If We Were Having Coffee // So The World Ends Every Week Now

Hello dear readers. Thanks for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. I’m having a hard time feeling motivated today, so everything is happening late and taking twice as long as I’d hoped. I’d considered just staying in bed today to rest and relax away from the world some more while I still could, but that never makes me feel much better. So I’m up, and I’m here because chatting with you always helps even when it’s hard.

 

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week was a bad one. Every time I turned on the news or got online the world seemed to be ending all around me. It seems like the world ends every week now and I’m running out of ways to cope.

I woke up Monday morning with a long to-do list and enough motivation to tackle it all but as soon as I heard the news coming out of Las Vegas, I couldn’t think about anything else. I spent my morning listening to traumatized survivors retell their stories through tears and hearing the sounds of bullets hitting people and pavement played over and over again. All that shock and devastation found its way into my heart that morning, and I still haven’t entirely recovered.

My heart was already so heavy as it was and what happened in Las Vegas just kind of broke me a little, and I shut down. I couldn’t to do anything but think of my little life and all the ways I want to protect it. It’s hard to accomplish your goals when all around you people are suffering. It’s hard to enjoy your hobbies when children lose their health care, and transgender people lose their protections. It’s hard to believe in a brighter future when the NRA, big oil, and fat cats keep winning. It’s hard to believe in humanity when our President divides the country, acts like an ass, and pushes us closer to nuclear war, week after week after week.

It’s hard to believe you can change the world when you are afraid to even leave your house or turn on the TV.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that despite it all I haven’t given up. I just needed to rest, but it’s hard to begin again. Turning off the news helps. I’m learning not to feel guilty about that. Humans weren’t built for all this suffering and chaos coming at us from all over the world. My heart is only so big, and I have to give it time to work through things before letting any more pain in.

SO, I turned off the news for a few days. I spent time with my girlfriend and made time to text friends and family. I sought out the things that made me feel better, and I overindulged. I made sure to join this week’s #LetMeFemsplain chat all about technology and self-care. I watched movies, read books, played with the dog, and went on a blocking and unfollowing spree across all my social media accounts.

I carved out space around myself, and I made it quiet and calm. I rested my ears and my mind and my voice. I’m hoping to get back to listening and speaking my truth, but it may be slow going for a while. I’m not quite ready to let the world back in.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of my week was seeing the Colorado Ballet performance of Dracula yesterday.

The weather cooperated. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and a cool breeze blowing just enough to keep the heat in check.

We’d planned on brunch at a popular restaurant near the opera house before the show but when we arrived they told us it might be another hour before we got seated. To kill time we took a walk around the block where we ran into a sign for $15 brunch buffet, $4 bloody marys, and $3 mimosas, plus a live jazz band outside a small restaurant We were sold! We wandered in and were seated immediately.

We wandered in and were seated immediately. The staff was friendly, the food was good, the music was great, and the drinks were strong. The restaurant is now one of our faves, and we plan to eat their every time we visit the Performing Arts complex from now on.

Since we’d eaten, we decided to head to Starbucks and watch the downtown crowds until showtime. The annual Zombie Crawl was underway, and there were a ton of creative people staggering around dressed up as the undead.

The ballet performance itself was just incredible! There were mental patients, wolves, zombies, and vampires of course. The story is a classic and easy to follow. The costumes and effects were perfect, and the dancers were breathtaking, as always. The dancer playing Dracula was beyond phenomenal, seductive and creepy! Even the music was good, loud and booming from the moment the curtain went up. It was seriously so, so good!

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that the first winter storm of the season is forecasted to roll in overnight tonight, already! They are talking about 4-6 inches snow and I can hardly believe it after the gorgeous weekend we’ve had. I’m not ready, but I’m doing my best to love fall. I’m making sure to take in all the colors and smells. I’m enjoying the return to warm dinners with soups and squashes. I’m spending the evenings cuddled up under the covers sipping fall cocktails with apple and cinnamon flavors. I used to hate fall, but moping is a waste of time. Better to cling to all the good I can.

 

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s getting late, and though I hate to go there is a ton of cleaning waiting to be done and about a million things I have to do to prepare for the week. It’s been good to chat with you and get some of this off of my chest. Thank you for listening.

I hope you found some good throughout the week despite all the horror going on around us and I hope your weekend was a relaxing one.

Until next time, take care of yourself.

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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 cup of coffee.

Featured image is by Ronaldo Arthur Vidal on Unsplash

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September 2017 // Fall Brings Its Own Kind of Warmth

The last of summer has faded, the leaves are changing, and I feel myself changing too. I’m curling up inside myself, making a place to keep warm and safe before winter moves in. It’s a sad time for me. Summer has always been my favorite season and this time of year is the farthest I will be from that freedom again, but I am trying to change my perspective. I’m learning that fall has its own kind of warmth, one I can find inside myself.

September always feels like the longest month of the year, and this one was no exception. I had a ton of birthdays to mark, my girlfriend, her father, her sister, two of my sisters, one of my brothers, and a cousin. I didn’t celebrate with them as much as I’d wanted to because things are still pretty crazy at work but as the month worn on though things began to calm down. I’m allowing myself to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. October might be a return to some normalcy, and I am so ready for it.

But first, here is what I am currently:

Writing…something? I have had an idea, it’s still small, but it’s important and full of potential, I think. See, I’ve been having a hard time dealing with my death anxiety, and everyone is telling me to get help but I already researched ways to cope, and I have plenty of people will listen when I need to talk. The reality is, this will probably always be a part of me, and the best I can do is learn to soothe and redirect myself when I need to, but there may be something else I can do. Maybe turning it into something creative and giving it a purpose can help too. I’m writing things down, but I have no idea what they will be exactly. It’s exciting!

Planning My next big writing goal, another fellowship, this time it’s with Buzzfeed! The BuzzFeed Emerging Writers Fellowship includes four months of financial support and mentorship focusing on personal essays and cultural reporting and criticism from Buzzfeed!. It’s a dream come true. Applications are due by December 4th, and while that might seem like plenty of time, there’s a lot that is required, and I figure I better get started before my brain has time to get overwhelmed or decide it’s a waste of a time for a talentless hack such as myself.

Making a very long list of blog post ideas. This blog hasn’t been focused in a very long time, and I want to get control of it and make it into what I always wanted it to be. A place for self-care, mindfulness, philosophy, science, art, society, and culture. Whew! I’ve got my topics figured out, at least 15 in all, and I’m writing 3 posts for each slowly but surely to get me started. You won’t see them for awhile, maybe not even until the new year, but they are coming.

Anticipating Halloween! It’s time to get spooky dear readers, and I am ready! This month we are seeing a ballet performance of Dracula, a play about Jack the Ripper starring a friend of ours, and heading to a haunted house with friends. I’m hoping to hit up Fright Nights at Elitch Gardens, a movie party at the Alamo Drafthouse, and a party if I can convince some friends of friends to open their home. Mostly though I will be watching every horror movie, I can find streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO!

Reading Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul by Giulio Tononi. I’ve read it before but it’s such a beautiful book, bok in its writing and in the presentation, I had to pick it up again. I finished Mrs. Dalloway, finally, and breezed through Memoirs of a Geisha and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as well this month. I’ve started setting a goal of 40 pages a day, and reading during my lunch and between my afternoon routes instead of napping. It has really helped, and there’s hope yet that I might accomplish my reading goal for the year if I keep it up.

Watching The Duece on HBO, Starring big names like James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal The Duece is a semi-fictional account of the rise of the porn industry during the 70s in New York. The show is only a few episodes in, but I can tell you its pretty damn good so far. I’ve also been watching American Horror Story: Cult and the new season of Transparent but neither has sucked me in like The Duece.

Feeling A bit introverted lately. Maybe it’s just the changing of the seasons, or my focus on this new project and my lofty writing goal, or maybe it’s my anxiety, I’m not sure, but something is putting up a wall between me and everyone around me. I’ve turned into  Very Serious Woman with no time for jokes. Having any kind of conversation feels pointless, and I can’t imagine there is anything anyone might say that would make me feel better. Of course, I know that isn’t true, and I’m trying to make time every day to socialize in some way. It’s good for people to be with people, even when we least want to be.

Needing more hours in the day, please? I know that isn’t possible, so I’m willing to settle for more days doing more of what I want and less of what the world needs. This damn capitalist culture is taking all of my free time and paying me back very little of what these precious hours of my life are worth.

Loving fall cocktails! My girlfriend has been making Hot Buttered Rum before bedtime, and I’ll be picking up some Fireball Whiskey to make Angry Balls too. I’m even thinking about trying these Caramel Apple Mimosas. They look delicious!

Hating Um, Trump? Again? More? I mean a week doesn’t go by where he doesn’t say something insulting or inflammatory and nothing his administration has done makes me feel like this country is great and has only confirmed that we never really were in the first place. The American Dream made that man. He’s everything this country pushes people to be and that ought to be a warning and reason enough to reevaluate everything we think is good and right in the world. The people of Puerto Rico are in my thoughts, and I am proud of every player taking a knee.

Hoping October takes it easy on my loved ones and me. After Halloween, the pressure of the holidays follows. The pressure to be the most giving, the most grateful, the happiest, and most tolerant of your family’s crap because they are family. It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time, but it’s the most stressful! October will be the last chance I’ll have to enjoy being a little selfish. I hope the month’s demands won’t be too harsh.

All in all, September was alright. I was busy and anxious for most of it, but I’m proud to have made it through still focused and motivated. I’m proud that I never once let the demands put on me by work and family pull me down into depression and I never gave up on my personal goals. I simply did my work quickly and utilized every minute I had left over to further my goals. At least, I did on most days. There were certainly a few evenings I came home to grouchy and full of pity for myself to do anything. As always though, progress, not perfection is the goal. I am definitely progressed!

So, how about you? How did September treat you? What did you accomplish? What did you learn? Do you have any fun Halloween plans or costume ideas?

Let me know in the comments (:

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Thank you 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.

The inspiration for this posts come from Andrea at Create.Share.Love.

Featured image by Owen CL on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Summer is Over and I am Sad Now

Hello, hello, dear readers!

Thank you for stopping by for a little coffee and conversation. Please excuse my tired look and I apologize if I seem a little preoccupied. This weekend we’re celebrating my lovely lady’s 30th birthday, and I’m doing my best to make it a special one. We aren’t doing anything crazy, this weekend, but we’ve been shopping, staying up, drinking and eating good food, just the two of us.

We’ll be with her family this evening. We’re having dinner and drinks, and there’ll be gifts and desserts, of course.We’ll have a proper celebration with all of our friends as soon as we have some time to plan one.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, for a short week, it felt like a really long week.  I had taken Monday and Tuesday off, which I enjoyed very much but going back in the middle of the week left me feeling out of the loop and I struggled to find my footing. When I am there, day after day, with all my coworkers, nothing seems to change. Sometimes I get the feeling that if I weren’t there, it wouldn’t matter at all.

I miss a couple of days, though, and when I get back everything seems changed, and everyone needed me for something.

They don’t know it yet but I’ll be taking another couple of days off at the end of this month. The school my route runs out of is off for a week then, and I figure I could stand to take a day or two off when they won’t really need me anyway. I love my job, but I want to take every opportunity I can to spend a few days here and there writing instead.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell that I finished reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath last week, and I realized at the end that I had read the book before! Somehow I forgot the whole first half, but there were parts of the end that are a bit graphic, and they stuck out in my memory. I can’t say I particularly liked the book. It isn’t bad, and I do understand that it had a few things to say about women and mental health, but it just didn’t feel exciting.

