If We Were Having Coffee // A Direction to Head In

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

It’s a wintry day outside with light snow flurries and freezing temperatures and the reports promise the same for tomorrow, sadly. Snowy Mondays are the worst, but snowy Sundays aren’t so bad as long as you have nowhere you need to go. As long as you get to stay on the couch covered in cozy blankets drinking alternating cups of hot coffee while the world outside is purified by the soft white snow.

So, come, fill up a cup and join me on the couch. Let’s watch the deary world turn white while we talk about last week.

“I never knew anyone, ever, who wrote, read, loved, and drank coffee as slowly as I always do.”

Juansen Dizon, Turtle

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that the easy work week I had so carefully planned was ruined entirely by an excruciating headache that plagued me for three whole days. I felt the first signs of it Wednesday afternoon after staying up to watch the election results and it didn’t really go away until the middle of the afternoon on Saturday. I’m chalking it up to lack of decent sleep and anxiety, and some of it to the giant margarita I had with dinner on Friday. I regret nothing.

I realized it was a sleep problem after making time—just 15 or 20 minutes—every afternoon to rest I would feel better, for a little while.

I’ve always had trouble sleeping at night. As soon as I lay down and close my eye my mind starts running. I worry about my family, about the things I said and did that day, things I said and did years ago, my eventual death, and whether or not the people who say they love me really do. If I can get through that and finally fall asleep I never get far before something wakes me up. again My girlfriend or one of the pets snoring, a car door slamming in the neighborhood, the furnace turning on, etc.

I’ve been living in a constant state of sleep deprivation and have been relying on coffee and naps to get through the day. It’s getting to a point where that isn’t enough though. So, this week I’m going to break out the earplugs and use an eye mask and see if I can get a little more rest at night. I’ll still have coffee but in the early morning only and no more naps, unless the headaches returns.

***

Despite the pain and the fatigue I still had a few moments of excitement and managed to muster whole hours of motivation and productivity. Not as much as I’d hoped for but I don’t think any of us ever spends our time 100% as we know we should. I procrastinated. I avoided. I got distracted and you know what? It wasn’t all bad. I stepped away from the screen and had some laughs. I rested. I did nothing and it felt sort of good.

I have to get back on track this week though. There’s a couple of writing contests and calls for submission I found on Medium I’d like to try for. I’m not positive I can actually finish these attempts on time but it feels good to try. It feels good to have a direction to head in.

Besides that my editorial calendar is in shambles. I’ve been neglecting my reading and my journal too. I haven’t sent a newsletter in months and it’s time I got my shit together and started writing those too. I’d love to begin posting in the new space too. I did write an introduction post and finished separating and setting up the important social media accounts so I can share it. I have everything ready to start and I still can’t bring myself to hit that publish button yet.

I just need a little more courage to take another step and start writing, finishing pieces, and posting them. I’m hoping for it this week, and maybe if I do we’ll meet there for coffee next time instead.

***

I’m also excited to get writing more now that I finally have new hardware! Last week, in the middle of my last coffee share post my laptop finally crapped out on me. I’d been researching new options for a while already knowing that it was only a matter of time and decided on this 12.5″ Asus Chromebook Flip.

I don’t usually promote products here but this thing is seriously awesome and if you are in the market for a new laptop I highly recommend you consider it. I’m still getting used to ChromeOS. Moving from Windows means my workflow is going to have to change a bit and I have a lot to learn about to do the things I need to do but so far I’m glad I made the switch. It’s nice to have something that just works.

Still, I need recommendations for a new note-taking app. Something I could use as a place to write blog post drafts and other long pieces. I love the way my work can be sorted into notebooks in OneNote but the app doesn’t work as well on a Chromebook as it does on a Windows PC. I’ve tried Evernote before but they really limit the functionality of the free version and I’d very much like to continue this same quality of writing experience and flow.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I was very pleased to see every candidate I voted for ended up their races. I believe I am now represented entirely by Democrats and I’m pretty damn proud of that. A couple of ballot measures I had hoped would pass didn’t but none of the ones I didn’t, did. So, things aren’t better but things aren’t worse either and in this political climate that is something. Even if the country at large is going to shit, here at home we are still trying to do the right thing.

There were a lot of good outcomes across the country, and some we are still waiting to hear the results of, but I’m hopeful again. Now, something can be done. Now we have a chance to stop bad things from happening

I’m not sure if that makes the world feel any safer though. On the contrary, I worry it may be far less as we become angrier and more and more unable to think and speak with compassion.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that as much as I want to I can’t stay cozied up on the couch like this all day, talking with you and sipping warm cups of coffee with you, I have to get up and get going. I have nowhere to be but that doesn’t mean I don’t have things to do. I’m off to do laundry, wash dishes, and prep a couple of meals, and later, if I have time, I may get more writing in too.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you were able to accomplish something you’ve been meaning too, and if not just know every day is a new chance to start and you will find a way past whatever is holding you back. I’m trying to remember that myself.

Until next time, take care of yourself.

***

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. Thanks!

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 // I’m Doing More in November

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

Wow, what a change from last week, yeah? On our last coffee date, the sun was shining and the high temperature was forecasted to climb into the 70s. Today the temps might reach the 50s but I haven’t seen much of the sun since Friday and even then, it wasn’t out that much. We’re currently in a slow decline toward freezing temperatures and possible snow showers by Thursday. So, my mood has been in a slow decline too, but luckily my productivity hasn’t been negatively impacted, yet.

I’m up early today, thanks to a return to “standard time” here in America and an extra hour of sleep. I’ve been working on blog things, some big changes and some new posts. Sadly my beloved laptop has come to the end of its life this very morning and working from my old iPad—which is on its way out too—is slow and tedious so much of that is on hold until Friday when I can get a new one, but progress was made and I am excited to tell you more about it.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. I have plenty of cold brew as usual, but I’m willing to dust off the coffee maker if you feel the dreary weather calls for it. Let’s talk about last week!

“You stare at your coffee hoping it gives you perspective and sanity and the ability to make sense of it all and that’s a lot to ask of your coffee.”

— Lin-Manuel Miranda

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that last week was the first easy work week I’ve had in a long while. I spent the first couple months of the school year working hard to get ahead and managed to complete almost all of my tasks well ahead of schedule. I still had a few things to do, and a few things I had to move to next week, but I had significantly more free time. Not sure that translated into more writing or even lower stress levels, but I did feel proud to have achieved it.

The only drawback seems to be that I unintentionally burned myself out. My patience wore very thin and I felt somewhat resentful of coworkers who I feel are creating more work for me. I was irritable, withdrawn, and judgmental. I was not very pleasant to work with.

I think it’s understandable, but obviously, it’s not okay. I want to do better in the coming week. I have to remember that I chose to work this much and I have to remember that I can always take a break if I want to. I have to remember to let people know that I need a break and to still be open to helping when help is needed.

It’s still my job after all.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I spent a lot of last week’s free time setting up a new blog with a new domain name for myself in an effort to refocus this space. I am trying to give myself space and guilt-free freedom to post as much as I want about myself and my life. This isn’t an official announcement or anything. There will be a separate post soon explaining more of what writing about myself means and what will become of Zen and Pi.

While tweaking and experimenting this week I realized that, for me at least, starting a new blog is like starting a new notebook. I can’t bring myself to write in it because I don’t want to ruin it with my ugly words. This is making It very hard to start. I’m working on a short introduction post, around 500 words or, preferably, less, that will get the ball rolling. Once the page, or screen, is imperfect it’s easier to keep going, you know?

After that, I’ll start writing my daily journal posts again and these coffee posts will eventually move over there as well, maybe as soon as next Sunday!

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had hoped to use all this upcoming free time to participate in NaNoWriMo, ZineWriMo, or at least NaBloPoMo this month, but time got away from me and I failed to plan ahead for any of that. I’m obviously very disappointed in myself but I’m not giving up. I’m looking for something I still might commit to for the month of November.

I saw that the Yeah Write writers are doing something called NaNoDoMore, a call to “Do something new this month” and “Stretch yourself a little”. I like that idea. I like some of the things on their list, and I am making a list of my own to add. and while their list isn’t exactly the kind of writerly goals I’d like to achieve this month. I want to write more but I also want to do something every day to get me closer to a better blog, a better publication, a better newsletter, and a better chance at turning these words into something bigger than myself.

I’m thinking of more behind the scenes type stuff like choosing a theme I like for the new space, writing a new about page, revisiting pages I haven’t updated since I created them, taking new photos, creating a logo, brainstorming post ideas, updating my editorial calendar, replying to comments, commenting on other blogs, setting some concrete goals and intentions, updating old posts, pitching other blogs and publications I’d like to write for, etc., etc., etc.

So, I’m doing more this month. I’m doing one thing every day that I should have done, should have kept up on, or need to do now that I am making these big changes.

***

If we were having coffee I would take a moment to remind you to vote this Tuesday. I hope by now you’ve already voted. If not, make a plan and do your best to drag along at least one friend.

My girlfriend and I fill out and dropped off our ballots last Friday and I have reminded my coworkers relentlessly to get their ballots in too. There are really no excuses here in Colorado with easy registration, mail-in ballots, and 24 hour drop off locations.

I know some people still won’t vote, and I will do my best to keep my display of disappointment minimal. I know that just as we are free to vote, we are also free not to vote, but there are so many people suffering under bad policies written by bad politicians and there is much worse looming on the horizon. I just can’t help seeing a non-voter as an accomplice to this unnecessary suffering. I’ve read a lot about not judging people based on their politics or lack thereof but damn does it hurt to watch people I care about hurt other people.

Most of my readers already know which side of the aisle my politics lean but I won’t lecture you now on how to vote. I only ask you go to the polls with more than just you and yours on your mind. Vote with other people in your heart as well. People who don’t look like you, speak like you, or worship the way you do.

America is made of all kind of people and with that diversity comes all kinds of different ideas on which is the best way to live, but we should all feel free here and we should all get to live with dignity.

Vote for dignity.

***

If we were having coffee I would thank for a lovely chat and tell you that while I could sit here all day going on and on about myself, there is simply too much I still have to do before the work week begins tomorrow. I have to go, but I’d love if you took a moment to drop a note below to tell me how you’ve been, whether you voted or plan to, and if you are doing NaNoWriMo or any other writerly November challenge.

Remember to take care of yourself.

Until next time.

***

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. Thanks!

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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

 

If We Were Having Coffee // We’re All Entitled to a Little Time Away

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

I’ve been up since just after dawn this morning, cooking breakfast and doing my best to get the house in order before we head out for a birthday dinner celebration tonight. I’ve been busy, but I’m tired too and everything is taking twice as long as it should. So, I’m late and I’m afraid I’ll have to rush through my coffee date with you. I’m sorry, but I’m happy to have any time at all!

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. The weather is warm, the coffee is good, and I don’t want to waste another minute on apologies and excuses. Let’s chat while I can!

“When traveling with someone, take large doses of patience and tolerance with your morning coffee”

— Helen Hayes

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you, once again, last week was an incredibly busy week for me at work, but, I would also tell you that it will—hopefully!—be the last very busy week I have in a long time.

I’ve been able to get through my work in record time and that means going forward I will have a lot more time to devote to writing.

Next week I have my last two tests scheduled, and just a few small tasks, the rest of the time I plan to spend on my newsletter, which hasn’t come out in months and this blog which has been sorely neglected.

I know it’s hard to tell from your side of the screen but I do have some ideas I’m working on. I’m writing, but I’m jusnt not finishing anything. I’m writing, but I feel unsure of what I am saying. I have lost my sense of an audience. I have lost my intentions and confused my message with myself.

I’m considering creating a new space, a place to dump all of my angst and neurosis, my bad ideas, and my day-to-day comings and goings, observations, and struggles so that this space can once again be what I always intended it to be—a philosophy of life.

I’ll share more details soon.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my anxiety has been really bad these last few days.

Most of it is simple social anxiety. We had been preparing for a Halloween house party at a close coworkers house and I’d had very little time to put together costumes or make a dish to bring, let alone to emotionally prepare for meeting people I didn’t know, or to hang out with people who I knew very well.

I have a weird habit of over analyzing my social interactions and placing far too much importance on every conversation, word, or gesture. I worry that I am always making a fool of myself and that when I leave people will talk about how weird or irritating I am.

I’m aware of how unnecessary all this worrying is, and I know that people find me generally enjoyable to be around but for some reason, I still can’t control these intrusive thoughts or make it stop. Instead, I just let my mind do its worrisome thing, but I don’t let it hold me back.

I still went to the party last night. I found a costume (my girlfriend and I went as hipster versions of little red riding hood and the wolf), I made a dish (an easy crockpot salsa verde chicken), and I had a good time. I may have laughed too much or too loud. I may have talked too much. I might have over shared and annoyed someone, but this morning it just doesn’t seem to matter anymore.

I had a great time and so did everyone else. That’s all that matters.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I didn’t even know where to begin to tell you how this past week’s news cycle has affected me. The world beyond my driveway has become significantly scarier and the news is getting harder and harder to watch.

I no longer trust our government to take care of its people. I no longer trust that America, while deeply flawed, is moving forward with good intentions. I no longer believe that the “arc of the moral universe is bent toward justice.” I believe it must be bent by the weight and strength of good people willing to do the work and those kinds of people seem to be in short supply anymore.

I may no longer believe but I still have a small hope. It’s fragile and in order to protect it, I’ve had to distance myself from the rolling news cycle on TV and online. Bad things are happening and we’re all entitled to a little time away—to process, to rest, and regroup when we are ready to fight again.

Make sure you take it when you need it too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve just about had my fill of Halloween fun. I know the trick-or-treaters will be around this Wednesday but the feeling of Halloween always seems to pass the Saturday before when festivities can be held with morning to recover after. I’ve watched plenty of creepy shows and watched all my favorite spooky films. I’ve been to haunted houses and a party. I’ve gorged myself on too much candy and soon I will hand out what treats I have left. Halloween is over, and surprisingly I’m not sad. I lived the season to its fullest and I am very much ready for the winter holidays.

I’m ready for everyone to start being a little more thankful and a whole lot kinder too. I’m for giving gifts, and, I’ll admit, receiving them too. I’m ready for richer flavors and savory spreads of meats and pies! I’ve even got the new year, and it’s celebrations and resolutions dancing around my mind. I’m ready to count down the end of 2018 and begin a new year of possibility.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the sun is shining low through the west windows and my stomach is grumbling. It’s time to get ready to go out for dinner.

I hope you had a good week. I hope the weather is as warm where you are as it is here and the trees are bursting with just as much color. I hope you aren’t feeling hopeless I hope you know it’s okay to rest your heart when you need. I hope you made time for you and that the next week will be even better than the last.

Until next time.

***

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

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

Photo available on Barn Images

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

***

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.

***

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!

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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

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

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