Posts Tagged With: coffee

I’m NOT Dead? Well, Then…What Now?

not deadEach morning, I hear the birds chirping as they begin their busy day of bug hunting, nest building, and flitting from hither to yon.

Each morning, I smell the air through the open window.

Each morning, I taste the exquisite flavor of the juicing of that naughty bean we call “coffee.”

And each morning is a reminder that I am not yet dead!  My life is not yet over.  I still have opportunities and choices.  There are still people to annoy; books to read; stories to write; songs to sing badly;food to enjoy; beer to savor; family to…well y’know how family is.

Each morning is a reminder that we are ALIVE and we should not sit about wondering what to do (as if we’re surprised we’re not dead), we should be about the business of reminding ourselves and the rest of the world’s patrons that WE ARE ALIVE DAMMIT! 

Not get the hell away from my coffee!!!

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See With Vision, Not With Sight!

EpictetusI happened upon this quote of Epictetus, “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”  How odd that this nugget of wisdom from the ancient Epictetus is still a resounding truth today!

Take, for example, the idea that for centuries we feared sailing beyond the sight of land because we just KNEW that we would fall off the edge of the world. And yet, we were eventually able to learn the truth that the earth doesn’t just drop us off when we go so far.

For many years we just KNEW that the Moon was made of cheese, yet we were eventually able to overcome that thinking to realize that attempting to make a sandwich with the Moon was not exactly ideal for the digestion.

Consider, also, the notions regarding diet.  For a while, eggs are bad, then they are good, then they are back on the naughty list with bacon and all the other foods I find thoroughly tasty.  We also have been told that meat is bad, then it is good, then it is bad again.  The same can be said for bread, butter, sugar, coffee, beer, and other delectables.

We go to the beach and are told that the sun can cause skin cancer so slather on lots of sunscreen. Then we are told that the ingredients of the sunscreen are ineffective as sunscreen but make an excellent skin softener.

I mistrust anyone who claims to have the final knowledge on any subject!  How many times have you decided not to order something from the menu because someone you knew told you THEY didn’t like it?  How many times have you had a wonderful experience at a business only to have that experience jaded because someone you knew had a bad experience?

We seem to miss out on so much wonder found in this world because we think we already know all about it, yet we make new discoveries quite frequently.  We need to start opening our own eyes and senses to experience this world for ourselves!  Stop relying on the declarations of, let’s face it, other human beings as flawed as we are.

Why do we elevate the opinions of others above our own?  Are they the ones who will be living YOUR life?  NO!  You live your life!  You experience your own adventures!  Let’s open our senses and LIVE our own lives!  See the world with your own vision!

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What Keeps You From Flying?

butterfly

Flying seems like it should be a rather simple feat.  One should merely spread one’s wings, flap them vigorously, and off you go.

     We make all sorts of excuses as to why we cannot fly.  We forget excuses are nothing short of our fears being vocalized.

Think about it:

     I’m too heavy!  Okay, perhaps you might be carrying more than you should…learn to let go of what’s holding you down! You see, we are hoarders of the unnecessary.  We hold on to things far longer than they should be held on to, simply because holding on to them brings a sense of comfort to us.

     Take GRUDGES for example.  We carry these mountains around with us for years and YEARS!  Even beyond the point where we can no longer remember what it was that pissed us off in the first place.  Oh we might say we have “let it go” but the truth is we have only taken them from our shoulders to our backpacks.  It’s as if we are actually afraid of trying to exist without them.  We might forget that we have a grudge against someone and, *gasp*, talk to them!  Perhaps even befriend them.

     How about our PREJUDICES?  Whether consciously, subconsciously or unconsciously we have prejudices that must be CONSCIOUSLY dealt with.  I am a Protestant Christian, and for years I was prejudiced against any group that thought differently than I.  Then I took the chance to talk with people who do believe differently than I do, and we have a mutual respect that I won’t try to change their way of believing and they won’t try to change mine.  Some of the nicest people I have met do not believe as I believe.  Yet we wear the armor of prejudices to protect ourselves from having our beliefs challenged, and in so doing, that armor weighs us down!

     I will admit that I am still prejudiced toward people who bring their children into a quiet coffee shop to run rampantly wild, disrupting the force, and generally annoying the patrons.  While their little demons gallivant about upturning chairs, plowing into other customers knocking over their coffee, screaming like banshees, these thoughtful parents/guardians/caretakers find a place to hide.

    We cling to hatred, misconceptions, anger, hurt (real and imagined) like a drowning person clings to anything that floats.  Learning to let go isn’t easy and it takes conscious effort.  But when we are able to let these heavy weights go, we begin to realize that we are not just floating, we are flying.

