Tag Archives: time

A storm and some coffee

I just ate an entire bag of chocolate covered pretzels. No regrets.

There is no clock in my bedroom. In fact, I never even look at the time before I go to bed. I retire for the day when I become tired enough to go to sleep. I wake up after whatever amount of sleep I need in order to awaken naturally. Let me take that back. I pretty much wake up when my feline daughter, Marley, joins the dog and I in bed and fidgets so much that I can no longer fall asleep. It’s usually about 6 am by then.

The connection between the pretzels and the lack of a clock in my bedroom is by now rather obscure. Ha yes. I was going to segway from talking about how I ended the day (pretzels in hand) to how I started it.

The day began to the sound of a chainsaw. It has been raining freezing rain all weekend and fallen limbs a few houses away required management by the electric company crew. There is a crust of ice so pure on everything that it looks as though the entire landscape has been dipped in liquid pearls. Silvio took these fantastic photos earlier today.

I spent the weekend helping out at Brown & Jenkins. I normally handle the website maintenance and social media activity for this Cambridge, VT Coffee Roaster, but an employee who was on duty this weekend had an injured arm so I helped out with filling orders and moving heavy coffee bins from shelves to the packaging table. I also went in early to brew and set up the to-go coffees, since this would have been tricky for her to accomplish with only one arm.

It was a good weekend. We had a nice production line going between the two of us and it felt good to be of service to someone else. Funny how the simplest things can give us a sense of purpose, or usefulness.

The place was very busy, in spite of the icy conditions. This morning, many people did not have power. I lost power also, just moments after getting up, but drove over to the coffee shop anyway since I knew these outages can be quite localized. We debated whether we’d stay open, but after a while people began showing up at the door for a warm cup of coffee and a change of scenery from their cold homes.

And a funny thing happened. Often, we complain about the weather, even when it is only a bit windy or colder than expected. This weekend, however, no one complained. At least not at the coffee shop.

Is it possible for the setting to influence the tone of the conversation? Do people complain about the weather more naturally at the laundromat, but less so at a coffee shop? There was even a man who came in saying that a tree was likely going to fall on his house today, there was no avoiding it, but for now he wanted a good coffee and “Ho well. We’ll deal with it if it happens,” he announced calmly, with a smile. He was utterly serene. We create so much drama. It was nice to witness acceptance.

Three more pouches sit on my table, waiting to be sewn and assembled. That will be it for this year. I’ll sew until I feel tired.

Slàinte!

Sometimes, I get discouraged

Einstein was so right (of course). Time is relative. We don’t run out of time; we simply omit to do the things that best fill our time, that give it meaning and substance. I am reminded of this often.

Time is built upon action. Postponing an action because we feel there is not enough time has one certain outcome: it robs that action of time.

I save my own writing and art work for the end of the day and the weekends, when my work for my clients is completed. Usually, like today, there are a few hours left to the day where I can fit in my own work and projects. In fact, there could be a lot more time left for my own stuff, but I can’t help myself, I put more time in my work for my clients than I tell them I will. This, to me, is worth my time. I lose myself in my work. I savor every moment. They say this is a sign of being on purpose with one’s calling. When I stop, I have a choice to remain on purpose or to disconnect. This choice can lead to an error in thinking.

I find I am most on purpose when I make time for it all: the work for clients, mine, and leisure, and this last item does not need to rob me of purposeful time. On the days when I let it, when I spend the evening watching documentaries or a movie instead of advancing my own projects, I waste precious time. On the days when I stop for dinner, perhaps with a good book, even for only a half hour, and then return to my projects, I enrich my time.

Lately, when I find myself able to make room for all that I wish to tackle during the day, I catch myself whispering in the back of my mind, “I did it!” with every small step I complete. I feel like I have been fully alive on those days. It does not matter if I did not finish everything. Finishing is not the goal; being and doing are the goals. I have come to realize that there is a sense of accomplishment in the small milestones much more than in any finished product.

An image comes to mind. I see the blacksmith of past centuries, hammering the iron against the anvil, dipping it the coals and hammering some more. Heating and hammering, incessantly, at a time when people learned a trade. Learning a trade is all about doing. It is about what takes place now. It is not about the goal, but about the actions that lead to a final result. If one focuses on the result, then the mind is consumed with getting done. If one focuses on the doing, the mind is intent on the moment. Savoring the process is a lost art.

I get discouraged if I focus on how much there is to start and finish. This perspective completely misses the doing part. Then, when  I walk across the street to pay a visit to Silvio at Ornament Studio – he who works with the focus of the goldsmith, intent on the process – I am reminded. And I am reminded when I step back and look at my display in his shop and remember that little by little, sometimes one hour a day, I did this!