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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

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If We Were Having Coffee // Wishing You a Very Happy Holiday!

Hello, dear readers! Thank you for taking time out during this very busy season to stop by and chat a little with me. I hope whatever your culture or beliefs I hope your celebrations are warm, happy, and filled with people you love and food you enjoy. I hope your preparations weren’t stressful and if they were, I hope you will join me in raising a glass of ‘nog and toasting to a whole year free from crowded stores and the pressure of making everything just perfect.

I love the warmth of Christmas. I love the family, the food, and I love giving and receiving gifts, but the pressure can Be a bit much. The pressure to spend enough, to buy the perfect thing, and to pretend to be happy even while you are tearing your hair out. I used to think my family was dysfunctional but now I understand, it is rare that a person can make it through this time of year without losing their shit at least once. Right?

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the best part of the holiday was Christmas Eve. My girlfriend and I spent it entirely at home, just the two of us.

We made breakfast tacos with egg, bacon, and chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, then we watched Elf. We ate almost¬†all day picking at sweets and scraps from pies and dips we were preparing for the next day. For dinner, we made a steam pot dinner with sausage, shrimp, crab legs, potatoes, and corn. We watched Nightmare Before Christmas¬†and A Christmas Story, and for dessert, there was a sugar cream pie I’d made in the morning and spiced rum eggnog.

We bought the dog gifts of course, and we wrapped gifts for our family too. We cleaned the house (The best Christmas gift I could have asked for!) and just enjoyed each others company.

If it weren’t for that woman, I wouldn’t know how to enjoy Christmas at all. She really makes it something special for me. She makes it a holiday worth celebrating.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that since I am not religious and I don’t have kids, I’ve decided that instead of Jesus or Santa, I am celebrating the life of Sir Issac Newton!

Yes, if you didn’t already know, the man who formed the laws of motion and gravitation and invented calculus was also born on December 25th in the year 1642. On this day, let us remember his dedication and contribution to the fields of mathematics, physics, and optics. I don’t know of anyone else who advanced humanity more in a single lifetime. The man’s brain was incredible, and his work ethic seems nearly unmatched.

Raise a glass today to a new symbol of the season, Sir Issac Newton!

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that gift wise I made out pretty well. I got a few gift cards, which I always appreciate, and a set of nice dip pens and inks and the biggest leather-bound journal I have ever seen! This thing has to be about half my height. I’ll post pics over on my Instagram as soon as I can. You have to see this thing! It’s pretty awesome.

I got a few small things too including a neat octopus tea infuser and plenty of my favorite kinds of “old people candy.”

I haven’t been able to give all of my gifts out yet, so I won’t list them for you, but I am confident that I did well. The best part of Christmas is seeing people’s faces when they see what you buy them. The gifts you get people¬†show them what you know about them, what you think of them, and what you hope they can use in their future. It’s a lovely thing.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I enjoy talking to you, and as much as I have missed you too, I do have to go. We’re at my girlfriend’s parent’s home, and there is so much left to cook. I should go help I am sure. Then again, I might go hang out with her little brother who is enjoying his brand new NES Classic Edition and giving me intense nostalgic feelings.

I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday. I hope you aren’t too stressed. I hope you gave and received everything you hoped for. I hope your families are well and that you are surrounded by love. If not, I hope you find time to care for yourself too. I love you all, I really do.

Until next time :)

Drugs #blackoutpoetry

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If We Were Having Coffee // I’m Looking Forward to Christmas this Time

Hello, dear readers. Thank you for stopping by for a quick chat and a cup of warm coffee with me. The weather is chilly today, and earlier we had some flurries. It seems winter may have shown up late but it is here to stay now.

This past week was a hectic one‚ÄĒI had to work some, I had to write a lot, and I had to see family‚ÄĒbut I was glad¬†the holiday passed without too much stress. Normally this time of year is hard for me. The pressure and stress of it all are usually more than I can handle but this year feels different. I’m looking forward to Christmas this time.

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If we¬†were having coffee, ¬†I would tell you that I won’t get to visit with you very long this week. I have so many words that need writing if I want to be able to meet the NaNoWriMo 50,000 word goal on time. I’m sitting at just under 35,000 words, and if I can manage 4,000 a day¬†for the next four days, I can make it. I hope to write 5,000 by the end of tonight.

I haven’t looked over what I’ve written so far. Not much anyway, except to expand or add dialog to boost my words counts. I know it is all a pile of shit. A steaming pile that I will need to dig through and see if there are a few gems I can salvage and use in the book that I hope to write eventually.

After November I plan to take a break from it all and start on a new project. I’ll tell you more about that next week.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my Thanksgiving was nice and quiet, just the way I had hoped it would be. My girlfriend and I spent the morning and the early afternoon at home. We had brunch with mimosas and stayed in our pajamas as long as we could.¬†Afterward, we went to my mother’s for dinner and drinks. My littlest sister and my brother and his family were there. We ate plenty and had a really good time.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not a big fan of Thanksgiving and this year, in particular, the holiday feels empty and wrong. The clashing of Native protesters and police over the¬†Dakota Access Pipeline¬†has¬†been a much-needed reminder of the ways this country still oppresses and silences its people.

It’s a much-needed reminder of how awful it is to celebrate a holiday which mischaracterizes the relationship between the early settlers and the Natives. It’s a much-needed reminder that we are not so different nor have we made as much progress as we’d like to believe.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was a bit of a dull and lonely one. My girlfriend spent the weekend with her mother. They went up to the mountains for gambling and drinks in celebration of her mother’s birthday. Gambling isn’t my thing, I had writing to do, and our dog needed looking after, so I stayed home.

I spent the time cleaning, trying to write, and watching way more Netflix than was good for my productivity and creative mind. I didn’t sleep well, and I hardly ate so even now I am struggling to stay awake and do the things I need to do.

I’ve only slept alone a handful of nights since we moved together over 14 years ago and when she isn’t here I can’t even lay in our bed. The house doesn’t feel so big anymore, and my mind isn’t quite so loud.¬†Being alone is hard for me, and I am very glad she is back home.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that before my lady left for the weekend, she did surprise me a movie date. We saw Arrival, which good but also surprising, intense, and emotional and I highly recommend it.

We went to a very late showing, to a theater we used to spend a lot of our time in. We snuck in a flask of blood orange vodka and pockets full of movie candy. We giggled and acted like young teenagers. We kissed and cuddled and felt young again. It was a perfect movie date. Like all the ones she used to take me on when we were getting to know one another and deciding whether or not to begin our lives together.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had better get going. If I don’t start writing a few scenes or putting my characters through some pain and anguish, I’ll be very disappointed in myself. If I get disappointed in myself, I will have a hard time staying motivated and hopeful. I’ll give up.

So, I must go, but I am so glad we’ve had this time. If you have a moment drop by the comments and let me know how you have been, how your holiday was, and how your own projects are faring.

Until next time :)

My new favorite mug ūüėä

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Monday Motivation // Don’t Give Up, Okay?

Hello and happy Monday to you all. It is the first Monday after Christmas and the last one of the year, a very important Monday. It’s important because it is the last chance to start things off right in 2015, and your first chance to set the tone for 2016. I urge you to take it seriously if you can.

I say if you can because for some the end of the year is not only stressful but depressing as well. Not everyone enjoys this time of year. Not everyone has a nice family to spend it with. Not everyone can buy gifts and decorate or take time off of work. Not everyone is in a mentally stable state to deal with all the stress and expectations that come this time of year.

 

Add to that any disappointment you might be feeling about the last year, and a big dose of anxiety about the coming year, and you can see why this is the time of year that can be the hardest time for some.

 

If you are feeling down, or lost, or hopeless during this time I want you to¬†know you are not alone and that things can get better. I know what it’s like to feel like nothing matters and things are going to go on being crappy forever. I also want to share with you some things that help me when I lose hope, get tired and want to give fighting.

1. You are not crazy.

It can be hard to see everyone running around all cheerful¬†while you are just doing your best to put one foot in front of the other. You might start thinking that something is very wrong with you or that you deserve to be miserable, but that just isn’t true.

A long time ago when things got bad for me I got up the courage to go to therapy. It didn’t last long but one thing I did get out of it was the realization that I was not crazy. I was doing the best I could under the circumstances I was put into.

Depression  and anxiety happen for a reason, whether it be outside situations or chemical imbalances, or a combination of the two. It is not weakness and it is not because you are a bad person. It is a natural occurrence and prevalent all over the world, in every race, gender, and class. You are not crazy, you are human, and you can learn to cope with this.

2.  This is temporary.

Depression can permanent but most types of depression are actually temporary and resolve on their own with time. While you are depressed that may be hard to believe but it is true. Even when things get really bad, remember that all types of depression are treatable too. You do not have to feel like this forever.

I always try to remember that life has its up’s and down’s, for everyone. It can be frustrating to feel like this and to be unable to do everything you want but the best thing to do is to cope during this time and remember that you will get better. Struggling against it, or beating yourself up about it, or worse, giving into it, will not help.

Recognizing what is happening, taking care of yourself the best you can, and remembering that it will pass, will help you through this tough time.

3. It’s okay to take care of yourself right now.

With it being the holidays and all it can feel really selfish to worry about yourself right now, but I think that the holidays are a perfect time to practice some self-care.

You don’t have to go out and do anything big, you can care for yourself right at home, just start small. A good meal, a hot shower, or even just taking a nap can be enough to help you through the really bad parts. Try to accomplish a small thing if you feel up to it, a load of laundry, a bit of writing, or just getting dressed can be enough to remind you that you can do things!

Here is an excellent interactive self-care guide to get you started. I’ve used it before and while it can’t solve all your problems it can get you into a better state of mind so that you can.

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For better or for worse, 2015 is coming to an end, and 2016 will be here before we know it. If you can, do your best to start planning your goals and resolutions now. It will feel good to hit the ground running on New Years Day. If you can’t, that’s okay. Just focus on taking care of yourself and working toward a place of healing, and remember that you are not alone, I’m here for you.

Don’t give up, okay?

Image via cwote, a Tumblr about positivity and self-care.

I’m Learning What Christmas is All About

If I am being honest, I admit I am not the biggest fan of Christmas. I try every year to make it something that I can really get into but every year I end up feeling like the whole thing is a bunch of hassle and wondering what the point is.¬†I get what it is supposed to be, but we all know it isn’t that any longer. But I’m not here to whine about¬†consumerism.

Growing up in a dysfunctional, broken family meant that there was always family members¬†missing and family members fighting. It meant mom had to work and dad may or may not call. It meant playing quietly so we didn’t upset anyone and being grateful for whatever we got. Growing up in a dysfunctional, broken family means as an adult I reject tradition and anything that evokes¬†warm, fuzzy feelings. It’s called a defense mechanism.

As an adult, I don’t understand how people have the kind of Christmas I see in movies. Do people really sing and aunts and uncles and grandparents come in from out of town with a troupe of cousins to eat a big dinner? I never had anything like that, but I’m not here to whine about my childhood either.

I’m here to say that every year I do my best to find the thing that makes this time of year so wonderful for other people and every year I get it a little bit more. Before I felt like I was looking in on a bizarre¬†ritual I wanted no part of, and while I am still looking in from the outside, I at least want to be a part of it now.

Christmas has gotten better for me now that I am an adult, even being with my family has become something I look forward to. We’ll have gifts and a dinner, and there are more of us to be merry with. Maybe I already have the Christmas I longed for as a kid, and maybe tomorrow I will be reminded of that.

I am not here to complain I swear. I just want to say that I am getting better and that means I wish you all the kind of Christmas that you see in all the movies.  I hope you all can see that family does mean something and so do the decorations, and the food, and the gifts. I hope you enjoy a holiday of hope, love, and giving.

Merry Christmas dear readers.

If We Were Having Coffee // Roller Coaster Weather and Fast Approaching Holidays

Hello friends! I apologize for being a little late for our chat, I slept in later then I meant to this morning. I can tell you I am not happy about it either. I like to get up early on Saturday and Sunday so I can enjoy as much of my days off as possible. By early I mean 7:00 AM at the latest. This morning I slept in until 10.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that¬†the weather has been a real roller coaster ride lately. We’ll see temperatures close to 60 degrees then well drop lower and lower over the next few days until we are freezing and snow is falling. Last Tuesday we actually had a snow day and I got to stay home, warm and cozy in bed. There are a few perks to working for a school district.

This coming week will be warm at first, today we might see 60 degrees again, and by Thanksgiving day¬†it will be cold¬†and snowing again. It’s too early for accumulation predictions but¬†I hope the roads stay clear enough for everyone’s holiday travels.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that because my girlfriend has been working so much we have been doing our best to the little time we have together every night special. We spend the evening talking while she cooks and I clean and we have started watching a few shows together like Carnivàle and True Detective, both on HBO.

I loved the first season of True Detective and I can’t wait to start the second. I wish I hadn’t started Carniv√†le though. It’s not that I hate it, in fact, I’m only a few episodes in and I’m hooked! I just found out that it got canceled after 2 seasons so there are going to be a lot of unanswered questions and I am sure I will be disappointed in the end.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that most of yesterday was spent cooped up in the house.¬†By about 8:00 at night I was feeling antsy and wanted out. So, I found a few “rain check” movie tickets we had lying around, got ready, and went out to see the newest Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay‚ÄĒPart 2.

I’ll write up one of my “short and sweet” reviews but I will tell you right now, I was a little disappointed in it. I¬†hate to say it but, the book was better. I might have to read them again to rid my mind of this lackluster version.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that as usual the holidays are sneaking up on me. It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week and Christmas is only just over 30 days away! I don’t have my plans figured out¬†for either holiday and I don’t have any gift ideas yet either. I’m starting to panic.¬†Well, I have one gift idea for my girlfriend but¬†it’s something I’m making and it’s going to be a very big project.

Deep down I I’m not sure I can pull it off and I’m starting to regret the decision. I don’t think I have the time or the skill to make what I want to make for her. I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea. It’s too late to try to do something else now so I am just going to have to try my best. I just hope she likes it.

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If we were having coffee I would thank you for stopping by and apologize for having to cut the visit short. There is so much to be done around the house and more errands to run than usual. I am already so late that I doubt I will be able to accomplish much today but a little something is better than nothing.

I¬†do¬†hope you had a good week, and either way I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

If We Were Having Coffee

If we were having coffee I would probably order something festive this time. Lattes in flavors like gingerbread and peppermint are usually too sweet for me but tonight I’m craving the added sugar. I would tell you that this past week has been a busy one for me. It was a good week but I’m not sure if that’s because good things happened or because it ended and now I am on winter break. Two weeks off of work!

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I I am very happy to announce that I got nominated for an award at work. It’s not a big, big deal but it was very nice to get some recognition. In case you don’t know I work for a very big school district in the Denver, CO area. I work as an assistant on a special needs school bus and I get extra hours throughout the week working in the training department. I teach people how to transport special needs students safely. I enjoy my job but at times I am frustrated by the lack of recognition I get. This award nomination was something I have been waiting for for a long time.

So that means I got to have some pictures taken of me doing what I do, I had my name announced as a nominee throught the whole district, and I get to attend a fancy dinner in February. I have been congratulated by more and more people everyday and my bosses have really been making me feel awesome. Of course there are a few people raining on my parade but I won’t let them ruin this for me. I’ve worked hard at this job for over 8 years, I think I’ve earned a little time in the spotlight.

If we were having coffee I would tell that I am beginning to feel the stress of the holidays. I still have a ton of Christmas shopping to do. I know, I know, Christmas is only a few days away, I need to quit procrastinating and get ‘er done already. I do this every year even though I tell myself every year that I won’t wait until the last minute. Christmas shopping is just so overwhelming for me! The large crowds, the large of gift options, or lack of gift options, the doubts about every gift you buy, I hate all of it! My anxiety levels skyrocket while Christams shopping.

Luckily for me my girlfriend has volunteered to do some of it on her own while I go into work for a few hours. I don’t have to work but something has come up so I voluteered to work a bit. I will be taking it easy though! Since I am working my ole lady is going to do a bit of housework and shopping. She’s much better at it anyway. She’s the type of person who doesn’t freeze up when forced to make even the most basic of life decisions. I guess that’s part of why I love her so much.

Speaking of my girlfriend, if we were having coffee I would tell you that Chrismas has had a wonderfully positive effect on my relationship. My and my girl have been back in the honeymoon phase since Thanksgiving and I am loving it. We are happy with each other the rest of the year too but Christmas time has us excited about gifts and indulging in good food and sweet cocktails. All of that adds up to lots of love, love, love! Christmas isn’t usually thought of as a romantic holiday but I am telling you that it is. Christmas is the time to completely spoil your spouse and we take that very seriously.

So yes I guess it really was a good week. I hope yours was too. I don’t know how much I will be around over the next couple of weeks so I’m going to take this opportunity to wish you a very merry holiday and a happy, happy New Years :)