If We Were Having Coffee // Losing Hope but Hanging in There

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday, welcome, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. The weather this weekend has been gloomy, and by now the gloom has worked its way right into my mood. I’m tired, and all I want to do is crawl back into bed with a good book and a hot cup of tea for the rest of the day. BUT the weekend is only so long, and I know that doing nothing at all won’t make me feel much better, so I’m up, I have my smoothie, a cup of cold brew, and you, to cheer me up.

‚ÄúThe morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that yesterday was World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Awareness Day and I celebrated by staying home, resting, and writing. I posted some thoughts on my fight so far with this disease. I tried to convey some of the things that I go through that go deeper than the symptoms and the medication. I tried to¬†help people understand the way it’s affected how I relate to my own body.

Like most things I write here it was written as a reminder to myself, but like all advise we give ourselves, it’s hard to remember and harder to maintain. Just hours after I wrote all that about acceptance and loving myself I had a breakdown. There is so much guilt I have for not being able to be the best me I can not just for me (e.g., not being able to write, to exercise, or go place and do things I enjoy) but for other people too.

It isn’t even the bowel symptoms that are making life so hard! It’s the fatigue and frustration that are forcing me to become so introverted and irritable. I feel myself crawling back inside and away from people, not out of anger¬†but out of exhaustion. I feel bad that I can’t be the sister, daughter, friend, or fianc√©¬†that my loved ones need me to be. Of course, they are understanding, but I can see the sadness there. I know that just because I am sick doesn’t mean they stop having needs to and I have no idea how to get back to them.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as soon as I begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it moves. I’m starting to believe the light is an illusion and to fear that the tunnel goes on and on forever.

This week I was feeling a lot worse and was finally forced to contact my doctor. I was trying so hard to hold on and hang in there until I started my new maintenance medication on Tuesday, but what I was getting so bad I was worried about how much damage I was doing to my body by trying to¬†toughing it out instead of trying something else. So, I called the doctor who then put me back on what I’ve learned is referred to as the “devil’s tic-tacs” in the IBD community, Predisone.

Neither of us wanted me back on that crap. It works miracles, at first, and then it wreaks havoc on the whole body and takes months and months to recover from. But okay, it’s what I need to do, so I felt hopeful I would feel better right away, but she put me on such a small dose it’s made only the smallest dent, enough to keep me working. Then I was hopeful that the new maintenance meds would help right away, but that probably won’t happen either. I’ve gotten so bad that it will be another month or two before I know whether this course of action is right or not.

So, I’ve stopped hoping. Now I’m just hanging in there. I’m going from day-to-day, sometimes hour-to-hour, doing what I can and resting when I must.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that writing was slow this week. I just couldn’t get my brain to stay on task. It was drawn to scrolling Twitter and commenting on Facebook group posts.¬†I did my¬†best to redirect my attention though by remembering that I had pledged to get back to reading more this week.

My girlfriend surprised me with a bit of spontaneous book shopping this week to cheer me up after all that bad news, and I settled on The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, a creepy, heartwarming, and thought-provoking zombie apocalypse story unlike any other. It was the perfect book to get me back into regular reading. Well written, attention-grabbing, and easy to read and follow. I highly recommend it, and the movie too!

This week coming week I’m going back to The Odyssey. I love this book, but I’ve never been able to actually finish it! Too much detail I suppose. My brain just shuts down, and my eyes start to glaze over and close after only a few pages. I end up having to reread so much of it but I’m determined to finish it this year, so I keep plugging away.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the coming week is the last of the school year and as you might imagine the atmosphere at work has been tense. There is so much to get done. Graduations, field trips, bidding for summer school routes, bus and equipment cleaning, evaluations, and training. It’s a bittersweet time. We’re saying goodbye to the kids and as relieved and excited as we are we’re all a little sad too.

You get close to these kids, preschoolers and high school seniors alike. Some of my kids are graduating, and some will be moving away over the summer. Even if I get the same route next year, I won’t see them again. Next year new kids will be moving into the district, and many will be moving from elementary to middle school, or middle to high school. There will be new schools opening and routes will be rearranged somewhat and the training department I work for in my off time is moving and hiring new people.

