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

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

The Week’s End // A Thought-Provoking Round-Up

Happy Saturday everyone! If you’re looking for some interesting things to read and see while you kick back and relax, look no further, here are my favorite things from around the web this week:

1. “Our story is a tragedy. I know it sounds odd, but that belief does not depress me. It focuses me.” — Ta-Nehisi Coates, On Being: Imagining a New America

2. “There are plenty of well-documented reasons to distrust Instagram—the platform where one is never not branding, never not making Facebook money, never not giving Facebook one’s data—but most unnerving are the ways in which it has led me to distrust myself.” — Tavi Gevinson, Who Would I Be Without Instagram? An investigation.

3. “Should our society be capitalist, socialist, or something in between? To adjudicate this debate, we must understand the definitions of ‘capitalism’ and ‘socialism.’” — Defining Capitalism and Socialism Bonus: Arguments for Capitalism and Socialism

4. “There is something peculiarly—even paradoxically—appealing about taking a dim view of human nature, a view that has become unquestioned dogma among many evolutionary biologists.” — David P Barash, Do human beings have an instinct for waging war?

5. “So mindful are we of the risks of selfishness, we run into an opposite danger: an abnegation of the self, a modesty that borders on self-erasure, an automatic impulse to give everything over to competing parties, a shyness about pressing oneself forward and a manic inability to say ‘no’ or cause the slightest frustration to others.” — The School of Life

6. “the thing beyond the body which is you is peeled back and massive barely anything at all” — Robin Richardson, Origin Story Ad Nauseam (via Grace)

7. “…it’s interesting and instructive that you’ve named your theory terror management theory as opposed to death management theory. It’s not about avoiding death. It’s about avoiding the fear of death.” — Shankar Vedantam, Hidden Brain

8. “Having existential anxiety is what it means to be a human being” — Olessa Pindak, 4 Ways To Cope With Existential Anxiety, According To A Psychiatrist

9. “That pain is incommunicable is a lie in the face of the near-constant, trans-species, and universal communicability of pain. So the question, finally, is not whether pain has a voice or appearance: the question is whether those people who insist that it does not are interested in what pain has to say, and whose bodies are doing the talking.” — Anne Boyer, What is the Language of Pain?

10. “It may be that life is just an example of Grover’s quantum search at work, and that this algorithm is itself a fundamental property of nature. That’s a Big Idea if ever there was one.” — An important quantum algorithm may actually be a property of nature, MIT Technology Review

Laure Prouvost, Ideally this sign would take you outside (via This Isn’t Happiness)

Have you read, watched, written, or posted an interesting or inspiring thing this week? Has something on the internet made you feel strongly, think deeply, or see the world in a new light? If so, drop a link in the comments, we’d love to check it out!

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

The Week’s End

Happy Saturday everyone! If you’re looking for some interesting things to read and see while you kick back and relax, look no further, here is the best from around the web this week, according to me.

1. “What you do is you keep all of your passions at play in your life. So, if there are three things that you love more than anything in this world you spend time on those three things and then they start to talk to each other and that’s when your life begins to form.” — Austin Kleon // SXSW interview with Debbie Millman

Bonus: You don’t have to write about the bad stuff.

2. “Think of the world’s Five Big Problems. Climate change, mass extinction, inequality, stagnation, and extremism. The money that’s piled up in the hands of richest 1% of the richest 10% of people on earth should be used to solve those problems. In a very real sense, those problems are just different names for ‘too much money piling up in too few hands.’” — umair haque // (How) Capitalism Turned Life, the Planet, and Civilization into Money — and Our Challenge is Turning it Back

3. “Do It; You Can Always Apologise Later.” and other rules for radicals.

