If We Were Having Coffee // Happy Pride Month to My Fellow Queers!

Hello, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of conversation and caffeine. I nearly forgot about our coffee date, I’ve been up doing a bit of work in the yard, around the house, and getting our new grill set up for some jalapeño cheddar burgers, corn on the cob, and grilled peaches for dessert! Please excuse the mouth-watering. It’s been a long time since we grilled anything and we are very excited.

“Current problem: The fatigue is unbearable without coffee, but coffee makes the illness worse, which makes the fatigue worse.”

sadnarwhal

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If we were having coffee, I would wish all of my LGBTQIA+ peeps a very Happy Pride Month! Denver’s parade and rally aren’t for another couple of weekends, but I’m going to try to start planning the festivities and inviting friends this week. Nothing big, there is exactly one gay club and one gay bar I like, and that’s it.

We’ll probably spend a couple of nights out with friends, then watch the parade and meet up with all the gays I know but only ever see once a year. We’ll do some shopping, go home, and be happy that we live in a country that we can love each other and get married without the threat of imprisonment and death.

We’ve come so far since I came out as a teenager. I remember I was so afraid of rejection. I was afraid something was wrong with me. I was afraid I wouldn’t get to live a “normal” life. And here we are now! We own our home, we are engaged, and we both have our loved ones with us, supporting us, proud of us, and treating us just like a normal couple, because that is what we are!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week was not a good writing week. I only posted here a couple of times. On Monday, about my growing fear of the world around me and how I hope to overcome it, and Tuesday I checked in with everything I am currently doing and feeling to mark the end of May. I didn’t get my newsletter out, and I didn’t keep up with posting over on Tumblr. I’m trying not to be too hard on myself over it. Things have gotten a little overwhelming, and I need to imagine a clean slate where the failures of the past aren’t weighing me down.

So, next week will be better. I hope to post twice here, get my newsletter out, and write something small every evening on Tumblr. I’m also setting a goal of 250 per day on a couple of essays for my zine project.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that part of the reason I had such a hard time getting these words out was the weather. I have been so excited for summer, and now that it is here my body has decided that heat is far too exhausting. I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open after 2 PM in the afternoon and on the weekends all I want to do is sleep.

It may not be just the heat. I have been tapering off of the steroid I’ve been on since February, and without it, my body may be struggling to cope. I’m worried about my health and energy levels going into the coming week. I took my last dose yesterday, and I’m already had headaches, and I’m more tired than ever. Thank God for coffee.

I’, also a little depressed, I think. It’s hard to tell since I’ve felt this way nearly my whole life, but there are signs I’ve learned to look for. I’m more irritable and moody than usual. I’m more critical of myself, less forgiving and more aware of my mistakes. I’m tired. I’m craving foods that are bad for me, lots of grease, and salt, and sugar. I’m sad sometimes, and I’m not as interested in the things I love as I usually am. A lot of me trying to write starts with me trying to care about writing again.

I’m really hoping it’s just the change in meds and season and not anything more serious.

***

If we were having coffee, I would try my best not to bring up politics because I still don’t know where to even begin to articulate my frustration, anger, embarrassment, and hopelessness at everything that has happened these past few months.

My anxiety is at an all-time high. I dread the news every day and yet I can’t seem to pull myself away from it. Every morning there is some new scandal, some new way that this administration has found to make life a little less bearable than the day before. I fear the rest of the world is laughing at us and moving on, together, to make their world a better place. America has lost her place as leader and savior.

The future looks so bleak from here. But there has been some good. I was happy to see many states and cities recommit to the Paris Accords after our president stupidly decided to pull out for no fucking reason. I was happy to see the rest of the world come together to condemn our president’s decision as well. There has been so much community and unity found and formed since Trump took office.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that more and more I am focusing on ways to find joy and hope closer to home. This week I am seeing a couple of movies, It Comes at Night and Wonder Woman. The former looks super creepy, creepy movies are my absolute favorite, and the Wonder Woman screening will be one of the Women-only showings that have men all over the internet wound up and whining.

I’ve heard nothing, but good things about Wonder Woman and I anticipate that will be the highlight of my week. I’ll be honest, I’m a little worried about some of those angry men showing up to cause problems. There are a lot of men in the world who hate women and hate for them to have anything of their own. I’ve seen a lot of hateful comments on the internet, and it’s hard not to imagine the worst happening here.

It’s really upsetting we live in a world where I can’t go see a movie without fearing for my safety.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that besides that, not a whole lot has been going on. I’ve spent more time that I want to admit watching TV this week. House of Cards came back, and I’ve been binging that. I paced myself the best I could and mode it just six days before finishing the 13 episodes. Luckily Orange is the New Black starts this week, so I’ll have something else to get into.

Speaking of Netflix, one of my favorite shows, Sense8, seems to have gotten the ax. If you haven’t watched Sense8 you need to stop here and go check it out. There are two seasons and a Christmas special available. The show features a very diverse and talented cast, is beautifully shot, and tackles themes of race, sexual orientation, gender, privilege, and acceptance. I’m devastated it was canceled. If you’d like to help get it back, for me or for yourself, please fill out this title request form on Netflix’s own site. Just put in “Sense8 season 3”. Thank you!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is getting very close to dinner time and I had better get going and get the grill fired up. My girlfriend already has everything prepped and my mouth is watering again smelling the jalapeños and seeing the beautiful ears of corn she brought home.

I hope you had a great week and a relaxing weekend. I hope next week will be productive a free from unhealthy amounts of stress.

Until next time (:

Lola's little nose spots are so adorable 😍

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***

If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + some of my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Written for the weekly Weekend Coffee Share link up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via domestikate

If We Were Having Coffee // Summer is Finally Here and I Have a Sinus Infection

Hello, dear readers. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. I’m not sure if I should have skipped it. I have a bit of a ear/throat/sinus thing, and I really should be resting, but I’ve been resting since yesterday and—I never thought I’d say this but—I’m tired of sleeping, and I miss you all. So I’m here. I took my medicine, and I’m sipping a cup of strong cold brew.

“’I should drink more water’, I remind myself, halfway through my fifth coffee.”

seansavestheworld

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was the last week of school for the district I work for, which doesn’t mean much for my schedule but makes a huge difference in attitude.

I’ll still be working. The route I do runs out of a year-round school, plus since I am a trainer, I will be doing testing and training as well as odd jobs like cleaning equipment and filing. The difference is, everything will be so much more laid back and relaxed. That’s one of the things I like about working for a school district, I get to hold on to that

That’s one of the things I like about working for a school district, I get to hold on to that childhood anticipation and appreciation for the summer months. We try to make the most of our break from our monotonous schedule during the year. It’s like a stay-cation, but for work. You still go but you do things differently, treat each other differently, smile more, get outside more, and lighten up on the rules and expectations.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week was another slow writing week. I wrote a post about believing you deserve happiness and one on Douglas Adams and finding ideas. I meant to put out a newsletter this week, but this head cold made it impossible to think clearly and give the subject the proper attention.

I meant to say something about the Manchester bombing, about the victims and their families, and about our collective trauma and anger and anxiety that are not being addressed properly. I wanted to say something about how we are spending too much time and energy blaming people and making violence and cruelty our solutions instead of seeing that ideas are the problem and compassion and caring are the solution.

I want people to be bigger, be better, and do what is right despite their fear. The enemy is always recruiting. Telling people that they aren’t wanted where they live and that the only way to feel better, to feel accepted and a part of something bigger is to inflict pain. They are winning because they promise acceptance. We are losing because we do nothing but tear each other apart and prove their point time and time again.

