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


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

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

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

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

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

— Jonathan Swift

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for chatting, for being an ear, a shoulder, and a sounding board.

Until next time. 

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

Photo by Yanal Tayyem on Unsplash

We actually made it up and out the door before 6:30 this morning for a long-awaited camping trip to Deer Creek for some hiking. I have missed hiking in general but this trail was our first, the one I miss the most, and the one we return to to “get back into it”. It’s perfect for training Lola on trail manners and easy enough we don’t get discouraged but hard enough that we work up a sweat and feel rather accomplished by the end.

We brought some goodies to reward ourselves with at the loops end. Cured salmon, cream cheese, and red onions on top of mini bagels and a few cans of hard cider made for a perfect trail brunch before the long drive home. We spent the rest of the morning cleaning the house and once the sore muscles and fatigue set and the heat of the afternoon crept into the house, there wasn’t much we could do but sleep through til evening.

I got no writing, no reading, and no lessons done at all.

What a perfect Sunday.

If We Were Having Coffee // Taking a Break from the Stress

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

This weekend I have done a good job of getting out of bed early but I will admit, I haven’t done a very good job of staying productive throughout the day. The early morning clouds and cool temperatures make it hard to get motivated but the heat rolls in quickly, wakes you up, and then exhausts you all over again. Today will be no different. According to forecasts, we’ll spend yet another day over the 90-degree mark.

But please, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. It’s still cool enough for hot coffee now and I could use a change from cold brew. I’m putting the Moka pot on the stove and using a light roast coffee grounds because it is still summer, after all. Let’s talk about last week!

“I would rather suffer with coffee than be senseless.”

— Napoleon Bonaparte

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that today is a very special day today is the anniversary of the beginning of me and my wife’s long journey together as a couple. A journey we began 17 years ago. I’m not sure if other couples celebrate the anniversary of when they acknowledged they were a couple but since most of our relationship it wasn’t legal for us to get married, this day was all we had and it’s become very important to us.

But after finally getting married just under one month ago and looking forward to our honeymoon in the coming months, we aren’t much in the mood for a big celebration. Last night we spent the evening at the movies, one of our favorite ways to spend any evening but today we’re just hanging out at home together, eating junk food and drinking, of course, and watching more of our favorite movies.

We’re taking a break from the stress of these last months and doing our best not to think about the stress that will return with tomorrow. We’re taking the day to simply breathe and be, and to reflect on the last year and to dream about the one to come.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was a long one. It was the first week the kids went back to school and so the first week that my driver and I began picking them up. This route is the same one I’ve had for two years already so I knew all the kids and minus a few small hiccups, the route went very smoothly. The real stress came when I was off the route.

The hours spent riding the bus with the kids as an assistant are easy. I get to talk with them—when they are awake enough to talk—and when they aren’t, I can let my mind wander. The worst I dealt with this week was a bloody nose and a few parents who weren’t home to retrieve their child in the afternoon. It’s easy work, and rewarding when you have the children’s trust and respect.

When I’m not on the bus, I spend a few hours a day training new drivers and testing existing drivers on our Special Needs Transportation Policies. I help them use the equipment safely and I help them problem solve unique situations in student management. We’ve been short-staffed for a long time now and that means we are always hiring new people for me to train, and it also means I have to help out in other departments.

I worked a lot of hours last week, a lot more than I normally care too, but it felt good to help and, I imagine, it will feel especially good when my next paycheck arrives.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I expect this coming week to be a little easier than the last but I don’t have my hopes up. So much is changing around me and there is very little that I have any say in though it affects me. My coworker is trying to get our positions redefined and as a result, the expectations and consequently the way I spend my days may change drastically.

I have no reason to believe it will be anything bad or anything that I wouldn’t want but my anxiety is whispering quietly in the back of my mind that whatever happens I will be stuck with and it’s also reminding me, in a voice growing ever louder about just how limited I am and just how easy it would be for everyone to find out I am not as smart or good as they think I am.

