If We Were Having Coffee // Stress, Depression, Fear, and Anxiety, Oh My!

Hello, dear readers! I’m so happy you’ve stopped by for a bit of coffee and catching up, it’s been too long since we last caught up and I’ve missed it more than you know.

This past week and the one before were so much busier than I anticipated and I just could find the time to get out of my head and onto the page or screen. But this morning I woke up and told myself that no matter what, no matter how hard or how late I had to work at it, I was going to write something and I wanted to start by catching up with you.

“Where coffee is served there is grace and splendor and friendship and happiness.”

— Sheik Ansari Djezeri Hanball Abd-al-Kadir

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my anxiety has been at an all time high this month.

It all started with my girlfriend. I’ve been so worried about her. She’s been working such long hours that I have to call her in the evenings and tell her to come home, and I made her agree not to work two weekends in a row either.  She’s under a lot of pressure, and she’s dealing with a new boss, an employee shortage, and tense meetings and phones call one after another. On top of all that there were two weeks of interviews and anticipation over a promotion, she was hoping for. Then came the disappointment when she heard she didn’t get it.

My heart is breaking for her, and I’m doing everything I can to pick up the slack at home, cleaning and cooking, the pets and keeping track of event and plans but it isn’t enough. I want to do more, I want to take over her job, or yell at her bosses, or find a way to get rich quick and take her away from all that crap. But I can’t. So, instead I sit at home, alone, and brood and worry and spiral out of control.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had quite a work week too. I’ve busier all summer than I anticipated and with the shortage of drivers, I’ve been doing my best to help management out with smaller tasks. I had lots of testing and training to do as well as get my own route figured out.

I may not have had much time for myself during the day, but I’m trying to keep in mind that I’m actually pretty lucky compared to some of my other coworkers. I got the route I wanted with decent schools, decent hours, and the driver I wanted to work with. I have little to stress about, I still have the respect of all my coworkers, and no one is watching me or riding me about anything.

It’s nice, and I’m grateful, but there is also guilt at watching so many of my coworker’s struggle and a feeling of being completely useless.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I’ve made very little progress on overcoming my driving phobia and that is getting to me too. My girlfriend is working too much to work with me. I haven’t given up at all. I’m just thinking of it as a temporary setback, a postponement, that’s all. But I can’t help thinking being so down on myself about it. I feel like a failure. I feel stupid and cowardly. I feel like I am not a real adult or a whole person and I get depressed. Add the anxiety and a sprinkle of loneliness, and you can see why I just couldn’t write anything.

Plus, my death anxiety is getting so much worse. Last week I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic because I couldn’t get the thought out of my head that one day I was going to die and never get to see anyone I love again. I was afraid for my girlfriend and grieving for all the things I would never get to do. I was picturing my funeral and all my family and friends crying over me, and I was hurt knowing that everyone would go on living without me. Ever since then I can’t stop worrying if this is the die I will day and wondering about how it will happen.

I’m considering finally seeking help with this. I can’t go one trying to deal with it all on my own, and I can’t keep burdening my girlfriend. There is simply no comfort she can offer to calm me. I know there is no point in worrying about it and I know there is nothing I can do but live the best life I can, but I still can’t stop agonizing over it.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I haven’t even begun to process what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. In case you haven’t been online or turned on the TV since Friday, a bunch of white supremacists descended on the city to protest the decision to remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee Saturday morning. In response, a large crowd of counter protesters showed up to challenge them.

From what I understand small street fights broke out, again and again, tear gas was used, rocks and bottles were thrown, and people were beaten with clubs until authorities declared an unlawful assembly and finally attempted to disperse both crowds. Sometime after that, the violence came to ahead when a man drove a vehicle into the counter protesters, killing one and injuring close to 20 others.

It’s so heart breaking that there is still so much hate in the world and frustrated by those who continue to believe racism is no longer a problem in this country. I’m furious that a life was lost while trying to speak up for what is right. That is as far as I have gotten emotionally.

If we were having coffee, I wouldn’t even touch on Trump, North Korea, or the terror of nuclear war hanging over all of us.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that all this stress and depression, fear and anxiety has actually brought my girlfriend and me closer together. In the past we would have been at each other throats, blaming one another for all the problems and questioning our connection but this time we’ve clung to one another.

Every night when my girlfriend comes home, no matter how late, we cook together while we vent and unload the day. Each of us listens and offers support and advice in turn, and afterward, we sit close on the couch to watch TV, share funny videos, and just feel warm and loved.

This week we’ll be celebrating 15 years together. We’ve almost been together longer than we were not together. We wanted to do something big for such milestone, but with work, we haven’t been able to plan. Instead, we’ll go to our favorite restaurant, and instead of gifts, I’ve asked that we make a real effort to start planning our wedding coming up in one year, no matter what!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m hoping that a return to a regular schedule and having a little less on my plate will mean that in this coming week there will be more writing, here and elsewhere.

I have a couple of blog post ideas and drafts that need outlining and editing, and I’m thinking about putting something together for Minimal Hero since it’s revamped and under new management. AND I still have to get a couple of writing samples together for the Bitch Media Fellowship for Writers. Time is running out, and I will never forgive myself if I don’t try.

I’m also going to get back to journaling. I’m hoping it will help me get things out and get my mind of off all the things I can’t control. Writing has gotten me through so much hardship in my life, and I have no doubt it can help me deal with all the bad stuff swirling around in my head too.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I have missed you and want to go one chatting all evening, I have to get going. There is so much to do around the house and so much to get ready for tomorrow, and I want to get it all done before tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones. Thank you so much for stopping by and for taking the time to listen, it means a lot.

I hope you’ve had a good week, and I hope your weekend was relaxing. I hope you were able to make time to take care of yourself, do the things you enjoy, and be with people you love. I hope this coming week will be better than the last and if it isn’t, I hope you that the energy and the strength to get through it.

Until next time…

***

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 reeqhair

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.

***

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

If We Were Having Coffee // I’m Always Playing Catch-Up

Hello, dear readers! I’m so happy you’ve stopped by for a bit of caffeine and conversation today. I’m got up early, and I was feeling better, more motivated and hopeful, than I have all week, but I’ve since grown sluggish and apathetic. To be honest with you I’m no fan of Sundays. The mornings are sweet but as the day drags on I grow disappointed and depressed and not even coffee can help now. The work week is approaching fast with its early mornings and expectations.

But here is a bit of light underneath the dread. There is the knowledge that a fresh start has come. I’ll hold tight to that feeling today, and add a bit of cocoa and chili powder to my coffee. That should turn the world around, yeah?

“Coffee tastes better with a side of conversation regarding how the world might end”

— @cybersygh

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I continued to make progress this week. I did better than this time last month but not better than the week before. The problem wasn’t from lack of trying, but a lack of knowing how to finish things.

I started a few blog posts, and a newsletter too, but the words got away from me, I couldn’t make my intentions clear and, so, I couldn’t bring anything back around to conclusions. But even that problem is only another symptom. The real disease is not knowing how to manage important vs. urgent tasks.

Lately, I feel like I’m always playing catch up. I’m never looking far enough ahead. I’m not making plans or working toward long-term goals, especially with this blog. I’m writing posts early in the morning that must go up that day rather than having them done and scheduled well in advance like a real blogger. Not that I’m trying to be a real blogger, but I am trying to be a real writer—not that there is a difference—and being a real writer means learning how to plan and manage my time.

I also have to learn to stop and move on to something else when I get stuck. My current strategy is to stop doing anything at all and hope better ideas or a fiery passion will light under my ass and put me back to work. That never happens though because I end up spiraling into a pit of anxiety and disappointment. The longer I spiral, the harder it becomes to get back to doing something, anything again.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is the first step is always admitting you have a problem and I am now well aware that I have many. I’m working on them, I swear.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week wasn’t especially exciting. I’ve been going into work a bit early and heading home for the day at lunch time. Every day I plan to write until evening but nearly every time the couch calls to me. I turn on the fans, turn the tv volume down, and the dog and I sleep soundly through the afternoon heat.

It’s been nice to relax like this every day, and I’m aware I am lucky to be able to. I don’t want to complain too much except to say that while having time to nap every day is nice, having time to work toward your personal goals is even better. I cringe with embarrassment knowing how much a better person than me would be able to accomplish with over a month of free afternoons.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that in addition to that embarrassment I have a healthy helping of guilt thrown on top. Evey day my girlfriend comes home with me for lunch, and every day she heads back to work while I nap. She doesn’t seem too resentful of me though. She assures me that if the roles were reversed would sleep the day away too without a shred of guilt. I think she was trying to help, but I only felt more guilty. These past few weeks her job has been even more stressful than usual, and relief is at least a month or two away.

I’ve been worried about her, and I wanted to do something for her, get her out of our work home routine and do something fun. So, Friday night we dressed up and went back to a hidden seafood place we discovered earlier this year. We enjoyed a few drink, a few oysters, and a few hours of real interaction sans phones and social media.

Our usual date night routine is to head to the movies, but I forgot how much fun it can be to just enjoy a good meal and some in-depth conversation and catching up with another person. I’m hoping to have more of that in the coming weeks as I try to introduce a bit of balance into my girlfriend’s life.

 

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it was getting late and there is laundry to wash and fold and words that must be written elsewhere. Thanks again for dropping by. I hope your week was a productive one and that your weekend was relaxing enough to allow you to reset.

***

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

If We Were Having Coffee // Hello July, I Have Goals

Hello, dear readers and happy Sunday to you all. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up on this weird weather, hot and gloomy afternoon. Warm coffee sounds awful right now, so of course, it will be cold brew instead. I need the higher caffeine content anyway. As usual I had plans of cleaning the entire house and writing the tons of blog posts and essays plus reading and drawing and being generally awesome all over the internet, but instead, I’m fighting the urge to lay on the couch, watch Netflix, and drift in and out of naps until dinner time.

“A little coffee. A little sunlight. Your troubles will get smaller.”

— Richard Webber, Grey’s Anatomy

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this past week was much more productive than the week before, and the week before that, but no nearly as productive as I had hoped it would be. I’m not all that disappointed though, I’m never as productive as I want to be. I don’t think anyone does as much as they would like to do, ever. We’d all be dead from exhaustion if we were. Laziness does have its evolutionary benefits I suppose.

I ended up having to do more work at my actual work which left me a lot less time for writing than I had hoped. I wrote about letting go of what I haven’t accomplished and start working from where I am. I took some inspiration from Kahlil Gibran and contemplated confronted the recent silence in my soul. And I shared everything I am currently doing and think as the month of June and the first half of the year, came to an end.

I did better than I have all month, but I didn’t get as far as I’d hoped on my, not so secret side project and I didn’t get my latest newsletter out despite having written at least half of it. It is a top priority for the coming week.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that one thing I am proud of is my first attempts at catching up on comments around here. I have been harboring so much guilt for being such a bad blogger. I’ve said it before but for the new followers, I’m already a little awkward socially, but I’m especially so online. I’m probably the only person in the world who thinks it easier to interact with other in real life than on the internet. BUT I’m working on it.

I don’t want to go one feeling like this, and I don’t want any of you to think I don’t appreciate each and every one of you. I don’t want you to think even for a second that every comment left here doesn;t mean the world to me.

All of you have been so supportive and kind, and I probably would have given up long ago if it weren’t for your encouragement. The least I can do is get over myself and say something! Even if it’s just a simple thank you.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m a little bummed the first half of the year flew by so quickly. I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to (story of my life), but I’m hopeful for the second half.

