Know Your Flow

To prepare for sleep, I chose to halt the flow of day into evening. Work was one of them, which was mentioned in the previous post, and we’ll dive deeper into working from home soon. Today we’ll keep walking toward a good night’s sleep.

Photo by Pietra Schwarzler on Unsplash

You know my love for coffee, and the coffee bar was always flowing, until I got serious about a good night’s sleep. It didn’t take long to realize coffee was making me restless in bed. It was tough to admit, but my mind is fueled by coffee, so it would not relax if I drank it late in the day. I would lay in bed and continue thinking just like it was morning.

Some people would say, “Stop drinking coffee Barb.” Well, I love superb coffee and enjoy trying beans from all over the world. Life’s too short to deprive myself of something meaningful, but there’s a balance.

Now, I stop the flow of coffee by 2:00 pm and sometimes before noon, which is instrumental in a good night’s sleep. I’m learning a good night sleep takes discipline and saying no to the flesh. One day, my daughter offered me the rest of her Chocolate Cold Brew after 4:00 pm, and I regrettably poured it down the sink.

Life will tempt you on your journey. Walking out to the mailbox, this was waiting inside the box.

Blue Bottle Coffee Subscription

Normally, I squeal with excitement when Blue Bottle arrives. A month ago, I would have raced into the house and started the kettle for a Chemex. My excuse would be, “I haven’t tried this blend before!” It’s tempting to blow a good night’s sleep, but now I know better. When we know better, it’s time to do better.

They say, ‘go with the flow’, but I’m good at adding to the flow until it becomes a white water rafting kind of day.

I watched my actions as the morning flowed into afternoon and then evening. When it became night, I felt trepidation because I had crossed my boundaries that day and wasn’t sleepy. I hadn’t had a successful night’s sleep in months and I don’t believe we’re supposed to dread going to bed.

There is a flow to this life, and being mindful of what flows into my day and at what time is an intricate part of having a good night’s sleep. Coffee now has a slow flow and a stopping point.

Maybe it’s not coffee for you, but if you’re having trouble relaxing your mind to fall asleep, there’s something in your body from the day that thinks it needs to stay awake. Know your flow.

Enjoy the Good

I asked my daughter, “Have you noticed the coffee bar smells like coffee?” Walking by the bar, you can smell the various grinds from it’s frequent use. She introduced me to this roaster a month ago.

stumptown
Stumptown Coffee

I just love the name, ‘Hairbender’.

She used it to make a Chemex for us to share. Once that one was empty, she walked through the house and yelled, “You want another Chemex?!” This quarantine thingy is working quite well.

Yesterday, I found myself standing in the aisle of paper goods at one of my favorite stores. A lady was standing there along with me, six feet apart, and we’re wearing masks. The aisle was fully stocked with toilet paper. We were mesmerized by the sight of it.

I asked her, “Did you ever think seeing toilet paper would bring complete happiness?” She shook her head, and said, “No.”

I decided to check out the cold brew display, and there it was, the mighty Stumptown chilled and ready to drink. I hadn’t tried this one before, but it suddenly became my new favorite. What’s not to love?

stumptown

Life is changing, but for the better.

The time is right to enjoy the good.

Set It High

Life can get messy and it sorta hurts my feelings when it does. This morning, I was thinking about discipline. That is something I really worked on last year, and am still working on today. No matter how well I think I’m doing, life has it’s way of showing me, I’m not in control of nearly as much as I think.

My alarm clock this morning was two doggos walking by my doorway ready to go outside. I looked at them and said, “Mommy needs coffee.”

There are certain things I count on to begin my day, and even though I’ve been using a Chemex for a while now, it always shows me what I need to see. This morning it was the messiest Chemex ever. Just a wreck!

The filter started spewing hot water all over the coffee bar, and the grinds slid down one side of the filter and just laid in the bottom. I looked at it like, “What are you doing?!”, but my darling…it simply responded to my actions and gave me a sloppy Chemex.

I had hurried through the process.

I was so disengaged I even grabbed one of my daughter’s coffee cups to use, and the saying hit me as a little extreme.

coffee

I will make another Chemex and not settle for this mess. This didn’t happen to me, it happened for me, to show I was a little off center. We have the power to straighten out our messes and set the bar for life. May we continually raise the bar and set it high.

The Velvet Timberland’s

Me: Would you like a cup of coffee? (watching the Chemex complete it’s cycle.)

Her: I just made a cup of tea.

Me: You can have both. (said with ease)

Her: What a beautiful world we live in when I can have both.

Our life is beautiful, and I think sometimes people become weary of hearing ‘all good things’ over here, but that’s what I choose to see and write about my darling.

I’m not negative and whining doesn’t suit me. I had a sponsor that I’d call and whine to and she’d call me out immediately. “Shall I fix a plate of cheese and crackers to go with that whine”, she’d retort.

So after posting Wednesday’s post with my Unicorns and Rainbows philosophy, I scraped dog poop out of the heel of my daughter’s Timberland’s. Yep. You read that correctly. Right after clicking ‘publish’, I grabbed her Tim’s, found a sink and a toothbrush and began scraping dog poop out of the ridges of the heel.

The outcome was picture worthy.

tims

My daughter was thrilled over the clean heel, and thanked me for doing it. I told her I was going to write about it, and she laughed. Knowing my Blog titles consist of three words, she suggested ‘The Shit Shoes’. That is how she saw them pre-cleaning. It’s funny how we saw them differently.

To me they have always been The Velvet Timberland’s. I still remember the first day we say them and squealed over the velvet trim, but after she stepped in dog poop, they became The Shit Shoes.