I wanted to say that and more, but better, and I still might once I feel up to it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of my week was finding out that the Alamo Drafthouse is hosting WOMEN ONLY screenings of Wonder Woman—with the option to donate to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU—and I got tickets just before they sold out!

Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying “No Guys Allowed” for one special night. And when we say “People Who Identify As Women Only,” we mean it. Everyone working at this screening — venue staff, projectionist, and culinary team — will be female.

A lot of men are whining about this but I don’t care for a second if they think this is sexist, or divisive, and I really don’t care if they feel excluded. It’s one show, days after the opening date, and it’s not like women haven’t been made to feel excluded from the nerd/geek/comic book culture every single day since superheroes were invented. Get over yourselves guys.

Let us women have this one night to celebrate a character we’ve looked up to and waited forever to see star in her own major film. Let us have one night to celebrate this feminist icon without manspreading and mansplaining, please!

I’ll have plenty more to say about this too when I’m feeling better.

***

If we were having coffee, I’m sure one of us would ask the other about Memorial Day plans. I know most of America will be barbecuing with family, but I’ve never been big on celebrating the unofficial first day of summer that way. I take the true meaning of the day seriously and prefer quiet reflection.

I will be getting out of the house for a bit to scope out a lumber place with lots of used/reclaimed doors and windows. We’ve been wanting to go for while and with me being sick going yesterday or today just wasn’t an option. We may end up not going tomorrow either if I don’t start showing some improvement soon.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I love chatting with you, I have to cut our visit shorter than usual. The sinus pressure is building, and my girlfriend is insisting I take more medicine and get back to resting. She says it’s the only way I will get better and I desperately want that so I am off to bed again.

I hope you had a wonderful week and a relaxing weekend. I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day, no matter how you celebrate it. Take a sec to drop by the comments and let me know what you’ve been up to, or direct me to your own chatty post if you’ve written one too. I’ll check them out when I’m awake again.

Until next time :)

***

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

Written for the weekly Weekend Coffee Share link up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Matthew Kang

If We Were Having Coffee // Happy Easter to You, If That’s Your Thing

“You’re invited to join me for a cup of coffee that I’ll be having whether you join me or not.”

— Mutiny Information Cafe

Hello, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by this Easter Sunday. I don’t actually celebrate the holiday, I’m an atheist with no children, so there isn’t much in it for me, but I hope those of you who do are having a wonderful celebration. I hope there are brightly colored eggs, delicious chocolates, good food, and lots of laughter. I hope this morning’s church services fills you with a sense of peace and belonging and hope.

As for me, I’m doing my usual Sunday thing. I was up early, but I fell back asleep and woke up later than I wanted to. Now I’m scrambling to catch up. I’m cleaning and writing, both at the same time and neither effectively. One of these days I will learn.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was a good one. In case you didn’t know, it was my birthday week! People who know me know that my birthday is super important to me and I spend the majority of the month of April celebrating it.

I believe that everyone deserves to be a little self-absorbed around their birthday. I mean, for one, it took the universe a long time and a lot of work to get to you, and also, it took you a lot of time and work to get to where you are, all of that should be acknowledged with lots of good food, drink, and laughter!

I spent my week at dinner with family (it was also my mother’s birthday week), at the movies with my lovely lady seeing one of my old favorites, Starship Troopers, and out for an oyster brunch with my lady too. Today I will be out to dinner again, this time with the in-laws and later in the month, there will be a series of nights out with different groups of friends. There were some gifts, nothing big, but all very lovely but my favorite thing by far is the birthday card my girlfriend DIY-ed for me:

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this past week was a crazy one, politically. Our newest president has my anxiety running high nearly nonstop to the point where i have to check out, from the news, from social media, from friends and family who want to talk about it.

I used to enjoy following and discussing politics but lately, all I can feel is either a vague but deep fear or a burning embarrassment.

Life in this country feels a lot less certain than it did just a few short months ago and the world as a whole feels on the verge of something big and bad. Tensions are high everywhere and as much as I want to get involved and fight back a big part of me wants to cling to the things that feel safe, the things that feel like home, for as long as I can.

Every week I tell myself that I will do more, say more, and find the courage to resist but every week I look out into the world and feel afraid again. Not this week either it seems….maybe next.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that while my body still isn’t feeling much better yet, my mood has improved dramatically. Part of it was all the well wishes, gifts, and spoiling I got, and part of it is the ever improving weather are having as we move further and further from winter, but mostly it’s because summer is right around the corner and with it comes an easier work schedule and a lot less stress.

Summertime is on the way and, since I work for a school district, that means summer break. I still work, but I have much more control over my schedule. I will be cleaning, filing, doing testing and training, and helping make sure that all of our school buses and all of our equipment is ready to go for the next year.

During that time I can choose to work only as many hours as I need to and spend the rest of my time working on some projects and reevaluating what it is I am doing here and with my writing in general. I have more concrete plans for a zine; I want to work on some real poetry and get back to creating some art, and I want to do as much of it outside, in the sunshine and fresh air, as I can.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, slowly, a new routine and a new normal is beginning to sink in as I learn what it really means to live with a chronic illness. I feel more at ease, more accepting, and less tense or angry.

I am learning to let go of some things, like being able to sleep in. I have to be up by 6 every morning to eat and take my medication. I’m working on letting go of being able to eat whatever I want to eat. This week I discovered that anything with nuts or seeds is out, and I may have to cut out beef entirely, which is probably a good thing. I am letting go of wishing to have the energy I used to have and working on making the most of what I do. Naps are back in around here but in moderation!

I don’t want to be fighting myself every day. I don’t want to be disappointed in myself every day. I don’t want to give up. I want to adjust.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the time has passed too quickly, as it tends to do when you are having fun, or coffee, or good conversation. There is a lot for me to do before I head to dinner tonight. The house is in desperate need of mopping, dusting, and vacuuming and the dishes and laundry are piled high.

I hope your week was a good one and that your weekend was relaxing and warm. If you have a minute drop a note in the comments and let me know how you are. I worry about you, you know?

Until next time :)

New shirt to match my new mood :)

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***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Spring Break Started Early!

“Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee affords.”

Richard Brautigan

Hello, dear readers. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. I almost didn’t make it today! Fatigue is kicking my butt, and my medication still hasn’t taken effect yet, and that means I slept most of the day away.

The clouds outside aren’t helping. It seems our warm, dry weather streak is over.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that thanks to the break in the warm, dry weather I got an extra day of spring break. The local news predicted blizzard-like conditions, so school was canceled which means I got to stay home too.

But here in Denver, Colorado what happens in one part of town can be very different from another. Some parts of the city got hit bad, in my area we got mostly rain, and by early afternoon the slush had melted and dried. I have a feeling out district will take a hit with the public for this one, but it won’t matter. It’s hard to decide whether or not to brave the conditions and hope for the best. The public forgets that safety is most important, especially in the Transportation department.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even though it’s officially spring break, I still have to work but it’ll be easy work: organizing, filing, spreadsheets, cleaning up, that sort of thing. I can’t exactly afford to lose five days of pay, but I can afford to lose some, so I’m just working six hours a day, and only three days out of the week, Monday thru Wednesday.

Thursday and Friday, my girlfriend and I are planning a day trip out-of-town and a day in-town. Thursday we’re heading to Denver Art Museum for a very geeky Star Wars costume exhibit then out for seafood and sangria. Friday we’ll be heading up to Boulder for the day. I’m not sure what we’ll do up there, but I’m hoping for lots of shopping and more good food.

***

Last week wasn’t so bad. My route wasn’t running, and I managed to steer clear of having to do extra work, so that was good. I had hoped to spend all that free time working on a whole bunch of writing projects but, it turns out, I only had time and energy for one.

