Goals 2020 // Part II: A Year of Deliberate Doing

I promised myself I wouldn’t declare any grand resolutions, or sweeping changes to my habits or lifestyle for the new year and though that may appear to be exactly what I am doing here I assure you this is not nearly so rigid or strict a list.

What I set out here are intentions, hopes, and kind works I want to give to myself on this journey into the new decade. This is what I hope for my future self now knowing that she may come to hope for wholly different things when her time comes. I offer her wisdom knowing that her life is one I am ignorant of and that she will come to possess a knowledge beyond my own through her own experiences.

The only habit change I chose to make for 2020 is to decide mindfully how I want to spend my time by scheduling out my hours from day to day. My hope is to get more done by being consistent, by knowing what to do next, and by not allowing myself to get sucked into avoiding progress by mindlessly scrolling, binge-watching, or conveniently forgetting what kind of life it is I want to lead.

To that same effect I thought is only right to make a list not of things I must do, but of things I would like to do, experience, or accomplish in 2020. The list is flexible. I can and will add, delete, alter, and update it throughout 2020 as I complete items or change my mind. If I’m really on top of things each item checked off will have a corresponding post, perhaps each deleted item will too.

I did a lot in 2019 but there were a few weekends that went by and a few opportunities missed simply because I lost track of time and failed to plan ahead. This list is meant to be checked at least weekly and as often as every month. I can edit then and choose one or three things to begin planning for the next month or two to check off. I want to make sure I get the most out of the year and this time next year I will make my final updates, share my thoughts, and post a whole new list.


This year marks the beginning of a new decade and a new journey for all of us together. From here 2020 feels like it’s going to be a big year, or, I want it to be a big year. After getting married, traveling out of state for first time since I was a child, and making so many lovely memories with friends and family, I’m ready to step even further out of my comfort zone.

This year I will:

Create a schedule—for everything, every day!—and stick to it.

Get that promotion at work.

 Go camping just the two of us.

Travel to Texas for business and for pleasure

Visit family in California.

Go back to South Carolina.

Hike new trails this summer.

Rent a cabin for Christmas.

Get active. Return to running and basic body weight training.

Achieve remission, again!

Post regularly to Zen and Pi.

Pitch one publication a month. Bonus: Collect 100 rejections in 2020.

Read 30 books.

Complete the big home improvement projects.

Complete 7 massive online open courses.

Complete one lesson on Khan Academy and Duolingo daily.

See another play, a ballet, and an opera.

Pay off half of our debt.

Save a little more every month.

Give back a little of what’s left.

Get my driver’s license.

Buy a new car.

Get my library card again.

Start a private gratitude journal.

Start a sketchbook.

Attend a political protest event.

Volunteer for the Democratic Presidential Campaign.

Seek therapy.

This year I will do my best to give up control, to let others make mistakes, and to forgive people their weakness as I would want them to forgive me mine.

This year I will demand more from my relationships and give more of myself to my relationships too. I’ll make the time and put in the effort and when others make it clear that they wish to move on, I will let them go even if it hurts.

This year I will stop helping every body so damn much. I will stop helping others in ways that only serve to make me feel better rather than the ways they need me to help.

This year I will say “sorry” less often and I will never apologize for being, loving, and needing help, connection, and understanding. I will accept that not everyone will like me or even hold a positive opinion of me and know that that’s okay and not my fault or a reflection of my value as a person.

This year I will honor others. I will uplift people I see being overlooked. I will speak up for others being held down. I will remember that we go further if we go together.

This year I will get involved. I will become informed about my local politics, environment, and development. I will find a way to help.

This year I will not try to be someone new. I’m already the person I need to be, that I wanted to be but never saw before. I only have to let her be free.

2019 left me feeling supported, encouraged, strong, and full of love for myself. I am ready to work hard, to defend my boundaries, time, and needs, and to take my dreams seriously. I’m ready to go beyond a life that though it is beyond anything I used to think I could have or even deserved is far less than what is possible for me.


Featured image by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

Goals 2020 // Part I: Spending My Life the Way I Spend My Days

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living.”

— Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Though 2019 was a phenomenal year, looking back, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed in myself. Looking back, I see so much good but also see a lot of wasted time. I lost hours playing games on my phone, binge watching TV, an scrolling Facebook or Twitter when I got bored. These where hours I could have been learning something new, reading more books, writing something, making something, doing absolutely anything else that would have been more fulfilling. I spent my year the way I spent my days and there were more days spent living a life I didn’t want than I am comfortable with.

I’m a naturally anxious and avoidant person. It’s not the failure I’m afraid of, or even the success. I don’t like to try because trying means finding out so much about yourself and there are things I worry I will find out that go beyond success and failure. So, I spin my wheels. I do what feels like work but isn’t I talk a lot about what I want and dream about who I will be after. I avoid living the life I say I want by mimicking, by wasting time, by making excuses. I don’t want to do that anymore.

So, I’m taking a moment to acknowledge that going forward the same as I always have in past years will only get me the same results I have ended past years with. I would like to step into a new decade with better prospects. I would like to try something new and perhaps make a little more progress this time around the sun. I’d like to live a little more like I the person I want to be one day.

This year I have a plan, and that plan is just to make a plan. If you think it sounds too simple or small for a new year’s resolution, I would agree. I refuse to refer to it as such. It’s not a big goal, or grand lifestyle change, it’s only a one, tiny habit change. All I have to do is make a daily schedule. I don’t have to plan the year. I don’t have to plan my months or weeks. No, in 2020 I will focus solely on the day to day, the hour to hour, the minute, by minute, by minute. I’ll spend my life the way I want to by making sure each day contains all the life I want to live inside of it.

I’m starting with Google calendar and carving out blocks of time for everything from when I sleep, when I wake up, when I work out, when I get ready for work, when I can eat, read, write, and watch TV. I have time for my wife, my family, my pets and myself scheduled to the minute. I have time for podcasts, for social media, for journalling, for making art, and for simply sitting and thinking for a while. Each event has a reminder set for one hour before so I know what comes next and when it’s time to begin there are notes and to do list items so I know where to focus.

In the evenings I’ll look over my calendar to adjust the days ahead. I can add events, to-do items, and notes. I can add more time, move events around, or delete them entirely. Of course not everything can be included into every day. Some days there may be no reading or writing at all because I’ll be working, traveling, spending time with family, or with friends, or shopping, running errands, or I simply decided to do something else or nothing at all. The point is not to do anything in particular but to make a choice. This time next year when I look back on this one I will know that wherever I ended up, whatever I did or didn’t do and whether I chose to focus or to slip into mindlessness more often than not, I will at least know it was up to me.

I know the exercise won’t be easy. There is so little in life we have a choice about. Even by making a schedule there is really only a small fraction of the day I can call my own. My day job demands a lot from me. My friends and family need me. I have responsibilities and obligations. I have to eat and sleep and will power runs low when the body or the mind grow weary, stressed, or depressed. To make matters more difficult you have to fight every day to wrench what little focus you have left from companies trying to see you something or sell your time to someone else.

The TV is always on, the phone is always buzzing; the ads are always running; the world is always telling you to consume, to post, to scroll. Choosing how to spend your time is not an easy choice to make in that vast current. It is a daily battle between you and yourself, you and the expectations of others, you and the giant machine of capitalism and consumerism.

I know sometimes I will fail miserably but I all ask of myself is not to give up. Day by day means beginning again, and again, and again every morning. With practice I hope to perfect my priorities and hone my focus. I hope to figure out what works and what doesn’t, what I can do and what is expecting too much. I hope to learn too what I thought I wanted to do and what it turns out I really didn’t, what feels right and feels wrong, and, what I really want my life to look like.

This system may sound strict and devoid of surprise or serendipity but the alternative has been to leave myself at the whims, cravings, moods, and flawed memory. The alternative has been lost time and opportunity. The alternative has been a lot of fear and regret.

But with this system there is nothing anymore to fear. I don’t have to count up my successes and failures. I don’t have to do one thing or another. I don’t have to be ashamed, afraid, or avoidant. If I don’t want to do something, then I don’t have to. All I need to do is leave it off the schedule and let it go, but if I want to do it, no matter what it is, accomplishing it can be the easiest thing in the world. All I have to do is block out the time, sit down, and do the thing I told myself I would do. That is all the success I want for 2020.


Featured image by Elliott Engelmann on Unsplash

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

If We Were Having Coffee // Nothing is Inconsequential

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

The sun is up and out and all reports promise temperatures near 60. It’s concerning to have such warmth in winter but I’m so ready for all this snow and ice to finally start melting. I’ve got all the windows cracked hoping to cleanse my soul with the crisp clean air. Perhaps Punxsutawney Phil was right, Spring does feel awfully close today.

So, pull up a chair and help yourself to a cup. I’m craving a bulletproof egg latte myself but for the less adventurous I have the usual cold brew and the Moka pot is always on if you want something warm. Let’s talk about last week!

“My cup is full of air. I should empty it and fill it with love. Or coffee, as the two are synonymous to me.”

— Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not for Sale

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week felt very long. Our weather was all over the place again. We started the week with snow and freezing temperatures and ended with sunshine and ended nearly 15 degrees above average.

Despite the rising temperatures many of our streets are still covered in think layers of ice. Weeks like this are hard when you work in a school bus. Traffic was awful and accidents were happening everywhere. We ran very late and had more than a couple of close calls. It was frustrating but in the end, I was just glad we made it to and from safely.

In addition to that stress, I spent much of the week especially exhausted. Between my girlfriend’s lingering cold and cough and my anxiety, I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in over a week now. I’m coping well though, considering. Extra coffee and afternoon cat naps have certainly helped. I’m hoping the new workout routine I’m starting today will help too.

I’m debating talking to my doctor about trying medication to help mitigate my anxiety. I can see that my old coping mechanisms aren’t working as well and I feel myself slowly losing control of my body and my thoughts. I’m tense. I’m irritable. I’m getting “stuck” more often on small inconveniences and any amount of change has become terrifying. Nothing is inconsequential anymore. Nothing is insignificant. Nothing is okay!

I’m overwhelmed and I need help but asking for it isn’t easy.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my resolutions this year are being implemented in stages. My plan is to take some time at the beginning of every month to reassess my goals and decide what I need to start doing as well as what I want to stop doing. I never want to be working toward what I used to want, you know?

Last month’s resolutions included not drinking alcohol and cutting back on my sugar intake, as well as writing, reading, and doing my Spanish lessons on Duolingo every day. I did well on all fronts though cutting out sugar proved the most difficult. The stuff is in everything!

As for this month, today I’m starting a beginner bodyweight fitness workout, a few days ago I enrolled in a Coursera online course, Social Norms, Social Change I to kick off my resolution to always be taking a free online course. Besides those two resolutions I’m resolving to post weekly on Zen and Pi again, and by mid-month, my weekly-ish newsletter will, hopefully, return.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m working on a proper post to wrap up Dry January but I want to quickly say that, for me, the difference between a moderate alcohol habit and drinking no alcohol at all was not drastically different. I lost a few pounds but that could have just as easily been a result of lowered sugar intake.

I’m working on a proper post to wrap up Dry January but I want to quickly say that, for me, the difference between a moderate alcohol habit and drinking no alcohol at all was not drastically different. I lost a few pounds but that could have just as easily been a result of lowered sugar intake.

I didn’t sign up for the Dry January challenge because I had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, but because the medication I’m on is affecting my liver to such a degree that a relaxing glass of wine after work would impact my system much more than it would other people.

Unfortunately, after an ultrasound and further blood tests this week, my doctor has determined that I suffer from a mild case of “non-alcoholic fatty liver disease”. I’m of the belief it is yet another long-term side effect of steroid use after my initial diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, but there is no way to know for sure. In any case, I’m being advised to continue to severely limit or abstain entirely from alcohol.

So, my little experiment will become a long-term habit change and to be honest, I’m a little sad about that. I don’t feel reliant on alcohol but I have always enjoyed it. It seems a small thing but I enjoyed alcohol the way other people enjoy new and exotic foods. For some people, cooking food, experimenting with food, sharing food, and learning about food is a big part of their lives. I enjoy trying new drinks and playing bartender for family and friends. I enjoy pairing wines with meals and knowing just what kinds to recommend to others who are less experienced or knowledgeable.

Going forward that will have to change, and I will have to change too.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s Super Bowl Sunday here in the states, a sporting event turned unofficial national holiday but here at home not much fanfare is being made. One of the things that has kept my relationship together is our mutual disinterest (and oftentimes disdain) for the cult of football. We’ll watch because the commercials are awesome, but the outcome won’t mean much to me either way.

Instead, we’re spending the day cleaning the house, relaxing, and making more wedding plans.

Yesterday we looked at yet another venue but this time everything felt different. We fell in love with the place the moment we walked in. It’s intimate, urban, located in the heart of the city and most importantly, it feels like us. It isn’t the outdoor location I originally envisioned, but it’s not far from an outdoor ceremony location we’d considered previously. And, in the case of inclement weather, this place can accommodate saying our vows indoors. It’s as close to perfect as I can afford.

This week we’ll put down the deposit and lock in our date—which was miraculously still available!—and start chipping away at the seemingly endless list of decisions and to-do’s leading up to our big day.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the sunlight is coming in low through the west windows and the air coming in is chilling fast. It’s time to start dinner and to turn the game on. I may not care about the outcome but to not watch feels like too great a transgression against societal norms.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you accomplished something and if you didn’t I hope you know you can begin again tomorrow. I hope whoever you are rooting for tonight wins and that you celebrate safely tonight.

Until next time.


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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

032 // New Month, New Me

This year’s resolutions are on a staggard schedule. This month I’m beginning my resolution to start taking some Open Online Courses.

My goal is simply to go on learning all my life, always in new ways and ways under new topics. I’m not looking for certificates, or to advance my career, right now. I want to use more of my brain and to broaden my horizons. I want to learn how to think better and about more than just my work and my writing. I want to learn how to learn, that is all.

I started with Social Norms, Social Change I on Coursera. It seemed like something I could handle with a limited subject range and it’s only 4 weeks long. A good place to start. When I finish I’ll move onto Social Norms, Social Change II in March.

And who knows, maybe it will lead to something bigger down the road. Maybe I will finally make up my mind and gather up the courage to enroll in a degree program and embark on a whole new journey in life.


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

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

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