If We Were Having Coffee // Keeping My Workload Light

Hello and happy Sunday! Thanks for stopping by for a bit of conversation and catching up over a hot cup of coffee.

I didn’t get up as early as I had hoped to this morning, I never do, but I have a lot more energy than I have in the last few days at least and I’m feeling especially motivated and accomplished. I’ve checked off most of my usual Sunday to-do item, and the day is only just half over. At this point I usually end up sitting down, getting distracted, and wasting the rest of the day but this Sunday I’m keeping out of the living room and keeping my task list in front of me. A relaxing Sunday never makes me feel very good, but a productive one is by far the best start to a new work week.

So, please, pull up a chair and grab a cup. The autumn air blowing in through the west windows is a bit crisp, but the sun is warm enough to warrant the open windows. I’ve fallen in love with my French press all over again since I remembered it can be used to make more than cold brew coffee. I’ve got a fresh bag of blond roast and a carton of sweet vanilla almond milk to go with it. Let’s talk about last week!

“Our culture runs on coffee and gasoline, the first often tasting like the second.”

― Edward Abbey

If we were having coffee, I would tell you last week was a pretty good week.

More mornings than not I was able to get up on time, get ready for quickly and smoothly, and make it on time to work. It may not sound like much but working on a school bus means working in an industry that is time focused and unforgiving of tardiness. You would think that in all the years I have been doing this I would have gotten used to the early mornings but I never have no matter what or how hard I try. Hitting at least 3 out of 5 mornings where I am not feeling frustrated, breaking down in tears, rushing around, or running late is a big deal for me.

The new class of employees I had been working was released midweek and are already out working with the kids all on their own so my workload was light. I hear I may have a new class coming in at the start of December, anywhere from 4 to 20 people they say. I’d prefer to keep it under 12. That is where I can do my best work and trust I have both give new people all the tools and time they need to do the job and judge their compatibility with children and with our culture as a district.

Until they start I plan to go on keeping my workload light too. I know now that for the two weeks or more I will be with them I won’t have time or energy left over for any of my personal passions and pursuits. I know now that the balance I need in my life can’t be found in the chopping up each day into parts for me and parts for others but in chopping up whole months. I know now I need to look at life on a larger time scale.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I did get a lot of reading done this week though I still haven’t been able to finish Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky. If I can get my Sunday chores done in time I may try to make it through the last 50 pages or so. I’d really rather not take it to work with me one more day.

I spent most of my free time working on little blog things. Zen and Pi has a new introductory post up. I don’t think it is my best work, but it’s a start and it did feel really good to finally write, finish, and hit publish on something over there. Now that it’s both been purged of the old posts, and marred by a new post, I feel much more excited about writing more in-depth and challenging pieces over there. I’m ready to start doing something that feels more like real writing again.

This week I want to get another post up but I haven’t settled on a topic yet. That’s okay though, the editorial schedule is pretty loose for now with once a month being the bare minimum and once a week being the most I can hope for. My goals are the opposite of this place, 10% quantity and 90% quality.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was good but not in the way I had planned or hoped for it to be.

Friday night we went out for a much-needed evening of dinner and drinks with our “couples group”—our core group of 8 friends in which every member happens to be married to another member. I cannot express the importance of long-term couples having friends who are also in long-term (and healthy) relationships. It’s such a wonderful thing to be around people who are not just like you as an individual but like you in their choice to live their entire lives with another person as well.

Yesterday I meant to spend the day writing and working on my resume but I woke up feeling groggy from the night before. I struggled to stay focused or productive and by midday; I opted for a short nap thinking that when I woke up again I could start the day anew. Instead, I woke to a phone call from my brother asking if I would please step in to watch my niece and nephew because their scheduled babysitter needed to back out suddenly.

I love my niece and nephew and always enjoy visiting with them, but I do best with supervised visits since I’m not great with kids for long periods of time. I’m not good at being silly or seeing the world through a toddler’s eyes to know what they want. This is the main reason I choose to work with high schoolers at my day job. We had fun though, and I feel more confident that I can help my brother out when he needs me.

The kids only wore me out further though and even after they left I couldn’t muster the motivation to do anything but eat and watch some old favorites on Disney+.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this coming week should be just as relaxed as the last. I took Monday off to help a family member and I pushed the bulk of my tasks off until after midweek. I want to take advantage of the opportunity for free time right away, and to give myself a chance to take it easy for a few days. I’m still feeling the effects of work stress that has already passed.

Sadly, I believe that my ulcerative colitis is beginning to flare again. I have already filed to required paperwork in case I need to take leave from work and tomorrow I’ll shoot an email to my doctor and emotionally prepare myself for the appointments and tests she will probably require. I’m trying not to stress before I know what is going on, but it’s hard when I can still remember so clearly the pain and the misery I went through during my last flare.

The worst part is, I blame myself. I didn’t take care of myself when I should have the most. I didn’t eat right, rest well, or take my medications on time. I forget that I can’t be like other people and that I can’t worry about what other people think. I have to put myself first and ask for help, for more time, and for a break when I need it whether other people do or not.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the air is going colder now. I’ve got to stop drinking coffee if I want to have any chance of sleeping well tonight and I’ve got to finish getting my house in order if I want any hope of another one of those smooth mornings tomorrow.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you are feeling well and that wherever you are you are staying warm and I hope whatever stress you are feeling is the good kind and that whatever obstacles you face only encourage rather than deter you.

Until next time.

lofi hip hop radio // Chillhop Music

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

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash


Published by

Lisa Marie Blair

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

One thought on “If We Were Having Coffee // Keeping My Workload Light”

  1. Hi Lisa Marie.

    1) Ummmmmm – almond milk. Tastes incredible (any flavor) and helped me develop a taste for coffee even better than normal milk. I still love that stuff. I hope you have time for a second cup because if you serve almond milk, you may have to throw me out to get anything else done.
    2) I’ve always been pretty good about getting up early and being at work a tad early, but the years and demands of my job are starting to take their toll. I’ve started looking for a new opportunity with my same company that would change my focus to something less stressful but still significant to both me and my company. Wish me luck.
    3) Yes – no matter how much you love those kiddos – they will exhaust you. On the other hand, you are cementing memories with them that they will recall as they grow up and always know that you were one of the family who loved them enough to put in the effort and “be with them”. You will never regret this investment.
    4) sigh – I share your frustration about meds and taking care of yourself. It is so easy to become busy and distracted and I find that even having a daily pattern and using one of those daily pill boxes, I still find ways to screw it up. For me, it’s the blood glucose thing so I need to stay on top of it. For the past 5 months, I’ve refocused on it and have done better – but I so miss my days when I did not have to worry about stuff like meds. . .

    I was pleased to see that you stopped by and regret that my second pass at the list of posters to the coffee share is so late. It’s been that kind of week. You are doing so many things that are significant and I hope you find that sweet spot that balances your needs, your desires and the investments you make into the lives of others. For what it might be worth to you, I’m proud of you and the efforts and the difference you make.



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