Hello, happy Sunday, and thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.
It’s another late start here this morning. It’s been late starts for over a week now despite the restful nights I’ve been having. It seems there is a new kind of exhaustion plaguing me. The weather isn’t helping either. Snow is falling in big, slow flakes this morning and is forecast to continue throughout the day. It’s going to be an indoor day which is just fine. I have plenty of chores and projects around the house and a few writing and reading things I want to do too.
So, please, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. I’ve got the usual: blond roast grounds steeped to maximum strength in the French press with frothy vanilla oat milk (or soy if you prefer) to pour over top. Let’s talk about last week.
“Coffee doesn’t lie. It can’t.”
― Howard Schultz, Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was short, stressful, and, somehow, surprisingly fun.
We were all off on Monday for President’s Day. I am coming more and more to understand the four-day workweek movement. Three days off from work seems to be the perfect amount with one day to get out and have fun or see friends and family, one day to run errands or complete a house project, and a third day to either devote to personal pursuits and passions or to do nothing at all if you need.
I spent a day with my wife and her family, a day doing nothing but reading, and a day cleaning and getting ready for the week.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the holiday meant the work week started on Tuesday, but not really. Our district always has the day after President’s day off too but some of us are given the option to come in and start projects or catch up with projects that have slipped through the cracks. I spent it completing my Heartsaver Instructor Essentials Online course and cleaning up equipment and paperwork that had started piling up. It wasn’t the quiet day I had hoped for but it was a nicer way to start the week.
Wednesday was the real start and rather than feeling disappointed or dragging my feet at having to return at all my coworkers and I found ourselves joyful and quick to laughter instead. It was the most fun workday I’ve had in a long time and just what I think all of us needed. Sadly, it didn’t last, and Thursday and Friday lacked the same vitality and vibrancy.
A lot of it came from our employee shortage and differences and unfairness across teams coming to a head. We’re all feeling burned out, defensive, and angry. The slightest inconveniences, misunderstandings, or criticisms feel like the last straw and no words or advice or comfort are helping. These problems have been bubbling below the surface for so long that there is no longer hope for change or willingness to resolve. Egos and stubbornness are running rampant and though I’ve managed to keep my head the negativity and hopelessness are draining me.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend I was able to get out and forget about all of that gloom and cynicism. Friday night I hung out with my wife at home gorging ourselves on mediocre pizza and catching up on all the dumb shows we missed during the week. It was a calm and comforting end to the chaos.
Saturday we had plans to head south to Colorado Springs for a family event but there were issues with timing and coordination and we weren’t able to make it. Not wanting to waste the gorgeous weather (or the time spent getting ready) and knowing there was another snowstorm rolling over the mountains and heading right for us we decided to blow off all the things we should do and go impulse shopping together.
I ended up with a “houseplant toolset”, a beautiful young split-leaf philodendron, and a new book, Borne by Jeff VanderMeer. There was plenty of window shopping too, a trip to Starbucks, and a stop at our favorite burger place before heading home to get cozy and watch The Lighthouse, a back and white horror film from my favorite studio following two lighthouse keepers losing their minds on a remote island in the 1890s. It’s not for everyone but I still highly recommend it.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that health-wise I’m feeling somewhat better.
The cold I had been fighting is nearly gone but I have lingering congestion that is driving me crazy. I’m not entirely sure that the cold is to blame though. I’m leaning more toward early allergies or a side effect of the new medication I started the Tuesday before last.
This coming week I’ll have my second infusion appointment and a few days later a scheduled phone visit with my doctor. I have very little to tell her which is the same as good news I suppose. I’ve had a watchful eye out for side effects or returning symptoms and so far all I’ve had this runny nose. It’s frustrating but I’m not complaining too much. I would take a little runny nose over the severe sinus and throat pain I felt just over a week ago or the ulcerative colitis flare I was fighting a month ago. Compared to all that I’m feeling right as rain again.
Searching my support groups I’ve found others who suffered cold-like symptoms after starting the same medication and they’ve given me hope that within a few doses (which is actually a time period of months) the side effects should clear up.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s getting late. The snow has stopped, and the sun has long gone down below the horizon. The house is clean, I’ve eaten dinner, and now it’s time for dessert and the latest episode of The Outsider. It’s time shut my mind down and let myself forget about the rest of the world for just a little while longer before the work-week begins.
I hope you had a good week. I hope that you are feeling well. I hope you remember to wash your hands frequently and that you know to take a little zinc at the first sign of a cold. I hope that you’ve noticed the sun rising earlier in the mornings and setting later and later every evening and that gives you hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that spring is on her way.
Until next time.