I’m countering the whispering with facts. The fact is, I am not stuck. I can pull back whenever I please. I can even say no if I want to. The fact is, I don’t owe anyone anything. I don’t have to say yes to show gratitude and I should never feel bad for saying no to something that doesn’t get me closer to my personal goals no matter how good the opportunity looks to other people.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am trying very hard to get back some of my motivation and focus.

Though it may not look like it from your end, I actually had a better writing week than I have had in a long time. I’m working on the first essay of my essay a week project but like a brand new notebook or sketchbook in which the first page is the hardest to mar I find I cannot begin until I have a perfect idea and plan for execution.

Of course, I know this is impossible and I know that if I were to just begin, it would be so much easier to accept imperfection and instead move forward with progress and passion. I even have a note on my to-do list that says, “Do not stress about choosing the perfect topic since any topic is better than no topic and any essay is better than no essay at all.”

For the coming week, I have a detailed schedule and a plan. Each day I have just one thing to do to write this thing and the subsequent essays I have ideas for. I am telling you now because I am tired of talking about writing and about what kind of writer I want to be but never posting anything.

At the same time, I’m also trying to remember that my value as a(n aspiring) writer is not determined by what I post here and what I post here does not have to be all there is to me as a(n aspiring) writer

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my wife and I have long since switched from coffee to mimosas and now that the afternoon heat is creeping in through the west windows we are switching to cold beer. The couch is calling and I suspect we’ll soon be napping together with our cat and dog and afterward, I’m hoping for a Vietnamese food feast ordered for delivery. It’s going to be a perfect Sunday evening.

I hope you had a good week. I hope wherever you are the weather isn’t too sweltering nor too wet. I hope you have been sleeping well, eating well, and taking care of yourself. I hope you aren’t under too much pressure and I hope you know you can ask for help when you need it.

Thank you for chatting, for being an ear, a shoulder, and a sounding board.

Until next time. 

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

Photo by Yanal Tayyem on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // A New Year with New Responsibilities

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

I managed to drag myself out of bed earlier than usual for a Sunday morning and I’ve made it from the bed to the kitchen for coffee, but not much further, mentally or physically. It was a late night and fatigue has been kicking my ass lately, but I wasted so much of yesterday snoozing on the couch that I simply cannot give over any more of my time to sleep. So, I’m up, watching the colors of the cloudy sunrise change through the windows and enjoying my first of many cups of coffee in the hopes that my mind and body will come online soon.

So, please, before my tired brain and bones give out on me again, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. The clouds and the warning of rain are putting me in the mood for a hot cuppa but the process requires more energy than I can give, what a catch-22. So, it’s strong 24-hour cold brew over ice with a generous pour of vanilla almond milk instead. It’s not as satisfying, but it gets the job done. Let’s talk about last week!

“The powers of a man’s mind are directly proportional to the quantity of coffee he drank.”

— Sir James MacKintosh

If we were having coffee, I would tell you it was yet another stressful week over here and, to be honest, half of that stress was knowing that the coming weeks are only going to go on getting worse!

It’s been years now that we have been struggling with employee shortages and though management assured us they would remedy the problem it seems things have only gotten worse. I think we are at a critical level now where there are so few people working that the work can no longer get done. We are at a point where band-aids like extra hours, overtime, promises, and speeches about teamwork are no longer motivating or inspiring people and we don’t know how to fix it. We don’t know how to turn it around. I feel in my bones what the problem is but I can find the words to express it, let alone follow it to a solution.

So, come tomorrow we are going to fail our best I guess. We’re going to lean on the ones who are left and I hope through the failure we can at least be kind to one another. Tempers have been short and when they flare light at the end of this stressful tunnel falls farther away.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that married life continues to be absolute bliss!

There have been a few wedding-related hiccups since. We still have wedding decor items strewn about the house and we have wedding decor items we still cannot locate. This weekend we were supposed to send out thank you cards but we haven’t been able to settle on a photo or a card style. Whenever she is ready to look I am too tired or overwhelmed to choose and when I am ready, she is usually busy.