Everything is changing and much of next year is up in the air. I have a little over two months to try not to panic about it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the sun is trying to peek out through the clouds and if I am going to get to spend any time outside of the house this weekend, I had better get up and get going now. I need to look at something other than these walls, hear something besides all the bad news on TV. I need to move my body and be around people. I need to feel that sun and smell the spring air.

I hope you had a productive week and that your weekend has been a relaxing and revitalizing one. If not I hope next week will be better than the last and that you find time to do something just for you before the weekend is over.

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 virtual 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 // All to Myself

Hello dear readers. Welcome, happy Sunday, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. I am in desperate need of company just now. I’ve had the house all to myself since Friday and this morning, in particular, feels especially lonely. I don’t do well on my own, even the dog is depressed and want little to do with me. So, I’ve got some music playing, the drapes open wide, a strong cup cold brew, and now you, to cheer me up.

***

If we were having coffee, I would start by wishing all the Mother’s out there a happy and joyful Mother’s Day. I hope your children remind you how much you mean to them. We’ve all taken a parent for granted before and it’s good to recognize at least once a year (though of course, it should be more) that our mother’s, while not perfect, did the best they knew how and made us who we are, for better or for worse.

Of course, not everyone had a great experience growing up, and for a lot of people, Mother’s Day can be a little complicated. Some people had abusive, or absent mothers, some people had another person in their life who was more of a mother to them than the woman who gave birth. I have a friend who’s celebrating his Father today, the parent who did double duty. I wish all of you a happy Mother’s Day too, and I hope you, and the ones you celebrate, feel valid and recognized today.

As for my mother and me, it’s a little complicated for us too, but we’re a forgiving family. I can see how hard it was for her having me so young. I’m grateful for all her hard work. I’m grateful for her love. I’m grateful she did better by me than her parents did by her. I’m grateful that she taught us that at the very least, we should grow up to do better than her too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve had the house all to myself since Friday evening and, it’s driving me crazy. Anyone who knows me knows I hate being away from my girlfriend. We’ve been together so long, lived together most of that time, and with working the same schedule, at the same place, it makes it hard when I don’t have her around. It’s probably not super healthy, I suppose, but it’s how I am, and she doesn’t mind, much.

She’s staying at a hotel this weekend and enjoying a bit gambling and good food with her mother.

I’m stayed home to celebrate my own mother with my siblings and taking care of the house. I saw them yesterday for a small, low-key get together at my brother’s house. It was a wonderful visit, my niece is growing up so fast, my sister and I cracked each other up the whole time, my mom got hilariously annoyed with us all, and my brother has two new, very cute puppies I got to play with! I was only sad my brother’s fiance wasn’t there. I wanted to congratulate her face to face after I found out I’M GOING TO BE AN AUNT AGAIN!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that health-wise this was a weird week. I started off feeling amazing on Monday. I felt like my old self. I felt happy, even after being at work all day! Then slowly throughout the rest of the week, I slide further downhill.

Part of it was diet. I didn’t stick to the bland food plan I’d set up. Part of it was the stress of planning Mother’s Day. Part of it was simple exhaustion. I need to rest, but I feel too guilty to stay in bed or to say no when people ask me to do things.

I am hanging in there though. I only have nine more days until my first infusion, and that light at the end of the tunnel that I hope is there. I cannot wait.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am counting down to the end of the school year and feeling a little sad, and very anxious, about losing my kids to summer vacation and about starting new work hours.

For those who don’t know, I work on a Special Needs school bus, and this year I had great kids! Of course, I love my kids every year, but this was the first year that all my kids liked me! I had all high schoolers and nearly all boys and all year I got to talk about video games and superheroes. I was quizzed on who has what superpowers, who is who’s arch nemesis, and which heroes were faster, stronger, and smarter than which heroes. We made up gross foods combinations to eat and imagined how to escape dangerous scenarios like sharknados and rabid beavers. We talked about space travel, dinosaurs, sports teams, and horror movies. I had a lot of fun!

