The First Step

I woke up at 4am, and couldn’t decide whether or not to go back to sleep. It’s amazing how many tiny choices we make in a day, with each one altering the next.

I began thinking of my French Press and how I haven’t used it very much. It was one of those things Barb ‘had to have’, but I couldn’t get satisfied with the taste of the coffee. I have read articles from coffee experts, and the instructions that came with the press, but this early in the morning, I wanted some simple steps. Google led me to an article by the easy to follow woman behind Gimme Some Oven.

Her way of making it just made sense to me, so I hopped outta bed at 5:00 am, and strolled quietly into the kitchen with instructions in hand, ready to try again. There are several steps involved in making a French Press, but anything that’s worthwhile has steps.

First I had to see how much water the press would hold. It held 4 cups, so I poured the water into the gooseneck kettle and sat it on the stove to bring it to a boil. Then waited. After it begins to boil, the water needs to rest for a minute, so I took it off the burner to rest.

I opened the timer on my phone and set it for 4 minutes, and poured the freshly ground beans into the French Press, just going through the steps. The hot water was poured just over the bed of grinds, about 2 inches, and stirred with a wooden chopstick to wet every grind, and the timer began.

My favorite part is watching it bloom. Putting my face over the press, I inhaled the magical aroma. If it’s really good coffee it should bloom, or foam up. The more it foams, the better quality. After one minute had passed, the rest of the water was poured in and the lid was put into place. The screen rested on top of the water with the plunger standing up.

I watched the countdown of time ticking by with the numbers illuminated blue in color. It was interesting when the timer got down to the last 30 seconds, the numbers turned red.

The one thing that bothered me about using the French press in the past was the feel of the pressing. I know how it’s supposed to feel when you press the plunger down with the palm of your hand. It should have some resistance, and not be effortless. This time it had plenty of resistance, so in the past I hadn’t poured enough in.

Le Creuset Café Stoneware French Press

Lessons learned:

  1. Don’t go back to sleep. The day is waiting for us to step into it.
  2. Keep using what we have and get it right.
  3. Follow some instruction. If the first ones aren’t to our liking, find better instructions.
  4. There’s a waiting period after every step.
  5. Let the water get boiling hot, but don’t let it spew. Anything that gets that hot needs a minute to rest.
  6. Watch the time, and be attentive to the red zone.
  7. Pause and enjoy the bloom. Breathe it in.
  8. When we begin to press through and there’s resistance, it’s normal. Nothing worthwhile should feel like an easy plunge, just continue to gently press.

Was getting up early, and trying once again to make a French Press worth it? You better believe it! That was excellent coffee. Keep trying and be willing to go through some steps to get to where you really want to be.

It all begins with the first step.

Protect Your Happy

Sitting in the corner of the room at my desk, I raised my weary head and asked, “Is it time for chocolate cold brew yet?” She said, “Heck yeah!”, and disappeared into the kitchen. My attitude was instantly uplifted.

Stumptowm Chocolate Cold Brew

This new email platform for work is eating my breakfast, lunch and dinner, but you know what? I’m gonna win.

There’s no other option for me personally.

I don’t even think about defeat, or worry that it’s too much to absorb and learn. Every hour or so, I leave my corner and walk around the house to clear my mind and refocus. Sometimes I read something positive to reinforce my outlook. It’s important what you take in because that is what you’re going to hand out to people around you.

I posted this meme on Facebook this week and it had mixed views. Some have been taking in sadness for so long, it’s rubbed off on them and become a part of who they are.

You have to be careful with sad if you want to remain happy. I’ve followed some pretty sad Bloggers in the past, and I had to unfollow them. I can make a note of their Blogsite to check on them down the road, but I cannot read sad throughout the day and remain true to who I am. Barb is happy and wants to stay that way.

There was a saying used years ago that stuck with me. “Fake it till you make it.” No matter how I was feeling, if someone asked, “How are you?”, I’d respond, “I’m doing great!” It took years of saying ‘great’, to actually believe life is great, but every time I said it out loud, it became more ingrained until it became my first choice.

I respond in the same manner today, but I usually receive a skeptical look, or that ‘you must be crazy’ look. It’s like it’s unusual to be in a good place. If they continue to prod deeper about my upbeat attitude, I confuse them even more when I say, “Because, I’m happy.”

A friend once told me, “It’s okay to grieve and you’ll feel sad, but don’t unpack your bag and set up camp.”

Once you find your happy be willing to fiercely protect it from outside influences. Sad can overtake happy, quickly and easily. Protect your happy.

To Step Away

I had to step away from my work.

We moved to a new online customer service platform last week, the second one since June, and there’s a lot to learn. I’ve also learned how and when to step away.

