I know what you’re thinking… Enough with the: “Starbucks Mania – I gotta have my latte perfect so I can Instagram the foam heart on top, bullshit!” Relax, that’s not where I’m going… Stay with me.
The much more relevant idea beneath the seemingly forced existentialism in my original question, is this idea: If we could begin to discern our likes and dislikes down to the minutest detail and not punish ourselves for them, are we in indirectly feeding our productivity (not taking away from it) by feeding our happiness?
I can’t speak for everyone, but I assume there has to be others out there like me, that often, self punish or bad talk themselves, when they gravitate towards a preference “they can do without”. This could be a particular brand of coffee, a T.V. show that is a guilty pleasure, a daily ritual, an exercise regiment, a meal, a possession, etc. Anything that sets the alarm off on this inner voice that says, “You don’t have to have this exactly like that. You’re being ridiculous.” For me, the times I have found myself getting “attached” to a certain person, place, or thing, my inner voice begins rattling of a barrage of familiar negative talk:
“You’re getting Complacent”
“First World Problems”
“This is a frill you don’t need”
“You’re Getting Soft”.
The truth is, there are endless things in our lives we “could do without”. In fact, if we began to make a list, and carried this out exponentially we would find that we could probably do without most things in our lives. But why? There are few things that are essential to our survival. And more important, will ridding ourselves of these so called preferences or frills really benefit us, or make things unnecessary more difficult?
As I was making my coffee this morning, I took as sip and felt the need to proclaim, as if for the first time, “No. This coffee is shit!” If anyone was watching, it would have been a pretty funny sight to see this man talking to the air. But the, “NO” was directed at the my inner voice that kept telling me, “you’re being picky”. Not only did I realize I wasn’t, but I also realized that the coffee not only tasted bad, but forcing myself to drink it, was probably having the adverse affect I had hoped for in drinking coffee in the first place – to start my morning right. That’s when it hit me. Burnt coffee is not only bad for your taste buds, but bad for your soul. Often times these “frills” or “special preferences” satisfy a part of our spirit that make us happy and from that tiny little fad kid trigger we can take on our day, with a mightier and more resolute outlook, simply because we feel a little better. Think of it as choosing to wake up to a hammer breaking glass instead of the sound of running water. No one would accuse you of “getting soft” or “being picky” because you have a preference not to be pissed off the second you open your eyes. Such is the case with this shitty coffee I have been forcing myself to drink. No more.
I have a friend whose been hit with some real tough times lately. And by tough I mean the type of career, relationship backhand to the face that will often pummel you into the earth and question whether that pot of gold at the end of that “RAIN-bow” exists. Despite these paralyzing circumstances he seems to making decisions that reflect the life of someone who is in a much better position. He has not let go of his preferences for the “finer things” and these choices trickle down to his food choice, restaurant choice, car he’s driving, and clothing style. I have another friend that is frustrated by this, because he knows the situation and burden on the shoulders of our mutual friend, however, he feels that he needs to make certain changes and alter his way of living to reflect that he is not in the position he once was. To both their credit, I believe there is a happy medium. On the one hand, my concerned friend has a point that when circumstances change, we need to adjust and live within our means and make some changes. On the other hand, there is something to be said about keeping your spirit on a positive tilt, and no one can define what things you need in your life to do that, but you. For some it’s a ritual, for some the feeling of driving a nice car keeps your mojo able to push through and feel the way you need to, so you can kick ass. For others, it’s staying in good shape. The most important thing to remember is, only we can decide what things put us in that space to have a greater hope. This is the essence of human nature – that fundamental hope: The hope that their is a greater purpose, the hope that their is a higher power, the hope that we will find love again, the hope that our circumstances get better, the hope that we will climb out of the hole we’re in. And no one can define that for you…
And if somehow having a good cup of coffee is one of your “non-negotiables” for helping you feel better and having more “umph” to get after that Hope – then Damn it, throw that Old Keurig away and treat yourself to some good beans (talking to self lol)…
By: Poet Ali