Now I am reading All My Sons by Arthur Miller. It’s one of the books I won in the Macrolit giveaway last month. It’s a play. I’ve never read a play before, I mean they tried to make me in school, but it’s so hard for me to comprehend what is happening when they are describing it on a stage. I didn’t think I would like this at all.

I stuck with it, though, and eventually, my brain got the hang of how it’s written, and I kinda like it now. I’m almost done, and I’m thinking about trying another drama out soon. I also want to pick up a good collection of poems, but I haven’t settled on a poet to start out with yet.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am very sad to see summer go. It seems like each summer is a little shorter than the last. I consider that to be one of life’s great tragedies.

My mood takes a sharp downward turn about this time of year. I starting seeing some yellow leaves here and there, the night’s get colder and colder, and deep down in my soul, I feel winter marching, unstoppable, toward us. A lot of people like fall, I see it as a sign of the awful season to come.

It doesn’t help that here in Colorado fall doesn’t seem to last very log at all. We move almost immediately from warm summer to very cold and very long winter. Ugh, winter. I hate being cold, I hate the snow, I hate how drab and dead everything looks too. Winter is so damn depressing!

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If we were having coffee, I would apologize for being a Debbie Downer. I am looking forward to one thing, my favorite holiday of them all Halloween! I can’t wait to watch scary movies, attend costume parties, and eat all the candy corn I can get my hands on.

We haven’t settled on our couples costume yet, but I’ll start scouring Pinterest for inspiration soon. Last year we went as Seymour and Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors and the year before we were a lion and lion tamer, and we’ve been Alice and the White Rabbit too. I would like to go as Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, something like this but with more wolf fur on the wolf.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had better get going. There is so much to do around the house, and I have a piece of writing I’m trying to submit to Femsplain, which has to be done by tomorrow.

Thanks again for stopping by, though, I really do enjoy these chats. I’d love if you dropped a note in the comments letting me know how you are and what you’ve been up to.

Oh, and have a fun and safe Labor Day celebration tomorrow!

Until next time :)

Watercolor and white gel pen on the back of a DIY birthday card I made for @char_adams86 :)

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Colorado In The Fall and How I Am Learning to Cope with Help From My Readers

This past Sunday I received quite a few comments on my weekly coffee sharing post regarding my hatred for autumn and how much or how little that had to do with the fact that I live in Colorado. There were a lot of comments but most were in favor of fall and many thought I was looking at this all wrong. Some had even been to Colorado and thought that it wasn’t that bad, or that Colorado was just beautiful and I just wasn’t seeing it.

When it was all said and done I think my mind was changed a little. Maybe I really have been just seeing autumn the wrong way. The way I see it now, fall just looks like everything around me is sad and dying. The leaves changing isn’t beautiful, it’s a daily reminder that pretty soon all the pretty green stuff is going to be gone and it is going to be cold and snowing. That cool breeze that means you can finally start wearing all you favorite sweaters just means that soon there will be no more fun things to do.

All the amusement parks and pools will be closed. All the patios at the bars will be for the hard core smokers only. There will be no more movie event, or festivals or ‘fests. The pretty green parks will be bare and empty of human laughter. Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit but mostly all of this is true.

My favorite comment on the subject, and the one that inspired this post, came from Sarah:

Fall has always been my favorite season with winter a close second.
Fall here in Florida is a continuation of summer and I hate summers here,
I love fall in the rest of the country.

Watching the leaves change from green to all the colors of the rainbow. Or if you happen to live in Colorado they change to a bright golden /red color. Simply beautiful.

I love how the air is fresher. I can open my windows and spell the fresh air.
My steps become alive again and I start walking. I am rejuvenated.
The animals gives birth and we watch them walk through the yard here.
Winter is warmer here and you would enjoy that. For me I long for the winters out West. The cold is warmed by the bright sun. It fresh and clear and sunny.

My reply to such a beautiful comment:

Oh my gosh, what a wonderful comment. The way you describe your love of autumn almost makes me change my mind, then I remember that here fall means cold, and wind, and snow. I do happen to live in Colorado and the leaves are turning very yellow right now. Sounds like I should be living somewhere like Florida, where fall is just summer 2.0.

I’ve often told people that I should move further south, and I would, except for the extreme conservatism everywhere. I have thought about southern California as well but the cost of living is high. So I am staying here for the forseeable future, which is okay because I really do love this state, I just hate the winter.

Sarah reblogged my post and I got another comment from one of her readers:

Ahhh it makes sense, your in Colorado, I understand completely….We drove through your beautiful state….I was mesmerized….I fell in love with Manitou Springs, we spent a week there, Cortez National Park, amazing…and we went over Lizard Pass…wow I thought I was in the Alp’s…..love it….glad to have coffee with you anytime..akthy

I will say that we have some of the best scenery that you can get in this country. Routine drives to work and home give you spectacular views of the mountains and amazing displays of color in every sunrise and sunset. The mountains are often purple or orange tinged and this time of year, the fall I hate so much, means the beginning of them getting their pristine white tips back. I do love the way the mountains look with snow on them and I admit that in the summer they seem a little drab.

The air here also does become much clearer and fresher. Most summers the sky gets pretty hazy due to California’s continual forest fires. Sometimes it’s so bad we can’t see the mountains at all. We can smell it coming in and the haze gives everyone the worst allergies. In the fall the fires die down and the sky becomes clearer. We get a better view of the mountains too.

We are also lucky that even though it gets very cold, the sun is usually shining. I read once that Colorado gets an average of 300 sunny days a year. In other parts of the country people go long stretches of time with clouds hovering and rain and snow coming down constantly. We get a good amount of snow, and we do get it in the fall, but it’s not that bad and we do have the sun to cheer us, even of the temperatures stay below freezing for a few months..

Speaking of the snow and the mountains we do have quite the booming winter tourist season. I do not partake, in fact I am one of the few Denver natives here who have never gone, and probably never will go skiing. I do like all the money this brings to the state and I do take pride in this fact. People come from all over the world to ski our slopes!….Maybe I ought to give it a try, everyone else can’t be wrong about this.

Then I remember that I still hate it and it’s basically a useless season anyway.

I’m starting to wonder if maybe it’s because Colorado’s fall is so short and uneventful that I feel this way. Here the weather goes from warm to cold quickly, there isn’t much transition. I joke that fall lasts about 2 weeks, same for spring, so the two seasons do feel pretty useless to me.

So yeah there are some good things about fall and maybe I am beginning to see things in a different light, but even so, I think most people like fall because it is a real fall. Here the seasons seem to change rather abruptly. I don’t feel like I have enough time to adjust or emotionally prepare and I spend the rest of winter being mad that there was no warning and I didn’t get to end the summer the way I wanted.

I sound like a brat I know. At least one person, Sonya, kinda-sorta agreed with me:

And I’m sort of with you on autumn. We had lovely warm weather here last week, and I liked that the wind had a bit of a sting to it. But it’s 8:30pm and pitch black outside, and soon the days will be shorter than the nights and I just hate that.

So having said all that, and having read all that my readers had to say, I think I should try a bit harder to enjoy autumn in Colorado. For one, it could be worse, people who live further north would think me a wuss complaining about what they would consider to be very fine weather, and two, there’s actually some good to it too. I just hadn’t really looked for it and instead moped around like a kid who is forced to go back to school.

I don’t want to be that way, and I don’t want to miss out on what might be a beautiful time of the year just because I wish another wouldn’t end. I want to see the good in it instead.

I will still miss the summer though. I feel the loss of it deeply and I feel it every year, and no amount of soft sweaters or pumpkin spice lattes is going to change that. I will enjoy them none the less though, because it is the least the universe could offer for putting me through that cold hell of winter.

Fall is about warmth, and cider, and colors, and pumpkin spice, and.. and…

wccunningham

In response to Daily Post’s Blogging U. course, Writing 101 assignment: Expand a comment

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