If We Were Having Coffee // A Much-Needed Break

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

We’re getting a preview of the winter to come today with temps hovering just below freezing and a few inches of snow predicted to be on the ground before dinner time. Normally snow days make me miserable and mean but today I have a clean house and a determination to write something, read something, make something, and spend a little time with you. I feel good today and I won’t let the cold and the dread of a messy work week commute tomorrow ruin that.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. The coffee machine is out of commission but there’s plenty of coldbrew and I’ve even got some delicious earl grey or chai tea if you’re in the mood for something warmer. Let’s talk about last week!

“There is something—for me—about coffee that is deeply personal and healing and always comforting.”

Meg Fee

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that it is finally Fall Break for the district I work for and that means a much-needed break from the bus and the kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love the kids on my route but after a while, you can start to feel a little burned out by all the little daily frustrations of keeping your bus safe and peaceful.

Unfortunately, fall break doesn’t mean no work at all. It just means not having to go in so early and not having to stay quite so late. Oh, I have the option of taking some time off if I want to but a whole week without pay is really going hurt when payday comes around. So, I’ve chosen to go in and help around the office instead. My training team is moving to a new office across the parking lot and I’m hoping there is at least 40 hours worth of paperwork and equipment to move over to the new space

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that the week leading up to Fall Break was quite a stressful one. It’s always stressful at work before breaks, though. There are deadlines looming and more to do than usual but mentally you are already off and it’s hard to focus or to care.

Not only that but I’d gone and scheduled twice the amount of work I normally would for myself. I thought it would be nice to start my break with a lighter workload and head clear of worry. It was hard but I got through it all and I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for it too. I did everything I promised myself I would even when I was tired, and miserable, and cold. I showed up, physically and mentally, even on days when I didn’t have to and now even though I still have to work next week it’s going to be a whole lot easier.

It as close to a real vacation as I can get right now.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I wish I had some grand goals to accomplish for Fall Break but time has had a habit of getting away from me lately and once again I’m caught unprepared for the opportunity. But rather than set myself up for failure I’ll just go with the flow and do what I can when I can. I have just a few, mostly ongoing ambitions this week.

  1. Manage my time on Facebook.  The amount of time I have spent on that godforsaken app has been steadily increasing despite never actually feeling good after being on there. There really is no reason to log in more than once or twice a day to check in on family or catch up with my favorite groups and I think a purge of liked pages and companies is in order as well.
  2. Write constantly, and exclusively, for this blog. I’ve made some tiny progress toward getting back to my old posting frequency but not nearly as much as I want to. Lately, it just feels like nothing I write is any good and I never feel like I am making the point I set out to make, but writing something is better than writing nothing especially when you are learning to practice.
  3. Make a pocket notebook. I’m tired of sorting through scraps of paper and post-it notes at the end of the day. Plus, it’s hard to turn those crumpled and jumbled thought fragments into anything resembling a blog post, let alone a newsletter or a publication pitch. I need a pocket notebook, and I think making one myself sounds fun!
  4. Keep reading. I’ve got three books going at once right now. The Iliad by Homer, On the Geneology of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche, and The Collected Poems of Emily Dickenson. I did really well trading my nap time for reading time more days than not last week and I stuck to reading at least two pages and as much as 30 minutes before bed every night. I’m doing great, I just need to keep doing great.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this weekend was pretty stressful too. I’ve been trying to facilitate an environment of forgiveness in my family after some big changes resulted in a lot of harsh words and hurt feelings. I thought going back to having weekly-ish family days together where we could have dinner and catch up might be just what we needed but all agreed to attend only if we could meet on the neutral ground—my house. The thought of entertaining, cooking, and even the cleaning I would have to do sent my anxiety through the roof!

I spent all of Friday night and most of Saturday cleaning every nook and cranny of my house and freaking out about dinner, drinks, and how the hell I was going to keep six adults, a toddler, and a newborn baby entertained for 6 hours!

But despite being nervous and worried the whole time, we actually ended up having a great night. The cosmopolitan cocktails I made helped loosen up the tension and the new baby kept us entertained when we ran out of things to talk about. All in all, it was a success, so much so I’m worried that “family day” will only be held at my house from now on.

Sadly all still isn’t forgiven in my family. The problems are still there, laying unaddressed and unresolved, but for the kid’s sake—and for mine—it seems we can still get together and let our hurt and anger go long enough to remember what we still like about each other. We can still laugh. We can still find a way to care, to say nice things, and to enjoy a good meal. I think that says a lot for the kind of people we are and goes a long way toward finding forgiveness…one day.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that judging by my empty cup and my growling belly, it about time I got up and got some dinner started before all my Sunday shows are on.

