the weather woman on the news has assured me that the worst I will see is a bit of rain toward the end of the week.

If we were having coffee I would have to get right to it and tell you the good news, me and my little brother are mending our relationship. See, it’s been over a year now that we haven’t talked. Long story short, we got into a fight because my girlfriend was a bit hard on our little sister one day for missing so much school. She thought she was doing the right thing and my brother thought I should have defended our sister. So we yell at each other and said some things we shouldn’t have and because he is the most stubborn person in the world he refused to make up with me. Until yesterday.

He text me to say that while he believes he was right in his action he no longer wants to fight and the even said he loves me and misses me, something almost never said in my family. I text him back I felt the same and we talked a bit about how he is doing. apparently he plans to get his high school diploma and join the military. After that he wants to become a police officer. I am worried for him but I’m happy he has a plan and is working toward doing something fulfilling. I am proud of him.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that we have decide not to give up our cats yet. In case you didn’t know, we have three cats, Sophia, Calvin, and Quinn. Sophia is the older cat, we’ve had her for over 10 years. Last summer my aunt’s cat had a litter and I thought we ought to take one. Then I thought maybe we ought to take two so they could play together and not bother Sophia so much. Oh how wrong I was. These two cats have wrecked so much havoc in this house!

A few weeks ago we’d had enough of them tearing up everything and tormenting Sophia and we decided to surrender them to a shelter. But when it came time to take them we felt bad. They are young and we know they will calm down, plus we hadn’t really tried all that hard to cat proof the place and work on teaching them what was okay and what wasn’t. They are our responsibility and we have to try. I would hate for them to get put down at a shelter just because I couldn’t try a little harder. Plus, we do kinda love them. So they are here to stay for at least a few more months, then we will think about it again.

Having lost our dogs over the past few years we just can’t bring ourselves to give these cats up.

If we were having coffee I would also tell you that the weather getting nicer means my new snake will be on her way soon. This weekend I started getting things set up for her and I have all the important stuff ready and next weekend I will work on the decoration. I got new shelving to house both the new snake and the one I already have. I have her enclosure and the heating pad, thermometer, and thermostat going. I have to make sure I can achieve temperatures between 75 and 83 degrees, and 90% humidity levels. I know, weird hobbies.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that it is less than a month now before my birthday (April 13th), on which I will leave my twenties behind and become a real adult. Yes, I will be turning 30 and while part of me insists it is not a big deal and life will carry on the same as it has been I can’t help but feel a little sad. I feel like my youth will be firmly behind me and I mourn the loss of it. At the same time though I look forward to the confidence that will come with age and wisdom. I already feel like I know myself better and am less willing to compromise who I am. I feel a bit more sure about the future then I did before and I think age has a lot to do with it.

But more immediately, I am also trying to figure out how to celebrate turning 30 and leaving my youth behind. Usually my birthday gets celebrated in stages. I go out with friends, I got out with one part of my family, and then the other, I go out with in-laws, then I go out with my lady. That’s a lot of birthday but it maximizes the amount of free dinners I get and none of the family has to feel awkward with any other family they don’t want to be with. I don’t know if I should try to do something different and get everyone together for a big party, or if I should keep it low-key and celebrate the same as I always do. This is very important because I don’t want to regret whatever I chose to do later in life.

If we were having coffee I would say thank you for stopping by and listening to me vent. I look forward to it every week. I have to go now but I hope your week was nice and I wish you luck in the one coming up. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, Monday will be here very soon.

Original image via https://flic.kr/p/a1e9m6

For The Little Sister I Look Up To

One of my goals this year was to try to appreciate my loved ones a little more. One of the ways I want to do that is to write about each member of my family on their birthday. I want to take the time to really think about the relationships I have with them and what they mean to me. I want to highlight the ways they make my life better and the reasons why I love them so much.

The first birthday of the year belongs to my little sister Tonya. Out of a total of five siblings, three sisters and two brothers, I am the oldest, and Tonya is second in line. She’s four years younger than me so growing up there were times where we had a lot in common and times when the four years difference made us strangers to each other. I have always felt especially close to her though, ever since my father left when I was little and I had to help my mom take care of the kids.

I love all my siblings equally but she is the one who experienced the same childhood as me. I took care of her daily while my mom worked. I kept her safe and cooked her dinner. We fought sometimes but we were always in it together. Part of why I feel so close to her is because I think of her as a witness to the hardships I went through. I think of her as proof that what happened was real. And because we have been through a lot together she probably knows me better anyone besides my girlfriend. Not that I easily let myself be known by anyone in my family.

In my family, by quiet agreement, we tend to only show each other a small part of who we are. We are reluctant to share much for fear of looking stupid or being made fun of. Or maybe it’s only me that feels that way because Tonya shares a lot of what she feels and does. I am always very interested in her life. In fact, I live vicariously through her in many ways. From what I’ve seen of her she is smart, strong, and very determined. She wants to be a good mother and have a business doing what she loves. I respect that and support every decision she has made.

I mean, she was the first one in the family to go to college and has recently started up her own blog and opened a store on Etsy. She has a good head on her shoulders and I admit, for most of our lives she was way ahead of me. More mature and had a better handle on her life and the direction she wanted to go in.

As much as I admire her I do worry I don’t know her very well, or that I don’t take enough time to be a good sister to her. Our relationship is a bit different from other sisters. We aren’t the type to call each other a whole lot, or even sit up all night together venting about our lives. But we also don’t have any drama between us. I hear other people complain about their sisters, saying they are “bitches” or judging their life choices. Me and Tonya would never think that way about each other. There is just no reason for us to fight, we accept each other for who we are.

I have always felt like we had a quiet connection. We both know the other will always be there, so we can relax and see each other or talk whenever. When I need her she is there. We work together to keep an eye on our mother. We joke together about our mother too. We talk about our feelings about our father, his absence in our childhood and his efforts to build a relationship with us now. We get together every week to visit and chit-chat and update each other on our lives.

She is the mother of my two favorite kids in the whole world, My six-year-old nephew, Jordan, and my one-year-old niece Morgan. They are beautiful kids, smart and funny, and she is a wonderful mother. I have enjoyed watching them grow and hearing her talk about the joys and misery of pregnancy and motherhood.

I imagine that I feel for her the way twins must feel about each other. She is a comfort to me and if anything ever happened to her I’d be devastated. I feel like there isn’t much I can offer her in return as a sister. She has made a good life for herself and I am here should she ever need me. I wish I had been a better sister when we were kids but I hope she knows I did my best. For now I just try to know her and be a good aunt to her kids.

And for today, on her 26th birthday, I wish her all the best. I wish her all the happiness and I hope she gets everything she wants. I hope her kids continue to be happy and healthy, I hope her family stays happy and strong they way they are now. And I hope she knows I love her and I couldn’t have asked for a better sister to share my childhood with.

You can follow my little sis on her mommy blog, LoveMoandJo, and please, check out her Etsy store too! There’s not much up yet but she’ll be adding more soon!