I entered a fiction contest at The Writing Collective. You can read it if you like but it isn’t my best work. I found out about the contest a little late and between work, my guts still acting up, and a last-minute dinner and drinks date with a cousin who got laid off from work, I didn’t have time. I wanted to give up, but I thought maybe I should try anyway. I thought I should do my best and see what happens. *shrug*

I also finished my first submission for Aloe. I’ll be submitting it today, but there is no guarantee of acceptance. If they agree to publish it, I’ll wait a few weeks before working on another. If they don’t, I’ll get started right away on another.

I’m hoping that this week I can finally get back on track around here. I have a ton of drafts to finish and the A to Z challenge is just around the corner, and I have barely got any ideas together. I have a theme, which I have yet to announce, another thing I’m behind on, but I have nothing written and a few letters lacking a topic.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that we’ve come to that time, I have to go. After spending the day in and out of naps, plus sweating over cleaning and writing, it’s time I took care of myself. I’m thinking a nice cold hard cider and a long hot shower, at the same time!*

I hope you had a great week. I hope your weekend was nice and relaxing. I hope you’ll take a moment to drop by the comments and let me know how you are doing and what you’ve been up to.

Until ext time :)

*Some might consider a “shower cider” to be outside the spirit of the “shower beer.” Unfortunately, beer doesn’t agree with my stomach so cider it is and I don’t care what those people think.

***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // A Bad Week that Wasn’t so Bad

“A friend of coffee is a friend of mine.”

― Death Wish Coffee

Hello, dear readers. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up with me. I did my best to get going early this morning. It helped that I had to be up anyway. My stomach waking me up every morning around 5:30, just in time for medication and work, is my new normal. Unfortunately, my gut isn’t aware that it is the weekend, so here we are. The weather is gorgeous so I have the windows open and the cold brew already made.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was not the best but sometimes when you get through a bad week, when you do your best and get everything done that you needed to, it feels like a good week anyway.

Work was frustrating. I can’t go into a lot of detail but imagine if you had a goal or task that took place over the course of months every year. Imagine are awesome and complete your tasks on time, every year. Then imagine that instead of getting to celebrate, relax, or move on to the next task, you were reminded by your boss that you were part of a team and that your job was to complete the work of other employees who hadn’t completed their tasks, every single year! It’s infuriating! But I’m taking care of myself. I set boundaries. I’m not going to stress myself out or overwork myself to complete this task.

But I’m taking care of myself. I set boundaries. I’m not going to stress myself out or overwork myself to complete this task. The get a couple of hours, two days a week, and that’s it, and from now on, instead of just checking in with my team, I will check in with other teams so that I can be free in April, as was always my goal.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you this week was a slow writing week. For most of the week, when I wasn’t working, I was just too tired. My health still isn’t back 100%, which reminds me, I finally had a consult with my GI doctor a whole month after my diagnosis! I’m angry it took so long, but I’m happy to have more information and a plan. It also helped that she started out by apologizing.

I’ll be honest, though, a lot of what she said was a bit depressing. She really made sure I understood that ulcerative colitis is for life. I can never stop treatment, and I can never lose my insurance. If I lose insurance treatment becomes too expensive. If I stop treatment, it may not work when I have to start again, and I will have to start again because ulcerative colitis is for life.

So, I’m back on the steroids, but at a lower dose, and an anti-inflammatory drug that I will take every day for the rest of my life. It will take a few more weeks to know for sure whether this plan will work or not but I’m hoping it will. If it doesn’t work, then I’ll have to move on to harsher drugs, and no one wants that. I’d much rather be taking these pills then giving myself injections or going in for infusions every few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even though I didn’t post much, a few writing related things did happen. I had a piece published on Femsplain. I worked on a few things for Aloe, and, I found a fiction contest to enter if I can get my shit together.

