Going back to last month and speaking of the pretty plates … Don’t we all have one of those sayings, “Life’s too short for _____”, and the blank is filled in with whatever you simply cannot countenance? It might be pinchy clothes, or massive commutes, or dull vacations, or nasty politics. I have a few “too short fors”: Life’s too short for bad coffee, cheap shoes, or bad wine. For real.
Coffee is practically in my blood, though I come by it honestly. When I was no more than five or six, I would sneak up and snitch my mom’s iced black coffee while she talked with a friend. I never had to ‘get used to’ the taste – I loved it. Still do. My dad loved coffee, too; he would take a sip of fresh dark brew, close his eyes and smile and say “Ambrosia!” I like good coffee enough to mail order my beans from the place I loved it most, and have for more years than I’m going to put a number on (I just counted up the number and got a nosebleed). I get two deep dark roasts and blend them to a smooth, slightly charred perfection – pour a big steaming cup, and give me a good hour to savor it and that is my ideal morning. There is little that makes me grumpier than having to rush out to an early morning meeting and being served weak, under-roasted, over-caffeinated coffee. Ew. Just – ew. Add that to the fact, as we have already established, that I am Not A Morning Person, and that might as well be a cup of gunpowder for my mood. It’s not pretty. So I just carry my own and save the ammo for those who like loading up on that stuff.
Now my coffee may taste like coal tar and old boots to you; I have been told as much – that’s OK, more for me. You may not like my coffee, you might not like coffee at all, but find a sip that makes your mood purr and go for it! Having what tastes good to you in the morning, or for that midday break, adds a sweet underpinning of enjoyment to the day.
Another thing I do not skimp on is footwear. It actually goes beyond just shoes; because I am a birder and a photographer and I am out in every kind of weather in every season, I wear a lot of outdoor gear. At some points in my life, I’ve had more kinds of boots than shoes. But if you’re going to be out walking around in wet snow and zero degree weather, you better protect your feet or you will be miserable – or worse! For me, the everyday shoes are no different. You’re in them all day, every day, often for more than eight hours at a time. Flimsy, toe-eating, ill-fitting shoes are not going to do! At the very least bad shoes won’t support your knees or your back. And once your knees and your back hurt, the day goes downhill from there. Way downhill. So I spend more up front, I invest in the best made, best fitting shoes I can find; they last a long time and repay the investment when my legs and back are not sore at the end of every day. Would you rather buy good shoes, or spend that much on massage therapy twice a month because your back is a mess? I think my massage therapist is a gift from a higher power, but I’d rather be enjoying stress reduction than working out serious pain.
And last but not least – wine. Seriously. Wine. Wine (or whatever fine treat you enjoy – maybe chocolate… oh yeah!! Or both…) is for celebrating, whether you’re celebrating the end of a big project, or just the end of the day. You don’t want to celebrate with stuff that tastes like the lovechild of a sugary kid drink and old socks. Life is too short for bad wine. Get the
stuff that tastes good to you and appreciate it. And that’s really what it’s about, isn’t it? Appreciating what’s good and sweet and allowing yourself to enjoy it.
Here’s to appreciating the many small things that go into a good day – a good sip to start, strong legs to carry you through, and a moment in the evening to savor sweetness.
Stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!