4. “But we have a solution. We decided to be irreverent to this idea that only lawyers can impact the courts. And to penetrate the judicial system with the power, intellect and ingenuity of community organizing. We call the approach ‘participatory defense.’” — Raj Jayadev // TEDxBinghamtonUniversity

5. “People look at my story and applaud me and wonder what I did to ‘beat the odds.’ I wish they were more curious about why my brother did not. I wish they would ask, ‘What trap lay before this talented, bright boy so that he was bound to fall into it?’” — Akintunde Ahmad // I Went to Yale. My Brother Went to Prison

6. “The claim of democracy doesn’t negate meritocracy, but they’re in tension. One values equality and openness, the other achievement and security. Neither can answer every need. To lose sight of either makes life poorer. The essential task is to bring meritocracy and democracy into a relation where they can coexist and even flourish.” — George Packer // When the Culture War Comes for the Kids

7. “That’s what our phones have become. An instant escape, and a constant burden.” — Ryan Holiday // A Radical Guide to Spending Less Time on Your Phone

8. “What did they want? More than anything? Violent things. Unattainable things.” — Courtney Zoffness // Hot for Teacher

9. “But unfortunately the embarrassing message has already been received, and probably wedged deep into her teenage brain: there are always going to be people leering at parts of your body that you may not even be thinking about.” — Hannah Smothers // An Adult Pointing out Exposed Parts of Your Body Can Haunt You For a Lifetime

10. “This is all to say that the closer I look at the evidence regarding how our brains function, the more I’m convinced that we’re designed to be single-threaded, working on things one at a time, waiting to reach a natural stopping point before moving on to what’s next.” — Cal Newport // Our Brains Are Not Multi-Threaded

11.This September, millions of us will walk out of our workplaces and homes to join young climate strikers on the streets and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels.”

12. “We have this affinity toward animals that are closer to us. We want to protect them. And the closer they are to us, the more we say that they must feel pain — that they’re worthy of protection. And the further they are evolutionary from us, the easier it is to morally excuse abuse of them.” — Leah Garcés // Battle-tested lessons from the animal rights struggle

13. Throwback: “In the most photographed and videotaped day in the history of the world, the images of people jumping were the only images that became, by consensus, taboo—the only images from which Americans were proud to avert their eyes.” — Tom Junod // The Falling Man

Have you read, watched, written, or posted an interesting or inspiring thing this week? Has something on the internet made you feel strongly, think deeply, or see the world in a new light? If so, drop a link in the comments, we’d love to check it out!

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

The Week’s End // A Collection of Inspiring Art and Words

Happy Saturday everyone! If you’re looking for some interesting things to read and see while you kick back and relax, look no further, here is the best from around the web this week, according to me.

1. The simple, yet expressive digital illustrations of Sharia Barzilay.

2. “Here’s one way to discourage people from indulging in a damaging habit: tax the hell out of it. Cigarettes and alcohol are already taxed. In some cities, soda is too. Is it time to embrace a meat tax?”

3. “We may not do good for the sake of being noticed, but in a world that seems to be growing in hostility more than ever before, we desperately need to see yours.”

4. “The real task of a trauma victim—the task that makes life worth living again—is to reconnect the self to the world.”

5. “State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security,
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.”

6. “…it’s very easy to be wrong about other people’s motivations. You might assume that they share your perspective or context, think like you do, or have circumstances similar to yours. With such assumptions, you may conclude that they should also behave like you would or hold your beliefs. Unfortunately, often these assumptions are wrong.”

7. “In August of 1619, a ship appeared on this horizon, near Point Comfort, a coastal port in the British colony of Virginia. It carried more than 20 enslaved Africans, who were sold to the colonists. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed. On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is finally time to tell our story truthfully.”

8. “Write what you know,” goes the adage, but you don’t really know what you know until you write about it…It’s one thing to write to find out what you don’t know, but to write to find out what you don’t want to know takes guts.”

9. “I don’t want to become a better man, because you all know, what I’ve been told manhood is, it’s not anything I’m trying to aspire to. I want to become a better human person.”

10. “The hardest time to practice kindness is, of course, during a fight—but this is also the most important time to be kind. Letting contempt and aggression spiral out of control during a conflict can inflict irrevocable damage on a relationship.”

11. “Look, I’ve read and enjoyed a lot of books by men, I just get…tired.”

12. “The idea here is simple. Scratch your own itch…if you want to create something that solves your own problem, something you plan to love and use yourself, you already have a head start.”

13. “A liberal-minded couple, Amy and Peter Edgar, are forced to reconsider their image of their adopted son after they discover he has written an extremely disturbing essay for his class at school.”

Have you read, watched, or written an interesting or inspiring thing this week? Has something on the internet made you feel strongly, think deeply, or see the world in a new light? If so, drop a link in the comments, we’d love to check it out!

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash