069 // Only Half Failed

Sunday again, my old foe. I’ve wasted so much of it and I’m not even sorry. Yes, I am, but I’m trying not to be. It’s not my fault. Sundays make it hard to be productive by being so nice in themselves but being so close to Monday that they are resented for the association.

So, I tried, and only half failed so I’m not mad. The day is simply set up for failure.

But tomorrow will be different, I hope. I already know I won’t have as much time to myself as I need but I’m promising to do good work nonetheless. I’ll muster all the enthusiasm it takes and be sure to save a little over so that when the work is done there’ll be something left for me.



These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

060 // The Privilege of Problems

It was all downhill from my morning coffee.

I don’t want to fill this place with more complaints and curmudgeonry so I’ll simply say that I’m grateful for the problems I do have because they are proof of my privilege. I’m grateful to have a job and the respect and consideration of my coworkers. I’m happy to have a home that needs cleaning, friends and family to be obligated to, and a relationship that requires time, patience, compromise, and understanding.

I’m grateful for my problems, and for Fridays, that revitalizing light at the end of the tunnel I need to push on toward the weekend.


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

059 // Simply Unfair

The weather may not be sapping my energy today, but other people certainly are. I feel let down and taken advantage of. I feel unimportant and at the same time, I feel like everything is being put on me.

I don’t want to complain though. I can’t control other people. I can talk to them, sure, but I may have to accept that some things are simply unfair and focus on what I have to do rather than what others are not doing.


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

058 // Tired of the Season

I struggled to match yesterday’s enthusiasm but there was still measurable progress made. The week has already gotten away from me though and I’m not sure I’m going to meet those writing goals I set for myself but it isn’t from lack of trying so I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

I couldn’t resist watching Micheal Cohen testify before the House Oversight Committee today. Part of me wishes I had skipped it and done more writing or reading instead, but another part felt that this was too important a political event to miss. I was a wild ride and not a moment of it felt like a waste.


I’m especially tired tonight for no good reason at all. Sure, I didn’t get the best sleep last night, but not the worst either. I didn’t spend the day working too hard, physically or mentally, and there was plenty of coffee to drink and I even took a nap mid-afternoon.

Still, I came home feeling drained and disoriented. I couldn’t hold a thought in my head and I kept forgetting what it was I wanted to do next. All I wanted, more than food, more than my TV shows, more than even a shower, was to go straight to bed.

I blame the weather. I blame the frigid temperatures and the depressing fog that hung around the city all day. I blame the threat of over the coming weekend and the way winter has exhausted me these last few weeks. I’m simply tired of the season. I can’t take much more.

But, tomorrow is the last day of February and there are just 21 days left until Spring now. I think I’ll make it though it will be hard.


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

057 // Small but Measurable

I took today for myself and when I did I promised not to waste it. I did all the things I wanted to do until each little goal was met, and then I did no more.

I did one day’s worth of Spanish lessons and didn’t concern myself with being top of the leaderboard. I watched one day’s worth of videos for Social Norms, Social Change I and I didn’t try to complete the whole week at once. I read exactly 50 pages of One Hundred Years of Solitude so there would be time left for writing, and worked on a draft of my next “Currently” post without the pressure of trying to make it perfect right away.

I’m practicing chipping away at things. I’m doing less of each thing per day so that I can accomplish more in the long term. I’m not rushing, or pressuring myself, or feeling guilty and because of that, there is no reason to be afraid, to be overwhelmed, or to procrastinate.

Today wasn’t perfect but I learned that it helps to use a timer and to schedule my time on social media. It helps to set a clear goal for each task and to decide before you begin exactly when you will stop. It helps to turn on some music and to have a plan for when you get distracted, stuck, or tired.

I feel good tonight, and proud. I wanted to keep the momentum going so, I turned off the TV early and made time for a short walk, a long shower, and one more chapter before bed.

I look forward to some small but measurable progress tomorrow.


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

056 // Spreading Things Out

I’ve been thinking about what I wrote yesterday, about trying to do too much on Sundays because I don’t know what Sundays are for. I realized that Sundays are not the only days I overload this way. I do the same on Mondays and Fridays too.

The core of the problem is procrastination. I schedule too much work for the future so I can do nothing now, and then when that future arrives I’m astonished to find that several day’s worth of work will not fit into one. So, I fail, and I give up. I get nothing done and I still keep doing it again and again.

This week I’d like to try spreading things out more. I’m going to chip away at the big goals by doing a little every day, and for the weekends, perhaps spending half of each day resting and the other half working each day would suit me better?


Excerpt from a Slowly app letter I wrote today:

“I get what you are saying about everything being predetermined. I feel the same, as if as all my thoughts or actions originate from somewhere inside of my mind just out of reach of my conscious. The thought comforts me rather than anxiety though and I have no desire to fight it.”

“I read somewhere that our free will is limited by our ignorance of the choices available to us. The best way to maximize choice and control over your life is to gain knowledge. Knowledge of the world, of history, of people, and of yourself. Just something to think about, or something you’ve made me think about, anyway.”


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

If We Were Having Coffee // We Will be Married

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

I’m up early this morning but not for any particular reason. There’s not much I have to do today, just a few things I want to do to keep from feeling guilty for wasting the whole weekend. 

I spent almost all of yesterday on the couch. Today I’m refusing to even enter my living room and I’m forbidding the use of social media until I’ve cleaned a few rooms, typed up a few posts, made a few phone calls, and made progress on our wedding planning “to-do next” list. 

But first, coffee! Pull up a chair and, please, help yourself to a cup. There is plenty of sunshine streaming in through the windows but don’t be deceived. It’s freezing out there and if you look out, you can still see the 8 inches of snow we received Friday night into Saturday still clinging to the trees and rooftops. It’s the perfect day for a big cup of piping hot dark roast, don’t you think?

