If We Were Having Coffee // It Was Fun, but It Was the Worst

Hello and happy Sunday dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. I’ve got the blinds open wide letting in all this gorgeous sunshine. I have classical music playing through the speakers. I feel good today, in body and mind, better than I have in weeks and I just know a bit of caffeine and conversation will only cheer me more. So pull up a chair, and get yourself a cuppa. It’s been quite a week for me, as I’m sure it has been for you too, and I’m excited to tell you all about it.

“Coffee is like another portal to elsewhere, sip once and I’m already dressed in code blue, twice and I’m  moving towards reckless endangerment and thrice, well watch out because I’m about to reach the term catastrophe.”

When 2 cups of coffee means business, D C de Oliveira

***

The holiday break got off to a bit of a sad start when my girlfriend’s mother was admitted to the hospital after a blood clot was found in her lung. She is doing fine and already back home, and we are definitely feeling very grateful especially after the blood clot was almost not found at all! Apparently, her primary care doctor failed to order the test that would have detected the clot nearly a week earlier! Thankfully she got herself back there after her cough got worse and they found the problem and began treatment right away.

Unfortunately, that meant she had to spend Thanksgiving in the hospital. We stopped by to chat and bring her a cup of good coffee. We talked with her about what comes next and how she may have to work harder to care for herself going forward than she had been up until now. She wasn’t too keen on the idea, but we will be as encouraging as we need to be to keep her going. She’s lucky, and she’s very strong too, to have gotten through this. I’m just not sure she knows it yet.

 

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that our Thanksgiving evening was spent at my mother’s house along with my step-father, my youngest sister, my brother and his family, and a couple of friends he invited along.

The food was delicious, and I actually contributed this year! I made this beautiful Bacon Brie Cresent Wreath, and my girlfriend baked a lovely Cranberry Upside-Down Cake. My mom and sister put together a great selection of sides—mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce—and my step-father made both turkey and ham.

It was a chaotic night, but that’s perfectly normal in my family, especially when so much wine is flowing. My sister and I spent much of the night hiding in my mother’s office, which she hated, but we needed to get away from all the arguing, and noise, and awkward conversations. My family has never been able to get along for the length of a whole holiday. My girlfriend told my mother that it had been fun, but it has also been the worst Thanksgiving yet. We all agreed she was right.

After all the men left us, girls settled in with our deserts to watch girly movies until the food made us tired and we had to leave before we all fell asleep.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Black Friday shopping was a no go. We spent the morning with my girlfriend’s mother and prepared for another Thanksgiving dinner with some close friends and coworkers of ours. A “Friendsgiving.”

The night started off nicely but quickly deteriorated after I made us all lemon drop cocktails for dessert and another friend began pouring vodka shots at the same time. We all acted like complete fools, and I woke up the next morning trying to piece the event of the night into proper order and to work through my overwhelming embarrassment. My only consolation is that my behavior was not the most mortifying of the night.

Still, I had to make a sad round of apologies and explanations the next day. I am thankful I have understanding friends and loved ones who assure me I was not as offensive nor as cringe-worthy as I recall now.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the plan for Saturday was to finally get some much need relaxation in. I wanted to do absolutely nothing, and not just because I was nursing that nasty hangover, but because the week had been so stressful and I knew that the end was nowhere in sight. I wanted a mental self-care day to focus on ourselves and each other before the Christmas rush was to begin.

But the universe had other plans and an old friend who was back in town called to tell us that through a grievous oversight on her part we had not received our intended invitation to her baby shower. We had just hours to get up, get ready, get a gift, and get there. We made it, early in fact, and with beautiful pink narwhal and culturally diverse mermaid themed gifts and we had a great time despite my bitter feelings over the invitation.

Afterwards, my girlfriend, my cousin, and I went out to for some good food and deep conversation about the trauma inflicted upon us by our parents and the benefits of counseling, validation, and self-awareness. As we get further and further along in life, we realize that healing ourselves, teaching our elders, and creating a world that is conducive to healing for the next generation is the good we want to do while we are here.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that today is my day to just what I want, and there will be no compromise on it. I’m screening my calls and refusing to involve myself in anything that isn’t an emergency. I am writing, and cleaning, and catching up on all the news, YouTube videos, and podcasts I haven’t had time for, oh, weeks now!I’m hoping this coming week will be an easy one. I have a break between classes of new hires in need of training at work, and I aim to take full advantage of all that free time.

