If We Were Having Coffee // Losing Hope but Hanging in There

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday, welcome, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. The weather this weekend has been gloomy, and by now the gloom has worked its way right into my mood. I’m tired, and all I want to do is crawl back into bed with a good book and a hot cup of tea for the rest of the day. BUT the weekend is only so long, and I know that doing nothing at all won’t make me feel much better, so I’m up, I have my smoothie, a cup of cold brew, and you, to cheer me up.

‚ÄúThe morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that yesterday was World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Awareness Day and I celebrated by staying home, resting, and writing. I posted some thoughts on my fight so far with this disease. I tried to convey some of the things that I go through that go deeper than the symptoms and the medication. I tried to¬†help people understand the way it’s affected how I relate to my own body.

Like most things I write here it was written as a reminder to myself, but like all advise we give ourselves, it’s hard to remember and harder to maintain. Just hours after I wrote all that about acceptance and loving myself I had a breakdown. There is so much guilt I have for not being able to be the best me I can not just for me (e.g., not being able to write, to exercise, or go place and do things I enjoy) but for other people too.

It isn’t even the bowel symptoms that are making life so hard! It’s the fatigue and frustration that are forcing me to become so introverted and irritable. I feel myself crawling back inside and away from people, not out of anger¬†but out of exhaustion. I feel bad that I can’t be the sister, daughter, friend, or fianc√©¬†that my loved ones need me to be. Of course, they are understanding, but I can see the sadness there. I know that just because I am sick doesn’t mean they stop having needs to and I have no idea how to get back to them.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as soon as I begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it moves. I’m starting to believe the light is an illusion and to fear that the tunnel goes on and on forever.

This week I was feeling a lot worse and was finally forced to contact my doctor. I was trying so hard to hold on and hang in there until I started my new maintenance medication on Tuesday, but what I was getting so bad I was worried about how much damage I was doing to my body by trying to¬†toughing it out instead of trying something else. So, I called the doctor who then put me back on what I’ve learned is referred to as the “devil’s tic-tacs” in the IBD community, Predisone.

Neither of us wanted me back on that crap. It works miracles, at first, and then it wreaks havoc on the whole body and takes months and months to recover from. But okay, it’s what I need to do, so I felt hopeful I would feel better right away, but she put me on such a small dose it’s made only the smallest dent, enough to keep me working. Then I was hopeful that the new maintenance meds would help right away, but that probably won’t happen either. I’ve gotten so bad that it will be another month or two before I know whether this course of action is right or not.

So, I’ve stopped hoping. Now I’m just hanging in there. I’m going from day-to-day, sometimes hour-to-hour, doing what I can and resting when I must.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that writing was slow this week. I just couldn’t get my brain to stay on task. It was drawn to scrolling Twitter and commenting on Facebook group posts.¬†I did my¬†best to redirect my attention though by remembering that I had pledged to get back to reading more this week.

My girlfriend surprised me with a bit of spontaneous book shopping this week to cheer me up after all that bad news, and I settled on The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, a creepy, heartwarming, and thought-provoking zombie apocalypse story unlike any other. It was the perfect book to get me back into regular reading. Well written, attention-grabbing, and easy to read and follow. I highly recommend it, and the movie too!

This week coming week I’m going back to The Odyssey. I love this book, but I’ve never been able to actually finish it! Too much detail I suppose. My brain just shuts down, and my eyes start to glaze over and close after only a few pages. I end up having to reread so much of it but I’m determined to finish it this year, so I keep plugging away.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the coming week is the last of the school year and as you might imagine the atmosphere at work has been tense. There is so much to get done. Graduations, field trips, bidding for summer school routes, bus and equipment cleaning, evaluations, and training. It’s a bittersweet time. We’re saying goodbye to the kids and as relieved and excited as we are we’re all a little sad too.

