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 // Halloween Isn’t Over Yet

Hello dear readers! Thank you so much for stopping by today for a bit of cold brew and conversation. I’m up and moving about with the blinds thrown open and the sun streaming in but I feel far from awake. The stupid time change is enough to throw your circadian rhythm off, but I also stupidly decided to stay up late last night for no reason at all besides I hate giving up so much of my life to sleep.

I’m no good after late nights anymore. No matter how late I let myself sleep in the next morning, I still feel groggy through to the next evening. I’m less myself and certainly less productive. The early bird gets the worm, sure, but only if she’s had enough rest to keep her eyes open and her thoughts coherent, right? Coffee helps, but I’ll still need you to be patient with me today too.

“There are two kinds of people. Coffee people and sad people.”

@deathwishcoffee

***

If we were having coffee, I would need a minute to recall what all has happened since we last sat done. It’s been a little while, hasn’t it? I don’t think we’ve chatted since at least before Halloween. I don’t usually take such long breaks from these dates, and I don’t have a good reason for it this time except I’ve been feeling down. Not sad exactly, but like I’m empty. I have no ideas, no energy, no interest. I feel thin, transparent, fragile? None of these words describe it quite right.

My girlfriend calls it depressed, but it’s hard for me to use that word. I think I’ve only been lazy, and selfish, and weak, but I’m trying not to feel that way, and I’m trying not to apologize for resting or removing myself as I need to. I only wish I was better at expressing how I feel instead of just sort of fading out of people’s lives with no explanation.

The good news is that I had a sort of revelation recently and I’ve come to accept that while it’s not my fault I am feeling this way, it is up to me to start doing something about it. I haven’t been out of the house much, except for work. I haven’t been exercising. My eating habits have gotten bad again. I’m focusing on other people’s successes and my contrasting failure. I’m struggling to want to do things I love, like writing, drawing, and reading, and falling too easily into doing things I know don’t make me feel good, like playing games on my phone, wasting time on social media, and sleeping.

No wonder I am depressed. But I’m going to make more of an effort to get out and feel the sun and go to places where there are other people. I’m going to eat more fruit, drink more water, and say a few nice things to myself and to the people around me. I’m going to go for walks in the evening and try to get in a quick 15-minutes work out in the morning when I wake up. Those are my goals anyway, it won’t happen overnight. I need to get help too, but that’s a bigger ball of anxiety than I can get over at the moment.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Halloween wasn’t all I had hoped it would be. We dressed up as Coraline and Wybie from the 2009 film Coraline. I wish we’d had more time to prepare because I didn’t get to make his mask and no one really knew what I was supposed to be. We did have fun at our friend’s party, but a very inconveniently timed migraine meant we had to call it a night earlier than we’d hoped.

Still, the rest of Halloween was great, and I’m even planning to have one last night of spooky celebration this Tuesday when my favorite movie theater, Alamo Drafthouse, is showing my favorite horror film, The Shining. Around here Halloween isn’t over until we’ve watched it and getting a chance to see it on the big screen (and get an awesome t-shirt too) is beyond exciting.

Once we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’ll be time for the customary watching of the transitional holiday film The Nightmare Before Christmas. Then and only then will I be able to fully accept that Halloween is over, and the god-awful holiday season of stress has begun.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even though it has been hard some days, I have been doing my best to read more. I tell myself that if my brain is so out of it that I can’t write, and if my self-doubt is so intense that I can’t draw, then I need to be reading.

I got through The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, a beautiful and effortless read and Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, a strenuous yet rewarding read. I thought it was time for a little nonfiction again and picked up A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, an interesting and rather incendiary read so far. I have Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman to read next, but after that, I’m not so sure.

A few days ago I did come across a list of 135 Free Philosophy Books and another list of 800 Free eBooks that would be plenty to keep me busy for a while. I’ve never been very good at reading from a screen, but if there are free books to be had, I’m willing to put in the effort and learn.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on the writing side of things, it really hasn’t been so bad. I’m writing, I’m just not posting, and to be honest with you, I don’t have much of a problem with that.

I have a few things written for the upcoming week, and I feel a little freer to work on things that are important, not just urgent. I never wanted to only be a blogger. The goal has always been to be an author, but it’s hard when you feel like people now expect things of you, and you now expect things of yourself, and you can’t switch gears as easily as you’d like.

I love this space, but I need space in my life for other kinds of work too. I need to stop worrying about content, posting times, follower counts, and engagement, and about how I’m failing at all of those things.

I need to write with pen and paper and spend a lot more time getting bored so I can think. What I’m trying to tell you is that things might get a little inconsistent around here but don’t worry, I won’t abandon you without saying something. I won’t drop off the face of the internet the way I have seen so many other bloggers do. I haven’t posted in a while be patient, I’m coming back, I promise.

***

If we were having coffee, I would say that it was about that time that I get going on this housework. The time change still has my mind and body feeling all out of whack. It feels later than it is and I’m panicking even though I shouldn’t so I’d better get going anyway. No harm it getting it all done early I suppose.

I hope you’ve been well these last few weeks since we’ve talked, and I hope we can all get through the coming months with a little more cheer and grace than we’ve been expressing toward one another as of late. Let me know what you’ve been up to lately in the comments, I’ll be around today, and I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time.

***

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

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up, now hosted over at Eclectic Alli!

Featured photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

 

If We Were Having Coffee // Time to Get Spooky!

Hello dear readers. Thanks for stopping by for a bit of coffee and conversation. I’m feeling anxious today. The caffeine isn’t helping. Actually, the caffeine might be the cause.

I’ve been drinking cold brew coffee for months but since the mornings are growing colder and colder, and I need something warm and strong to start the day again. Drip coffee tastes like bitter water now, so I’ve dusted off my espresso machine and moved to drinking a couple of warm, velvety shots instead. I’m still figuring out the right ratio of coffee grounds to water and I may have overdone it.

“Coffee for two
The sweetest and most bitter
Bold in taste
Warm in conversation
Lovely in embrace
Coffee for me
Coffee for you”

— NB // Coffee For Two

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m feeling much better this Sunday than I was the last. The world still feels like it’s ending nearly every day, but I made sure to take breaks from social media and to limit my intake of the news to once or twice a day. Some of the shit still found its way in.

Between Harvey Weinstein’s predation coming to light, the short-sighted call to boycott Twitter in response to Rose McGowan being suspended, the fires in California, and Trump sabotaging what little health care we can get in this country I still found plenty of reasons to be depressed and anxious, but less so than the week before. It was good to unplug for a while.

Not that I have been any more productive instead. I found new ways to waste time, and new ways to be disappointed in myself. It wasn’t a good writing week at all. I had such hope after starting a list of specific topics to write about here and after deciding on the theme for an upcoming personal writing project I thought it would be easy-peasy from here. Nope, the hardest part is still keeping my ass in the chair and just doing the damn writing.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that there is hope though. I’ve started reading Things Are What You Make of Them by Adam J. Kurtz, and I’m feeling a little less afraid of writing. Or, I feel a little less alone in my fear and my failure. It always helps to know you aren’t struggling alone. It helps to know it isn’t all you, being creative and putting yourself out there are just hard things to do, but you can do it if you just don’t give up.

I’m also reading The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. I started it last Thursday, and I’m already halfway done. It’s such a dream to read! I’ve seen the movie about a million time but it’s such a unique story told from such an intriguing perspective that it still draws me in and excites me.

***

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a belated happy Friday the 13th! Being a fan of all things horror, I’m always excited when the 13th falls on a Friday of any month, but having it happen in October is an especially spooky treat. To mark the occasion my sister, and my girlfriend and I went out to take advantage of some Friday the 13th tattoo and piercing specials. My sister got her nostril pierced. My girlfriend got a lucky white rabbit tattoo, and I got this cute little fly that reminded me of the film The Fly, the 1986 version specifically, thank you very much.

This is my second Friday the 13th tattoo, and I’m already looking to getting another next Friday, which just happens to be my birthday!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of my week, besides the tattoo, was last night when we met up with some friends for a couple’s night out.

We started at a small pizza place downtown for dinner and drinks. It was a new place, and I was pleasantly surprised. The calzones we ordered were enormous and delicious, and the menu featured an extensive list of microbrews and cocktails. Afterward, we went to a huge haunted house to get spooky! After that, we went for even more drinks!

It’s been too long since we were last out with friends, I didn’t realize how much I had missed it. Especially these friends, two other couples who understand what it means to be with someone for years. I enjoy watching them interact with each other. Like everything else, it helps to know you are normal.

We're the cutest 😍😙

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s getting late and I have to get going. There’s more writing to do, posts to draft and notes to type up plus laundry to do, dinner to get in the oven, and the cocktails that need to be made before The Duece comes on.

I hope you had a wonderful week. I hope you found time to take care of you this weekend. I hope it’s beginning to feel like Halloween and you are enjoying the spooky vibes too.

Until next time

The world's shrinking.

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

***

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

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up, now hosted over at Eclectic Alli!

Featured photo is by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // So The World Ends Every Week Now

Hello dear readers. Thanks for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. I’m having a hard time feeling motivated today, so everything is happening late and taking twice as long as I’d hoped. I’d considered just staying in bed today to rest and relax away from the world some more while I still could, but that never makes me feel much better. So I’m up, and I’m here because chatting with you always helps even when it’s hard.

 

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week was a bad one. Every time I turned on the news or got online the world seemed to be ending all around me. It seems like the world ends every week now and I’m running out of ways to cope.

I woke up Monday morning with a long to-do list and enough motivation to tackle it all but as soon as I heard the news coming out of Las Vegas, I couldn’t think about anything else. I spent my morning listening to traumatized survivors retell their stories through tears and hearing the sounds of bullets hitting people and pavement played over and over again. All that shock and devastation found its way into my heart that morning, and I still haven’t entirely recovered.

My heart was already so heavy as it was and what happened in Las Vegas just kind of broke me a little, and I shut down. I couldn’t to do anything but think of my little life and all the ways I want to protect it. It’s hard to accomplish your goals when all around you people are suffering. It’s hard to enjoy your hobbies when children lose their health care, and transgender people lose their protections. It’s hard to believe in a brighter future when the NRA, big oil, and fat cats keep winning. It’s hard to believe in humanity when our President divides the country, acts like an ass, and pushes us closer to nuclear war, week after week after week.

It’s hard to believe you can change the world when you are afraid to even leave your house or turn on the TV.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that despite it all I haven’t given up. I just needed to rest, but it’s hard to begin again. Turning off the news helps. I’m learning not to feel guilty about that. Humans weren’t built for all this suffering and chaos coming at us from all over the world. My heart is only so big, and I have to give it time to work through things before letting any more pain in.

SO, I turned off the news for a few days. I spent time with my girlfriend and made time to text friends and family. I sought out the things that made me feel better, and I overindulged. I made sure to join this week’s #LetMeFemsplain chat all about technology and self-care. I watched movies, read books, played with the dog, and went on a blocking and unfollowing spree across all my social media accounts.

I carved out space around myself, and I made it quiet and calm. I rested my ears and my mind and my voice. I’m hoping to get back to listening and speaking my truth, but it may be slow going for a while. I’m not quite ready to let the world back in.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of my week was seeing the Colorado Ballet performance of Dracula yesterday.

The weather cooperated. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and a cool breeze blowing just enough to keep the heat in check.

We’d planned on brunch at a popular restaurant near the opera house before the show but when we arrived they told us it might be another hour before we got seated. To kill time we took a walk around the block where we ran into a sign for $15 brunch buffet, $4 bloody marys, and $3 mimosas, plus a live jazz band outside a small restaurant We were sold! We wandered in and were seated immediately.

We wandered in and were seated immediately. The staff was friendly, the food was good, the music was great, and the drinks were strong. The restaurant is now one of our faves, and we plan to eat their every time we visit the Performing Arts complex from now on.

Since we’d eaten, we decided to head to Starbucks and watch the downtown crowds until showtime. The annual Zombie Crawl was underway, and there were a ton of creative people staggering around dressed up as the undead.

The ballet performance itself was just incredible! There were mental patients, wolves, zombies, and vampires of course. The story is a classic and easy to follow. The costumes and effects were perfect, and the dancers were breathtaking, as always. The dancer playing Dracula was beyond phenomenal, seductive and creepy! Even the music was good, loud and booming from the moment the curtain went up. It was seriously so, so good!

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that the first winter storm of the season is forecasted to roll in overnight tonight, already! They are talking about 4-6 inches snow and I can hardly believe it after the gorgeous weekend we’ve had. I’m not ready, but I’m doing my best to love fall. I’m making sure to take in all the colors and smells. I’m enjoying the return to warm dinners with soups and squashes. I’m spending the evenings cuddled up under the covers sipping fall cocktails with apple and cinnamon flavors. I used to hate fall, but moping is a waste of time. Better to cling to all the good I can.

 

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s getting late, and though I hate to go there is a ton of cleaning waiting to be done and about a million things I have to do to prepare for the week. It’s been good to chat with you and get some of this off of my chest. Thank you for listening.

I hope you found some good throughout the week despite all the horror going on around us and I hope your weekend was a relaxing one.

Until next time, take care of yourself.

***

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.

Featured image is by Ronaldo Arthur Vidal 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