If We Were Having Coffee // Soaking It Up While I Can

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

I’m up a bit early this morning and rushing through my normal Sunday routine because in just a few short hours we are going to a much-anticipated Beetlejuice movie party with a few of our couple friends. Before we go though I’ve got to whip this mess of a house back into shape, find time for a short nap, and make sure there is plenty of time for catching up here with you.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. I’ve got the windows open and plenty of cold brew coffee ready, or I can make a cup of Chai or Earl Grey tea if that’s more your speed. Let’s talk about last week!

“She sips her coffee, sets it down, stretches her arms. This is one of the most singular experiences, waking on what feels like a good day, preparing to work but not yet actually embarked. At this moment there are infinite possibilities, whole hours ahead.”

— Michael Cunningham, The Hours

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my week away from regular work was just as wonderful as I hoped it would be. Working for a school district means I got a much-needed break from the kids, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have work to do.

When I’m not riding the bus with the kids I also work as a trainer helping new employees learn how to work with these special kids. My training team is being moved to a new office across the parking lot so I spent the week moving not just our workstations, but all the equipment we use and even the large cabinets we use for storage.

It was hard work and I’m proud we were able to get so much of it done. Unfortunately, we got news that the new building we just moved into would be closed for 10 days in November, so we halted the move and put half of the equipment back into the old space to move moved again once the roof is done.

To be honest, I’m not looking forward to going back tomorrow. I miss my kids, but having a quiet office was really nice. Between our routes, the lounge can get awfully crowded and loud and there’s really no place to rest your mind and recharge and there isn’t always tie to go home.

On warm days I can stay on my bus. I can write, or read, or listen to podcasts. I can even take a nap if I want but I scheduled a lot of work for myself this in an effort to get it all done before winter so there won’t be a lot of time when I can get away. It’s going to be another hard week for sure.

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If we were having coffee, I would take a moment to remind my American readers how important voting is and how especially important voting is in this year’s midterm election. I’m lucky to live in a state that makes voting easy. Here in Colorado, it’s super easy to vote by mail and there are tons of 24-hour drop off location across my city. I know it’s different in every state though, and for some voting is really inconvenient, but I urge you to please, please, please, try to make a plan and to please, please, please, drag along a friend or family member too.

I won’t assume your political leanings but I know all my readers are at least people of good intention and I am a believer that while the details may differ between us, a lot of the political strife we are going through is due to not enough “good-intentioned” people voting,—not to mention a severe lack of “good-intentioned” people running for office—and too many self-centered and hate-filled people voting—and running for office.

So, please vote. I don’t care where you live or who or what you are voting for, just get out there and vote!

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you while last week winter seemed in full swing, this week we’re firmly back in fall with temperatures climbing upwards of the low 70s. We feared that there would be no autumn for us at all this year and that summer would give way right into winter, but it turns out it was just a momentary confusion that has since cleared up. This past week we’ve seen steadily increasing temperatures and quite a bit of sunshine. I’m soaking it up while I can before the long cold settles in.

Yesterday my girlfriend and I spent the whole afternoon out of the house. We had tickets to “Repticon“, a yearly expo for reptile and exotic pet lovers. My girlfriend fell in love with about 10 chameleons and I say plenty of beautiful snakes I’d love to add to my little collection, those beautiful animals—and their prices!—I realized I’m not quite ready to take on another 20 to 40-year commitment. The ones I have already demand a lot of time and command lot of space in the house. We’ll need more room, and a lot more free time and energy before we can take on another pet.

After Repticon, we did a little shopping at a nearby outdoor mall to stretch our legs and do some shopping. When our stomachs started growling we walked over to a favorite burger place of mine and gorged ourselves on food we knew we’d regret eating later.

We tried a delicious hard cider and after lunch, we made it our mission to hit up every liquor store on the way home in search of a few cans to take home. It only took two stops and, since we were feeling lucky we decided to pick up a few more Mega Millions lotto tickets to try our luck a second time now that the prize has climbed over a billion dollars!

By then the sun was beginning to set and a cool breeze began to blow reminding us that while the days may be warmer the nights are getting colder all the time. We went home to settle on the couch with our pumpkin cider and a few good movies: The Fly and Starship Troopers.

It was a good day.

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If we were having coffee, I would (reluctantly) tell you that I failed at every single one of my goals for Fall Break. I did not manage my time on Facebook, I actually think I got worse and I am considering deleting the app entirely from my phone. I did not write anywhere near as much as I hoped to. I may have figured out what my problem is and I may have even figured out the solution too. I’ll explain more when I have the courage to. I didn’t make my pocket notebook, but I did at least get my measurements down and I found some paper to use. I didn’t read at all either.

I have no excuses, and I offer no apologies, to anyone or myself. I had a good break and that’s what matters. I’ll try again this week. I have a plan and my editorial calendar is back in front of me. I’m clearing out a second area of my “creativity room” to use as an analog desk so that it won’t be such a pain in the ass to move from writing to “making”. My books are back in my backpack and I have recommitted to my midday and before bed reading time too.

Productivity will resume with renewed enthusiasm this week, I promise.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my stomach is starting to grumble which means it’s lunchtime, which means I have only a few short hours now to eat, finish my chores, squeeze in a power nap, and get ready for the movie.

Thank you for stopping by to chat with me. I hope you had a good week and that you found time for you—to get outside, to do something fun, to make something, or to accomplish that thing you set out to do. I hope you are well and I hope you let me know either way in the comments below.

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 Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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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.

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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.

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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

If We Were Having Coffee // Star Wars Tickets and a Quiet Fall Break

Hello friends! Thank you for meeting me for coffee this morning. I had a late night last night so I will be taking my coffee strong and I’ll ask you to excuse my tired look. I promise I am happy to see you. I love our little coffee chats and this week I have only good things to share.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am so happy I don’t have to work tomorrow. I don’t have to work because tomorrow is the first day of fall break. Working for a school district means I get built in vacations four times a year. I don’t get paid for them but if I need it I do have the option of going in, finding random work to do, and making a little money. I just don’t want to this week.

I’ve worked this job for about 9 years and just about every year I work through all of our breaks, finding extra work wherever I can, but this year is different. This year I am trying to get serious about writing and I think taking a week to shut myself in and really brainstorm some ideas, work on an outline, maybe make some art, or write a piece for a submission call, all sounds much better than going into my day job.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that yesterday I spent the afternoon at a friends bridal shower. I went into it thinking I would be bored and irritated through the whole thing but I ended up having a ton of fun. I didn’t really know anyone there but they all tried hard not to make me feel left out. That and the amount of margaritas and jello shot being passed around made for a very fun afternoon.

When we left I told my girlfriend that I really wanted to get serious about our wedding. We’ve been engaged for about 2 years now. We had planned on being married by now but so much has happened since I proposed to her that we never could focus on planning the damn thing. Things are beginning to settle down now and I think it’s time we make this happen. Watching friends get married before us is making me anxious.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that the highlight of my week was getting my Star Wars: The Force Awakens tickets for opening day, December 18th. I know, I know, this sounds incredibly nerdy but let me tell you, it wasn’t easy getting the tickets. Many major movie ticket sellers sites were down due to it being the biggest surge in ticket sales in history. Hell, even the trailer broke viewing records.

So last Monday night I sat up refreshing both Fandango’s site and the Alamo Drafthouse’s site, both of which had been down for hours. Then I checked Facebook and realized people were heading to the theaters to buy tickets in person. I freaked! Tickets were selling out and I couldn’t even get on the sites to buy! So I called the theater and my girlfriend was sweet enough to sit on hold for 30 minutes to make sure I could be there on opening day. I’m glad she supports my geeky interests.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am working hard to start a journaling habit again. I bought a bright red Shinola brand notebook over the summer but it was so pretty that I could never write in it. I finally got over that and every afternoon I write a summary of my feelings that day and on the opposite page I write a list of five good things that happened. Below that I also add a short sentence or two about my hopes or fears for the next day.

I forget sometimes but it’s getting better. I carry the notebook with me wherever I go and this week I’m going to set a reminder in my phone. I hope that it will get to be just as strong a habit as blogging has become. I want it to be something I look forward to every day and I want to feel a little “off” if I don’t get it done. I think it’s important that I supplement my writing here with something analog. It keeps the brain healthy you know.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that, sadly, my coffee is gone, and I have work to do, so I had better go. I would love to stay longer and trust me I could use another cup but my house is a mess and the dog is demanding attention and exercise so I have to run.

I really hope you had a wonderful week, but either way, let me know how you are and what you’ve been up to in the comments :)

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Lola bun :)

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