It has been a habit of mine to drink coffee each morning. Sometimes I make a cup shortly after rising. I sit in my comfortable brown chair, not fully awake, and sip a cup of my favorite brand—which is apt to change often. There is no conversation, only silence—it’s just me and the coffee before I head to the shower and dressing room. I am in a state of self-imposed isolation and monk like quietness.
Then it’s off to work—but unless there is a pressure of time, I make certain to stop at a coffee-house. (Starbucks and Panera are my favorites—but I would be willing to branch out) My life slowly moves from the solitary to the social as I meet the friendly barista and friends that may have stopped by as well. They gently coax me out of my cocoon with small talk and easy conversation. I’ve actually made friends with people who I never knew simply because we arrive at the same time and place each day. I have transitioned from isolation to becoming more social. As I notice the people coming and going, I’m still a little distant, but I’m willing to put my toe in the water and venture forth a little social chat-chat.
Thus fortified, I head to the car—ready to meet the day and travel to the office. I’m not fully engaged with life, but I feel my power growing as I greet my colleagues and engage in banter as I pass them on the campus. I’m still not ready to sign contracts—like buying a house or car—but I’m getting there. My alert-o-meter is about 85% now.
It could all stall out right here. By now my Starbucks is running low and cold. But I have planned for this turning point. There is a final thing left to do. I carry the pitiful remains of my coffee and fill it about half full of “office brand” Joe. Office brand may not be pretty, but like cheap hard liquor, it’s effective. A few more sips and I walk into the classroom ready to meet and greet my students with enthusiasm. I’m smiling now and teaching like a caffeinated fool.
I’m fully alert, fully social, fully extroverted—stay out of my way—the power is on and flowing to the max. I’m ready to wrestle a grizzly bear if I need to. (And some days in my classes I do exactly that as I strive to stamp out ignorance in my lifetime! ). As the class concludes, I walk out, toss the cup in the trash, and click my heels at least twice as I walk down the sidewalk.
The ritual is complete. The coffee and I—we are one. We meet with other “Ones” as well. The earth is a better place.