If We Were Having Coffee // It’s Gonna be Smooth Sailing into 2018

Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. We’ll have to be quick though, I have a full day of Christmas shopping planned and it’s probably best to start early, before the crowds and before I realize how much I really don’t want to do this. I’m hoping a cup or two of strong brew will wake me up, and I’m hoping a lovely conversation with you will get me in the mood to go out into the world today.

“‘Delectable,’ Ulysses said. ‘Of all the drinks that I have drank on all the planets I have visited, the coffee is the best.’”

― Clifford D. Simak, Way Station

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m finding it harder and harder, the further we get into the winter weather and the holiday season, to keep up with writing. I’m working more and worrying more. It’s cold outside. It’s dark when I leave home and dark when I return, and I never seem to sleep well. Winter has never been conducive to my creativity, but this year I’m aware and determined not to let a little thing like seasonal depression get me down and keep me from doing what I love. So, I’m trying to do things a bit differently.

Last week work was beyond hectic, and I had little time for this blog, but I wasn’t idle. I finally have an editorial calendar set up—I’ve already been adding to it regularly, though I still have to work on sticking to it—and I have really, actually, seriously this time started working on my “death anxiety” project.

I spent my lunch hour at work at least three days this week brainstorming essay topics, art, titles, and structure. I won’t pretend any of my ideas were actually good but I my gut tells me this is a numbers game. The more bad ideas you get out there, the higher your chances of finding a good one, right? So I’m churning them out as fast as I can. I have a whole notebook dedicated to failures and bad ideas, and at this rate, I may need another very soon. It’s been great fun, and I feel like I’m getting closer to doing the kind of writing I always wanted to do.

Through all of that brainstorming and I learned a few things about the way my mind works. I learned that the best time for me to focus on one project and get tangible work done is in the middle of the morning, between 8:00 and 10:00. I learned the best time for me to let my mind wander, and to connect fragments and inspiration in ways that aren’t obvious at first is in the middle of the afternoon, between 1:00 and 4:00. I’m hoping knowing this about myself will make my work more efficient and lead to better ideas faster.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that in an effort not to get sucked into negativity and false perspectives I’m practicing gratitude with greater intensity than ever. I’m taking time to acknowledge that even on my worst days, during my greatest frustrations and inconveniences, I have every reason to be happy and all the opportunity I need to change whatever I don’t like about my life.

Being alive is scary, embarrassing, annoying, confusing, and painful, but it’s also a goddamn miracle and good things happen just as often as the bad. Here are some that happened to me:

  1. I had a delightful conversation with my sister and her kids this week. I’ve been a bad sister and aunt, and I haven’t called in far too long, but only because I missed them so much and had no idea what to say. I will do better from now on.
  2. I got a ton of overtime at work, and even though I didn’t really want it, I’m still grateful for it. I got to take care of things for my coworkers who are going through some tough times, and my paycheck won’t be so bad after winter break.
  3. A wonderful friend of mine loaned me his copy of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick and bought me the definitive director’s cut version of Blade Runner as an early Christmas gift.
  4. Another wonderful friend who I haven’t seen in far too long invited me out for dinner ad drink for her belated birthday celebration. It felt good to be there to celebrate her, to catch, and let her know how important she is to me.
  5. I’ve started cooking more and more, and I am actually starting to enjoy it. Last week I made Creamy Vegetable and Tortellini Soup with Pesto and Oven Baked Lemon Pepper Wings. Both of which my girlfriend—the best cook I know and the only one I am ever trying to impress— loved!
  6. We made big party plans for New Year’s Eve with some other wonderful friends entirely, and then those plans got canceled, and then they were back on again! And I might wear something I would never ever usually wear, and I might look amazing in it.
  7. Black Mirror finally revealed it’s release date for season 4! December 29th people! A perfect end to a very disorienting and anxiety-inducing year.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am looking forward to the coming week which I am almost positive will be a lot less stressful than this past one was. My workload ought to be much lighter, and warm weather is returning. I have a new book to read, a bunch of new posts to write, and a ton of podcasts to catch up on. I can’t wait to get started.

