Hello and happy Sunday! Thanks for stopping by for a bit of conversation and catching up over a cup of delicious coffee.
I’ve been awake since very early this morning but I have not been up and moving about as long. I woke early with pain and laid awake in the dark doing my best to breathe deeply and to relax as much as I could until the pain passed. It did, but the ordeal ate up 2 hours of sleep of my day. I’m not allowing myself to dwell on that disappointment though. I have too much to do today and I know what little energy I have will not wait for me to wallow, no matter how much coffee I drink. I’m up. I’m okay, and it’s time to start the day.
So, please, pull up a chair and grab yourself a cup. It may be too cold out to open the windows but the sky is clear, and the sun is shining so we can turn up the heat, sit near the windows and pretend. I’ve got the French press out and some sweet vanilla almond milk though I’m half tempted to try using eggnog. Let’s talk about last week!
“So early it’s still almost dark out.
I’m near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought.”
― Charles Maurice de Talleyrand
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week was the shortest work week I’ve had in a long time. All weekend we’d been hearing the forecast grow more and more dire. By Monday morning we were hearing the possibility of 6 – 16 inches of snow overnight into Tuesday. All day my coworkers and I were buzzing with thoughts of a snow day away from work and an extra day added to our Thanksgiving vacation. I stayed up late after work waiting for the call I knew, I hoped, would come, and finally, it did. I went to bed early planning to get up early so I would have more snow day hours to enjoy.
I did wake up early but Tuesday I really began to feel poorly. I had been for a while, but that is how ulcerative colitis comes on, slowly and then all at once. I’d emailed my doctor already, and she ordered me to the lab for testing and to increase my medications back to where they were before our last visit. All my progress undone. With the snow there was no way I could get to the lab, so I spent the day resting and planning the rest of the week instead.
Wednesday I meant to go to work, but I didn’t have to go in and I figured why stress myself when I’m already feeling shaky and weak, you know? So I rested some more and planned a Thanksgiving meal for two while my wife spent the day with her mother. In the evening we shopped for our snacks, sweets, meat and sides, and plenty of drinks. For the night before a holiday and the day after a historical snow storm the stores were surprisingly calm and still well stocked. We found everything we needed and a whole lot, maybe too much, more.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my family was a bit scattered this year. We’re all feeling unwell, tired, stressed, and maybe a little down. We’ve been far away from each other, mentally and physically. This year we spent our holiday apart, each of us in our own homes, or with the families of our in-laws. I was sad about it but we needed it too. We needed the rest not the hustle and bustle, the expectation, the stress, the burden.
So, it was my wife and I alone and we made as special as wee could. We ate, and ate, and ate, and drank, and drank, and drank. We cooked lamb chops, mashed sweet potatoes, roasted carrots, and warmed some Colorado country bread. We watched Star Wars movies, and read books, and just enjoyed a day outside of time for a while. I had much to be thankful for.
The next day, armed with a list and a plan, we ventured out for Black Friday shopping. We left late to avoid the crowds, but it was still crazy out there. The shopping itself wasn’t so bad. There was plenty left on the shelves for everyone, but the lines were long that more than once we gave up items we’d found simply because we didn’t want to wait to purchase them. I did my best to keep in high spirits. We didn’t get all of our holiday shopping done but we made a significant dent and we might have found a few deals for ourselves that day too.
Since then I’ve been feeling worse and worse so I spent all of Saturday recouping from the holiday and all the shopping. I got the laundry done, and I got my Week’s End post up and my Currently // November post finished. I finished reading The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and watching episode 4 of Star Wars too. It was a good day.
Today was good too. I saw my family for brunch to make up for spending the holiday alone. My mom is fighting a cold so my sister made the eggs. My sister-in-law made muffins. My wife made the pancakes, and I made the bacon. We listened to music that was way too loud while we cooked and watched Disney shorts while we ate. I’ve missed them. I’ve missed all my family lately. I think in the new year I’m going to make more of an effort. I’m getting too old to let time pass between us this way.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that In between the snow, and shopping, and all the eating, and drinking, the family visit, and the relaxing I made it to the lab for the tests my doctor ordered and I’m hoping by the end of the coming week I’ll have answers and a new plan. I don’t want to dwell too much on my health but right now my body won’t let me forget. It fills up every moment with either exhaustion, pain, or worry.
I’m doubly disappointed because it may be my own fault that my symptoms are flaring. I didn’t take my medication as consistently as I was supposed too and I did not try hard enough to keep my stress levels down. I worked too hard, and I let myself pretend too easily that I was normal. I’m not normal. This won’t ever go away, and I can’t let myself forget that.
Of course, there is a chance this isn’t my fault at all but I’m not sure whether that makes things better or worse. If it isn’t my fault, then I have no control. If it isn’t my fault, then my body continues to fail me and I continue to run out of treatment options.
It’s best not to think about it right now, but like I said, it’s terribly hard not to.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that next week will no doubt be a hard one. There is another class of employees are starting which I will be training them and that means long hours and a lot of work for the foreseeable future, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I only have a few weeks left to go before it’s Christmas break anyway and that time will be so full of not just work but shopping and fun events that I know it will fly by.
I plan to talk to my coworkers and explain my need for scheduled breaks and evenly distributed work while I work on getting well again. I’m going to take real lunches, away from my desk. I’m going to ask for help, delegate, and, if I have to, if things get worse, I’ll check out all together and leave it to others to get done.
The time I have, the time I take for myself, I plan to use to read and to write, as usual. I’ve gotten through my last few books pretty quickly and I have a few more that I really want to finish a few more before the year ends. I’m also slowly plugging away at a couple of Zen and Pi drafts and there are posts to catch up on here. I bought a newspaper last week too and I’m eager to comb it for poetry finds. I need to create. I need to make something for me in order to cope with what is to come.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s late, much later than I expected it would be when we finally got to chat. The day got away from me and I know I won’t be able to keep my eyes open or the conversation going much longer. I have just enough energy left to prepare for tomorrow and that’s it.
I hope you had a good week. I hope that your holiday was filled with warmth and belonging. I hope you found much to be thankful for and that gratitude continues to be a concept you practice in your day to day life.
Until next time.
Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up.