Post From a Coffee Shop

This picture isn't from the coffee shop, but it's a picture of a time I had coffee so...well, yeah. I needed a picture.
This picture isn’t from the coffee shop, but it’s a picture of a time I had coffee and, well, yeah….I needed a picture.

I’m sitting in a coffee shop this morning, and if you were sitting with me, this is what I would say:

I went back on my anti-depressants about a month ago.  It’s winter (a very mild winter, and the days are getting longer, but still…winter) and I was struggling. Not enough that most people would notice, but enough that things that usually felt simple felt like gargantuan, useless tasks that would someday swallow me whole.  After about two weeks of sleeping 12 hours a day, taking a shower only to put my pajamas back on, and telling myself I would do better tomorrow, I went back on my medication. A month in and I’m a little edgy type-A superwoman who should probably cut her caffeine intake (which is what always happens when I’m on fluoxetine). I’d like to be a smidge closer to the middle, but that’s the balancing game I play – and I’d rather be a little too fast than a lot too slow.

I’ve joined a couple of volunteer things and I’m a little nervous. Right after Abram was born, I went through a phase where I was INVOLVED (uppercase and italics is the only way to begin to show the magnitude) and every other aspect of my life almost crumbled…I’d like to keep that from happening again. AND I always worry about being the dumbest person in the room (Do most people outgrow that or is just that most people are better at ignoring the insecure 7th grader that resides in their head?!? Anyone else out there like me? Bueller?) I’m hoping that my opinions and knowledge (or at the very least willingness to be there) will provide some value. And that this time I find the balance between being super-volunteer of the century and you know…life.

Maybe my word of 2016 should have been balance?

Holy crap-ola (that has been my favorite word all week, I just can’t help it), I am NOT Suzy Sunshine today.

But lest I leave you thinking that it’s all rain and gray and doldrums,

It isn’t.

I bought a new dresser off of craigslist. And my bedroom is painted – white – and it’s so bright and lovely and I can’t wait to get my orangey-red curtains and some new bedding. And I think I could paint my whole entire house this white if I weren’t afraid that I’d turn into one of those too hipstery people with oversized black plastic framed eyeglasses with macrame plant hangers and weavings hanging from sticks on my wall.  (I do kind of think I wouldn’t mind a macrame plant hanger – if I could be guaranteed to not kill the plant – which I would most certainly.)

I’ve been knitting socks.  Endlessly socks.  Because I signed up for Desert Vista Dyeworks second annual sock club and I feel like just this once I should finish what I start.  It helps that it’s something like sock knitting – a project I completely love. And DVD yarn, because it’s gorgeous.

And I’ve been reading.  I read The Mortal Instruments series quite quickly because I wanted something that was 100% for entertainment and it fit the bill. I definitely wouldn’t give the whole series more than 2 stars (I don’t quite get the over 4 star rating on goodreads) but it was fun and quick and now I’m well and truly within my 52 books for the year range.  I ALSO read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (because Marian).  Despite never, ever, ever liking epistolary novels and avoiding them at all costs, I decided to try it. And despite being one of those readers who does not feel the need to mark up their books while reading (thank you very much), found myself underlining a few sentences that grabbed my attention. So it basically shook me out of a lot of my reader-y habits.  (Thank you for recommending it, Marian.  I loved it.)

So that’s me. If we were really having coffee (or tea) at this coffee shop, I’d ask you to fill me in about you and ask appropriate conversation maintaining questions, but as I’m not, it’s time to close the laptop, put away my coffee mug, and get a few errands done before I pick up the kids. But please fill me in down in the comments! Happy weekend!

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  • I’m so glad to read this post, Kate … you’ve been quiet lately, and I was getting just a bit worried, all the while hoping you were simply happily busy. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a bit of a tough winter; I’m glad you’re now feeling better (FWIW I am probably a baseline “edgy type-A superwoman who should probably cut her caffeine intake” and can well appreciate that you’d like to dial that back just a bit!).

    Good for you for volunteering! I know how hard it can be to find that balance between volunteering and home life — it seems to me that schools especially are really starved for volunteers and unfortunately “ask” way too much of way too few people. It can be very hard to say no. Coincidentally, I too have been wondering (A LOT lately) about that insecure 7th grader who STILL resides in my head … I would have thought that at my age that person would have been long gone … but no such luck here, unfortunately 🙁 .

    Yay for the new-to-you dresser and the painting-of-your-room! It’s lovely to make progress on the home front 🙂 .

    Oh, The Mortal Instruments … ! I read the first three (I think, although maybe it was four?) a few years ago, alongside my daughter, and although I did like the story in the beginning, when I came to the end of the third (or fourth) I was so absolutely annoyed and disgusted by how the author was seemingly milking the storyline for all it was worth that I recall actually slamming the book shut and saying, aloud, OH COME ON, GIVE US A BREAK!!!!! (And my daughter had the same reaction).