You get close to these kids, preschoolers and high school seniors alike. Some of my kids are graduating, and some will be moving away over the summer. Even if I get the same route next year, I won’t see them again. Next year new kids will be moving into the district, and many will be moving from elementary to middle school, or middle to high school. There will be new schools opening and routes will be rearranged somewhat and the training department I work for in my off time is moving and hiring new people.

Everything is changing and much of next year is up in the air. I have a little over two months to try not to panic about it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the sun is trying to peek out through the clouds and if I am going to get to spend any time outside of the house this weekend, I had better get up and get going now. I need to look at something other than these walls, hear something besides all the bad news on TV. I need to move my body and be around people. I need to feel that sun and smell the spring air.

I hope you had a productive week and that your weekend has been a relaxing and revitalizing one. If not I hope next week will be better than the last and that you find time to do something just for you before the weekend is over.

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 cup of virtual coffee.

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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

 

Advertisements

If We Were Having Coffee // All to Myself

Hello dear readers. Welcome, happy Sunday, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. I am in desperate need of company just now. I’ve had the house all to myself since Friday and this morning, in particular, feels especially lonely. I don’t do well on my own, even the dog is depressed and want little to do with me. So, I’ve got some music playing, the drapes open wide, a strong cup cold brew, and now you, to cheer me up.

***

If we were having coffee, I would start by wishing all the Mother’s out there a happy and joyful Mother’s Day. I hope your children remind you how much you mean to them. We’ve all taken a parent for granted before and it’s good to recognize at least once a year (though of course, it should be more) that our mother’s, while not perfect, did the best they knew how and made us who we are, for better or for worse.

Of course, not everyone had a great experience growing up, and for a lot of people, Mother’s Day can be a little complicated. Some people had abusive, or absent mothers, some people had another person in their life who was more of a mother to them than the woman who gave birth. I have a friend who’s celebrating his Father today, the parent who did double duty. I wish all of you a happy Mother’s Day too, and I hope you, and the ones you celebrate, feel valid and recognized today.

As for my mother and me, it’s a little complicated for us too, but we’re a forgiving family. I can see how hard it was for her having me so young. I’m grateful for all her hard work. I’m grateful for her love. I’m grateful she did better by me than her parents did by her. I’m grateful that she taught us that at the very least, we should grow up to do better than her too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve had the house all to myself since Friday evening and, it’s driving me crazy. Anyone who knows me knows I hate being away from my girlfriend. We’ve been together so long, lived together most of that time, and with working the same schedule, at the same place, it makes it hard when I don’t have her around. It’s probably not super healthy, I suppose, but it’s how I am, and she doesn’t mind, much.

She’s staying at a hotel this weekend and enjoying a bit gambling and good food with her mother.

I’m stayed home to celebrate my own mother with my siblings and taking care of the house. I saw them yesterday for a small, low-key get together at my brother’s house. It was a wonderful visit, my niece is growing up so fast, my sister and I cracked each other up the whole time, my mom got hilariously annoyed with us all, and my brother has two new, very cute puppies I got to play with! I was only sad my brother’s fiance wasn’t there. I wanted to congratulate her face to face after I found out I’M GOING TO BE AN AUNT AGAIN!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that health-wise this was a weird week. I started off feeling amazing on Monday. I felt like my old self. I felt happy, even after being at work all day! Then slowly throughout the rest of the week, I slide further downhill.

Part of it was diet. I didn’t stick to the bland food plan I’d set up. Part of it was the stress of planning Mother’s Day. Part of it was simple exhaustion. I need to rest, but I feel too guilty to stay in bed or to say no when people ask me to do things.

I am hanging in there though. I only have nine more days until my first infusion, and that light at the end of the tunnel that I hope is there. I cannot wait.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am counting down to the end of the school year and feeling a little sad, and very anxious, about losing my kids to summer vacation and about starting new work hours.

