If We Were Having Coffee // A Week of Getting Back

“That’s what I do: I make coffee and occasionally succumb to suicidal nihilism. But you shouldn’t worry — poetry is still first.”

― Anne Sexton

Hello, dear readers. Thank you for stopping by for a cup of coffee and a bit of conversation with me. I’ll have a cold brew as usual despite the dreary look outside. The weather reports promise a turn for the warmer soon, and I’d rather not be full of hot and bitter brew when it comes.

I apologize if I’m sluggish. I’m not feeling all that well, but I’m fighting it, with the aforementioned cup of coffee mostly. I slept in much later than I meant to, which seems to be the new theme around here just about every Sunday. The bed felt too comfy, and the house was too cold to get up until well into mid-morning when I found myself well behind in everything I hoped to accomplish, including meeting with you.

I beg your forgiveness but remind you, with a smile, that it is always better to be late than to have never shown at all, right?

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m in a good mood today despite not feeling especially well. I started the day with breakfast in bed because I have the best girlfriend in the world who heard me mention we hadn’t had homemade biscuits in a while yesterday and made sure I had some, with a healthy side of bacon when I woke up.

Still, I’m tired, and these words are coming slowly, but I have a playlist featuring songs from Tarantino movies playing in the background, and I’m keeping busy, running around the house trying to clean what I can before the caffeine leaves me and I’m back snuggled under the covers and sleeping again.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was not especially eventful, but that was a good thing. I was able to get back down to my quiet tedious work of writing, and reading, and thinking.

I wrote more posts this week than I have in a while, and I worked a bit on some sort of editorial calendar, but I haven’t gotten very far. The problem is as much as I love writing here it never feels exactly like real writing, no matter how much I tell myself is certainly is. I suppose what I mean is it isn’t exactly the kind of writing I want to be doing, or, not the only kind. So, once again I am searching for other places to send some words too, and next week I’m going to start working on a zine of awful things in the world.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I finally made progress on my 30 book reading challenge this past week. I finished Saga Volume 7, it was amazing and heartbreaking like all the others and made considerable progress on Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf which is turning out to be such a surprising and delightful book. It’s like reading an adult fairytale, so refreshing and different from my usual picks.

I’ve also gotten back to learning a little something every day. One of my favorite birthday gifts this year was The Intellectual Devotional by David S. Kidder. It’s a thinkers version of those books of daily prayer or aspirations, but instead every day I learn something new on history, literature, philosophy, mathematics and science, religion, fine arts, and music.

And, and, I’m working my way through a YouTube playlist of James Baldwin interviews, talks, and debates because, I am ashamed to admit, I have only just recently discovered how truly amazing this man was.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that staying productive this week is going to be tough because this week is going to be a good one for TV!

The Handmaiden’s Tale premieres on Hulu Wednesday. I just read the book this year, and it was good, weird, but good, and I am very interested in seeing what they do with the show. Dystopian stories have always been my favorites, and this was the first that really made me think about privilege and perspective in the telling of suffering. As a woman, it also scared the shit out of me.

Then, Dear White People is coming to Netflix on Friday. I really enjoyed the movie and, same as above, I’m interested to see where they might take a show. I think stories like this are important. The world is changing and they way people are processing their positions within society are different now too. Some things are getting better, mistakes are being made all the time too, and we ought to be able to have a conversation about it all, and a little entertainment too.

Then, then, on April 30th, the show I have been waiting forever for finally becomes a reality, American Gods! New Gods, technology and media and money, and old Gods like Odin, and Anansi, and even Easter going to war here in America. I cannot wait!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this little blog of mine hit yet another milestone this week. I have crossed the 3,400 followers mark! I know, that isn’t a real milestone, but it’s felt like forever since 3,300, and I needed a boost before long wait to 3,500.

I hope most of you are real people but either way I am grateful for each and every one of you. It’s not 10,000, sure, but it’s still good for the old ego and keeps me motivated. It feels good to know that so many people stopped by here at one time or another, some of you when I was a worse writer than I am now, and still thought me worthy of following and checking back in on here and there. I hope I can keep getting better and you can keep finding reasons to stick around.

Thank you all again, really, from the bottom of my heart.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, as much as I’d love to stay and chat all day with you, there is so much more to be done around the house and in preparation for the coming week. I’d like to work on some of that reading I talked about and get a jump on the writing too. It’s early enough too that I might get in a nice long hot shower and a good body scrub and a face mask too.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you accomplished what you set out to do, or you learned a lesson or two for the next. I hope this weekend was a relaxing one and you got to make some time for yourself. You deserve it you know.

Thank again for stopping by.

Until next time :)

***

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

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

Featured image via Abi Porter

 

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 :)

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 Slept a Whole Day Away, Again

“If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.”

― Abraham Lincoln

Hello, dear readers! Whew look at the time, I’m so sorry it’s late. Then again, coffee in the evening can be just as nice as coffee in the morning, you know? Coffee that you drink not because you have to but because you want to because coffee isn’t just for keeping you awake but actually tastes good too, when you take the time to make it right, serve it right, and sip it slowly.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I was actually up early this morning as I always am now because Of my stomach and my medication but I wasn’t feeling well and as, after I had eaten, I fell right back to sleep on the couch. I fell asleep for about hours, waking here and there and trying to will myself up and around the house and losing every time.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, but it is very unlike me. I like naps, don’t get me wrong but not that early in the day and not for that long.

My new medicine still isn’t working yet, and my body is just tired. I’m working on accepting that this is my new normal, at least for now. The doctor said I needed to be patient and wait five or six weeks to see if this medicine will help and it hasn’t even been three, yet so I have a long way to go still. In the meantime, I’m being taken off the steroid which is contributing to this yucky, sleeping feeling.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am so bummed to have to return to work tomorrow. This past week was our spring break, and while I did have to work a little, a very, very little, and there was some bad weather, we did manage to get out and have some fun.

Thursday we went to the Denver Art Museum for the Star Wars costume exhibit which turned out to be much more in depth and interesting than I thought it would. I was glad for that, I didn’t feel so guilty dragging my girlfriend to it.

It should have been called the Padmé Amidala exhibit, though, since she had the most costumes throughout the films and each was more elaborate and more beautiful than the last. If you have no idea what I am talking about you need to stop here and go start a Star Wars marathon.

Afterward, we tried out a new seafood restaurant, one we had never heard of but had received a Groupon gift for. It was in a hidden part of town I had never now about before, with a few blocks of shops, dining, and bars surrounded by housing. I’ve lived in this city nearly my whole life and never knew about this gem. The food was great, and I can’t wait to go back to the area for more exploring.

Friday we were supposed to head up to Boulder, CO but the weather went to shit, and neither of us wanted to visit an outdoor mall in the rain. We ended up at the movies instead, my favorite thing to do anytime, and saw Raw, an artsy coming of age horror film lots of cannibalism and gore. Then we went for sushi and shopping :)

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my first post for the Blogging A to Z Challenge, A is for the Arctic, Which is Melting, turned out pretty well I think, but I’m sitting here quietly panicking because I have nothing else written, at all! I’m the worst blogger ever I swear. Like, sometimes I don’t even know what I’m doing here, but I can’t stop?

Anyway, I have notes for tomorrow’s post, and some vague ideas for a few other days, but that’s it. I don’t know what I expect you to do about it, except throw me a few ideas if you have any? I’m looking for catastrophic failures of humanity here. News stories about our inability to save ourselves or any other life on this planet. I want to know about all the ways we are destroying whatever is right and good inside ourselves. You’d think I have plenty of ideas, and I do, but I need them narrowed down to specifics.

But, whether nor not I get help, I am determined to do the best I can all through April and during this challenge. It’s important to me to tell these stories.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, sadly, I have to go. In the short time, we have been here I have switched from coffee to red wine, and my lovely girlfriend has finished making what looks like the best lasagna I have ever seen. Tonight is a bit of a special night, we are watching the finale of Big Little Lies, and I don’t want to miss a moment.

I hope you had a wonderful week and a very relaxing weekend. SLEave a note in the comments below and catch me up. I’d love to hear how you are and what you’ve been up to.

Until next time :)

***

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 :)

***

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 Wonderfully Dull Week

“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.”

—Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

Hello, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for our weekly bit of caffeine and conversation. This week I’m having some cold brew, homemade and in copious amounts. Since I started tapering off of the steroids, my doc prescribed I’ve had headaches almost daily. It seems that caffeine is the only thing that helps. God, I can’t wait to be off of this stuff.

I feel good today, and I did most of the week. I am 100% sure that it’s down to all the warm weather we have been having. This coming week we’ll have one day of winter-like weather, but the rest of the week we’ll be climbing through the 60s and 70s. Spring is coming y’all!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week was pretty uneventful, and it was wonderful. I ended up spending a lot of time alone, even at work, and getting some much-needed writing and brainstorming done.

When I wasn’t out on my route, I was working in an office closed off to other people. The room I work in is also a classroom for new employees so when a new class starts the room in closed off to other employees, except for me because I care for and inventory the equipment stored in there and use the computer and files to track employee testing.

So, I worked and wrote and listened to music and podcast with minimal interruption. It was nice, like a mini vacation, but at work rather than away from work.

I am glad I savored it because this coming week will be a very busy one. That same class that blessed me with a quiet room is the same class I will have to teach now. Classes take up a significant amount of my writing time when they happen, and I dread them, but they are a necessary evil so that I can have a space and a bit of silence to work on what matters to me on a regular basis.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of the week was the #Losslit, a monthly challenge to write tweet-length responses to ‘loss.’ #Losslit happens the first Wednesday every month, but I’ve never been able to get my shit together enough to properly participate. I always miss the times, or I miss the day entirely, but this month, I put a reminder on my phone.

For the entire 2 hours, I was able to follow along and post a few of my own, some of which got shared among the highlights on Storify. I love little writing exercises these and doing a monthly one takes some of the pressure off of preparation. If you want to participate check out @Losslit‘s twitter.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am worried about getting sick again. This may not be the best analogy, but I feel like my experience last month left me with a sort of PTSD. I spend a lot of time worrying that every discomfort, every instance of heartburn, stomach upset, headache, or, just anything happening with my body is a signal that all the awfulness of last month is going to return.

I have noticed some symptoms, but I am riding a line between trying not to panic and trying not to brush it off. I suppose I should be telling my doctor this too, but I hate to bother him over nothing, or maybe it is something, but probably it’s nothing, right? Sigh.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I finally finished Plato’s The Republic! Having a fun book to read after really helped encourage me to get through it and I think it may be the strategy I employ going forward when I find myself burned out on a book. I’m reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood now. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad yet, but it is interesting. Dystopian has long been my favorite genre, and there aren’t many written from the female perspective, as far as I know. I’m eager for recommendations if you have any.

I  am just happy to be reading for fun for a while and not to learn. I love non-fiction, and I love learning new things and hearing new points of view, but after a while, I get burned out.

I spent a little time going through my overflowing bookshelf last week in preparation for a purging—a purging which is in preparation for buying a new bookshelf—and realized I had a bunch of books lying around unfinished. Books like Inferno by Dante Alighieri and The Odyssey by Homer both attempted and abandoned because they are hard reads. I am thinking 2017 may be the year of reading books I failed to finish or understand in the past by tempting myself with more exciting and interesting reads after.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had better get going. My mind feels a little foggy. I’m unfocused, and I feel my motivation waning. I still have so much to do around the house, laundry, dishes, dusting, vacuuming, ugh. I think that if I don’t get up now, I won’t for the remainder of the day, and I’ll be pretty disappointed in myself come evening time.

I hope you all had a good week, or at least one more eventful than mine. Stop by the comments and leave a note, let me know how you are and what your highlight of the week was.

Until next time :)

An American Dream #blackoutpoetry

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

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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 // I Feel Great, but It’s Probably Just the Meds

“Isn’t hot coffee a wonderful thing? How did people get along before it was invented?”

— Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Hello, dear readers and thanks for stopping by again for another round of coffee and catching up. It sounds silly but, I’m so glad to be here and be back to some sort of writing schedule. This past week was a strange one, not bad, not good, but things have been strange. Even the weather was crazy. We started off in the 60s and 70s and ended the week with snow and a deep freeze. I hear this week might be more of the same. Sigh.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am still feeling better. The medicine the doctor put me on has been a godsend for my symptoms. I’m not 100% better, but I’m very close. The only problem, which I suppose isn’t a real problem at all, is the side effect. I’m on Prednisone, a steroid, and last week I was taking 40mgs a morning. At first, I hated it. I couldn’t sit still, and my heart would beat so hard, but then I had so much energy and focus. I was getting so much shit done!

The downside is I can’t stop eating, and my moods have been a little unpredictable. I’m not angry or even sad, I just have things to do, and I can’t be bothered with anyone. I want to be left alone to write and to work. It’s nice to have that kind of focus, but I know it can’t last. I’ve already started to taper off of the medication, but I am trying to hold on to that focus and energy so that I can bring some of it with me when I am off of it.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that if it isn’t the medicine that is focusing and motivating me, then it has to be this new app I started using. I don’t usually endorse apps or services, but this one is really helping me build habits and keep my mind on what I need to do every day.

It’s called Fabulous, it is beautiful, and it’s free! I think it’s only on Android right now, but it’s on its way to iOS soon. The idea is so simple. You start with suggested tasks, like making a to-do list, doing focused work for 25 minutes, or blocking distraction, every morning, afternoon, and evening. You can add your own tasks too and then you set your alarm times.

For me, every morning at 7 AM my phone reminds me to do things like drink water, take my medicine, and write a to-do list. I can add tasks, reorder tasks, and there are built-in timers. In the afternoon I get another reminder to do things like block out distraction, study something new, do focused work, and take my vitamins. In the evening, I tidy up the house, I drink tea, I write in my journals, and I reset my goals, then I remember to floss and read just before bed.

I can’t tell you I do all of these things every day, but I try and every day it is getting easier. I like being reminded, and I love having built-in timers and chimes to alert me when to start and when to move on. It’s not a radical idea or plan at all, but it’s presented in a nice, easy to use and useful way.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been trying again/still to read Plato’s Republic. I made it half-way through this week, but it was hard. Some days it’s not so bad, but most of the time I hate it. I’ve already devoted a lot of time to it, so I don’t want to quit. I have to see this through, dammit! I have good news, though, I have given myself a little motivation to work a little harder to read the damn thing. I have put a carrot in front of my nose in the form of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and, and Orlando by Virginia Woolf.

I’m hoping I’ll try harder now that I know that after this bit of unpleasantness I can move on to more interesting and exciting things!

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last night I saw the movie Get Out and it was so, so, good! I’ll write a proper review later, but for now, I will tell you to stop whatever you are doing and go buy tickets to see it. You will not be sorry.

I mean, yes, it looks a little strange and controversial but even if you just love film, especially if you love the horror genre, go see it. All the race stuff aside it is just plain creepy and so well made.

BUT I will also say, if you are a Person of Color, this movie is made for you! The issues we face were shown in a realistic way. Not overly done or “in your face.” It felt real and relatable. Some of your worst fears taken to an extreme. The kind of fears only people who have experienced if you’ve been the only person of color in the room or been caught out at night in a neighborhood, not your own, where no one looks like you, will understand.

Go see it, tell everyone about it, and support it because it really is one of the best horror films and pieces of social commentary I have ever seen.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, sadly, we have come to that time when I have to go. There is more writing to be done, and the laundry is piled up, and the dishes too, and the dog is begging for a good long walk. Thank you so much for stopping by and please, please, drop a note in the comments and let me know how you are doing. I love hearing from you all, and I like to know you are well.

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 Aldrin Adira