    You loved Guernsey!! 🙂 If I were one to mark up books (I’m not) and if it weren’t for the fact that it was a library copy I read, I would totally have highlighted passages from it as well. This was one that, after finishing, I really wished I had bought, rather than borrowed.

    I’m glad to hear you’re doing so well with your sock knitting! Mine is coming along exceedingly slowly. It’s looking like I’m only making one sock a month. (Not one pair; one sock!) Double the length of time I had figured on 🙁 .

    • I think a sock a month is a perfectly reasonable pace – that’s 6 pairs of socks in a year!! I just signed up for this sock-a-long and theres a free skein of sock yarn at the end if I do all 12 months and as ridiculous as that it is – it’s also extremely motivating. I really need to get moving on it though because I just realized that there are only 9 days left to finish the second sock (which I haven’t even started yet). I’m so grateful for leap year and the extra day. 🙂

      Thank you so much for your kind words about how I’ve been feeling. I wish I could blame that for my quiet on the blog but mostly my days have been following a quiet and consistent pattern and how many times can I say, “I’m knitting socks and watching too much Netflix”?!? I’ve been BORING – which is a lovely way to live, but a terrible way to write. 😉

      And while I’m sorry to hear that you still have a insecure 7th grader in your head, I’m so grateful to hear I’m not alone on that front. I’d love to be one of those women who just have an unwavering knowledge of my value (not arrogance or conceit, just a comfortableness) but for now, I think I’m just going to have to learn to ignore the 7th grade voice ringing in my ears!!

  • Hi Kate,
    I didn’t see this until just today. Got a little Type A thing going on here, too.

    I’m sorry to hear that winter has been a struggle. Boy, I know how that feels. (Not about winter, but that particular struggle.) I’m still fighting it some. Things are better than they were, but…well, you know. (I’m sorry you know.) About being the dumbest person in the room: I’ve decided the dumbest person in the room is usually the one who thinks they know everything. They don’t know enough to know that they don’t know. The ones who know the most are often the ones with the most questions. So, I highly doubt you’re the dumbest person in the room.

    Would love to see photos of your bedroom when it’s come together. Or before. 🙂 I think we’re in the process of painting all the rooms white. Off-white, but still. Cane painted our bedroom grey a few winters back, and I never really liked it. I felt so much better when we painted it white last summer. Sometimes I just lie on the bed and think about how much I love the light in there now. There’s lots of wood and orange and red, so it feels very warm and bright. I’ll never be accused of being a hipster, so I’m just going to go with what makes me feel good.

    I would love to be knitting, but I can’t even seem to get back on the embroidery bandwagon. I was in such a nice rhythm before the holidays hit, and I haven’t found it again. Probably why I’m feeling a little off again. Or because I’m off. Who knows? Chickens, eggs….It’s all the same omelette, isn’t it?

    Reading: I’ve been re-reading big parts of To Kill a Mockingbird. Have spent far too long on a post about that. Recently read and loved Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Am sporadically dipping into The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. (I like it.) Also read The Book of Unknown Americans recently too. Really enjoyed that. Will be taking a big mess of students to see the author in about two weeks.

    OK, thanks for the coffee break. Take care. I’m glad to see you here.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Rita. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, “…well, you know. (I’m sorry you know.)” because it’s so wonderful to have someone understand and “get it” and it feels a whole lot less lonely when you don’t have to explain the lexicon, but it’s not really something you’d wish on other people. You also nailed it when you said, “It’s all the same omelette”. I find it so hard to craft when I’m humdrum. But you mentioned awhile ago that these are good seasons to collect ideas – to let the garden rest – and I’m trying to be patient and appreciate that.

      I loved Miss Peregrine’s too! I read the second book in the series but didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as the first. I think in part because I had no idea what to expect with the first one and it was such an original and clever story that Hollow City just couldn’t live up to it! I really liked the first 3/4 of Henrietta Lacks and then just couldn’t power my way through the rest. I’ll be interested to see what you think about it. I saw your Wednesday post yesterday and it got me excited to read your TKAM post. And it got me thinking…I do LOVE that about your blog, Rita. I always feel like I can feel my brain stretching when I read your blog. It’s like a really satisfactory yoga pose.


      • Oh, this made me smile! To think that reading my blog is like yoga for the brain. I enjoy brain yoga so much more than body yoga. Dang it. I make myself do the body stuff, though, because I think it’s good for the brain stuff. Wouldn’t life be so much lovelier if what we wanted to do was always what was good for us? If I could just sit and sew and read and eat sweet things and be mentally and physically healthy…life would be grand! 🙂