I had an amazing cup of coffee at The Well Saturday. It was an Ethiopian blend with cranberry tartness and a hint of brown sugar. The barista put a ton of effort into making it and I could taste the flavors in every sip.
I will never have a cup of coffee there again which will taste exactly the way it did Saturday. I may have better experiences and I may have worse. I’m learning to understand this fully in every aspect of my life. I love good coffee but at the end of the day it’s black liquid which means nothing – except for the experience. You remember the taste of the best steak you have ever had and your mouth waters when recalling it. I remember the friends I have shared amazing meals with and want to recreate these events again.
These aren’t repeatable events. We can go with the same group of people and order the same food but it’s different. We have all been to a restaurant for a second time we enjoyed initially and felt disappointment. We build up the meal in our minds and expect it to happen again. I am leaning into each moment for what it is. It might be exceptional it might be meh. Instead of anticipating something amazing I’m learning to let it happen. It’s not about pressing down expectations but rather about letting moments come at you unexpectedly.
We want everything to be exceptional. We want every live TV event, movie, and album (I’m looking at you Kanye) to be memorable. They are not. Memorable events aren’t repeatable. It’s frustrating but it is also what makes the events memorable. I have been on a french press coffee kick recently and each time I make it the taste is different. Some are better than others but instead of trying to repeat a great flavor I’m enjoying each one because it’s different.
We can look back on a date or when we saw our favorite movie for the first time and we long for it again. Those moments are great because of all the bad ones which proceeded and followed them.
We are great at looking back and picking and choosing our favorite Christmas, birthday, or year in college. We rarely have a positive view of the present. I’m learning to enjoy the present and look back on once in a lifetime events fondly instead of trying to recreate them.
I have started making coffee out of a french press recently. The other day while I was drinking the silky smooth coffee I wondered why I didn’t do this more often. If you love coffee and have ever consumed it from a french press, you know what I’m talking about.
The flavors explode in the press making each sip of coffee taste so unbelievably good.
I know exactly why I don’t do it more often. It takes time. You can’t quickly make coffee out of a french press, which is one of the reasons it tastes so good. It takes time to grind up coffee beans. It takes time to boil water. It takes time to let the coffee mix with the boiling water. It doesn’t take much time but it isn’t quick either.
Recently I have had trouble being inspired with writing. There have been times where I stared at my computer screen for what seemed like days and barely wrote 100 words.
As I was drinking a well crafted cup of coffee last Sunday I had another realization.
I haven’t taken time to think.
It hasn’t happened overnight. It has been a slow process, but over time I have gotten to where I’m going fast all day and I don’t slow down until I lay down at night. I definitely have time to think and to sit and ponder what I’m going through on a daily basis but I usually find time to occupy myself with something else during that time. Between DVR’s, high-speed internet, and K-cups waiting has become unbearable. I get angry when the car in front of me sits at a light after it turns green for half a second too long. I am in a constant rush.
I went a month without writing in my journal. I love to journal. More often than not we decide we are too busy to do something when in fact we choose to be busy.
I have made a decision to consciously choose reflection over busyness. Surprisingly it helps me get more done. It seems counter intuitive but by doing this it helps me be more productive when I actually want to sit down and write. I can write with more clarity and use the time I spend writing more efficiently. I feel more confident with my words when I have taken time to process my thoughts.
Imagine life as a DVR. We are constantly wanting to press fast forward. Instead of speeding things up, slow them down. Press slow motion.
Do things that take time. Take a moment to think and take several moments to process those thoughts. I would reccomend doing it while enjoying coffee from a french press.