Little rituals

I have always been a fairly cheerful person. I don't find myself ruminating over things or worrying myself sick about stuff. I like to think of it as me being well balanced, but it's entirely possible I am just not a deep thinker. I also like to do things without a plan. Like road trips. Just get in the car and drive. Don't ask me ahead of time where we are going to stop for the night, because I will not have made a reservation. I know where I am going, but how I get there is a little haphazard. Take a wrong turn, driving down a road that is unfamiliar? In deciding between turning around or finding an alternate route, I nearly always choose not to turn around. Unless it is dark and in a sketchy area...then all bets are off. If I am traveling with others, it is best if they take care of the arrangements and I just pay my share. My daughter can attest to this as she always makes the reservations. It's not that I don't want to or that I can't, it's just that I don't care about the details. I don't care if we get to the hotel at a certain time, or if the restaurant we wanted to eat at is full. It's ok with me if we eat from the snack rack in the truck stop. Don't ask me to decide between one hotel or another, as I can make a good case for staying at either. And if the hotel or the rental car or the restaurant reservations go awry and we end up in a Motel 6, driving a shoe and eating a hot dog, don't expect me to complain about it. I'm just happy to be there.

On the other hand, I find myself creating little rituals for myself. Ways of doing things in a certain order or at a certain time, that help balance me and keep my sane.

Like drinking coffee. I have forever been an all thru the day, big cup of black coffee kind of gal. Straight forward, no sweetener, no cream. Just coffee, hot and often. I like having a cup by my computer while I work. It gets refilled...a lot. I really cannot start work unless it is there, whispering my name, steam wafting fragrantly, urging me to sip it...frequently. I once worked in the home office of a woman who didn't care for coffee, something I discovered on the first day of work, when, big cup in hand, I went looking for the coffee pot. Nothing. Nada. Zip. In hindsight I like to think of this as the first of many signs that perhaps I would not be happy working for her. But at the time, it was just really, really sad. I bought a coffee maker on my first lunch break. When I started working remotely from my home, there was always a pot of coffee at the ready. So I bought a Keurig single cup, thinking I would save money and coffee by not making those big pots during the day. Nope. Turns out it was cheaper for me to drive thru Starbucks in the morning and again in the afternoon than to have unlimited access to single cups of coffee. Then, one day, quite recently, Starbucks mixed up my order and instead of a grande, no room for cream, it was a grande with little room for coffee. Where has this been all my life? Coffee as a vehicle for cream is amazing! I have (so far) not fallen victim to the lure of peppermint, mocha deliciousness, but I fear that day is coming.

I no longer make coffee in the morning before work, because there are about 159 coffee shops/stands/carts between my home and my job and all of them make much better coffee than I do. More importantly, that 10 minutes of not drinking coffee means 10 more minutes of reading before I have to face the workday. But on the weekends, I have a little ritual. It involves rich dark coffee, heavy cream in a little antique glass pitcher, a silver spoon bought in England and gifted to me by a good friend, a nice big coffee cup and a view from my kitchen table to the valley rimmed by mountains. It's a great way to laze about on a Sunday morning, watching the city wake up. I love it. It's my alone time. My reading time. My ah, that's good coffee time. And if you dare to interrupt it??? Honestly, it's totally ok. It will be there next weekend. Or, maybe it won't. Maybe tomorrow I will become a tea aficionado, or a yoga followed by hot water and lemon in the morning gal. Ok, probably not that last one. But maybe.


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