If We Were Having Coffee // A Project and a Passion

Hello and happy Sunday! Thanks for stopping by for a bit of conversation and a chance to catch up over a hot cup of coffee.

I’m up early this morning and starting the day with a big breakfast and at least half of my housework list. It helps me feel better about taking the midday to write if I’ve marked a few to-do items done by then. To be honest, I’m almost sad to be stuck inside. It’s such a beautiful day—We’re looking at a mild midday near 70 ahead of snow that’s forecasted to roll in over night, ugh!—but having the chance to clean, and write, and chat all day long sounds like the perfect way to spend a Sunday to me.

So, please, pull up a chair and grab a cup. I’ve just remembered that I actually own a French press and it can, in fact, be used to make other kinds of coffee besides cold brew. Let’s talk about last week!

“Coffee is a language in itself.”

― Jackie Chan


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week was just as hard as the week before. I finished up training the new class of employees that started last Tuesday and though it stressed me and scared me and considering I had very little idea what I was doing most of the time; I think it went very well.

I definitely feel like I’ve earned more respect of my coworkers and my bosses by taking on this task and executing it so well and for freeing up some of their time to work on more pressing matters. The truth is a year ago no one would have considered giving me such a big task, not for lack of competence but because it simply isn’t my job, but now that we are so short staffed there is just no one left with the time to do it.

Of course this actually works out in my favor for the long term. There is no better time to demonstrate that you are an asset to a workplace than when the workplace is in utter chaos. Every day I find a way to help out, and every day I make an impression and add to my resume. Soon there will be a chance for advancement and I mean to do everything I can to leave no room for any other option than me.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was just what I needed. I did nothing at all but what I wanted to do.

I took care of myself. I got back on my medication schedule. With all the work last week I found myself skipping meals and missing my medication alarms. I’m definitely feeling the consequences so much so in fact that tomorrow I’ll be sending off an email to my doctor and filling out this years FLMA request to prepare. I expect a round of lab tests and though I know I am not supposed to stress about the “what ifs” I can’t help worrying a little about both what could happen if my IBD flares up but the possibility that doing more at work is just too stressful for me to keep this disease in remission.

Yesterday I also took a leap and deleted all my old posts from my other blogging project, Zen and Pi. Many of you might know me from there but for those who don’t, Z&P is where my blogging dream first started, and died.

See, I meant to write about things there, and sometimes I did, but slowly I fell into a bad habit of getting too personal and mundane and that is why I made this place. I wanted somewhere to put the personal and mundane but then I never went back. I never lost the desire to write about things, but I didn’t know how to begin again with all that old personal and mundane still being hosted there. So, I deleted it all.

Of course, I didn’t really really delete it all and my hope is that much of it will be resurrected, revised, and reposted here where I also want to write about things, just different, more personal things instead. Anyway, if you want to tag along on the journey, you can check out the new space and follow.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this coming week should be a lot more relaxed than the last.

I was going to spend my time working on those National Blog Posting Month pieces I had drafted at the end of October and never got around to finishing or posting but if I’m honest trying to catch up or to begin such a rigorous editorial schedule this far into the month doesn’t sound like much fun. It doesn’t sound like the kind of writing I really want to do be doing right now. I already have a project and a passion of my own and I need to focus my time on that.

I’m still interested in writing about those ideas but I want to do it more slowly. I want to go deeper and do better than what I had planned at first. Rather than quantity over quality, or even the other way around, quality over quantity I’d like to learn to balance the two both here and over at Zen and Pi. I want to stop trying to write the way other people do. I want to stop writing for other people too. I want to follow my own interests and instincts.

I want to write more selfishly.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the sun has moved on to the west windows and I can feel the cold air moving in both from the north and west from the mountains bringing grey clouds and the threat of snow. It’s time for me to put away my screens and spend time with my little family before I’m forced to start another work week.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you were busy when you needed to be and that you were able to find peace when you didn’t. I hope you’re feeling well. I hope you are taking care of yourself when if don’t.

Until next time.

Risk // FKJ, Bas

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

Photo by Jannis Brandt on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // The Beginning is Gone

Hello and happy Sunday! Thanks for stopping by for a bit of conversation and a chance to catch up over a hot cup of coffee.

I woke up very late this morning needed even more sleep than the end of daylight savings time could provide. I wandered the house in exhaustion and malaise. I’m not feeling well and I feel bad for not feeling well. I’m recovering though and trying my best to do what I can. That means gathering up the energy and the will to shower, to take care of my pets, running a few errands. It was slow going but I was able to at least do that much. Now I plan to spend the rest of my evening here on the couch, typing, chatting, and sipping whatever fluids I can keep down.

So, please, pull up a chair and grab yourself a cup. You’re on your own to make coffee today I’m sorry to say. I’ve got packets of Starbucks instant iced coffee if you’re interested, or you can put the Moka pot on for a hot cup. Just Gatorade for me thanks.

Let’s talk about last week!

“Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.”

― David Lynch


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week wasn’t long but it was definitely grueling.

I started teaching a large class of employees all on my own and though it went as well as I could expect it was also very hard work. I had no time at all in my day for writing and when I got home I was too worn out for any of the things I enjoy.

There was one exception. One day of freedom that came on the heels of one of the biggest October snowstorms we’ve ever seen. On Tuesday the storm rolled in earlier than expected but school had already been called on a regular schedule and once the powers that be decide what to do they cannot change their minds. We got the kids to school but the snow piled up faster than anyone expected. By noon, the powers that be made a new choice and we began the chaotic process of releasing the kids early and closing the district early.

The worst of it blew in overnight into Wednesday and the roads were deemed impossible and we all got a free day outside of time to stay home, warm and cozy.

This coming week I’ll have more of the same but it will get easier and easier as the class completes all the expected training items. Soon I’ll have more time to myself and by the following Monday, I expect to be back to a schedule that is much more familiar to me.

I’m doing all of this because pretty soon there will be a new staff position posted with a description that includes a lot of things I’d already been doing and new things too like training new classes. My (and my bosses) hope is that when the position is available and I will have the best chance of getting it based on experience.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was one of the worst I’ve ever had.

Friday night was great, actually. I meant to spend it out of the house but after getting home early and finally sitting down for a bit, I lost all my motivation to leave. My wife and I ordered Vietnamese for dinner and drank more than a few glasses of wine. We stayed up late watching creepy movies and enjoying each other’s company. It was a much-needed break from all the stress and the tediosity of the week.

I woke up at a decent time on Saturday. I felt good, focused, motivated, even excited…for a while. I got up to write and while typing away on my laptop my wife called me from another room. I shut the screen and went to see what she needed. When I got back and opened the screen again I got a dreaded message, “chrome os is missing or damaged”.

I spent the rest of the morning trying to fix it but nothing worked and by midday, my stomach was making some pretty concerning noises. I don’t want to get too detailed but I will say the rest of that evening and well into the night was spent in and out of the bathroom. My guess is something in the Vietnamese food was bad. I blame the egg rolls that came at room temperature and tasted a little funny.

Today I’m slightly better but I’m exhausted. My stomach is still sensitive and I haven’t been able to eat or drink much since midday yesterday but I managed to gather enough energy to go get a new laptop. I’m not sure I like it more than the last, but I couldn’t risk buying the same one again and facing the same system failure twice.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I made no progress at all on any of the goals I set up for myself this past week.

I had a whole bunch of posts ideas for National Blog Posting Month and a few of them are half-written too, but with work and this sickness, I haven’t gotten any of them up. I failed before I even got a chance to start. I want to try again but I’m not sure how to start now that the beginning is gone. Maybe these challenges aren’t for me. I never can seem to get through them.

My other goals fell by the wayside too. I didn’t do any reading and I never got into the creativity room and I never made anything with my hands.

I hope this coming week will be different. I hope I can find the time and when I do I hope the passion and the inspiration are there to meet me too.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m tired. It’s late and I’m still fighting through this gastrointestinal upset and if I want to have any hope of making it in to work tomorrow I have to get some rest now.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you are feeling well and that your week was a lot more relaxed than mine was. I hope something went right for a change and that you found some peace, some clarity, some sense of direction.

Until next time.


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

Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // The Things I Choose

Hello and happy Sunday! Thanks for stopping by for a bit of conversation and a chance to catch up over a hot cup of coffee.

It’s later in the day than I hoped it would be when we met but after a late night last night, hours of bad sleep, and a delayed start mean I’m speeding through my chores and preparations for the week. I’ve been on my feet cleaning, meal prepping, doing the laundry, and helping my wife complete a furniture rearrangement project we’ve been avoiding for months. It’s been rough, but I made considerable progress on my to-do list and as a reward (and to give my aching bones a much-needed rest) I’m allowing a short break to slow down and enjoy the last of my weekend.

Please, pull up a chair and grab yourself a cup. The winter weather we’re forecasted to have for the next 4 or 5 days has arrived. Snow has been falling since early this morning and we’ve not gotten above freezing temperatures so the Moka pot has been on an off the stove brewing hot cups all day. I have a fresh bag of blond roast and a brand new carton of sweet vanilla almond milk too. Let’s talk about last week!

“Coffee is a way of stealing time that should by rights belong to your older self.”

― Terry Pratchett, Thud!


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week was a painfully long one! Nothing particularly bad happened and there was no more stress in it than any other average week, but it was the first one back after fall break and time always drags when you have to return to a normal schedule. Those who opted to work had to get used to the rest coming back, and those who opted not to had to get used to coming in at all again.

I’d done a little of both and so took longer than most to adjust. I struggled to get up in the morning, to make it in on time, and to maintain, or even pretend to have, a positive attitude. Thank god for my coworkers who are also my friends, and for bosses who allow overtime so that the long days feel worth the sacrifice of time.

I accomplished very little of the personal goals I laid out at the beginning of the week. I didn’t read at all. I hardly wrote anything. I made no progress on the free courses I’m taking, and I didn’t spend any time in the “creativity room”. I was tired and lacked the willpower to self-start.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was a busy one too.

Friday night we took my cousin (who is also my wife’s best friend) out for birthday drinks and dinner since we wouldn’t be able to make it to her trivia night that Saturday. We had a blast. It was a new restaurant for my cousin and me (my wife had been there before) and not only was the food delicious but the customer service was well beyond what you get at most places. Apparently, you’re even allowed to bring your dog! We’ve already decided to go back very soon for brunch.

We spent all of Saturday preparing for our friend’s Halloween party last night. We went as Bob and Linda from Bob’s Burgers. We had a great time, the same as last year. I haven’t gotten to see all my close friends in the same room in a while and I desperately needed it. We all used to work in the same place and that made syncing our schedules and making time to see each other easy but at least half of us have left and finding time to get out that works for the whole group is depressingly hard.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that next week is going to be really busy.

My boss has asked me and another coworker to teach a large class of new employees starting on Tuesday. This is a bigger class than we have had in a long time and rather than just teaching the hands-on equipment portion we will teach the policy power point too. I know I can do it—I’ve done it before—but speaking in front of that many people makes me incredibly nervous. My stomach has been in knots since I found out.

So far it looks like my days are going to begin before sunrise and I won’t see my first real break until after noon. Half of that time I’ll be indoors and the other half I’ll be outside. After lunch, I’ll probably go back to training inside but if I’m lucky, my boss might alter the schedule and I’ll get to head home early one or two afternoons. I’m expecting to work well into overtime, to be exhausted, and to be quite proud of myself by next weekend.

It’s going to be hard when we start training on the buses. The weather forecast is looking pretty bleak. We have snow predicted through Wednesday and nothing above 35 degrees until next weekend. On cold days like that, it just doesn’t matter how many layers I wear. Once I step outside the chill reaches right down to my bones and I never really get warm again until I get back home and take a long hot shower.

We have just 144 more days to go until Spring is here again.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even though next week will be busy, I’m going to make as much time for the things I love as I can. I gave up everything to everyone else last week and failed to make myself a priority. That cannot continue.

My little hobbies and passions might not be much but they matter to me. These things I do keep me sane, they keep me happy; they make me feel like there is still a part of me and some small sliver of my life that belongs to me. They are the things I choose.

This week, I’d like to make it halfway through a week of videos and materials on Coursera and through at least 10 pages of reading every night before bed. I want to get at least 5 of my NaBloPoMo posts written before the new month begins and to spend as little as 30 minutes making something with my hands. If I can do those few small things, I’ll be happy. Of course, while that doesn’t sound like much to ask of myself now, time does have a way of getting away from me and these things have a way of slipping my mind.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the sky outside has grown dark and the savory smells from the kitchen are reminding me that the beginning of the end of the weekend is here. It’s time for me to put away my screens and spend the last of the time that belongs to me with my little family.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you made progress and made time for yourself. I hope you’ve stayed warm and that, wherever you are, the weather to come won’t be too miserable. I hope you get to do some spooky Halloween things before the month is over and that November will find you energized and inspired.

Until next time.

Brittany Howard: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert // NPR Music

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

Photo by Ehud Neuhaus on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Late Night, Lazy Days

Hello, happy Sunday and welcome! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

It’s another late night coffee chat. I’ve been out with family most of the day, and since being home I’ve had trouble getting my head together. I’m tired and dreading work tomorrow. I always do on Sundays, sure, but this Sunday is harder than most. I’ve been off of work a lot lately, for sickness and for fall break, and tomorrow means the return to routine, to expectations, to work. Bleck! But I’m trying not to let tomorrow have today and that means doing what I enjoy now, while I can—writing, chatting with you, drinking coffee.

So, please, pull up a chair and grab yourself a cup. I’ve got packets of instant iced coffee, or I can pour you a hot cup from the Moka pot, or, if it’s too late for the caffeine kick, I have an assortment of herbal teas. Let’s talk about last week!

“Practice magic. Write poetry. Spend all of your money on coffee and plants.”

Ashley Jade || @ajointed


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week was the easiest one I’ve had in a long time. Last week was fall break at the district I work for and that means I had the option to work or not, I chose a 40/60 split.

I worked Monday and Tuesday only and that felt both like not enough and way too much. The days were easy, especially Monday. I felt good when I went in and actually had the energy and good mood I needed to get through the day. Tuesday was a different story. I felt like I was dragging my exhausted and useless body through the day.

The day before I felt about 80% over the incapacitating cold from the week before when I developed a minor but quite painful infection in my left ear. At first I was fine as long as I didn’t touch the ear but within days I began getting sharp shooting pain deep in the canal. A chat with a doctor online left me with little comfort. I was told to wait at least 10-14 days before coming in unless I developed a severe fever or a rash on my face. So far none of that happened. In the mean time I have to just keep doing what I was doing for the respiratory infection: cold medication, fluids, and rest.

Since then things have improved. The feeling of fluid moving around in my ear is gone and I can touch it now without the searing pain but I still feel so tired.

Taking off on Wednesday wasn’t my original plan, but I had to help my little sister out and it was going to take up my whole afternoon. Working half a day never feels worth the effort, so I stayed in until she needed me. I can’t get into the details, it one of those stories that doesn’t belong to me, but I will say it was important and I am immensely proud, as always, to be there for her. Not only that, but she’s a complete joy to be around. It was a good afternoon.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Thursday and Friday were pretty much lazy days. I wanted to rest, and to make real time for things I enjoy. I worked on some blog post drafts, made progress on my courses, and got a lot of reading done. Of course it feels like there was more I could do, and of course I spent much too much time doing nothing at all. I’m trying not to dwell on what I could have done and instead to just be grateful for the time to do anything or nothing at all. Most people don’t have anytime at all to waste.

I have been spending more time in the “creativity room”. I’m making a lot of little things but only a few are worth sharing and even those seem stupid. I’ll keep at it though I’m not sure why. Collage and cut out poems just sooth me I guess. I like the precision, the quiet; I like that there can’t really be mistakes since I’m working with images and words that are already fully formed. All I have to do is turn off my mind, cut the pages, and then rearrange them however else I can make them fit.

The courses and the reading are what I am most proud of. International Women’s Health and Human Rights has been hard, the readings are long and the assignments aren’t easy, and Modern & Contemporary American Poetry, while it’s easy, is tedious. Perhaps I’m just ready to start something new. I have less than three weeks left of “ModPo” and just over three weeks left of Women’s Health. By the middle of next month I’ll be on to something else if I can keep my focus now.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was just as easy as the work week before and a lot less interesting. Yesterday I was still feeling fatigued and a little down so I stayed in while my wife did some shopping around town. I did my usual Sunday—laundry, cleaning, some small house projects—because I knew I would be busy today.

This morning we were up early for my sister-in-law’s birthday brunch. I got to see my brother and their kids, another one of my sisters, my mom, and her family too while we celebrated with good food and fall cocktails. I was, and always am, happy to be there for her and for anyone in my family.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I already know that this week is going to be chaotic, I already know it. Everybody will be returning from the break, or, some will, a lot of people will take an extra day. I don’t begrudge them an extra mental day and I totally understanding needing more time to get back into the swing of things, but that means more work and harder decisions for the ones who make it in.

I’ve already gotten an email from my boss with a packed schedule with actually overlaps with the busy schedule I already made for myself. I’ll put together some proper goal for the week tomorrow but I know I will have to keep them light and give myself plenty of outs. On the other hand I will have to keep my boundaries up, stay focused and disciplined, and use my time for me. That means not working through lunches, or letting social media suck me in.

It’ll be a long while before I get another break like I’ve had these last few days and the ones I do get will probably be filled with holiday chaos, planning, and pressure. With my stress levels expected to rise, and the weather expected to get colder, drearier, and my mood expected to become more and more fatigued, I have to find a way to keep going. I have to keep my eye on the little things that ground me, give me joy, and allow me to mentally get away.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s so late and I have got to get to bed if I want to have any hope of functioning in society tomorrow.

I hope you had a good week. I hope wherever you are fall is still in the beautiful and cozy stages and not yet the dreary and cold. I hope you got a little break too, and if you didn’t I hope that whatever you had to do was fulfilling, something you could be proud of, something good.

Until next time.

Ari Lennox: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert // NPR Music

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

Photo by Julien Labelle on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // My Own High Expectations Overwhelmed Me

Hello, happy Sunday and welcome! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

It’s a bit late now for a coffee chat, I know, but I haven’t been myself today. I’m sluggish and apathetic, fatigued and unfocused. It took a lot to get my basic chores and to-do items done and I just didn’t think I had anything left to give to anyone else, but after getting through what needed to be done I had a little time and a desperate need for something I want to do.

Please, pull up a chair and grab yourself a cup. It’s late so a big cup of strong cold brew might not be a good idea, I still want to sleep tonight, but a few sips from a small cup of hot coffee from the Moka pot might be okay. Let’s talk about last week!

“You stare at your coffee hoping it gives you perspective and sanity and the ability to make sense of it all and that’s a lot to ask of your coffee.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m still not feeling quite like myself yet. My throat isn’t hurting so much and my cough is less frequent but I am still very tired and more and more my ears are bothering me. I’m worried the infection is just moving up rather than actually getting better.

I’m also worried I might have gotten both my wife, and possibly my cat sick too. Both of them have been sniffling and lethargic these past few days. I actually didn’t even know you could get a cat sick but apparently certain types of flu and respiratory infections can be spread to our little feline friends. From now on I’ll take better precautions.

Being sick meant a rough week in general. I missed a lot of work and used up half my allotted sick days for the year. I took off Monday. I tried to go in on Tuesday and was promptly sent home by my supervisor because I was sweating all over the place and looking miserable. I took off Wednesday too and went back on Thursday, the worst possible day of all.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that winter arrived this week for one day and one day only, on Thursday when I made my second attempt to return to work.

