There were good things today.

I cleaned. I wrote a little. I didn’t get to that cut out poem, but I spent some time on taking care of me. There was a delicious dinner and a bottle of good red wine. I got new head phones and they are exactly what I need to help get through the long days at work.

And now the weekend is over and I am trying not to be too down about it. I’m proud of myself for doing better today than I did yesterday but I’m still carrying so much guilt. I can’t do that anymore. I can’t let myself get sucked into mindless TV and social media timelines that way again. Not all day.

But today was better, and that has to be enough. I have to let it go and start new tomorrow.


If We Were Having Coffee // Struggling to Balance

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

I’m up later than I hoped and very short on energy or perhaps motivation and passion are what I’m lacking. I’m like a zombie, up and moving but not motivated by much. No food looks good, nothing much sounds fun, even the idea of coffee is turning my stomach a bit, but I think the best way to crawl out of this funk is to do exactly all of those things that sound so hard to do right now. That means opening the curtains and letting the sun in, making breakfast, pouring a big cup of coffee and chatting with you. I know that’s what I need, even if my mind is right now trying to convince me otherwise.

Please, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. Summer seemed on her way out last week but today she has returned as strong as ever. I don’t mind though. I know once she makes way for autumn proper I’ll be miserable until spring. So today the widows are open to let the day’s heat waft in and warm the soul and we have a full carafe of cold brew already steeped. Let’s talk about last week!

“The early morning is too strong to drink straight, so I need to mix in a little coffee to be able to hold it down.”

— Jarod Kintz, This Book Has No Title

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that lately I have not been feeling great, either mentally or physically.

I’m pushing through though but struggling to balance the need to rest, to take it easy and to keep my stress levels low with the guilt of not working as much as I want to and the thrill of helping people, being important, respected, and part of something greater than myself.

I haven’t been mindful of the way I spend my time lately. I get caught up in the immediate and lose sight of my goals. The problem is, it’s easier to complete tasks at work than it is to write. So, this week I have a strict schedule with strict times for working and strict times for stopping. I have times for writing, and reading, and for when to watch TV and when not to. I’m trying to have faith in myself but I have a feeling the schedule will fall apart by mid-Monday.

The key to planning is not just what you write on paper or put in your calendar but how you prepare emotionally and I can tell you emotionally I am already in an anxious and avoident state. I already don’t want to do anything at all.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that outside of work things have been quiet, a nice change from last week when things were not so much hectic as they were incredibly worrying.

I can’t get into it all because not all of it is mine to share but I will just say that being the oldest daughter in the family is hard. I feel responsible not only for all my younger siblings but for my parents too and quite unexpectedly the feeling only grows as we all get older. Half of my poor moods and cruddy feelings have to do with lack of sleep and energy spent on worry, worry, worry. I’m constantly trying to work out schemes and solutions to all their problems and at the end of the day I collapse into self-pity and worthlessness when I can’t fix all their problems.

It’s hard, but it isn’t all bad. I love my family and I truly feel honored to be looked to as not only a good example but as a source of knowledge and a comfort. I don’t feel resentful. I just wish there was more I could do.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve been especially down and lazy all weekend. I had planned to go hiking this morning, but I never got my gear together and anyway, I stayed in bed far too late to go. I binged an entire season of a show all day yesterday and ate nothing but junk. I barely wrote anything, and I didn’t make any reading progress.

But, I am determined to turn the weekend around today. I’ve spent our whole chat telling you how bad things are but I have hope. Already today I have gotten so much cleaning done around the house and rather than spending my time on the couch I’m at my desk in my “creativity room” writing and catching up on my favorite podcasts, things I enjoy, things that make me feel better.

On my to-do list for the day is to finish this post, finish the housework, and then, to make something. I’ve been missing the meditative process of making cut out and cut up poems and I have been wanting for a long time to make some collage art too. I have a corner piled high with magazines and a tray of cut out scraps on the desk. I have new X-Acto blades and a new set of wireless headphone to tune the world out with.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this coming week will probably be a busy one. I have a doctor’s appointment this week to talk about my medicine dosages. I’ve been rushing back and forth from the lab and talking with pharmacy techs over the phone and it turns out the dose I am on come with significant risks. My doctor would like to see how I do on a lower dose since I have been stable and in remission for close to a year now, a course of action I fully support.

We have a new class of employees starting and although I am not scheduled to train them this week; I have a bad feeling I’ll be saddled with the work nonetheless. The bright side is I am in the market for a few hours a week of overtime and very willing to work if they are willing to pay.

This week my wife and I are also celebrating the birthdays of four family members between us, three of which are my siblings. My father-in-law and one of my brothers share one day, and two of my sisters, born years apart and to two different mothers, share another. We’ll be doing our best to get meaningful gifts in time and to spend time with the ones we can before the start of next week.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am honestly feeing better already. Just getting everything off of my chest, and consuming two cups of cold brew, have definitely done the trick. I’d love to keep chatting but I think I’ve complained enough and I fear I I’ll find very little else good to say.

I hope you had a good week. I hope that wherever you are summer is hanging on and that you are able to find time to get out and enjoy the last of it. I hope you were able to accomplish something big and if you weren’t I hope you know you can always get up and try again. I hope you are taking care of you.

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 Ali Yahya on Unsplash

It’s been a lazy day spent binge-watching mindless shows, napping, drinking hard ciders, and eating junk. My body hurts and my mood is spoiled. Everything that would help sounds exhausting. There is no hope to recover the day, not that I want to anyway.

I’ll try again tomorrow.

I love Friday the 13ths. Everyone thinks they are such spooky and unlucky days but I feel the opposite. I was born on a 13th you know and so too me they are worth celebrating. I wish this one were my birthday it being a Friday and a full moon, a rare occurrence indeed I hear. A quick search tells me the next time this will occur in April will be in the year 2063. I will be 78 years old then.

No matter the date any Friday is a good day because it means the weekend and fun and rest. This week has been both long and short and as such I am both relieved and sad to see it end. I have no big plans this weekend and only the possibility of a Sunday morning hike to look forward to. I contemplated asking friends to come out for a “margarita Friday” but we’ve all spent too much money and time seeing each other lately. I thought about asking my family to get together but with so many of their birthdays coming up I thought it best to wait.

Oh well, maybe a quiet weekend spent doing quiet things is worth looking forward to too.

Suddenly the week is passing quickly again. Perhaps stress and anxiety not only color the present and the future, but maybe the past too? Maybe it all got drawn out because I was too busy holding back, holding on, and avoiding moving forward all together and now that I am free from this small (in hindsight) fear I can move through time again—and time can move through me too—normally.

Of course all this also means there aren’t enough hours in the day again.

I’m avoiding things again. Hard things are rearing their ugly heads and I am making excuses to turn toward lighter, happier, sunnier things, but I know it has to stop, and I know I will feel far better too when it does.

So, the to-do list is growing and I’ve added dates and times to the calender. These are things that I must be brave for and must, if need be, mindlessly rush toward before my feelings and fears can catch up.

I’m an over thinker, but I am learning to turn off that inner skeptical, pessimistic, and degrading voice and simply do. We can’t always be people of forethought and wisdom. Sometimes we have to be people of action if we ever want to get anything done.

Today was made of many small fortunes. The route I rode this morning was a long overdue reminder that this job can be both fun and rewarding if you put forth the effort to make it so. Of course, I knew that, but it’s been a long time since I felt it.

There was plenty of work to do around the office when I got back but none of it was hard and all of it made me feel proud and useful. There was time to read afterward and despite my fatigue I was still able to be cherry and social with my coworkers.

I took advantage of the rare opportunity to go home early today and promptly wasted it on an accidental nap. Oh well, it’s not like I’d have had the time on a normal day anyway and it’s not like I did nothing at all. Small chores and catching up on reading count for something, don’t they?

The evening is less easy but there is still good here too. I’m going off to bed only wishing we were further along in the workweek. As for the rest, I am content.

The fatigue has returned. The day was easy on me and the people around me were understanding and undemanding and still I struggled to keep up. I crave sleep and where I couldn’t get it I at least craved solitude and silence. I got neither but thank God for headphones. At least I could tune out the undesirable and listen to music to music to match my mood.

I spent a lot of time reading in the afternoon. I made the mistake of trying to read four different books at once in a desperate attempt to make up as much lost ground in my reading goals as I can, but I am beginning to doubt the strategy. Not because I don’t like the books, or because I feel overwhelmed, but because now all I want to spend my time doing is reading those books. I suppose there are worse ways to waste time.

The evening is better. My wife and I cooked dinner together, something new, savory, satisfying. Tonight feels like another Sunday, not rushed, not stressful, and tomorrow the week will be a day closer to done.

Today was actually kind of a bad day, a rare occurrence for the weekend, but it was one of those bad days that while sad, and stressful, and hard, leaves you feeling grateful underneath it all too.

It was a bad day, but it wasn’t just my bad day. It was a bad day, but I wasn’t alone. I was supported and loved and I gave support and love too. I know bad days are inevitable but I wish every bad day could feel like this. I wish everyone, if they had to have a bad day, at least got to have bad days like this sometimes too.

If We Were Having Coffee // A Few of Her Favorite Things

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

This morning is off to a slow, sad start. My anxiety levels are high, my energy is low, and my emotions are feeling rather raw but I’m trying not to wallow. It’s always been the case that the more use I make of myself the better I feel so I’m working in spurts to clean up the house and to gather the motivation to run a few errands. I have some doubts about how far I will get but I’m hopeful that a cup of coffee or two and a bit of stimulating—and perhaps comforting—conversation will at least turn my mood and outlook around.

So, please, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. It seems the last of the miserable days of summer are over and though I’m tempted to put the Moka pot on the stove, it’s easier to pour from the cold brew carafe in fridge Let’s talk about last week!

“The best Maxim I know in this life is, to drink your Coffee when you can, and when you cannot, to be easy without it.”

— Jonathan Swift

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that in the three weeks since we last sat down to chat a lot has been going on.

At work I have been far busier than I’m used to. I’ve been working in a new role recently and though it has been exciting and empowering, it has also been nerve-wracking. I’m suddenly wholly responsible for how I spend my day and while that means I now have time for what I think is important, it also means learning how to be self-motivated. I’m struggling to know when it’s a good time to start working and to know how to keep working. Sometimes I get that much right but then I don’t know when to stop working either.

In addition, the expectations have been somewhat unclear but I’m trying to look at it from a different perspective. I’m trying to remember to be grateful and to take full advantage of the opportunity I have been given. I have the freedom to choose what my purpose is!

The key, I think, is to take it slow but at the same time, I also have to find my strength, my place, and my voice and quickly. I have to know what I am doing even if I can’t yet do it. I have to know my direction, even if I can’t yet move.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my weekends have been considerably busy too.

The long hours also mean that everything has to be done on the weekends. Then in mid-August we picked up hiking again, and it’s hard, after an exhausting climb, and a few beers as a reward, and a long restorative nap, and then trying to take care of family, and the house, and to make more time for one another before the work week starts, after all of that, it’s hard to find time to write. To make matter’s worse September has always been a hectic time for us. Most of our loved ones celebrate birthday’s this month, including my wife, and one of my little sister’s is expecting her first child this month as well.

Last weekend I was busy flying to South Carolina for her baby shower. I went on my own, my first time in an airplane since I was maybe 8 or 10 years old. I was worried I would hate it but I found take off to be thrilling and the flight itself to be breathtaking.

Seeing my sister was wonderful, of course, but I felt incredibly out of place down there. I loved being with my sister but I missed my home, the mountains, the dry air, the hipsters, the bikes and the dogs everywhere.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that after my flight back into Denver last weekend my wife and I were able to spend a little time together for her birthday but it just didn’t feel like enough to me. She has had such a stressful year and I am so proud of her for getting through it taking the first step toward what she wants out of life.

So, this weekend I planned a whole day for us to do a few of her favorite things. We woke up early and took the lightrail downtown to the Denver Art Museum for their September free day. For lunch I found a new deli to have a good sandwich and a couple of cocktails before heading back home to nap the rest of the afternoon away. We woke up early evening to get ready to head out to a fancy Italian dinner with our closest friends and afterward we all went to see It Chapter Two together at our favorite movie theater.

The whole day was a surprise. I wanted her to have one day in which she didn’t have to plan or choose one thing. A day all for her to feel important, appreciated, and loved. I hope I succeeded. I hope I can give her many more days like that too.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this coming week looks to be just as busy as the last but this time I have a plan to take time for myself. I set aside a few short hours of each day Monday through Wednesday to write or read and if my schedule holds I should have almost all of Thursday and Friday to myself too.

I’m still sitting well behind where I should for my reading goals but I haven’t given up at all and I’ve already surpassed the number of books read last year. This week I hope to finish Ethics by Baruch Spinoza but I know I will only put another small dent in the weighty Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky.

Writing-wise, I have no goals. I want to get back to my schedule though and try again to post something real here. It may be best to shelve the pieces I haven’t been able to find my way to finishing and try something else. Still, part of me thinks the best thing I could do for my creative self is to push those ugly, half-formed drafts out into the world and finally be ride of them. Even if they are incoherent and insignificant at least they won’t weigh on my so.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it has somehow taken me all day to say these small things and not that the coffee mug has been replaced with the wine glass, and the sun has given way to the Waxing Gibbous moon, it’s time for me to say goodbye.

I hope you had a good week. I hope wherever you are these last throes of summer aren’t rife with either merciless heat or flooding rains and rising tides. I hope that you found time for you and that you found time for those who make you feel important, appreciated, and loved too.

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 Yanal Tayyem on Unsplash