Actually, the entire rest of 2017 should be easy peasy and thank God for that because I  cannot wait for this politically infuriating and disorienting year to wrap the hell up. Not that I expect 2018 to be any better, in fact, I foresee things getting a lot worse as one side begins to tire and the other simply waits us out. They are going to start winning, and no matter how we scream and fight, they will go on doing just as they please.

But a New Year is always encouraging and the way time has been flying since summer I know it’ll be over before I know it. I’ve only got to get through this week and the next of Christmas prep and small tasks at work, then Christmas day, and it’ll be smooth sailing into 2018.

I feel good about that. Or, I feel just as good as I do bad about that. This year has been hard and as happy as I am to see it end, the forward march of time is always a little sad. Every day on this Earth is one day closer to your inevitable end. I’m learning to cope with that too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that our coffee date had gone on much longer than I planned and as much as I’m enjoying it, I really must get going. The mall is filling up by the minute I’m sure, and the more people there are, the more anxious I’ll be. The more anxious I am, the less effective and efficient I am, and if it all goes too far, I’ll be in tears. God, I hate Christmas shopping.

I hope you had a good and productive week, if you didn’t I hope you have no regrets. I hope you’ll drop a note in the comments and let me know what you’ve been up to. I do love hearing from you.

Until next time.

P.S. Excuse the time discrepancy between the time of day I described and the time of day you may have read this. I wrote it early in the morning shortly after waking, but I failed to hit publish before I left, and so, didn’t post it until late in the evening.

***

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. Thanks again!

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

Featured photo by Mikesh Kaos on Unsplash

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If We Were Having Coffee // It Was Fun, but It Was the Worst

Hello and happy Sunday dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. I’ve got the blinds open wide letting in all this gorgeous sunshine. I have classical music playing through the speakers. I feel good today, in body and mind, better than I have in weeks and I just know a bit of caffeine and conversation will only cheer me more. So pull up a chair, and get yourself a cuppa. It’s been quite a week for me, as I’m sure it has been for you too, and I’m excited to tell you all about it.

“Coffee is like another portal to elsewhere, sip once and I’m already dressed in code blue, twice and I’m  moving towards reckless endangerment and thrice, well watch out because I’m about to reach the term catastrophe.”

When 2 cups of coffee means business, D C de Oliveira

***

The holiday break got off to a bit of a sad start when my girlfriend’s mother was admitted to the hospital after a blood clot was found in her lung. She is doing fine and already back home, and we are definitely feeling very grateful especially after the blood clot was almost not found at all! Apparently, her primary care doctor failed to order the test that would have detected the clot nearly a week earlier! Thankfully she got herself back there after her cough got worse and they found the problem and began treatment right away.

Unfortunately, that meant she had to spend Thanksgiving in the hospital. We stopped by to chat and bring her a cup of good coffee. We talked with her about what comes next and how she may have to work harder to care for herself going forward than she had been up until now. She wasn’t too keen on the idea, but we will be as encouraging as we need to be to keep her going. She’s lucky, and she’s very strong too, to have gotten through this. I’m just not sure she knows it yet.

 

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that our Thanksgiving evening was spent at my mother’s house along with my step-father, my youngest sister, my brother and his family, and a couple of friends he invited along.

The food was delicious, and I actually contributed this year! I made this beautiful Bacon Brie Cresent Wreath, and my girlfriend baked a lovely Cranberry Upside-Down Cake. My mom and sister put together a great selection of sides—mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce—and my step-father made both turkey and ham.

It was a chaotic night, but that’s perfectly normal in my family, especially when so much wine is flowing. My sister and I spent much of the night hiding in my mother’s office, which she hated, but we needed to get away from all the arguing, and noise, and awkward conversations. My family has never been able to get along for the length of a whole holiday. My girlfriend told my mother that it had been fun, but it has also been the worst Thanksgiving yet. We all agreed she was right.

After all the men left us, girls settled in with our deserts to watch girly movies until the food made us tired and we had to leave before we all fell asleep.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Black Friday shopping was a no go. We spent the morning with my girlfriend’s mother and prepared for another Thanksgiving dinner with some close friends and coworkers of ours. A “Friendsgiving.”

