Friday, March 30, 2012

Coffee to go

Holly has recently begun packing her own school lunches, so last night I was in the kitchen keeping her company as she sliced cheese and bagged grapes. It felt downright abnormal to be in my own kitchen with nothing to do, so I measured out coffee into the filter and poured water into the chamber of the coffee maker for this morning.

And then this morning, just before I started making Tim’s breakfast at 6:45 a.m., I pushed the button and the coffee started brewing.

It was such a trivial act, and yet I felt like I’d given myself a little gift. Fresh coffee on its way without my having done anything to get it started – not having to rush around the kitchen multi-tasking the way I usually do in the morning, anyway – felt like a whole new way to start the morning. Usually I’m juggling so many things at once at that hour: slicing a bagel for Tim, packing up lunches, feeding the dog, unloading the dishwasher. And then along with juggling everything else, I try to put the beans in the grinder, the filter into the holder, the water into the pot.

Today it was ready at the push of a button, all because I’d taken three minutes last night to get it ready. I could have done that any night. And it’s not that I never thought about it; I just never bothered. My attitude was always that once the dinner dishes were washed, I was done in the kitchen for the night; doing morning tasks ahead of time never seemed like much of a bargain if it meant having more work to do at night.

Somehow it was different this time, though. Seeing Holly make her own lunch – an innovation in itself – made me feel like I was getting a break already, and making the coffee instead of standing there watching her was no trouble. But it was just such a revelation to me how pleased I was with myself. It was as if all those “Pamper yourself” approaches that go into the marketing of soaps, cosmetics, and spa treatments could have just been replaced by this one act: having coffee ready ahead of time.

I can try to keep this habit up, but I know the luster will wear off eventually, and making the coffee at night will seem like just another regular part of my routine. And then having it all set in the morning won’t seem so special anymore. But for the moment, it does. When you have the chance to do something nice for yourself, you might as well do it. Especially when it’s as easy as the push of a button.

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