     Another great thing about flying…you don’t have to have a destination!  You can fly just to change how you see the world around you!

Categories: Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Are We Truly Becoming More Stupid?

common-sense-300x210

What is happening to us?  In the 60s and 70s, when I was a kid, we watched Bugs Bunny cartoons yet never felt the need to drop an anvil on someone’s head or shoot them in the face with a shotgun. People knew that steam rising from the coffee meant it was going to be HOT! We knew knives were sharp, guns were not something you looked down the barrel of, and we also expected to get a butt whoopin’ if we broke the rules.

In school, we respected our teachers because we knew they would spank us if we misbehaved and then tell our parents.  My parents were of the mind that if the teacher had to spank us, my Mom (who was a stay at home Mom for my formative years) would spank us again when she had to come get us, and THEN when Dad got home he would “get our attention” and lecture us afterwards.  Honestly, I would rather have had my butt beaten rather than have to endure the lecture.  Good grades were rewarded, bad grades incurred study time instead of television time.

We were taught to respect police, fire fighters, clergy, teachers… in fact, twice a week we would put a snack in our mailbox for the carrier.  We ate what was put in front of us or we didn’t eat.  Never did we treat our parents as though we were the ones in charge and they were our servants.

We didn’t have to be told not to drink drain cleaner or antifreeze.  We were taught that stealing, for whatever reason, was wrong.  We were taught that melodramatic extremes were not the way to discuss a situation.  We were taught lying was wrong and got our mouths washed out with soap for lying. We didn’t dare mouth off to our parents or any other adult for that matter.

What has happened to our society?  Have we lost all common sense or do we choose to ignore it in favor of believing that “someone else” is culpable?

Categories: Hmmmmm........ | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let The Adventure Begin!

dangerous business stepping out

As you may or may not be aware, I have been existing in absentia from my pages for quite some time.  Call it a “Reflective Vacation”; Call it “Extended Contemplation”; Call it “lazy”….they are all, in some way, correct.  Having wearied of this self imposed exile, ’tis time to, once more, take up the virtual pen and release the mental horde upon this community.

Life is, in and of itself, a rather dull existence.  We sleep, wake, eat, work, eat, home, eat, only to start the routine all over again.  *sigh* How boring is that?  Why even bother?  Just the same old thing every day, day after day……after day……..after day……until we realize that we are dead and have the courtesy to lie down.

Where’s the adventure?  Didn’t the brochure at birth promise us limitless adventure?  Mine also advertised fun filled relaxing holidays in an all inclusive package where I get to sit on the beach all day (baking in the sun, getting all sweaty and sand covered) whilst people whom I have never met bring me drinks of varying colors, textures, and alcohol contents.

Here’s the fact of the matter: If you want an adventure in life, then get off the couch and out of the chair!  Remove yourself from your comfort zone and step outside.  Adventure awaits the Adventurous!

Want an adventure? Go to Walmart at 3:00am wearing a rubber chicken costume.  Or go to the zoo dressed as Tarzan.  Or swim in the ocean with raw meat strapped to you.  How about starting a conversation with someone you don’t know?  Perhaps as you walk through your day make it a point to smile and speak to everyone you meet?  Better yet, do a random act of niceness and do it anonymously with no possible way for anyone to know you are the perpetrator.

Adventures don’t have to include spiders, snakes, and assassins!  Adventures are what you find to be adventurous!

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There’s Something To Be Said For…

Introvert CoffeeI like quiet. It helps me recharge and re-energize. I am an Introvert, you see, and lots of input is overwhelming, thus causing me to seek refuge in some less eventful locale.  My job requires interaction.  I enjoy the interaction but will seek out my happy quiet between appointments. And here begins this tale…

While sitting in my happy place, which shall remain nameless at present, I was delighting in a good book just downloaded to my tablet and a cup of coffee.  The low background noises from the other side of the shop we distracting, but tolerable.  As I delved deeper into my book, my focus became sharper and the invisible walls of the introverted mind formed. I was zeroing in on my euphoric place.

It was at this moment that HE came bursting into the shoppe with three screeching children (triplets of less than 6 years of age), his cellphone glued to his ear while he carried on a loud conversation with his wife or girlfriend (he repeated used the phrases “Sweetheart” and “Love You”) during which he was:

  1. Trying to carry on his phone conversation
  2. Fussing at the children, finally giving up and letting them rampage at will
  3. Place an order because “Daddy needs a break.”
  4. Trying to wrangle his herd of munchkins by yelling the question “What do you want for a treat? A cookie? You want a cookie? What kind of cookie? Oh you want cake? What kind of cake?”