I’m going to miss them, but maybe I’ll get to see them again next year.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’m still plugging away, writing blog posts and working on some bigger projects but there were setbacks. My writing got away from me. That is, I let a few tangents get the better of my focus and by the end what I started to say looked like nothing I meant to say by the end, and I spent the rest of my week trying to correct course. This week I’m starting again, and I’m going to work on being more organized.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the clouds are rolling in and I can feel the weather changing in my bones. I have a lot left to do today to prepare for the week, and I had better get to it before this energy leaves me. I’m joining in on some interviews at work, so I have to prepare a question, and I’d like to post something here tomorrow, not to mention the laundry, the dishes, and a slew of small house projects that need completing before the work week can begin.

I hope you made progress where progress was needed this week, and if you didn’t, I hope your setbacks can be overcome in the coming one. I wish you all a happy Mother’s Day full of love and gratitude.

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 virtual coffee.

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

Photo by Edan Cohen on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Getting Back to Old Habits

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday, welcome, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. I’m up late this morning. That’s not exactly true, I was up early, but I found myself back in bed three times before I considered trying a cup of coffee. Now, after a quick cup of cold brew and a little sunshine and fresh air coming through the open windows and I have the laundry started, the dishwasher loaded, some writing going, and I’m ready to sit down with you.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I didn’t want to talk about ulcerative colitis this week. I’m sure you are tired of hearing about how much pain I am in or how my medication isn’t working, or how afraid I am of what might happen in the future. I didn’t want to tell you that this week was worse than the last, but at least I’m one week closer to the start of my new medication.

I didn’t want to tell you any of that but May is Inflammatory Bowel Disease Awareness month, and I feel the need to overshare through it. This week I’m dealing with people doing that weird thing where you being sick everyday irritates them.

Last week I got frustrated when a co-worker told me I looked sick asked if I had a cold or something contagious in any way. I explained, for the hundredth¬†time at least, that I am not. She asked what was wrong then. I answered that I had ulcerative colitis. I glossed over the TMI symptoms and just told her I was prone to fatigue and joint pain, she only shrugged her shoulders and told me she’d never heard of it. I could tell she didn’t care to either. She advised me to go to the doctor. I left it at that rather than get into all the doctor’s visits, test, and medications and am already going through.

This isn’t a new experience. Every day someone asks me how I am doing and I can tell that they just want to hear that I am better. They want to hear that there are easy answers. I understand that chronic illness can be hard for people to understand but if there is anything I can make you aware of this month, it’s that for some people pain is an everyday reality, and there are no easy cures. We may never get better, and we certainly will never get used to it, and that is okay. Let that be okay.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that my biggest challenge has been changing my diet to foods that are easier on the guts, but significantly less satisfying. I’m living off of bone broth, fish, boiled eggs, and smoothies. I’m drinking peppermint tea, “golden milk”, and Gatorade to stay hydrated and keep my electrolytes up. If I get a craving for something sweet, I can have Jell-O. That’s it. No hot wings, no pizza, no burgers. I didn’t even get to enjoy any tacos or margaritas this Cinco de Mayo. Ugh!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m still plugging away at my A to Z posts. I’d planned to post a lot more than just the one I did this week, but work interfered unexpectedly. That break I had been hoping for ended almost before it started.

I’m also struggling to write during the hours I set aside for it at home. I’ve known for a long time that I write better when I am at work, when I am not supposed to be writing, when I don’t really have the time, but I’m struggling to replicate that kind of panic at home.

It’s helped to put my headphones in, to rid myself of the silence and either put on music to change my mood, or podcasts to give me that background chatter I’d find in the office. Coffee helps and getting up for a minute here and there to quickly take care of to-do items, as I would at work when my boss or coworkers need something. I can’t sit on the couch, and I can’t have the TV on. I have to “get ready” for writing like I am getting ready for work. I have to get dressed, eat breakfast, brush my teeth, and go there emotionally.

Of course, I didn’t figure any of this out until yesterday. When I did though I got the first newsletter I’d sent in months out and got a ton on brainstorming in. I’m hoping thinking of writing as work will keep my ass in the chair much more consistently going forward.

