If We Were Having Coffee // Happy Traumatic Brain Injury Sunday

Hello dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffiene and catching up. I managed to break yet another French press carafe so we’ll be doing a bit of DIY pour over drip coffee today. Which is fine by me if it is by you. On days like this, when the clouds are hanging about that the temps are laying low, a bit of coffee and conversation will go a long way. On days like this, I’ll take what I can get.

“Life’s too short to drink crappy coffee and cry over [people] who don’t care.”

— Matty Healy

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that, I’m tired. I don’t know what it is but I haven’t felt very rested lately. I can’t get out of bed in the morning and my mind doesn’t work at all. I’m running on auto pilot and feeling so close to death I’m worried I might start craving human flesh. I worry there is something big and wrong with me, but it’s probably just the lack of sunlight, the time change, the weather, and the work. I think I just miss warmth, and leaves, and flowers, and the sun. Oh my God, I miss the sun so much. Sure it comes out but the days are too short and the air is too cold for me to spend much time in it.

According to days.to we have just 43 days to go until the spring equinox. Of course, here in Colorado that doesn’t mean much. Our weather is often erratic and unpredictable and we could see cold and snow into May, but we could also see Spring-like weather return tomorrow. Ground hogs don’t have much say around here.

I think this week I’ll make more of an effort to get out into the fresh air, even when it’s cold. A walk up the block, or around the lot at work won’t kill me, and the sun will do me good despite the cold. I need to get away from my desk, move my limbs, rest my eyes a little, and if it’s really nice, and my work load allows, I may get some writing done out there. I think that is exactly what I have been needing.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am one of those buzz kill Debbie downers who won’t be watching the Super Bowl today. I know it’s America’s sport and all that, and I know it’s not very American or patriotic or normal of me not to watch or to care, but, well, the sport is toxic and violent and I just can’t see the “fun” in all that traumatic brain injury going on.

I wrote a few words about it over on Tumblr this morning and I linked to a great video, article, and podcast episode of The Intercept there all about the violence and economic, racial, and political power struggles in the NFL. Even if you enjoy the sport, I hope you’ll check them out. Sometimes loving something means being brave enough to make it better.

I don’t judge anyone for their love of the sport. I’m not here to make you feel bad. Almost everyone I know and love will be watching today. Someone close to me will even be freezing their ass of at the game! I’m happy for them, and happy for the teams that made it there. I just wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight if I didn’t say I felt for them too. I wish them a safe game. I wish them a future without permanent brain damage, motor impairment, confusion, suicidal thoughts, aggression, or dementia.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the wedding planning is ramping up. We’re still lacking a venue, but we’ve settled on a budget, a brunch ceremony and reception, and a design for the “save the dates”. My wife-to-be is hand painting each and every “save the date” and I am setting up three venue tours for next weekend. We’ve already found ourselves fighting, crying, and wanting to give up and it’s only been a few weeks of planning. We’re staying strong though and trying to remember that after the guest list, the budget,the invitations, and the venue booking, things should relax a bit. We’ll have all summer to figure out the rest.

Somewhere deep down we are getting excited too and I do know that whatever we end up doing it will be beautiful. I know no matter how the day is spent, that it will be the happiest day of my life.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that despite the lack of new posts around here, I actually have been writing. I have a ton of ideas and a lot of posts that have been started, I just haven’t had time to finish anything. So in the coming weeks you may see posts that would have made more sense a week or more ago. For example I have a post about the movie Groundhog Day half-finished and I was ready to toss it out but I had worked so hard, and what I have to say is important to me, so I am going to finish it and post it anyway.

I know as a blogger I am expected to be organized and timely, but as a person I am messy, forgetful, and sometimes just plain afraid. I’m trying to remember that this is my space, and I can do whatever I want. I can write about whatever I want to write about and I can post it whenever I want to post it. I have no reason to hide, or to give up on a message..

I have things I want to say, not just for you, but for me too, and I would feel like a bad writer if I didn’t follow through and say what I came here to say.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that evening time is coming on and it’s time for me to get going and get ready for the coming week. I hope you had a wonderful and productive week, whatever that means for you. I hope you have a safe Super Bowl Sunday, and whatever team you root for wins. With that, I’ll have to take my leave, and my second cup of coffee to go, and wish you a relaxing rest of the weekend.

Until next time.

***

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

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

Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

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Winter Dreaming

Her warmth snuggled against me, deep under covers
Scents of honey and cinnamon from wide-mouthed mugs
I sigh, sitting at work, dreaming of sweeter snow days

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If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter on life, love, and suffering :)

Written in response to Ink in Thirds Three Line Thursday Prompt: Quiet

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Star Wars is Coming and I’m Still Not Smoking

Good afternoon friends! I’m so happy you could make it to our little coffee chat. This past week didn’t go at all the way I planned and I have a feeling next week won’t either. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Right now I am just trying to put one foot in front of the other until Winter Break, Christmas, and New Years are over with.

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If we were having coffee say that I know last week I didn’t want to make a big deal about quitting smoking but this week we can, a little. As of today I have been smoke free for 18 days! I know that doesn’t seem like very long but those of you have ever been addicted to nicotine will know, this is very big. I feel like I am through the worst of it but I know I could slip up at any moment and start again.

I still crave them but it really does get easier every day. I am working on building a new routine and filling the time that was previously spent smoking on healthier, more productive things. I am also learning to deal with difficult people, situations, and emotions all over again. It’s very hard but rewarding at the same time.

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If we were having coffee I’d tell you that luckily, there was plenty to keep me busy with at work. Actually both me and my lady have been very busy at work. We are both dealing with a bit of work related depression and anxiety so I thought, in order to cheer us up and get our minds off of things we should have a special date night. So Friday night we raced home, dressed up, and went to the Fresh Fish Co. for oysters and wine. We had a wonderful time and the dinner was everything we hoped for and needed.

Me and my girlfriend had oysters for the first time last Valentines Day. We really liked them. So much so that now we are planning future vacations based on where we might be able to get the them fresh. As you can imagine, in landlocked Denver, CO they are expensive and not the freshest.Most people think oysters look and taste gross, although I imagine it is more of a texture problem. I can’t explain what exactly I like them so much except that to me they are delicious and surprisingly filling.

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If we were having coffee I’d tell you that this morning I finished up a new page for the blog, a /now page. I got the idea from Derek Sivers, and I heard about it through Ausin Kleon . Basically it is a list of things I am working on right now. It’s mostly for me, to keep me focused and remind me of what is really important. It is for other people because I am always feeling like because I don’t have much to show for all the work I do and people think I am not doing anything real.

I’ll be updating my About page and linking to my /now page from there rather than the main menu. I’ll be updating it regularly and I plan to let you all know when I do. I also encourage you to look into making one for yourself. Sivers has a page that lists tons of other people’s pages that you can check out for inspiration.

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If we were having I’d tell you I’m slowly working on a “100 Dreams” page that I hope to post for the New Year. I got the inspiration for that from Laura Vanderkam and it’s pretty much a very long bucket list. I have broken it down into places to visit, skills to learn, thing to do, and major life goals.

Over time it will be tweaked, things will be crossed off, hopefully, and somethings removed or added as I grow and change. Like the /now page this is more for me, to keep me focused on where I am going and what I want to do in this life. I guess now that I am getting older it is getting increasingly important that I get on with the business of making this life something great.

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If we were having coffee I’d tell you that other than all that, the biggest thing I am looking forward to is seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens this Friday. I am so stoked to see this movie. I want to re watch the other six movies this week and I think I might buy an ugly (read:awesome) Star Wars Christmas sweater  to wear that night.

That night will also kick off two weeks of winter break for me. I may or may not go to work for a few days of it but they won’t be the usual stressful days. I’ll work on projects I need catching up on and organizing paperwork and files, that’s all.

I look forward to Christmas with my family since I didn’t get to see any of them for Thanksgiving. I’ll be having brunch at home with my lady and dinner with my mother and sisters, niece and nephew, and maybe my brother if he feels like seeing us. I’m sure we’ll have a great time, we usually do.

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If we were having coffee I would say that’s about all that’s been going on with me. I would say that I hate to leave but I really do have to get started on the housework and working on other blog and writing related projects. Thank you for stopping by and please let me know what you have been up to in the comments.

 

Colorado In The Fall and How I Am Learning to Cope with Help From My Readers

This past Sunday I received quite a few comments on my weekly coffee sharing post regarding my hatred for autumn and how much or how little that had to do with the fact that I live in Colorado. There were a lot of comments but most were in favor of fall and many thought I was looking at this all wrong. Some had even been to Colorado and thought that it wasn’t that bad, or that Colorado was just beautiful and I just wasn’t seeing it.

When it was all said and done I think my mind was changed a little. Maybe I really have been just seeing autumn the wrong way. The way I see it now, fall just looks like everything around me is sad and dying. The leaves changing isn’t beautiful, it’s a daily reminder that pretty soon all the pretty green stuff is going to be gone and it is going to be cold and snowing. That cool breeze that means you can finally start wearing all you favorite sweaters just means that soon there will be no more fun things to do.

All the amusement parks and pools will be closed. All the patios at the bars will be for the hard core smokers only. There will be no more movie event, or festivals or ‘fests. The pretty green parks will be bare and empty of human laughter. Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit but mostly all of this is true.

My favorite comment on the subject, and the one that inspired this post, came from Sarah:

Fall has always been my favorite season with winter a close second.
Fall here in Florida is a continuation of summer and I hate summers here,
I love fall in the rest of the country.

Watching the leaves change from green to all the colors of the rainbow. Or if you happen to live in Colorado they change to a bright golden /red color. Simply beautiful.

I love how the air is fresher. I can open my windows and spell the fresh air.
My steps become alive again and I start walking. I am rejuvenated.
The animals gives birth and we watch them walk through the yard here.
Winter is warmer here and you would enjoy that. For me I long for the winters out West. The cold is warmed by the bright sun. It fresh and clear and sunny.

My reply to such a beautiful comment:

Oh my gosh, what a wonderful comment. The way you describe your love of autumn almost makes me change my mind, then I remember that here fall means cold, and wind, and snow. I do happen to live in Colorado and the leaves are turning very yellow right now. Sounds like I should be living somewhere like Florida, where fall is just summer 2.0.

I’ve often told people that I should move further south, and I would, except for the extreme conservatism everywhere. I have thought about southern California as well but the cost of living is high. So I am staying here for the forseeable future, which is okay because I really do love this state, I just hate the winter.

Sarah reblogged my post and I got another comment from one of her readers:

Ahhh it makes sense, your in Colorado, I understand completely….We drove through your beautiful state….I was mesmerized….I fell in love with Manitou Springs, we spent a week there, Cortez National Park, amazing…and we went over Lizard Pass…wow I thought I was in the Alp’s…..love it….glad to have coffee with you anytime..akthy

I will say that we have some of the best scenery that you can get in this country. Routine drives to work and home give you spectacular views of the mountains and amazing displays of color in every sunrise and sunset. The mountains are often purple or orange tinged and this time of year, the fall I hate so much, means the beginning of them getting their pristine white tips back. I do love the way the mountains look with snow on them and I admit that in the summer they seem a little drab.

The air here also does become much clearer and fresher. Most summers the sky gets pretty hazy due to California’s continual forest fires. Sometimes it’s so bad we can’t see the mountains at all. We can smell it coming in and the haze gives everyone the worst allergies. In the fall the fires die down and the sky becomes clearer. We get a better view of the mountains too.

We are also lucky that even though it gets very cold, the sun is usually shining. I read once that Colorado gets an average of 300 sunny days a year. In other parts of the country people go long stretches of time with clouds hovering and rain and snow coming down constantly. We get a good amount of snow, and we do get it in the fall, but it’s not that bad and we do have the sun to cheer us, even of the temperatures stay below freezing for a few months..

Speaking of the snow and the mountains we do have quite the booming winter tourist season. I do not partake, in fact I am one of the few Denver natives here who have never gone, and probably never will go skiing. I do like all the money this brings to the state and I do take pride in this fact. People come from all over the world to ski our slopes!….Maybe I ought to give it a try, everyone else can’t be wrong about this.

Then I remember that I still hate it and it’s basically a useless season anyway.

I’m starting to wonder if maybe it’s because Colorado’s fall is so short and uneventful that I feel this way. Here the weather goes from warm to cold quickly, there isn’t much transition. I joke that fall lasts about 2 weeks, same for spring, so the two seasons do feel pretty useless to me.

So yeah there are some good things about fall and maybe I am beginning to see things in a different light, but even so, I think most people like fall because it is a real fall. Here the seasons seem to change rather abruptly. I don’t feel like I have enough time to adjust or emotionally prepare and I spend the rest of winter being mad that there was no warning and I didn’t get to end the summer the way I wanted.

I sound like a brat I know. At least one person, Sonya, kinda-sorta agreed with me:

And I’m sort of with you on autumn. We had lovely warm weather here last week, and I liked that the wind had a bit of a sting to it. But it’s 8:30pm and pitch black outside, and soon the days will be shorter than the nights and I just hate that.

So having said all that, and having read all that my readers had to say, I think I should try a bit harder to enjoy autumn in Colorado. For one, it could be worse, people who live further north would think me a wuss complaining about what they would consider to be very fine weather, and two, there’s actually some good to it too. I just hadn’t really looked for it and instead moped around like a kid who is forced to go back to school.

I don’t want to be that way, and I don’t want to miss out on what might be a beautiful time of the year just because I wish another wouldn’t end. I want to see the good in it instead.

I will still miss the summer though. I feel the loss of it deeply and I feel it every year, and no amount of soft sweaters or pumpkin spice lattes is going to change that. I will enjoy them none the less though, because it is the least the universe could offer for putting me through that cold hell of winter.

Fall is about warmth, and cider, and colors, and pumpkin spice, and.. and…

wccunningham

In response to Daily Post’s Blogging U. course, Writing 101 assignment: Expand a comment

Featured image via Unsplash

Just An Update

Nothing to write about tonight. It was a long day and I am sick. I have to do it all again tomorrow and the weather is only getting worse. This was the worst time to get a tattoo and stretch my ears. My chest feels horrible and my ears are driving me mad. They aren’t bleeding or pussing up, not yet anyway. My hair rubbing hurts. Wearing a beanie hurts. On top of all that I am sick. My throat hurts and so do my sinuses. I bought some Emergen-c today but it tastes crappy and it’s not magic so I am getting worse. I worry that I might not make it through the week without missing some work.

The air was frigid cold today. I think the high was 28 degress. Tomorrow it’s not going to get higher than 18 degress. I expect to suffer the whole day. I expect to be nothing but miserable. I don’t know how to get through it and stay positive. The weather just affects me so much and in a way I feel I can’t fight. I can get up in the morning though and I can put one foot in front of the other for a few hours but that’s about all. It will have to be enough. When you are tired and sick and sad just making it through the day is an accomplishment.

Saying Goodbye to Summer

I work for a school district so, for me, summer ends tomorrow. School starts back up on Monday and that means I am back on a school bus tomorrow to practice my route.*

This is a hard time of year for me because summer is my favorite season. There is so much to do in the summer and everything looks so green and alive! There are water parks and amusement parks, there are festivals and events. Bar rooftops are open and nighttime temperatures are perfect for drinks and hanging out with friends. I am sad to see all that go. In the winter there is nothing to do but stay inside and try you best to keep warm.

Here in Colorado our winters last longer than our summers, and spring and fall are almost non-existent. I’m one of those people who needs sunny days and warm temperatures to feel happy. Seasonal affective disorder I think they call it. I get depressed around the same time every year, just as fall is hitting and when it gets bad it seems like winter will never end. By the time January rolls around I have given up emotionally. I start to feel like the cold and clouds will be there forever, and the warmth and the green will never come back.

I’m already preparing myself mentally for the leaves to start changing and everything to turn gray and cold. I am planning for coping with the cold and I even had a co-worker bring in a new space heater for us all. I will soon be buying a new coat and stocking up on hand and warmers. I hope the bus I will be in is sealed well and that the heaters work.

I long to live somewhere where the sun shines all year and the weather stays nice. I’ve heard Hawaii has nice weather all year-round, or maybe Southern California or Florida. One day I hope to be rid of snow and negative degree temperatures. No more shivering, no more cold, wet toes and no more runny noses!

So today I say goodbye to summer and hope that it doesn’t take too long to return again. I will try to remember all the fun I had this year and maybe the memories will warm my soul when the temperatures outside freeze my body.

*Just to clarify I work as a para-professional, or bus aid, not as a driver.