108 // Mind and Pen in Hand

It was a slow start to the morning, but the day is picking up speed fast. I feel good, in general, but there is the threat of falling into a funk. What I mean is that the details of the day aren’t so bothersome, but the overarching essence is dull and irritating.

There’s very little work to do and sometimes that’s nice, but sometimes it can be worse than a full schedule. There’s less reason to feel motivated, and the empty hours tend to drag. There are two things I can do now. I can fill the empty hours with tasks and to-dos, or I can enjoy the privilege of long and languid time. Not everyone has hours they can relax in, hours they get to feel.

I think I’ll try a bit of both. The Pomodoro timer has gotten me through the morning, but I think this afternoon I’d like to cultivate and savor as much silence as I can, while I can. Instead of doing, I’m simply being. Instead of social media scrolling, I’m letting my mind and pen wander together hand in hand.

I’ve been rethinking the way I write here. I’ve been reevaluating my reasons why. I love my little blog, but lately, it has felt too static, too directionless, too impersonal when it was meant to be the very opposite. It was meant to be more.

I’d like to share more of my personality. I want this to be a place I run to again, a place that is mine. Recently, I stumbled across the concept of a “digital garden” and the ways one may differ from a personal website or blog. I’m interested but intimidated. I’d like to have something similar, but simpler. An intermediary between this and something that could grow.

Of course, I have other wide and varied interests. My ego is but one, and that’s what this place is for, but I often think of bigger things too—of humanity, of philosophy and physics. I want to have a place to run to for those thoughts, too. That’s a post for another day though…

On the surface, this is only a repackaging of old ideas and pursuits of mine that I’ve become disillusioned with or distracted from, but not quite. An incremental change, a small shift in perspective, can mean everything, I hope.

I thought my little dream was too small, but now I think small is exactly what I need. That small thing means everything. Now I think that growth is only the process, one that has no end or is an end in itself. An end to which the self is only the beginning, the rest is all exploration of life, day after day, minute by minute, with mind and pen in hand.

A Way to Discover

Blogging isn’t just a way to organize your research—it’s a way to do research for a book or essay or story or speech you don’t even know you want to write yet. It’s a way to discover what your future books and essays and stories and speeches will be about.”

— Cory Doctorow, “The Memex Method

Open and Be Opened

“What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.”

― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

I remember feeling as a child that all the adults around were very closed off. My presence seemed to have very little effect on them, and any expression of love or need from me seemed to do little good to change that. There were not many open arms or open conversations. I was not encouraged to be open, and very little experiences were opened for me.

I could not understand why grown-ups left so little of themselves exposed to me while I felt nothing but desire to open myself to them. It left me feeling sad and lonely, though I didn’t realize it then.

I was a sensitive girl and as I got older; I retained that vulnerability far longer than most people do and like hitting any other milestone late in life, I sensed something must be wrong with me. When the other kids started to become so complicated, I stayed quite simple. It got harder to make friends and to feel close to anyone. I recognized the same walls forming in them that adults had, but I did not feel the same walls building in me. I saw them being wrapped in a kind of protection against the world. They grew independent, self-sufficient, and closed off to me too. 

I did try over the years to protect myself. I accepted my deficiencies and opted to at least emulate what I could not naturally comprehend or perceive myself. I constructed haphazard defenses and broad boundaries that were never quite right. I was always either too closed off or I was opening up too much or too quickly. My reactions to a breach were always wrong, too. I reacted too harshly, and then I forgave too easily. I was hurt again and again, but I never could manage to grow those protective calluses. I could never stop being that vulnerable girl. I still can’t. I am still soft. I am still too open.

Now that I am an adult, I can at least understand the danger, though I am no better at defending against it. The danger is other people and when you leave yourself open those other people get inside and, sometimes; they fill you up with all of their painful needs. They go for the softest parts of you, and that is where they hurt you the most. The only defense is to fortify your walls, and put bars and bolts on all the doors. You have to obscure the entrances and construct the corridors in such a way that no one can find their way inside, not even you. 

Now that I am an adult, I also understand there was never anything different or wrong about me at all. I know now that all that time I was getting it wrong everyone else was getting it wrong too. Some people are better are balancing boundaries with their need for acceptance and to be sure I am a little stunted in my emotional development, but I know now that all of us are excessively needing and loving and soft at our core. I know now that when we are closed off, we are only pretending. 

“So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quite wonderfully, if only you were interested in them.”

― Sylvia Plath, Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Prose and Diary Excerpts

I know too that this pretending is an awful and exhausting way to live and many of us are living it every day. We are each is living with parts of ourselves heavily booby-trapped and guarded so well no one can even get close. We leave our childhood with painful lessons so persistent we can’t imagine ourselves whole again, but like me, every human still has that longing. Two things seem to hold us back.

For one, we insist on seeing the vulnerabilities of others exposed first. None of us wants to reveal their weak spots without assurances. None of us wants to be to blame for their own pain by inviting the threat in, and everyone not open to us is a potential threat.

Two, we have lived so long hating what is soft inside of us that seeing it in others elicits acute and consuming disgust. We are repulsed by people who are too open. Something isn’t right with them. Something went wrong in their development, and we don’t want any of it to rub off on us. We don’t want to be caught defenseless along with them.

But sometimes, if we are lucky, we meet the right person, or people, that can open us back up to the world. People we never had when we were younger and the world in us had to close up to keep safe. We call these people soulmates and to us, they can be like keys but that isn’t really true. People are not keys, and should never be treated as such. Instead, people are more like places where we feel safe to finally begin picking open the locks we’ve placed on ourselves. 

It doesn’t happen all at once, this opening, and there are real keys to find. 

The first and most important key is time, time that is given for the guard to relax and time that is taken to open the locks and crack the codes the right way. Too many of us are so desperate, so afraid really, that we rush and smash our way into other people so we can find love while keeping our own walls up. We break so much in others on our way in that soon the alarms start sounding and the people we love close up and close off to us. Then the next time you try to worm your way in its harder, and the next time harder still, and for the next person near impossible. Yes, it is an awful and exhausting existence.

Another key is honestly. The doors are to guard against deception and lies, people who would breach our walls only to consume or destroy us. As you unlock the doors in others and find a way through their defenses, you must unlock parts of yourself too. You must be brave and risk yourself what you as others to risk for you.

Love is the ultimate key, and love between any two people will do. Love between spouses, between friends, between siblings and even between strangers can open us up. Love for ourselves can do it too. What I needed as a soft and vulnerable child was love. What I did instead of hiding or stifling that love was to love back even harder. I know now that what I did was more courageous, and I see now that the mere survival of my heart is a miracle. 

Sometimes I can feel myself closing up too. I get exhausted trying so hard to connect with others and I get scared too. I’m afraid of the old rejection, of seeing again that it is me who is different, exposed, and in danger. I’m afraid of being hurt again or of hurting others in my ignorance and It’s an old habit cultivated so long it’s often automatic. I try, whenever I feel that way, to remember that I only have one life to live and to live it constructing elaborate locks to keep people out is a lonely and painful way to spend it. 

Now I am lucky enough to be able to love and be loved back. I am surrounded by people who offer me space and time, who are honest with me and risk themselves right back so that I can finally be open to them, to the world, and to myself. I can be needing and loving shame. I can be that sensitive and open little girl forever.

I want that for everyone. I want us all to feel safe enough, strong enough, loved enough to be open too. It has to start with love, and it can start with any kind of love at all. If you were never given that space or time or shown trust or honesty, you can begin with yourself.

Open at least to yourself.

This post was written in response to the WordPress Discover Prompt, Day 2: Open

Photo by Echo Grid on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Keeping My Workload Light

Hello and happy Sunday! Thanks for stopping by for a bit of conversation and catching up over a hot cup of coffee.

I didn’t get up as early as I had hoped to this morning, I never do, but I have a lot more energy than I have in the last few days at least and I’m feeling especially motivated and accomplished. I’ve checked off most of my usual Sunday to-do item, and the day is only just half over. At this point I usually end up sitting down, getting distracted, and wasting the rest of the day but this Sunday I’m keeping out of the living room and keeping my task list in front of me. A relaxing Sunday never makes me feel very good, but a productive one is by far the best start to a new work week.

So, please, pull up a chair and grab a cup. The autumn air blowing in through the west windows is a bit crisp, but the sun is warm enough to warrant the open windows. I’ve fallen in love with my French press all over again since I remembered it can be used to make more than cold brew coffee. I’ve got a fresh bag of blond roast and a carton of sweet vanilla almond milk to go with it. Let’s talk about last week!

“Our culture runs on coffee and gasoline, the first often tasting like the second.”

― Edward Abbey

If we were having coffee, I would tell you last week was a pretty good week.

More mornings than not I was able to get up on time, get ready for quickly and smoothly, and make it on time to work. It may not sound like much but working on a school bus means working in an industry that is time focused and unforgiving of tardiness. You would think that in all the years I have been doing this I would have gotten used to the early mornings but I never have no matter what or how hard I try. Hitting at least 3 out of 5 mornings where I am not feeling frustrated, breaking down in tears, rushing around, or running late is a big deal for me.

The new class of employees I had been working was released midweek and are already out working with the kids all on their own so my workload was light. I hear I may have a new class coming in at the start of December, anywhere from 4 to 20 people they say. I’d prefer to keep it under 12. That is where I can do my best work and trust I have both give new people all the tools and time they need to do the job and judge their compatibility with children and with our culture as a district.

Until they start I plan to go on keeping my workload light too. I know now that for the two weeks or more I will be with them I won’t have time or energy left over for any of my personal passions and pursuits. I know now that the balance I need in my life can’t be found in the chopping up each day into parts for me and parts for others but in chopping up whole months. I know now I need to look at life on a larger time scale.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I did get a lot of reading done this week though I still haven’t been able to finish Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky. If I can get my Sunday chores done in time I may try to make it through the last 50 pages or so. I’d really rather not take it to work with me one more day.

I spent most of my free time working on little blog things. Zen and Pi has a new introductory post up. I don’t think it is my best work, but it’s a start and it did feel really good to finally write, finish, and hit publish on something over there. Now that it’s both been purged of the old posts, and marred by a new post, I feel much more excited about writing more in-depth and challenging pieces over there. I’m ready to start doing something that feels more like real writing again.

This week I want to get another post up but I haven’t settled on a topic yet. That’s okay though, the editorial schedule is pretty loose for now with once a month being the bare minimum and once a week being the most I can hope for. My goals are the opposite of this place, 10% quantity and 90% quality.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was good but not in the way I had planned or hoped for it to be.

Friday night we went out for a much-needed evening of dinner and drinks with our “couples group”—our core group of 8 friends in which every member happens to be married to another member. I cannot express the importance of long-term couples having friends who are also in long-term (and healthy) relationships. It’s such a wonderful thing to be around people who are not just like you as an individual but like you in their choice to live their entire lives with another person as well.

Yesterday I meant to spend the day writing and working on my resume but I woke up feeling groggy from the night before. I struggled to stay focused or productive and by midday; I opted for a short nap thinking that when I woke up again I could start the day anew. Instead, I woke to a phone call from my brother asking if I would please step in to watch my niece and nephew because their scheduled babysitter needed to back out suddenly.

I love my niece and nephew and always enjoy visiting with them, but I do best with supervised visits since I’m not great with kids for long periods of time. I’m not good at being silly or seeing the world through a toddler’s eyes to know what they want. This is the main reason I choose to work with high schoolers at my day job. We had fun though, and I feel more confident that I can help my brother out when he needs me.

The kids only wore me out further though and even after they left I couldn’t muster the motivation to do anything but eat and watch some old favorites on Disney+.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this coming week should be just as relaxed as the last. I took Monday off to help a family member and I pushed the bulk of my tasks off until after midweek. I want to take advantage of the opportunity for free time right away, and to give myself a chance to take it easy for a few days. I’m still feeling the effects of work stress that has already passed.

Sadly, I believe that my ulcerative colitis is beginning to flare again. I have already filed to required paperwork in case I need to take leave from work and tomorrow I’ll shoot an email to my doctor and emotionally prepare myself for the appointments and tests she will probably require. I’m trying not to stress before I know what is going on, but it’s hard when I can still remember so clearly the pain and the misery I went through during my last flare.

The worst part is, I blame myself. I didn’t take care of myself when I should have the most. I didn’t eat right, rest well, or take my medications on time. I forget that I can’t be like other people and that I can’t worry about what other people think. I have to put myself first and ask for help, for more time, and for a break when I need it whether other people do or not.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the air is going colder now. I’ve got to stop drinking coffee if I want to have any chance of sleeping well tonight and I’ve got to finish getting my house in order if I want any hope of another one of those smooth mornings tomorrow.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you are feeling well and that wherever you are you are staying warm and I hope whatever stress you are feeling is the good kind and that whatever obstacles you face only encourage rather than deter you.

Until next time.

lofi hip hop radio // Chillhop Music

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

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // A Project and a Passion

Hello and happy Sunday! Thanks for stopping by for a bit of conversation and a chance to catch up over a hot cup of coffee.

I’m up early this morning and starting the day with a big breakfast and at least half of my housework list. It helps me feel better about taking the midday to write if I’ve marked a few to-do items done by then. To be honest, I’m almost sad to be stuck inside. It’s such a beautiful day—We’re looking at a mild midday near 70 ahead of snow that’s forecasted to roll in over night, ugh!—but having the chance to clean, and write, and chat all day long sounds like the perfect way to spend a Sunday to me.

So, please, pull up a chair and grab a cup. I’ve just remembered that I actually own a French press and it can, in fact, be used to make other kinds of coffee besides cold brew. Let’s talk about last week!

“Coffee is a language in itself.”

― Jackie Chan

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week was just as hard as the week before. I finished up training the new class of employees that started last Tuesday and though it stressed me and scared me and considering I had very little idea what I was doing most of the time; I think it went very well.

I definitely feel like I’ve earned more respect of my coworkers and my bosses by taking on this task and executing it so well and for freeing up some of their time to work on more pressing matters. The truth is a year ago no one would have considered giving me such a big task, not for lack of competence but because it simply isn’t my job, but now that we are so short staffed there is just no one left with the time to do it.

Of course this actually works out in my favor for the long term. There is no better time to demonstrate that you are an asset to a workplace than when the workplace is in utter chaos. Every day I find a way to help out, and every day I make an impression and add to my resume. Soon there will be a chance for advancement and I mean to do everything I can to leave no room for any other option than me.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was just what I needed. I did nothing at all but what I wanted to do.

I took care of myself. I got back on my medication schedule. With all the work last week I found myself skipping meals and missing my medication alarms. I’m definitely feeling the consequences so much so in fact that tomorrow I’ll be sending off an email to my doctor and filling out this years FLMA request to prepare. I expect a round of lab tests and though I know I am not supposed to stress about the “what ifs” I can’t help worrying a little about both what could happen if my IBD flares up but the possibility that doing more at work is just too stressful for me to keep this disease in remission.

Yesterday I also took a leap and deleted all my old posts from my other blogging project, Zen and Pi. Many of you might know me from there but for those who don’t, Z&P is where my blogging dream first started, and died.

See, I meant to write about things there, and sometimes I did, but slowly I fell into a bad habit of getting too personal and mundane and that is why I made this place. I wanted somewhere to put the personal and mundane but then I never went back. I never lost the desire to write about things, but I didn’t know how to begin again with all that old personal and mundane still being hosted there. So, I deleted it all.

Of course, I didn’t really really delete it all and my hope is that much of it will be resurrected, revised, and reposted here where I also want to write about things, just different, more personal things instead. Anyway, if you want to tag along on the journey, you can check out the new space and follow.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this coming week should be a lot more relaxed than the last.

I was going to spend my time working on those National Blog Posting Month pieces I had drafted at the end of October and never got around to finishing or posting but if I’m honest trying to catch up or to begin such a rigorous editorial schedule this far into the month doesn’t sound like much fun. It doesn’t sound like the kind of writing I really want to do be doing right now. I already have a project and a passion of my own and I need to focus my time on that.

I’m still interested in writing about those ideas but I want to do it more slowly. I want to go deeper and do better than what I had planned at first. Rather than quantity over quality, or even the other way around, quality over quantity I’d like to learn to balance the two both here and over at Zen and Pi. I want to stop trying to write the way other people do. I want to stop writing for other people too. I want to follow my own interests and instincts.

I want to write more selfishly.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the sun has moved on to the west windows and I can feel the cold air moving in both from the north and west from the mountains bringing grey clouds and the threat of snow. It’s time for me to put away my screens and spend time with my little family before I’m forced to start another work week.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you were busy when you needed to be and that you were able to find peace when you didn’t. I hope you’re feeling well. I hope you are taking care of yourself when if don’t.

Until next time.

Risk // FKJ, Bas

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

Photo by Jannis Brandt on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Better and Worse at Once

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

I’m up early this morning but not as early as I’d wanted to be. I’m up so I can write before the day gets away from me, but I’m not writing as well as I’d like to be either. I’m tired and feeling the pressure of a headache about to arrive. The weather is depressingly grey and I want to go back to bed but there is too much to do for that, so I’m in a bad mood.

Coffee helps though, and so does good conversation, so I’m here hoping to leave better than I came and able to be useful, and productive. So, please, pull up and chair and fill up a cup. Let’s talk about last week.

She was made mostly of coffee and empty spaces.

— Adelise M. Cullens, Dead Bunnies Make All Eight Of Me Cry

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week was a sunny and cheerful one. The rains of the week before gave way to summer-like sun and heat and every day felt like a Friday, a fact that sounded better than it felt. Perpetual Fridays lead to perpetual disappointment when you realize that you must still keep waking up and going to work the next day.

Still, the cheer was a nice change of pace. Our school year is ending in the coming week and we are all seeing the light, the relief, at the end of the tunnel.

My new office is no longer my fortress of solitude. We are all having to share and squeeze in for the summer as we move from two buildings to one while the main is being renovated. I love people, and my coworkers really can be great but being just to the introverted side of personality types means I get overwhelmed easily and need to retreat into quiet spaces to gather myself and correct my mood.

Unfortunately, it looks like I’ll be out of quiet spaces. I may have to substitute walks around the block on my breaks instead.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my job is sending me to another conference this summer. I’m sort of regretting the classes I signed up for because just about everyone else from my department is taking the same classes and I won’t be able to bring anything new to the table. I think tomorrow I might talk to my boss and see if it isn’t too late to change.

I also got the news that I would be teaching a class of new employees on my own for a whole week. I can’t even find the words to express how nerve-wracking this is but I’m kind of looking forward to it too. I’ll have a team to help me out and if all goes well, then…they ‘ll probably ask me to do it again and again. Maybe this isn’t a good thing after all?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Friday night I met with my family and some of our oldest and closest friends to celebrate my youngest sister’s high school graduation.

Her school is a small one, a place for teenagers who have for whatever reason fallen behind and need a calmer, more supportive place to catch up. For this reason, her graduation ceremony was a small one as well. Only some 30 students or so graduated and that meant a quicker and much more intimate and emotional affair.

It was beautiful and seeing my baby sis up there getting her recognition was a beautiful and bittersweet thing. For one, she is the last of us and with her all our childhoods end. The one who is keeping us young is growing up herself.

There’s also my own envy. I didn’t graduate from high school. There was no ceremony, no party, no gifts, and no shining pride from my parents. There was exasperation, disappointment, and resignation. I made my choices. I take responsibility for them as far as I can knowing I was a child with a child’s mind and lacking the support I craved but I wish I’d had what my sister had. A school to give me what I needed and a big sister like me to show the way.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that wedding planning is getting both better and worse at once and I expect the trend to continue through the big day and I’m just hoping that we get through before both of us snap.

Yesterday we met with our officiant as well and I was able to deliver the bare bones edits of a script I’d put together (and by “put together” I mean “copied from the internet and pasted into a Google document”). She seemed to like it and I’ve given her permission to edit it and add her own words wherever she wanted.

We met with the planner today and I’m so glad I hired her. I worried that since we had already done so much that the added expense wouldn’t be worth it, but just today we walked away with “homework”, or, as I saw it, “a direction”. I’d been feeling lost. I’d been feeling overwhelmed and clueless about how to move forward, and she didn’t just point the way, but she promises to light the path as well.

This week the goal is mostly information sharing. I’m going to organize everything I have already done and try to get it to the planner so she can begin where I have left off. The next goal is music. I had no idea there were so many things I needed to pick songs for! I also need to follow up about my suit, our rings, and a few returns we’ve made, inquire about the ring bearer’s suit, and get the sign maker (my little sister) started on her project.

I have a lot coming up at work, at home, and for the wedding, but I am trying to make time still for reading, writing, and blogging.

It was a bad reading week so we won’t even go there. It was kind of a bad writing week too because I was so easily distracted by the warm weather, my good mood, and my need to be with, talk with, laugh with, people. It was, I think a good blogging week if you take into account “behind the scenes” things. It was a good week for organizing, reviving, designing, and of gathering small sparks and starts.

I’m cleaning up Zen and Pi by taking the more personal posts I’d had over there and hiding them. Part of me wants to take them down and resurrect them here again but another part of me wants to leave this place pristine in its separation from those first attempts just as I am trying to separate myself from what I want Zen and Pi to be, now.

I have a vague idea of the kinds of pieces I want to write there and an even vaguer idea of what my intention and mission is, but it’s growing more concrete and exciting. I’m keeping my expectations small and easy, a bi-weekly schedule for now and no endgame in sight.

There’s no intention to make money, gain notoriety or authority. I’m even moving on from the hope of an eventual book. I just want to write, that’s all. I want to write about what I believe and share it and nothing more, for now.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, if I want to have everything ready in time for the big Game of Thrones finale, I had better get going. I’ve got laundry, and dishes, and dinner, and a little cut-and-paste project I’ll post here later if I get around to actually making it, all before I can allow the weekend to end.

I hope that you had a good week. I hope it’s getting warm where you are and spring continues to give you what you need to grow, to bloom, to become what you will be this season.

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.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // The Storm Before the Calm

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

I’m feeling slow today. I had some energy for the first hour or so after I woke, but I’ve fallen sharply downhill since. I’m sure I need a nap, and that there is not enough caffeine in this house to chase the need away, but I’m also sure I’m going to fight it anyway. Sleep has been hard to come by at night. Caffeine has nothing on anxiety, and a nap will only make things harder.

So, I’ll stay up and chat with you instead. I’ll open the blinds and let the sun in and pour us cup after cup and tell you everything that’s happened this past week.

Through drowsiness, your body is telling you that you need to rest. By drinking a caffeinated drink, you are telling it to go to hell.

― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I started this week off by deciding not to start it at all. Sunday night I went to bed feeling as though I’d come down with a cold. I had a sore throat, a cough, I was feeling fatigued and my head was full of pressure. I was convinced I was sick and decided even before I drifted off that I would take the next day off in order to rest right away and get well sooner.

When I woke early Monday, I’m not sure I felt sickly so much as I was just tired, but I still felt the conviction from the night before and called in sick convinced I was on my way to a bad cold. Then, hours later, I woke again and found that I felt perfectly fine.

I have no explanation except that either I was coming down with something and fought it off while I slept, or perhaps my mind manufactured a cold so that I would take the action I needed but felt too guilty to take. As in, I needed a mental day and my mind made it happen. It’s possible I think.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I was delighted to return to work on Tuesday and find that much of the work my team had been trying to complete was already done. I helped wrap up a few loose ends and then spent my free time outside to soak up the sudden spring-like weather we were having.

By mid-afternoon that same day anxiety was running high across the entire state. The rolling weather reports for the next day were so unreal we laughed them off. Our phones were buzzing with blizzard warnings and by early evening we have received notice that schools across the state would be closed and all Coloradoans were advised to stay indoors the next day.

Wednesday morning the rain started and for a time we thought the storm wouldn’t turn out as bad as predicted, but by lunch, the storm had become something we’d never seen before. Soon the whole city was shut down, including all our major highways and every airport runway. Downed trees, power outages, and severe car accidents, were being reported and a multi-day recovery was expected and we were given an additional snow day to assess the damage and dig out.

Compared to others we fared pretty well. Our internet was spotty all day, but we never lost power. Our trees and our fences held up but our mailbox is at a slight tilt now. The snow at the bottom of our front step was up to my knees and clearing out sidewalks and driveway was a painful chore I am still recovering from.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that while we were snowed in, I took the opportunity to do some small blog things.

I have a new Now page up to keep track not just of what I am doing now, but what my priorities are and what opportunities I am open to and I created an MOOC page to keep track of and share all the great massive open online courses I’m taking. I also revamped my Portfolio. I didn’t add anything but I hope to soon.

I’m working on a few more pages like these, and like my Am Reading page and my 100 Dreams page. I have a page drafted for all the people I want to study, and another drafted for “Site Notes’, a detailed explanation not of who I am but what this blog is.

I’d like this blog to be a recording and inventory of my life and who I am, all my thoughts and everything I do. I want it to be fully mine and I want to pour myself fully into it.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the rest of the week was rather uneventful. It was strange to return on Friday after two days away and one from a whole week off. No one felt like being there, not even the kids. No one asked for more than the bare minimum and we all did our best to get along and get through it. 

On Saturday I got to see my dad. I haven’t seen him since before the holidays since our schedules never seem to agree. We went to my favorite Mexican place and caught each other up on everything we’ve been up to, work and wedding planning mostly. He’s excited for us and was encouraging when we expressed how overwhelmed we’ve been. It was a good visit.

As for the rest of the weekend, I’ve been feeling more and more fatigued so I’ve been taking it easy, resting when I needed and doing what I can when I can around the house.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’m taking tomorrow off from work again. It’s Spring break so my route isn’t running and I really want to enjoy a little of it at least. I wanted to take the whole week off, but the truth is, with all the snow days, the mental health days, and a very expensive wedding coming up soon, I just can’t afford to stay home and play writer right now.

So, I’ll go to work but maybe I’ll find my own little pleasures and take my tiny vacations where I can. Maybe I’ll go in late and leave a little early, and maybe I’ll take long lunches in the sun since the Spring is forecasted to arrive this week. I’m looking forward to it. This winter has taken a toll on me. All winters take their toll on me.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I can feel myself losing the battle against sleep. The couch is calling and I long to put on an old movie to nod off to. It looks like I’ll be spending my extra day off doing all the things I should have done today.

Oh well, I hope you had a good week and that wherever you are you weren’t in the path of that nasty winter storm and if you were I hope spring will be on the way soon. I hope you made some progress in whatever way you needed to, and if you didn’t I hope you know you can always start again.

Until next time. 

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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash


It was a bad writing day, but it’s okay. Tomorrow is Friday and this weekend will be three days long and knowing that makes everything a little bit brighter.

I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to this long weekend from work. The days since we’ve been back from Christmas break have been so long and as time slows, the stress grows, or maybe it’s the other way around?

We have an appointment to tour a wedding venue and I plan to catch up on some reading and finish up the drafts I started this week. We might try to find a project to do around the house, or maybe run some long neglected errands but I sincerely hope not.

I don’t want to do anything but settle into my “creativity room” for a few days and force myself focus long enough to finally feel like I’ve gotten somewhere this month.

I’ve just got one more day to go. One last day to do it right, and then plenty of time to make up for failing.

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


I finished The Iliad today. I’ve been reading it for months and as excited as was to get through the tome, I felt right away like something in my life was missing after I finally turned the last page.

It’s like I had made a friend, an interesting and beautiful friend that frustrated me to no end but taught me so much. And now, suddenly, after all we had been through, and just as we had really begun to find our groove and understand one another, that friend has to go away.

We’ve come to the end of our time together though when I am ready I may walk the same path with them again and look and learn again with them if I choose. Sadly, though our time was certainly eye-opening and moving, I know I will not be able to put myself through the great task of loving them again for a long time.

I am grieving for sure, but I’m more anxious than ever to make a new friend of another tale. I had planned to pick up The Alchemist tonight, but I remembered I had 100 or so pages left of Nietzsche’s On the Geneology of Morals. Better to finish it and leave all my reading failures firmly behind.

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


I woke up this morning feeling sure that it was Wednesday and that I had already worked two days this week. I was incredibly disappointed to realize it was only Tuesday when I arrived at my workplace. It sucks to be so far away from the weekend still, but part of me is also happy to have more time to make some progress since yesterday was such a bad writing day.

I’m still struggling to find my writing groove, but it’s getting easier. I’ve started two drafts for Zen and Pi this week, though I’m not sure either fit into my narrower—but somehow still hard to define—niche there. I’m trying not to worry too much about that though. The goal is only to overcome my doubts and unrealistic expectations and learn how to feel good while writing again. For that, all I have to do is write and publish, write and publish, write and publish, again and again.

It’s getting easier but it needs to start getting better if I’m going to get anywhere in 2019.

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