This week I am setting goals for myself. I am going to write four posts, including an A to Z reflection, and my “M,” “N,” and “O” posts, plus get another newsletter out. They are a part of the next project I have in mind, and I can’t move forward until they are done. I’m trying to keep in mind this advice I read from Austin Kleon last week:

First draft motto

A post shared by Austin Kleon (@austinkleon) on

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m looking forward to the coming week. I don’t have a ton of work scheduled yet, and I’m planning to get back into some old habits I’ve let fall in the past month. I am going to start reading again and journaling. The time I had previously devoted to those tasks became nap time, and while the rest is great, I miss my books.

I’ve also got my magazine and newspaper piles organized, and I’ll be posting some more blackout and a few attempts at cut-up poetry on Instagram. I’ve missed moving other people’s words around. If I get ambitious, I may include some¬†collage¬†art too.

This weather report for the next 7 days looks absolutely gorgeous, and I might reward myself with some time outside. One hour, half for reading, half for writing about my day. It’s a small thing, but right now I need all the small joys I can find.

I may try some walking too. The evenings are warm enough for a trip around the neighborhood with the dog. I know she’ll love that.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that is about all I can pull out of my little boring life to share with you this week. Nothing much is new, but there have been a few things to think about. Not every week can be about action, some have to be about rest and reflection too.

I hope you had a productive week and I hope your weekend was relaxing. If not, then I hope the next will be better than the last.

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  virtual coffee.

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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Working on What Works for Me

Hello dear readers and thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and conversation. I failed to prepare the cold brew in time, so I apologize in advance for the hot drip on this warm morning. I guess I could serve it over ice, but who likes watered down coffee? At least the sun is out, and I’m able to open up the house and let the spring breeze through. I have a feeling winter is finally behind us, and despite the pain I’m in right now, I actually feel happy.

#sugarcube #culpability #coffee

A post shared by Artie Redshoe (@artie_redshoe) on

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that ulcerative colitis is a real pain in the ass, literally and figuratively. I’m still feeling pretty cruddy, and I believe I will be for a while. The new medication my doctor prescribed isn’t doing much, in fact, I just seem to be getting worse, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, or at least that is what I keep telling myself. There will be stronger medication soon. I start infusions next month, and I have my fingers crossed and a heart full of hope that by the time summer hits I will feel something like my old self again.

In the meantime, I am getting along the best that I can, eating healthy, resting, and staying hydrated, but not exercising as much as I should I’m sure.

My fiance continues to be wonderful, taking care of me, comforting me, being patient with me, and I continue to feel awful for putting her through so much even though I know it isn’t my fault at all. The guilt just adds to my depression and anxiety and in turn makes my immune system react which makes my colitis worse which makes me feel worse which just makes me more depressed and anxious and so on and so on and so on…

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that due to the teacher walkout/call out I got to enjoy an unexpected 3-day-weekend. I’ll admit before I got wind of the coming protest I had no idea that our teachers made so little. I work for a district with a reputation for having a lot of money. We service a lot of the more affluent areas in the city, and our schools are among the best in the state.

Of course, I should have guessed. I work in the transportation department, and our drivers, assistants, and staff are all making less than their counterparts in the surrounding districts, I just always assumed the teachers were doing ok though. I fully support them and the kids we are all responsible for. We all deserve better, and it’s been disheartening to see so much pushback on social media.

I wish everyone understood how vital a teacher’s job is. Even more, I wish people understood how important every person working in a school district is to the safety and success of every child and our entire country’s future.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this is the last weekend of my birthday month, and I decided to do a little more celebrating. On Saturday, since it was so nice out, and since we had a couple of free tickets, and since we had heard so many good things about it, we went to see A Quiet Place, and I am so glad we did!

I’m a lover of horror films, always have been. There’s something about getting to feel fear and anxiety and even sorrow and regret in such a controlled environment. It’s thrilling, but it only works if you can be fully brought into a story and can really believe you are there with them, trying to escape. A Quiet Place does that in some of the most unusual¬†and captivating storytelling I have ever had the privilege of seeing.

A Quiet Place is a piece of art, and I recommend everyone see it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the Blogging A to Z Challenge ends tomorrow and I’m half an alphabet behind. I won’t be finishing on time, but somehow, I’m okay with that. I’m not mad. I’m not disappointed. I’m not freaking out or beating myself up. I learned so much, and I found what I came here to find, my passion.

The challenge most certainly was, and continues to be, just the kick in the ass I needed. I have posted more in the past weeks than I had since the beginning of the year. I have momentum, a groove, and I have not given up. I’m just having fun is all and working on what works for me.

I learned that I am a slow writer. I have to brainstorm first, by hand, on paper. Then I have to read three other pieces on the subject and figure out if what I am saying is different enough, interesting enough, or if it makes sense. Then I brainstorm again, by hand, on paper. Then I go through the whole mess trying to put it in order and type it up here.

It’s a lot, and obviously,¬†there are better ways to write blog posts. I could do it that easier way if I wanted, but the truth is, I just like reading and thinking and brainstorming, the writing is just the part I do to justify all the time I put in. I also learned how I want to do better and what I could start adding to my way of explaining things. I have a lot more ideas and a place to work them out now. I feel like I’m back. I feel like I got to begin all over again.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve lost track of time. The sun is going down and turning the rooms orange and lavender, that means it’s getting late and I have fallen behind. I have so much cleaning and preparation for the work week, and I guess I really should wrap up this “L” piece I have sitting in my drafts and try to make progress on “M.”

I hope you had a good week. I hope it was stress-free and productive, and if it wasn’t, I hope the next will be so. I hope your weekend was warm and that you got to meet the sun some. If you didn’t, I hope that wherever you are, 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 cup of coffee.

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

Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // My New Favorite Room

Hello dear readers. Welcome, happy Sunday, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. My eyes are open early on this sunny spring morning, but I can’t seem to get the rest of my body moving. I’m stuck in that place between getting up and getting shit done, and pulling the covers back up and going back to sleep. Hopefully, some good coffee and conversation will get me tip me toward motivation.

And yet, like myself, those future corpses who were drinking their coffee in silence appeared ashamed to be so alive.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Simone de Beauvoir, The Mandarins

***

If we were having coffee, I would suggest we move to my new favorite room, the one we’ve always called the “creativity room” but up until now has been sorely underutilized.

The creativity room where we go to make things, and where I am supposed to go to write, but it was also a room to store our crap, more of a dumping ground with no storage and no order. For years I’ve wanted to start making it into a proper place to work in, but when your whole house is falling apart, a creativity room doesn’t feel like a reasonable allocation of resources. But it’s my birthday month, and I wanted to do something nice for myself, and for my fiance, who needs her own space to create beautiful watercolor works in.

So, this weekend we got a couple of IKEA coupons and loaded up the car with all the parts we needed to build a proper workstation for each of us. We wanted the option to be able to interact with one another, to have plants nearby and to share supplies easily. We wanted a room that we can relax in a room that feels like a place to make things, to use your mind and your hands, not a place to tune out and turn off. There is a lot more work to do in here, but I think we put together a beautiful and functional first step to that dream.

For now this new space means I finally have room to make some art! To start out I’m going to keep it simple, some magazine cut-outs and some simple writing and typography in my art journal. It also means I have space to organize all the little daily notes that I take that separately seem to mean nothing but together I’m hoping will turn out to be a book or two one day.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that my birthday month is slowly winding down and looking back on all I have been given and gotten to do I have to say this years celebration were some of the best. I truly felt important, seen, and loved, and that is why I believe birthdays are so important. All year we give and give and give and all the while inside we are lonely thinking no one cares about us. Your birthday is a chance for your loved ones to show you that you matter. Make sure they take the job seriously.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that my health has been on a slow downward spiral lately. I’m sure I mentioned it last week but I have been switched to new medication, new medication that my insurance did not cover. My birthday was nearly ruined by the news, but my doctor and the fantastic nurses working in her office helped me through a few hoops, and I was accepted into an assistance program to help with the costs. The only bad news, I have to wait over a month to start it.

