If We Were Having Coffee // Better After a While than Never Again

Hello, dear readers and happy Sunday. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and conversation. I know it’s been a few weeks since our last chat and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d be feeling up to returning today but I’ve had my coffee, the weather is bearable, and my mood is stable, so here I am. It feels good to be back.

“Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.”

— David Lynch

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I wish I had a good reason for having disappeared for two weeks, but I’m afraid it’s nothing more than anxiety and low self-image around writing, where I am going, and who I am supposed to be. It’s been one of those months in which life’s big question start pestering you and your failures become too apparent until you come to the realization, again, that you have no idea what you are doing and time is running out.

Basically, I’m convinced that I should stop writing entirely. I’m trying to get through that, I have been for a long time now, and of course, the answer is simple but not the one I want to hear. The answer is I am good enough I only have to try harder and find joy in writing rather than trying to be anyone else other than who I am. I have to stop comparing myself to other people. It’s that simple.

Most of the people I look up to online are those who are just out to express themselves. That expression finds a community and that community translates into a dream, a direction, and a career. I may have been going about this all wrong. I need to go back and find community and joy in what I do again.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that next week will be my last one before I have to go back to a regular work schedule and I’m both excited and completely freaked out.

I haven’t completed any of the goals I wanted to this summer and while a lot of that was me being depressed and lazy a lot of it was my work load turning out to be a lot bigger than I expected it would. I thought I would have very little to do in the mornings and would, therefore, have all the time in the world to write. Instead, I spent every morning working, and by the afternoon I was hot and exhausted and spent a lot of time napping through the summer heat.

I miss having a structured schedule. I realize I am not at all ready to manage my schedule or be my own boss. I do not have the discipline or healthy emotional state to be left to my own devices. I can’t trust myself to do what is best for myself. I am the only one standing in my way, every day.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you girlfriend has been super stressed out lately, and I’m really worried about her. A lot of changes are happening around her at work.

She has a new boss, the district we work for has decided to push the bell times of all our schools later, and there is the possibility of promotion, but she has to interview for the position first. There’s also a critical driver shortage and low morale in the workplace we’re dealing with too. All of it is piling up at once, and no matter how hard she works or how fast she gets through the tasks all the changes and expectations continue to pile on top.

Lately, if she isn’t at work she’s working from home, and if she isn’t working, she’s busy bursting into tears from impossible expectations and a serious case of imposter syndrome.

I’m doing my best to take care of her and to remind her to take care of herself, but there is only so much I can do. Most of the time I’m standing on the sideline watching and worrying, holding in my anger over the way I think she should be treated and how much is being asked of her.

We’re both hoping that very soon things we’ll calm down, but our hopes aren’t too high.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that because of all the stress swirling around our home we are making more time to get out and get away together when we can.

It’s been a while since I’ve watched a movie that was purely for entertainment and escape, like action films or comedies. That’s not to say that action films or comedies aren’t art or that they aren’t good. I just mean that they don’t provoke emotion in me, so I usually avoid those types of movies. But this weekend we needed an escape and shooting, spies, and beautiful women felt right. So Atomic Blonde it was.

The plot wasn’t too deep or unpredictable, but visually this film was amazing. The fight scenes felt realistic and Charlize Theron and Sofia Boutella are pretty hot together! I recommend it if the price of a movie ticket in your city isn’t too high, or if the theater you frequent serves alcohol and has a decent food and dessert menu to make the trip worth it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that there is something I don’t want to talk about, but I probably should get out there because shame and hiding aren’t helping.

I would tell you that my biggest disappointment this summer has been the complete lack of progress on getting over my driving phobia and achieving full adulthood by finally getting my driver’s license.

That’s right, I am 32 years old, and I am so afraid of being behind the wheel that I can’t drive. I’ve talked about it here before but it was a long time ago, and when I did I said I was going to work hard, be brave, and do what I needed to do to be driving by the end of the summer. My anxiety got the best of me, and I conveniently forgot to practice for months. I didn’t avoid it on purpose. My subconscious mind has been sabotaging me that’s all.

There is good news though. I am trying to start again. I went out driving the other night and did well considering how long it’s bee and the fact that I’m not used to our new Jeep. I want to go out again tonight, before Game of Thrones, if I make the time and stop being a coward and just fucking do it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve just noticed how late it’s getting and remembered how much cleaning, writing, and self-care I have to squeeze in today. I’m so glad we got to catch up today. Hopefully, I can get it together, and you hear from me more often going forward.

I hope you’ve been well these few weeks. I hope this weekend was relaxing and that you found time to do things that make you feel good. Leave a note in the comments if you have time. I’d love to hear some of what you’ve been up to lately.

Until next time…

Awwwww look at these pretty fl—LOLA NO!

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

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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 via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Winter is Here

Hello, dear readers and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. The weather is gorgeous today. Yesterday was all gloom and rain but the sun is back today, and I have all the blinds open to let it in. But I’m still feeling a bit tense and tired. I was up too late last night, and I have too much to do today, but I’m happy to stop for a moment and talk to you about how my week has gone and hear a bit about what you’ve been up to.

“Coffee is a language in itself.”

— Jackie Chan

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a very happy Game of Thrones day! Winter is finally here, and I am so ready! Me and most of my friends, the cool ones anyway, haven’t been able to talk about anything else. We have been counting down, talking up our favorite characters, and sharing rumors we’ve read online. Nothing else really matters today.

If you don’t watch you might feel like my excitement is a little over the top. To you, I say, why the hell aren’t you watching this show? I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, most of the day it’s just CBS News and most evenings its Vice News. I don’t say because I think TV is bad or because I think I’m better in some way for not watching it, it’s just not a lot of shows or movies are more exciting to me than writing. So if I like a show enough to stop writing, then it’s a damn good show, and if it’s a damn good show, it’s worth getting this excited over.

I treat these things like holidays or big sports events. I’ll be heading to the store soon for the drink, snack, and dinner ingredients we need for tonight. On the menu, tonight is a bacon wrapped figs stuffed with goat cheese appetizer, a shrimp and sausage boil/bake for dinner, and a blueberry-lavender chia pudding with a simple bourbon old fashioned for dessert.

If you want to join me in all the hype and excitement, I’ll be on twitter shouting and fangirling and following along with everyone else.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this week I started a Coursera course on Women’s Rights and Human Rights and even though I barely have the time for it, and I’m already falling behind and stressed about having to type up a few paragraphs on the final reading of the week BY TONIGHT, I am loving it!

I love learning and studying in a structured setting and from experts and professors but there aren’t many chances for it when you aren’t going to college. This has been my first experience with anything like being a student and having homework in many, many years but it has been so inspiring and surprisingly fun that I’m already looking forward to taking another course and maybe really going to school one day.

I think it helps too that the subject matter I chose is one I am already interested in. I call myself a feminist and I feel strongly about women’s rights but I am lacking a lot of knowledge and context for the state of women’s rights-or lack thereof-on a global and historical scale. I want to learn more about the reasons why women are treated the way they are and why it’s been so hard to make progress toward a more equal society, worldwide.

Check it out if you want to join, I think you can begin whenever you want but I’d like to have a buddy or two learning along with me right now too.

 

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that it wasn’t a good writing week, but it wasn’t a bad one either. Work was work and took up more of my time than I wanted it to but I did make progress toward less napping and more writing in my free time. I did manage one post here and I did get my “weekly” newsletter out for the first time in months, but I still didn’t do as well as I hoped.

I am happy to say that I sent my first pitch for an article this week, a piece for Wear Your Voice. I don’t think it was what they were looking for since I haven’t heard back yet but I’m proud of myself for having the courage to try. Now that I’ve sent one and presumably been rejected, I’m ready to jump in and send another.

Oh, by the way, I’m looking for a few guest posting opportunities too, I think. I want to try writing more than just personal essays. I want to get out of just talking about myself for a while. So, if you have a blog that posts a lot of feminist, civil rights, or pop culture type stuff and you are looking for contributors, please let me know in the comments and I’ll se if I can come up with something.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I didn’t get out a whole lot this week. My girlfriend has been working a lot and by the time that she gets home it’s either too late or she’s too mentally and physically exhausted to go. I’m not upset over it, only worried about her. She’s been so stressed and it’s hard not being able to help or take on some of the load myself. I’ve been keeping up with the house the best I can, and I want to start cooking more and finding ways to make our time at home special too.

Last night we did get out for some drinks and bowling for an old friends 30th birthday. It was nice to reconnect and find that none of us are sad about turning thirty. We all agree that everything feels better now. We’re a little less confused and unsure about the world and ourselves, and we are fucking up way less than we used to. It’s been liberating!

We want to try to see each other more. We’re hoping 30 has been good to some other friends we’ve grown away from and we can reach out and reconnect. We are hoping the anger has had time to cool and there is a chance to repair the damage that was done within our group now that we’re all a little more mature and secure in ourselves.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that unfortunately, I have to go. The chia seed pudding needs time to chill before tonight, and there is still laundry that I have to do before leaving for errands and grocery shopping. I hope you all had a wonderful week and that your weekend was as relaxing as you needed it to be before the work week begins again. If you are watching Game of Thrones tonight like me, let me know in the comments and if you aren’t you better have a damn good reason why.

Until next time.

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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, once again by Part-Time Monster

Featured image via 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 down time and are looking for some interesting and inspiring reads to check out I’ve got you covered. Here are my favorites from across the web:

“Wall Fire” in Oroville, California // Atlantic Photos of the Week

12 truths

Have a mental crisis plan in place

Brown girls tell their own stories.

Brown girls retell stories.

A matter of mattering

…or we can punch cops.

Repeat, repeat, repeat

The future of football is…something.

Egg cups are a thing

Winter is here!

Watch Okja. Listen to SZA. Read Stories of Your Life. Follow @Aloebud.

Return to the Upside Down

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!

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This list was originally sent out along with today’s newsletter, In My Skin, and Yours, 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 via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Summer is Finally Here and I Have a Sinus Infection

Hello, dear readers. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. I’m not sure if I should have skipped it. I have a bit of a ear/throat/sinus thing, and I really should be resting, but I’ve been resting since yesterday and—I never thought I’d say this but—I’m tired of sleeping, and I miss you all. So I’m here. I took my medicine, and I’m sipping a cup of strong cold brew.

“’I should drink more water’, I remind myself, halfway through my fifth coffee.”

seansavestheworld

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was the last week of school for the district I work for, which doesn’t mean much for my schedule but makes a huge difference in attitude.

I’ll still be working. The route I do runs out of a year-round school, plus since I am a trainer, I will be doing testing and training as well as odd jobs like cleaning equipment and filing. The difference is, everything will be so much more laid back and relaxed. That’s one of the things I like about working for a school district, I get to hold on to that

That’s one of the things I like about working for a school district, I get to hold on to that childhood anticipation and appreciation for the summer months. We try to make the most of our break from our monotonous schedule during the year. It’s like a stay-cation, but for work. You still go but you do things differently, treat each other differently, smile more, get outside more, and lighten up on the rules and expectations.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week was another slow writing week. I wrote a post about believing you deserve happiness and one on Douglas Adams and finding ideas. I meant to put out a newsletter this week, but this head cold made it impossible to think clearly and give the subject the proper attention.

I meant to say something about the Manchester bombing, about the victims and their families, and about our collective trauma and anger and anxiety that are not being addressed properly. I wanted to say something about how we are spending too much time and energy blaming people and making violence and cruelty our solutions instead of seeing that ideas are the problem and compassion and caring are the solution.

I want people to be bigger, be better, and do what is right despite their fear. The enemy is always recruiting. Telling people that they aren’t wanted where they live and that the only way to feel better, to feel accepted and a part of something bigger is to inflict pain. They are winning because they promise acceptance. We are losing because we do nothing but tear each other apart and prove their point time and time again.

I wanted to say that and more, but better, and I still might once I feel up to it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of my week was finding out that the Alamo Drafthouse is hosting WOMEN ONLY screenings of Wonder Woman—with the option to donate to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU—and I got tickets just before they sold out!

Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying “No Guys Allowed” for one special night. And when we say “People Who Identify As Women Only,” we mean it. Everyone working at this screening — venue staff, projectionist, and culinary team — will be female.

A lot of men are whining about this but I don’t care for a second if they think this is sexist, or divisive, and I really don’t care if they feel excluded. It’s one show, days after the opening date, and it’s not like women haven’t been made to feel excluded from the nerd/geek/comic book culture every single day since superheroes were invented. Get over yourselves guys.

Let us women have this one night to celebrate a character we’ve looked up to and waited forever to see star in her own major film. Let us have one night to celebrate this feminist icon without manspreading and mansplaining, please!

I’ll have plenty more to say about this too when I’m feeling better.

***

If we were having coffee, I’m sure one of us would ask the other about Memorial Day plans. I know most of America will be barbecuing with family, but I’ve never been big on celebrating the unofficial first day of summer that way. I take the true meaning of the day seriously and prefer quiet reflection.

I will be getting out of the house for a bit to scope out a lumber place with lots of used/reclaimed doors and windows. We’ve been wanting to go for while and with me being sick going yesterday or today just wasn’t an option. We may end up not going tomorrow either if I don’t start showing some improvement soon.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I love chatting with you, I have to cut our visit shorter than usual. The sinus pressure is building, and my girlfriend is insisting I take more medicine and get back to resting. She says it’s the only way I will get better and I desperately want that so I am off to bed again.

I hope you had a wonderful week and a relaxing weekend. I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day, no matter how you celebrate it. Take a sec to drop by the comments and let me know what you’ve been up to, or direct me to your own chatty post if you’ve written one too. I’ll check them out when I’m awake again.

Until next time :)

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

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

Featured image via Matthew Kang

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

Hello and happy weekend friends! If you’re looking for some interesting and inspiring reads to check out while you kick back and relax here are my favorites from across the web:

Help is on the way.

This is populism

Dysphoria for the non-binary

Glenn Beck pivots

Theory of Trump

Burn!

Shadow Syllabus

Want less, waste less

Support all mothers

Goodbye.

Same

Bee Butts!

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!

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

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // A Follow-up and a Bit of Bad News

Hello, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a lot of coffee and a little catching up. I’ve already had a few cups, and that is about all I can handle, so I’ll be having some refreshing iced peppermint tea. You are welcome to either, or something else entirely.

“The first step on my journey of personal growth is getting a cup of coffee.”

Death Wish Coffee

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the weather around here has been a bit crazy. We’ve been swinging wildly between cold and heat, snow, and rain, and the sun. That means that lately, my moods and energy levels are all over the place too.

But I am happy that thunderstorms are returning to Colorado. I love how they seem to roll in at the same time every afternoon to give us a break from the intense heat. The clouds cue us all to relax and settle in for the evening and the sounds of rain and thunder lull you to the best sleep you will have all year.

I’m not looking forward to the heat I know is only weeks away. Our old swamp cooler is out of commission, and we haven’t really come up with a plan for getting a new one. It’s hard when both parties in a relationship are chronic procrastinators.

***

If we were having coffee, I suppose I would tell you the bad news. I had another doctor’s appointment this week, a follow-up to the last follow-up that was all bad news too. For those who don’t know, earlier this year I got really sick, and after a round of tests, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I was put on a steroid to stop my symptoms quickly but the steroid is awful for me so I can’t take it forever. So, I was put on another medication that takes some weeks to work but can be taken long-term.

So, when I went to check in with the doc, she tells me that she doesn’t think this other long-term medication is going to work at all—she never did!—but we have to let it fail before we can move on to something else. So, I am coming off of the steroid—which is awful because of withdrawal—and we are going to just wait and see if I get super sick again. If I get sick, we move on to some harsher and scarier medications. If the pills I’m on now do work my doctor said I should “thank God and choke down those pills every day.”

Even though I’m freaking out I’m glad I have a doctor that is thinking about the next steps before I start feeling shitty again and have to make decisions about what to try next.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it wasn’t a good writing week, not really. I didn’t post here as much as I wanted to here. On Monday I wrote about not being okay and posted my end of the month check in for April, that was it. I had hoped for a review of Orlando by Virginia Woolf and another poem on Thursday, but I felt really run down. I did work on my zine project, and a submission for Femsplain’s last prompt, and I got a newsletter out, so all wasn’t lost.

I did spend a lot of time reading. I’m just passed the halfway point in The Mind’s I which feels like quite an accomplishment considering its intimidating size and subject matter. This is the second time I have attempted to read this book, and I’m already further than the first time. I may need a third to fully understand it all though.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was a good one. Friday night I asked my girlfriend out for a date night. We had dinner at Noodles and Company and then walked over to our favorite theater for a few drinks and a late showing of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which we both slept through because we are getting old.

Saturday we took our very nervous dog out for a car ride and a trip to Petco, and she did so well guys! I am so proud of her. She was still very nervous, but she followed her commands and even let us try a new harness on her in the store without freaking out. We are working on socializing her and letting her know that we will keep her safe so she can relax but it is going to be a long process.

Then we went thrift store shopping where I picked up a couple of books, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey and Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. My girlfriend found a Polaroid camera on for just $3. Urban Outfitters sells the same one for $160! We got a few other knickknacks for the house and came home to pizza and hard cider and settled in to watch the new season of Sense8 on Netflix.

***I

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I am enjoying our visit, I have to cut it short here. There is so much to be done around the house and in preparation for tomorrow, just thinking about it is making me anxious! I better start now before it’s too late and I’m overwhelmed and upset and incapable of anything.

I hope you had a productive week and a relaxing weekend too, and I hope you’ll stop by the comments below and say hi. Let me know what you’ve been up to. I do love hearing from you all.

Until next time :)

My 3-year-old niece drew a picture of me and it's my new favorite thing 😂😂😂 #kids #drawing #art

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

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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 Clear Polka Dots

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

Hello, friends! I’m a bit late for the start of the weekend but if you’re still looking for some interesting and inspiring reads to check out here are my favorites from across the web:

Heal
Heal

Is America great again yet? Bonus: 2018 is already underway.

“I’ve never felt more sane

Abstinence-only damage

Bring meditation into public schools

Black people time

Sixties scoop

Her.

Body positivity for men

Femininity is powerful

Center for Good Citizenship

Believe Bonus: Based on this episode.

Rest in Power Edward Crawford

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

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This list was originally sent out along with today’s newsletter, We Have to Start Again, plus some of my own existential musings. Check it out and subscribe, or help support what I do with a cup of coffee or three :)

Featured image via Unsplash