On Wednesday we had sunshine, clear skies and temperatures topping 80 degrees, but Thursday brough nearly 4 inches of snow and a 50 degree drop in the day’s high temperature. It was a miserable day. I read in the local news that there were around 300 car accidents across the city that day! No one was ready for winter to arrive so quickly.

The winter weather passed quickly though. By Thursday evening most of the snow had melted. By Friday we were back in the 50s. Yesterday we topped 60. Today we made it over 70 degrees and I hear by the end of the week we’ll see 80 again.

I’m grateful to still have so many warm days but the see-sawing in tough. Even within the same day! We’re having to bundle up for bitter cold in the mornings and by the afternoon we’re stripping off layers and cranking the air conditioning again. It’s exhausting. I almost wish winter would hurry up and arrive officially so I could settle into the jeans and sweaters and be done with it.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the downtime at home and the lighten load at work meant that I did get a lot of reading and course work done. I was finally able to make it past week two of International Women’s Health and Human Rights a feat that has taken months and months to complete. The issue was the final thought question, and the required essay answer.

I was overthinking it. I was trying too hard. I was avoiding it, but this week I trusted that I knew what to say and I could say it simply and the peer-graded critiques all came back positive. I’m ready and feeling much more confident for week three’s assignment now.

I’ve got just three weeks left Modern & Contemporary American Poetry and I’m already thinking once I finish, I will start the whole 10 weeks over again. There are just so many poems I want to look at again and more I want to internalize and learn about how to read and enjoy poetry.

I’ve also, finally, passed the halfway point in the tome that is Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky. It’s a rough read but so rewarding too, still I’m ready to move on too. I miss fiction.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was a good one. We wen’t out last night to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday. I was incredibly anxious before the party. I always am before these kinds of social gatherings. For my whole adult life I have placed so much importance of every interaction I have, every word I say to another and I never walk away from any social event feeling like I appeared anything less than a fool.I am chronically embarrassed by myself.

But, I did have a good time and some part of me is happy I went. I like showing up for others. I like parties too, and I like being with people even though I get so anxious and weird around them. My wife, and all of my friends, have assured me many times that I am funny, likeable, and a joy to be around and part of me knows it, or is trying to know it, anyway.

Next weekend we have plans to hang out with our little couples group for dinner and at the end of the month a Halloween party. I’m doing my best not to let these little social anxieties isolate me.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this coming week will be an easy one. The schools are on fall break and that means a much lighter work load for me. Of course I have the option of not working at all but when I do the math in my head of all the hours I would be off multiplied my hourly rate, the total comes out to more than I feel comfortable passing up. I am taking two days off, for me, because there’s still a mental cost to giving up hours that could be for me alone too and I can’t forgive myself for giving them all up.

I have a couple of things to do for my family but most of the time I have will be spent in my “creativity room” making things with my hands. Last week I didn’t get any creative time, I was either resting or working, I didn’t have the energy for anything more. This week I want to get back to it.

I’m going to start a larger project. Last April my wife got a small sketchbook from The Sketchbook Project. The goal was that I would fill the pages and send the book back to be kept in their library and enjoyed by any visitors who wanted to pick it up. I was excited by the idea that people living far away and who I would never meet might pick up my book and enjoy my work, but my own high expectations overwhelmed me and I haven’t been able to start at all. I would like this week to begin to take some small step and explore a concepts and possibilities for the project.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s getting on past my bedtime. My ear is pounding and if I want to have any hope of returning to work again in the morning, I’ll need to go, take medication, and rest.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you made some small progress or found some small happiness, comfort, or connection to brighten your week.

Until next time.

Caribou // Home

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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Toughing It Out

Hello, happy Sunday and welcome! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

I didn’t think we would meet today. I am stuck in bed today trying my best to recover from a throat infection. I didn’t think I would drink coffee at all since I should be sleeping but I’ve always felt that a little spending a little time up and about is important while your sick so you don’t get too down and nothing lifts the spirits like caffeine so why not? I can’t help being sick, but I don’t have to be miserable through it, do I?

Please, pull up a chair and grab yourself a cup. The weather is still chilly but I’m in no mood for the ritual of the Moka pot. So, cold brew and vanilla almond milk it is. Let’s have a short chat about last week.

“Some mornings there just isn’t enough coffee.”

― Carol Preflatish


If we were having coffee, I would tell you this past week wasn’t a good one. I felt down and discouraged most of it. I wasn’t working well with others and even on my own I felt unmotivated and directionless. On Tuesday I took a day to myself in and attempt to restart the week, but it didn’t work. In fact, I just felt worse. Time was thrown off and then there was the guilt. I’ve never been good at those “mental health” days.

Looking back now I wonder if it was because I was getting sick. The sore throat started on Wednesday but I thought I had simply burned it on hot food the day before. On Thursday it was a little worse, but I had no other symptoms so I still figured it was an injury rather than an illness.

On Friday the cough started, but it was light and I still felt fine, just a little tired that was all so I didn’t worry too much. Yesterday things escalated and the sore throat turned into an earache, then a headache, then my sinuses began to hurt, and the fatigue got bad.

I’m avoiding the cough drops and the nasty cold medicines as much as I can since they don’t sit well with my sensitive digestive tract anymore but that means I’m toughing it out in bed and not getting to do all my usual Sunday things.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you despite feeling cruddy I did have a wonderful “Saturdate” with my wife yesterday.

We woke up early, got clean up and fancy, and went downtown for brunch and a Colorado ballet performance of Don Quixote. Brunch was at our favorite jazz place featuring a live band, an all you can eat buffet of my breakfast favorites, a whole bottle of champagne between us for Bellinis and mimosas. We over stuffed ourselves and left feeling pleasantly tipsy to catch the show.

The ballet was okay. Last year we saw a ballet performance in the same opera house of Dracula and nothing have lived up to that display of perfection since. In this show there was a much greater display of dance talent, but the story was not as gripping which makes me think I need to supplement my cultural outings with a few plays. I saw a poster for DCPA performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night next month and I’m really thinking about going.

After Don Quixote we stopped for coffee and sweet treats to take home and spent the rest of the evening eating and drinking while catching up on the weeks shows. It was a perfect day.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we my youngest nephew turned 1 years old this week and though I wasn’t enthused about rushing home after work on a Friday night to bake a lasagna and a wrap presents for a one-year-old’s birthday party, I’m glad I went.

It was a small affair, just close family, that’s all. The birthday boy was just happy to be given so many treats, and kisses, and to be allowed to crawl about and play with tissue paper. He had a perfect day too I think. His older sister, two years his senior, on the other hand, struggled not to be the center of attention. She pouted and whined, acted like a baby, demanded to be held, and took all of her brother’s new toys. It was frustrating, but I felt sorry for the girl too. I know, being a big sister many times over myself, how it feels like to suddenly be forced to share more and more of the people you love most with someone else. How it feels to, from your perspective, be forgotten.

Luckily another family member got her a small gift too and I think going forward I will do the same, and for her brother on her birthday too. I might make it a tradition and extend the practice to my other sibling’s children too.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that next week is going to be a busy one. I’ve got a lot scheduled but I’ve noticed lately that half the work I think I have to do ends up getting canceled or postponed, so maybe it won’t be as bad as I worry it will. I just hope I feel well enough to make it through. It’s the last real week before fall break.

I’m still going to work during the break, but it’ll be light work, and it’ll only be for 3 days instead of 5. I plan to take the last two days to unwind with my wife before we both have to return to work. Until then I just have to hang in there. I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep the light at the end of the tunnel in view.

I honestly hope I do stay busy. The time passes faster that way. The more work I have the less room there is in the day for fatigue, negative thoughts, and irritation. I think I’ll add some “me time” to my calendar, little creative spaces for me to look forward too.

This past week I did the same. During my lunches I worked on little posts about my favorite spooky, disturbing, and gory paintings under my “art history” tag. I spent a few evenings this week in my “creativity room” for a little collage art fun too. I’m hoping that this week I’ll be able to make and share more of both. Stay tuned.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the sun has moved on to the west windows and I’ve migrated back to the bed. The cough is bad again and I’ve had all the tea I can stomach and I’ve hit my limit on the cough drop so it’s back to sleep I go.

I hope you had a good week. I hope the world didn’t ask too much of you. I hope you are well and that the new season is treating you well. I hope you made time for you this week and if you didn’t I hope you put yourself first in the next.

Until next time.

Tame Impala // Patience

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

Photo courtesy of Barn Images

It’s getting on toward the late afternoon now and the chilly wind through the neighbors’ trees is casting moving, almost glittering, shadows throughout the whole house. It looks almost as if we are underwater. It’s calming. Suddenly I remember I am happy. I remember that I have a wonderfully peaceful little life and that I’m thoroughly in love with every part of it.

Today was an “in between” kind of day. Not lazy, but not particularly eventful either. I spent much of the day doing blog things and cooking all of our breakfasts for the week. I did a little cleaning but not as much as I should have. The same goes for writing.

I’m dreading work tomorrow, of course. The weekend wasn’t nearly long enough or maybe it was but I wasted it. September ends tomorrow too and I’m both sad and excited to see it go. I’m not a big fan of fall and I loath winter so the further we get into the year now the more miserable I will become.

Still, Halloween is my favorite month of the year.

If We Were Having Coffee // Making Time for Myself

Hello, happy Sunday and welcome! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

I woke up early this morning after a much-needed, and quite elusive, good night’s sleep. I’m up, but I’m not particularly motivated, so it’s still a slow start. The chill in the air doesn’t help and though I feel rested the warmth of the bed is still tempting me back. I miss summer already, or I miss summer mornings, theses cooler afternoons have been much-appreciated. For now, I’m on the couch, wrapped in blankets and finishing a hot cup of green tea before I move on to the hard stuff.

So, pull up a chair and grab yourself a cup. I filled the Moka pot with blond roast grounds and when it’s done; I have sweet vanilla almond milk to pour over top. Let’s talk about last week!

“That’s something that annoys the hell out of me—I mean if somebody says the coffee’s all ready and it isn’t.”

J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week didn’t turn out at all the way I thought it would.

I expected a very busy week but every morning I went in to work my schedule changed. Some work was canceled, other work got more complicated and difficult. The routes I went on often had no regular driver or assistant so both the driver thrown on it for that day and I were effectively the blind leading the blind. Luckily I am good at this. I have a system utilizing all the information I have on a student and google maps to get us, and the kids, where we need to go.

Most of the training I was supposed to do ended up getting postponed and then canceled altogether but rather than having guilt-free hours to do as I please I ended up having to hustle for work to justify the pay. Struggling to find ways to contribute was more tiring than any work I ended up finding to do. My hope is that next week will not necessarily be easier but that the work I am expected to do will be laid out a lot more neatly for me.

On a related note, thank god for my coworkers, who are also my friends, and who support me and keep me laughing. They keep me sane.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that what I really right now is a good night’s sleep, or rather, more than one night of rest in a row, please?

I’ve been complaining about it for a while now, I know, but I promise you I am trying to find a solution but it’s hard without knowing what the problem is. I suspect anxiety but I can’t be sure. I hope fixing the issue can be as easy as a lifestyle and diet change but I’m open to medication if neither helps. For now, I’m on an array of supplements both for my ulcerative colitis and to aid in sleeping. I’m taking iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, vitamin D, and peppermint oil. I’m trying to read more and to have a real bedtime routine. This week I’ll watch my caffeine intake, out into the sun during my lunch break, and taking melatonin up to an hour before bed.

Other than feeling like a zombie most days I’m doing okay. I’m still dealing with a lot of stress and worrying constantly about my loved ones, but it’s getting better, slowly. We’re getting to a tipping point where the time for worrying will be over and action will be taken. I like the action part of any crisis because it means eliminating things that can be worried about. Once an action is taken there’s no use in worrying anymore. You can finally relax and wait for the chips to fall where they may. I can’t wait to finally take some action.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’M AN AUNT AGAIN! My sister gave birth to her first child on Tuesday, a girl, and though I couldn’t get down to South Carolina for the birth, I’m going to go out there the first chance I get to meet my new niece. I am very excited for her and for our family. She is so cute and I know my sister and her boyfriend are so happy.

I’m hoping that this new life will bring us all closer together. Many of my sibling and I didn’t grow up together in the same households, in the same cities, or even the same states. One of us was born in a whole different country. We have different mothers and fathers and we grew up in different socioeconomic levels and learned different norms. We lead wholly different lives now but there is always something that ties us all together. We long to feel like family. We long to be the family our parent’s weaknesses wouldn’t let us be. As the oldest I feel like it’s my job to keep us together, but it’s a big job and I don’t always do it well but the next generation is here and growing and we all have to do better by them. We have to feel like a family.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you I was much better at making time for myself this week. I spent my lunches away from my desk reading and working on my Coursera lessons. I was clear about being “off the clock” and warned that any work imposed on me would result in overtime pay. I didn’t give my time or attention for free and guarded both fiercely. 

I wish I had spent more time listening to music and podcasts. I didn’t write as much as I wanted to but switching my mind from work mode to writing mode was hard. The reading and lessons were much easier. My only disappointment was that when I got home in the evenings, I let laziness get the better of me though and never made it into my “creativity room”.

It’s hard to have any will power by then when I am so tired and stressed. The living room is comfortable. It’s where I go to turn my mind off, to be with my wife, the dog, the cat, to catch up on our favorite shows, to stretch out and to do nothing for a change. It’s an easy, peaceful place to be but I so often regret my time there. This week I’m going to continue to work on these bad habits.

I haven’t been exercising lately either, another thing I am supposed to be doing after work. It’s hard when you have to cook too and then get right into getting ready for the next day, but a 20-minute jog or simple bodyweight workout shouldn’t be impossible especially now that the weather has cooled off so much.

Still, I don’t want to be too hard on myself. There were so many little things I did this week that for me took bravery and focus. Eating well, taking all of my medication, advocating for myself, making my boundaries clear, not compromising my principles, just to name a few. I stood up with others and for others and I took care of my loved ones. I liked who I was this week and though it’s becoming a more and more regular feeling, it’s still a difficult and rare one to achieve.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s time for me to get to the laundry, the dishes, and the meal prep plans for the week. It’s time to get up off the couch, to pour another cup of coffee, open the blinds and start the day. It’s time for less talking and more doing.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you made some small progress, that you were given good news, and that you made time for you. I hope wherever you are the summer heat has faded but the winter cold is still far away. I hope it’s simply autumn.

Until next time.