So in the meantime, I’m doing my best to hold on, be strong, and to take care of myself until then. I’ve been so tired. Not tired, run down. I long for energy. I sleep, I eat, I drink copious amounts of coffee, and I still feel so drained.

My fiance is doing her best too, to hold on, to be strong, and to take care of me too. She’s been wonderful, but it hasn’t been easy for her either. I belong to an Ulcerative Colitis support group on Facebook, a few of them actually, and every week there are at least one or two people whose significant others leave them over this condition. I don’t for a second think mine will, but it puts into perspective the ways a chronic illness can come between two people. We’re working on finding the balance between acknowledging what is going on and living our lives regardless.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am nine letters behind in the Blogging A to Z Challenge, but I want to assure you I have not given up, I’m only working at my own pace. Feeling so run down like this makes it hard to write rather than nap or veg out on the¬†couch when I get any free time. It sucks because I’m actually really enjoying my theme and getting a chance to really explore the human condition in an organized and methodical way.

Not only that but I’m really getting into a groove with writing. I’m figuring out what works for me. How to research, find quotes and facts, how to brainstorm and the organize my thoughts and, the hardest part by far, how to sit my ass in a chair and just write for 30 minutes to an hour.

I also feel like this project can be turned into something later. I have other ideas, some creative writing could be incorporated, or maybe a little art and illustration, why not? I’d love to get these posts edited extensively, condensed, colored, and converted to a chapbook or something, maybe?

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I am enjoying our chat, I have to get up and really get on with the day. I’m off to visit my mother for a belated birthday celebration for both of us. I hope you all had a great week and I hope your weekend was as relaxing, or fun, or productive as you needed it to be and I hope the coming week will be less stressful than the last.

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.

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

Photo by Ryan Riggins on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // A New Normal to Get Used To

Hello dear readers. Welcome, happy Sunday, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. I’m in my usual Sunday panic dashing around the house trying to get everything ready for the work week and feeling guilty that more time won’t be spent enjoying what time I get to myself.

It’s like the weekend is all of Friday night and Saturday and Sundays are just pre-work days. Your body may get to be home,¬†but your mind is on tomorrow and already feeling the first twinges of anxiety and longing for your next day off. Sigh, at least the sun is shining, and you are here, and there is coffee to brighten the mood, yes?

‚ÄúCoffee is a lot more than just a drink; it‚Äôs something happening. Not as in hip, but like an event, a place to be, but not like a location, but like somewhere within yourself. It gives you time, but not actual hours or minutes, but a chance to be, like be yourself, and have a second cup‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Gertrude Stein, Selected Writings

***

If we were having¬†coffee, I would tell you that last¬†week was my first back to work since Spring Break and of course, as always, I was thrown into some¬†last-minute, and extensive, schedule changes. We ended up having a class of new employees start, and I ended up working overtime to train them. I’m wasn’t at all happy about it either. I was feeling grouchy and down, worried and restless the whole week.

It wasn’t a particularly large class or difficult compared to any in the past, I just wasn’t feeling all that great, and I had so much else I would rather have been doing. I think the unstable weather contributed to my bad mood too. We’d have days that felt like summer was just around the corner, plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the 70s, and some days we were plunged back into winter with snow and temperatures¬†near freezing. It’s exhausting.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had a hard conversation with my doctor. My health has been declining again, and I think she’s a little peeved at me for not listening to her nearly a year ago and switching my medications. It’s hard though when you are teetering between “not quite what you were but feeling okay” and “extreme fatigue, pain, and a host of other alarming symptoms.” It’s hard to know when what you are doing isn’t working when you don’t know what your new normal is, you know?

So, now I will have some¬†new medication, new side effects to watch for, and a new normal to get used to. I’m so thankful for the support and understanding of my fiance, my family, and my friends. I’m thankful for their willingness to listen, to check in on me, and to make me do all the things I don’t want to do. I’m thankful they are willing to put up with my whining and my frustration. They are more patient with me than I am with myself.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week I had a scare. I almost lost someone who means a lot to me, and who I had been taking for granted for too long.

