If We Were Having Coffee // My Own High Expectations Overwhelmed Me

Hello, happy Sunday and welcome! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

It’s a bit late now for a coffee chat, I know, but I haven’t been myself today. I’m sluggish and apathetic, fatigued and unfocused. It took a lot to get my basic chores and to-do items done and I just didn’t think I had anything left to give to anyone else, but after getting through what needed to be done I had a little time and a desperate need for something I want to do.

Please, pull up a chair and grab yourself a cup. It’s late so a big cup of strong cold brew might not be a good idea, I still want to sleep tonight, but a few sips from a small cup of hot coffee from the Moka pot might be okay. Let’s talk about last week!

“You stare at your coffee hoping it gives you perspective and sanity and the ability to make sense of it all and that’s a lot to ask of your coffee.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m still not feeling quite like myself yet. My throat isn’t hurting so much and my cough is less frequent but I am still very tired and more and more my ears are bothering me. I’m worried the infection is just moving up rather than actually getting better.

I’m also worried I might have gotten both my wife, and possibly my cat sick too. Both of them have been sniffling and lethargic these past few days. I actually didn’t even know you could get a cat sick but apparently certain types of flu and respiratory infections can be spread to our little feline friends. From now on I’ll take better precautions.

Being sick meant a rough week in general. I missed a lot of work and used up half my allotted sick days for the year. I took off Monday. I tried to go in on Tuesday and was promptly sent home by my supervisor because I was sweating all over the place and looking miserable. I took off Wednesday too and went back on Thursday, the worst possible day of all.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that winter arrived this week for one day and one day only, on Thursday when I made my second attempt to return to work.

On Wednesday we had sunshine, clear skies and temperatures topping 80 degrees, but Thursday brough nearly 4 inches of snow and a 50 degree drop in the day’s high temperature. It was a miserable day. I read in the local news that there were around 300 car accidents across the city that day! No one was ready for winter to arrive so quickly.

The winter weather passed quickly though. By Thursday evening most of the snow had melted. By Friday we were back in the 50s. Yesterday we topped 60. Today we made it over 70 degrees and I hear by the end of the week we’ll see 80 again.

I’m grateful to still have so many warm days but the see-sawing in tough. Even within the same day! We’re having to bundle up for bitter cold in the mornings and by the afternoon we’re stripping off layers and cranking the air conditioning again. It’s exhausting. I almost wish winter would hurry up and arrive officially so I could settle into the jeans and sweaters and be done with it.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the downtime at home and the lighten load at work meant that I did get a lot of reading and course work done. I was finally able to make it past week two of International Women’s Health and Human Rights a feat that has taken months and months to complete. The issue was the final thought question, and the required essay answer.

I was overthinking it. I was trying too hard. I was avoiding it, but this week I trusted that I knew what to say and I could say it simply and the peer-graded critiques all came back positive. I’m ready and feeling much more confident for week three’s assignment now.

I’ve got just three weeks left Modern & Contemporary American Poetry and I’m already thinking once I finish, I will start the whole 10 weeks over again. There are just so many poems I want to look at again and more I want to internalize and learn about how to read and enjoy poetry.

I’ve also, finally, passed the halfway point in the tome that is Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky. It’s a rough read but so rewarding too, still I’m ready to move on too. I miss fiction.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was a good one. We wen’t out last night to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday. I was incredibly anxious before the party. I always am before these kinds of social gatherings. For my whole adult life I have placed so much importance of every interaction I have, every word I say to another and I never walk away from any social event feeling like I appeared anything less than a fool.I am chronically embarrassed by myself.

But, I did have a good time and some part of me is happy I went. I like showing up for others. I like parties too, and I like being with people even though I get so anxious and weird around them. My wife, and all of my friends, have assured me many times that I am funny, likeable, and a joy to be around and part of me knows it, or is trying to know it, anyway.

Next weekend we have plans to hang out with our little couples group for dinner and at the end of the month a Halloween party. I’m doing my best not to let these little social anxieties isolate me.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this coming week will be an easy one. The schools are on fall break and that means a much lighter work load for me. Of course I have the option of not working at all but when I do the math in my head of all the hours I would be off multiplied my hourly rate, the total comes out to more than I feel comfortable passing up. I am taking two days off, for me, because there’s still a mental cost to giving up hours that could be for me alone too and I can’t forgive myself for giving them all up.

I have a couple of things to do for my family but most of the time I have will be spent in my “creativity room” making things with my hands. Last week I didn’t get any creative time, I was either resting or working, I didn’t have the energy for anything more. This week I want to get back to it.

I’m going to start a larger project. Last April my wife got a small sketchbook from The Sketchbook Project. The goal was that I would fill the pages and send the book back to be kept in their library and enjoyed by any visitors who wanted to pick it up. I was excited by the idea that people living far away and who I would never meet might pick up my book and enjoy my work, but my own high expectations overwhelmed me and I haven’t been able to start at all. I would like this week to begin to take some small step and explore a concepts and possibilities for the project.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s getting on past my bedtime. My ear is pounding and if I want to have any hope of returning to work again in the morning, I’ll need to go, take medication, and rest.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you made some small progress or found some small happiness, comfort, or connection to brighten your week.

Until next time.

Caribou // Home

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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Published by

Lisa Marie Blair

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

2 thoughts on “If We Were Having Coffee // My Own High Expectations Overwhelmed Me”

  1. Hi Lisa, I was saddened to hear about you being ill. With your permission hopefully, I’ll be praying that you recover (recovered…?) both quickly and completely. I think you have so much going on to celebrate, and losing time feeling lousy just stinks I bet. Hang in there. Do all the healthy things that wisdom would indicate and push the crude aside quickly.


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