If We Were Having Coffee // The Art of Worrying About Worrying

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday and welcome. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

The sun is shining this morning but it won’t be for long, according to forecasts. We’ll be going from a high over 50 degrees today to one of only 28 tomorrow. We’re looking at snow, again, and I’ve got my fingers crossed for another snow day but the chances are slim. So, I’m soaking up the sun while I can, before I’m forced out into the cold tomorrow. I’ve got the blinds open and a few windows cracked, letting the crisp air in.

So, pull up a chair and help yourself to a cup. I’ve got plenty of cold brew ready or I can put the Moka pot on if you’re craving something warmer. Let’s talk about last week.

“Life isn’t sugarcoated. Why should coffee be?”

— Tommy Wallach, Thanks for the Trouble

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it was a wintry week here in Colorado. This week, in fact, felt like the very first time winter had made an appearance at all. We had blizzard conditions, icy roads, freezing temperatures, and stand still traffic across the city. But as much as the traffic, the snow, and the cold inconvenienced us all I was glad it finally arrived and not just because of the resulting day off of work.

While most of the worry over climate change focuses on the coastal regions, and rightly so since their homes and businesses may be underwater as a result, we sometimes forget—here in the middle of the country where mountains fill streams from snowpack and cool air rushes over peaks to cool our cities—that we are just as vulnerable. Our mountains are not the strong and steady defender we imagine them to be.

We’re seeing less snow, warmer winter temperatures, and less water in our rivers. We’ve been seeing hotter and hotter summers and higher and higher chances for wildfires. A warm dry winter might feel nice, but it’s troubling too. I sincerely hope we see a lot more snow in the coming weeks and months—and a few more snow days spent cozied up on the couch wouldn’t hurt either, you know?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the snow made the short week an even shorter week which threw everything and everyone off at work. Then, we had more snow, which made for even more confusing and anxious conditions. We made a lot of mistakes and we all, including me, had to take a moment to admit our shortcomings and resolve to do better, to slow down, to pay closer attention, and to make better choices, no matter what.

For my part, I have to ask more questions. I have to get more involved, double-check, and see for myself more. I know that my coworkers are smart and capable, but I have to remember that they aren’t perfect. I have to help them out, and all of us in the process, by being a second set of eyes and ears and picking up the slack where they will from time to time undoubtedly drop it—as they would do for me.

At the same time, we all, especially me, have to learn to separate the big and dangerous mistakes from the little baby mistakes. We have to separate the mistakes we might have changed from the ones wholly out of our control too. I saw a lot of people stressing about things that had no discernible impact and that could not have been avoided. All that stress is contagious, and we were spreading it around like a bad rash, making a bad situation worse for no reason.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I leveled up in my anxiety when I managed to make myself sick by worrying too much about not worrying too much.

I talked a bit about it already but last Friday I received some bad news. The medication I am on to control my ulcerative colitis is working, but it’s damaging my liver. So, I have to be moved to something new. Something new means a whole lot of “what if’s” and worrying. Worrying that actually triggers my symptoms.

After my initial freak out, I tried really hard to calm down, and I tried really hard not to worry about all those “what if’s” but I ended up triggering my symptoms anyway when I couldn’t get the consequences of all this anxiety out of my head. So, now I’m just trying to think of anything else. I’m trying to occupy my mind with books and writing, and getting out of the house later for shopping and sun.

Tuesday I have an appointment with my GI to discuss my future medication and hopefully, she will answer some of those “what if” questions and put my mind at ease. She’s usually pretty good at that.

If we were having coffee, I would have to bring up the current state of politics in this country. I don’t know where you fall on the political spectrum and I certainly don’t want to argue. I’m not here, today anyway, to change minds. I think many of us are past that. I think right now most of us are just tired. I am tired.

If you are one of the federal workers who has struggled through this government shutdown, with the loss of pay and, in many cases, with a lack of options to express your frustration and needs, my heart goes out to you and I hope with all my heart that this two or three-week reopening can be made permanent. I hope this will never, ever happen again, but I confess, I am almost certain it will.

Earlier this week I read an article about the way politics functions in this country and how it leads to situations just like this one and may lead to worse and deeper deadlocks in the future. I think the tide needs to shift. We need to find a new way to fight each other that allows people to give in for the good of the country!

But I fear this shutdown, rather than waking us up to the worst parts of our politics has only further desensitized us.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I can see the sunlight beginning to creep through the westerly windows. If I don’t get up from this seat, get moving and get out the door soon, I’ll miss it. I’d like to have a little bit of Sunday before Monday, you know?

I hope you had a good week. I hope you made some progress and that you made time for you. Try not to stress too much and I won’t either. Try to breathe, to take it slow, and I will too.

Until next time.

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

Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash

Published by

Lisa Marie Blair

Painfully aware. Profoundly afraid. Perpetually falling in and out of love with humanity. She/They.

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