For those who don’t know, I work on a Special Needs school bus, and this year I had great kids! Of course, I love my kids every year, but this was the first year that all my kids liked me! I had all high schoolers and nearly all boys and all year I got to talk about video games and superheroes. I was quizzed on who has what superpowers, who is who’s arch nemesis, and which heroes were faster, stronger, and smarter than which heroes. We made up gross foods combinations to eat and imagined how to escape dangerous scenarios like sharknados and rabid beavers. We talked about space travel, dinosaurs, sports teams, and horror movies. I had a lot of fun!

I’m going to miss them, but maybe I’ll get to see them again next year.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’m still plugging away, writing blog posts and working on some bigger projects but there were setbacks. My writing got away from me. That is, I let a few tangents get the better of my focus and by the end what I started to say looked like nothing I meant to say by the end, and I spent the rest of my week trying to correct course. This week I’m starting again, and I’m going to work on being more organized.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the clouds are rolling in and I can feel the weather changing in my bones. I have a lot left to do today to prepare for the week, and I had better get to it before this energy leaves me. I’m joining in on some interviews at work, so I have to prepare a question, and I’d like to post something here tomorrow, not to mention the laundry, the dishes, and a slew of small house projects that need completing before the work week can begin.

I hope you made progress where progress was needed this week, and if you didn’t, I hope your setbacks can be overcome in the coming one. I wish you all a happy Mother’s Day full of love and gratitude.

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 cup of virtual coffee.

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

Photo by Edan Cohen on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Working on What Works for Me

Hello dear readers and thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and conversation. I failed to prepare the cold brew in time, so I apologize in advance for the hot drip on this warm morning. I guess I could serve it over ice, but who likes watered down coffee? At least the sun is out, and I’m able to open up the house and let the spring breeze through. I have a feeling winter is finally behind us, and despite the pain I’m in right now, I actually feel happy.

#sugarcube #culpability #coffee

A post shared by Artie Redshoe (@artie_redshoe) on

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that ulcerative colitis is a real pain in the ass, literally and figuratively. I’m still feeling pretty cruddy, and I believe I will be for a while. The new medication my doctor prescribed isn’t doing much, in fact, I just seem to be getting worse, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, or at least that is what I keep telling myself. There will be stronger medication soon. I start infusions next month, and I have my fingers crossed and a heart full of hope that by the time summer hits I will feel something like my old self again.

In the meantime, I am getting along the best that I can, eating healthy, resting, and staying hydrated, but not exercising as much as I should I’m sure.

My fiance continues to be wonderful, taking care of me, comforting me, being patient with me, and I continue to feel awful for putting her through so much even though I know it isn’t my fault at all. The guilt just adds to my depression and anxiety and in turn makes my immune system react which makes my colitis worse which makes me feel worse which just makes me more depressed and anxious and so on and so on and so on…

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that due to the teacher walkout/call out I got to enjoy an unexpected 3-day-weekend. I’ll admit before I got wind of the coming protest I had no idea that our teachers made so little. I work for a district with a reputation for having a lot of money. We service a lot of the more affluent areas in the city, and our schools are among the best in the state.

Of course, I should have guessed. I work in the transportation department, and our drivers, assistants, and staff are all making less than their counterparts in the surrounding districts, I just always assumed the teachers were doing ok though. I fully support them and the kids we are all responsible for. We all deserve better, and it’s been disheartening to see so much pushback on social media.

I wish everyone understood how vital a teacher’s job is. Even more, I wish people understood how important every person working in a school district is to the safety and success of every child and our entire country’s future.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this is the last weekend of my birthday month, and I decided to do a little more celebrating. On Saturday, since it was so nice out, and since we had a couple of free tickets, and since we had heard so many good things about it, we went to see A Quiet Place, and I am so glad we did!

I’m a lover of horror films, always have been. There’s something about getting to feel fear and anxiety and even sorrow and regret in such a controlled environment. It’s thrilling, but it only works if you can be fully brought into a story and can really believe you are there with them, trying to escape. A Quiet Place does that in some of the most unusual¬†and captivating storytelling I have ever had the privilege of seeing.