I also changed a few things around here. Nothing big. I added a new page for work I’ve had published Elsewhere. I tweaked my About page and updated my Now page too, and I set up an account for donations/tips on Ko-fi. I don’t expect to get much now, but after I start working on some bigger projects I’m hoping to get a few bucks here and there to help keep my going. And finally, I spent a ton of time gathering ideas and information and talking with like-minded folks on both the Buffer Community and Femslack.

The Buffer Community is free if you would like to join but Femslack will cost you, or you can do what I did and write for them instead. It’s worth it!

It’s nice to feel like a part of a community—especially when it’s a secret “members only” one—and to know there are people I can ask questions of or vent to should I every need it. In fact, I’m thinking about setting up a community of my own in the future *wink, wink*

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this coming week should be easier than the last, which means I plan to be hanging around here much more. I have a ton of comments piled up and awaiting replies—I’m so sorry!—and a few posts drafted and waiting to be shared. I want to catch up on the comings and goings of my blogging friends and find some new ones to follow too.

It’s the last before Spring Break too. I don’t have any big plans yet, but my girlfriend and I are hoping to find something big to do. We’d love to get out-of-state for a few days, but I’d settle for just out of the city if I could. Even that might not happen, though. We need a dog sitter first and our usual, my little sister, has school that week. Sigh.

I can’t tell you how badly I need this vacation. I am going crazy doing the same things day in and day out with nothing new to stimulate or inspire me. I don’t care what we do or where we go as long as it is away from work, home, and everyone I know.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, sadly, we have come to that time. I love chatting with you all and if given half a chance I could probably go on all day long but there are rooms to clean, pets to care for, and shopping to be done, not to mention all the writing itching to get done. So, I’d better get off the internet and out into the real world.

I hope you had a wonderful week I hope you had a relaxing weekend too. Please, take a minute to drop a note in the comments and catch me up on everything that has been going on.

Until next time 🙂

I don't understand how she can sleep with her nose buried in her own ass like that 😝

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // I Waste Every Weekend

“I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now.”

― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Hello, dear readers. I know it’s late and I’m sorry for that. I had so much to do. I had to clean the house, do the taxes, and a very special dinner to make, not to mention the accidental nap I took. Next thing I knew, it was dark out, my alarm was telling me to get ready for bed, and I still hadn’t talked to you. I’m here now, though, I couldn’t let the weekend go by without our bit of coffee and catching up. I hope you don’t mind.

From what I hear, depending on when you are reading this and where from, there may be some of you across the country who will be needing a nice warm cup. I don’t want you all to be jealous, but here in colorful Colorado we are experiencing more spring like temps and will be for a while. It’s nice, but there is always the nagging fear of drought conditions. I’m afraid warmer temperatures and less water are going to be our new norm here.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week has been so, so long. We hired a new employee class at which means I was busy training and teaching. I like this part of my job, and the extra hours/money it provides but damn does it get in the way of writing. I was able to get a few notes down, and this coming week I’m hoping to expand them into blog posts here and pieces for Femplain‘s new project Aloe.

I’m super proud of myself for getting through it with a good attitude, though. I kept my energy up and told myself that since I knew it had been coming, and it is what I signed up for, I just had to suck it up and get it done. And if I had to do it I had better do a good job. There’s not much worse than having to spend the day doing what you would rather not, except doing it badly and having to hear it from your boss or redo it anyway.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that right now, I am very frustrated with myself. My goals most weekends are to work on blog posts for the coming week, work on a couple of pieces to submit somewhere, and work on some art and zine stuff. I never get any of that done. Every weekend without fail I waste about 80% of my time and this weekend was no exception.

During the week my day job keeps my time structured and makes it easy for me to focus on what needs to be done when. My weekends need more structure then I guess. I try to do everything at once. I write, I do the dishes, I watch TV, I spend time with my girlfriend, and I catch up on sleep. I never know which thing I should be doing when, so I do them all, all day.

It’s strange to say I get more done for myself when I am at work than when I am at home, but I realize I am far from ready to work for myself or from home. I need discipline and a plan.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the other half of the problem might be my emotions. I have been all over the place for months now. Part of it was being sick, then the medication, and now, I don’t know what. It’s hard to even tell you exactly what is going on.  I am hopeful, and I have plans but my motivation waxes and wanes randomly and my self-esteem has taken a dip. I’m not sure what to do since I can’t put my finger on exactly what is wrong, but at least I’m aware of it. Sigh.

I have a feeling this coming week I won’t be feeling much better. Between daylight saving time and another busy week lined up at work I have a feeling, there will be more frustration and less satisfying work. I have a doctor’s appointment too. I’m hoping to get more answers about my ulcerative colitis diagnosis, and some help since I do think my symptoms are coming back now that I am off of the steroids.

Keep your fingers crossed, and send some good vibes my way, please?

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Samurai Jack is back!

If you don’t know who or what Samurai Jack is you should head to Hulu and watch every single episode or head over to Adult Swim and catch the stream over there. The show first aired somewhere around 2001 and ran for four seasons before ending. The ending never felt right, and the show creators have decided to make so many millennial dreams come true by bringing it back after all these years and giving us Jack’s story the proper ending it deserves. Last night the new season premiered and it was everything I hoped it would be. Beautiful cinematography, silliness, sadness, and some serious fight scenes!

I used to watch the show when I was 15 or so, with my little sister. I can’t say I was the biggest fan then, but like so many things, I didn’t realize that the 30 minutes I had to watch that show were among the few happy memories I had as a kid until I was already an adult.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the very special dinner I had to cook turned out wonderfully.

When my girlfriend and I were first together, we used to cook together all the time, but as we got older, it fell to her for the most part. I’m terrible at it, and it feels too much like a chore while she is good at it, and she enjoys it. It felt natural for her to do the cooking and I the cleaning but I miss us laughing and jostling around one another, working together to bring a meal to the table. So, I planned for us to make potstickers, an old favorite we used to buy premade from the store, from scratch.

We started late, and the going was more complicated than I had anticipated—the story of every project we ever start—but they came out beautiful and tasted delicious! Maybe I’ll find something else for us to make next weekend?

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, sadly, we have come to that time. I have to head to bed now, or I’ll be dragging my feet tomorrow. I hope you had a great week and a relaxing weekend. I hope your coming week is better than the last and that you will stop by the comments and let me know what you’ve been up to.

Until next time :)

***

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Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // The Hardest Month of My Life

“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”

― Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes

Hello, dear readers. It’s been a long while since we’ve sat and had a chat and I should start by making my apologies for that. I wanted to be here, and I am sorry I couldn’t. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t do anything. BUT I am back now, or, I hope I am back. It may take me a while to get back on a schedule so let’s just say today I am back, and I hope to be back tomorrow too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that since out last chat so much has happened, I am unsure where to begin. I believe that was just after my doctor’s appointment. I went in for joint pain and previous stomach issues. I explain to them that for my whole life I had experienced, off and on, bouts of extreme pain and other unpleasant and TMI symptoms that I’m sure you don’t want to hear about over your coffee.

He sent me away with a referral to the gastrointestinal department and assurances that it was probably irritable bowel syndrome.

Since that appointment, when I was experiencing very mild symptoms, I went down hill very quickly. I was worse than I had ever been. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I was a ball of anxiety and pain and frustration. I cannot begin to tell you how scary it was watching my body fall apart this way.

I set up an appointment with the GI department, but the soonest I could get in was February 14th. Yes, I spent Valentine’s day sedated while a doctor took pictures of my colon.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that despite that, and somehow because of that, it was the sweetest Valentine’s day my girlfriend and I had spent together in all of our nearly 15 years together.

I remember none of the procedure and very little about what happened immediately afterward. I know that my girlfriend waited for me in recovery. I know she helped me get dressed and helped me understand what the doctor and nurses were telling me afterward.

She helped me through the preparation and took care of me afterward. She had been so supportive, sympathetic, and understanding I was nearly brought to tears the way she took care of me. She brought me home afterward, fed me, and put me to bed, just what I needed. She went to work while I rested and when I woke she was on her way back home with pizza, chocolates, and strangely, new bed sheets with phases of the moon on them. Probably the weirdest gift and the cutest gift I’ve ever received. Here’s what I wrote for her on Facebook:

I wish this Valentine’s day could have been all flowers, and chocolates, and fancy dinners but when you’ve been in a relationship for a long time you know it can’t always be that way. Today I spent the morning in the doctor’s office and the love of my life stayed in the waiting room until I was out of sedation. She helped me get dressed, helped me understand the results of my tests, took me home, made me a little lunch, and put me to bed. That was the best Valentine’s Day I could’ve hoped for. Real love is being there for someone when they are sick and never making them feel like a burden or an annoyance. It’s letting them do what they can and helping them when they can’t. It’s worrying about them, comforting and supporting them. It’s making sure I take my meds, eat the right foods, and have plenty of fluids. It’s helping me figure out what’s wrong and then helping me get well again. Thank you [honey], for everything you do for me. I know the last few weeks have been tough and you are feeling stressed but just know I appreciate you being here so much. You are the the sweetest and kindest person I know and I’m so lucky to have you in my life. Happy Valentine’s Day baby! I promise when I’m feeling better we will celebrate it right.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the diagnoses wasn’t IBS, turns out, I have ulcerative colitis. Which means my immune system just doesn’t know when to stop. My body thinks that food and beneficial bacteria are foreign invaders plotting to do harm to me and so they have gone on the attack causing inflammation and ulcers. I’m grateful those little white blood cells are trying so hard for me, but I wish they’d learn what is meant to help me and what is meant to harm.

I still have to go back to the GI department for a chat about what this means and what treatment will look like, but from the research I have done, it seems this will be a lifelong problem. I hope the symptoms will come less often and go more quickly if I keep on top of whatever plan they have for me.

For now, I am on steroids to suppress my immune system and reduce the inflammation. It’s only day two, and I’ve already noticed a difference. I am hoping by the end of the week I might be feeling more like myself. Able to work, write, and do my part at home. I hope I can have the energy to get back to doing the things I love and taking care of the people I love too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that while I was not doing so well physically, it was the psychological effects that took the biggest toll. My body was betraying me. My body wasn’t mine. My body was getting in the way of everything my mind knew it needed to do. I wasn’t myself, and I was afraid I would never be myself again. I have never spiraled into a depression so quickly before. I was in tears every morning and night from pure frustration and exhaustion. I stopped talking to anyone.

The worst was not being able to write. I have fallen so far behind and it feels impossible to start again. I’m going to try, though. Slowly at first sure, but I am going to try. I want to go back, as much as I can, to the way things were. Even when I had been sick in the past, I could push, though. I could hide. No one knew I had been suffering on and off the way I was. I wasn’t so bad. I was still me. Not anymore. Everything seems changed now.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this has been some heavy conversation for what was supposed to be a light chat over coffee, I’m sorry. I felt you should have an explanation, and I needed to get it all out. I needed to say what has been happening to me and how I have been feeling. I hope to say more in the future but talking about chronic illness and particularly one that affects the bowels is hard. Part of the reason I never got help before was feeling so much shame. Shame, and our terrible healthcare system.

Don’t get me started on the healthcare system.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have to get going. I gotta eat, take me meds, and find the energy to do a little cleaning and visit with family. It was great to catch up with you all. I missed it more than I even knew. I promise next week will be more cheerful.

I hope you all had a good week, a good few weeks since I last spoke to you. Please, leave a note below and let me know how you are holding up.

Until next time :)

***

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