I am a believer in making time to do extensive planning before making any big New Years Resolutions, and I also believe it’s best to start them now so you can start the year off proud and eager to keep the streak going.

I’m working on an actual editorial calendar for this blog going, for at least two months into 2018, and write a proper plan for publishing a collection of essays and writing I want to share with all of you this time next year. I also want to spend some serious reading time in now that I have gotten the hang of Good Omens, and my journal has been feeling sorely neglected.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even though I have so much more to tell you, I had better get going. The kitchen hasn’t been cleaned in days, and the laundry piles are much bigger than usual. I can’t waste any time if I am going to get this house in shape and still do all the nothing I want too.

I hope you had a fantastic holiday. I hope you had much to be grateful for and I hope your celebration of it all was lovely and delicious too. Remember to take care of yourself and don’t let the pressure of holiday meals, gifts, and decoration distract you from what the season is all about.

Until next time.

***

Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletterstarting up again this week!—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 Izzy Rivi on Unsplash

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If We Were Having Coffee // When I’m Ready, You’ll Have My Story Too

Hello dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up this afternoon. I had hoped to meet with you earlier, I had everything ready I swear, but then the clouds and the cold began to roll in and with them an intense drowsiness that my will was no match against. It carried me to bed and weighed me down until I gave up resisting and finally rested.

I slept most of the afternoon away and woke with a start just moments ago remembering it was Sunday, and I had wanted to chat with you badly. I straight away made a double shot of caffeine in the form of espresso, and I beg you to be patient because I know my mouth will awaken far faster than my thoughts.

“On Sundays my coffee is recreational. As opposed to weekdays when it’s medicinal.”

— Unknown

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve been very busy with my day job lately. Being a school bus assistant doesn’t usually take so much time away from my writing projects, but I’m also a trainer when I am not on my route, and we’ve been dealing with a shortage of employees. That means we’re hiring new people like crazy which means I am working many more hours than I normally do and I am a lot more exhausted than I normally am too.

I don’t know when this will end, and to be honest with you I’ve been tempted to make some tough decisions and make big changes to my schedule, and my paycheck. I am a trainer for the extra hours and the flexibility but the pressure has been on, and it’s no longer feeling so flexible. I would have more time to write, but less money to bring home unless I can learn to turn words into money, but I’m still not so sure I am good enough, smart enough, or brave enough to do it yet.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I hate to be pulled away from my screens, it was nice to do things In Real Life for a change. I have been overwhelmed by everything that is happening in the news. It’s bad enough that our President continues to be an embarrassment but the slew of sexual harassment allegations coming out, while not surprising, has been depressing and to be honest, awful triggering.

I have my own stories to tell, and one day I will, but as much as I want to listen and uplift these women, I can’t help feeling a bit weak and lonely holding my own back. Their strength is admirable, but it only highlights what I lack and reminds me that I am still a victim and not yet a survivor.

Not only that, but my mind can’t process fast enough for me to say anything worth posting in enough time to be relevant. It’s hard to keep up, so I’ve stayed away. I keep my mouth shut and jealously watch other writers be smarter than me and carry on conversations I can never join in on. Still, the word must be spread, so I’ve instead opted to at least share the posts and tweets of others smarter and more articulate.

I’m biding my time, waiting and working out how to say what it is I need to say so badly. When I’m ready, you’ll have my story and all my thoughts too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I was not selected to participate in the Bitch Media 2018 Fellowship for Writers. I knew I wouldn’t be, but part of me still hoped, the way you know your odds in the lottery, but you still buy tickets when the jackpot gets high. You know you can’t win, but you still plan that big house and the fancy cars you will finally get to own when you do.

It was nice of them to send rejection letters along with the four that went out to the obviously talented winners, but no matter how sweetly they let you down, wishing you the best and encouraging you to try again next year, it still stings.

But don’t tell me you are sorry and don’t feel pressured to say anything encouraging out of pity. I really am okay. I’m more than okay! I’m actually so proud of myself for even trying. I have never done anything like this before, and I know that not only did I give my very best, but that my very best will be even better next year.

I’m glad it’s over though. I sweated for a month and a half waiting to hear either way, and it was tough to think about anything else. I had a hard time feeling inspired and motivated to take on new projects in the meantime but now that it’s over and I can work on something of my own. As soon as things calm down at work that is.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve been trying harder to talk to people face to face. I’m allowing myself to be distracted by conversation and losing time laughing. I’m getting used to embarrassing myself sometimes in exchange for having people to talk to and to do things with on Friday nights. It’s been strange to open up, and I am reminded that there was a time when little social butterfly Lisa did exist. She’s still here. She likes people, and she needs time to shine too.