A Quiet Place is a piece of art, and I recommend everyone see it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the Blogging A to Z Challenge ends tomorrow and I’m half an alphabet behind. I won’t be finishing on time, but somehow, I’m okay with that. I’m not mad. I’m not disappointed. I’m not freaking out or beating myself up. I learned so much, and I found what I came here to find, my passion.

The challenge most certainly was, and continues to be, just the kick in the ass I needed. I have posted more in the past weeks than I had since the beginning of the year. I have momentum, a groove, and I have not given up. I’m just having fun is all and working on what works for me.

I learned that I am a slow writer. I have to brainstorm first, by hand, on paper. Then I have to read three other pieces on the subject and figure out if what I am saying is different enough, interesting enough, or if it makes sense. Then I brainstorm again, by hand, on paper. Then I go through the whole mess trying to put it in order and type it up here.

It’s a lot, and obviously,¬†there are better ways to write blog posts. I could do it that easier way if I wanted, but the truth is, I just like reading and thinking and brainstorming, the writing is just the part I do to justify all the time I put in. I also learned how I want to do better and what I could start adding to my way of explaining things. I have a lot more ideas and a place to work them out now. I feel like I’m back. I feel like I got to begin all over again.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve lost track of time. The sun is going down and turning the rooms orange and lavender, that means it’s getting late and I have fallen behind. I have so much cleaning and preparation for the work week, and I guess I really should wrap up this “L” piece I have sitting in my drafts and try to make progress on “M.”

I hope you had a good week. I hope it was stress-free and productive, and if it wasn’t, I hope the next will be so. I hope your weekend was warm and that you got to meet the sun some. If you didn’t, I hope that wherever you are, there is still time.

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 cup of coffee.

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

Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // My New Favorite Room

Hello dear readers. Welcome, happy Sunday, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. My eyes are open early on this sunny spring morning, but I can’t seem to get the rest of my body moving. I’m stuck in that place between getting up and getting shit done, and pulling the covers back up and going back to sleep. Hopefully, some good coffee and conversation will get me tip me toward motivation.

And yet, like myself, those future corpses who were drinking their coffee in silence appeared ashamed to be so alive.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Simone de Beauvoir, The Mandarins

***

If we were having coffee, I would suggest we move to my new favorite room, the one we’ve always called the “creativity room” but up until now has been sorely underutilized.

The creativity room where we go to make things, and where I am supposed to go to write, but it was also a room to store our crap, more of a dumping ground with no storage and no order. For years I’ve wanted to start making it into a proper place to work in, but when your whole house is falling apart, a creativity room doesn’t feel like a reasonable allocation of resources. But it’s my birthday month, and I wanted to do something nice for myself, and for my fiance, who needs her own space to create beautiful watercolor works in.

So, this weekend we got a couple of IKEA coupons and loaded up the car with all the parts we needed to build a proper workstation for each of us. We wanted the option to be able to interact with one another, to have plants nearby and to share supplies easily. We wanted a room that we can relax in a room that feels like a place to make things, to use your mind and your hands, not a place to tune out and turn off. There is a lot more work to do in here, but I think we put together a beautiful and functional first step to that dream.

For now this new space means I finally have room to make some art! To start out I’m going to keep it simple, some magazine cut-outs and some simple writing and typography in my art journal. It also means I have space to organize all the little daily notes that I take that separately seem to mean nothing but together I’m hoping will turn out to be a book or two one day.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that my birthday month is slowly winding down and looking back on all I have been given and gotten to do I have to say this years celebration were some of the best. I truly felt important, seen, and loved, and that is why I believe birthdays are so important. All year we give and give and give and all the while inside we are lonely thinking no one cares about us. Your birthday is a chance for your loved ones to show you that you matter. Make sure they take the job seriously.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that my health has been on a slow downward spiral lately. I’m sure I mentioned it last week but I have been switched to new medication, new medication that my insurance did not cover. My birthday was nearly ruined by the news, but my doctor and the fantastic nurses working in her office helped me through a few hoops, and I was accepted into an assistance program to help with the costs. The only bad news, I have to wait over a month to start it.

So in the meantime, I’m doing my best to hold on, be strong, and to take care of myself until then. I’ve been so tired. Not tired, run down. I long for energy. I sleep, I eat, I drink copious amounts of coffee, and I still feel so drained.

My fiance is doing her best too, to hold on, to be strong, and to take care of me too. She’s been wonderful, but it hasn’t been easy for her either. I belong to an Ulcerative Colitis support group on Facebook, a few of them actually, and every week there are at least one or two people whose significant others leave them over this condition. I don’t for a second think mine will, but it puts into perspective the ways a chronic illness can come between two people. We’re working on finding the balance between acknowledging what is going on and living our lives regardless.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am nine letters behind in the Blogging A to Z Challenge, but I want to assure you I have not given up, I’m only working at my own pace. Feeling so run down like this makes it hard to write rather than nap or veg out on the¬†couch when I get any free time. It sucks because I’m actually really enjoying my theme and getting a chance to really explore the human condition in an organized and methodical way.

Not only that but I’m really getting into a groove with writing. I’m figuring out what works for me. How to research, find quotes and facts, how to brainstorm and the organize my thoughts and, the hardest part by far, how to sit my ass in a chair and just write for 30 minutes to an hour.

I also feel like this project can be turned into something later. I have other ideas, some creative writing could be incorporated, or maybe a little art and illustration, why not? I’d love to get these posts edited extensively, condensed, colored, and converted to a chapbook or something, maybe?

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I am enjoying our chat, I have to get up and really get on with the day. I’m off to visit my mother for a belated birthday celebration for both of us. I hope you all had a great week and I hope your weekend was as relaxing, or fun, or productive as you needed it to be and I hope the coming week will be less stressful 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 cup of coffee.

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

Photo by Ryan Riggins on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Enough is Enough

Hello dear readers. Welcome, happy Sunday, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. The weather report promises a gorgeous day, so if you don’t mind I’m opening all the blinds letting as much light and fresh air in as I can.

Spring is in full swing here in Denver, CO and that means our weather has become unpredictable and unstable. It may snow tomorrow for all we know so I’m soaking it up while I can.

I’m up early today because it is my week to do the grocery shopping. Anyone who knows me knows I hate grocery shopping. The crowds and the confusing layout send my anxiety through the roof, not to mention having to drive there in the first place, but now that I have gained a bit of confidence, I thought I’d try giving my girlfriend a break every other weekend. So, she’ll be doing the laundry and enjoying a little time to herself, for herself. She certainly deserves it!

Trade the drama in your life for coffee and see how quickly life improves.

‚ÄĒ @mutinyinfocafe

//

If we were having coffee, I would start by saying I am so proud of everyone who made it out to the marches yesterday, especially the teens and children many of whom who are among the ‚Äú187,000 who have been exposed to gun violence at school since Columbine‚ÄĚ. I couldn’t make it out to the march myself, but my thoughts were with those I know and care about who have been affected by tragedies closer to home.

I watched the live steam from DC and was moved by Samantha Fuentes, a Stoneman Douglas student who was shot in the leg, and who, partway through her speech, threw up, finished her speech, then sang happy birthday to her friend who died in the shooting. I was also moved by Emma Gonzales, whose speech lasted exactly the number of minutes and seconds of the Stoneman Douglas massacre. And finally, there was Naomi Walder, an 11-year-old black girl who took it upon herself to include for the voices of countless people of color living in our cities fearing for their lives every day due to gun violence.

I hear rumors of another walk out in the works for April 20th. I hope the rumors are true. I was attending school in the same district as Columbine High School on that day in 1999 when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire, and my heart has broken as I have watched the same happen time and time again.

We forget that the effects of a school shooting ripple far past the school and students affected on that day. Back then we became a little more aware that it could happen to us, but we still didn’t believe it would. Now every student, in every grade, and in every school across the country worries they will be next.

//

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week I took a break from The Odyssey and from Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals to read Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer and I am so glad I did. I finished it in just three days and I am desperate for the second and third installments of the series.

The best part about reading Annihilation was having a friend who was reading it too and was willing to nerd out over the book with me.

We shared our favorite parts and the parts that frustrated us the most too. We shared theories of meaning and metaphors and speculated on what the future might hold for the biologist and Area X. My friend printed me a map highlighting landmarks and a picture of the lighthouse that inspired the one in the story. It was exciting to delve so thoroughly into a story, it’s world, and it’s characters, and I am seriously considering asking him if he’d like to start a book club even if it was just the two of us as members.

//

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that so many little things happened this week that meant big things to me but to tell you all about them in detail would take all day. So, here’s a quick list:

  • My youngest sister, who attends an amazing alternative school got to go on a field trip to see Hamilton this week! and I had to practice not being bitter about my own experiences in school and just be happy for her. She loved it, she wishes I had been there with her, and she assures me the ticket price is well worth it.
  • I invited a coworker and his wife to join our once a month couple’s dinner (we are up to 4 couples now), and it was a great success. I was awkward as usual, but everyone seemed to have a great time anyway.
  • My boss guilt tripped me into making a crock pot meal for our annual “buck a bowl” fundraiser at work. I hated every minute of it, but it turns out my salsa verde chicken was among one of the favorites! Everyone loved it, and I promised to make it again next year.
  • The countdown to my birthday has begun! Less than a month now to design a new tattoo, get tickets to the museum (and maybe a movie too), and plan the many and varied nights of celebration with my girlfriend, my friends, my family, and my in-laws. My birthday is kind of a big deal, at least to me, and I make sure everyone knows and participates.

//

If we were having coffee I would tell you that tomorrow marks the first day of my Spring Break and, of course, I’ll be working through it. Well not entirely. I am taking a day or two to get a jump on the A to Z Challenge. I don’t have much time left and I haven’t written one post yet! But I do have my letters and my topics all planned out so, that’s a start, I guess.

I’m going to take an extra day off of work tomorrow and use just about every free minute I have to work on these posts. I’m easily distracted so I have deleted apps like Facebook and Twitter from my iPad (where I do most of my typing) and disabled notifications on my cellphone lock screen for all apps on my phone. Apps I’m particularly prone to checking constantly have had their notification disabled entirely.

If you’ve been following along these past few months, you know writing has been hard for me lately, and I think I’ve figured out why. I need to be alone more. Whenever it is time for me to write it seems like people are around asking me to make a choice, hang out with them or write, and I feel bad when I choose writing. This weekend I cleaned up a little in my “creativity room,” a place I had begun dumping ideas but never spending any time in to actualize any of those ideas. I cleaned up my desk, sat down to write this post and realized that I have been in desperate need of solitude.

Not solitude as in physical space although physically this may be what it looks like. I am talking about solitude for of mind. I’m (re)learning that space, silence, and room to “spread my mind out in” are crucial not just to forming thoughts but critical also to getting said thoughts down on paper.

//

If we were having coffee I would tell you that it’s time for me to wake the rest of the house up, make a nice big breakfast, and start getting ready to brave the Sunday crowds at the grocery store. I’m also cooking something new for dinner tonight, crispy slow cooker carnitas!, that needs to be prepped and started very soon.

Thank you again for stopping by. I hope your week was productive and joyful, and if it wasn’t, I wish you less stress and more time to take care of yourself in the coming week.

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 cup of coffee.

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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // A Confidence Boost and a Kick in the Ass

Good morning, happy Sunday, welcome and thank you, dear readers, for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. I’m feeling a bit tired and a bit blah today but I’m hoping both will get me up, get me going, get me thinking and writing, doing the¬†things I really want to do.

And anyway, the sun is out and shining, and it’s far too beautiful a day to be wasted away on the couch or my phone, don’t you think? Yes, let’s get in another state of mind, a positive one that starts with a jolt of caffeine and a few¬†endorphins released between friends, shall we?

‚ÄúGood communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄĒ¬†Anne Morrow Lindbergh

//

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my lady is back home and I have been in a state of love and bliss ever since. Apparently, my friends and coworkers were quite concerned with me. I’m a bit concerned too, over how quickly I can fall apart without her.

To be fair, when you live and work with someone for over 13 years and spend every day talking with them, venting to them, bouncing ideas off of them, seeking and giving comfort, even a day or two apart can be really hard.

It was good though, for me to be on my own like that for a week. I did things I am usually not comfortable doing, and I did get a confidence boost I haven’t had in a while. I was brave, and I worked out problems on my own. I learned I’m much more capable than I believed I was before. And I think it’s been good for my relationship too.

For a long time the duties, responsibilities, and the dynamic between us has been pretty rigid. I feel more aware of what my girlfriend had been doing for us, and I am more aware of the possibility that there may be other things she’d rather be doing for us and things I can take over that she had been before. We can change, exchange, and reshape the roles that we had begun to think of as set in stone.

//

If we were having coffee, ¬†I would tell you that since she’s been back, we’ve had a lot of fun. I cooked‚ÄĒsomething I hate doing with a passion‚ÄĒa special dinner of¬†pasta carbonara¬†and shared a bottle of 19 Crimes red blend wine, my favorite. We caught up on all of our shows, watched a bootlegged version of Annihilation, which was really good, and got out to the theater to see A Wrinkle in Time, which was a little disappointing, to be honest.

Yesterday we went to Whole Foods, one of our “happy places” for lunch, and did a little thrift/antique store hopping. She scored a HUGE glass jar that I have no idea what she plans to do with, and I got a good deal on some vintage books: Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn.

Today we’re staying in‚ÄĒexcept for style grocery shopping and treating the dog to a to PetSmart trip‚ÄĒto catch up on housework, watch¬†The Shape of Water (also bootlegged), and to prepare for another busy work week.

//

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I¬†had hoped to be back to blogging regularly by now, but I’m, obviously, not. I’m starting to feel properly disappointed in myself, but with the April A to Z challenge just around the corner, I’m hoping I will get the a just the metaphorical kick in the ass I need to get going.

I have a theme or three in mind and quite a few ideas for each, but I’m supposed to announce my theme tomorrow! I’ll be spending the rest of the day writing that, and trying to fill out the more difficult letters of the alphabet, “q,” “v,” “x,” etc.

I really want to make this year work. Last year I struggled through the first week and gave up. This year I’m keeping it simple and making the posts more personal. It’s easier to write what you know when you start with yourself, you know?

//

If we were having coffee, I would say that the sunlight seems to have shifted and the afternoon has brought clouds and cooler air blowing through the open windows, reminding me that the day is fading fast. Sadly, it’s time for me to go. I have so much left to do, and write, before tomorrow, so I thank you again for stopping by. I’ll say my goodbyes and wish you a wonderful rest of your weekend.

I hope you have been well and wherever you are you have enjoyed some sunshine and some time for yourself. I hope you have felt productive and proud of yourself, and if not I hope the coming week, you’ll see a change for the 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 cup of coffee.

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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

If We Were Having Coffee // A Moment to Acknowledge Progress

Hello, happy Sunday, welcome, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. Forgive me for not sitting down. I’ll have to take my caffeine¬†and converse¬†while I’m getting ready because we have an appointment to tour our dream wedding venue today! I would have waited to chat with you until after but I am afraid I’ll be told the place is out of our meager budget and return broken-hearted and depressed. No, better to visit now, while I’m excited and have my past week still fresh in my head.

‚ÄúI cannot simply put into words how coffee, stars, and a good conversation turns me on.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄĒ constellationsofmisery

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that there you may start seeing more of me around here than you have lately. I know posts have been few and far between and far from fun, interesting, or informative too. Part of it has been my busy schedule. I give all my best hours and all my creative energy to my day job, and by the time I get home, there is nothing left for writing. Part of it has been perfectionism too. Writing is easy, but editing is dreadful! So whatever I do make time to write just sits unloved and atrophying in my drafts folder.

If I am honest though, most of it is a lack of passion. I haven’t been writing that way I want to write. I’ve been trying to write what I think people want, or the way I think other people do. I haven’t been writing in a way that works for me.

This week I read an old post from one of my favorite authors, Austin Kleon, on his return to daily blogging and it really summed up the way I have been feeling, and where I hope to go, now. I realized that I wasn’t alone. Being online is hard. Being interesting is hard. Delivering something worth reading on any regular basis is really fucking hard.

But even when I am afraid, and I give up for a while, I miss it. Kleon reminded me that blogging is important to both the reader and to the writer. Blogging is a way of thinking and a blog is a container to fill with all the things you think. This place is mine and as much as I love my readers, and as much as I love the attention the internet can bring, this place has to be for me first.

And so it will be. I am not quite ready to jump in and promise you posts every single day, but soon, very, very soon.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been reading again. I’m a book or three behind schedule already, but it’s okay. I’ve found my groove with The Oresteia by Aeschylus, and I’m not rushing at all. In fact, I’m spending most of my time researching the time period, the Gods, the myths, the back stories of every family and every character. I’m reading the notes in the back, and the Spark Notes and the Wikipedia entries on my phone. All the research is making a play that is already rich with emotion so much more interesting.

It took me weeks to get through the introduction alone, and a few more to get a handle on the structure but this week I made it more than halfway through and now I’m worried about what I will pick up next. Luckily I still have a few Penguin Classics left from the set I won last year. In that set, I realized I have both The Homeric Hymns and The Three Theban Plays. It looks like I won’t have to leave Ancient Greece for a while after all.

Oh, and on the subject of The Oresteia, I recently watched The Killing of a Sacred Deer, a creepy psychological thriller/nightmare, that I realized was based on the story of Agamemnon, the very same King that the first play of The Oresteia is named for.

In case you aren’t familiar, Agamemnon was the brother of Menelaus whose wife, Helen, was stolen from him and carried off to Troy. Together the brothers led their armies in a 10-year long war for the offense. But before the war could begin, Agamemnon offended the Goddess Artemis by killing one of her sacred deer and boasting he was the superior hunter. In retaliation, Artemis refused to let his ships advance toward Troy until Agamemnon agreed to sacrifice his daughter. He did. He went to war. He won, and upon returning, he found his wife bitter and bent on revenge and that is where The Oresteia starts.

I think it’s a pretty interesting coincidence that I would be reading these plays and happen to have decided on this film at the same time. I recommend you check out both yourself!

***

 

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I haven’t been driving as much as I should be, but I do feel better about being behind the wheel. The problem lately has been the weather‚ÄĒI’m not ready to drive in the snow‚ÄĒand we’ve been waking up late most mornings, and I’m too slow to get us to work on time. Thought of driving no longer terrifies to the point of tears and fury, and that is progress. Driving feels more and more like something I am capable of doing safely, even if I hate it.

It’s also helping to dream that at the end of this journey to overcome my phobia, there may be the promise of a new car. A car that I get to choose, that fits me. I want a car that makes me feel like I am going off on an adventure, not off to slaughter. A used Jeep Wrangler or a beat-up old Land Rover perhaps. Something I can trust.

I still have a long way to go, and pretty soon my fiance will be traveling for work, and soon she may begin working somewhere else entirely, so I have to keep going. I just felt I’d earned a little break, and a moment to acknowledge my progress. I’m so proud of myself for as far as I have come and I know I can beat this phobia! I’ve got this!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is time for me to get going. A winter storm dropped five inches of snow on us yesterday, and there’s no telling what the roads will be like. I’ll pop in later to update you on the venue tour.

I do hope you had a wonderful week and that your weekend was warmer and more relaxing than mine.

Until next time.

On Living #blackoutpoetry #makeblackoutpoetry #newspaperblackout

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

***

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.

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

Photo by Ronaldo Arthur Vidal on Unsplash