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

Photo courtesy of Barn Images

If We Were Having Coffee // My Priorities Are Changing

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

I got up on at a decent time this morning but my body is still a bit sore from the return to jogging last week and my muscles are begging me to take it as easy as I can. I’m also not feeling super great emotionally which has more to do with the sudden onset of autumn than with anything going wrong in my personal life, though things are far from perfect there too. So, I’m staying in today to do laundry, meal prep my breakfasts for the next week, to just think, and to spend a little time with you.

Please, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. The chilly air is putting me in the mood for a hot cup of coffee this morning. I miss my old espresso machine but the Moka pot is close enough to satisfy the craving. Let’s talk about last week.

Adventure in life is good; consistency in coffee even better.

— Justina Chen Headley, North of Beautiful


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that most of last week was busy but not at all in a bad way.

Every other morning I woke up half an hour early to jog around my neighborhood. Every morning I have done this I have felt more energetic and focused, and my mood has been very much improved for the rest of the day. Every day I did this (and even the days in between when I rested and recouped) I was better able to avoid distraction and meet my reading and course goals. I got a lot done at work and even started early drafts of posts I want to share here.

I’m proud of the few days I got out but I wish in the days between I had been able to do some simple strength training at home. I’ve found quite a few beginner routines but this one from Nerd Fitness seems the simplest place to start. I know I can do it but knowing me, the best place to start is the easy place, get the schedule down and then work on building it up. Maybe this week I will be able to build on last week’s progress and add a couple more days of exercise.

In other health news, I had a doctor’s appointment on Monday and got nothing but high mark and good news. I’ve been given the okay to start tapering off of one of my medications and in a couple of months, I will lower the dose of the other. I get to stop taking the iron pills too though I do have to add magnesium, zinc, and peppermint oil. The goal now is to increase my fiber intact and continue healing my colon until I am not just inflammation free but maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that while most of the week was smooth sailing, but by Thursday and Friday I wasn’t doing all that great. I felt exhausted and like I was coming down with a cold or a nasty throat infection. Then I received some bad news about a close family member, something personal to them but for which I would have to step in and help with. Something that will take a lot from me to fix, maybe more than I can give.

I’m sorry to be so vague but this story doesn’t belong to me alone. I can say that it has been an ongoing issue, one that has caused a lot of worries and is starting to affect my feelings of self-worth and sense of stability.

Sadly, there are no good solutions but I’m trying to remember that the worst-case scenario might only be a temporary one and at best, helping will mean that people I love will be able to find their way back on their feet even if it means a small setback for me. For now, there is a lot of uncertainty and that is worse than any future I have imagined so far. I hope this week will decide one way or another what I am to do next.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was good at least.

We spent Friday night at my mom’s celebrating the birthdays of two of my siblings. We came bearing gifts, good wine, and food. My godmother came to and her oldest daughter and it felt like a proper birthday party.

Since my wedding two months ago I’ve been feeling a little antisocial. I have seen little of my family and this weekend reminded me I need to get back to our regular visits. My siblings and I have such special relationships filled with so much more than love. We practice acceptance and forgiveness and look to one another more like friends and mentors. Our family is a safe space and I forget too often how much I need that.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my father-in-law’s birthday was this week too and we spent Saturday evening celebrating him. We went to dinner at a Brazilian place where the carnivore in him found much satisfaction.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this coming week is going to be far busier than this past one was. We have a new class of employees starting and at first I thought I wouldn’t have to help but as the numbers starting began to rise it became imperative that I clear my calendar to help. It’s not a bad thing though. I’ve been looking to work more hours and even get some overtime wherever I can.

I’m still getting used to being stand-by and working to find my footing in the new roles I have been working in. The expectations aren’t always clear and I carry constant anxiety about whether I am doing a good job. Every time I see my boss he assures me what I am doing is more than good enough but meeting with him are few and far in between and he isn’t my only boss.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that since this week will be so busy I am going to have to keep my personal goals light. I don’t plan on getting any serious writing done but I hope to work on my half pieces and share all the quotes and questions and pieces of art I’ve been saving up. I found some very cool collage techniques on Instagram this morning I’m itching to try myself too and, of course, as much reading as I can fit in.

With the season change and a new month on the way, I feel my priorities are changing. Summer has always been a time for me to connect with nature, gather new experiences and memories, to move my body and to soak up the sun while I can. With autumn moving in I feel more desperate than ever to be out of the chair and away from screens. What I mean is, don’t expect too much from me right now. When winter comes and there is nowhere to run but to writing then I will have more to show for myself, I promise.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the sun is coming through the west windows and if I want to get these breakfast bowls prepped (I’m substituting sweet potatoes and chorizo) I had better get going. I want it all done before our shows tonight, before I have to “get to bed at a decent time”, and before I face the reality of how far away the next weekend is.

I hope you had a good week. I hope that you accomplished something you had hoped too and if you didn’t I hope you know you can always try again tomorrow. I hope you make time for you and wherever you are the sun is still warm, and you feel encouraged and safe.

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 Ewa Fournier le Ray on Unsplash

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