I do hope you were able to find time for you, to accomplish something you’ve been meaning to or to do something fun for a change. I’ll still be around if you’d like to tell me how your week went and what you’ve been up too and whether it’s warm where you are or if winter has reared its ugly head near you too.

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

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If We Were Having Coffee // All Good News

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

It’s late, again, I know, and this time I have no excuses. I slept in after a late night out with friends. When I woke up I realized I was out of milk for the coffee and drinking it straight up was too much. I had to settle for tea and headaches all day. So, I was lazy and I what little energy I had I felt like spending on cleaning the house and cooking. I made a pear German pancake for breakfast and chicken sausage and creamy polenta for dinner.

But I missed chatting with you and felt I couldn’t go to bed before I had told you all my good news. So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. Let’s talk about last week!

“I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake.”

— Lewis Black

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that Tuesday’s doctor’s visit and colonoscopy ended with the good news I have been waiting to hear for over a year: no visible signs of inflammation! The new medicine is working and, for now, my ulcerative colitis is under control and I might actually b in remission. Of course, I still don’t feel as well as I’d like but I think that is down to diet, lack of exercise, anxiety and lingering low-level depression, all as usual.

So, now that the weight and worry have been lifted off my chest I can start to focus on these smaller issues. I’m planning to look into medications for my anxiety and to start at least jogging again in the morning. I’m looking closely at the keto diet which more than a few of my friends have started but which I am highly skeptical of. I want to lose a few pounds, just 10 to get me back into some of the clothes that no longer fit me.

I want to take the next step toward feeling like myself again. I want to figure out what my new normal is and enjoy it for a while, while I can.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I AM AN AUNT AGAIN! My brother’s girlfriend gave birth to a very adorable and very BIG baby boy just after midnight on Friday. Sadly, he was breech and mom had to have a c-section which was a bit distressing and then we found out yesterday he is jaundice and will need phototherapy and a few more days in the hospital. Nothing much to worry about, and nothing this family hasn’t seen before, but definitely a real bummer.

I had hoped this joyous event would do more to bring my family together after all we’ve been through these past few months. Some progress was made but I wonder if we might have taken more steps back than we had forward. I feel like I’m walking a tightrope between the warring sides and hoping not to step too far either way. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and I certainly don’t want anyone angry with me.

For now, I’m letting everyone know that I am here for them all and I am fighting to keep the lines of communication open wherever I can. What I’m not doing is fighting anyone’s battles for them or deciding based on hearsay who is right and wrong and whose feelings and actions are valid or understandable. I practicing accepting every person’s emotions and perspective as important and worthy of the space it takes to process.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that the work week didn’t go quite as expected. All the work I had hoped to get done fell through and was rescheduled to the coming week. Now I have twice the work to worry about but I just keep thinking about how proud I’ll be of myself when I get it done and I try to remember that after it’s over I’ll have a worry-free week waiting for me on the other side.

Fall break is coming up and even though I still have to work I won’t have to go out on the bus and 90% of my coworkers will be at home leaving the building nice and quiet. I can not wait!

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that last week I went back to using an analog editorial calendar and I already feel so much more motivated, organized, and inspired.

I’ve decided that going forward I am going to split my time between writing here, sending pitches, and working on some personal projects. I’ve been spending too much time in front of the TV lately and not enough time with a good book or pen and paper. I’m trading one episode a night of whatever show I’m currently binge watching for 500 words before bed. That’s the compromise I’ve made with myself.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this weekend was one of the best I’ve had in a long time. Yesterday (Saturday) was “penny admission fee for Colorado residents” at the Denver Museum of Contemporary art. They had a museum-wide new exhibit up I’ve been wanting to check out called “Fieldwork” by artist Tara Donovan. Her work wasn’t like anything I’ve ever seen before. I love how she takes everyday materials, stuff I use and handle all the time, and makes these huge otherworldly pieces out of them. I was in awe!

We went with another gay couple we work with and who we’ve grown close to over the years. They’re so much like us, and still different enough that we feel energized and inspired after hanging out with them. They infuse us with new perspectives and remind us that we are still young and there is still so much life to explore and enjoy.

After the museum I showed them my favorite lunch place and after stuffing our faces we all went home to recoup for dinner and a haunted house that evening.

We drank too much at dinner, or maybe just enough, and had a blast at the haunted house. We have plans for a movie party in a couple of weeks and a Halloween party at the end of the month. I’m trying to get as much socializing in before the holiday season stress and all the time I’ll have to spend with family.

***

If we were having coffee I would say it’s very late and very soon I will have to go to bed if I want to have any hope of getting a decent start to the week. If I can get Monday right I have a real chance.

