If We Were Having Coffee // It’s Going Around

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday, welcome, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

I’m moving slowly this morning, so slow that I’ve only just realized that it’s already afternoon! I must have lost track of time while I was reading and, I’ll admit, nodding off on the couch a bit. In my defense I was up early, cleaning and cooking breakfast for my sick fiance, then I took a shower and spent some time pampering myself with face masks and all the while, I felt more and more run down and cruddy.

My nose is stuffy and I’ve been sneezing, and now, my throat hurts.  I think I’ve finally caught that nasty cold that’s been going around. I probably ought to go rest properly now, but I wanted to take a moment to catch up with you over a cup or two of cold brew.

“Coffee is a way of stealing time which should by rights belong to your older self.”

— Terry Pratchett

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that my week was actually pretty boring. Work has been taking up a lot more of my time than it used to, but that’s my fault. I saw what my check can look like when I make work my first priority. It felt so good to contribute a little extra to our shared pot and to be able to buy a few more things that it’s created a sort of addiction in me. I’ve been working as much as I can, within reason of course, and that has left little time for writing. I’m sure it’s only a phase and I’ll be back to regular posting soon. My time is worth a lot more to me than what they’re paying per hour and anyway as soon as the weather gets cooler I know I won’t have the energy or the positive attitude required to keep up the pace.

When I wasn’t t work I was home taking care of my lady. She caught the aforementioned nasty cold first and has been knocked entirely on her ass by it. As if that weren’t bad enough some old aches and pains are resurfacing from an accident she was in last year. I’m more than a little worried about her. She’s had an impossible workload this year, and now this? It’s hard not to be able to fix it all, but I can cook a few more dinners a week, handle a few more errands, and do my best to be supportive.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I’ve been feeling cruddy since Friday afternoon but I was hoping the sniffles and the icky feeling was just a case of bad allergies. I should have known it was more. My girlfriend thought the same thing too before she got so sick she had to miss a day and a half of work.

Now I just hope the worst of it won’t be too bad and won’t last too long. I don’t want to miss any work but more than that I don’t want my immune system getting over excited and put me into another ulcerative colitis flare. I’ve been well for over four months now and I was looking forward to another year or two before this disease reared its ugly head again.

But, there’s no way to know what will happen and fretting will only make matters worse and guarantee the outcome I’m trying to avoid. I just have to focus on taking care of myself this week. That means lots of medicine, fluids, and rest….while I can. I was feeling overly optimistic last week and may have overscheduled myself at work and it’s too late to take it back. I’ll have to push through.

Wish me luck.

***

If we were having coffee would tell you that what free time I had last week was spent reading. I’d finally finished The Scarlet Letter and wanting another quick high of accomplishment I decided to pick up Romeo and Juliet next.

I read it in four days and absolutely loved it! The 1996 movie version—Romeo + Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes (both, in my opinion, outacted by John Leguizamo as Tybalt and Harold Perrineau as Mercutio)—will always have a special place in my heart but reading it for myself made the story so much more intriguing.

I look forward to writing a review here but I’ll say now I’ve always believed that Romeo and Juliet wasn’t the sappy love story it’s long been judged to be. It’s actually pretty disturbing on every level. I think it’s meant to convey the exact opposite message everyone seems to think it does.

I wanted to read another drama but thought I should take a break from Shakespeare for a book or two. I have a copy of Sophocles’s The Three Theban Plays I won from Macrolit so I’m giving that a try. I have high hopes considering even the introduction was riveting. I am still reading On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche but felt a little overwhelmed by it so I’m taking a short break. I’ll get back to mentally arguing with the famous existentialist sometime midweek.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that all this sneezing and nose blowing is sapping my energy and the cold medicine isn’t mixing very well with all this coffee I’ve been drinking. I think it’s time I go lay down and try to get a little rest before dinner is done.

I hope you had a productive week. I hope you made progress or at least learned something you can use to improve in the coming week. I hope you found time for you this weekend and you were able to recover from whatever’s been weighing on you lately. I hope Monday will find you with renewed strength. Most of all, I hope you won’t catch this miserable nasty cold going around too. Take care of yourself, okay?

Until next time.

***

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

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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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If We Were Having Coffee // Getting out of the City

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday, welcome, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

I’m not feeling all that great today. I’m recovering from yesterday’s hike, too many hard ciders afterward, too many snacks all day, and staying up a little too late last night. My body isn’t what it used to be and I wasn’t very careful or considerate of it this weekend and now I am paying the price. Copious amounts of coffee are being drunk and little more than laundry is on the agenda for the morning in apology and I hope that by the early evening my body and I will have come to an understanding.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. The temperatures are still summer-like but there is a definite autumn-esque breeze coming through the open windows. It will be cold brew as usual and a healthy spoonful of creamy coconut milk—from the can, not the carton—for flavor. Let’s talk about last week.

“There is so much hope in a cup of coffee.”

@ellacalm

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am sorry I missed our coffee date last week. It was my fiance’s birthday weekend and I decided to unplug and spend the long weekend being present in every moment with her. We went to dinner at one of our favorite out-of-the-way seafood places and had another dinner with her family at a new favorite Italian place. We cooked together at home too and snuggled up on the couch for movies. She opened her gifts as the arrived and I think she liked them all, and then we got away from the city and spent a day hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that we went hiking again yesterday too. We went back to Deer Creek Canyon, the same trail we hiked on our anniversary. We went back because it was an easy trail and our dog, Lola, needed to start slow for her first hiking day with us.

A bit of background on Lola: She’s, (we believe) an Australian cattle dog and basenji mix. She is energetic, smart, strong-willed, defiant, independent, and painfully shy. She is affectionate and loving, but very much on her own terms. She’s not especially food motivated and even my approval means very little so training and socialization have been a challenge. It’s as if wants to be a good dog, but only her own vision of what a good dog should be.

When we got her we thought she looked like the quintessential “Colorado dog”. The kind of dog you take hiking and camping. The kind of dog you take to dog parks and on road trips. The kind of dog that can be trusted off leash, that is well-trained, happy, confident, a dog that is a true life companion. We quickly realized after we got her home that she was far from what we’d expected.

Lola is certainly active enough but she required—still requires—a lot of work on her manners and confidence. She’s easily spooked, distrustful of strangers, and far too trusting of strange dogs. Hiking was out of the question. There was no way I could trust her to be safe and obedient on a trail, until now.

Yesterday she went on her first hike with us on a trail shared by people, dogs, and even mountain bikes! And she did so well! She didn’t try to run away from the bikes, and she, for the most part, ignored other dogs and people going by. This is a major improvement from even a few months ago where walking her around the block could be frustrating for both of us. I think we’ll take her again next weekend. I think getting out of the city does just as much good for her well-being as it does for mine.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that the work week was…okay. I’ve been trying hard to get ahead of my schedule and get things done now so that I might have more free time in the next few months but because I have to rely on others to be available and to show up it’s been about 50% days where I get shit done, and 50% days where I have nothing to do. I’ve decided to start overfilling my calendar a bit in advance of inevitable cancellations and rearrangement. I hope I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew.

As far as my route goes, new kids are being added all the time which always fills my driver and me with anxiety. You never know if the new kid will get along with the others or if they will come in and disrupt the delicate balance you have achieved through careful interaction and strategic seating charts. We’ve been lucky so far. Each new kid has agreed with the peaceful and quiet environment I have cultivated, but we have another one starting tomorrow and I worry our luck may run out.

I did have time for reading and writing, it was only my mind I couldn’t get to focus. I made some progress though and that has to be good enough for now. I hope to do better this week and I am giving myself every opportunity to by uninstalling most of the apps from my iPad and plugging y phone in well way from me for at least two hours a day. I made an effort to clean up my “creativity room” and am pledging to spend a half an hour in there a day making little things with my hands. No screens allowed.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I’m looking forward to this evening. We’re going to have an early dinner and a showing of the 90s classic Clueless at our favorite theater. Afterward, we’ll pick up a bottle of wine to drink while we scarf down the last of the spicy chip-chocolate bark I made earlier in the week and watch the season premieres of The Duece on HBO and Shameless on Showtime. A perfect end to a particularly perfect weekend.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that it’s actually about time I start preparing for the evening. I need a nap—a “coffee nap” actually—a long shower and a little Sunday pampering time before we go no to mention there are still dishes in the sink and laundry waiting to be folded.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you got to do things for you and not just for others and not just because you had to. I hope this weekend was restful and that you won’t stress about tomorrow until tomorrow comes.

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 virtual cup of coffee.

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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Good News and Troubling Warnings

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday, welcome, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

I’m in a strange mood today. I should be tired. I didn’t sleep well last night and I’m not feeling all that great, but somehow I’m full of motivation and positivity. I’m using my time well, alternating between writing while watching old episodes of ER and cleaning during the commercials. The more I write and the more I clean, the better I feel, and the more I feel like I can do. It feels good to feel good.

It hot out today so we’re keeping indoors and, as usual, I have plenty of cold brew and ice to keep us cool. So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. Let’s talk about last week.

“I just want to drink coffee from the safety of the porch; watching the rain fall in bounds across the soft green grass. I want you beside me, and we don’t have to say a word. I want to spend the morning just staring into the earth drinking itself under a clouded sky, and finally know my place in it all.”

— Schuyler Peck, We Don’t Have to Say A Word

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that last week I had my yearly check in with my GI to discuss how well controlled my ulcerative colitis is and what the next steps are.

There was mostly good news but some troubling warnings too. The good news is it looks like I am doing well enough that we can stay the course. I’ve been dealing with some joint pain and fatigue but I’ve been able to work, go out to dinner and have drinks with friends, go hiking, write, and feel happy and hopeful more days than I don’t. I’ve got a life back again soon, for now, there will be no new medications. We’ll just make small adjustments to the dosage and frequency of the infusions as needed. And! If I continue to do well I can wean off the horse pills I have to take every morning too!

I did a slew of lab tests and for the most part results are coming in within standard ranges, but my iron levels are low and I’m being put on iron supplements as well as calcium and vitamin d. I actually do eat a lot of iron-rich foods already so I’m guessing it’s all the damage that has been done to my colon. I can’t absorb anything efficiently and I’m prone to anemia now. Not only that, but I was told to begin getting regular skin checks. I’m more likely to get skin cancer now too.

Since the visit, I haven’t been feeling all that well. I never do after doctor’s visits though. I think I worry about them a lot and that triggers my gut and my immune response and nearly every time I end up back in a flare. I’m thinking of taking up meditating again to try to head it off.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that it probably isn’t all the doctor’s appointment making me anxious and sick. My family is going through some hard times right now. I can’t say much about it. It’s not my story to tell, you know? I will say that we’re feeling very fractured and I’m unsure where I stand in all of this. I’m unsure what to do as trying to fix it might only exacerbate the issue but being too hands-off may give the impression that I don’t care and create bitterness.

It’s a delicate balance and much of it will come down to accepting that when we set out to make choices in our lives that are best for us, we risk upsetting others and in the end we may have to accept that whether or not that anger is deserved or not we cannot force people to talk to us, to work things out, to see it our way, or to forgive. It sucks and I am hurt that so many are being hurt and that things may not ever be like they were, but I’m hopeful and willing to help in any way I can.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I was saddened to hear of John McCain’s passing last night, but I’ve been reluctant to join others on social media in posting about it.

My feelings about him—as a politician and a war hero—are complicated. He was a Republican, a conservative, a warmonger and no friend to the LGBTQ community, women, immigrants, or people of color. He was part of a system that dehumanized the already downtrodden and even in death I cannot unknow that.

Still, there were times I felt that I could respect his principles. No, I would not label him “good” or “compassionate” but his presence at least seemed to mitigate the horrors happening in Washington, and will be missed. He seemed to have some kind of moral code and he seemed to stick to it. He was not an opportunist at the very least and I do think there was good that ran through him.

My heart goes out to his family. I know there must have been pain and heartache in his last days on Earth and I know that he has left a hole in their lives. I hope they will find peace.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that work wise the week was relatively stress-free. I got a lot accomplished in the office and the kids were well-behaved on the bus. I’m working a lot of hours and normally that would put me in an irritable state but I’m happy to earn the extra money right now.

I did get to check out the new building my training team and I will be moving into this fall. I was anxious about the move but after seeing all the space well have, the kitchen space, the bathrooms, and the real live office we get with a door and everything! I think it’s going to be great, not just because we get to have our own quiet space away from the rest of the staff but because our team will get to be all in one place and we’ll no longer have to compromise or cut back on our work because we have to share space and resources.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am so far behind on my reading goal for the year that I have given up all hope of meeting it. After a lot of fighting myself, feeling guilty, giving up, and trying again and again, I’ve decided to let go of my yearly goal and focus on daily reading goals instead. I start with 30 minutes of reading a day, and I shoot for another 30 minutes (or however long I can get) before bed. This week I met that goal every single day and I don’t think I’ll ever go back.

When I am trying to read 30+ books before the end of the year I power through every one I pick up. I’m not able to really take in what I am reading or consider the art of the writing beyond the plot. When I’m just worried about those 30 minutes I take what I read during that time very seriously. I study it. I underline interesting phrases and I take notes in the margins. I form opinions. I have a conversation with the author.

For that past month or so I’ve been reading On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche. This is my second attempt. It’s a short book but it’s packed quite efficiently with a lot of information. When I was trying to power through it I couldn’t understand it and I felt bad about how long it was taking me. This time I’m taking it slow and this time I not only understand it a whole lot better, but I am fascinated! I don’t agree with everything Nietzsche has to say, but he writes it well that’s for damn sure.

I look forward to writing a review when I’m done!

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that my stomach is growling at me and I can hear the washing machine beeping. I’ve got a lot to do today, around the house and just for me. It’s time I got up and moving about, I might even get out for a walk today when it cools down of course.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you learned something, made progress, and managed your stress levels in healthy ways. I hope you found time for you this weekend. I hope you saw the sun and the people you love.

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 virtual cup of coffee.

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

Photo by Andrew Welch on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Half of My Life and One Week Down

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday, welcome, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

I’m sorry it’s so late. I was so tired today, and when I wasn’t, I couldn’t bring myself to pull up a screen and type. I just wanted to be here, in my home, in my life. It was nice to unplug for the day, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. I missed this chat and I felt I couldn’t end the weekend without a quick cup of coffee with you.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. Let’s talk about last week.

“I let myself go, and made myself some coffee.”

— Anton Chekhov, from a letter to his sister written c. May 1890

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this weekend marked the 16th anniversary of my girlfriend’s decision to become begin a life together, us against the world. This year marks the halfway point between the years I have been with her, and the years I lived before she came into my life. Half of my life!

I hope by the time we are celebrating our 17th we’ll be working our way into our first year of marriage, but to be honest, this will always be the anniversary that means more to me. I think spending most of your relationship unable to legally get married changes the way you look at the institution of marriage and what it means to be a couple.  We are more than married already. We’ve cobbled together a happy home despite everything against us and we fought hard to stay together.

The day I knew I wanted to be married to this woman is more important to me than the day we will finally become so on paper. With that being said, I still can’t wait to call this beautiful woman my wife and to hear her call me the same.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that we spent our anniversary just outside of town on a gorgeous day hike through Deer Creek Canyon. We both have always loved hiking but there never seemed to be enough time for it. From here to the mountains is a couple of hours and then to hike and then to get back requires half the weekend if you include planning and packing too. I forgot I live in Colorado and this state is all about keeping the great outdoors close enough matter how far into the city you are.

I found out there are quite a few places to hike within half an hour of me, and many that are easy enough that I can keep all the gear at home. Deer Creek was about a 40-minute drive and once we were there and on the trail, I forgot how close were to the city. The trail is nestled just far enough inside the canyon that all you can see is sunshine, green trees, and the red earth.

We arrived just after sunrise and planned to only hike the easy trails and be back the way we came in within a couple of hours but along the way we felt so good we decided to buck up and brave the tougher route to what was marked on the map the “scenic view trail” and I’m so glad we did.

After the hike, we came back home to take long showers and soak our tired feet. We made pot stickers for lunch and drank too many beers before napping the rest of the afternoon away on the couch. When we woke up the sun was on its way down and we decided to dress up and Uber to our favorite out-of-the-way seafood place. We had too much wine and not nearly as many oysters or crab as we should have. Next time we’ll order differently.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that last week was the first week back to school for the kids was just as stressful as I feared it would be. I felt for a while there that it might never end and feared I wouldn’t make it but I’m proud of myself and all my coworkers for getting through it. It isn’t at all easy to get all these kids to school, through school, and back home physically and emotionally sound. If you don’t work for a school district you can’t fathom how chaotic and confusing it can be.

Every department has to work with all the others and more often than not they work against each other instead. Each has its own goals, policies, budget, and needs from the others to keep it working smoothly, and they never seem to agree on the best way to get the job done.

One week down, 39 more to go.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that after yesterday’s hike I’m hurting bad and if I want to have any hope of making into work tomorrow, I need to go soak these sore muscles, slather myself in soothing salves, and take something that will allow me to sleep.

I hope that your week was less stressful than mine and that your weekend was just as relaxing. I hope you found time to get outside and into nature, or that you at least found time to unplug and escape the pressure, the obligation, and the anxiety of your everyday life.

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 virtual cup of coffee.

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

Photo by Goran Ivos on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Mini Vacations and Pattern Recognition

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday, welcome, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

I’ll be honest, I’m not in the best mood today. The suffocating summer heat has returned and so has the wildfire smoke blowing in from as far as California. I’ve got a strong batch of cold brew to help with the heat but my runny nose and itching eyes and throat are making me miserable. I’m hoping that some good company and conversation to pick me up though because it’d be a real shame to waste the last of the weekend this way.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. Let’s talk about last week!

“and we drink our
coffee and pretend
not to look at
each other.”

— Charles Bukowski, Luck

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that last week was my first week back to working my normal, non-summer schedule and even though I struggled with it—getting up on time, arriving to work on time, and staying awake through what has been my nap time all summer—I actually loved it. I’d forgotten how good it felt to wake up and have to be somewhere, to have things I have to and people who expect me to show up.

It’s weird but I’m just one of those people who thrives under strict schedules, clear expectations, and hard boundaries. I like to know what is coming up. I like to plan ahead and prepare emotionally for the day, the week, even the month ahead. It’s an anxiety thing I’m sure. A lot of my friends think it sounds boring, but to me, it sounds safe and efficient. I can have fun and do wild and crazy things. I can surprise myself and learn something new all the time, I just like to plan for it, that’s all.

I got to meet the new kids coming on to my route since 9th graders have a special orientation day before the official start of school. They seem awesome and I’m confident we’re going to have a fun year. I was sad to learn that one of my favorite kids from last year moved back to his home state and won’t be riding with us after all. He will definitely be missed.

Tomorrow all the kids I had last year are going to see me again for the first time since May. I can’t wait to hear all about their vacations and see just how much they have grown over the summer. That may be my favorite part of my job, watching kids grow up into young adults. It’s why I bid middle and high school routes exclusively year after year. The rapid changes these kids go through is so mysterious and fascinating to watch and I feel privileged to be a part of it, no matter how small.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that the weekend was a relaxing one. Friday night we stayed in but made the night special by grabbing a pack of hard cider and picking up some hot wings for dinner. We watched Extinction on Netflix, a sci-fi alien invasion flick that wasn’t really worth the time I took to watch it.

Yesterday we went had lunch at our favorite sushi place and ended up getting marvelously daytime tipsy after a couple of ginger beer, lemonade, and grapefruit vodka concoctions. Afterward, we walked to the Alamo Drafthouse across the street to see the new Spike Lee joint, Blackkklansman. Now that is a movie worth every minute of viewing time and every penny paid to see. I highly recommend it and make sure you have some tissues with you. The entire theater was in tears by the end.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that Saturday was such a good day, and so was that the Saturday before. They were so good that I’ve decided to do my best going forward to spend every Saturday doing something new, fun, or interesting.

It’s like going on a tiny vacation. You unplug, get out of the house and away from your day-to-day grind to get a new perspective. Doing this, even for a few hours a week has profound effects on your mental health and productivity. It’s even had a profound effect on my relationship.

These past few weeks my girlfriend and I have had to deal with work bleeding over into what was once time we set aside of one another. We haven’t been able to eat dinner together, go to bed together, or talk much during the day, but these past couples of Saturdays have given us a chance to catch up and reconnect away from those responsibilities and worries.

This coming Saturday we’ll actually be celebrating our 16th anniversary. It’s a big day but we’ll keep the festivities low-key, just a nice dinner at our favorite out-of-the-way seafood place. We’ve never been big on gifts but I did get her (us) something small, a beautiful copy of the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World soundtrack pressed on beautiful red vinyl.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I’m going to try something new this week. Last Friday I listened to an episode of the Sketchnote Army Podcast featuring a thought-provoking interview with my favorite creative, Austen Kleon. In it, Kleon outlined a compelling writing strategy he’s been utilizing.

Basically, he carries around a pocket notebook and uses it religiously. The pocket notebook is for fragments, thoughts, aha moments, and quick notes and logging. Later, the fragments and bits are expanded into journal entries, blog posts, essays, pitches, poems, and then as they pile up, a year or two out, maybe later, maybe sooner, you start to see a pattern.

That pattern is how your mind works and contains the things you think about and the areas of life in which you have opinions about the way things are or the way they should be. You find out what you are trying to tell the world. You find your big idea.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I guess I’d heard about this way of writing before and just never put much stock in it but the way Kleon explained it made me think it might make sense for me. I already take notes on everything I hear, see, say, and think, but those notes are wildly disorganized, lacking context, and easily lost. If I manage to hold on to them they are usually indecipherable by the time I decide to sit down to articulate and share what I had in my mind only hours before.

So this week my goal is to write more of these fragments and to commit to organizing them and expanding them in my journal or here on the blog every evening. My hope is that a new system will lead to a higher quantity and quality of work not just here but in others areas of my creative life.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that the rising temperatures in the house have me ready for a cold shower and a nap, so, I have to cut the conversation short.

I hope you had a productive week. I hope you learned something, made some small progress, or at least made it through with minimal stress and little to no tears. I hope your weekend was relaxing. I hope you were able to make time for you and if you weren’t I hope you know there is still time.

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 virtual cup of coffee.

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

Photo by Hussain Ibrahim on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // People Exhaust Me

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

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

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

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

— Clark Gable

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time.

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

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

Photo by Alex Loup on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // I Used to Love Summer

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday, welcome, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. I’m moving slow today but I’m trying, my mood isn’t great though. I woke up later than I meant to and there are more things to do than there are hours to do them in.

I attempted to make breakfast but the eggs were too runny and the bacon too burnt. I fried some tortillas but they came out too hard and the avocados had gone bad. Nothing is going right but then again, I haven’t had near my usual amount of caffeine, so there is still hope.

So pull up a chair and fill up a cup. We’ve got new screens on the windows and a fresh batch of cold brew to combat the oncoming heat. Let’s talk about last week.

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Albany Ledger, Missouri, September 9, 1898

 

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If we were having coffee, I would tell that this past week wasn’t a very good one. I struggled to get to up and get to work every single day and didn’t once make it in on time. I wasn’t able to get up for my morning jog at all and writing was slow. I was easily distracted and exhausted.

Nearly every day as soon as I came home I fell asleep without intending to. I would feel an intense need to just sit down or rest for a moment and next thing I knew I’d be waking up anywhere from half an hour to two hours later. A lot of time was lost to fatigue and heat exhaustion.

And the heat! Oh my god, I used to love summer but this one has been absolutely suffocating. I miss the days where, sure, you had to suffer through a couple of hours in the afternoon but then you could head downtown, or to a friends backyard, and enjoy a good meal and a beer or two. Now the 90+ degree temperatures are holding well past 8 and 9:00 at night. There has been quite a few nights that I have gone to bed at almost 11:00 and it is still uncomfortably hot out.

It’s too hot to do anything and that is the only thing that set summer above winter. The amusement parks, the festivals, the events and gatherings, the warm nights out with friends and strangers alike just enjoying our state, our shared interests, and shaking off the stress of the day, that is what I loved about this season. Now we’re miserable outside as well as inside.

I’m ready for fall, and I have never in my life said that before. I’m afraid for the real heat that will come in August and I’m terrified of future summers. Our little swamp cooler used to be enough to get is through the worst of it but well be saving up to get central air—which is much worse for the environment—just so that I can live and sleep comfortably.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been a huge ball of anxiety lately. I mentioned last week that it’s time for our annual bidding for routes and hours at work.

For my new readers I work on a school bus, not as a driver, but as an assistant who rides along with the kids, primarily the Special Needs kids, to make sure they have a safe and happy ride. Where I work we bid our routes based on seniority and the drivers bid the routes first. There is one particular driver I prefer to work with so I stress doubly every summer over whether or not she will get the route we want first, and then whether or not I will get the route the following week when I bid.

Last week I was able to relax a little after my driver was awarded the route we wanted. Now I only have to stress for five more days until I find out if I got the same this Friday. I’m not supposed to let myself worry too much about anything but this time of year makes it really hard to stay calm.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I made a few mistakes at work and I feel super embarrassed and down about it. Friday, during the driver’s bid, I was tasked with setting up training and testing times for individual driver’s who needed it. From the start, I misunderstood which drivers I was supposed to focus on and I missed some who needed to be scheduled. Then I scheduled them all a week earlier than I was supposed to, messing up not just my coworkers coming work week, but my own in which I planned not to work very much at all.

I’m sure it will all be okay, but I’m not used to making mistakes at work. I pride myself on being perfect and enjoy the respect and freedom I’m afforded because I make such an effort. My boss has already told me it’s okay, but I can’t shake the feeling of failure and disappointment.

This coming week will be a busy one, at first, but I’m actually looking forward to it. I haven’t been busy all summer and I’ve missed the structure of a proper work day.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that there is more to my life than work. This week my little sister and her kids will be here in Denver for seven days. I can’t even begin to express how excited I am to see them and how sad I already am that they will have to leave again at all.

I’m not sure we have any real plans while they’re here but we are hoping the siblings—my two sisters, y brother, and me—can find tattoo shop to accommodate all four of us getting some ink on the same day. The tattoos are, I hope, turning into an annual tradition. Last year was our first with matching sibling tattoos. This year we are all getting something different though.

I’m hoping to get my knees done. I’m looking to get a butterfly, specifically the Colorado hairstreak butterfly, on one knee, and on the other, a moth, the achemon sphinx moth actually. I’d like both done in that traditional, old school tattoo style. It’s a unique tribute to my home state, with the hairstreak being our official state insect and the achemon found throughout the region.

I excited, but a little scared too. The knee area can be sensitive and tattoos in general hurt anyway. Wish me luck!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my stomach has started to growl reminding me that the afternoon is here and it’s time, not just for lunch, but to complete a few chores and get ready to run some errands and visit with family.

I hope you had a good week and that you’ve had a relaxing weekend. If it wasn’t I hope the next will be better. Try to stay cool and make sure to make time for the things you enjoy, the things you want to accomplish, and the things that make life worth living.

Until next time.

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It's easy to look at other bodies and imagine ourselves in them, living their lives, thinking their thoughts, being happy, healthy, and loved exactly the way that they are, but to look at our own and know that we are capable of the same within our own skin? Impossible, almost laughable! .
Others are deserving because of who they inherently are, and we are not because of who we inherently are, or so we tell ourselves. It may feel like your body was never meant for anything more than suffering, but the truth is, every body is built for both the good and the bad of life. Those other bodies, they have their own pain, same as you, and you are just as capable of your own happiness too. .
You can heal.

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

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

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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash