If We Were Having Coffee // The Longest Short Week

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

I apologize for my lateness but I’m feeling a little under the weather today. I woke up with a pounding headache and unexplained nausea. So, I made some ginger tea, took a dose of ibuprofen, and put myself back to bed for the rest of the morning. I woke up the second time feeling much better, but not quite 100%. I have no appetite and there is still pressure in my head.

I’m a little reluctant on the coffee and worried it’ll make me feel worse but I know a headache of another kind will come on if I don’t have a cup or two. Caffiene withdrawl is nothing nice.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. I’m using the Moka pot and experimenting with using half blond and half medium roast for something a with a little more caffeine that’s a little richer in flavor. Let’s talk about last week.

“The worst coffee I had ever tasted, but it was hot. I drank three cups and sat there an hour, until I was completely dry.”

Charles Bukowski, Post Office

If we were having coffee I would tell you that our first week back to work was very long and quite stressful, and we only had to be there for four days, not five.

All around me there were talks of budget overages, overtime cuts, and management shake-ups, all while we deal with a continued staff shortage. I did my best to avoid the circles of gossip and negativity. I did my best maintain perspective. I reminded myself that these problems were well above my pay grade and that as long as I showed up, ready to work and show these kids positivity and compassion, I was doing all that I could and all that was being asked of me.

I’m proud of myself for getting back to my morning routine so well…mostly. I wish I had stuck to my usual sleep schedule while I was on break so it wouldn’t have been so hard, but I managed to wake up on time every day and to make it to work on time despite the sudden change. I’m still struggling to go to bed on time, though, but it’s getting better.


If we were having coffee I would tell you that while it wasn’t a particularly good writing week, it was definitely a good reading week.

I am very close to finishing The Iliad and I love it more and more the more I read. It’s so sad, so full of death, and pain, and grief but being a good book doesn’t mean being a happy story. I feel all that pain and grief, and fear and bloodlust myself and that is what makes it so good. This week I was even brought to tears while reading and I don’t know exactly how any other book in the future will make me feel this much again.

At the same time, I’m ready to move on from Troy and the Greeks and read something new. I have about half of On the Genealogy of Morals by Nietzsche to get through and Emily Dickenson’s poems have been waiting patiently for months on my nightstand next to The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery. Today my girlfriend brought home The Alchemist to cheer me up and I’m two more Saga volumes behind!


If we were having coffee I would tell you that Dry January is getting easier and easier every day. I don’t feel so bummed out by not drinking and my first thought when I come home from work is no longer on a glass of wine or bottle of hard cider. It’s getting easier to handle bad days and to imagine having fun and being social without alcohol.

I’m a little hurt that my friends have postponed most of our get-togethers until February. What if I decide to continue not drinking through February and beyond too? It seems that I don’t just have to change my own thinking around alcohol, but drag my friends along too.

This weekend I was particularly worried about sobriety cutting into my fun after I got tickets to an “M. Night Shyamalan-athon” at our favorite movie theater. We were going to be sitting through three movies—Unbreakable, Split, and his latest to round out the trilogy, Glass. We usually drink at these kinds of film events and sitting through three movies without a celebratory cocktail sounded like a real drag.

We did good though! and we had a lot of fun. I was a little jealous watching the table next to me order round after round of mimosas and beers so I ordered a peach Italian soda and a Mexican milkshake to feel a little fancy. We had a great time and didn’t go home disappointed in ourselves.


If we were having coffee I would tell you that the movie marathon was absolutely amazing!

Unbreakable has always been one of our favorites and watching Split again but this time on the big screen made me realize that it was also quite the masterpiece. Glass brought me to tears and it ended the only way it could have.

What I mean is, if these characters belong to some other writer and director beside M. Night Shyamalan, then maybe it could have been different, but these characters are part of his universe and story and if you have seen many of his movies you will understand that this is the way the story has to be told.

The reviews were harsh, but I am encouraging everyone to ignore them, see the film, and let it sit with you before you make up your mind.


If we were having coffee I would tell you that the sun has sunk below the horizon and the smell of delicious eggplant parmesan coming from the kitchen let me know it’s time to get going.

I hope that you had a good week and that the new year continues to find you well. I hope that your resolutions are still going strong. If they aren’t, I hope you know they were not failures. You simply weren’t ready and the time simply wasn’t right. I hope you know you can start again.

Until next time.


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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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Spent a whole day at the movie theater for an M. Night Shyamalan marathon! They showed Unbreakable, Split, and his newest film, Glass. Unbreakable is an absolute masterpiece, and I walked away with a greater appreciation for Split. Glass was amazing and I cannot for the life of me understand the harsh reviews. Ignore them and go see it.

Before the films, there was a Q and A with the big man himself live streamed in the theater. It was a great session where he talked a lot about his own mistakes and lack of courage with his art. There was one answer he gave that really struck me.

He was asked about how much of him is in his characters. He said he couldn’t be sure. There was maybe some but being a part of your characters, and them being part of you wasn’t the important part at all.

He said, as a writer (or as an actor) you have to be ready not just to understand your characters and their actions, but you have to be ready to defend them. You have to tell the world why and not from a place of neutrality, but a place of pure emotion and bias, even the bad stuff. We have to stand firmly on their side and shout to the world their reasoning and defense.

I don’t write fiction—I don’t write much of anything at all at the moment—but I have always wished I did. Coming up with characters and their stories always felt like impossible tasks but maybe I am not doing enough looking and defending?

P.S. I was good and stuck to my promise not to drink. I’m very proud of myself and I have a feeling that it’s only going to keep getting easier.


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

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The snow fell all day. It’s still falling and the hourly forecast says it’ll be falling through the early morning. The inches we shoveled from the driveway have already been replenished by the storm.

Tomorrow we are going to a movie marathon at our favorite movie theater. So that means an early night for us. The marathon begins just after 10:00AM and the roads will be worse than they were today. We’ll have to go to bed early, on a Friday night. I’m excited but bummed too. I like staying up

Dry January is going well so far but tomorrow will be a challenge. We’re going to watch 6+ hours of movies in one sitting in a place we always order a drink in and I don’t know if I can not drink. I know it can be fun without alcohol and I honestly can’t come up with a better reason to be so weak except that things are more fun with alcohol.

Knowing (admitting) this weakness only makes me want to be stronger. I don’t want to let myself down. There will be plenty of opportunities after January for alcohol. If I still want it.


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

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For a short week, this really turned out to be a long week, and it isn’t even over yet! Tomorrow is Friday and if I can make it through the unpleasant parts with positivity and make it through the boring parts with focus, if I can manage to hold on to some energy, it can be a good day.

I’ve never been very good at Friday’s though. Everyone gets better as the week goes on, but I always get worse. This morning I woke up late, my stomach hurt bad, there was no coffee to make, and I was nearly late to work.

Tomorrow I plan to simply breathe. I’ll lose myself in my reading, write as much as I can, and keep my headphones in as much as I need. I’ll keep looking forward to our extra special movie date this Saturday, and mark at least one big thing off of my to-do list.

Sometimes the only way to have a good day is to avoid, ignore, and outright deny the bad.


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

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I secretly hate that time of night when I must close my eyes and leave consciousness behind for sleep. Those 6 to 8 hours a night are more than I want to give up of my life. For all my brooding and pessimism, my misery and despair, my complaints and cursing, it turns out that my reality (as ordinary and monotonous as it may seem from the outside) has actually exceeded my wildest dreams.

I’ll need to be more imaginative and desirous in my dreams going forward, I know, but just…not yet. For now—a now I’ve clung to for years and a now I hope will last a long, long while more—I’ll allow myself this utter happiness.


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

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The day flew by just fast enough. I enjoyed all the good parts and the bad parts were over quickly and with little complaint. Through it all, some words managed to get written and others were read.

I had forgotten just how beautiful The Iliad is. Today I began Book XVI: The Death of Patroclus and lines 184-192 struck me particularly:

“Meanwhile, Achilles strode mid the shelters, giving all
Of his Myrmidons orders to arm, after which they rushed out
Like so many flesh-rending wolves, great beasts unspeakably
Savage—wolves that have killed a huge horned stag
In the mountains and gorged themselves on his flesh till the jaws
Of all were dripping with blood, and off the pack runs
To lap with their slender lean tongues from a spring of dark water,
Belching up scarlet gore and still quite ferocious,
Though now their bellies are bulging.

Every time I read passages like this I’m forced to stop reading for a time. This is why it’s taking me so long to get through the book. I read things like the words above and I just can’t let them go. I can’t move on. I have to let the words roll over and allow my imagination to have its way.

I’ll try to pick it back up tomorrow (I’m reluctant because I know what awaits poor Patroclus and Achilles) and to face my own words again too.


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

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It’s the last night of winter break and in just a few short hours I will have to return to work. I’ve done my best to prepare both physically and mentally but my mood is both anxious and somber. I’m sure I won’t get much sleep tonight and I’m worried I’ll spend the whole day irritable and withdrawn.

There is a smaller part of me that is excited to be back on schedule and amongst my kids and coworkers too and I know that, between them, a dose or two of ibuprofen, and a grande blonde vanilla latte I’m sure it’ll be all right.


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

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Now that the living room revamp is done, and I’ve caught up somewhat on the housework, it’s time to focus once again on our upcoming wedding. We’re reconsidering all-inclusive packages and trimming the guest list down to whatever number it needs to be to keep our preferred venue options available. We’re procrastinators, as I’ve mentioned, and we loathe wedding planning, so we’ve got to make things easier on ourselves if we want to get this done.

By the end of the month, we will have a venue and date chosen and booked!


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

If We Were Having Coffee // Not Quite Like I Planned

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

We’re starting a little late today, I’ve been anxious to finish our living room project and this morning we find ourselves in the final stretch. I’ve been working in there all morning and simply lost track of time. There is still so much to do but my body is protesting and I feel my energy levels (and willpower) waning. I think some good coffee and conversation are just what I need to get me motivated again.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. The weather has been gorgeous lately and we’ve got all the windows open and plenty of sunshine to warm the spirit. I forgot to start the cold brew last night but I’ve got the hang of my little Moka pot now and have plenty of strong hot coffee to go around. Let’s talk about last week!

“Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee affords.”

Richard Brautigan

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that New Year’s Eve wasn’t spent quite as we had planned.

We had planned to attend a party at a friend’s house but they were having plumbing issues and the more we thought about going out the more we realized we wanted to stay in, just the two of us. So, I made spaghetti carbonara for dinner and grilled some pears on the stovetop for dessert. We drank lots of wine and later champagne. We rang in the new year cuddled up on the couch and were in bed by 12:10 AM new year’s day.

It’s wasn’t wild or glamorous but it felt right to start a new year off in the place where I am always the happiest.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the first week of 2019 has been…no different from the last of 2018. What I mean is, I haven’t changed. Most of the resolutions I made had to be put on hold. I haven’t gotten downstairs to set up my little gym so I can start working out, and I haven’t had hardly any time for reading or writing either.

I’m trying not to be so hard on myself for not hitting the ground running on my other resolutions this year. It’s probably best not to overwhelm myself and as long as I start sometimes soon, late is better than not at all.

The only thing I have been able to change is how present I am. I’m doing my best to focus as much as possible on what it is I want to be doing, or what I should be doing. I’m practicing making my own choices (even if I sometimes make the wrong one) about how to spend my time rather than leaving it up to other people, apps, or my subconscious. I’m trying to use my time up rather than go on letting it slip away from me.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my last week of winter break has not been as relaxing as the first but it was much more productive, though not in all the ways I had hoped.

If you’ve been following along with my journal excerpt posts, you know my girlfriend and I have been working hard this week to revamp our living room space. We are both chronic procrastinators and after eight years in this house we considered a “fixer-upper” when we first bought it, very little fixing up has been going on.

This year we committed to one new year’s resolution together. We want our house to look good enough to host the 2019 holidays at our place. That means new paint everywhere, new trim, and major updates to our bathroom and kitchen before the end of November.

Our living room has a 19-foot wall on one side, ugly popcorn ceiling, and a lot of drywall damage. It is by far the hardest room to paint. Part of me wishes we’d chosen an easier project for the break but, as chronic procrastinators, maybe it was best to start with the harder project first to set the right tone for 2019.

One room down, four more and a whole basement to go. Whew!


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that now that our big home improvement project is done the realization that we have less than two short days before we have to return to work is slowly sinking in. I honestly haven’t given work a second thought in over two weeks and it’s possible I have forgotten how to do my job entirely.

I figure that’s a good thing, though. It means I took a proper mental break and can, hopefully, return with renewed clarity and enthusiasm. I miss my kids terribly and even some of my coworkers too. I miss having a schedule most of all.

These past two weeks have taught me that without concrete obligations to get me out of bed or force me to go into bed at a decent time every night, I am incapable regulating my own sleeping routine. I stay up past midnight and sleep in until nearly 10 every morning. I was sluggish, grouchy, and guilt-ridden throughout the days over all the missed productivity. I know that I am at my best when I’m early to bed and early to rise so, why do I keep doing to myself?

I guess there’s just something about the late night that I love too.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the first week of Dry January was a long one. I’m not sure if I’m seeing any benefits yet. I don’t feel that I am sleeping better or that I have more energy and I am certainly not losing any weight. Then again, I still have other bad dietary habits and those only seem to be getting worse.

My girlfriend and I have been trying to cut a back on our sugar intake too by at least avoiding all cakes, cookies, pies, and candies and refraining from adding any sweeteners to drinks like coffee and tea. It’s going well but we have to make sure not to skip any meals or eat too late or else the cravings start.

One unforeseen issue is that at the end of the day we want something that feels like a reward or an indulgence. We’d been having a glass of wine or a hard cider, but now we aren’t drinking. So, then we crave sweets, which are now a no-no too. So, then we start craving rich, salty, cheesy, fried foods. We crave burgers and fries, pizzas, tacos, and hot wings.

Alcohol has been easy to quit, and sugar hasn’t been too hard to let go of either. It turns out the addiction I have isn’t to either but to the comfort and the relaxing effect that the indulgences induce and I don’t have the first clue how to curb that.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the long shadows cast from the low west window light, and the good smells coming from the kitchen are reminding me that it’s getting late and there is still a lot to do before dinner is done. I’d better get going if I want to have any hope of an early night tonight.

I hope that you had a wonderful New Year’s celebration and that the first week of 2019 treated you well. I hope you aren’t feeling too much pressure to be a whole new you and that your new year’s resolutions are still going strong.

Until next time.


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

Photo by Trent Erwin on Unsplash

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Why do I have such a hard time seeing past what is difficult or scary to all the great things I can have or experience if I would only get up, face my life, and do the work? Why must I procrastinate so damn much?

The living room revamp project is nearly complete. All that’s left is small wall touch-ups and then we can finally put everything, the T.V. the couch, the record player, and the animal’s beds back in its place. The paint looks amazing and I wish we’d done this years ago instead of whining and stalling because it was hard and scary.

Day 5 of Dry January has been the hardest so far. We—my girlfriend, is joining me in this challenge too—realized we have been replacing alcohol with food. At the end of the day, when we would normally share a hard cider between us we’ve been opting instead for pizza, hot wings, and tacos. To be fair, we’ve also cut back in sugar and our bodies are obviously having a hard time coping.

The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?


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