Come, let’s talk about last week.

“If you want to improve your understanding, drink coffee.” 

― Sydney Smith

If we were having coffee, I would apologize for missing last week’s chat. Last weekend my mother, my youngest sister, my girlfriend, and I drove down to Texas to surprise our other sister for her 30th birthday.

The drive is 15 hours long, and I had hoped to chat with you along the way, but for most of that time, I was either sleeping or without cellphone service at all. By the time we were back in town and I could post it was far too late to.

All in all, the drive was pretty awful, and we all agreed to never to do it again. Our time in Texas, however, was wonderful and I wish it could’ve lasted much longer. It felt good to be there for my sister and to celebrate such important milestones with her.

My sister comes up here to see us fairly regularly, but this is the first time I was able to go to her and see her home and how beautiful Houston is. I was surprised to find so many trees and so much green in the middle of winter.

The warmth and humidity were surprising salves for my soul. I’ve heard the summers there are sweltering and unpleasant, but I can see myself going down there at this time every year for a break from the frigid and depressing Colorado winter.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that after our trip I got one more day of rest before I had to return to work. President’s day meant the week was a short one but short weeks only mean concentrated workloads. The extra work and shortened timeline were stressful enough but things have been particularly chaotic following significant staff changes.

The constant schedule changes and last-minute needs of coworkers are sending my anxiety levels sky high! But, I’m good at what I do and I pride myself on doing it with enthusiasm. I got through my work, the exhaustion, through irritation, through frustration, and through disappointment. No, I didn’t just get through it, I killed it!

I’ve been promised a break next week and I’m looking forward to catching up on everything I had to push aside this week, which, it turns out, was quite a lot.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we have finally settled on a wedding venue and a date. We found a place in the heart of the city that had just the right look and isn’t far from one of my dream outdoor ceremony sites. Best of all if the weather won’t cooperate on our special day we have the option of moving our vows indoors. Now we just have to plan the rest of…everything else.

When we went to secure our date at the venue, we brought our mothers with us to have one final look before we made it official. They loved the place, but they were eager to know what our plans were for food, decor, DJs, rehearsals, seating plans and a lot of other things we’d barely thought about. We’re overwhelmed, but there is excitement bubbling below the anxiety too, somewhere. 

We are getting married, and even if we mess it all up and every single thing goes wrong between then and now it won’t matter because we will finally be married!


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that despite these long days it seems like 2019 is moving along rather quickly. Soon we’ll be making our way through the third month and approaching the 25% complete mark. I don’t know about you but my goals are nowhere near 25% complete! 

I don’t know about you but I am having a hard time focusing on those big, long-term dreams. I’m procrastinating. I feel lost. I am full of doubt and my mind is all over the place. I’m losing a lot of time to social media, to the news cycle, to the short term and ultimately useless satisfaction of daily internet drama.  

One of my favorite bloggers, Patrick Rhone, has started a new podcast, or rather, a “microcast” called Rhonecast. The first two episodes are up and the first is a small piece of advice that made a big difference to my week wherever I applied it.

Rhone advises us If It Sucks You In, Delete It. He doesn’t advise that you assess the way you use an app, or limit the time you spend on an app, he simply says to delete it. He goes even further to say, don’t just delete it, replace it too.

Now, I’ll be honest, I didn’t delete those time-sucking apps off of my phone completely, but I did make them harder to see. I turned off my notifications and took them off of the home screen. Now I have to go to the app drawer and scroll down to find them.

And where the folder for these time-sucking apps was, I made a new folder. I put a note taking app in there. I put Duolingo and Coursera in there. I downloaded a new app called Slowly and put that in there so instead of mindlessly scrolling through endless content, I read letters from faraway pen pals and write them long letters back.

These small moves have helped a ton already! I have given myself much more useful, productive, and fulfilling things to do when I’m bored now. And when even these apps won’t entertain, I’m more likely to just put my phone down and pick up a book or pull out my journal than to look to social media. And when I do feel the need to open Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, it’s for a reason and not just to pass the time. 

If you’re struggling like me I encourage you to give the delete and replace strategy a try.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I am enjoying our chat, it time for me to go. There are only a few short hours left until the weekend is over and so much more I want to do before the workweek begins.

I hope that you had a good week. I hope that you found time for you this weekend and that this coming week will be better than the last.

Until next time. 


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

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

024 // A Bare Minimum Day

It was another snowy day, but this time I still had to go to work. The flakes didn’t begin falling until we had already started picking up students, or, right in the middle of rush hour traffic. The sudden storm caused traffic blockages all over the city and we ran late to every stop and every school.

After the morning run, I still had plenty of work to do. It was my busiest day in a long time, though worse is on the way my boss tells me. So, right back out into the cold I went but I’m proud of myself for doing it without complaint and even a measure of enthusiasm. I took a moment to stop and marvel at the winter wonderland being built around me as the powdery snow fell.

The moment passed quickly. The cold air, the bare trees, the grey clouds, and my stiff bones got the better of me. I soon fell back into my usual winter sullenness. The sun did return in the afternoon but the damage was already done. I had let the day slip by without making any progress. I shirked productivity. I scrolled social media. I got lost in Twitter replies and Youtube holes. I let the hours go by and I have nothing to show.

The evening was no better. I tried my best but time slipped away and the chance is gone. Oh well, I read a little, wrote a little, and even cleaned up a little around the house. I put one foot in front of the other and I made it all the way to the end. I did the bare minimum—but so what? Fuck it. Tomorrow is Friday and I refuse to feel bad.


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

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