The toothbrush worked for a bit during the cleaning, but I eventually had to break out a knife. That’s how it is my darling. Hold back nothing to scrape it off and get back to the beauty.

Now, we both see them once again, as the velvet Timberland’s.

The Mindless Activity

The best ideas occur while showering.

They used to form while vacuuming, but this house doesn’t have any carpet, so the vacuum isn’t used often. While washing dishes is another good mindless activity.

These are things we do without thinking. They don’t take concentration, so the mind has room for an idea to surface.

In my case, I was showering when the idea popped into the forefront of my mind. The idea was not new. I’ve done this same idea 15 years ago. It doesn’t have to be new to be good. The great thing about doing it 10 or 20 years later, is what I learned the first time.

With age comes wisdom.

excited

With age also comes hesitation.

My daughter and I have had an electric dishwasher in every house we’ve lived in. They never get used. There’s something about using your hands that releases the idea. The best ideas occur when we’re not thinking. Dreams of the heart don’t leave, they get buried.

Maybe this explains my love for the Chemex. Using my hands to bring about the first cup of coffee. Look around and see what you can do with your hands. We’re not looking for new, because God always starts at the beginning. What’s on your heart that’s waiting to begin?

Use your hands in a mindless activity.

Make Small Choices

“Maybe I’m too picky?”, was my thought.

I debunked that thought quickly after taking a glance at the past and seeing where not being picky landed me. Quality of life reflects choices my darling, no matter how small.

At 10:00 am I made my second Chemex. I’m not sitting here highly caffeinated because I poured the first Chemex out after tasting half a cup. I didn’t like the taste, but that meant wrestling the beast for the cup I wanted.

thebeast
The Kitchenaide Burr Grinder.

Meet the beast. The best burr grinder ever.

It’s solid steel and weighs a good chunk, especially to be lifted first thing in the morning. That’s what it was going to take to have the cup of coffee my heart desired. The beans that are stored in the top chamber are one of my favorite brands, but I bought the wrong origin. They have a bitter aftertaste I cannot acquire.

I slid the glass container off the bottom that catches the grinds, (important) removed the lid, picked him up and poured the beans into a container. Then refilled the top chamber with pure happiness and made another Chemex.

summermoon

Quality of life doesn’t happen automatically. Make Small Choices.

A Peaceful Sunday

My camera roll reflects my life. The caption for this photo would read, “Happy Sunday. It’s ‘be good to you’ day. Which should be everyday, but it’s a little bit sweeter on a Sunday.”

chemex
The Chemex

It’s how this day began.

Sunday has rapidly become my favorite day of the week. What I do today and the care I take, sets the stage for tomorrow. There are no plans for today and no ‘to do’ list that needs checking off. The list will be looked at tonight.

This meme by SC Lourie watered my heart and describes this Sunday feeling spot on.

sunday

It reminded me of the quote, “Enjoy where you are on the way to where you’re going.” My hope is no matter what you do today, enjoy it.

Have yourself a peaceful Sunday.

There Is Happiness

Writing is happiness.

I’m not sure if it brings it in, or if I have so much happiness, it’s a form of release.

sloth

Sloth’s and candles are happiness.

Being here with you is happiness.

Thank you for the love and care on my previous post. I was struggling to find my happy again. A friend asked if I was okay, and I responded with, “Yes. I did this to myself. I tried doing everything in my own strength.”

I’ve always been an overachiever and that includes giving of myself. Be mindful of where you give. It needs to be reciprocated, or you’ll find yourself empty.

There was a lot of glitter involved in bringing back my happy. I spray painted pumpkins with a clear coat of gold glitter and I’ve been working on the coffee bar. It’s a work in progress and every time my daughter comes home it looks different.

Change is an outlet for growth.

Coffee is complete happiness.

I added this to the coffee bar, so it’s one of the first things we see each morning. You don’t have to look for signs around here. I’ll buy ’em and hang ’em.

settle

Read the fine print. There is happiness.

 

I’m Not Empty

It’s funny what you get used to. I take a lot for granted. Especially morning routines.

I’m having Oral Surgery this afternoon and can’t eat or drink beforehand. This is a pitiful picture to post. It made me a little bit sad walking into the kitchen, knowing I couldn’t fix it.

emptiness
Emptiness

My body is confused. It expects water and then coffee. It’s going to be really confused this afternoon coming off anesthesia, but the body knows how to heal. God designed it that way.

I may be a little hungry and thirsty, but glory to God, I’m not empty.

god

A Chill Day

I just made my second Chemex.

The first one was shared with my daughter.

She is the Queen of Chemex, so it makes me a little nervous when I hand her one that I make. This morning as I was making it, thoughts of her and how happy she is right now were floating through my mind. Her love from England is here, so her world feels complete today.

In a sense it was made with love.

She cradled the cup in both hands, took a sip and closed her eyes to savor the moment. Was it up to her standards? I waited for her response.

She released a smile and said, “That is a perfect Chemex.” Day complete before 11:00 am.

chemex

Sunday has an ease about it. It’s a small luxury to sit in the middle of an unmade bed without any rush to make it up. There is no rush today.

I have two laptops. One for business and one for personal. I enjoy typing blog posts on the business laptop. The keys are raised and feel good as I type. I’m sitting in the middle of my unmade bed with a candle lit and a cup from the Chemex.

There is natural light from the windows.

I’ve said no to friends today that wished to include me in their plans. I thought about going to the grocery store, but there’s food in the fridge.

It’s Sunday and it’s a chill day.