by Patricia Valenti
I have a coworker who sometimes irks me. For one, she needs to have everything perfectly in place for her to kick-start the smallest of actions. For example, she won’t even drink her morning coffee unless it is stirred. One morning she had started on the process of creating her perfect morning brew, caffeinated coffee (of course), cream, sugar… and when she was finally ready to give her hot coffee a stir, she couldn’t find a stirrer. Suddenly I see her bounce up with vivacious energy, which I didn’t even know she had, as she started her frantic search for this magic stirrer, like a digger looking for gold. She looked high and low, in cabinets that had locks and hadn’t been opened, in drawers that only held dust, and the leftover birthday plates from the office birthday party-cake celebration a month ago.
Still, she didn’t find the stirrer. Finally, my coworker comes across a fork, it was not the golden stirrer, but begrudgingly she sighs, gives her a brew a stir. She acts disappointed, let down. How her morning has fallen short and disappointed her already. I impatiently watched her, thinking let’s move forward, like, “Can’t you just drink the coffee like that? After the first sip won’t it begin its process of stirring on its own? Don’t you think it’s cool to find all your add-ons like sugar, at the bottom of your cup, like a bonus at the end to help you realize your drink is done more happily?”
And then I think more deeply…and realize that watching her searching so desperately for the coffee stirrer has stirred up something inside me…
Why does she irk me? Yes, life will present you with people who just aren’t your cup of tea, they may seem annoying, pains in the ass, selfish, lazy and more. But what have her actions stirred inside me? She expects everything to be perfect, perhaps that’s it? Do I do that? Yes, indeed I do. I expect a perfect day with everything going my way. Where do I get this from?
Well, for one, I play by the rules! And life is fair, right? Haha! So, if I do the right thing, most of the time, then life will reward me with ease, comfort, and mornings of coffee brews stirred with the coffee stirrer of choice.
But why else does this irk me? I am prepared! After all, someone who’s prepared has all preparations for the day, including the overflowing box of 500 coffee stirrers from the last trip to Walmart.
And how about my spiritual side? I am faithful! I don’t leave the house in the morning without meditation and prayers. My spiritual side says to pray and leave it in God’s hands. But God makes promises to me too, He will protect me, provide for me. Like the birds, I don’t have to worry about being fed. And I don’t have to worry about the coffee stirrer.
And don’t forget my hippy heart. I am positive! Be positive the world tells us! I’m all about the rainbows and unicorns. Society also tells us to simply ask the universe, like having a magic lamp, and we’ll be rewarded with everything we need to be happy and fulfilled. Therefore, when I wake up there shall be a wonderful opportunity to have a perfectly stirred coffee, probably given to me for free because I believed I deserved it.
But I am also tough as nails. I could probably crack the coffee beans with my teeth and then swoosh down some milk and let my digestive system do the stirring for me. I might not survive on a deserted island, but I can handle the small inconveniences of life like a gladiator. No stirrer, no problem.
But wait, where is my worth? Aren’t I worthy of a coffee to my liking? I deserve to take my sweet time, unconsciously telling my coworkers, impatient for me to produce the copied documents they need, the emails needed to be answered, to wait because I, ME, am worthy and amazing. I mean, another coworker has made a coffee and made a trip to the bathroom. Talk about worthiness!
But all of these thoughts have still left me wondering…
How the heck am I supposed to act in life when there isn’t a coffee stirrer? When things don’t go my way, when within every fraction of the day there are a roller coaster of obstacles and pleasantries? Do I suck it up and tackle it all like a football player? Do I swirl around like a flowered fairy unaffected by the day’s up and downs? Do I faithfully call upon my God to guide me through every moment? Do I call upon people, professionals, family, friends to help me through?
Right now, I will probably do all the above. And by the way…. do you have a coffee stirrer?
Author bio: Patricia Valenti has a background in psychology, education and music. As a writer, her primary interest is to share relatable experiences with heartfelt humor.