If We Were Having Coffee // We Will be Married

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

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

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

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

Come, let’s talk about last week.

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

― Sydney Smith

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Until next time. 


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

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // A Scholar at Heart

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

I’m happy to have no reason at all to leave the house today. I have a short to-do list, a podcast or two to catch up on, and Emily Dickinson’s poems for the late afternoon, if I can stay motivated and focused that is. There is always the possibility the lure of the couch and a few good movies I’ve seen a hundred times already could become too strong to resist and nothing at all will get done. I’d be happy either way.

In the meantime, pull up a chair and, please, help yourself to a cup. I’m missing my espresso machine today but the Moka pot is almost as good. I’m adding a bit of coconut cream if you’re interested or I’ve got strong cold brew and vanilla soy milk too. Let’s talk about last week.

“Coffee justifies the existence of the word ‘aroma’.”

― Glen Duncan, I, Lucifer

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my work week was a tough one. I was much busier than I had expected I would be and that got in the way of all the things I had wanted to do for me.

We’ve been hiring a lot of new people and that means I have been doing a lot of training and helping. We’ve also had a lot of bad weather lately and that means I’ve been returning later from my route in the morning and leaving early in the afternoons. Then arriving back to the terminal late again and more and more exhausted as the week wore on.

It doesn’t help much that our department is cracking down some on overtime and many of my coworkers weren’t available to help me out. On the other hand, it’s kind of good a good thing too because I’m never expected to work for free or for more than the standard 40 hours. I may be busy, and I may not have a lot of help, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. There are breaks and the work ends at the end of the day no matter what. 


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last Tuesday I was pretty shaken up by a rather gruesome car accident I witnessed involving a child pedestrian.

I didn’t see the child hit, thank God, but I did arrive just moments after it happened and say the young girl laying in the road unconscious and motionless. It saddened and disturbed me deeply and I took some time to get over it.

I have no updates on the girl except that she survived but had to undergo surgery. What worries me is that it won’t be long before I see this tragedy play out again. To be honest, I’m shocked I haven’t seen it before. This is an area where kids cross daily to go to school by darting across 6 lanes of traffic. There are crosswalks just blocks away in each direction but both take students out of their way. The kids prefer the more direct though dangerous route and as these are middle and high school student’s parents rarely accompany them along the way.

I have heard rumors that the city is looking into finding a solution. One of which might be installing a pedestrian bridge over the street. I hope they do, and sooner rather than later. I never want to see what I saw that day happen again. 


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was the first time since New Year’s that I’ve had alcohol, and I kind of hated it. Friday night was “Margarita Friday”, a day, once a month or so, when 6 or 7 of our friends get together to try a new Mexican restaurant, have a few margaritas, and blow off steam. I drank one margarita and felt pretty sluggish and cruddy Saturday morning.

Then, having not learned my lesson at all, I split a bottle of champagne with my girlfriend at our pre-Valentine’s Day brunch yesterday. Initially, I felt great but by mid-evening I was once again feeling sluggish and cruddy. I had a headache and a sour mood too.

So, maybe Dry January did me some good after all. Maybe it’s just like when I had quit smoking for some time and after a stressful day, I would think I could simply go back to smoking for relief. I would light up and immediately be disgusted by the taste and smell and my body would instantly feel terrible, so too with alcohol. I now know that even occasional drinking has consequences, and, I’ll, I imagine, be less inclined to indulge going forward. 


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have completed week one of Social Norms, Social Change I this week and I really enjoyed it. It’s not a hard course at all but there is enough work and enough new information to help me practice staying focused and managing my time to get it done. Two things I sorely need work on.

It feels good to be learning again. It feels good to think about not just my culture but other cultures and why people do the things they do, even when, especially when it seems so obvious to me that their actions are morally wrong or backward. Norms are hard to change and it isn’t as easy as learning new facts or understanding the harm. 

I have a feeling that this small course is truly the beginning of a long journey for me. I was talking last week with a coworker who, it turns out, has a degree in engineering. He was impressed by the way I spoke of my love for reading and learning and encouraged me to go to school, not just to advance my own career, or to make more money, but simply because he felt deeply that I would love the experience.

He said he felt I was “a scholar at heart” as in “someone who is intelligent or good at learning by studying”. As in, someone for whom learning is a passion. It was the most genuine and beautiful compliment I’ve received in a long time.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this was not a great week for reading and writing. I published pages to this blog that used to be up on Zen and Pi. Both are simple lists. 100 Dreams is a kind of bucket list that includes both the big and seemingly impossible dreams like publishing a collection of essays or swimming with humpback whales to everyday ordinary dreams like getting a library card or learning how to compost.

Am Reading is an ongoing list of books I’ve read with the rating I’ve given each out of five stars. When I start writing reviews again each book there will link to its respective review post.

After our chat, I’ll get a head start on this week’s posts including a couple of Monday motivation posts, a summary of my Dry January experience, a piece for Zen and Pi, and a long-awaited (at least by me anyway) newsletter. I’m also going to revamp and republish my “Now” page here. I pledge to update it at least monthly with new projects and habit changes I’m working on. 


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s time for me to get up and get to work on all the things I would love to check off the to-do list today. It’s time for me to go clean something, write something, read something, and maybe eat something too.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you stayed warm. I hope you made progress in all the ways you’d planned to and I hope any setbacks are easily overcome. I hope you had time for you and I hope your coming week will be even better than the last.

Until next time. 


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

Photo by David Lundgren on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Nothing is Inconsequential

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

The sun is up and out and all reports promise temperatures near 60. It’s concerning to have such warmth in winter but I’m so ready for all this snow and ice to finally start melting. I’ve got all the windows cracked hoping to cleanse my soul with the crisp clean air. Perhaps Punxsutawney Phil was right, Spring does feel awfully close today.

So, pull up a chair and help yourself to a cup. I’m craving a bulletproof egg latte myself but for the less adventurous I have the usual cold brew and the Moka pot is always on if you want something warm. Let’s talk about last week!

“My cup is full of air. I should empty it and fill it with love. Or coffee, as the two are synonymous to me.”

— Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not for Sale

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week felt very long. Our weather was all over the place again. We started the week with snow and freezing temperatures and ended with sunshine and ended nearly 15 degrees above average.

Despite the rising temperatures many of our streets are still covered in think layers of ice. Weeks like this are hard when you work in a school bus. Traffic was awful and accidents were happening everywhere. We ran very late and had more than a couple of close calls. It was frustrating but in the end, I was just glad we made it to and from safely.

In addition to that stress, I spent much of the week especially exhausted. Between my girlfriend’s lingering cold and cough and my anxiety, I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in over a week now. I’m coping well though, considering. Extra coffee and afternoon cat naps have certainly helped. I’m hoping the new workout routine I’m starting today will help too.

I’m debating talking to my doctor about trying medication to help mitigate my anxiety. I can see that my old coping mechanisms aren’t working as well and I feel myself slowly losing control of my body and my thoughts. I’m tense. I’m irritable. I’m getting “stuck” more often on small inconveniences and any amount of change has become terrifying. Nothing is inconsequential anymore. Nothing is insignificant. Nothing is okay!

I’m overwhelmed and I need help but asking for it isn’t easy.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my resolutions this year are being implemented in stages. My plan is to take some time at the beginning of every month to reassess my goals and decide what I need to start doing as well as what I want to stop doing. I never want to be working toward what I used to want, you know?

Last month’s resolutions included not drinking alcohol and cutting back on my sugar intake, as well as writing, reading, and doing my Spanish lessons on Duolingo every day. I did well on all fronts though cutting out sugar proved the most difficult. The stuff is in everything!

As for this month, today I’m starting a beginner bodyweight fitness workout, a few days ago I enrolled in a Coursera online course, Social Norms, Social Change I to kick off my resolution to always be taking a free online course. Besides those two resolutions I’m resolving to post weekly on Zen and Pi again, and by mid-month, my weekly-ish newsletter will, hopefully, return.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m working on a proper post to wrap up Dry January but I want to quickly say that, for me, the difference between a moderate alcohol habit and drinking no alcohol at all was not drastically different. I lost a few pounds but that could have just as easily been a result of lowered sugar intake.

I’m working on a proper post to wrap up Dry January but I want to quickly say that, for me, the difference between a moderate alcohol habit and drinking no alcohol at all was not drastically different. I lost a few pounds but that could have just as easily been a result of lowered sugar intake.

I didn’t sign up for the Dry January challenge because I had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, but because the medication I’m on is affecting my liver to such a degree that a relaxing glass of wine after work would impact my system much more than it would other people.

Unfortunately, after an ultrasound and further blood tests this week, my doctor has determined that I suffer from a mild case of “non-alcoholic fatty liver disease”. I’m of the belief it is yet another long-term side effect of steroid use after my initial diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, but there is no way to know for sure. In any case, I’m being advised to continue to severely limit or abstain entirely from alcohol.

So, my little experiment will become a long-term habit change and to be honest, I’m a little sad about that. I don’t feel reliant on alcohol but I have always enjoyed it. It seems a small thing but I enjoyed alcohol the way other people enjoy new and exotic foods. For some people, cooking food, experimenting with food, sharing food, and learning about food is a big part of their lives. I enjoy trying new drinks and playing bartender for family and friends. I enjoy pairing wines with meals and knowing just what kinds to recommend to others who are less experienced or knowledgeable.

Going forward that will have to change, and I will have to change too.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s Super Bowl Sunday here in the states, a sporting event turned unofficial national holiday but here at home not much fanfare is being made. One of the things that has kept my relationship together is our mutual disinterest (and oftentimes disdain) for the cult of football. We’ll watch because the commercials are awesome, but the outcome won’t mean much to me either way.

Instead, we’re spending the day cleaning the house, relaxing, and making more wedding plans.

Yesterday we looked at yet another venue but this time everything felt different. We fell in love with the place the moment we walked in. It’s intimate, urban, located in the heart of the city and most importantly, it feels like us. It isn’t the outdoor location I originally envisioned, but it’s not far from an outdoor ceremony location we’d considered previously. And, in the case of inclement weather, this place can accommodate saying our vows indoors. It’s as close to perfect as I can afford.

This week we’ll put down the deposit and lock in our date—which was miraculously still available!—and start chipping away at the seemingly endless list of decisions and to-do’s leading up to our big day.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the sunlight is coming in low through the west windows and the air coming in is chilling fast. It’s time to start dinner and to turn the game on. I may not care about the outcome but to not watch feels like too great a transgression against societal norms.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you accomplished something and if you didn’t I hope you know you can begin again tomorrow. I hope whoever you are rooting for tonight wins and that you celebrate safely tonight.

Until next time.


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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash