Hello, happy Sunday, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.
I wasn’t able to start the day as early as I’d hoped but I was able to start it with energy and enthusiasm and for that I’m grateful. I had hoped to get out and enjoy the beautiful spring-like weather forecasted for us but I’ve been warring with a headache for days now and my attempt to move a load of tile on my own has resulted in a sore back so I’m staying in. I’ll have to settle for what warm breezes and sunshine I can get through the open windows.
But, please, pull up a chair and grab yourself a cup. I’ve got the blond roast grounds already steeping in the French press and sweet vanilla oat milk already frothed and waiting. Let’s talk about last week.
“Most important conversations for humans, concerns those they are having with God, their loved ones, with themselves and with coffee.”
― Mladen Đorđević, Svetioničar – Pritajeno zlo
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was physically and emotionally exhausting though I can’t put my finger on exactly what exhausted me.
I struggled with irritability and my social skills seemed non-existent. I was either too short and snippy with people or I joked too much and took pranks too far. I just couldn’t read anyone or any room. Other people were certainly my hell this week, so much so I needed to take a day to be alone. On Tuesday I stayed home from work and spent the day resting and recalibrating and on my return to society Wednesday I found myself improved though still imperfect.
I’m chalking it up to simple burn out and to the bad news that the break I thought I would be getting from my hectic work schedule was not to come after all.
I’d hoped for at least a week of fewer work hours and responsibilities and time and mental space to return to writing for at least a few weeks but yet another big class of new employees is start this Tuesday which means I spent the remainder of last week getting paperwork ready and calming my anxiety.
No matter how many classes I teach it never gets easier. Every time I have to overcome myself in order to get up in front of them and not only impart unto them the laws, policies, and procedures they must keep in mind when transporting students but to share with them all of my personal stories of connection and heartbreak I have experienced in my time of working with children. It’s not a prestigious job, and it isn’t a difficult one to learn, but in all teaching one must make themselves vulnerable and that isn’t easy for me to do week after week.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I spent the weekend hold up in the house again.
Friday night my wife and I took each other out on a date. After such a hard week among other people I decided once and for all that she is the only person in the world that I even like, let alone love, and I needed desperately to spend time with her.
We went out for dinner and a movie, our favorite date night routine ever since we met more than 17 years ago. We saw Parasite which wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be but is as good a film as all the critics are saying it is. Like Jojo Rabbit last week, we should have seen it months ago.
I had hoped to spend Saturday downtown but my wife was on call for work and the idea of touring the art museum with her work radio going off all day sounded too cringy to attempt. I stayed home to clean and to take care of the plants and myself. It was a nice lazy day and exactly what I needed.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that health-wise I’ve been feeling really good. My ulcerative colitis flare up is nearly 100% under control and I’ve got just one short week and a half left of tapering off of these awful steroids and I start my new medications.
I’ll be moving to a less intense steroid that works only in the gut so that my body won’t go on being devastated by what I have heard other IBD suffered refer to as the “devil’s tic-tac”. This side-effects from this last round came on much more swiftly than in previous years and the withdrawal from tapering off was harder too. I won’t get into specifics but I will say that my body has changed so much that I’m having a hard time connecting to it, loving it, and considering it part of me right now. I just hope the effects reverse quickly so I can start feeling whole again soon.
The Tuesday after this I head to the infusion center for my first dose of Enyvio, a more gut specific medication I hope will help me achieve and maintain true remission. My doctor has warned me that this medication is slow acting and that I may be dealing with a roller coaster of increasing and decreasing symptoms for the next 3-6 months!
I’m doing my best to prepare emotionally for this too, for the infusion itself and the possibility of side effects, for the long term wait and see, and for the possibility that after all of this, Entyvio my just fail me like the last two or three medications have too and we will be right back at square one, only worse, working out what to try next.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you last week was at least a good week for reading.
As of this writing, I’m sitting less than 100 pages from the end of Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez. I really like this book but I’m really struggling to finish it. I had thought I didn’t like it as much as I did his other famous tome One Hundred Years of Solitude but it’s slowly coming back to me that there were whole weeks when I put it down because despite Márquez’s beautiful and moving prose most of the book almost seems plotless. Plus, there are more characters than I can keep track of and we move between years and incidents in their lives without warning and so quickly it becomes hard to orient yourself in the story.
Still, it’s lovely, and I know that regardless of my difficulties (and countless misgivings about the treatment of women, children, and the concepts of trauma and abuse) I’m just as in love with it as I was by the end of One Hundred Years of Solitude.
I’m also halfway through Aphorisms on Love and Hate by Friedrich Nietzsche. I’m no expert on his philosophy but I have read one or two of his books and I of all the philosophers I’ve read he is my favorite not because of his philosophy but for the cutting and heartless way he handles the very humans he speaks of. If you want the hard truth and a dose of tough love, and we all can use that every once in a while, go read Nietzsche.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that while today was sunny and spring-like weather is forecasted to come to an end starting tomorrow. We’re expected to go from a high temperature over 70 degrees today to a high of just 25 tomorrow. Snow is expected to start falling in the evening and I hear rumors that there might be enough to cancel school Tuesday. I hate snow but I’ve got my fingers crossed we get dumped on.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I can already feel the air outside cooling as the sun makes its way below the mountains. It’s time to close the house up and move from coffee to hard cider and snacks while we watch the big game, or more accurately, while we wait for the commercials between plays because we aren’t “football people”, or “any kind of sports people” at all. More than anything we are celebrating the end of foot for the next 7 months or so.
I hope you had a good week. I hope you’re getting through the worst of winter well. I hope that you can sense the light at the end of the tunnel and the earth preparing to burst into life soon. I hope you made time for yourself and those you love. I hope you stay safe tonight and that whichever team you’re rooting for wins.
Until next time.