I don’t like to look too far ahead, that’s been part of my problem lately, but I’m taking a moment to think about what 2018 is going to mean. I want next year to be the year I do all the things I’ve wanted to but have been horrible at planning in advance for.

This year I missed the Write On challenge, I failed the A to Z challenge, and I didn’t create any artwork. I figure if I spend a little time every week starting now I can get these project set up and hit the ground running in 2018. A little time every week doesn’t sound like too much at all…I think.

I’m also working on setting up small monthly goals. You may be surprised to learn that I am not very good at all at setting up goals, not the kind that are detailed, clear, or have deadlines. I’ve seen other bloggers sharing their “small goals” every month, and I thought I’d give it a try:

  1. Finish a writing sample for the Bitch Media Fellowship for Writers
  2. Complete 5 pieces for the first issue of Zen and Pi the zine
  3. Gather tutorials and supplies for beginning a lino printing project
  4. Start cleaning out the basement for bulk trash pick up

***

 

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of my week was date night with my girlfriend. As usual, we went to the movies, a very late night showing of The Beguiled. The film is about an all girls school in the south during the civil war. The girls—and the teachers too—seem to have been a bit sheltered when a wounded Union soldier shows up, and they all go crazy from the testosterone and manliness trust into their presence. It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t bad either. I’d advise waiting until it’s on Amazon or Netflix to check it out.

The reason this was the highlight of my week was that it was the first time in a long time that we’ve had an entire theater to ourselves. We spread out across a few seats, ordered french fries and a couple of old fashions, and giggled and talked through the whole thing. We were the last ones to leave the theater and in fact, couldn’t find one staff member as we made our way out to the parking lot at one in the morning. It was great!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I enjoyed this chance to talk exclusively about myself I had better get up and get going. The dishes are waiting to be washed, and there are loads of laundry that need washing and folding. I’m hoping there may still be a nap I can take too if I time everything right.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope your week was more productive than mine and your weekend was as relaxing as you needed it to be. And to my fellow Americans, please stay safe this week as we celebrate being the land of the free and, at least in our own minds, being the best at everything ever.

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 by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

 

If We Were Having Coffee // Happy Pride Month to My Fellow Queers!

Hello, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of conversation and caffeine. I nearly forgot about our coffee date, I’ve been up doing a bit of work in the yard, around the house, and getting our new grill set up for some jalapeño cheddar burgers, corn on the cob, and grilled peaches for dessert! Please excuse the mouth-watering. It’s been a long time since we grilled anything and we are very excited.

“Current problem: The fatigue is unbearable without coffee, but coffee makes the illness worse, which makes the fatigue worse.”

sadnarwhal

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If we were having coffee, I would wish all of my LGBTQIA+ peeps a very Happy Pride Month! Denver’s parade and rally aren’t for another couple of weekends, but I’m going to try to start planning the festivities and inviting friends this week. Nothing big, there is exactly one gay club and one gay bar I like, and that’s it.

We’ll probably spend a couple of nights out with friends, then watch the parade and meet up with all the gays I know but only ever see once a year. We’ll do some shopping, go home, and be happy that we live in a country that we can love each other and get married without the threat of imprisonment and death.

We’ve come so far since I came out as a teenager. I remember I was so afraid of rejection. I was afraid something was wrong with me. I was afraid I wouldn’t get to live a “normal” life. And here we are now! We own our home, we are engaged, and we both have our loved ones with us, supporting us, proud of us, and treating us just like a normal couple, because that is what we are!

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week was not a good writing week. I only posted here a couple of times. On Monday, about my growing fear of the world around me and how I hope to overcome it, and Tuesday I checked in with everything I am currently doing and feeling to mark the end of May. I didn’t get my newsletter out, and I didn’t keep up with posting over on Tumblr. I’m trying not to be too hard on myself over it. Things have gotten a little overwhelming, and I need to imagine a clean slate where the failures of the past aren’t weighing me down.

So, next week will be better. I hope to post twice here, get my newsletter out, and write something small every evening on Tumblr. I’m also setting a goal of 250 per day on a couple of essays for my zine project.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that part of the reason I had such a hard time getting these words out was the weather. I have been so excited for summer, and now that it is here my body has decided that heat is far too exhausting. I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open after 2 PM in the afternoon and on the weekends all I want to do is sleep.

It may not be just the heat. I have been tapering off of the steroid I’ve been on since February, and without it, my body may be struggling to cope. I’m worried about my health and energy levels going into the coming week. I took my last dose yesterday, and I’m already had headaches, and I’m more tired than ever. Thank God for coffee.

I’, also a little depressed, I think. It’s hard to tell since I’ve felt this way nearly my whole life, but there are signs I’ve learned to look for. I’m more irritable and moody than usual. I’m more critical of myself, less forgiving and more aware of my mistakes. I’m tired. I’m craving foods that are bad for me, lots of grease, and salt, and sugar. I’m sad sometimes, and I’m not as interested in the things I love as I usually am. A lot of me trying to write starts with me trying to care about writing again.

I’m really hoping it’s just the change in meds and season and not anything more serious.

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If we were having coffee, I would try my best not to bring up politics because I still don’t know where to even begin to articulate my frustration, anger, embarrassment, and hopelessness at everything that has happened these past few months.

My anxiety is at an all-time high. I dread the news every day and yet I can’t seem to pull myself away from it. Every morning there is some new scandal, some new way that this administration has found to make life a little less bearable than the day before. I fear the rest of the world is laughing at us and moving on, together, to make their world a better place. America has lost her place as leader and savior.

The future looks so bleak from here. But there has been some good. I was happy to see many states and cities recommit to the Paris Accords after our president stupidly decided to pull out for no fucking reason. I was happy to see the rest of the world come together to condemn our president’s decision as well. There has been so much community and unity found and formed since Trump took office.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that more and more I am focusing on ways to find joy and hope closer to home. This week I am seeing a couple of movies, It Comes at Night and Wonder Woman. The former looks super creepy, creepy movies are my absolute favorite, and the Wonder Woman screening will be one of the Women-only showings that have men all over the internet wound up and whining.

I’ve heard nothing, but good things about Wonder Woman and I anticipate that will be the highlight of my week. I’ll be honest, I’m a little worried about some of those angry men showing up to cause problems. There are a lot of men in the world who hate women and hate for them to have anything of their own. I’ve seen a lot of hateful comments on the internet, and it’s hard not to imagine the worst happening here.

It’s really upsetting we live in a world where I can’t go see a movie without fearing for my safety.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that besides that, not a whole lot has been going on. I’ve spent more time that I want to admit watching TV this week. House of Cards came back, and I’ve been binging that. I paced myself the best I could and mode it just six days before finishing the 13 episodes. Luckily Orange is the New Black starts this week, so I’ll have something else to get into.

Speaking of Netflix, one of my favorite shows, Sense8, seems to have gotten the ax. If you haven’t watched Sense8 you need to stop here and go check it out. There are two seasons and a Christmas special available. The show features a very diverse and talented cast, is beautifully shot, and tackles themes of race, sexual orientation, gender, privilege, and acceptance. I’m devastated it was canceled. If you’d like to help get it back, for me or for yourself, please fill out this title request form on Netflix’s own site. Just put in “Sense8 season 3”. Thank you!

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is getting very close to dinner time and I had better get going and get the grill fired up. My girlfriend already has everything prepped and my mouth is watering again smelling the jalapeños and seeing the beautiful ears of corn she brought home.

I hope you had a great week and a relaxing weekend. I hope next week will be productive a free from unhealthy amounts of stress.

Until next time (:

Lola's little nose spots are so adorable 😍

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

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If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + some of my own 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 Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via domestikate

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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