If We Were Having Coffee // Celebrate Your Beautiful Selves

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday and welcome. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

I’m sorry for the late meeting but I had some early wedding things to do and pressing preparations to make for our upcoming Pridefest plans. After I got home from the appointments, shopping, and family visits I inadvertently fell asleep for over an hour. When I woke up (with a headache, a stomachache, and some doubts about what time or day it was) cooking dinner was out of the question. So, there was a quick run for beer and hot wings and then a new episode of HBO’s Big Little Lies, and now I am finally ready for a small cup of strong coffee and a bit of vanilla bean ice cream to go with.

So, quickly now, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. I’ve got a gorgeous new white moka pot I’ve been experimenting with and I think I finally have the right technique down. Let’s talk about last week.

“Black as night, sweet as sin.”

— Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys


If we were having coffee I would apologize for missing our chat last Sunday. I’ll be honest with you, I have no good excuse for not being here. I didn’t have any critical commitments, and I wasn’t at all sick. I just haven’t been feeling like myself lately.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been feeling unmotivated and irritated. I’ve felt really tired and doing anything, even the things I love, got harder and harder to do as the days wore on. Last Sunday, no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get up the motivation to finish typing up the post no matter how much I wanted to and I promise you I wanted to very much.

The problem is fatigue. I feel a strange exhaustion in my limbs and behind my eyes that I just can’t shake. Though it’s true, I haven’t been sleeping well I know that this kind of tired needs more than a good night’s rest. I think my medicine, though it’s working and keeping my ulcerative colitis in remission, is also making me feel rather cruddy.

My doctor mentioned months ago exploring the idea of lowering the dose of one medication and I’ve noticed many in my IBD support groups going down to a lower dose on the second medication I’m on. I think it’s time I put my anxiety aside and ask her to consider the option. I’d love to find out who I am with less of this stuff in my body.


If we were having coffee, I would lighten the mood and tell you that this weekend marks the beginning of a very important month for me, pride month! This year’s pride marks 50 years since the Stonewall riots in New York City and the beginning of the LGBT Rights movement in the United States.

Most years we either do a night out with friends or catch the parade just the two of us but this year we are going to do it all. This year we’ll visit the festival during the day to check out some shows, and then head to our favorite LGBT friendly restaurant for burgers and beers. That evening we’re going to get some much-needed dancing and drinking in. On Sunday we may meet late again since I’ll be up early for the parade and brunch, the gayest meal of the day. I have a new outfit and a great and diverse group of friends to celebrate my beautiful self with. I cannot wait!

The rest of the day will be devoted to dads though we’ve made no concrete Father’s Day plans or gifts. I’ve been so last minute on everything this year, sigh. 


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that wedding planning is going well. We got a few more of our decor items in the mail and many of my accessories are on the way. We got the budget under control and we found out that we may have a few extra dollars in the savings to splurge in new areas we thought we couldn’t. We may get to have a real DJ and a couple nights at an Airbnb nearby. 

Today’s visit with the photographer went really well! This was the first time we met her and we already like her. She seems to understand what we want, and she’s flexible enough to deal with our indecision. We have yet to meet the second photographer but just knowing we have her and our amazing planner has me breathing a big sigh of relief. 

The big issues now are transportation—of us and of all the pretty decor things we have made—and that serious lack of guests RSVPing. I’m almost hurt. I am hurt, but we have a few friends we had to leave out due to the venue capacities that might want to make it. I wonder what my relationship with those who declined will be like after the big day, after the most important day and they didn’t show up.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the coming week will be a busy one. I’m attending another conference though only for three days this time. I’m looking forward to it but because my job sent nearly everyone in our department it feels a little pointless for me to be there, but what do I care? I get paid by the hour and this is at least a chance to do something new.

The only drawback is that I won’t be getting home as early as I was and writing and reading time will take a significant hit. Not that I have been doing a great job lately, anyway. I have been cleaning up my Simplenote app and organizing some of my old ideas into new possibilities. I’ve decided to start an essay a week project in July and without a good place to keep things organized and to hold my thoughts as they occur to me I know I’m doomed to fail.

I don’t know yet if every essay will be posted here, or if I want to write some for Zen and Pi, my old blog I’ve been trying to work out how to revive, or if they will be pitched to other publications. My instincts tell me that for now, these pieces are going to suck and this place is where I give myself permission to suck.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I love chatting with you here it is getting late and if I want to have any chance of a good night’s sleep and any hope of a good morning I had better head to bed. 

I hope that you had a good week and that whatever you hoped to get done you were able. I hope you found time for yourself and that some of that weight you carry has been lifted somehow. I hope all my queer readers stay safe and I hope wherever you are you are able to celebrate your beautiful self soon too.

Thank you for chatting, for being an ear, a shoulder, and a sounding board.

Until next time. 


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

Featured image via domestikate

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159 // Roles Reversed

I’m used to being the one who is up early on the weekends. I get up, make my coffee, make us breakfast, and make sure that my fiance gets up to eat and start her day. I get the cleaning done, and I get some writing done—if I can—but lately the roles have been reversed.

Now she gets up and goes for walks with the dog and wakes me when she returns. She makes sure I eat and this morning she cleaned most of the house. It feels good to be the one being waited on but it feels bad too. It feels good to have someone who understands that I haven’t been feeling great and who understands the work still has to get done even if I can’t do it, but it feels bad too.

I’ve been drinking cups of coffee and tweaking the blog. I’ve been posting the journal drafts I had half-written and starting posts for the coming week. Soon I’ll eat lunch and reverse the roles again. I’ll get up and get the laundry started and the kitchen cleaned. She, I imagine will rest for the rest of the afternoon and I will get a chance to take care of her. I imagine that will feel rather good.


These entries are inspired by TDH.se

158 // The Best All Week

I thought this week would never end! I’m feeling much happier today and hoping to get back to work on my personal and writing goals today. The atmosphere at work is always a little laxer on Fridays. Not much gets done, not much is expected, and many of us spend the day socializing, going out to lunch, and leaving early. I plan to take advantage of the relaxed oversight and my improved mood to get back on track before the weekend.


So, that didn’t work out. I ended up socializing and going out to lunch right along with everyone else and just I got home the thunderstorms started rolling in and put me right to sleep. After a dinner of beer and leftover pizza, I spent the rest of the night cuddling up on the couch with my wife-to-be and finishing up the first season of Pose, the available episodes of Handmaid’s Tale, and the third season of Black Mirror.

It was a good day. The best all week.


P.S. After sending them back nearly a month ago for resizing our engagement rings finally made it back to us this afternoon. I’m ecstatic to say that my ring fits perfectly now and I love it even more than I did when I first received it. I finally feel like a bride again.

These entries are inspired by TDH.se

157 // I Need to Sleep

Productivity will be impossible today.

In addition to the aforementioned fatigue that has been plaguing me and two nights in a row of staying up much, much later than I should, I took an allergy pill a coworker gave me this morning and find myself ready to fall asleep where I stand.

I’m growing increasingly irritated at the inconvenience of a day job and angry at having to force myself awake. I’ve had three espressos and seen zero signs of improvement and have resorted to walking around the building outside hoping to keep the blood flowing to my brain. I’m doing everything I can to outpace the drowsiness creeping into my limbs but I just need to sleep.

I’ll head home in just a few hours and do my best to squeeze in a catnap and a late lunch before I’m off to help my mom with a few things. I’m already looking forward to the evening when I’m back home. The plan is to crack a beer, eat something bad for me, and head right to bed.


These entries are inspired by TDH.se

 

156 // Midweek, Mostly

It’s my second day at work after taking another three-day weekend and I’m already ready for the week to end.

I’m determined to work the rest of the week but my fatigue is terrible and only getting worse. Caffeine has stopped helping and I worry that increasing my intake will only make matters worse. I need more than rest or sleep. What I need is a break. I need time outside of time.

I need to get away from all the things that are making me anxious. I need to get away from work, from people, god, from myself most of all. I need to spend some time in deep focus I think. I have time to spend there but not enough time to get anything of substance or value done. Things interrupt me. I interrupt me.


These entries are inspired by TDH.se

155 // A Dent in the Mess

I was back at work today, bright eyed and bushy tailed. I got in earlier than I have since school ended and I hope the trend continues. I want to start acting more like me even if I’m not exactly feeling like me. I want to start getting things done in all areas of my life again.

Tonight I cooked dinner, the first time in a month or more, I think. I made salmon sliders and hated it but my wife to be was impressed so somewhere I’m happy I suppose.

I’ve decided to go ahead with the “Essay a Week” challenge, starting the first week of July, I hope. I spent the evening getting a head start by cleaning up my old ideas, and prompts lists in Simplenote. I barely made a dent in the mess but what I did get through was inspiring. I love dusting off my old notes, expanding them, tearing them apart, tearing them up.

The hard part will be separating the pieces for the challenge and other fun things I want to posts and write. The even harder part will be not falling behind so I can write all those other fun things instead.


These entries are inspired by TDH.se

154 // A New Project?

I stayed home again from work. I was hoping to intercept our engagement rings as they arrived from the postal service but I found out too late that they had been delayed and would not come today after all. Now I have to try to leave early tomorrow (or whatever new date and time the package tracking app demands I be available) to sign for it.

I spent the day doing what I always do when I get some free time; I cleaned the house. I should have been writing, but I didn’t know what to write so I finished up a few drafts here, backdated them, and pledged not to fall behind again.

I did come across a new 52-week writing challenge idea. Inspired by Andrea Askowitz, I’m thinking about writing an essay a week, every week, for the next year.

I think it would be good practice not just for writing but for focus and idea generation. I’ve always written best and most consistently when I have a direction and a deadline and this might just be what I need to start posting real content here and to start submitting pieces to other blogs and publications too. Plus, I think it would just be fun.

So, 50+ essays in the next year, whew! Should I do it?


These entries are inspired by TDH.se

Shifts // June 2019

1. Write about what you love as much as what you hate. Write about the good things you have as much as your pain. Your perspective is the way you habitually see the world. It is adjustable with practice and perseverance. Practice gratitude more often because balance is how you get closer to the reality of things. It helps to take stock of what is good and to remember that things are never as bad as they seem right now.

2. Start cooking at home again. It isn’t easy, I know. Working long hours and fighting back the exhaustion and the disappointment of another bad day make it hard to even want to cook. It’s easier to “pick up something”. It’s easier to snack or rely on foods from the freezer to the microwave, but it’s awful for you both physically and emotionally. Instead, change the way you think about cooking. Make it your “me time” or your “us time”. Open a bottle of wine, play some music, talk to one another and then share your delicious and good for you creation with each other.

3. Leave your shelter more often. Anxiety and chronic fatigue make it hard but getting out into the world really is the best thing for you. Stop wallowing. No more weekends spent entirely indoors. Get out of bed, fix yourself up, and go meet the sun. Go where the people are, where nature is. Find places where you can be a part of the world and where your problems look a lot smaller from.

4. It’s okay not to know. There is always something that everyone of us does not know and so much of that unknown is found not in lofty and elite places but all around us in the everyday and ordinary. Not knowing is not just human, normal, and understandable, it is also admirable. Not knowing is part of the work, the journey and the joy. Share what you don’t know as much as what you do. It’s infinitely more relatable.

5. Return to your bliss station. You cannot create from the couch, while you watch this movie, or this show, or even the news. Stop lying to yourself. You do not even enjoy trying to write or read or learn that way and you always regret the decision. You know where you would work best, away from the what distracts you, what exhausts you, what stunts your creativity and ability to think. Go there, work there, make it a place where happiness, inspiration, and your spark can be found time and time again.

6. What you want is not always the path to what you need. Humans notoriously want what is bad for them and we justify it by calling it what we need. We start from the wrong end trying to get the wrong things but when we take the time to dig beneath those excuses, those rationalizations, and those lies we find the core of need. Start there instead and work your way back out to a better, healthier, more efficient and effective solution.  

7. Learn to love all the seasons. Try to love all the ways they change you and make you feel too. Spring isn’t the only season of growth and summer isn’t the only season in which we can find joy. There are versions of you and ways of living that can only be accessed in the winter in fall and the days and seasons we’ve yet to name that exist in a space between. Give all these seasons attention and cultivate a habit of studying all the ways you exist in them.


Post inspired by Nicholas Bate

Photo by Lenart Lipovšek on Unsplash

153 // The Older I Get

Tonight we had dinner with my dad. I love seeing him, but it’s hard seeing him too. There are things bubbling below the surface: pain, misunderstanding, trauma, abandonment, and all sorts of questions too complicated to ask and answers too deep to dig from the past. At the same time though, there is so much love, and pride, and a connection that runs DNA deep.

It’s strange how all the same pain and confusion can exist between mothers and daughters too and yet with time the relationship develops quite differently and both end up nearly opposite from where they began. I was always a daddy’s girl but the older I get the closer I grow to my mom and the further away from my father I feel.

I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault. I think it’s simply about gender and experience. I think it’s part of the process of growing from your parent’s child to their friend.  I know my mother and she knows me now in a way I can never know or be known by my father. I feel a comradeship with her connected to the pain of being a woman that I know now my father will never understand.

In my father is my past and in my mother, my future.


These entries are inspired by TDH.se

152 // Feel Guilty Days

Do nothing days are great when they are planned but when they aren’t they are more like feel guilty days. I’ve been having a lot of those lately.

I’m avoiding the to-do list and conveniently forgetting again and again what needs to get done. This is what I do when I am overwhelmed. I get tired. I shut down. I feel the need to rest when the reality is I desperately need the opposite. I need to get up and do something! But knowing doesn’t make it easier. Knowing only makes it more shameful.

By now the day is gone already so there is nothing to be done but to take care of myself. The rain is falling, and it’s lovely. The thunder is clapping, and it’s thrilling. I’ll lean into that and try again tomorrow.


These entries are inspired by TDH.se