By the time the third child FINALLY decided what treat he wanted, many of the patrons had made their abrupt exit and several of those who had entered after this gaggle had made entrance, had decided on a different venue.

During this entire event, the cellphone never left his ear and the conversation never ceased.  When he received his order, Daddy further exacerbated the situation by making other demands on the cashier (may I have this cookie warmed and this one cut, not broken, into fourths, and may I have 4 ones, 3 quarters, 2 dimes and a nickle instead of the 5?) all the while yelling instructions to his trio and talking to “sweetheart.”

Thinking (hoping) this was merely an anomaly and this group would take their order up the road to the playground/picnic area, those of us who had been enjoying the now reminiscent quiet, dug in waiting for their exit. Such was not the case. Daddy brought his cloud of loud into the seating area, sighed heavily, flopped in a chair, and told the children to “shoosh” “quiet down” and “please let Daddy have a break.”

In was at this point when Daddy thought it would be a good idea to engage those of the remaining patrons in a loud game of 20 questions.

“Whatcha reading there Pardner?”

“Why ya’ll being so quiet? Did we scare you?”

“If you think you have enough life insurance, you are dead WRONG! (insert beginning of sales pitch here)”

By this point I, and many of the remnant, had had enough and were packing up to find solace elsewhere when Olive, a tiny grandmotherly type, snapped her book closed and turned to address the man.  She smiled warmly and said, “Young man, did you know there is a playground just a block up the road?”

Daddy’s reply astounded all of us, “Yeah, but that’s too open and loud. Can’t concentrate there.” This was followed by vain attempts to get his young charges to lower their volume below ear-piercing.

Olive tried once again to be polite, “Sir, you have very energetic and rambunctious offspring. They need a place where they can expend their energies…like the playground.”

Daddy was either completely oblivious or determined to be rude, because he informed Olive that he had every RIGHT to be in the shop and his kids had every RIGHT to do whatever they wanted whenever they wanted because this is AMERICA, after all, and we are free!”

Sweet Olive, stood up, toddled over to the man, looked his square in the eyes and said, “Young man, may I have one of your business cards?” Daddy gave her his card thinking he was going to sell this sweet older lady a load of life insurance. Olive took the card, put it in her purse, and said, “My father, my husband and my two sons fought and died so you could have the freedoms you throw around so selfishly. But you see, I also have a freedom and LOTS of friends.  So I will be exercising MY right and freedom to tell everyone I know about your behavior and complete disregard for others. I will be sharing your business card with them, and we will be contacting the company to inform them of your lack of respect, and telling them we will not be purchasing any of their products or services if you are the example of their representative.”  With that, Olive toddled back gathered her belongings and left.

I wish I could say that Daddy got the hint, but sadly when I left after another half hour of trying to concentrate, he was still loud, proud, and chasing off business from what was once an introvert’s haven.

 

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My Clone Would Plot My Demise!

cloning panda 1Clone Panda

Last week was one of those weeks where I wish I could have had a clone.  The thought of having a clone has its appeal:

  • Conversation would always be amazing and informative.
  • I could actually BE in two places at the same time
  • There would always be someone to go have coffee with.
  • Not to mention the sheer power of the sexy awesome dorkiness times TWO!
  • I’ve seen me pre-coffee, and I would know instinctively not to speak to me until fully infused.
  • The entire coffee industry would LOVE the idea.
  • I would know not to bother me while I’m thinking. And I would know that I am an introvert with misophonia, so I would know not to make loud annoying noises around me.

Then said I to myself, or was it to my clone to be, I can never remember, ah, such are the way of things I suppose:

  • I could never win an argument with myself.
  • I would be impossible to throw a surprise party for me.
  • I could never blame my mistakes on anyone….except the clone me…..who is me. Ah, crap!
  • I could never “borrow” (steal) soda money from me, because I would know I would do that and I would catch me doing it or I would try to hide it from me and because I know where I hide things, neither one of me would get any sleep.
  • I could never give me directions, because both of me are completely directionally challenged and need a GPS to find our way out of a t-shirt.
  • And then there’s the whole, “Who used all the hot water?” disruption. Of course, I know I used all the hot water, so why am I even asking me if I used all the hot water, and I really need to get out of my face about it before I punch my lights out.

Hopefully, you can see my dilemma.  Alone, I admit to being pretty amazing in a goofball sort of way. Cloned…one of us would have to go, but which one…..? (insert maniacal laugh here)

Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Coffee Chats With Morty…

Coffee ChatToday is one of those days where my schedule is pretty full of sessions to conduct, but they are far enough between that I have the chance to think and ponder.  This is very important for an Introvert, because quiet time to process is almost akin to breathing. But it is during these productive thought parades that I have an internal coffee chat whilst I sit quietly with my coffee.  My internal “Keeper of the Brain Flame” is named Mortimer Farnsfoxington Irakafenfeld-Smythe.  Or for those who are familiar with such an inner companion, “Morty” will do.

