Monday, March 19, 2007


I spent this past weekend in Bloomington at Hearts at Home, a professional conference for Moms. I’m refreshed, energized, and full of new ideas. My boys appropriately call this conference, “Mommy School,” and worry that I’ll come home a little bit mean and change all the rules on them. (“As of today, no more Sponge Bob!” kind of rules.) I have more than a few thoughts and ideas I’ll share in the weeks to come, but the following are my reflections in the middle of it all, scribbled on bits of paper at a coffee shop:

Intoxicating. The smell of roasted coffee permeates my being, and I feel my weariness lift even before the first drink. And to think I almost missed it.

Ten minutes ago, I was wandering through the student center, eager to get to the next workshop. If I could just grab a quick cup of coffee on my way, I think, maybe I’ll be able to focus. I walk by Pizza Hut. Burger King. And then, in a sea of a thousand Moms, I see a college student. Impulsively, I ask, “Where can I get a good cup of coffee?” Without missing a beat, she responds, “Downstairs in the back corner. Go to The Cage.”

The smooth latte fills me up, and I decide to just sit. In the four years I’ve been coming to this conference, it’s my first time at The Cage. And I could have missed it so easily. I could be sitting in another workshop, drinking Burger King coffee from a styrofoam cup. How many times in my life have I settled for Burger King coffee because I was too insecure to ask for guidance? How much of life—real life—do I miss because I’m in a hurry, scurrying on to the next thing I’m supposed to do? In my fear of missing something, I miss everything.


23 degrees said...

I share your passion for a good cup of coffee, LM. I also love how you remind me to see and savor the "small" moments.

I have a coffee press in my office, which raises eyebrows—until I make a cup for someone.

I am remind of a poem about tea (can someone be as passionate about their tea?) I don't much about this person (disclaimer) but I like the quote:

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” Thich Nhat Hanh

I need some coffee said...

I have always wanted to go to one of those conferences. Can't wait to hear what you've learned.

Llama Momma said...

23 Degrees - Yes. Whether coffee or tea, it's about stopping to savor a moment. (Well, that and the caffeine boost we all rely on!)

I need coffee - your name makes me smile. I really recommend the hearts at home conference. There is honestly something for everyone there!!

spaghettipie said...

Mmmmm, coffee. I miss being able to hole up in a coffee shop and just sit, reflectively (or reading) with a good cup o' joe.

"In my fear of missing something, I miss everything." - what a great point. Sometimes I get so caught up in doing, doing, doing, that I miss the point of the doing in the first place. I think I do this with friendships sometimes too. I get so caught up in "being a good friend" (and being perceived as a good friend) that I sometimes forget about the enjoying the friendship part.

A Musing Mom said...

"can someone be as passionate about their tea?" You bet!

I didn't find The Cage, so I had to sip my cup of Lipton(!) in the Exhibit hall. Not so easy to savor in the noisy environment, but it was good to just sit and reflect for a bit.

My children's British great-grandmother once taught them (and me) how to brew "a proper pot of tea". It took a bit of time and fussing, as did setting the tea table. But that process set the stage for the time of enjoyment after. You just can't rush through a "proper" tea.

I need some coffee said...

Tea is great to. It's funny you were talking about Sabbath a few days ago. The speaker at chuch Sunday spoke on having a true Sabbath day. He is from England so during the week he uses teabags but on the Sabbath he sets a full tea and uses real tea leaves like he learned when he was growing up. Sitting and savoring true tea is rest to Him.

L.L. Barkat said...

I am facing this final thought even as I sit outside in my secret spot to be quiet. Yesterday, I chuckled at myself, as I was turning my head in circles, trying to catch everything that was going on around me (you know, squirrels eating, birds chirping). I'm trying to be satisfied by just focusing on one or two things. Who would guess this could be a challenge even just sitting under a pine tree?

For now... said...

I hear ya'!! Too often I find myself hurrying on to the next task and missing life along the way. Forget the list and live life! I am getting better at leaving the list behind, a work in progress!!