My grandmother was rushed to the hospital early last week with chest pain they found was caused by a tear in an artery. She endured some 6 or 8 hours of open heart surgery and came out ready to begin her recovery. I went to visit her and was so inspired by her resilience and her sense of humor and love for me. She asked me to come around more and to get her pictures of my girlfriend and I, and I promised her I would.

I realized that she is where I come from and she holds a ton of knowledge about my past and my family. She holds all the secrets and stories. I found myself panicked worrying that if I were to lose her, I would lose the answers to so many questions I haven’t had the chance or the courage to ask.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that because of work, and my health, and my moods, and my panic, I fell behind on my A to Z posts, but I’m very close to catching up.

I know that most people write their posts well in advance of the challenge, but I had been hoping to cultivate a¬†daily blogging habit starting with this challenge. I thought beginning with a theme and having at least an idea for each post might help. It might also help if I wasn’t so wordy and long-winded. Hopefully, that will get better with time.

I have worked out a few kinks and settled into a flow, and I have learned how to write first and edit later, though it is a lesson I have to keep learning again and again. I’m writing every day and scheduling my posts for the next. That doesn’t feel too much like cheating.

Unfortunately, any hope I had of¬†an easier week to write in have already been dashed though I still think I’ll be able to keep the overtime in check. I may fall behind a few times before the end of this month, but I am not for a second entertaining the idea of giving up.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you the best news of all, this week is my birthday week! And this birthday is an extra special one, this year my birthday falls on a Friday. This year my birthday falls on a¬†Friday the 13th. I’ve been waiting so many years for this one, and I’ve decided to get a new tattoo to mark the occasion.

Many of the tattoo shops around me do Friday the 13th tattoo specials in which you choose a pre-drawn piece of flash to adorn your body with for only $13 (or $31, or $62, or some other flat rate). I have a tattoo or two I’ve gotten spontaneously on a Friday the 13th just for the fun of it, and this year won’t be any different. I’ve already scouted the offerings from some local shops, and I think I’ve settled on one that feels right.

As for the rest of my plans, We’ll go out to lunch, we’ll cook a special dinner at home. I’m hoping for crab legs and a good bottle of wine. A close friend’s birthday falls the next day so Saturday will be the night for hard partying and Sunday will be spent in recovery. I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the day is wearing on and I have at least two more posts to write before the day ends, plus laundry and dinner, not to mention the afternoon nap I hope to squeeze in.

Thank you again for stopping by. I was in greater need of the caffeine and conversation than I knew. I hope your week was productive and your weekend peaceful. I hope Spring has found you wherever you are, and you have found time to enjoy some sun.

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.

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

Photo by Izzy Rivi on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Enough is Enough

Hello dear readers. Welcome, happy Sunday, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. The weather report promises a gorgeous day, so if you don’t mind I’m opening all the blinds letting as much light and fresh air in as I can.

Spring is in full swing here in Denver, CO and that means our weather has become unpredictable and unstable. It may snow tomorrow for all we know so I’m soaking it up while I can.

I’m up early today because it is my week to do the grocery shopping. Anyone who knows me knows I hate grocery shopping. The crowds and the confusing layout send my anxiety through the roof, not to mention having to drive there in the first place, but now that I have gained a bit of confidence, I thought I’d try giving my girlfriend a break every other weekend. So, she’ll be doing the laundry and enjoying a little time to herself, for herself. She certainly deserves it!

Trade the drama in your life for coffee and see how quickly life improves.

‚ÄĒ @mutinyinfocafe

//

If we were having coffee, I would start by saying I am so proud of everyone who made it out to the marches yesterday, especially the teens and children many of whom who are among the ‚Äú187,000 who have been exposed to gun violence at school since Columbine‚ÄĚ. I couldn’t make it out to the march myself, but my thoughts were with those I know and care about who have been affected by tragedies closer to home.

I watched the live steam from DC and was moved by Samantha Fuentes, a Stoneman Douglas student who was shot in the leg, and who, partway through her speech, threw up, finished her speech, then sang happy birthday to her friend who died in the shooting. I was also moved by Emma Gonzales, whose speech lasted exactly the number of minutes and seconds of the Stoneman Douglas massacre. And finally, there was Naomi Walder, an 11-year-old black girl who took it upon herself to include for the voices of countless people of color living in our cities fearing for their lives every day due to gun violence.

I hear rumors of another walk out in the works for April 20th. I hope the rumors are true. I was attending school in the same district as Columbine High School on that day in 1999 when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire, and my heart has broken as I have watched the same happen time and time again.

We forget that the effects of a school shooting ripple far past the school and students affected on that day. Back then we became a little more aware that it could happen to us, but we still didn’t believe it would. Now every student, in every grade, and in every school across the country worries they will be next.

//

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week I took a break from The Odyssey and from Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals to read Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer and I am so glad I did. I finished it in just three days and I am desperate for the second and third installments of the series.

The best part about reading Annihilation was having a friend who was reading it too and was willing to nerd out over the book with me.

We shared our favorite parts and the parts that frustrated us the most too. We shared theories of meaning and metaphors and speculated on what the future might hold for the biologist and Area X. My friend printed me a map highlighting landmarks and a picture of the lighthouse that inspired the one in the story. It was exciting to delve so thoroughly into a story, it’s world, and it’s characters, and I am seriously considering asking him if he’d like to start a book club even if it was just the two of us as members.

//

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that so many little things happened this week that meant big things to me but to tell you all about them in detail would take all day. So, here’s a quick list:

  • My youngest sister, who attends an amazing alternative school got to go on a field trip to see Hamilton this week! and I had to practice not being bitter about my own experiences in school and just be happy for her. She loved it, she wishes I had been there with her, and she assures me the ticket price is well worth it.
  • I invited a coworker and his wife to join our once a month couple’s dinner (we are up to 4 couples now), and it was a great success. I was awkward as usual, but everyone seemed to have a great time anyway.
  • My boss guilt tripped me into making a crock pot meal for our annual “buck a bowl” fundraiser at work. I hated every minute of it, but it turns out my salsa verde chicken was among one of the favorites! Everyone loved it, and I promised to make it again next year.
  • The countdown to my birthday has begun! Less than a month now to design a new tattoo, get tickets to the museum (and maybe a movie too), and plan the many and varied nights of celebration with my girlfriend, my friends, my family, and my in-laws. My birthday is kind of a big deal, at least to me, and I make sure everyone knows and participates.

//

If we were having coffee I would tell you that tomorrow marks the first day of my Spring Break and, of course, I’ll be working through it. Well not entirely. I am taking a day or two to get a jump on the A to Z Challenge. I don’t have much time left and I haven’t written one post yet! But I do have my letters and my topics all planned out so, that’s a start, I guess.

I’m going to take an extra day off of work tomorrow and use just about every free minute I have to work on these posts. I’m easily distracted so I have deleted apps like Facebook and Twitter from my iPad (where I do most of my typing) and disabled notifications on my cellphone lock screen for all apps on my phone. Apps I’m particularly prone to checking constantly have had their notification disabled entirely.

If you’ve been following along these past few months, you know writing has been hard for me lately, and I think I’ve figured out why. I need to be alone more. Whenever it is time for me to write it seems like people are around asking me to make a choice, hang out with them or write, and I feel bad when I choose writing. This weekend I cleaned up a little in my “creativity room,” a place I had begun dumping ideas but never spending any time in to actualize any of those ideas. I cleaned up my desk, sat down to write this post and realized that I have been in desperate need of solitude.

Not solitude as in physical space although physically this may be what it looks like. I am talking about solitude for of mind. I’m (re)learning that space, silence, and room to “spread my mind out in” are crucial not just to forming thoughts but critical also to getting said thoughts down on paper.

//

If we were having coffee I would tell you that it’s time for me to wake the rest of the house up, make a nice big breakfast, and start getting ready to brave the Sunday crowds at the grocery store. I’m also cooking something new for dinner tonight, crispy slow cooker carnitas!, that needs to be prepped and started very soon.

Thank you again for stopping by. I hope your week was productive and joyful, and if it wasn’t, I wish you less stress and more time to take care of yourself in the coming week.

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.

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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash