047 // Suprise!

Today is the day. We’ve been planning it for weeks and I spoke to no one out of fear of ruining everything. This weekend we—my mom, my youngest sister, my girlfriend, and I—drove all the way to Texas to surprise my our sister and her family for her 30th birthday celebration!

It was a long drive (over 15 hours!) and it’s going to be a long drive back starting tomorrow morning but it was so worth it. I only wish we had more time but with work and our poor pets back in Denver missing is we just couldn’t stay. Maybe next time when our jobs aren’t so pressing and the weather is warmer.

The party turned out beautifully and afterward, there was a late dinner to sit down and catch up properly. We’re going to bed late again but it can’t be helped. We have to fill the precious hours with as much as we can.

We miss each other more than we readily admit.


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

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045 // Riding Emotional Rollercoasters

Every day is an emotional roller coaster. From hour to hour I am swinging wildly from despair, drowning and wishing I’d never been born, or, if I had to choose the second best, longing to die soon, the next I’m loving every part of life and grieving an eternity I had no right to ever expect.

Is anyone else out there living at such extremes? Is it only me that sees so much good existing right alongside so much bad. Am I the only hopeless one overflowing with faith? Am I the only one suffering in loneliness and all the while loving and being loved so deeply? Is anyone else out there like me, prematurely grieving the inevitable loss of existence, the world, an entire species they cannot wait to be rid of?

P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you out there, both the coupled and the single. Valentine’s Day may be marketed as a holiday for lovers but the truth is love exists in many forms and every relationship deserves recognition and celebration.


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

044 // At the End of the Day

The days lately have been so long, and somehow there is still never enough time. My life is spent working and worrying, trying not to make mistakes and cleaning up after the ones I make anyway. I’m tired. I’m a mess. I’m trying so very hard.

But there was good today too. My girlfriend and I got to work together and I believe we will again tomorrow too. I finished week two of Social Norms, Social Change I and actually learned quite a bit.

I did get some bad news, and then good news, and then some more bad news, and then some very good news too. I got help and I got the job done, and at the end of the day, I got to love and be loved.

At the end of the day, I allowed the day to end, and tomorrow is a whole new chance.


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

043 // It Isn’t Just Me

Absolutely exhausting day. I’m working much more than I’m used to and much more than I probably should considering I haven’t started the new medication yet. I’m supposed to keep my stress levels in check but between the increased workload, wedding planning, waiting on answers from my health insurance provider, and the day to day worries about relationships and money, I’ve about had it.

I’m not angry, and I’m not being treated unfairly. It’s important to remember that. When I ask for help, really ask with specificity and confidence, my pleas are met with seriousness and concern. People who can help do, but there just aren’t enough people who can. Everyone is working more and I’m simply being asked to step up. I’m not thrilled and I am struggling, but it isn’t just me. I have to remember that.


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

042 // Above and Beyond

I was so engulfed in enjoying my weekend I forgot how much work was awaiting me on Monday. I walked into work and was bombarded immediately with tasks and schedule changes. Help is limited, and I’m frustrating. I’m struggling to balance my time and I’m tempted to simply give up and let other people figure it out, but that isn’t me.

I always do my best, even when I’m tired and frustrated. I make it a point to know my job well enough to teach it to others. It’s important to me to make sure other people, especially new people, feel important and welcome. I’m proud of that and I’m proud of myself today.


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

Seven Shifts for February

  1. Take yourself seriously. Your dreams are not silly and although you are only starting out, and you have no idea what you are doing or where you are going, nothing about your journey is trivial. What you do is of the utmost importance, you have to be the one to acknowledge it as such even when no one else will.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ruin what is perfect. Mar that journal with your ugly words. Destroy that sketchbook with as many imperfect drawings as you can. Spoil that perfect dream by bringing it into this messy reality. Destruction is a facet of creativity after all.
  3. Chip away at it. Think past one day’s work to a week’s worth, a month’s worth, a year’s worth of daily work. Do not move too fast or burn out by trying to pack more than you can into 24 hours and likewise do not forget that there are only so many days you are given to work in.
  4. Stop taking the convenient viewpoint, stop spreading the easy explanation. Don’t accept oversimplification, isolated sound-bites, headlines, and quotes. Champion context, dig into the nuance, give the story, the idea, the concept the time.
  5. Make for yourself some small happiness, something no one can take from you. Make for yourself a small place of peace and joy in the world and within yourself to run to, to ground you, to heal you whenever you need.
  6. Don’t believe everything you think. Your thoughts don’t always come from within you and it’s not always clear why you think the way that you do. You carry biases, prejudices, and beliefs that are not your own and do not accord with whom you wish to be. Examine them. Question them.
  7. If you care about your thoughts, keep them. Don’t keep them on an app, or a timeline. Don’t keep put them where they don’t belong to you. Keep them in notebooks, carry them with you, display them on bookshelves, and pass them on to the next generation.

Post inspired by Nicholas Bate

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

041 // A Memory for the Week

With the warm sun coming through the west window above us we laid on the couch together sharing your headphones, the right earbud for me and the left one for you.

We closed our eyes and shared a playlist of your favorite love songs. I nearly cried when the ones from our first years played and nearly fell asleep as you played with my hair. The entire world melted away. There was just us, our home, our love, our memories, and nothing else.

I’m not sure how long we laid there, not speaking, just laying and listening, but it sure didn’t feel like long enough. I wanted to stay there forever. I wanted nothing else for the rest of my life but…the dishes had to be washed, dinner had to be made, laundry had to be folded.

The week is about to begin and as much as I loathed to leave that couch with you, at least I will have the memory of the sun, and you, and those songs to get me through.


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

If We Were Having Coffee // A Scholar at Heart

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

I’m happy to have no reason at all to leave the house today. I have a short to-do list, a podcast or two to catch up on, and Emily Dickinson’s poems for the late afternoon, if I can stay motivated and focused that is. There is always the possibility the lure of the couch and a few good movies I’ve seen a hundred times already could become too strong to resist and nothing at all will get done. I’d be happy either way.

In the meantime, pull up a chair and, please, help yourself to a cup. I’m missing my espresso machine today but the Moka pot is almost as good. I’m adding a bit of coconut cream if you’re interested or I’ve got strong cold brew and vanilla soy milk too. Let’s talk about last week.

“Coffee justifies the existence of the word ‘aroma’.”

― Glen Duncan, I, Lucifer

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my work week was a tough one. I was much busier than I had expected I would be and that got in the way of all the things I had wanted to do for me.

We’ve been hiring a lot of new people and that means I have been doing a lot of training and helping. We’ve also had a lot of bad weather lately and that means I’ve been returning later from my route in the morning and leaving early in the afternoons. Then arriving back to the terminal late again and more and more exhausted as the week wore on.

It doesn’t help much that our department is cracking down some on overtime and many of my coworkers weren’t available to help me out. On the other hand, it’s kind of good a good thing too because I’m never expected to work for free or for more than the standard 40 hours. I may be busy, and I may not have a lot of help, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. There are breaks and the work ends at the end of the day no matter what. 


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last Tuesday I was pretty shaken up by a rather gruesome car accident I witnessed involving a child pedestrian.

I didn’t see the child hit, thank God, but I did arrive just moments after it happened and say the young girl laying in the road unconscious and motionless. It saddened and disturbed me deeply and I took some time to get over it.

I have no updates on the girl except that she survived but had to undergo surgery. What worries me is that it won’t be long before I see this tragedy play out again. To be honest, I’m shocked I haven’t seen it before. This is an area where kids cross daily to go to school by darting across 6 lanes of traffic. There are crosswalks just blocks away in each direction but both take students out of their way. The kids prefer the more direct though dangerous route and as these are middle and high school student’s parents rarely accompany them along the way.

I have heard rumors that the city is looking into finding a solution. One of which might be installing a pedestrian bridge over the street. I hope they do, and sooner rather than later. I never want to see what I saw that day happen again. 


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was the first time since New Year’s that I’ve had alcohol, and I kind of hated it. Friday night was “Margarita Friday”, a day, once a month or so, when 6 or 7 of our friends get together to try a new Mexican restaurant, have a few margaritas, and blow off steam. I drank one margarita and felt pretty sluggish and cruddy Saturday morning.

Then, having not learned my lesson at all, I split a bottle of champagne with my girlfriend at our pre-Valentine’s Day brunch yesterday. Initially, I felt great but by mid-evening I was once again feeling sluggish and cruddy. I had a headache and a sour mood too.

So, maybe Dry January did me some good after all. Maybe it’s just like when I had quit smoking for some time and after a stressful day, I would think I could simply go back to smoking for relief. I would light up and immediately be disgusted by the taste and smell and my body would instantly feel terrible, so too with alcohol. I now know that even occasional drinking has consequences, and, I’ll, I imagine, be less inclined to indulge going forward. 


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have completed week one of Social Norms, Social Change I this week and I really enjoyed it. It’s not a hard course at all but there is enough work and enough new information to help me practice staying focused and managing my time to get it done. Two things I sorely need work on.

It feels good to be learning again. It feels good to think about not just my culture but other cultures and why people do the things they do, even when, especially when it seems so obvious to me that their actions are morally wrong or backward. Norms are hard to change and it isn’t as easy as learning new facts or understanding the harm. 

I have a feeling that this small course is truly the beginning of a long journey for me. I was talking last week with a coworker who, it turns out, has a degree in engineering. He was impressed by the way I spoke of my love for reading and learning and encouraged me to go to school, not just to advance my own career, or to make more money, but simply because he felt deeply that I would love the experience.

He said he felt I was “a scholar at heart” as in “someone who is intelligent or good at learning by studying”. As in, someone for whom learning is a passion. It was the most genuine and beautiful compliment I’ve received in a long time.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this was not a great week for reading and writing. I published pages to this blog that used to be up on Zen and Pi. Both are simple lists. 100 Dreams is a kind of bucket list that includes both the big and seemingly impossible dreams like publishing a collection of essays or swimming with humpback whales to everyday ordinary dreams like getting a library card or learning how to compost.

Am Reading is an ongoing list of books I’ve read with the rating I’ve given each out of five stars. When I start writing reviews again each book there will link to its respective review post.

After our chat, I’ll get a head start on this week’s posts including a couple of Monday motivation posts, a summary of my Dry January experience, a piece for Zen and Pi, and a long-awaited (at least by me anyway) newsletter. I’m also going to revamp and republish my “Now” page here. I pledge to update it at least monthly with new projects and habit changes I’m working on. 


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s time for me to get up and get to work on all the things I would love to check off the to-do list today. It’s time for me to go clean something, write something, read something, and maybe eat something too.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you stayed warm. I hope you made progress in all the ways you’d planned to and I hope any setbacks are easily overcome. I hope you had time for you and I hope your coming week will be even better than the last.

Until next time. 


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

Photo by David Lundgren on Unsplash

040 // An Early Valentine’s Day Celebration

I woke up with a lot of anxiety. There was so much to do, so little time to do it in, and what little time there slipped away from us and the next thing I knew we were running late, or so it felt. I was tense, I was frustrated, I was angry, and suddenly, everything turned out just fine.

We made it to our early Valentine’s Day brunch even earlier than we’d planned. We opted to drink an entire bottle of champagne’s worth of mimosas between us which was both a very good idea and a very bad one. After brunch was over—and still with plenty of time to spare—we walked over to the Opera House for a very fun Colorado Ballet performance of The Wizard of Oz

Afterward, we headed home to spend the rest of the day doing nothing but lounging on the couch and watching stupid movies together until we can’t keep our eyes open anymore. We can’t hold out as long as we used to. We’re getting older now and busy days and late nights have become mutually exclusive.

So, we’re calling it a night and heading off to bed early feeling very much in love.


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

039 // Writing Has to Be Work

I may not always like the things I have to do. I may be tired and grouchy a lot of the time, but I pride myself on always doing my best work regardless of where I am emotionally.

I do this for my day job easily. When the work is hard or frustrating or unfulfilling it doesn’t I put a smile on and do everything I can to exceed all expectations, even my own. It’s my superpower, one of many but I need to learn how to take that same attitude and apply it to writing.

I need to be able to do it when it’s difficult, or frustrating, or unfulfilling too. I want to sit down, exhausted and out of ideas, put on a smile and exceed all expectations, especially my own. I think writing has to become a job for me, even if it is only so in my imagination and not on paper.


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