004//365

It’s late, and I am tired. I never meant to start a daily habit of these entries but once I’d built up a few in a row, I found I couldn’t go to bed before posting. I didn’t want to break the chain.

The weather was gorgeous today and all reports promise more of the same through the end of next week. I’m glad for it, both for today, when we had to go out to get more paint for the living room walls and pizza for dinner, and for next week when I will have to return to work after over two weeks away.

The living room revamp project is nearly done, and it turns out going with our second choice color—the one we didn’t love as much, but knew would make decor choices easier—was the right choice after all. Sometimes you can’t trust your first instincts.

I spent the late evening goofing off in the “creativity room” doing nothing constructive at all. I changed my blog theme to one that supports post formats again so I can publish these posts with proper titles going forward. Let me know what you think.

Night all.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

003//365

I have never actually lived alone. I went from my mother’s home as a teenager, to living with my cousins, to living with roommates, to living with my now fiance and for almost 17 years since. I’ve never been on my own, but I’ve never felt that I had missed out on anything.

Lately, I have been trying something new. I’ve been trying to be more accepting of myself, my perspective, and my emotions and to allow my feelings to flow more freely and without judgement. Since I’ve started practicing such radical acceptance, I’ve found it harder to balance who I am as a person against who I am as a half of one whole.

Sometimes the hardest (though by far the most rewarding) part of being a human is never truly belonging to yourself alone. I suppose this balancing act is a part of all relationships between any two people and the people they truly are deep down inside. Maybe we are all made up of such halves piled on top of one whole who never really got to be.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

002//365

I don’t feel like the fact that a new year has begun has fully sunk in for me yet. Today doesn’t feel much different from yesterday and yesterday didn’t feel much different from December 31st, 2018. I guess all the hype and high expectation is an illusion. The reality is much more gradual. It will be many months before 2019 decides out what kind of year it wants to be.

Today we finished spackling the holes and sanding all the walls. It took a long time and took a lot out of us too, but much as I hated every minute of the work I have to say, I’m very proud of the progress we made on our little living room revamp today. The hardest parts are over now and tomorrow promises to be easier on the body and, hopefully, leave a lot more time for writing and resolutions.

Day 2 of Dry January was surprisingly easy considering a nice cold hard cider was just what I needed after all that work and would have gone perfectly with the hot wings we ordered for dinner. But I was strong and substituted a sweet iced tea and I’m opting for ginger tea again before bed.

So far so good 2019!


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

001//365

It’s the first day of Dry January and, of course, all I can think about is alcohol. I don’t normally think about drinking this much but when you deny yourself something, no matter how small or inconsequential, it becomes all you want, especially after a long day of prepping walls for paint.

But, I did kick a 15-year smoking habit so quitting a light drinking habit should be a breeze, right?

The wall prep is taking longer than we expected. We’ve cleaned the walls, and spackled, but while removing old trim we found some wet drywall and a bit of mold. We found the slow leak coming through a bit of bad trim from the outside that was causing the problem too. We’ll be set back a day or two to take care of it.

I’m a ball of anxiety, obviously but I’m doing my best to focus on how good we’re going to feel when it’s done, all the knowledge we’ll have gained, and how much easier the next project will be. It’s hard work, but it will be so good in the end.

Now, I’m off to bed where I’ll find a good sci-fi flick to watch while I sip some ginger tea and drift to sleep.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

Seven Shifts for 2019

  1. Don’t get caught up in the day to day of content creation. This year, make those big writerly dreams—the ones that will take months or even years to complete—your top priority. Keep a close eye on the bigger picture. Progress there is harder to measure there but give it time, slowly, slowly…
  2. Reading is not simply a hobby or means to pass the time and you must stop treating it as such. Reading is part of who you are. You grew through it and saw so much of this world and others through it too. Pick up your old friend again. Grow and see again.
  3. Resolutions need not be permanent. What you want January 1st may not be the same as what you will want on July 1st. Reflect and adjust as needed. It’s okay! Change is not the same as failure and working toward what you used to want will not bring fulfillment or a sense of accomplishment.
  4. You are not weak, but you are certainly vulnerable. These two are not the same and neither is inherently bad. You feel deeply, and hurt easily, but you are strong. This is what is good in you and recognizing it, embracing it, will only make you better. Love you.
  5. When facing your fears, try to be understanding and compassionate with yourself. Being brave takes more than strength, it takes love and knowing yourself. It is yourself you have to fight, after all, and it is yourself who you must get through this, whole.
  6. Reach out to people, not with likes and follows, but with phone calls, letters, and time spent together. Tell your friends you love them, let your family know how much you need them. You are made of the people around you and you only increase yourself when you strengthen those connections.
  7. Last year was disappointing in many ways, but all years are. You just have to decide, 365 days from now, what disappointments you will be able to live with and which ones you won’t. You have to decide every day—every minute even!—because how you spend every minute of every day is how you will spend your year. Beware: making no choice (or leaving the choice to others or the apps on your phone) is the same as choosing.

P.S. I do have many more specific goals and resolutions for 2019, but I think of them simply as “to-do” items, small steps, subject to change as I change. This list is what is important. This list is the “how” not matter the “what”.


Photo by Anton Darius | @theSollers on Unsplash

Currently // December 2018: This Year’s Past, Present, and the Future

Decembers are strange months. They force us—through our grieving over the last year, our anticipation and expectation for the next, and the celebration of the present with good food, family, and friends—to live fully in all aspects of our lives. The past, the present, and the future. Decembers can be exhausting, sad, and overwhelming, but they can also be joyful, hopeful, and so very warm. It all depends on what this year’s past, the present, and the future feel like to you.

I’ve had many Decembers full of loathing, curmudgeonry, and gloom because, well, the holidays were never happy times for me. They were the time of year that pretending to be merry and bright only brought out the worst in my family. This year felt different. This December was a warm one. I felt loved, and I allowed myself to be loving too. Time certainly heals and I have come far enough from those sad Christmases I used to know to a place where I can give myself over fully to the season.

But now it’s come to an end. Now is the time to let go of Christmas and to think of the New Year. Now is the time to muster up the best of ourselves. Now is the time—fueled by all that good food and deep love—to become who we’d like to think we are.

But first, here is what I am…

Writing slowly but steadily, on big projects and small. I had high hopes of starting a daily blogging habit for the new year but upon further reflection and introspection, daily blogging just isn’t for me, yet. Turns out I just don’t have a ton of energy to go around and focusing on blogging so much means less time and energy for my dream projects. Not only that, but failing to post daily makes me feel like, well, a failure, and being so filled with disappointed makes it impossible for me to write anything at all. So, I’m writing here, and for Zen and Pi, and I’m even resurrecting my newsletter too! but I’m only committing to one piece per online space per week for now and looking forward to creating and sharing more meaningful work with you soon.

Making promises. I promise to spend less time in from of the TV and more time in my “creativity room”. I promise to keep a list of dreams and projects in front of me rather than my Twitter timeline. I promise that whenever I feel bored, I won’t let my first instinct be to pick up my phone. I promise to read a book instead. I promise to write every day. I promise to stop apologizing for my weaknesses and to embrace my vulnerability. I promise to keep on doing what I have been doing but to use the lessons I have learned to do better.

Planning everything. I have been experimenting with using Trello to keep track of tasks for all my big projects and my blogs. I have a list for each project and lists titled “this year”, “this month”, “this week”, “today”, and one for “every day”. I’ve been moving items (or cards) from their project lists into the “time frame” lists once I feel I’m ready to begin. Each card can have a description, a checklist, attachments, and I can add comments and links underneath too. I love that I can keep both short-term and long-term to-do lists in front of me without getting confused or overwhelmed and it’s easy to shuffle them around as needed.

Anticipating a “Dry January”. For those who’ve never heard the term, Dry January is a movement where people pledge not drink any alcohol for the first month of the year. I don’t consider my relationship with alcohol to be problematic per se, but the medication I am on for my ulcerative colitis is affecting my liver and cutting out my daily drink proved harder than I thought it would be. A hard cider or a glass of red wine can be a real comfort at the end of a long day but I need to take care of myself and learn to decompress in new ways. I look forward to the money saved and maybe losing a few pounds too.

Reading The Iliad, still. I knew I would be reading it to the end of the year but with the holidays and this weird period of laziness and listlessness between Christmas time and the new year I haven’t been able to finish the book. That’s ok though. I’ll pick it back up as soon as I feel ready. I’ve set new reading goals for the year too, 30 books once again. I am determined to make 2019 the first year I meet this goal by making reading a priority, something I must do, every day.

Watching old episodes of Veep on HBO while I wait for most of my usual shows to come back between now and April. Before that, I was watching Killing Eve on Amazon Video and I cannot recommend it enough. I have been a fan of Sandra Oh since her days on Grey’s Anatomy (another show I anxiously awaiting both the return and the end of). I saw Bird Box on Netflix; it was good but not great, and I finally got around to Isle of Dogs which was exactly the work of art I knew it would be.

Feeling tired. December was, as all Decembers are, exhausting. I feel bad for having been so lazy this past week off from work but it felt so good that I know I needed it, mentally as well as physically. I regret nothing but I do resolve to get off my ass starting today.

Fearing a new year that will be just like the last. I’m afraid that I won’t get anything done at all and that I will fail all the challenges I start and the goals I’ve set. I’m afraid 365 days from now I will be sitting at this same desk writing this same post saying all the same things about how I failed, but it’s okay, I have a plan for 2020 and this time I’m going to get it right! I’m afraid that I am not capable of the work I need to do or worthy of the successes I hope to achieve.

Reflecting on 2018 and what it meant to me. This year I completed a Year Compass booklet for the first time and it really helped me get over the initial disappointment I felt over all the things I didn’t get done. I realized that while 2018 wasn’t productive in all the ways I had hoped it would be; it was still an amazing year. Looking back, I had a year full of warmth and love, friendship, family, and fun and I’m pretty proud of that.

Needing willpower like I have never had before. Willpower is the word I chose for 2019. I wrote it in my Year Compass under the coming year and underneath I wrote: “productivity is planning for the future weaker, stupider you”. I was thinking of a Tumblr post from Stowe Boyd, “Will Power Is A Myth, So Take The Damn Nap“. I’m asking for the strength to do the work, or do what needs to be done now so I can pick the work back up again later.

Learning Classical Sociological Theory! I’ve been looking for some free online courses to take for a while now and this was one that looked good. I’m on a mission to learn how to practice and I think taking a structured course would help me cultivate a habit of daily discipline and fuel my writing with new information and perspectives! Win, win and all for free right? I haven’t enrolled just yet (I’m implementing new habits in a more staggered fashion for 2019 rather than all at once) but by February I hope to start.

Loving this past year. I know it was a horrible year politically here in America and in many places around the world because of America but personally, in my own little suburban bubble, it was a pretty good year. That isn’t to say I didn’t have my ups and downs, or that the bigger picture not affected me but what I did have was an amazing support system and what I did was take breaks as needed from said bigger picture. I know that is a privilege many don’t have, and I am grateful that I do.

Hating that this past year was so politically ugly and divisive. I hate how much we hurt one another out of fear and of pride. I hate how the unknown makes us so cruel and how easily we justify suffering and death. From the growing threat to immigrants, the frequency of mass shootings, the number of animals that went extinct, and the abandonment of our responsibility to the global climate crisis, 2018 was the year that humanity broke my heart and I hate that I have no expectation that 2019 will mend it.

Hoping, on this last day of 2018, that all of us all around the world can find the courage to forgive and begin again. I hope that we can start a new year with a little less of the past holding us back or holding us apart. I hope the new year can begin with more clarity and that 2019 brings out more of what is good in us. I hope you all have a safe night and a productive start—in whatever way is meaningful to you—to your brand new year.


So, yeah, all in all, December was beautiful. It was by far the best December I’ve ever had, emotionally anyway. I look forward to ringing in the new year with my fiance, in our home, while enjoying good food, getting some writing in, and completing a few projects in the house. It’s just the tone I want to set.

But what about you? How did December treat you? How did 2018 treat you? Did you have a wonderful Christmas and will you ring in 2019 quietly with close friends and family, or will you attend a grand gathering somewhere and meet it with flare?

Let me know in the comments.

“The first of December was a wintry day…and the year seemed getting ready for its death.”

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

Featured photo by Hybrid on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // I Am, in Fact, Not Ready

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

I’m up late this morning, as has been the case for many days in a row now. Being on such a long break from work means that every day I fall further and further from my usual schedule. I’ve been staying up far too late, waking up too late, and doing far too much of nothing in between. I’m hoping to put an end to the laziness today. I may be up late but I’m writing and cleaning, and soon I’ll put on real clothes and leave the house for the first time in days.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. I have a fresh batch of cold brew in the fridge for a quick buzz, or I can put on the Moka pot if you’re in the mood for something strong but hot. Let’s talk about last week!

“I drank coffee and read old books and waited for the year to end.”

Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Christmas was actually wonderful this year.

We saw my family briefly on Christmas Eve for a rushed gift exchange and catching up. I had hoped to spend less and stress less about gifting this year but behind all the pressure there is a real pleasure in finding just the right gift. I honestly wish I could have done so much more.

We spent Christmas Day with my girlfriend’s family this year. We had too much food, and I had too much to drink and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The holidays are hard and it’s good to be with people who not only love you, but make you laugh, make you feel safe, and who appreciate you being there.

For dinner, we had a deliciously cheesy lasagna with acorn squash topped with orange marmalade and butter with spicy Italian sausage on the side. For dessert, there was cannoli and tiramisu too. We at it all in courses and by the end we were struggling even to get down the last cup of strong coffee and all our stomachs were hurting. None of us regretted a thing.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’m secretly looking forward to doing some shopping for myself after all this giving. I know that sounds bad, but the truth is there has always been a deep selfish streak in me too. It’s possible I love getting gifts just a tiny bit more than I love giving them.

Thankfully, I got plenty of gift cards with hard limits to keep me under control. I’ll be heading back to the mall and browsing the shelves of bookstores this week for a few things I promised myself I’d come back for when I was out shopping for others.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the days since Christmas have been uneventful and wildly unproductive. I’ve been feeling down, negative, restless yet exhausted, unhappy and rather moody. I’m not sure why except that I feel a vague longing to be doing something other than what I have been doing or even should be doing.

What I mean is, there isn’t enough time to do all the thing I want to do. There isn’t enough time to paint the living room, repair kitchen drawers, clean the whole house, visit friends and family, go out and do something, write, read, and rest all at once.

No matter what I do, I feel like I should be doing something else, but that something else isn’t what I want to be doing either. So I end up feeling guilty and then at the end the day I just feel disappointed. There is a slow panic rising too as I realize how much time I cannot get back and how close the end of my break is looming.

To be honest, though, doing nothing hasn’t felt entirely bad. In fact, I’m beginning to resent all those obligations and considering my time at home to be a glorious “stay-cation”. I’m working on a compromise that will get me through the coming week.


If we were having coffee, I’d sigh as I remembered that this is the last Sunday of the year. As much as I tried to be ready for this ending I admit that I am, in fact, not at all ready to let go of 2018. I’m excited but I’m also afraid. I’m sad, but oh so hopeful and happy too. I have high expectations for 2019 and whenever expectations are high I have a tendency to withdraw. I’m fighting that tendency now and hoping that I will wake up early on January 1st, 2019 and do what needs to be done.

I haven’t exactly pinned down my New Year’s resolutions yet. Instead, what I have are a few mindset shifts I’d like to make and year-long to-do lists for my blogs, my other writing opportunities, my dream projects, my home, and my finances. I’ve been experimenting with using Trello, breaking done projects into actionable steps and moving items from their respective project lists into lists for “this year”, “this month”, “this week”, “today”, and finally, to “done”.

I guess my New Year’s resolution is simply to write down the things I need to do and finding a way to get them done every single day of 2019.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the grumbling in my stomach reminds me it’s getting on toward lunchtime and time for me to get ready to head out into the world.

Today we are picking up paint supplies and samples (the first step in our “transform the living room” plan), going to IKEA—that wonderful hell of beautiful and cheap furniture we can never stay away from—and, if I still have the energy, we’ll pick the newest new Saga volumes on our way back home.

I hope your Christmas was lovely, and that you got as much as you gave. I hope the days since have been more productive for you than me and that you are ready for what the new year will bring.

Until next time.


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

Photo by Julien Labelle on Unsplash