Speaking of a social life, I am sure I’ve mentioned them before, but we’ve been having a blast lately hanging out with a couple of couples we’ve recently grown very close with. Being around two other couple, both so alike and so different from us—one couple is straight, and the other is two gay men—has been like therapy for us. It’s nice to know you are normal, and that other people love as much as you, fight as much as you, and have no idea what they are doing just as much as you, and that still, it can work and be beautiful too.

We’ve been rotating once a month dinners and brunches, or any other outings that catch our eyes. Last week was brunch, and in a few weeks, we’re thinking about visiting a comedy club, or a burlesque show, or just bar hopping downtown after dinner.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m actually kind of excited about Thanksgiving this year. I learned long ago that the story we were taught in school about the Native Americans sharing their crops with the settlers isn’t the whole story, it’s not even half. The story of the Native Americans is one of cruelty and thievery, and we should take time to reflect on that.

Thanksgiving—and Columbus Day—are days I normally choose to mark with reflection and by spreading awareness about the brutal history of this country. I’m certainly going to spend time doing that this year too, but I am working on relaxing into the idea of rebranding the day as also being a time to giving thanks for what I have and celebrate have earned throughout the year.

I’ll be with my family this year and I know we’ll have a blast and I do have so much to be grateful for. It’ll be a good holiday this year.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had better get going. It’s dark outside already, pleasant smells are wafting from the kitchen, and my lovely lady has placed a glass of deep red wine in front of me, so I know dinner is on the way.

It’s been so nice to catch up, and I promise to be more prepared for our coffee date next week. These winter afternoons turn dark way too quickly for me to start so late anymore.

I hope you had a wonderful week and I hope your holiday plans this week go off without any stress or disastrous mishaps. I hope your friends and family are all there to celebrate with you and that you have much worth celebrating with them.

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. Thanks again!

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

Featured photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Time to Get Spooky!

Hello dear readers. Thanks for stopping by for a bit of coffee and conversation. I’m feeling anxious today. The caffeine isn’t helping. Actually, the caffeine might be the cause.

I’ve been drinking cold brew coffee for months but since the mornings are growing colder and colder, and I need something warm and strong to start the day again. Drip coffee tastes like bitter water now, so I’ve dusted off my espresso machine and moved to drinking a couple of warm, velvety shots instead. I’m still figuring out the right ratio of coffee grounds to water and I may have overdone it.

“Coffee for two
The sweetest and most bitter
Bold in taste
Warm in conversation
Lovely in embrace
Coffee for me
Coffee for you”

— NB // Coffee For Two

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m feeling much better this Sunday than I was the last. The world still feels like it’s ending nearly every day, but I made sure to take breaks from social media and to limit my intake of the news to once or twice a day. Some of the shit still found its way in.

Between Harvey Weinstein’s predation coming to light, the short-sighted call to boycott Twitter in response to Rose McGowan being suspended, the fires in California, and Trump sabotaging what little health care we can get in this country I still found plenty of reasons to be depressed and anxious, but less so than the week before. It was good to unplug for a while.

Not that I have been any more productive instead. I found new ways to waste time, and new ways to be disappointed in myself. It wasn’t a good writing week at all. I had such hope after starting a list of specific topics to write about here and after deciding on the theme for an upcoming personal writing project I thought it would be easy-peasy from here. Nope, the hardest part is still keeping my ass in the chair and just doing the damn writing.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that there is hope though. I’ve started reading Things Are What You Make of Them by Adam J. Kurtz, and I’m feeling a little less afraid of writing. Or, I feel a little less alone in my fear and my failure. It always helps to know you aren’t struggling alone. It helps to know it isn’t all you, being creative and putting yourself out there are just hard things to do, but you can do it if you just don’t give up.

I’m also reading The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. I started it last Thursday, and I’m already halfway done. It’s such a dream to read! I’ve seen the movie about a million time but it’s such a unique story told from such an intriguing perspective that it still draws me in and excites me.

***

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a belated happy Friday the 13th! Being a fan of all things horror, I’m always excited when the 13th falls on a Friday of any month, but having it happen in October is an especially spooky treat. To mark the occasion my sister, and my girlfriend and I went out to take advantage of some Friday the 13th tattoo and piercing specials. My sister got her nostril pierced. My girlfriend got a lucky white rabbit tattoo, and I got this cute little fly that reminded me of the film The Fly, the 1986 version specifically, thank you very much.

This is my second Friday the 13th tattoo, and I’m already looking to getting another next Friday, which just happens to be my birthday!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of my week, besides the tattoo, was last night when we met up with some friends for a couple’s night out.

We started at a small pizza place downtown for dinner and drinks. It was a new place, and I was pleasantly surprised. The calzones we ordered were enormous and delicious, and the menu featured an extensive list of microbrews and cocktails. Afterward, we went to a huge haunted house to get spooky! After that, we went for even more drinks!

It’s been too long since we were last out with friends, I didn’t realize how much I had missed it. Especially these friends, two other couples who understand what it means to be with someone for years. I enjoy watching them interact with each other. Like everything else, it helps to know you are normal.

We're the cutest 😍😙

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s getting late and I have to get going. There’s more writing to do, posts to draft and notes to type up plus laundry to do, dinner to get in the oven, and the cocktails that need to be made before The Duece comes on.

I hope you had a wonderful week. I hope you found time to take care of you this weekend. I hope it’s beginning to feel like Halloween and you are enjoying the spooky vibes too.

Until next time

The world's shrinking.

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

***

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, now hosted over at Eclectic Alli!

Featured photo is by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // More About Us and Less About Me

Hello dear readers and thank you for stopping for a bit of conversation and caffeine. I know it’s late, but I had a bit of a crazy night last night. I figured out how easy it is to make lemon drop cocktails and my girlfriend and I overdid it on the sugary sour drinks. I’ve only just recovered enough to tolerate the brightness of my laptop screen. But, it’s okay, and a cup of strong espresso and a chance to catch up with you sounds like the perfect after dinner treat.

“Drink some coffee and pretend you know what you’re doing.”

Unknown

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was another busy one, but for a while, things are going to calm down a bit around here. I think my girlfriend has found a little peace too. She’s been able to cut out of work earlier and earlier and the 15 hour days are more like 12 hour days and our weekends are back to being all about us instead of half about work.

I’m not sure how long the break will last. Part of me feels more anxious than I did before knowing that the stress will return eventually. No matter how often we go through this cycle, I have a hard time adjusting every time. I hate having to share her with her work. I think I wouldn’t mind it so much if I at least knew she was happy and doing what she loves but having to be away from her and seeing her so stressed out and upset all the time hurts my heart.

I suppose I shouldn’t worry about that so much right now. I should just make the most of this time before I’m back spending so much time by myself again.

***

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a very merry First Day of Halloween! As much as I hate to see the summer go, at least it ends with a whole month of horror movies, haunted houses, pumpkin carving, and candy corn. All of my favorite things!

This week we’re seeing a ballet performance of Dracula and maybe a play starring a friend of mine as Jack the Ripper on Friday the 13th. I’m really hoping to go to a movie party at the Alamo, and maybe a costume party if a couple of our friends are willing to open their home. If nothing else I’m going to watch all my favorite scary flicks like The Shining, Carrie, The ConjuringNightmare on Elm Street, and The Fly, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting the new season of Stager Things too. I haven’t settled on a costume yet, it depends on what kind of parties I end up at, but I’m thinking about going back to classics like zombies, mummies, and skeletons.

I haven’t settled on a costume yet, it depends on what kind of parties I end up at, but I’m thinking about going back to classics like zombies, mummies, and skeletons. But even if I end up sitting at home with my girlfriend, gorging myself on candy corn and pumpkin seeds and sipping fall cocktails while freaking ourselves out over ghosts stories and slasher movies, I’ll be happy.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I continue to be embarrassed by our tone-deaf, selfish, and insensitive President. I am so angry I don’t even know where to begin. All I can say is that my thoughts are with the people of Puerto Rico, our forgotten fellow Americans and that I am in full support of Colin Kaepernick and every player who joins him in bringing attention to police brutality and killing.

I’ve unfriended a few people over the last week over Kaepernick and the NFL. I don’t even watch football, but I do care about this issue, and I won’t have people in my life who refuse to listen and refuse to understand. This year was about saving my energy and focusing on brown, queer, and fem voices and issues. Anyone who isn’t on board or willing to support that can get far away from me.

***

If we were having coffee, I would give you a heads up that there may be some changes coming to the blog. Nothing big. Just more and better content. I’m working on becoming more focused and covering more big questions and problems we are all going through. More about us and less about me is what I am trying to say. More about self-care, creativity, society, education, relationships, science, sex, pop-culture, and mental health. More life lessons. More culture. More society. More about human life. That’s what this blog was always supposed to be.

I’ll still be writing about me, but a lot of that will be vented out on Twitter and Tumblr. I’m working on some other big projects too. Something all about my death anxiety, maybe a chapbook, but it will be slow going. I want to take my time with it.

In the meantime, while I’m working on all that great content, and preparing to face my mortality in a very public way, things may get quieter around here. I won’t shut down completely. I still need this little space while I figure out what the hell I’m doing, but don’t be put off by a week or more of silence. I promise you I’ll come back, and I will keep getting better and better too. Just be patient with me, please? My goal will always be to talk about those parts of ourselves we have forgotten and to find a way to bring comfort and calm to all our emptiness and suffering.

***

If we were having coffee, I would say thanks again for chatting with me, and for reading my little writings over these past few years. Thanks for being an ear to vent to and a shoulder to cry on. It’s nice to know people still come around, and care about what I have to say, even when I have no idea what I’m saying myself. I know many of you have left comments and I have been horrible about getting back to you. I’m sorry. I write all these things and post them for the world to read, and still, I’m so shy. I feel so unworthy of an audience that I don’t ever know what to say except thank you, thank you, thank you. I worry that gets old though. I worry it isn’t enough. So, I say nothing at all. I’m going to change that.

***

If we were having coffee, I would say it is getting late, and I have kept you long enough. The work week begins again tomorrow, and we both need our sleep, me especially. My headache hasn’t gone away completely, and my body is sore and stiff. I think there is just enough time to take a hot shower and swallow some Tylenol.

I hope you had a good week, and that our weekend was relaxing. I hope you are taking care of yourself out there. Drink more water, get more rest, and be patient with yourself. We’re all just doing our best, and that is always good enough.

Until next time.

***

Thank you 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.

Photo by Edan Cohen on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Stress, Depression, Fear, and Anxiety, Oh My!

Hello, dear readers! I’m so happy you’ve stopped by for a bit of coffee and catching up, it’s been too long since we last caught up and I’ve missed it more than you know.

This past week and the one before were so much busier than I anticipated and I just could find the time to get out of my head and onto the page or screen. But this morning I woke up and told myself that no matter what, no matter how hard or how late I had to work at it, I was going to write something and I wanted to start by catching up with you.

“Where coffee is served there is grace and splendor and friendship and happiness.”

— Sheik Ansari Djezeri Hanball Abd-al-Kadir

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my anxiety has been at an all time high this month.

It all started with my girlfriend. I’ve been so worried about her. She’s been working such long hours that I have to call her in the evenings and tell her to come home, and I made her agree not to work two weekends in a row either.  She’s under a lot of pressure, and she’s dealing with a new boss, an employee shortage, and tense meetings and phones call one after another. On top of all that there were two weeks of interviews and anticipation over a promotion, she was hoping for. Then came the disappointment when she heard she didn’t get it.

My heart is breaking for her, and I’m doing everything I can to pick up the slack at home, cleaning and cooking, the pets and keeping track of event and plans but it isn’t enough. I want to do more, I want to take over her job, or yell at her bosses, or find a way to get rich quick and take her away from all that crap. But I can’t. So, instead I sit at home, alone, and brood and worry and spiral out of control.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had quite a work week too. I’ve busier all summer than I anticipated and with the shortage of drivers, I’ve been doing my best to help management out with smaller tasks. I had lots of testing and training to do as well as get my own route figured out.

I may not have had much time for myself during the day, but I’m trying to keep in mind that I’m actually pretty lucky compared to some of my other coworkers. I got the route I wanted with decent schools, decent hours, and the driver I wanted to work with. I have little to stress about, I still have the respect of all my coworkers, and no one is watching me or riding me about anything.

It’s nice, and I’m grateful, but there is also guilt at watching so many of my coworker’s struggle and a feeling of being completely useless.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I’ve made very little progress on overcoming my driving phobia and that is getting to me too. My girlfriend is working too much to work with me. I haven’t given up at all. I’m just thinking of it as a temporary setback, a postponement, that’s all. But I can’t help thinking being so down on myself about it. I feel like a failure. I feel stupid and cowardly. I feel like I am not a real adult or a whole person and I get depressed. Add the anxiety and a sprinkle of loneliness, and you can see why I just couldn’t write anything.

Plus, my death anxiety is getting so much worse. Last week I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic because I couldn’t get the thought out of my head that one day I was going to die and never get to see anyone I love again. I was afraid for my girlfriend and grieving for all the things I would never get to do. I was picturing my funeral and all my family and friends crying over me, and I was hurt knowing that everyone would go on living without me. Ever since then I can’t stop worrying if this is the die I will day and wondering about how it will happen.

I’m considering finally seeking help with this. I can’t go one trying to deal with it all on my own, and I can’t keep burdening my girlfriend. There is simply no comfort she can offer to calm me. I know there is no point in worrying about it and I know there is nothing I can do but live the best life I can, but I still can’t stop agonizing over it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I haven’t even begun to process what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. In case you haven’t been online or turned on the TV since Friday, a bunch of white supremacists descended on the city to protest the decision to remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee Saturday morning. In response, a large crowd of counter protesters showed up to challenge them.

From what I understand small street fights broke out, again and again, tear gas was used, rocks and bottles were thrown, and people were beaten with clubs until authorities declared an unlawful assembly and finally attempted to disperse both crowds. Sometime after that, the violence came to ahead when a man drove a vehicle into the counter protesters, killing one and injuring close to 20 others.

It’s so heart breaking that there is still so much hate in the world and frustrated by those who continue to believe racism is no longer a problem in this country. I’m furious that a life was lost while trying to speak up for what is right. That is as far as I have gotten emotionally.

If we were having coffee, I wouldn’t even touch on Trump, North Korea, or the terror of nuclear war hanging over all of us.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that all this stress and depression, fear and anxiety has actually brought my girlfriend and me closer together. In the past we would have been at each other throats, blaming one another for all the problems and questioning our connection but this time we’ve clung to one another.

Every night when my girlfriend comes home, no matter how late, we cook together while we vent and unload the day. Each of us listens and offers support and advice in turn, and afterward, we sit close on the couch to watch TV, share funny videos, and just feel warm and loved.

This week we’ll be celebrating 15 years together. We’ve almost been together longer than we were not together. We wanted to do something big for such milestone, but with work, we haven’t been able to plan. Instead, we’ll go to our favorite restaurant, and instead of gifts, I’ve asked that we make a real effort to start planning our wedding coming up in one year, no matter what!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m hoping that a return to a regular schedule and having a little less on my plate will mean that in this coming week there will be more writing, here and elsewhere.

I have a couple of blog post ideas and drafts that need outlining and editing, and I’m thinking about putting something together for Minimal Hero since it’s revamped and under new management. AND I still have to get a couple of writing samples together for the Bitch Media Fellowship for Writers. Time is running out, and I will never forgive myself if I don’t try.

I’m also going to get back to journaling. I’m hoping it will help me get things out and get my mind of off all the things I can’t control. Writing has gotten me through so much hardship in my life, and I have no doubt it can help me deal with all the bad stuff swirling around in my head too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I have missed you and want to go one chatting all evening, I have to get going. There is so much to do around the house and so much to get ready for tomorrow, and I want to get it all done before tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones. Thank you so much for stopping by and for taking the time to listen, it means a lot.

I hope you’ve had a good week, and I hope your weekend was relaxing. I hope you were able to make time to take care of yourself, do the things you enjoy, and be with people you love. I hope this coming week will be better than the last and if it isn’t, I hope you that the energy and the strength to get through it.

Until next time…

***

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 weekly Weekend Coffee Share link up hosted by Part-Time Monster

Featured image via reeqhair

If We Were Having Coffee // Better After a While than Never Again

Hello, dear readers and happy Sunday. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and conversation. I know it’s been a few weeks since our last chat and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d be feeling up to returning today but I’ve had my coffee, the weather is bearable, and my mood is stable, so here I am. It feels good to be back.

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

— David Lynch

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I wish I had a good reason for having disappeared for two weeks, but I’m afraid it’s nothing more than anxiety and low self-image around writing, where I am going, and who I am supposed to be. It’s been one of those months in which life’s big question start pestering you and your failures become too apparent until you come to the realization, again, that you have no idea what you are doing and time is running out.

Basically, I’m convinced that I should stop writing entirely. I’m trying to get through that, I have been for a long time now, and of course, the answer is simple but not the one I want to hear. The answer is I am good enough I only have to try harder and find joy in writing rather than trying to be anyone else other than who I am. I have to stop comparing myself to other people. It’s that simple.

Most of the people I look up to online are those who are just out to express themselves. That expression finds a community and that community translates into a dream, a direction, and a career. I may have been going about this all wrong. I need to go back and find community and joy in what I do again.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that next week will be my last one before I have to go back to a regular work schedule and I’m both excited and completely freaked out.

I haven’t completed any of the goals I wanted to this summer and while a lot of that was me being depressed and lazy a lot of it was my work load turning out to be a lot bigger than I expected it would. I thought I would have very little to do in the mornings and would, therefore, have all the time in the world to write. Instead, I spent every morning working, and by the afternoon I was hot and exhausted and spent a lot of time napping through the summer heat.

I miss having a structured schedule. I realize I am not at all ready to manage my schedule or be my own boss. I do not have the discipline or healthy emotional state to be left to my own devices. I can’t trust myself to do what is best for myself. I am the only one standing in my way, every day.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you girlfriend has been super stressed out lately, and I’m really worried about her. A lot of changes are happening around her at work.

She has a new boss, the district we work for has decided to push the bell times of all our schools later, and there is the possibility of promotion, but she has to interview for the position first. There’s also a critical driver shortage and low morale in the workplace we’re dealing with too. All of it is piling up at once, and no matter how hard she works or how fast she gets through the tasks all the changes and expectations continue to pile on top.

Lately, if she isn’t at work she’s working from home, and if she isn’t working, she’s busy bursting into tears from impossible expectations and a serious case of imposter syndrome.

I’m doing my best to take care of her and to remind her to take care of herself, but there is only so much I can do. Most of the time I’m standing on the sideline watching and worrying, holding in my anger over the way I think she should be treated and how much is being asked of her.

We’re both hoping that very soon things we’ll calm down, but our hopes aren’t too high.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that because of all the stress swirling around our home we are making more time to get out and get away together when we can.

It’s been a while since I’ve watched a movie that was purely for entertainment and escape, like action films or comedies. That’s not to say that action films or comedies aren’t art or that they aren’t good. I just mean that they don’t provoke emotion in me, so I usually avoid those types of movies. But this weekend we needed an escape and shooting, spies, and beautiful women felt right. So Atomic Blonde it was.

The plot wasn’t too deep or unpredictable, but visually this film was amazing. The fight scenes felt realistic and Charlize Theron and Sofia Boutella are pretty hot together! I recommend it if the price of a movie ticket in your city isn’t too high, or if the theater you frequent serves alcohol and has a decent food and dessert menu to make the trip worth it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that there is something I don’t want to talk about, but I probably should get out there because shame and hiding aren’t helping.

I would tell you that my biggest disappointment this summer has been the complete lack of progress on getting over my driving phobia and achieving full adulthood by finally getting my driver’s license.

That’s right, I am 32 years old, and I am so afraid of being behind the wheel that I can’t drive. I’ve talked about it here before but it was a long time ago, and when I did I said I was going to work hard, be brave, and do what I needed to do to be driving by the end of the summer. My anxiety got the best of me, and I conveniently forgot to practice for months. I didn’t avoid it on purpose. My subconscious mind has been sabotaging me that’s all.

There is good news though. I am trying to start again. I went out driving the other night and did well considering how long it’s bee and the fact that I’m not used to our new Jeep. I want to go out again tonight, before Game of Thrones, if I make the time and stop being a coward and just fucking do it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve just noticed how late it’s getting and remembered how much cleaning, writing, and self-care I have to squeeze in today. I’m so glad we got to catch up today. Hopefully, I can get it together, and you hear from me more often going forward.

I hope you’ve been well these few weeks. I hope this weekend was relaxing and that you found time to do things that make you feel good. Leave a note in the comments if you have time. I’d love to hear some of what you’ve been up to lately.

Until next time…

Awwwww look at these pretty fl—LOLA NO!

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

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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 weekly Weekend Coffee Share link up hosted by Part-Time Monster

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Winter is Here

Hello, dear readers and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. The weather is gorgeous today. Yesterday was all gloom and rain but the sun is back today, and I have all the blinds open to let it in. But I’m still feeling a bit tense and tired. I was up too late last night, and I have too much to do today, but I’m happy to stop for a moment and talk to you about how my week has gone and hear a bit about what you’ve been up to.