I hope you had a productive week. I hope your weekend was relaxing. I hope you learned something new, surprised yourself, and that you found something to be proud of. If you didn’t, if things didn’t go your way or if the world is asking more of you than you can find to give, I hope the next week will treat you better.

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 // All I Am Willing to Do

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

It’s late, I know, but I kind of had a lot going on today. I didn’t sleep well last night. I had too much on my mind, and I am still getting over this weird sinus/nasal infection. It took too long to find my way out of bed and when I did I was moving too slow to have or hold any meaningful conversation.

Even with coffee, I was barely able to get ready for my brother and his girlfriend’s baby shower. Afterward, I stumbled through the grocery store getting only the barest essentials for the week ahead. Since then, and for the duration of this conversation I’m sure, I’ve been and will be laid up on the couch. I’ll do my best to stay awake but I beg your forgiveness in advance if I just can’t.

So pull up a chair—it’s best you stay off the couch and sit well away to avoid catching this nasty bug—and fill up a cup and pass me the tissues, please. Let’s talk about last week!

“Coffee makes us severe, and grave, and philosophical.”

— Jonathan Swift, 1722

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that the baby shower was very sweet and I am so excited to meet my new nephew, I only wish my family were in a better place right now. I hate to be so vague—it’s a lot to get into and most of it isn’t my story or my place to tell—but I will say that today, or rather, sometime in the middle of the night after laying wide awake with worry running through possibilities and scenarios while staring at the ceiling, I found clarity.

What is best for me is to stay out of it. For one thing, when it was me feeling left out and wrongly judged no one came to my rescue. For another, I can’t know who is right and wrong, who said what or started this or that fight. It’s best to keep quiet, for now, rather than look like a fool or make anything worse. The truth is I just can’t go on fighting and enabling and putting my own mental well-being in jeopardy for those who have yet to learn how to put their feelings aside and handle other humans with compassion and understanding.

All I can do, all I am willing to do, for the time being, is to reiterate wherever I am asked for advice that the best course of action is to make your true feelings known and then to give one another space and respect enough to process. I advise forgiving as much as possible the mistakes and the shortcomings of those who have never known better and showing each other how to love by example.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I cannot believe I am still trying to get over this awful sinus/nasal infection. Nearly everyone else at my job, including my girlfriend, was able to shake it in a matter of days. I’m well over a week now and still stuffy and fatigued.

To make matters worse I can no longer tolerate the cold medicine. Apparently whatever they put in those pills wreaks havoc on the digestive system and by the end of the week, I was in excruciating pain and bleeding. I panicked and thought I was heading back to the gastro specialists and looking at a medication change or worse, another round of steroids. Luckily, the symptoms subsided after I stopped taking the meds. Unfortunately, that means I’ve had little relief aside from what nasal spray and allergy medicine can provide.

On top of my cold, and my pain, and my day off, I had double the work when I returned. I had, before the cold, scheduled twice the work I normally do in an effort to get ahead of my team, and myself. I know that once the weather starts to cool and especially once the snow starts to blow I’ll be in no mood to do any more than I have to. So, I had the whole week booked, and next week, and the following week too. By then, by the end of October at the latest, it should be smooth sailing to the end of the school year. I’ll just have my route and routine training of newbies.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that on Friday night I was feeling a little down and figured a bit of book shopping might cheer me up. I also remembered I had a little bit of Barnes & Noble money left on an old birthday gift card sitting in my inbox. So, I got The Collected Poems of Emily Dickenson, The Iliad by Homer, and The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery. I had hoped for One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez but somehow, they were out. Oh well, maybe next time.

I did manage to finally finish Antigone by Sophocles, the first of the Three Theban Plays, and I’ve started the second, Oedipus the King. I’m hoping to finish it a little faster. I had no trouble understanding, and I was—am— sufficiently interested, I’m just too tired.

Part of it is the cold, sure, but some of it is just plain old chronic illness and it’s affecting more than reading. I can’t write and I can’t seem to get organized or to make any progress on this house. It’s falling apart around me and all I can do is lay on the couch and watch while it happens. Doesn’t seem like those iron supplements the doctor put me on are working all that well…

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that it’s gotten dark out and dinner has come and gone. The coffee mugs have turned to wine glasses and there is a full plate of decadent figs, goat cheese, and honey. It’s time for all our favorite shows and the laundry still needs folding. I think it’s time for me to go.

I hope you had a good week and you managed to steer clear of any nasty cooties floating around. I hope you found some time for you and that the next week will be better than the last in all the ways you need it to be.

Take care of yourself.

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 Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

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

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