Thursday, September 17, 2009

Coffee and Choices

This will perhaps be a strange blog entry-- definitely not my longest or most profound. But I wanted to share a few thoughts.

The past few days have been long. I had a test today, and several journal entries due. Tomorrow I have a long assignment due in History, a test plus a paper and several worksheets due in Government, a presentation in Digital Literature, and a quiz in Computer Science. Homework has been keeping me busy during the day (and night). All week, I'd been planning to go to Starbucks once I got through most of the homework, as a celebration. I haven't been to Starbucks in nearly two weeks, and I thought it would be a nice reward for myself. I budgeted in enough money when I got my paycheck cashed and alloted to various funds.

After some intense prioritizing and scheduling, I got through all my homework on time, with some free time to spare. I had had a rather stressful day, and all day hoped I could make the planned trip to Starbucks. But I got home and found out that my older sister would be gone until late that evening. I can't drive, and my brother can't drive without someone over 21 in the car. There's no way my father would willingly take me to Starbucks. Tomorrow will be too busy, because we'll be working in the evening, and on Saturday we won't have a vehicle available. No chance of making the trip until sometime next week.

When I first got home I was frustrated about multiple things, so I banged away on the piano for a long while before stopping to think. I then realized that I was disappointed that I couldn't make this trip I'd been planning, as petty and silly as it was. But I decided I wasn't going to let myself totally give up.

I went in the kitchen. I started coffee brewing on my little coffee maker. I opened the fridge and dug around. I found some chocolate syrup, some caramel syrup, and some whipped cream left over from who knows what. I pulled them all out and lined them up on the counter. I made coffee with chocolate syrup in it, and topped it off with whipped cream and caramel syrup. I felt absurdly proud of myself for finding this compromise.

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Because you see, even a few months ago I would have just completely given up. I spent all of last year not allowing myself to do things like that. I never rested, I never slowed down. Even when I had no homework, I either found other ways to punish myself or slept. On the rare occasions when I planned to take a few minutes off and just do something relaxing, if it didn't work out first time I threw up my hands and said "I guess I just wasn't meant to be happy" and gave up.

But now I'm finding solutions instead of accepting brick walls that aren't even there. This may not make sense to many of you unless you've been in a similar place, but so often just being willing to overcome obstacles seems so incredible-- it seems like healing.

As for what I want you to take away from this: Jon Foreman of Switchfoot said on a live chat the other night "storms will always come, and we cannot change that, but we can control how we act in the face of the storms." It's not about how bad our day's been. It's about how we react to that. Do we blindly submit, accepting the lie that we were made for failure, or do we press on and overcome? It's not about what happens. It's how we react to it.

We have a choice on any given day as to how that day will go. We can choose to cry or to laugh it off. We can choose to doubt or to trust. We can choose to be angry or to forgive. We can choose to surrender or to fight. We always have a choice.

Funny how meaningful a cup of coffee can be.

God bless, tonight and always.
- Elraen, the Wandering Star -


Liz said...

were you JUST typing minutes ago? cuz...that would be another twin moment to add to our list considering i'm blogging atm as well... *hums twilight zone music*

love the thought behind this blog though, you're right, we shouldn't give up the first time. like the famous quote, "if at first you don't succeed, try try try again" :) ♥ love you!!!

Melda said...

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.” - Chuck Swindoll

I woke up this morning in a foul mood, dragged my butt out of bed, and spent my shower whining to myself and to God. Afterward I skipped having coffee and sat down with devotions and wrote a journal entry about how icky I felt and how much I needed peace and trust in God and joy today. It was INCREDIBLE. Not, like, BAM the sun was shining and Melda was happy incredible, but I just had this moment while emptying the book sorting machine at work where I stopped and almost cried because all of a sudden I wasn't seeing what was wrong, I was seeing what was so miraculously RIGHT about...everything. Life.

So all that rambling to say, good for you. We can do this. No giving up :)

Linda B said...

Good for you! I knew there was a reason we had some whipped cream left over! Sounds like your day was a whole lot better than mine, actually. I failed at everything today . . . even knitting.