Coffee, Chocolate and Cigars…

…what they have taught me about life.

With a title like this, even I wonder what is going to come out of my mouth. All I know is that these are a few of one’s favourite things and surely there is some kind of lesson we can take from it. Perhaps, the lesson is that these things are not so good for us… but hey, it’s all about moderation…blah blah blah.  I am all for living a healthy lifestyle but you have to enjoy life too. So in regards to balance ( and this is an insight into how my brain works) here is how I will categorise and expound on these three pleasures-coffee, chocolate and cigars.

  

This is me with my cinnamon showered cappuchino at Tees St Cafe. Clearly giving me inspiration for one of my blog posts.

1. Coffee.  First of all, a little bit about the part that coffee plays in my life. Simply thinking of a coffee mug or take away cup brings such an excitement to me that I recently thought of getting a small tattoo of it. That’s probably not going to happen (just in case it turns out to be one of those ‘why did I do this?’ moments) but the thought has been considered. A quaint cafe, next to a window ( for stalking purposes obviously), with the sound of a machine pouring the black liquid gold. Some people who know me laugh and ask the stupid question of ‘are you going for coffee today?’. Uh….am I breathing? Then yes. Do I even really like the taste of it THAT much? I’m not quite sure, depending on my mood I can take it any way, with or without sugar or milk. Ah it’s so great…coffee. And before I portray myself as an addict (because I’m not), I try to limit myself to just one coffee a day, although today I have had two..but who is counting?

So now for the application. Coffee is an every day pleasure. It is a reminder for me to be content in the simple things and not always to be living through those big mountain top experiences, that are only meant to be with us on occassion. Sometimes even as I’m parttaking in my favourite activity of hanging out in a coffee shop, thoughts of where I am going next or what I am doing for the day often robs me of the peace that there is in simply sitting down and enjoying those moments with a cup of coffee. It reminds of how I can allow worries of the future or current circumstances to rob me from expereincing the peace and the happiness of where I am now. I suppose it is more about our perspective on life and being appreciative for what is around you and not always looking towards the next high. I use to have a friend who was terrified of being termed as boring ( something none of us wants to be remembered by) but it actually influenced her life and those around her. What was the next exciting thing that is crazy and will shock people? If we live by that and don’t learn to be content with what we do have, then we will always be hungry and never be satisfied. I actually started to write this post two weeks ago (last week I was busy watching four kids for the week but that is another post), I really need to remind myself of these things now because I am guilty too of not being content with what I have. Sometimes it is the pressures I put on myself and sometimes it is what others impress upon me and how they think life should look like for someone of my age right now. I have the disposible time to go to a cafe, as I learned last week, I might not have as much of those luxuries in the next stage. 

I think another reason why I am enjoy coffee is because it reminds me of people. I remember a friend of my friend, Alison, came from North Carolina, USA last year. Even though he didn’t know me, he raised questions for what I enjoy most from life and what I could give back also. One of the things he asked me was if I could choose anything to do all day what would it be? I told him that meeting people over coffee would be my top answer. Made me think about whether it was really about the coffee or was it about the connecting? Perhaps it is because I have come to know friends and acquaintances through this and because hearts have been poured over cups of coffee. Not that there is any power in the beans itself, but I think it is a venue we can use for opening up and sharing life with one another- moments of laughter and tears, our good news and our bad news. 
Maybe I do have a problem, but if meeting and getting to know people is a problem, well then, I’m in trouble.

2. Chocolate. Ok, so I love chocolate. Pretty much anything that is smothered in chocolate is delicious. It is my weakness and I try to be strong but sometimes I just cave and a chocolate bar later, I wonder if it was worth it? Yes, probably… I’m going to pretend now for the sake of catergorizing, that chocolate is not a daily pleasure but makes a regular appearance. Let’s say it’s the weekend treat. So it’s not a daily coffee but it is somthing to look forward to at the end of a busy week, when you sit down with friends, or read a book or watch a movie. It’s the treat that sits on tables of birthday parties and gatherings. We socialize around it and it can sometimes be used for consolation purposes…or maybe that’s just my prefered method. Chocolate is the pleasure and the things in life that we experience on a somewhat regular basis. It is the thing we look forward to, such as meeting up with friends, a BBQ or going to the movies. It takes a bit more preparation than preparing a cup of coffee, but it’s no week long vacation in the Carribean either. It can help get us through our week and it reminds us again, that life is how we view it and the simplicity of sitting around a table with loved ones can give us the boost that we need and shower us with happiness too. 

I think these offer times of relaxation and just plain fun. I was talking to my mother the other day (who I may posses some traits from , if I was willing to admit that). Like her, I actually find it difficult to fully relax sometimes because there is always something that needs to be done. I even feel guilty at times because I think that you must work hard before you can play hard, and it is something that I need to put into better perspective. However, it is necessary to have these times to ourselves, or with others, relaxing and enjoying the regular pleasures and to be rejuveniated. That’s why it is necessary to have chocolate in our lives too ( I knew I had to fit that in there somehow!)

3. Cigars. I feel like the first thing that I must say here is that smoking cigars are bad for you. I’m not advocating it and I’m not sharing about having any kind of personal relationship with this activity. What I am saying is that the cigars are like the big guns saved for the graduations, weddings, the birth of a baby, retirement, and other big celebrations. They are not known for being smoked every day or once a week, they are taken out of their box for the ‘once in a lifetime’ moments. They are our mountain top experiences so to speak and there is nothing wrong with enjoying them as they come. They are special and rare, and deserve to be savoured. Ever notice (in the movies or from other observations) that people don’t just quickly puff on a cigar and are on their way? It isn’t a cheaper commodity such as coffee and chocolate, it usually is more expensive (or else you might as well roll up some dirt and smoke that). They are given their proper time because it is not something that we experience daily or regularly for that matter. We shouldn’t live solely for them but they are not to be forgotten either! And that is all I will say about cigars :)Lately, I have been reading about seasons of life in Ecclesiastes. 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3.1

God know us personally and He knows what timing is best for us. He also wants us to be content in wherever we are at. I think that this is by appreciating the small things as well as the big things in life. Sometimes people want to live ony for the chocolate or the ‘cigar’ moments but those are not for everyday. They might not be for now. So what do you do in the mean time? Complain and moan and become as bitter as that sip of coffee or that square of chocolate. Till they arrive and once they do arrive, wonder what will be the next ‘cigar’ moment. The cycle keeps going and its dangerous. It is also dangerous for us to rob others of their appreciation for the stage they are at. We want to rub it in that we are in that mountain top experience and it is the BEST! Yes, it is the best. For you. But maybe not for everyone. We should be encouraging each other with our cups of coffee and chocolate too! Cause although small, they are still to be recognised, or else we will just create an ungrateful atmosphere that seeks only ‘the once in a life time’ and wastes all the other moments along the way.

Read Ecclesiastes, refocus and ultimately know that only God satisfies, every hunger and every thirst. In the small and in the big.

And drink coffee every day cause it’s delicious.

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