I’m almost ashamed to admit it but we haven’t even mailed back our marriage certificate yet! It will go out this week and the thank you cards will be ordered too. We are both chronic procrastinators—always have been and always will be. Our personal life and projects are always on the back burner waiting for a time of less stress or more energy, but that time just isn’t coming and we have to make the time when we have energy not just for things like this but for one another too.

I’ll post more pictures soon but I know some of you have been waiting a long while now so here is a sneak peek from my photographer.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that though all around me at work there was chaos, in my own small tasks and scope there was much calm and certainty.

After weeks of worry and going through bidding, I was finally awarded the same route I’ve had for the last two years. I only have two new kids and though I’ve only met them just the once to transport them to their 9th-grade orientation, they seem like good kids. I still have a full bus load but all the others I already know from the year before and expect that any problems I encountered last year will have only improved as the students mature.

Tomorrow I will have them all together on the bus for the first day of the new school year. The new kids, and all the old kids who do not yet know that my driver and I will get to see be with them for another year. I’m excited to see their faces and to learn what they have been up to these last few months. Many of the ones I have been with for years already will be graduating this coming year and it’s quite a special thing to see them through the last of their childhood. I feel almost honored to be among the last people they will know in the district and among the faces, they will remember for the rest of their lives.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had hoped to hit the ground running with my reading and goals as the new school year began but this past week was so chaotic that I had no energy nor mental space left for new words but I know that will change soon…just not this week either though,

The first two days of this week I have some very important and very time-consuming training to do and Wednesday through the rest of the week I have some small tasks but that will probably change.

Last week a coworker of mine spoke with my boss and between them decided to revamp his position and title and mine by extension without my permission. It doesn’t look like a lot will change, yet, but there is a strong possibility everything will change. I may be taken off of my route. I may be given new responsibilities, new hours, and a new set of expectations. As you can imagine, the worst-case scenarios are already playing on a loop inside my head.

That isn’t to say I am not interested in where this new role may take me, but I am a bit peeved I was pulled from my comfort zone without my permission. Then again, that isn’t quite true. I am not powerless and if I so choose nothing would change for me at all. I will have to take it all one step at a time and hold tight to my courage. I’ll have to speak up for myself and learn to let go of what I think others might want from me.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the sunset a long time ago and I have long switched from coffee to hard cider. It’s getting late and the sweet smell of rain coming through the west windows on the summer evening breeze is lulling me to bed.

I hope you had a good week. I hope the summer’s end still feels a long way off for you. I hope that you have managed to get out, get away, and focus on you and your own path for a change. I hope you are taking care of yourself, and that you and yours are, and continue to stay 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 Farsai Chaikulngamdee on Unsplash


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

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

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

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

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

— Ankita Singhal

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

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

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

I really hope we change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for chatting, for being an ear, a shoulder, and a sounding board.

Until next time. 

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

Photo by Julien Labelle on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // It Turned Out Beautifully

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

It’s late I know, and I know I’ve missed the last few coffee dates already, but I hope you will understand life has been more than a little chaotic lately. As we neared our wedding day I had to devote more and more time to planning and last-minute changes and decisions. Then, a little over a week ago we finally did it! We said our vows and ever since I’ve been living in a glowing bubble, but things are slowly calming down and I am slowly coming back to reality. I slowly learning to make time for me and all the things I enjoy again.

So, please, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. It has been extremely hot around here lately so it’ll be cold brew coffee over ice as usual and we’ve made the switch from soy to almond milk. I hope you don’t mind. It’s been a long time and I have so much to tell you. Let’s talk about last week!

“We want to do a lot of stuff; we’re not in great shape. We didn’t get a good night’s sleep. We’re a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup.”

— Jerry Seinfeld

If we were having coffee, I would tell you again because it hardly feels real. I got married last Saturday, and it was the most beautiful experience of my life.

Of course, things went wrong, and of course, it still turned out perfectly. For weeks I had been checking the weather for our day and for weeks the forecasts predicted sun and temperatures so high I worried about my guests getting heat exhaustion during the ceremony, but just two or three days before the big day the forecasts began to shift rapidly from 30% chance of rain to near-certain thunderstorms the morning of. By the afternoon, just as we pulled up to prepare for our first look large raindrops began to fall steadily. The sky darkened, and we heard thunder rumbling closer.

I waited on a small bridge facing our photographer, chatting and silently praying the rain would stop. She kept me facing her as my wife-to-be walked toward us. When I felt her steps on the bridge behind me I turned and saw her looking more stunning than I had ever seen her. I broke down in tears, overwhelmed by her beauty and by my relief at having her near me again, and all around us, the rain picked up its pace.

As we worked our way through the family formals, the lightning moved closer; the thunder kept getting louder, and very quickly we realized the area wasn’t safe. Of course, on the other side of the park, our planner had just finished setting up the chairs and decor for our outdoor ceremony, my dream ceremony.

We headed into the rec center nearby and wait out the rain, but the rain only continued to fall harder and faster. After the parking lot began to flood, I knew we couldn’t wait it out. I very reluctantly made the call to our planner who very quickly agreed we should move everything indoors. I was devastated. We had to reach out to our entire guest list and give them new directions. Our timeline was in shambles and my vision for the day was ruined.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as down as I was about the change of plans, our ceremony actually turned out beautifully. In a way, it was a blessing. As much as I wanted that open, sunny, outdoor ceremony, I think the ceremony we ended up with was so much better. Our venue was small, dark, and honestly had much better sound and lighting. We kept it dim and everyone sat very close and it felt so serious, special, and intimate. It really set the mood for the evening.

After our ceremony, we had dinner, which was delicious, and speeches, which were all heartfelt and heartwarming. We cut the cake, danced with our parents, danced with each other and then danced with everyone we could, but there wasn’t enough time. Before we knew it, the night was over and we were being ushered off to our hotel. It was a whirlwind. It was wonderful. I’m so glad it’s over and at the same time, I very badly want to do it all over again.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that besides the vows and the party the best part was having all our friends and family come celebrate with us.

In the week leading up to the wedding, we had our closest family members come in. My wife’s (God, it feels good to say that) sister and her boys, my sister, her husband, and her two kids, and my very pregnant sister and her very sweet boyfriend came to visit us and having them here along with my brothers too made the day feel like it was about more than just us. We felt supported. We felt important. We felt loved, not just by each other, but by a whole community of people. We felt exactly the way I hoped we would.

And now they’ve all gone back to their home states and more than anything I just want them back. I wish, more than anything that we didn’t all have to live so far away.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the relief of not having to plan a wedding anymore was almost worth the stress of planning!

The next morning I woke up, and I didn’t have to decide one thing. I didn’t have to make any calls or send any emails. I didn’t have to worry about the weather, or the timeline, or the seating. I woke up, and I wasn’t nervous or irritated. I woke up, and I was married and I didn’t have to do anything at all. It was the best I had felt in months.

It’s been great but returning to normal life hasn’t been easy either. I’m still recovering from all the wedding planning and the big day itself. I wasn’t able to take care of myself very well in the weeks and days leading up to the wedding and though I’m a week out, I’m still trying to reverse some bad habits. I’m not sleeping or eating well, and I’m consuming far too much caffeine. I haven’t been taking my medication consistently at all and I can feel my health going slowly downhill.

Now that I have returned to day-to-day worries I have to make space to worry about myself again too.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that married life so far is strange and wonderful and familiar. Nothing has changed but everything has changed. Or maybe everything has only grown. We’ve become closer and better. We’re even more us than we were before. I didn’t even think that was possible.

