Today I’m sitting in Starbucks drinking a nice hot latte. I used to come here by myself all the time to unwind and relax. I’m not sure why I gave it up. On a day like this, it’s nice to be in a place where there is nothing to do. Nothing to clean, no responsibilities, no nothing. Just sitting here with a drink in my hand, free of thought is a therapy I had almost forgotten. We all need an escape sometimes. We need a place to go where we can simply just be. It feels fantastic. I hope you find a moment to yourself today to regroup and re-energize. It’s hard to remember to take care of yourself when you’re always busy worrying and taking care of others.
I just read the article on Facebook about Starbucks supporting marriage equality and that after taking such a stance their proceeds were down. Despite that fact, they will continue to support the diversity interwoven among their own employees and carry on. A friend commented “good, now they will be getting more of my money”.
I guess it’s odd for me to comprehend how people can choose to boycott or support a company based on their outspoken beliefs. We have the right to believe anything that feels right with our soul. That part I clearly understand but to actually boycott or actively support a company based on their views seems a little drastic to me. A persons beliefs will never influence whether or not I buy a cup of coffee in their store. Why oh why do we feel we have to punish or support every single action? I am grateful I can keep the two separate. I like the separate part. People and companies are more than their thoughts and beliefs. They are real human beings who build a company , work hard and try to make a living just like everyone else. Do people have the right to boycott or support businesses? Of course they do but let’s ask that in reverse….do you believe businesses should have the right to deny services to customers based on beliefs? Always a double standard that people forget to see in both directions. Just something to think about today. Which side of the coin are you on?
Is it okay to listen in on others conversations? I am sitting here in Starbucks listening to a dad talk to the mom on the phone about some of the problems they are having with their kids. I take some sick kind of comfort in the fact that no matter how we dress or how we appear, we all share a lot of the same experiences. We all spend part of our free time stressing over our kids or our lives or the many crazy things going on in the world. This particular couple is divorced and I am so encouraged by the way the man is showing his appreciation and respect that the mother handles these problems all the time. It actually restores my faith in people again and gives me hope that although there is hate and blame in this world, love and respect are still alive and well.
Monday when I was here, there were two men sitting behind me discussing an insurance policy. The agent was talking about whether the husband and wife were headed for divorce or if there was a chance they would reconcile. He was trying to give this man the best advice about what was right for his family situation in the near future. The poor man was distraught and really didn’t have anyone to reach out to. So the insurance guy? It makes me sad.
So often I sit here and I am so absorbed in typing on my ipad that I forget there are people around me. Often, I notice a shadow of their form but I forget that they sit in their space carrying every human experience, concern, and worry that I also feel. If only we could listen in during the vulnerable moments of the people around us. Maybe we would come out from behind our phones and computers and take the earphones out of our ears to start a conversation. Sometimes, it’s actually easier to share our burdens with the people we don’t know because they actively listen instead of trying to give their advice. If only we could notice what we all have in common and let that draw us back to each other. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful gift we could give to ourselves in this ever growing distraction and looking the other way that has become our human nature?
These are just some of my thought as I sit here still hearing all the muffled voices in the background. Notice someone today who you do not know. Look at them, smile and say hello. Maybe they’ve been waiting for someone to notice them for a long time. Namaste.
A very wise blogger friend of mine pointed something out to me yesterday that I found to be very significant. We have a choice every day to stay neutral in situations. I was talking about how everyone around us affects us like it or not. Whether we know them or not, their interaction with us has a direct affect on how we are feeling and our general outlook on life and the world. What then I ask do we do when interaction after interaction is selfish, confrontational and unpleasant?
Let me explain. I started my day off with my son nagging me to switch him out of vocal music. I knew in one short hour I had another meeting with the entire team of teachers, counselor, and principal so I wasn’t jumping up and down excited about my day. Anyway, I survived the car ride and the meeting and to find some calm and clear me head, I called my mom and headed to Starbucks. I was already wrapping the conversation up as I walked in but needed to get a few more things off my chest. I am anxious and a little fired up but I was allowing this time for my very favorite indulgence, a white mocha.
This late 50/early 60 year old woman stared at me over the top of her glasses. Then she looked away and said “stop talking!” I don’t think she really expected me to acknowledge her but her passive aggressiveness could not go ignored. I announced loudly to my mother that I needed to hang up because my talking was bothering the woman sitting across from me. She then thanked me and I asked for what, meeting her demands? I then pointed out I didn’t appreciate her mumbling about me under her breath and she had more polite ways to handle the situation. She could either move her seat since the entire place was empty or at least ask me in a kind manner to please be a little quieter.
