11:33 AM

There’s chaos all around me today but I’m breathing through it and, when I can, writing through it. My morning will be a little busy but not as bad as it was initially scheduled to be and by the afternoon I should be all on my own in soundless bliss. Plus, there are free tacos and a “welcome back” cake in the lounge. So, today isn’t all bad.

This afternoon I plan to take advantage of the free time and do some writing. I have a ton of essay topics scribbled on scrap paper and post-its and I would love to get them out of my backpack and into a document or blog post draft. I just need a clean hour or two to think and to type but it depends on whether my coworkers get the hint or not.


It was a long day. The kind of day you have to rush home and wash out of your hair, exfoliate off of your body, and drink away with a strong hard cider. Today was technically my first day back at work for the new school year. No, actually it was everyone else’s first day back and simply my first day seeing them all again since last May. Apparently, it’s going to take me some time to get used to them all again.

I’ve never read any of Toni Morrison’s books, a fact I am deeply ashamed of, but I certainly knew who she was. She was a black woman and an author and though I haven’t had the joy of her books in my hands. I look up to her. I want to be like her, and I am influenced by her.

Her books have been sitting on my TBR list forever and though it’s too late to love her while she was alive her words are still waiting for me and will be there whenever I am ready. I’m grateful for that, and for her lighting the way for all black women and for writers like me.

Rest on peace Toni Morrison and thank you. I’ll see you on the page soon.


It’s my last day of getting to work a fully flexible schedule, and my last day of getting to go home early so I’m taking advantage. 

It was a busy morning. We did more training, some testing, and scheduled more training and testing in the days to come. The rest of the week will be rough, but it will get better the closer to the weekend I get.

I’m spending the late afternoon cleaning and working on some blog things.

Inspired by Erica Avey I’ve been mulling over the idea of combining my Tumblr and WordPress spaces. I like having a space that is only for my words but having a place that encompasses all of my work as well as what influences me is an appealing prospect too.

There are pros and cons to both I suppose but I can’t know what works and what doesn’t until I try. So, I have a few new menu items: the Feed, which is simply everything I post, some of it mine, some of it belonging to others, Vade Mecum, which is like a scrapbook of all the things I see, consume, and think about, my Journal, bits of thoughts and feelings shared every day. Soon, I will be posting more types of writing: poetry, essays, short stories (maybe), and questions I want to answer, so there will be tags for those and additional tags for quotes, art, videos, podcasts, and music too.

Let me know what you think!

If We Were Having Coffee // Hold on to Every Minute

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

I’m feeling sluggish this morning and frustrated by my late start and fatigue but after a long night of drinking and seafood feasting in celebration of a friend’s birthday party I suppose it could be worse. I’ve gotten some food in me, taken a mid-morning nap, and started on a cup of strong coffee and I’m already much improved. I’m thankful today isn’t demanding much of me. I have a few words to write and some small tasks around the house. I think a good conversation and cup or two more of coffee should have me feeling well and productive in no time.

So, please, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. It’s already hot outside and that means the temperature is rising in the house too so it’s cold brew over ice with a generous pour of vanilla almond milk over top. Let’s talk about last week!

“Life is like coffee, the darker it gets, the more it energizes.”

— Ankita Singhal

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the news of both mass shootings in Ohio and Texas over the weekend has gutted and exhausted me. I would tell you that I have no idea what to do or say to help me, or us, or anything at all, but I know something inside of us, all of us as one a nation, a world, is so broken and what it takes to heal is to let go of our pride and I fear this is too much to ask from a proud species such as ours.

I’m sad for the wounded and the families that lost those they loved. I’m sad for all of us who are only further traumatized and terrified. I’m beyond thought or prayers and I have no interest anymore in discussions or debates. I’m hardly posting about it or talking about it, to be honest, because I can see that unless we take a radical step one that says we value human life and that we can change enough to try to protect it nothing else matters or means a damn thing.

We’re beyond words. We are at a place now where we will accept our nation as it has become or decide we have become something too horrific to allow to go on and we will change.

I really hope we change.

If we were having coffee, I would move to lighter, more personal matters, and tell you that my work week was quite a long one.

We’re preparing for the school year to start next week and training a large group of new employees at the same time. The new group is so big we had to bring in trainers from the other locations in order to get the job done. Having that many people in one place who are used to doing things differently meant that there was a bit of tension and few flares of emotions but on the whole, I am very proud of us all for getting the work done.

I feel bad for being kind of a hard-ass all week though. I’m burned out on being a leader and asking my team to step up and though I think they understand it’s gone over as a bit of a shock, in a bad way. It’s hard, as a woman, to be the one who has to ask more of others. It comes off as nagging. I appear bossy, emotional, and, I worry, lazy. I may be projecting my own insecurities. I know that they do get it even if they may not like it.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you this coming week will be just as busy and stressful as the last but in a very different way. Tomorrow I have more training to do but this time with existing employees to prepare them for the start of the year. I have people coming in every hour until lunch and when I’m not doing that I still have trainees from last week that need a little more one-on-one work.

On Tuesday we have our annual legally mandated 8 hours of collective training which means all the employees coming together to sit in a big room to listen to lectures, watch videos and presentations, and enjoy some free lunch. It means willing myself to stay awake while I learn for the 13th or 14th time how to do my job.

Every year we have a guest speaker or two. It’s the best part of the day because we get an outside perspective and a reminder that we what do is so important enough that we should always to try to do it better. Last year a woman came in to talk about sensitivity toward our LGBTQ students and this year I think we’re getting race and cultural diversity training.

My hope is that people really take it all in and take it into their personal lives. I hope they use it to treat everyone they meet with respect.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that after the big training day it’ll be time to start practicing my route, not that I’ll need to do much practicing. This will be my third year doing the same route with the same driver.

Still, I’m nervous. There will be new kids coming onto the route that I haven’t met and they may have needs that are hard for me to meet. Working with kids requires a lot from you and not everyone has enough or the right things to give. I don’t always have the right things to give that is why I choose the routes I do. I have more to give the older kids, or I have up until now. Now, and this time every year, I worry that I will get a kid who I can’t give anything to. I don’t want that for me, or for them.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week will be my wife’s first at her new job, and the first week in 13 years that we won’t be working together. I’m so excited for her. I’m so proud of her and, to be honest, a little jealous too. Jealous of her for moving on, for moving up, for being so respected and wanted. I’m jealous of her new workplace and new coworkers who will get to see her every day from now on and reap the benefit of her intelligence and professionalism.

But what I feel isn’t important right now. I’m doing everything I can to be as supportive and encouraging as I can. She’s scared and coping with impostor syndrome. I know adding my sadness and insecurity to her emotional load won’t help either of us right now. So, I’m coping too. I’m going to keep putting one foot in front of the other, go one doing what I do best, and giving her the space she needs to grow.

I can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss seeing her around the place.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that so far married life has been amazing. It’s only been two weeks but the love I feel and the love I am receiving not just from my wife but from all of our friend and loved ones have been so overwhelming and wonderful. I’m trying hard to hold on to every minute of it. I’m doing everything I can to milk it, to drag it out, and to really feel it.

One good thing about her new job is that we will have more time together. At least, that is the hope. There won’t be any more late nights or long weekends. At least…that is the hope.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it has somehow gotten very late and I very much need to get myself to bed if I want to have any hope of starting my work week on the right foot.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you are having a good summer and that wherever you are you feel like your year is beginning again too. I hope wherever you are and whatever you are doing you are safe, that your loved ones are safe too. Hold someone close and allow yourself to be held too. We are all we have after all.

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 Julien Labelle on Unsplash

216 // Words Mean Nothing

I woke up this morning absolutely devastated. Another mass shooting less than a day after the last, this time in Dayton, Ohio. I don’t know what else to say. I don’t want to say anything at all because words mean nothing anymore. I’m tired of talking and hearing others talk, even myself I guess. I feel guilty for turning off the news but it’s all too much. They are showing surveillance footage on a loop and it doesn’t feel very good to watch people being shot and possibly killed over and over again. 

215 // Nothing Will Change

It was a perfect day. It always is when we head down to The Museum of Contemporary Art. We got to see the exhibit Clark Richert in hyperspace showcasing the art of Colorado artist Clark Richert and immersing the viewer into his philosophy and influence. I loved it but geometry, patterns, and art so having all three in one exhibit and artist was really exciting.

Just turned on the TV and saw the news about the latest mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. They haven’t confirmed the number of fatalities but the estimates on the injured are so high I suspect the casualties to be in the double digits. My heart is breaking but I’m also angry. I get angrier and angrier every time and the rage rival the heartbreak now. I’m tired and feeling hopeless too. With the anger comes a growing certainty that nothing will ever change.

214 // Seize This Time

It’s my wife’s last day at our district and the last day that we get to work together before she starts her new job on Monday.

We had a party for her where bittersweet words were spoken and goodbye cake was served. They gave her a beautiful plaque, thanked her for all her hard work and years of dedication, then stopped short of begging her to change her mind. The panic could be felt in the room though as the reality of her leaving and of the chasm of knowledge and professionalism she was leaving behind began to loom.

After all the tears my wife and I went home and opted to go out, do some shopping, and celebrate. We made it an early anniversary celebration, a celebration of her new opportunity, and a sort of make up date for all the long hours she’s been working. Part of me too is afraid of what next week will bring and I’m inclined to seize this time with her while I can.

213 // There Have Been Tears

My mind is on tomorrow, not today.

Tomorrow is my wife’s last day with me at work and I can’t help feeling a bit sad over it. I’m not the only one. She is the best of all of us and this place will certainly be worse off without her. These last few days we’ve all had to accept that she is really leaving and the reality is hitting home. We’re all seeing the long road ahead without her warmth, her intelligence, and her drive. We’re seeing our own shortcomings and we’re imagining the collective failures to come.

There have been tears, and I add my own to the deluge.

212 // A Coworker and Friend

Halfway there! Today was long. My body is feeling the effects from me pushing it the way I have. I’ve been working outside in the heat for hours a day and then going to bed way too late at night. I’ve been sleeping too much after work and not taking my medication the way I should. I’ve been stressed, anxious, and irritated and I haven’t figured out how to get out of my bad mood.

Tomorrow we wrap up the work we’ve been doing with the new class, and though I haven’t said it or expressed it very well, I’m very proud of my team. We’re fucking awesome and no one is going to tell us that or treat us as well as we deserve so we have to do it for one another and it has to start with me. I haven’t been a very good coworker or friend, and I don’t know why, but I promise I’m going to do better.

211 // Spending the Evening

Tonight it’s raining. The temperature is dropping, and it looks like I may just be able to fall asleep comfortably before midnight. We’re spending the evening with plates of fried chicken, glasses of white wine, two-and-a-half hours of Democratic debates, and each other. I hope the rain sticks around to cool the air and lull me to sleep in my wife’s arms when bedtime comes.

That would be a fine way to end a very long day.