Morty and I have been having talks since I can remember. Not the psychotic “break-out-the-strait-jacket” type of conversations, but just trying to see a situation from as many perspectives as possible. This method of perspective seeking has been quite handy during my current occupation as a Law Enforcement Chaplain. Let’s face it, people are quite the odd critter, and some are nuttier than a bald duck on ice.

Morty and I were having a bit of lively debate a while back, partly regarding where to have lunch, and partly about a situation I was dealing with due to one of my counselees feeling they were “not good enough.”  I could empathize with this person, because for most of my life, I have been told that I, too, was not “good enough.” Painful though those times were, and still are, the debate was on.

Me: “What do you think about Jill? How would you handle it?”

Morty: “The question might be about Jill, but the reason you question is closer to home.”

Me: “I have locked that away! Right now, I must help Jill.”

Morty: “By teaching her to lock feelings away? Doesn’t sound very helpful at all.”

Me: “Okay, smart guy, how would YOU deal with Jill!”

Morty: “By facing my own demons first. It’s not a good idea for a blind monkey to lead a blind person through the minefield.”

Me: “Okay, but when that door is open, you know there’s no closing it again.”

Morty: “I do. But let me ask you something before you swing that door open wide, what qualifies you to help anyone?”

Me: “Well, I have several degrees and training and understand the way people can get stuck in these mind traps…”

Morty: ” Oh REALLY? So all that book learning and training, while impressive, helps you deal with other people’s locked doors, but not your own. Interesting!”

Me: “I can’t face mine while I’m trying to help someone else.”

Morty: “You can’t help anyone until you face what you are hiding from.”

Me: “Like what? What is so pressing that I have to face it right now?”

Morty (imitating every voice who has said this to me): “You just aren’t good enough.”

Immediately, my mind recalled the baseball coach who made me play “bench warmer” for three seasons because, no matter how hard I tried and practiced, I just wasn’t good enough.  I remembered the teachers who told me math was not ever going to be something I would be “good enough” to grasp.  I remembered my own parents reminding me that I was the “Number 2 son” and all the times I never was “good enough” to equal my brother’s achievements.  I remembered all the times I had tried as hard as I could, offered all that I had, and was still labeled as “not good enough.”

The door had been opened, and I sat in my car in the far corner of the parking lot, and took punch after brutal punch again for all those times of not being “good enough.” 

Finally, Morty said: “Okay, maybe you weren’t good enough then, but now you understand what it is like to feel not good enough, and you can help.”

Me: “HOW? I feel lower than the bottom of an outhouse pit.”

Morty: “Now that you know how it feels. Why were YOU called by Jill to help?”

Me: “Because I have spoken with her several times, we have developed a rapport, we have mutual respect…”

Morty: “Nope. Here me loud and clear…Jill contacted you because she knows you are good enough to understand and good enough to offer her perspective that can help.”

Me: “Wow, you are pretty insightful to be imaginary.”

Morty: “Yeah, someone has to be, you’d be nuts without me.”

The point that I got from this entire exchange, that was heard by NO ONE, is that we are each here for a reason and a purpose. For that reason and purpose, we ARE good enough! Might take us a long time to reach that point and know why we are here, but at that point, we will be more than merely “good enough.”

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Recognition

tarnished

Whilst enjoying my morning coffee at my favorite office away from the office this morning, I noticed a group of older gentlemen seated around one of the tables. Engrossed as I was in writing my assessments from yesterday, I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on their conversation. Actually, several of this coffee klatch were apparently hard of hearing because the conversation was a tad loud.

I listened to these men recount their lives and they regaled the group (and those of us who were within earshot) with their opinions, thoughts, solutions, and then came the kicker….all the awards and recognition they had received. For some odd reason my mind recalled my childhood, seeing the faded names on tarnished brass or worn, barely recognizable names on dull placards; how many people actually remember those to whom these names had been given?

Don’t get me wrong, I find nothing wrong with awards and recognition, but such moments are fleeting yet we pursue these moments like a shark after a wounded fish.

As I sat there enjoying the stories of the men’s club my mind kept playing “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen. Without stories life would be so boring, but each day brings new tales to be lived and written. Me? I do not wish to be remembered. Yes, that may sound rather brutal, but I have no desire to be remembered by name. I wish to have touched people’s lives in such a way that they have no need to remember me because we are part of each other.

But that’s just me. Long live coffee klatches!

Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

My Morning Face

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Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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