The night started off nicely but quickly deteriorated after I made us all lemon drop cocktails for dessert and another friend began pouring vodka shots at the same time. We all acted like complete fools, and I woke up the next morning trying to piece the event of the night into proper order and to work through my overwhelming embarrassment. My only consolation is that my behavior was not the most mortifying of the night.

Still, I had to make a sad round of apologies and explanations the next day. I am thankful I have understanding friends and loved ones who assure me I was not as offensive nor as cringe-worthy as I recall now.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the plan for Saturday was to finally get some much need relaxation in. I wanted to do absolutely nothing, and not just because I was nursing that nasty hangover, but because the week had been so stressful and I knew that the end was nowhere in sight. I wanted a mental self-care day to focus on ourselves and each other before the Christmas rush was to begin.

But the universe had other plans and an old friend who was back in town called to tell us that through a grievous oversight on her part we had not received our intended invitation to her baby shower. We had just hours to get up, get ready, get a gift, and get there. We made it, early in fact, and with beautiful pink narwhal and culturally diverse mermaid themed gifts and we had a great time despite my bitter feelings over the invitation.

Afterwards, my girlfriend, my cousin, and I went out to for some good food and deep conversation about the trauma inflicted upon us by our parents and the benefits of counseling, validation, and self-awareness. As we get further and further along in life, we realize that healing ourselves, teaching our elders, and creating a world that is conducive to healing for the next generation is the good we want to do while we are here.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that today is my day to just what I want, and there will be no compromise on it. I’m screening my calls and refusing to involve myself in anything that isn’t an emergency. I am writing, and cleaning, and catching up on all the news, YouTube videos, and podcasts I haven’t had time for, oh, weeks now!I’m hoping this coming week will be an easy one. I have a break between classes of new hires in need of training at work, and I aim to take full advantage of all that free time.

I am a believer in making time to do extensive planning before making any big New Years Resolutions, and I also believe it’s best to start them now so you can start the year off proud and eager to keep the streak going.

I’m working on an actual editorial calendar for this blog going, for at least two months into 2018, and write a proper plan for publishing a collection of essays and writing I want to share with all of you this time next year. I also want to spend some serious reading time in now that I have gotten the hang of Good Omens, and my journal has been feeling sorely neglected.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even though I have so much more to tell you, I had better get going. The kitchen hasn’t been cleaned in days, and the laundry piles are much bigger than usual. I can’t waste any time if I am going to get this house in shape and still do all the nothing I want too.

I hope you had a fantastic holiday. I hope you had much to be grateful for and I hope your celebration of it all was lovely and delicious too. Remember to take care of yourself and don’t let the pressure of holiday meals, gifts, and decoration distract you from what the season is all about.

Until next time.

***

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

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

Featured photo by Izzy Rivi on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // When I’m Ready, You’ll Have My Story Too

Hello dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up this afternoon. I had hoped to meet with you earlier, I had everything ready I swear, but then the clouds and the cold began to roll in and with them an intense drowsiness that my will was no match against. It carried me to bed and weighed me down until I gave up resisting and finally rested.

I slept most of the afternoon away and woke with a start just moments ago remembering it was Sunday, and I had wanted to chat with you badly. I straight away made a double shot of caffeine in the form of espresso, and I beg you to be patient because I know my mouth will awaken far faster than my thoughts.

“On Sundays my coffee is recreational. As opposed to weekdays when it’s medicinal.”

— Unknown

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve been very busy with my day job lately. Being a school bus assistant doesn’t usually take so much time away from my writing projects, but I’m also a trainer when I am not on my route, and we’ve been dealing with a shortage of employees. That means we’re hiring new people like crazy which means I am working many more hours than I normally do and I am a lot more exhausted than I normally am too.

I don’t know when this will end, and to be honest with you I’ve been tempted to make some tough decisions and make big changes to my schedule, and my paycheck. I am a trainer for the extra hours and the flexibility but the pressure has been on, and it’s no longer feeling so flexible. I would have more time to write, but less money to bring home unless I can learn to turn words into money, but I’m still not so sure I am good enough, smart enough, or brave enough to do it yet.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I hate to be pulled away from my screens, it was nice to do things In Real Life for a change. I have been overwhelmed by everything that is happening in the news. It’s bad enough that our President continues to be an embarrassment but the slew of sexual harassment allegations coming out, while not surprising, has been depressing and to be honest, awful triggering.

I have my own stories to tell, and one day I will, but as much as I want to listen and uplift these women, I can’t help feeling a bit weak and lonely holding my own back. Their strength is admirable, but it only highlights what I lack and reminds me that I am still a victim and not yet a survivor.

Not only that, but my mind can’t process fast enough for me to say anything worth posting in enough time to be relevant. It’s hard to keep up, so I’ve stayed away. I keep my mouth shut and jealously watch other writers be smarter than me and carry on conversations I can never join in on. Still, the word must be spread, so I’ve instead opted to at least share the posts and tweets of others smarter and more articulate.

I’m biding my time, waiting and working out how to say what it is I need to say so badly. When I’m ready, you’ll have my story and all my thoughts too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I was not selected to participate in the Bitch Media 2018 Fellowship for Writers. I knew I wouldn’t be, but part of me still hoped, the way you know your odds in the lottery, but you still buy tickets when the jackpot gets high. You know you can’t win, but you still plan that big house and the fancy cars you will finally get to own when you do.

It was nice of them to send rejection letters along with the four that went out to the obviously talented winners, but no matter how sweetly they let you down, wishing you the best and encouraging you to try again next year, it still stings.

But don’t tell me you are sorry and don’t feel pressured to say anything encouraging out of pity. I really am okay. I’m more than okay! I’m actually so proud of myself for even trying. I have never done anything like this before, and I know that not only did I give my very best, but that my very best will be even better next year.

I’m glad it’s over though. I sweated for a month and a half waiting to hear either way, and it was tough to think about anything else. I had a hard time feeling inspired and motivated to take on new projects in the meantime but now that it’s over and I can work on something of my own. As soon as things calm down at work that is.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve been trying harder to talk to people face to face. I’m allowing myself to be distracted by conversation and losing time laughing. I’m getting used to embarrassing myself sometimes in exchange for having people to talk to and to do things with on Friday nights. It’s been strange to open up, and I am reminded that there was a time when little social butterfly Lisa did exist. She’s still here. She likes people, and she needs time to shine too.

Speaking of a social life, I am sure I’ve mentioned them before, but we’ve been having a blast lately hanging out with a couple of couples we’ve recently grown very close with. Being around two other couple, both so alike and so different from us—one couple is straight, and the other is two gay men—has been like therapy for us. It’s nice to know you are normal, and that other people love as much as you, fight as much as you, and have no idea what they are doing just as much as you, and that still, it can work and be beautiful too.

We’ve been rotating once a month dinners and brunches, or any other outings that catch our eyes. Last week was brunch, and in a few weeks, we’re thinking about visiting a comedy club, or a burlesque show, or just bar hopping downtown after dinner.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m actually kind of excited about Thanksgiving this year. I learned long ago that the story we were taught in school about the Native Americans sharing their crops with the settlers isn’t the whole story, it’s not even half. The story of the Native Americans is one of cruelty and thievery, and we should take time to reflect on that.

Thanksgiving—and Columbus Day—are days I normally choose to mark with reflection and by spreading awareness about the brutal history of this country. I’m certainly going to spend time doing that this year too, but I am working on relaxing into the idea of rebranding the day as also being a time to giving thanks for what I have and celebrate have earned throughout the year.

I’ll be with my family this year and I know we’ll have a blast and I do have so much to be grateful for. It’ll be a good holiday this year.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had better get going. It’s dark outside already, pleasant smells are wafting from the kitchen, and my lovely lady has placed a glass of deep red wine in front of me, so I know dinner is on the way.

It’s been so nice to catch up, and I promise to be more prepared for our coffee date next week. These winter afternoons turn dark way too quickly for me to start so late anymore.

I hope you had a wonderful week and I hope your holiday plans this week go off without any stress or disastrous mishaps. I hope your friends and family are all there to celebrate with you and that you have much worth celebrating with them.

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. Thanks again!

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

Featured photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // More About Us and Less About Me

Hello dear readers and thank you for stopping for a bit of conversation and caffeine. I know it’s late, but I had a bit of a crazy night last night. I figured out how easy it is to make lemon drop cocktails and my girlfriend and I overdid it on the sugary sour drinks. I’ve only just recovered enough to tolerate the brightness of my laptop screen. But, it’s okay, and a cup of strong espresso and a chance to catch up with you sounds like the perfect after dinner treat.

“Drink some coffee and pretend you know what you’re doing.”

Unknown

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was another busy one, but for a while, things are going to calm down a bit around here. I think my girlfriend has found a little peace too. She’s been able to cut out of work earlier and earlier and the 15 hour days are more like 12 hour days and our weekends are back to being all about us instead of half about work.

I’m not sure how long the break will last. Part of me feels more anxious than I did before knowing that the stress will return eventually. No matter how often we go through this cycle, I have a hard time adjusting every time. I hate having to share her with her work. I think I wouldn’t mind it so much if I at least knew she was happy and doing what she loves but having to be away from her and seeing her so stressed out and upset all the time hurts my heart.

I suppose I shouldn’t worry about that so much right now. I should just make the most of this time before I’m back spending so much time by myself again.

***

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a very merry First Day of Halloween! As much as I hate to see the summer go, at least it ends with a whole month of horror movies, haunted houses, pumpkin carving, and candy corn. All of my favorite things!

This week we’re seeing a ballet performance of Dracula and maybe a play starring a friend of mine as Jack the Ripper on Friday the 13th. I’m really hoping to go to a movie party at the Alamo, and maybe a costume party if a couple of our friends are willing to open their home. If nothing else I’m going to watch all my favorite scary flicks like The Shining, Carrie, The ConjuringNightmare on Elm Street, and The Fly, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting the new season of Stager Things too. I haven’t settled on a costume yet, it depends on what kind of parties I end up at, but I’m thinking about going back to classics like zombies, mummies, and skeletons.

I haven’t settled on a costume yet, it depends on what kind of parties I end up at, but I’m thinking about going back to classics like zombies, mummies, and skeletons. But even if I end up sitting at home with my girlfriend, gorging myself on candy corn and pumpkin seeds and sipping fall cocktails while freaking ourselves out over ghosts stories and slasher movies, I’ll be happy.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I continue to be embarrassed by our tone-deaf, selfish, and insensitive President. I am so angry I don’t even know where to begin. All I can say is that my thoughts are with the people of Puerto Rico, our forgotten fellow Americans and that I am in full support of Colin Kaepernick and every player who joins him in bringing attention to police brutality and killing.

I’ve unfriended a few people over the last week over Kaepernick and the NFL. I don’t even watch football, but I do care about this issue, and I won’t have people in my life who refuse to listen and refuse to understand. This year was about saving my energy and focusing on brown, queer, and fem voices and issues. Anyone who isn’t on board or willing to support that can get far away from me.

***

If we were having coffee, I would give you a heads up that there may be some changes coming to the blog. Nothing big. Just more and better content. I’m working on becoming more focused and covering more big questions and problems we are all going through. More about us and less about me is what I am trying to say. More about self-care, creativity, society, education, relationships, science, sex, pop-culture, and mental health. More life lessons. More culture. More society. More about human life. That’s what this blog was always supposed to be.

I’ll still be writing about me, but a lot of that will be vented out on Twitter and Tumblr. I’m working on some other big projects too. Something all about my death anxiety, maybe a chapbook, but it will be slow going. I want to take my time with it.

In the meantime, while I’m working on all that great content, and preparing to face my mortality in a very public way, things may get quieter around here. I won’t shut down completely. I still need this little space while I figure out what the hell I’m doing, but don’t be put off by a week or more of silence. I promise you I’ll come back, and I will keep getting better and better too. Just be patient with me, please? My goal will always be to talk about those parts of ourselves we have forgotten and to find a way to bring comfort and calm to all our emptiness and suffering.

***

If we were having coffee, I would say thanks again for chatting with me, and for reading my little writings over these past few years. Thanks for being an ear to vent to and a shoulder to cry on. It’s nice to know people still come around, and care about what I have to say, even when I have no idea what I’m saying myself. I know many of you have left comments and I have been horrible about getting back to you. I’m sorry. I write all these things and post them for the world to read, and still, I’m so shy. I feel so unworthy of an audience that I don’t ever know what to say except thank you, thank you, thank you. I worry that gets old though. I worry it isn’t enough. So, I say nothing at all. I’m going to change that.

***

If we were having coffee, I would say it is getting late, and I have kept you long enough. The work week begins again tomorrow, and we both need our sleep, me especially. My headache hasn’t gone away completely, and my body is sore and stiff. I think there is just enough time to take a hot shower and swallow some Tylenol.

I hope you had a good week, and that our weekend was relaxing. I hope you are taking care of yourself out there. Drink more water, get more rest, and be patient with yourself. We’re all just doing our best, and that is always good enough.

Until next time.

***

Thank you 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.

Photo by Edan Cohen on Unsplash

The Week’s End // A Roundup of Inspiring Reads

Hello and happy weekend friends! How are you? What are you up to? Anything fun planned? If not, or if you happen to have some downtime and you’re looking for some interesting and inspiring reads to check out I’ve got you covered. Here are my favorites from across the web:

Demonstrators protest the not-guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley.
// Atlantic Photos of the Week

We have to help Puerto Rico

The trauma of storms

7 Days of Heroine

Binary language

Feminism: a warning

A few shameful things

So what drives our deceptiveness?

Cure your tree blindness.

You have more than five senses.

Do you even exist?

Watch Overrated. Listen to Bodies. Read The Saturn System Through the Eyes of Cassini. Follow #WOMENSART.

Tinfoil Parachute

Have you read, watched, or written an interesting or inspiring thing this week? Has something on the internet made you feel strongly, think deeply, or see the world in a new light? If so, drop a link in the comments, we’d love to check it out!

***

This list was originally sent out along with today’s newsletter, Anxiously Avoiding Anxiety, along with some existential musings of my own. Check it out and subscribe, or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Featured image by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // The World is Falling Apart, Stay Safe

Hello, dear readers! Thank you so much for stopping by for our weekly coffee and conversation date. I know it hasn’t been so “weekly” lately. Life’s been a little crazy, and my health and energy levels have been suffering because of it, but I’m hoping that we will get back to regular coffee and catching up starting this week. There’s a chance all the crazy may be winding down. I can’t say I promise though since so much of what has happened has been last-minute and unexpected. I just want you to know I’m trying.

“Life is like coffee, the darker it gets, the more it energizes.”

― Ankita Singhal

***

If we were having coffee, I would start by letting everyone in the state of Florida know that my thoughts are with you. I am following the news of Hurricane Irma very closely, and I hope that the worst predictions won’t come true. I hope you all stay safe and that the damage to your homes, schools, streets, and wildlife and lands will be minimal and I hope the recovery and the rebuilding will be a time of coming together in compassion too.

My thoughts are still with Houston and the survivors of Hurricane Harvey. I’m following the news coming out of the West as wildfires burn unchecked, and I am thinking of the people of Mexico dealing with their own hurricane and the strongest earthquake to hit the country in 100 years.

My heart is also breaking for the young men and women who feel so betrayed by the President’s decision to put an end to the DACA program. I faxed all my congressional representatives to let them know just how ugly and cruel this is and that I hoped they would do right by the citizens of this country and protect its most vulnerable.

It feels like the world is falling apart and I am doing my best to be grateful for what I have a where I am and to keep my home safe and my anxiety in check. The news is getting harder and harder to watch every day and the problems around me grow and grow until I feel hopeless and helpless do anything that matters.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the reason we couldn’t meet last week is that we finally got a weekend camping trip in. We found out that our favorite movie theater chain, Alamo Drafthouse, was partnering with SyFy to show Close Encounters of the Third Kind below the Devils Tower Monument in Wyoming. We learned it would be shown in the campsite next to the tower and decided to head on up and make a whole weekend of it for my girlfriend’s birthday.

I went up there remembering very little about the film and knowing next to nothing about the monument, so the trip was a real learning experience for me. The film was amazing, emotional, thought-provoking, and very funny. The tower was like nothing I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend you go at least once in your life. The hike around the base of it is incredible. You get right up next to it, and even without registration you can climb the boulder field around the base and get right up to it.

I learned a ton about the geography and formation of the tower as well as some of the myths and Native American ceremonies that involve the tower that still go on today. The whole experience was just amazing. I want to tell you more, but the words I have just aren’t enough to convey how I felt up there. I’m so glad we went and that I got to see just a miracle of nature up close.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that while getting away from all the problems and expectations of life for a weekend was nice, it wasn’t nearly enough. When you know there is a whole world out there, with no deadlines, no expectations, nothing but beauty and history, you want to leave everything you know, go off grid and just dedicate your life to seeing as much of nature as you can. Sadly, letting go of your life, your connections, and your luxuries isn’t so easy. So, back to the real world, we had to return.

Work has been hard. I had a hectic week both last week and the week before plus I have been trying to squeeze in writing whenever I could, which wasn’t nearly as much as I needed. And even with all I have on my plate, I feel so guilty for complaining because compared to people around me I think I have it pretty easy. My route isn’t that bad. My work hours aren’t so bad either; and at least I have some time, anytime at all, to focus on my passion. At least I have a passion to wish I had more time for, you know?

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that everything hasn’t been all bad. Not only did I accomplish my goal applying for the Bitch Media Writing Fellowship the week before last I also sent my first real pitch to Buzzfeed for their Mental Health Week coverage. I had hoped to send a full draft of the piece but work really got in the way and I just couldn’t finish it. I’m hoping a summary, and a few clips will be strong enough to be considered, if not I’ll have a topic to discuss here instead.

I have a list of other places to send work, and I anticipate lots and lots of rejection, but that’s okay. I want to start pushing myself further. I want to start learning how to become a real writer, one who is paid to write. The only way I can do that is to start putting myself out there. I have to get over this fear of failure and start making mistakes and maybe even embarrassing myself a little so I can improve not just my work but my pitching strategy too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I have missed chatting with you, I have to run. Between the long weekend, the busy work weeks, and my girlfriend’s birthday celebrations, I’ve had no time to take care of the house and I still have to get ready to visit my family, who I have also neglected these past few weeks.

I hope these first weeks of September have treated you well and if it hasn’t, I hope things turn around for you soon. Stay safe, make time for the things you enjoy, take care of yourselves and your loved ones too.

Until next time lovelies.

***

Thank you 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 weekly Weekend Coffee Share link up hosted by Part-Time Monster

Featured image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Life is Stressful, Life is Good

Hello dear readers. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine ad catching up. I wasn’t sure we were going to meet today. I have a lot on my mind, and so much I should be doing but it’s all a little overwhelming and when I am overwhelmed I shut down. So, I thought, maybe what I need a cup of strong coffee, a little conversation, and a chance to put my mind to other things before I can try again.

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;”

— T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell that like the rest of the country my TV is tuned to the news of Hurricane Harvey and the devastation in Texas. The images I see coming out of the city are shocking. It’s horrifying the amount of damage that has been inflicted along their coastal cities in the course of only a weekend.

Years ago we dealt with flooding here in Denver. It had rained here for days on end and once the ground had become saturated the water began to seep into our homes. Only 13 inches of fell rain over the course of many days here, and only an inch or so of water found its way into my basement, but even that felt devastating. I cannot imagine that amount and more over just one night, or the 50″ forecasted for Houston by the end of this storm. I can’t imagine how those people are feeling or how scared they might be.

I have family living in Houston—my sister, her kids and husband, and his family—and so far they are faring well, but that may not last as the waters are predicted to continue to rise through the middle of the week. I was happy to hear though that they have plenty of food and water, they have a plan should the water start to flood their apartment, and their satellite signal held out long enough to watch the Mayweather/Mcgregor fight last night.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the last couple of weeks have been more than a little crazy around here. The school year started and not only are we dealing with a severe driver shortage there is also new management and district wide problems ranging from students with lice to teachers and coaches charged with sexually assaulting students. We’re only two weeks in and this already feels like the worst year we’ve ever had.

Personally, though I’m doing better than most. My route is a good one, and I like the driver I’m riding with too. My girlfriend isn’t doing so well though. She’s still working up to 14 hours a day but she’s agreed not to work on Sunday’s and even when she goes in on Saturday’s she at least sleeps in a little and comes home in the early afternoon. I’m still worried about her stress levels and her health, but she is trying.

She’s agreed not to work more than 6 days out of the week, and when she goes in on the weekends, I am going to start going in along with her. I can write from there, and we can bring the dog too. It’s better than me sitting at home sad or making her feel bad for something that’s out of her control. When she isn’t working, we do our best go out, to keep off our phones, and keep our attention on each other. This weekend we saw friends for drinks and enjoyed a few movies at the drive-in.

By the way, Dunkirk was boring. Annabelle was creepy, but the plot was kind of dumb, and The Dark Tower was beyond disappointing. We had fun despite the movies.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it hasn’t been all bad though. I believe the last time we chatted was the week before our 15th anniversary. We kept it simple. Fifteen years together is quite a milestone but for us and we just wanted to enjoy it without any stress of planning or the pressure to make it perfect. That’s how we are though, the more important the milestone in our lives, the simpler we choose to celebrate it. This year it was a seafood dinner at our new favorite restaurant complete with plenty of wine and oysters. That was all.

It may sound boring, but it’s honestly all I ever want. Just to be with her in a place that has memories of us where we can spend a few hours getting to know each other again. The longer you are with someone, the more you realize that having someone listen to you, to laugh at your jokes, to offer advice and reassurance, and tell you all the good things you do and how much you mean to their world means more than any material gift or fancy destination. So that is what we give to each other, these little gifts for anniversaries, for birthdays, or sometimes just on a regular old Friday night after a hard week.

That’s love. That is what 15 years feels like to me.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we are only 7 months into Trump’s term and I have already come to a point where I have to stop letting him, and his administration take up so much of my time and mental energy. I have to limit how often I read the news, and I will no longer allow myself to watch his speeches, his press releases, or his rallies live. I will watch when I am in a good place, not before bed, not when I am already having a bad day, and not on my bad anxiety days.

I am still committed to resisting his harmful, destructive, and chaotic agenda and I will still work hard to educate those around me and stay informed, but I will do it in my own time and in my own way. I’m tired of starting the day yelling at the TV and fuming on social media over his latest tweets and lies.

This past weekend is when I really began to cut myself off. The last straw, the moment I decided he will never be someone I consider a leader and when I lost the last scrap of hope I had that he might one day become a president I at least won’t be embarrassed by, came when I heard the news that while the entire country was sending thoughts and prayers to the people of Texas as Harvey slammed into the coast he quietly pardoned a racist and banned transgendered people from serving in the military.

He’s a snake and a coward, and he’ll never be my President.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is getting late and I really have to get going. There is just too much I have left to do before the weekend is over.

I have been working like hell for the past two weeks to get my application in for the Bitch Media Fellowship for Writers, and I am so close to finishing my cover letter, CV, and gathering my writing samples. I’m going to try to spend the rest of the day working on it. I had hoped to submit it all tonight, but with all the house work I have to do before the big Game of Thrones finale it may have to wait until early tomorrow morning.

I hope you had a wonderful week, and that your weekend was a relaxing one. If you are in Texas or have family near any of the destruction, my thoughts are with you. Please, stay safe.

Until next time.

And Lola, the cutest little pain in the ass I know lol 🐶

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

***

Thank you 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 weekly Weekend Coffee Share link up hosted by Part-Time Monster

Featured image by Paul on Unsplash