I read Stephen King’s Memoir, ‘On Writing.” He talks about how he always had a nook to write in. Underneath the stairway was one, but he does his best writing tucked away in a corner. He discourages writing out in the open and suggests going into a room, shutting the door and forbidding anyone to open it.

Well Stephen, I’m sorry, but that’s not me.

Photo by Andrea Davis on Pexels.com

I need an open, yet peaceful space for writing. I can see myself sitting outside once the weather cooperates.

Going off Stephen’s suggestion, I slid my desk into the corner of the room to do some serious writing, but here’s what evolved. It’s where I do my best work, but for my job. When I walk over to the desk I know it’s time to get serious about work, but writing is not work for me.

I don’t have a distracting environment. It’s peaceful for the most part, so I unplugged my laptop, took it off my desk and walked over to the kitchen table to write. Here I sit writing this post because this was a hard lesson to learn. I have to step away from work and take time for this Blog. It’s almost a need to take time for writing.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

No one is going to do it for me, but if I’m not careful, I’ll get wrapped up in work and it will take away my writing.

I’m no Stephen King, but I fancy myself a writer. Life is a beautiful thing to be enjoyed, but writing can easily get knocked down the list. If it’s important it will take time and the path is long. Anything worthwhile doesn’t happen overnight, otherwise it’d be easy to succeed.

Thank you for meeting me here today. I’ll go back to work realizing writing may not feel like work, but it’s just as important as work. There are times my work can wait, but writing cannot, and it’s okay to step away.

Breathe It In

Collette left a comment on The Beach Rug, “Maybe I should start being more intentional about the little fantasy that has danced around the back of my mind most of my life.” Right on darling.

That is why I began the simple habit of walking to the end of the street everyday. To become more intentional. It’s so simple I was sure I could do it without fail. The only time I didn’t accomplish it was when I ran out of day. Other tasks were placed before it, but then I had a revelation. Take the time limit off it Barb!

I have all day to walk to the end of the street. It doesn’t have to be any certain time. It’s the same with dreams and goals. Take the time limit off yourself, but do one thing toward it consistently.

I intentionally make my bed every morning. This morning, I noticed a little black book sitting on the bedside table. I’ve had ideas toward my daydream, but realized I’ve written them down in various places. This notebook hasn’t been used much and still has plenty of blank pages inside, so I gathered up all my notes and wrote them in the little book. Keep your ideas together.

Keep your dream close to your heart and don’t tell everyone. I’ve told 4 people and 2 of them gave me an odd look, but the other two who know me well are supportive. Be careful who you confide in. Some will try and talk you out of your dream.

You need to trust your crazy ideas.

After making my bed and dusting off the notebook I remembered a candle I saw a couple of weeks ago. I had no idea why I thought of this candle, (like I need one more candle), but felt led to follow the path. I grabbed my keys and drove to where I saw it. The candle was all soy and smelled divine is all I remembered.

When I walked into the shoppe, I didn’t see the display. A sales lady asked if she could help, so I told her what I knew about the candle. She lead me over to the display, which had been moved since my last visit. There were half a dozen fragrances and one of each on display, so I picked one up to smell it.

Ella B. Candles

I had no idea this was their label, but it coincides with the notebook. God knows the dream in your heart and wants to encourage us to walk the path of uncertainty. He’ll lay things right in front of us like the notebook and a candle always gets my attention. I brought one home, lit it and breathed it in.

The dream never leaves the heart, it just gets covered up with life, but it’s trying to get your attention. It can evolve over time, but every part of your life has prepared you for your purpose.

Light it up darling and once it’s lit, breathe it in.

All I Know

Walking in God’s will. What is God’s will? How do we know? What if I miss it? Guess what? God knows where you live. If you miss it the first time around, He will find you and give you another shot.

Godswill

When I don’t know what to do, I ask God for His wisdom. He will give it. Sometimes that is the main problem. Me. All we have to do is follow Him and be obedient when He prompts us to do something. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Then why do we make it so hard?

Because we’re human and He gave us free will. Those two things right there are plenty for us to get into trouble! That’s why it’s so important to listen to that still small voice inside you and do what it says. God knows how to grab my attention. If I’m getting ready to step out and do something that is not His will, I will lose my peace.

Do you ever have that uneasy feeling that something is just not right? Stop and sit with that until it’s revealed. Just walking one step at a time, one day at a time works best for me. Do the next right thing. It’s that simple. Before doing something ask yourself, “Is this the next right thing?” Do you feel peace after asking?

You are not alone in life.

Driving home this evening, I needed a sign from Him. I needed to know if I was in His will. Sitting at a stoplight, I noticed a transfer truck turning left and coming slowly toward me. He was going so slow and easy into his lane to my left, that I felt compelled to stop and look at the truck. Up at the top of the cab, these words were written in cursive, “God Is Good.” That’s all I know, and all I need to know.