It might be temporary but I doubt it. We’ve been together for 17 years now. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs and I think overall we will only keep growing closer to one another. Getting married, for me anyway, has just meant more validation and security. It’s safety and when you are safe, you can grow. That is what the next stage is.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s getting pretty late. The sun went down a long time ago and though I’m not tired at all; I know I have to try to get to bed if I want to try to get to work in the morning.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you have enjoyed your summer, and that you found time to do something beautiful, heartwarming, and bigger than you too.

Thank you for chatting, for being an ear, a shoulder, and a sounding board.

Until next time. 

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

Photo by Linda Rose on Unsplash

188 // I’m Ready, I Think

13 days left! Less than two weeks now.

Today was a strange day. I got to witness the Colorado Renaissance Festival and though I found it impressive and charming, I also found it to be bat shit insane. I’m glad I went, but I’m confident I will never have to go again in my life.

I had no time to write again today, and I doubt I will for the foreseeable future. No coffee share post this week and next week is even more questionable.  I’ll simply say now that the week was long but good, and the weekend was even better, almost perfect. We’re still working hard to plan and on top of the wedding, there are more big changes to come. Big changes that are both good and bad, or rather scary. Big changes I can’t talk about, yet.

This week will be stressful. I’ve known that for a long time and accepted it. I’ve accepted there will be sleepless nights, worn nerves, and even a few angry blow ups and lots and lots of tears. I’m ready, I think.


181 // Self-Care Sunday

I can hear the fireworks going off around the neighborhood again. I guess it’s that time of year. I haven’t been sleeping well lately and between the sudden summer heat and the nightly displays of patriotism, I’m sure I won’t sleep well again until August…

I’ve decided not to go into work tomorrow since we have the walkthrough and it’s easier to stay home than to rush home for the dog beforehand. I want to stay up late since I know I don’t have to get up early but I’m trying to be mindful of what my body needs and to practice self-care while my stress levels are so high. I’m leading by example and by need. The stress is affecting our health and it would be a shame to end up in the ER or to rack up any medical bills before the big day.

So, it’s back to basics. We’re going to bed on time, drinking lots of water, meditating, and going for walks. We’re eating meals, eliminating snacks, and getting away from the T.V. more. We’re holding each other accountable to prevent procrastination and guilt. We’re looking out for each other, being patient with ourselves, and accepting what is out of our control.

If We Were Having Coffee // Pretty Much Panicking

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

We’re meeting for afternoon coffee today. I was up early this morning but we had to head out soon after to meet with our wedding planner and a potential D.J. and after we met with my future mother-in-law to go over decor and flowers. It was a stressful morning, but good too. We got another thing or two knocked off of the to-do list, though 4 or 5 more were added in the process, sigh.

But we’re home now and for now, we’re resting, physically and mentally. The clouds are rolling in and there’s finally a breeze blowing through the windows. I’m ready for my second cup of coffee for the day.

So, please, pull up a chair and fill up a cup. Summer has finally arrived so we’re strictly drinking cold brew over ice in this house and will be through August. Let’s talk about last week!

“We want to do a lot of stuff; we’re not in great shape. We didn’t get a good night’s sleep. We’re a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup.”

— Jerry Seinfeld

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the last day of the month has snuck up on me and it seems everyone else too. Suddenly summer break is half over and suddenly there seems to be so much to do.

To be honest, though, I’m very much ready for July. Throughout the year there are many new beginnings, especially when you work for a school district and though the kids won’t return for over a month more, July 1st is our technical turn over to the new school year. I’m ready for another beginning especially after a month where I felt as exhausted and over it all as I did this past June, especially this past week.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I was busier this past week at work than I have in any week I can remember.

This past week my training team and I were tasked with teaching not just the hands-on/equipment side of things, but also the classroom/policy side of things as well. So instead of working with a new group of employees for 3 hours a day, we did 7. We had to learn or make up much of the teaching process as we went along and to schedule and assign work on the fly. I think we did well considering the difficulty and our inexperience and I am proud of us all for being able to keep our tempers in check and to laugh the most frustrating aspects of the week away.

At the end of July we have another class as well and though no one has asked us to teach the classroom side again, we all are willing to volunteer to go through all of this frustration again not because we particularly enjoyed it, but because we think we may just be good at it and because what we teach makes a difference in the world. We want to do it because it feels good, and the truth is not many people can say that about the work that they do.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that though this week was a stressful one it felt like the last easy week, we’ll have before things get really stressful. After today the wedding will no longer be “in July” it will be “this month”. In just a few weeks I’ll have a new name. In a few weeks, I’ll have to check a different box when asked about my marital status. Soon I will be answering to Mrs. and referring to my girlfriend, finally, as my wife.

This week we worked out a lot of little things, and a couple of big things too, but no matter how much we do there is always so much more left to decide and to plan. We’re pretty much panicking at this point, but we’re trying to remember that no matter what it’s going to be beautiful and no matter what, we will be together through it all.

This week we have a big walkthrough day scheduled for the reception space with both the caterer and our planner which I am so nervous about. I just feel like I have no idea what I am doing. I don’t know what to ask, or what to request, or what I want at all. I feel like other people, mostly strangers trying to make money, are the ones I have to listen to and it’s too late to ask for more time to think. Still, having those who know in the room is comforting too. The weight of responsibility on my chest is lifted even if the one on my wallet remains.

We’re also finalizing my attire and making sure everyone else has theirs too, and getting our music selections figured out. I mentioned we met with the D.J. and with just weeks left to go we want to make sure he has the best chance to make our lives easier on the big day and that means sitting down and deciding, finally, on the songs that will mark the most important moments of our lives.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that one of our biggest wedding worries was what to do with our dog. I had hoped she could be part of the wedding but because we opted for an indoor reception, we just couldn’t make it work. So we found a place for her to stay that had lots of room to play and live webcams for us to watch her while we were away, the only problem was she had to do an interview day and meet all the socialization requirements to be accepted and Lola has never been very good about meeting new people in unfamiliar places.

I worried that she would hate it or worse, bite someone or one of the other dogs and they wouldn’t accept her but she did no such thing at all. In fact, even though she was very nervous and not much in the mood to play with other dogs, she took to the trainers very well and spent the day following the humans around and doing her own thing. She passed her interview day with flying colors and has been cleared to attend day camp with the other dogs and to spend the night there whenever we need. I am so proud of her!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I while I had hoped to have my first essay for my “essay a week” project all typed, edited, and ready to post, it looks like I may have failed before I could even begin.

Technically, I haven’t since my goal was to post a piece for the first week of July and since the first week of July technically begins tomorrow, I technically have 7 more days to get it together. I have a topic, and a few quotes and questions to answer, I just haven’t had the time to write. I haven’t gotten my ass in the chair to get it down on paper, yet.

I’m taking tomorrow off, and my goal is to wake up early and begin, and go one until I feel I have something I can mold into a final piece. My goal is to have typed between 2,000 and 4,000 unedited words by the end of the day. I don’t think it’s too much to ask from myself. 

I know that it isn’t just other obligations, or even exhaustion holding me back. Sometimes even when a project excites you, it can still terrify you too. I’m afraid to fail or to say something stupid. I’m afraid of finding out I’m no good, or of having nothing useful or interesting to say, but I’m trying to remind myself that writing is not something I do for others. I would write—and do write!—even if no one will ever read anything I say. I write because I just like to write and I am writing essays because I just enjoy writing essays, that is all and there never needs to be any more to it for me to go on.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that dark clouds overhead and the rolling thunder I hear in the distance, the storms that roll in so regular this time of year you can tell the time them, lets me know that the evening has begun. It’s time for dinner, and our Sunday night shows. It’s time to enjoy what’s left of my weekend and to get ready for Monday.

I hope you had a good week. I hope that you are coping with the summer heat and that you found some time for fun and sun. I hope that the middle of the year will find you well tomorrow and that you can let go of whatever was holding you down and holding you back in the first half of 2019.

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 Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash