If We Were Having Coffee // I Am, in Fact, Not Ready

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

I’m up late this morning, as has been the case for many days in a row now. Being on such a long break from work means that every day I fall further and further from my usual schedule. I’ve been staying up far too late, waking up too late, and doing far too much of nothing in between. I’m hoping to put an end to the laziness today. I may be up late but I’m writing and cleaning, and soon I’ll put on real clothes and leave the house for the first time in days.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. I have a fresh batch of cold brew in the fridge for a quick buzz, or I can put on the Moka pot if you’re in the mood for something strong but hot. Let’s talk about last week!

“I drank coffee and read old books and waited for the year to end.”

Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Christmas was actually wonderful this year.

We saw my family briefly on Christmas Eve for a rushed gift exchange and catching up. I had hoped to spend less and stress less about gifting this year but behind all the pressure there is a real pleasure in finding just the right gift. I honestly wish I could have done so much more.

We spent Christmas Day with my girlfriend’s family this year. We had too much food, and I had too much to drink and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The holidays are hard and it’s good to be with people who not only love you, but make you laugh, make you feel safe, and who appreciate you being there.

For dinner, we had a deliciously cheesy lasagna with acorn squash topped with orange marmalade and butter with spicy Italian sausage on the side. For dessert, there was cannoli and tiramisu too. We at it all in courses and by the end we were struggling even to get down the last cup of strong coffee and all our stomachs were hurting. None of us regretted a thing.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’m secretly looking forward to doing some shopping for myself after all this giving. I know that sounds bad, but the truth is there has always been a deep selfish streak in me too. It’s possible I love getting gifts just a tiny bit more than I love giving them.

Thankfully, I got plenty of gift cards with hard limits to keep me under control. I’ll be heading back to the mall and browsing the shelves of bookstores this week for a few things I promised myself I’d come back for when I was out shopping for others.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the days since Christmas have been uneventful and wildly unproductive. I’ve been feeling down, negative, restless yet exhausted, unhappy and rather moody. I’m not sure why except that I feel a vague longing to be doing something other than what I have been doing or even should be doing.

What I mean is, there isn’t enough time to do all the thing I want to do. There isn’t enough time to paint the living room, repair kitchen drawers, clean the whole house, visit friends and family, go out and do something, write, read, and rest all at once.

No matter what I do, I feel like I should be doing something else, but that something else isn’t what I want to be doing either. So I end up feeling guilty and then at the end the day I just feel disappointed. There is a slow panic rising too as I realize how much time I cannot get back and how close the end of my break is looming.

To be honest, though, doing nothing hasn’t felt entirely bad. In fact, I’m beginning to resent all those obligations and considering my time at home to be a glorious “stay-cation”. I’m working on a compromise that will get me through the coming week.


If we were having coffee, I’d sigh as I remembered that this is the last Sunday of the year. As much as I tried to be ready for this ending I admit that I am, in fact, not at all ready to let go of 2018. I’m excited but I’m also afraid. I’m sad, but oh so hopeful and happy too. I have high expectations for 2019 and whenever expectations are high I have a tendency to withdraw. I’m fighting that tendency now and hoping that I will wake up early on January 1st, 2019 and do what needs to be done.

I haven’t exactly pinned down my New Year’s resolutions yet. Instead, what I have are a few mindset shifts I’d like to make and year-long to-do lists for my blogs, my other writing opportunities, my dream projects, my home, and my finances. I’ve been experimenting with using Trello, breaking done projects into actionable steps and moving items from their respective project lists into lists for “this year”, “this month”, “this week”, “today”, and finally, to “done”.

I guess my New Year’s resolution is simply to write down the things I need to do and finding a way to get them done every single day of 2019.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the grumbling in my stomach reminds me it’s getting on toward lunchtime and time for me to get ready to head out into the world.

Today we are picking up paint supplies and samples (the first step in our “transform the living room” plan), going to IKEA—that wonderful hell of beautiful and cheap furniture we can never stay away from—and, if I still have the energy, we’ll pick the newest new Saga volumes on our way back home.

I hope your Christmas was lovely, and that you got as much as you gave. I hope the days since have been more productive for you than me and that you are ready for what the new year will bring.

Until next time.


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

Photo by Julien Labelle on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas

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

I’m not up as early as I wanted to be, but I went to bed a lot later than I should have last night. I knew I had a lot to do today, but I just wanted some time to be home, to write and to watch some TV before I had to get up and go back out into the world and finish this Christmas shopping. I regret it though. There’s nothing worse than Christmas shopping two days before Christmas except doing it while tired and grumpy. Thank God for coffee, am I right?

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. We have wonderfully thick, strong coffee brewed thanks to the new Moka pot I found at Target last week marked down to just $5! I’m still getting the hang of it so every other cup is a little overcooked and bitter, but bad coffee is better than no coffee at all so we’ll drink either way.

Let’s talk about last week!


“Hot coffee and cold winter mornings are two of the best soul mates who ever did find each other.”

Terri Guillemets

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this last week turned out a whole lot better than I thought it would the last time we met.

I still had a lot of work to do but a slight change in perspective really helped. I did my best not to think so much about how tired I was or how stressed I was or how much Christmas shopping I had left to do and instead I focused on racking up as much overtime pay as I could and I have to say I’m so proud of myself for showing up and getting the work done even though all I could think about what was the stress of the looming holidays and my longing for a nice long break from it all.

On Monday I found out that both of the schools I transport to would not be running on Friday. So, I put in a request for the day off and stayed home to do nothing at all. That isn’t true. I cleaned the whole house because I was supposed to be writing. I am procrastinating on a few projects I wanted to get a jump on and I could not focus long enough to at least generate some ideas. I’m hoping that after the holiday I’ll be able to try again to get ready for the New Year.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that despite what my anxiety and constant complaining would have you believe, I am actually enjoying Christmas shopping. Part of it is that we are doing so well. I would prefer that it was done already but my girlfriend and I both happen to be chronic procrastinators and it has taken great amounts of willpower and patience for us to drag each other through this process kicking and screaming.

The packages we needed to ship were sent off in time to arrive at their recipients by Christmas Day and while we have a have a few people left to shop for we at least have ideas. We were scrambling—and at each other’s throats—this time last year. We had no ideas; we were late shipping gifts out, and we forced to settle for less than ideal gift selections in order to have something, anything, to give. We haven’t had an argument or shed a tear at all this time!

Today we have just a couple of people left to buy for and then we just have to get all the groceries we need to get through to Wednesday.

Christmas Eve, we are spending alone. I am cooking us some spicy chorizo, salsa, and egg hash for brunch and my girlfriend is making crab legs, shrimp, and potatoes for our dinner. Christmas day we’re going to be with my girlfriend’s family and food-wise we’re going non-traditional. We’re having lasagna with mussels because it turns out none of us is really in the mood to have the same feast we prepared just last month.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that until just yesterday it hadn’t really felt like Christmas season at all.

The weather had been so warm and with our school calendars being shifted so that Christmas break began the week of Christmas rather than the week before it didn’t feel like we were approaching anything but endless December.

But yesterday, the temperatures dropped. A cold wind was blowing through the city and there were even a few snowflakes falling, and walking from that cold wind into a very bright Macy’s store with the Christmas music playing, all the holiday decorations, and the place packed with shoppers, I felt it. It was Christmas time.

I’m a little excited about it too. I always am despite myself. I always am despite how I loathe the money spent and the expectations. I love it despite all the bad Christmases I had growing up. I love all the coming together and the thinking of others. I like getting people things I know they will love and I love being out with the scores of people doing the same for their loved ones.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my plans for the rest of the week have changed too. I had hoped to go back to work the day after Christmas but the school district has decided that no one at all is allowed to work this week. That means a smaller paycheck next month, but I’m trying not to worry about that right now. Instead, I will use the extra days to get ready for the new year and reflect on the last.

I’m going to clean up my “creativity room”, work on my editorial calendar, break out my index cars and get some boxes for a couple of projects that have been rolling around in my head, and gather some drawing prompts for my art journal. I have some pocket notebooks to make and a new DIY journal to plan. I’m going to start early doing all the things I want to do next year and I encourage you to do the same if you at all can.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the morning hours are getting on and if I want to have any hope of beating the crowds out there I have to get up and get ready to go.

I hope you have some fun getting ready for the holiday and that things aren’t too stressful or depressing. I hope your holiday will be warm. I hope you will get all that you asked for and all that you give will be appreciated. I hope we all can remember what the season is really about, come together, and express love with more than money and things.

Until next time.


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

Photo courtesy of Barn Images

If We Were Having Coffee // One Last Busy Week

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

I got up late this morning, but I made coffee the first priority this morning so I’m moving fast. I sure wish I had a good espresso machine, or even a little Moka pot, though. This cold brew is good and strong, but I need more “on demand” options for these higher caffeine concentrations. There’s a lot to do around the house today. Cleaning, laundry, and dishes mostly, and in between, some writing in too, obviously. I was too tired for any of it yesterday and feel the need to do double the work today, after chatting with you.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. The sun is shining, and the air is warm again today. We’ve been 10-15 degrees above average temperatures for weeks now. It was nice at first but it’s beginning to worry me a little. Still, best to make the best of it right? Best to throw the windows open, let the fresh air is blow through, and take full advantage of these perfect conditions for some good conversation I think. Let’s talk about last week!

“Whenever I drink coffee I love being alive.”

creamysmooth

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week was exhausting!

Part of my job, when not riding the school bus with the students, is teaching other people how to ride the school bus with the students. We had a new class of employees start and it was a bigger class than I’ve taught in a long time. I was out of practice and off my game at the start. I injured myself twice and struggled to stay positive and motivated, but I got through it. I hear there will be more of the same in the coming week too. This time I’ll be ready.

I spent the weekend healing a pulled muscle, some sore joints, and a couple of deep cuts on my hands. I rested, ate well, drank plenty of water, and rested some more. I got out of the house. I saw some friends for a “pancake cook-off” and a couple of strong mimosas. I did a bit of window shopping and got some projects done around the house too. It was a good weekend and I feel physically and emotionally ready for the next 5 days of dark mornings, long days, and early nights.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last Tuesday was “infusion day”, the day every 8 weeks where I hang out at the clinic and get my ulcerative colitis medication through an IV drip. Because I had been tolerating the infusion process so well the nurses and I decided to start doing them a little faster so I can get the heck out of that place as soon as possible.

Not that it’s awful, especially if my girlfriend stays, and if I have a good book and plenty of snacks, but being there makes me feel like a sick person and when I leave, no matter how I actually feel, I’m well and normal again. 

The one-hour infusion went well but there was some bad news too; I think. Before every infusion, I have to get blood work done. Two months ago my liver panel came back with some concerning numbers and looking at the results from Tuesday things are looking even worse. I expect—hope!—to get a call from my doctor this week letting me know if it really is bad news, or if we will continue to “keep an eye on it”.

Either way, I am sure she will tell me not to worry, she always does, but I know that if my liver continues to be damaged by this medication, I may not be able to take it anymore. There is a chance of getting sick again while we try something else, and greater and greater financial burdens too. 


If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have failed completely to do any of my Christmas shopping before the deadline I had set for myself, or before it would be too late to ship them. I just keep forgetting that it’s the holiday season at all. I don’t have my tree up or any Christmas lights either, plus, like I said, the weather has been beautiful and having no kids of my own the holidays simply slip my mind sometimes.

This is my last week to get it done though. I know Christmas isn’t all about the gifts, but it’s kind of all about the gifts. I’ll have to do the shopping every day after work when the sun has already gone down and I’m already tired. Knowing me, I won’t make it and those gifts are going to end up arriving at their intended destinations and recipients very late. I hope everyone is feeling rather patient and grateful this year.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that one of the many perks of working for a school district is getting to end the year, and begin a new one, with a nice long rest. This coming week, though it will be busy, will be the last busy one for a good long while. Schools will close, and buses will stop running until the second week of 2019. I’m so looking forward to resting my body and mind and having time to prepare for the new year and to reflect on the last. 

Of course, this long break it isn’t great for the paychecks, so I’m not taking all the time off offered. I’ll go in for at least half of the break—along with the rest of my team—to check our buses and make sure each bus is stocked with supplies and set up in accordance with policy and law. It will be easy-peasy work. Half days and half or less of the stress and I get to put my headphone in, listen to podcasts, walk around in the sun, and take all the breaks I need.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s getting dark outside. The sun is coming in low through the west windows and that means it time to switch from coffee to tea—and later, wine—else risk fueling my anxiety late into the night, and speaking of anxiety, I’d better get a move on and finish up these work week preparations, else risk a light night wide awake with worry.

I hope you had a good week. I hope that you are excited for the fast approaching holidays, not stressed or depressed. Do not forget to make time for you and to reflect and remind those around you occasionally what the true meaning of the season should be. Do not forget to show love and look always for ways to be kinder.

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 New Year Begins Now

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

I’m moving slowly this morning. I’m ambling about unfocused, scattered, and distracted. My schedule was thrown off by the cancellation of a group brunch this morning and now I don’t know what to do with myself. I did all the cleaning yesterday (thinking I wouldn’t have time) and writing—the thing I know I should be doing—is proving too difficult to be enjoyable. I’ve just now been able to pull myself away from my phone, and I’m hoping a cup of coffee and some good conversation can motivate me to get back on track before the day is done.

So, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. The sun is shining today and the temps are warm enough to open a few windows and let some crisp air in. 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 last week was another long one. It’s hard going into work when it’s dark and coming home, cold and exhausted when it’s gotten dark again. This is usually when I start feeling depressed. It’s like the world stopped existing and all there that’s left is work and home. I feel trapped, but knowing there is nothing I can do I simply resign myself to it. Winter is forever…

This year I’m trying not to let myself get too down. This year I’m trying to get out more, with friends if possible but even a walk around the parking lot at work during lunch will do. I have to remind myself that the world is still out there and that I can still do things, go places and be happy, even in these cold and dark times. 

I actually made all kinds of plans this weekend. We had the above-mentioned brunch and a birthday/Christmas party to attend too, both of which were canceled. Part of me is disappointed. I probably won’t have the time or the energy to get out again until next weekend, but part of me is relieved. The part that wanted to wallow on the couch, binge watch The Walking Dead and sleep way too much, that part of me won this weekend. I’m realizing now that, as usual, her promises renewed energy after so much “rest” have proven hollow.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you, honestly, that I didn’t accomplish much this week, but it’s ok, my priorities were a little different. I spent much of the week brainstorming ideas, reading, and practicing doing nothing at all. 

I’m about halfway through The Iliad now and on track to finish by the end of the month. That is my last reading goal of the year and I am determined not to fail this one too. I keep feeling tempted to pick up something else but I’ve set my expectations so low (just 10 pages a day) that there is no excuse, and at the end of the day when I read for 30 minutes before bed, if I still want to pick up something else, I have Emily Dickinson’s poems waiting on the nightstand.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that when I wasn’t reading I worked hard to avoid social media and instead worked on some ideas and strategies for next year’s goals. I’ve always believed that the time to start your new year’s resolutions is the December before. I want to hit the ground running on January 1st; you know? 

I’ve got my new body weight fitness routine just about figured out. I had to make a few modifications since I don’t have a lot of equipment and I have chronic joint pain. I still have to clear out the basement bedroom and convert it to my basic home gym but all that requires is a Saturday morning’s worth of cleaning, carting the old TV down there, and picking up a new area rug. 

I’ve also downloaded the Year Compass booklet to fill out this week. I was looking for a way to take stock of where I am and start planning for the year to come. I filled one out last year but I can’t for the life of me remember what I did with it. This year’s I’m going to keep in the back of my journal, and the next one too, and I’ll leave it in the last journal I use for the year before filling out another. 

I’ve also downloaded the new daily goal tracker from Elise Joy to use for a new year-long creative habit. I have been trying to work up the courage to start using my the art journal I made last summer, but for some reason, I just can’t bring myself to sully those beautiful, pure blank pages. Perfectionism and a fear of looking silly are keeping me from starting but I will not let another year go by while those pages stay blank. I’m going to start, and I’m giving myself permission to keep those silly drawing all to myself if it helps.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have a very busy week coming up. I had planned to take it easy but much of what my week look likes is, unfortunately, out of my control. We’ve got a lot going on at work, and there have been hints we may have a lot going on for a while. 

I’m going to take it easy as much as I can though. It’s “infusion week” this week. For those new to my story, two years ago I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and my current treatment plan includes drip infusions of my medication every 8 weeks. That means every other month I spend the afternoon in an infusion center eating snacks and reading while a nurse makes sure I don’t have any adverse reactions.

After these infusions, I’m always exhausted. I think part of it is being anxious the whole time, and the fluids they give me make me feel cold and tense too. A nurse once told me dropping all the medication into the body at once contributes to the tired feeling too. I always take it easy during my infusion weeks. I figure it’s my body’s best chance to calm the immune system and give the medication a chance to work.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the sun is getting low now and I’ve finally found that energy I needed all day. I’d love to stay and chat through the evening too but if I don’t start preparing for the week ahead I know I’ll regret it. 

I hope you had a good week and that wherever you are winter isn’t rearing its ugly head. I hope you got out and made time for you. If not, there is still time and I urge you to spend it doing something that will make you feel good or at least a little more ready this coming week.

Until next time.


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

Photo by Trent Erwin on Unsplash