It’s a selfish epidemic that we suffer in these troubling times. Somewhere along the way, the kindness, compassion and respect we once extended to one another has become replaced with selfishness, our own demands and the expectations we have about how things should be that directly accommodate our selfish selves.
But today, instead of letting it eat a hole in my spirit, I am going to focus on the lady that walked through the door and flashed me a great big smile. I am not going to let the anger, rudeness, or lack of respect of a total insignificant stranger drag me to that dark place she chooses to reside. I will remind myself she is only as big as I allow her to be and she only holds some sort of power over me if I allow her to. Why on earth would I actively choose that for myself? I will feel it and peel it. I will not allow it to stick to me where I carry it around and stick it on another. So, thank you friend for reminding me the power lies in how I choose to deal with negativity and not accepting that the negativity leaves me no choice but to be negative myself.
There are days I wake up calm. Days that the usual annoyances don’t seem to find their way under my skin. Days where I take a mental vacation from all my responsibilities and allow myself to go through the motions free of thought. I used to go to Starbucks on a frequent basis. It was a place that allowed me the freedom to sit and observe or relax and write. My favorite drink is white mocha but since I started watching my weight, I switched over to a skinny vanilla latte. I still drive through once in a while but I don’t in any way look forward to my coffee the way I used to. It’s become something that once in a while I just do.Today, I treated myself to a nice warm white mocha. I think when we indulge ourselves with something frequently we lose some of the enjoyment. But today, when I took my first sip, boy was I grateful. I think life is like a dull cup of coffee. We move ourselves through the motions but we also cheat ourselves out of enjoying the little moments. We stop noticing them and become prisoners to the very schedule that holds us hostage.
Today, I hope everyone finds time for their white mocha moment. It is so important to treat ourselves to something that just feels good, because feeling good feels good. And shouldn’t that be what life is about, finding as many moments in our life to linger in the good? So what is it that makes you feel good? Make a list and on a bad day when it feels your world is falling down around you, choose from that list and do something kind for yourself. Sometimes there is no one but you that can turn your day around and sometimes you have to be your own hero.
So, snow day today. Woohoo, yeah , awesome, high five! Now that we got that over with the real story is about to begin. Last night I had a long sit down with my 15 year old daughter. She is missing quite a bit of work in school and her chores have really been falling behind. See a pattern here? I do and as mom I DO NOT LIKE IT. Although it has become the norm for school policies to let these kids hand their work in with no consequence whenever is it convenient, and coaches seem to let kids skip practice or skip laps at their own convenience, it is creating a HUgE inconvenience at home. I know society has the very best intentions but the result is these kids do not do anything in a timely fashion. Before they know it, they have fallen so far behind and they are surrounded with a cloud of hopelessness they never seem to find a way to pull their head out of. Well, lucky for me I am a “stay on top of it” kind of gal so I don’t suffer from this epidemic of DGAD (don’t get anything done!)
Anyway, back to the story. I happened to wander into the laundry room this morning, and there, sitting on the washer was an overflowing basket of smelly teenage laundry. I patiently walked into the living room where my teen was on her 4th episode of Dance Moms and with my sweetest voice possible told my daughter the dreaded truth. “Kayleigh, the washer does not have magical powers.” She sat there a moment staring blankly at me and asked, “what do you mean?” So I continued to tell her that the clothes do not magically find themselves inside the washer and someone actually has to put them in. Her response, “well, I,thought if I brought them downstairs YOU do them.”
Aha, at last the problem had become obvious. I was successful in teaching her if her clothes sat in her closet they wouldn’t get washed, but she misinterpreted my next piece of information as bring them downstairs, they get washed. Seriously, I am telling this story because it is a vERY important one. I noticed that even dealing with teachers and adults, sometimes we think we are being very clear in what it is we are trying to convey, but the real meaning gets lost somewhere inside the interpretation. I am learning slowly, that sometimes we have to be specific to a ridiculous degree.
If we expect someone to do something, we have to make sure they understand what it is we are asking them to do.
I will leave you with this example. One day my husband decided to meet me at Starbucks on his way to work. He penciled me into his schedule and I was grateful. We left the house at the same time but I was sitting there for several minutes wondering where he could be. Finally the phone rang and I asked, “where are you?” His response, “sitting in Starbucks”. So there we were, sitting in two different Starbucks on two different sides of town. You think I could say lesson learned then but I am still making the same mistake today. By golly, I think I may have finally got it! Yay me!