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

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If We Were Having Coffee // An Emotional Birthday Weekend Rollercoaster

Hello dear readers. Welcome, happy Sunday, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine¬†and catching up. It’s going to be a quick conversation this week, today is that special day of the year I get to spend at the kitchen table, squinting at my computer screen, surrounded by a collection of documents from various financial institutions, trying to tell the IRS what they already know.

At least the sun is shining today, and the temperatures¬†are warming up again. This weekend gusts of frigid winter air blew through the city and sapped all the energy from our bones. It was a harsh reminder that it isn’t quite summertime yet and to make any outdoor plans right now is risky. Luckily much of my birthday celebrations were all inside activities.

‚ÄúSometimes it is the smallest thing that saves us: the weather growing cold, a child’s smile, and a cup of excellent coffee.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Jonathan Carroll

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my birthday was a good one this year. This year, my birthday fell on a Friday the 13th. I’m not superstition, but it’s fun to have the day that you celebrate your birth and another year of life occasionally fall on a day culturally considered unlucky.

I usually celebrate the day as a sort of mini Halloween. I wear creepy t-shirts, I might watch a scary movie, and sometimes I get tattoos from shops doing Friday the 13th specials. This year I got a gorgeous, and quite painful, “bad luck” tattoo on the back of my neck.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the rest of my birthday was spent with just my girlfriend. We had pizza before the tattoo shop then¬†we found a new Italian¬†place to check out for dinner after. I had lamb ribs with fig glaze, rabbit gnocchi, and a pastry dessert that I can’t remember the name of that was to die for! My fiance had the cornish game hen stuffed with pheasant sausage and tiramisu for dessert. It was all delicious, and it was fun to try some new foods on my special day, but I don’t think I’ll be eating rabbit or pheasant again anytime soon.

Yesterday was a close friend of mine’s birthday, so we had another birthday dinner, this time at a sushi restaurant, then drinking, dancing, and a drag show after.

It was all a ton of fun, and I was glad to see my friends and celebrate with them, but I realized that for me, turning 33 was a very serious, quiet, and personal affair. I’m not sad about it, and I certainly believe it is a milestone worth celebrating, but celebrating with a more intimate company was definitely a good choice.

Another thing I love about birthdays is hearing from all the people who think I matter too. From my father’s text at four in the morning to my grandmother’s late-night call to sing happy birthday before I was off to bed I felt like for just one day I was more alive, more real, because so many people were thinking of me.

I still have to see my mom‚ÄĒwho also celebrated a birthday this month‚ÄĒand my siblings, and my dad. I’ll have another dinner with my cousins soon and another later in the month with a few other friends who, like me, prefer a quieter night out. I celebrate the whole month long, and I recommend everyone do the same. We all deserve it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the gifts were pretty awesome too. A coworker brought her 7-year-old daughter in to give me a gift bag full of six avocados. I got myself the tattoo (you should always buy yourself something too). My mom gave me money to buy more books. My girlfriend got me a few AdamJK things, a book of Familiar Quotations by John Bartlett, and 17 volumes from The University Society Book Lovers Edition 1901 Shakespeare Collection she found at a thrift store.

Many are full of handwritten notes and pieces of other works either glued or stapled in. Used books are ever just about the book. They are also about every person who has owned them before you.

Apparently, there are more gifts to come tomorrow, something bigger I hear, but I honestly already feel so content and happy with what I’ve received I can’t imagine what else I could want.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that there was in the middle of all this celebration and special attention some bad news came. All the tests the doctors ordered a few weeks ago have come back and while I’m not doing poorly‚ÄĒas in, not anemic, no new health issues‚ÄĒthe inflammation is back, and my medication is definitely not working.

I’ve been slowly declining for a few weeks now, and I’ll keep getting sicker and sicker if I am not switched to new medication but of course, because I live in America, standing between me and the next stage in my care are big dollar signs. I have the choice of two different meds, one I’ll have to pay for¬†up front, or one to be billed later, neither of which can I really afford.

I’m applying for financial assistance from the drug companies, but the application process is complicated. It’s going to take some time. Meanwhile, I’m worried about how much work I’ll have to miss, and¬†if three or four or five years from now after I’ve paid 10s of thousands of dollars the medication will stop working, and in the end, my colon will end up being removed anyway.

I’m only 33 years old! I shouldn’t be dealing with these kinds of problems yet!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the taxes are all done, and that means I have to move on to other projects. I’m at least four letters behind in the Blogging A to Z Challenge, and I still have to get ready or the work week. Thank you for sitting through this stressful time with me, it helps to have friendly vibes and an ear to bend to ease the anxiety.

I hope you had a pleasant weekend. I hope your taxes are done, and Spring has been more like summer than winter where you are. I hope your coming week will be productive, and if it isn’t, I hope you know it’s okay to take a break and that you can begin again anytime you choose.

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 New Normal to Get Used To

Hello dear readers. Welcome, happy Sunday, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. I’m in my usual Sunday panic dashing around the house trying to get everything ready for the work week and feeling guilty that more time won’t be spent enjoying what time I get to myself.

It’s like the weekend is all of Friday night and Saturday and Sundays are just pre-work days. Your body may get to be home,¬†but your mind is on tomorrow and already feeling the first twinges of anxiety and longing for your next day off. Sigh, at least the sun is shining, and you are here, and there is coffee to brighten the mood, yes?

‚ÄúCoffee is a lot more than just a drink; it‚Äôs something happening. Not as in hip, but like an event, a place to be, but not like a location, but like somewhere within yourself. It gives you time, but not actual hours or minutes, but a chance to be, like be yourself, and have a second cup‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Gertrude Stein, Selected Writings

***

If we were having¬†coffee, I would tell you that last¬†week was my first back to work since Spring Break and of course, as always, I was thrown into some¬†last-minute, and extensive, schedule changes. We ended up having a class of new employees start, and I ended up working overtime to train them. I’m wasn’t at all happy about it either. I was feeling grouchy and down, worried and restless the whole week.

It wasn’t a particularly large class or difficult compared to any in the past, I just wasn’t feeling all that great, and I had so much else I would rather have been doing. I think the unstable weather contributed to my bad mood too. We’d have days that felt like summer was just around the corner, plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the 70s, and some days we were plunged back into winter with snow and temperatures¬†near freezing. It’s exhausting.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had a hard conversation with my doctor. My health has been declining again, and I think she’s a little peeved at me for not listening to her nearly a year ago and switching my medications. It’s hard though when you are teetering between “not quite what you were but feeling okay” and “extreme fatigue, pain, and a host of other alarming symptoms.” It’s hard to know when what you are doing isn’t working when you don’t know what your new normal is, you know?

So, now I will have some¬†new medication, new side effects to watch for, and a new normal to get used to. I’m so thankful for the support and understanding of my fiance, my family, and my friends. I’m thankful for their willingness to listen, to check in on me, and to make me do all the things I don’t want to do. I’m thankful they are willing to put up with my whining and my frustration. They are more patient with me than I am with myself.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week I had a scare. I almost lost someone who means a lot to me, and who I had been taking for granted for too long.

My grandmother was rushed to the hospital early last week with chest pain they found was caused by a tear in an artery. She endured some 6 or 8 hours of open heart surgery and came out ready to begin her recovery. I went to visit her and was so inspired by her resilience and her sense of humor and love for me. She asked me to come around more and to get her pictures of my girlfriend and I, and I promised her I would.

I realized that she is where I come from and she holds a ton of knowledge about my past and my family. She holds all the secrets and stories. I found myself panicked worrying that if I were to lose her, I would lose the answers to so many questions I haven’t had the chance or the courage to ask.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that because of work, and my health, and my moods, and my panic, I fell behind on my A to Z posts, but I’m very close to catching up.

I know that most people write their posts well in advance of the challenge, but I had been hoping to cultivate a¬†daily blogging habit starting with this challenge. I thought beginning with a theme and having at least an idea for each post might help. It might also help if I wasn’t so wordy and long-winded. Hopefully, that will get better with time.

I have worked out a few kinks and settled into a flow, and I have learned how to write first and edit later, though it is a lesson I have to keep learning again and again. I’m writing every day and scheduling my posts for the next. That doesn’t feel too much like cheating.

Unfortunately, any hope I had of¬†an easier week to write in have already been dashed though I still think I’ll be able to keep the overtime in check. I may fall behind a few times before the end of this month, but I am not for a second entertaining the idea of giving up.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you the best news of all, this week is my birthday week! And this birthday is an extra special one, this year my birthday falls on a Friday. This year my birthday falls on a¬†Friday the 13th. I’ve been waiting so many years for this one, and I’ve decided to get a new tattoo to mark the occasion.

Many of the tattoo shops around me do Friday the 13th tattoo specials in which you choose a pre-drawn piece of flash to adorn your body with for only $13 (or $31, or $62, or some other flat rate). I have a tattoo or two I’ve gotten spontaneously on a Friday the 13th just for the fun of it, and this year won’t be any different. I’ve already scouted the offerings from some local shops, and I think I’ve settled on one that feels right.

As for the rest of my plans, We’ll go out to lunch, we’ll cook a special dinner at home. I’m hoping for crab legs and a good bottle of wine. A close friend’s birthday falls the next day so Saturday will be the night for hard partying and Sunday will be spent in recovery. I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the day is wearing on and I have at least two more posts to write before the day ends, plus laundry and dinner, not to mention the afternoon nap I hope to squeeze in.

Thank you again for stopping by. I was in greater need of the caffeine and conversation than I knew. I hope your week was productive and your weekend peaceful. I hope Spring has found you wherever you are, and you have found time to enjoy some sun.

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 Izzy Rivi 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 // Getting Braver all the Time

Hello dear readers, happy Sunday, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and conversation. I’m a bit late, and I hope you will forgive me but the sun was shining, and the bookstore was calling, and I couldn’t resist a little trip before our coffee date.

The time change isn’t helping either. Turns out I didn’t have as much time as I thought I did and I’m later than I meant to be. On the bright side, the sun is still shining and saying we have plenty of daylight left for all the catching up we need to do, It’s still warm enough to warrant a cup of cold brew too!

‚ÄúI hereby arm myself for today with coffee and the willingness to be wrong.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Audrey Assad

//

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week has been a hard one. My girlfriend has been in Texas since Thursday evening and won’t be back until nearly mid-week, so I am all on my own, a state of being I have never been very good at. Yes, I know being on my own for a week isn’t the worst thing that can happen, but for a couple that spends almost all their free time together and has spent less than 10 nights apart in 13 years of living together, this is really fucking hard, and depressing! Even the dog is sad without her here.

Despite wanting to stay and bed and sleep the week away alone, I made sure to take care of myself. I showered. I got dressed. I cooked. I joined some friends for a Colorado Mammoth lacrosse game downtown, the first I’ve ever been to! And I faced my fear of driving and got myself to and from work, to the grocery store, to my mom’s house¬†(she’s also out-of-town, and I have to feed and care for her cats while she’s gone), and to Barnes and Noble all on my own.

//

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that facing all that fear and anxiety has taken a real toll on my body. It’s hard enough trying to overcome a phobia but to do it with an autoimmune disease that can be triggered by stress. Still, I am trying to be brave and do it anyway, and even though I have made a ton of mistakes, somewhere deep down, I’m pretty sure I’m proud of myself.

I’m proud of myself for refusing to feel ashamed of my fear anymore. Shame is what stunted my progress more than anything else. I was so busy hiding I couldn’t drive in front of people or ask for help. When I let go of that shame, I found reassurance and compassion and learned I wasn’t alone. I’m proud of myself for learning to talk to people about it. I’m proud of myself for talking to you about it now, and I’m proud of myself for dreaming that there might be a chance I could join the rest of the adult world and become a driver’s license carrying member of society one day! Maybe even by my next birthday?

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that writing has not been going well at all lately. I’m trying, but nothing sounds right. Nothing sounds like me anymore.

I’ve tried prompts. I’ve tried writing by hand. I’ve tried different music and writing at different times of the day. I’ve tried writing on my phone, writing on my iPad, and writing on my laptop. I’ve tried just writing just a few words a day, and I’ve tried writing 1000 words a day. I can get words out on to the page and the screen that isn’t the problem. The problem is¬†I hate everything I put down. Nothing sounds right, and it’s getting worse more than it’s getting better.

I think I’m just trying too hard. I’m not short of ideas, and I’m not having trouble coming up with words, I’m having trouble organizing my thoughts and figuring out what¬†it is I am trying to say and how exactly I want to say it. It’s a problem of articulation.

Or maybe being creative means cycling between influence and production, input and output. If I was doing nothing at all or had lost interest entirely with words, this might be an easier problem to fix. It turns out, I might not have a problem at all but instead, I’m just not in a place where I can write my own words right now, and that isn’t something I can rush or work around. Maybe I’m just in a place where I have to consume the words of others until I have enough inspiration, motivation, and know how to move forward.

Or maybe it’s just that I need to get back in a groove. I need to learn how to have fun with writing again and not be so serious all the time. I need to reconnect with other bloggers and join challenges and exchange ideas again.

Whatever it is, I’m working on it, and I hope to have it resolved as soon as possible. I just miss feeling like I had a space that a was my own to be creative and to be proud of. I want that feeling back.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve at least been reading like crazy since I can’t seem to write. Since finishing The Oresteia¬†by Aeschylus I’ve started The Odyssey by Homer, for the third time at least, and¬†On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche, for the second time, and today I picked up Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. I’m 2 books behind schedule but I’m going to get my ass in gear this week and finish at least two of these, and then I’ll slog through The Odyssey for the rest of March.

I’m trying to read other things too. I’m looking for more poetry like salt. by Nayyirah Waheed. I’m getting back into reading all the newsletters piling up in my inbox, more longform reporting, more personal and opinion pieces, and I’m trying to read blogs again¬†too.

More input. More ideas. More reasons to write.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the sun has gone down, and if I hope to sleep well tonight I’d better not refill my cup. There was so much more I wanted to tell you, but I’ve already kept you too late, and with the work week just hours away, I’m sure we both have too much to do to keep on chatting.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you’ve been well. I hope that you were able to cross a few things off of your to-do list and had time to spare to do a thing or two just for you.

Until next time.

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

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

Photo by Porsche Brosseau

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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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

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

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

Photo by Ronaldo Arthur Vidal on Unsplash