Hello and happy Sunday! Thanks for stopping by for a bit of catching up over a delicious cup of coffee.
I’m up early this morning thanks to an early night last night. It was a big day yesterday and in order to get through it I had to use up every last drop of energy reserve I had. Today I feel as though I have almost nothing left, but it’s more in the body than the mind. Physically I don’t even want to move. Mentally I’m wide awake and ready for the day. It’s a frustrating predicament to be in but I’m hopeful the coffee will go a long way toward equalizing the two halves.
So, please, pull up a chair and grab yourself a cup. I’ve got a big strong batch of blond roast steeping in the French press and some silky smooth vanilla soy milk to pour over top. The gloomy weather be damned, we have sunshine in a cup and conversation to warm the soul. Let’s talk about last week!
“There’s nothing sweeter than a cup of bitter coffee.”
― Rian Aditia
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week was at least less stressful than the week before but beyond that there was much good too it. The new class I have been training has finally moved on from the classroom and testing portion of their probationary period and needing less and less from me. I’m already hearing rumors about another class bigger than the last two coming in January. I’m a little nervous about it but from here that feels so far away I simply told my boss I wasn’t ready to discuss it yet. I don’t need the additional anxiety right now.
Productivity-wise this week was a real roller coaster. Most mornings were hard. I’m still suffering with this ulcerative colitis flare and though I was certainly feeling better than the week before I still found it hard to make it in to work. I had to miss one day but I probably should have allowed myself more. It’s hard to accept that there is a lot I can’t do right now and hard to let go of guilty and worry about what others might think, but it’s getting easier. I’m one of the lucky ones though. My supervisors understand and my workplace policies allow me to take the time I need to get better without risking my livelihood.
I did receive some good news too though. My boss has decided to stay on through the end of the school year rather than leaving in the next few weeks. I wrote about him earlier in the week, about how great it has been to work for him and how rare those kinds of managers are. The fact that he’s staying means an easier transition over the summer rather than now.
I also I found out he’s sending me out on two major training trips in the next few months. A Crisis Prevention Training course in January and a major school transportation conference in March! I’m so excited to know that my workplace values me this much and so proud of myself for working hard and earning it.
Health-wise I felt very up and down too. I’m disappointed in how little the steroids are helping this time around and struggling to cope emotionally with the ways my work and home life are being impacted. Ulcerative colitis is a lonely disease, even when people care they can’t understand and understanding is what I desperately need. Luckily there are many support groups on Facebook and whenever I feel particularly sickly or down, I jump in there and read stories of others hurting in all the ways I am too. It helps to answer questions, offer support, and to vent when needed.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that with the additional down time I had from both the lack of work compared to the week before and from my simple need to rest I was able to get a bit of reading and writing in.
Some weeks ago my wife—who understands my little interests and obsessions more than I realized—brought home a 1965 Modern Library College Edition of The Plague by Albert Camus she’d found in a thrift store. I read The Stranger a few years ago and loved it but so far The Plague is much more interesting. I love stories about plagues and I love stories that ask big questions and make big statements about the human condition. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get around to this fascinating little book.
On Monday I made my first list of “Bradbury prompts” and wrote the beginning of what I hope will be a blog post for Zen and Pi, eventually. It’s a very winding and convoluted mess at the moment and I can easily see it being split up into two of more posts to narrow the ideas. The point wasn’t to write a post though. The point was to just write. To write about something that, though it may begin with me, has broader implications. To that end the exercise was a success. I found some spark in me and was able to write nearly 100 words with passion. It’s been a long time since I felt that and knowing it was only the beginning is very exciting indeed.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend has gone by too fast, but it has been a good one.
Friday night my wife and I went out for a little shopping and though we came home empty-handed and exhausted, we did get to try some awesome take out from a new chicken place up the street and, though winter and the accompanying holidays have never been my favorite time of year there is something nice about being out after sundown with all the other weary shoppers prepping for a day of gifts and giving. There is a kind of warmth and hope in it that you don’t feel in any other season.
Yesterday we woke up early for a long planned “Saturdate” together. We returned to our new favorite lunch place downtown and at some of the best sandwiches you can get anywhere. Afterward we headed to the theater district for a performance of Shakespear’s Twelfth Night, my favorite drama I read this year.
We’ve been to the theater district many times for ballet performances but this was our first play together. We had front row seats and with the circular stage and the fact that this particular play was a comedy we felt fully a part of the action. I think I have been fully converted. The ballets were nice, but they have nothing on the action of a lively play.
Next weekend we have more planned. I’m meeting my wife’s new coworkers for the first time over drinks Friday night and afterward heading to our favorite theater for dinner and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Saturday we’re heading to brunch with some, though sadly, not all, of our married couple friends. I’m looking forward to it all, and the next Sunday of rest afterward too.
If we were having coffee, I would tell that before all of that I have to get through the work week. It’s the last before our long-awaited two weeks off for the holiday break so I know it will feel very long. I’m expecting a lot of cheer and a lot of frayed nerves too. We’re all beginning to feel burned out and we know there is a lot more winter and a whole lot more school year to go. Still, making it halfway is worth celebrating and two weeks of rest is certainly a gift worth looking forward to.
I have very little work planned and I’m giving myself space for rest between meetings, tasks, tests, and obligations. The less I have scheduled the easier it will be to stay home if and when I start feeling bad again.
I have a little more Christmas shopping to do and packages I have little hope of shipping before the deadline to arrive on time. This means that every day after work I’ll be out and around town wearing myself thin to get it done and then coming home to box and wrap it all before collapsing in bed. I don’t even have any Christmas plans yet so I supposed I should work on figuring that out too. I’d love to stay home again, just my wife and I, relaxing and eating and drinking the holiday away but I dare not risk offending family twice.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the weather is growing gloomier outside and I am growing more and more fatigued with it. The dishes are done, the meals are prepped, the christmas shopping list is updated and the purchases so far are sorted. The cat and dog have already drifted off to sleep next to me and I think it’s time I joined them.
I hope you had a good week. I hope you are feeling well and that you made some small progress or found some small good to be grateful for this week. I hope you aren’t stressing too much over the holiday season and that you get to enjoy a little time for you between all you have to give to others.
Until next time.
Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up.