“Coffee is a language in itself.”

— Jackie Chan

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a very happy Game of Thrones day! Winter is finally here, and I am so ready! Me and most of my friends, the cool ones anyway, haven’t been able to talk about anything else. We have been counting down, talking up our favorite characters, and sharing rumors we’ve read online. Nothing else really matters today.

If you don’t watch you might feel like my excitement is a little over the top. To you, I say, why the hell aren’t you watching this show? I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, most of the day it’s just CBS News and most evenings its Vice News. I don’t say because I think TV is bad or because I think I’m better in some way for not watching it, it’s just not a lot of shows or movies are more exciting to me than writing. So if I like a show enough to stop writing, then it’s a damn good show, and if it’s a damn good show, it’s worth getting this excited over.

I treat these things like holidays or big sports events. I’ll be heading to the store soon for the drink, snack, and dinner ingredients we need for tonight. On the menu, tonight is a bacon wrapped figs stuffed with goat cheese appetizer, a shrimp and sausage boil/bake for dinner, and a blueberry-lavender chia pudding with a simple bourbon old fashioned for dessert.

If you want to join me in all the hype and excitement, I’ll be on twitter shouting and fangirling and following along with everyone else.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this week I started a Coursera course on Women’s Rights and Human Rights and even though I barely have the time for it, and I’m already falling behind and stressed about having to type up a few paragraphs on the final reading of the week BY TONIGHT, I am loving it!

I love learning and studying in a structured setting and from experts and professors but there aren’t many chances for it when you aren’t going to college. This has been my first experience with anything like being a student and having homework in many, many years but it has been so inspiring and surprisingly fun that I’m already looking forward to taking another course and maybe really going to school one day.

I think it helps too that the subject matter I chose is one I am already interested in. I call myself a feminist and I feel strongly about women’s rights but I am lacking a lot of knowledge and context for the state of women’s rights-or lack thereof-on a global and historical scale. I want to learn more about the reasons why women are treated the way they are and why it’s been so hard to make progress toward a more equal society, worldwide.

Check it out if you want to join, I think you can begin whenever you want but I’d like to have a buddy or two learning along with me right now too.

 

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that it wasn’t a good writing week, but it wasn’t a bad one either. Work was work and took up more of my time than I wanted it to but I did make progress toward less napping and more writing in my free time. I did manage one post here and I did get my “weekly” newsletter out for the first time in months, but I still didn’t do as well as I hoped.

I am happy to say that I sent my first pitch for an article this week, a piece for Wear Your Voice. I don’t think it was what they were looking for since I haven’t heard back yet but I’m proud of myself for having the courage to try. Now that I’ve sent one and presumably been rejected, I’m ready to jump in and send another.

Oh, by the way, I’m looking for a few guest posting opportunities too, I think. I want to try writing more than just personal essays. I want to get out of just talking about myself for a while. So, if you have a blog that posts a lot of feminist, civil rights, or pop culture type stuff and you are looking for contributors, please let me know in the comments and I’ll se if I can come up with something.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I didn’t get out a whole lot this week. My girlfriend has been working a lot and by the time that she gets home it’s either too late or she’s too mentally and physically exhausted to go. I’m not upset over it, only worried about her. She’s been so stressed and it’s hard not being able to help or take on some of the load myself. I’ve been keeping up with the house the best I can, and I want to start cooking more and finding ways to make our time at home special too.

Last night we did get out for some drinks and bowling for an old friends 30th birthday. It was nice to reconnect and find that none of us are sad about turning thirty. We all agree that everything feels better now. We’re a little less confused and unsure about the world and ourselves, and we are fucking up way less than we used to. It’s been liberating!

We want to try to see each other more. We’re hoping 30 has been good to some other friends we’ve grown away from and we can reach out and reconnect. We are hoping the anger has had time to cool and there is a chance to repair the damage that was done within our group now that we’re all a little more mature and secure in ourselves.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that unfortunately, I have to go. The chia seed pudding needs time to chill before tonight, and there is still laundry that I have to do before leaving for errands and grocery shopping. I hope you all had a wonderful week and that your weekend was as relaxing as you needed it to be before the work week begins again. If you are watching Game of Thrones tonight like me, let me know in the comments and if you aren’t you better have a damn good reason why.

Until next time.

***

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 weekly Weekend Coffee Share link up hosted, once again by Part-Time Monster

Featured image via Unsplash