It’s Not Just a Mocha

Last week, I had a shocking moment: I didn’t like or even enjoy my white mocha breve drink. Now I am not a true coffee drinker in the sense that I am not functional without coffee. And if you asked me what kind of beans or flavor or roast I care about, I wouldn’t have a good answer. But I DO like froo-froo coffee drinks (read: mochas of almost any kind) and white mochas in particular.

Upon drinking said white mocha breve that morning and not deriving the usual pleasure from doing so, the logical next question followed: Do I need and/or want it, or is it a habit? Usually the answer is a little bit of both (leaning toward the “want” side), yet I was slightly annoyed with myself when I realized the answer was habit. Not completely an addiction kind of habit, but more along the lines of “morning ritual” habit.

The thing is, I am selfish. In particular because I work at a school, I try to dedicate every single second of my morning to me prior to walking into the school building and being “on” during my interactions with colleagues and students alike. Thus I like planning out what I’m going to wear the night before so I’m not frantic in the morning. I like thinking or singing in the shower before getting ready. And yes, getting a coffee before work is one last all-about-me activity.

I also really love “coffee talk” or “coffee walk and talk” when that’s possible. Many a dire problem or situation has been calmed or resolved, and many a brilliant idea has been born during coffee talk with colleagues.

But for whatever reason, on that particular day last week, I was drinking my mocha and thinking, “Right now I don’t appreciate this” and “How much money would I be saving if I didn’t drink these each week?” It was an automatic pilot decision to make the coffee stop. Thoughtless.

Upon this reflection, I had another Logical Next Thought: What else in my life is like this? What other things do I do — or say — without thought or intention? Because I either need to get thoughtful about those things quickly or consider dropping them altogether. It’s spring now, which is a natural time for cleaning, and obviously I need to do a little bit more than re-organize and purge the clothes in my closet and dresser. In the land of white mochas, most days they are delicious… but they’re not good on the waistline or the wallet.

On the flip side, what are the things I’m doing that I really, truly love and care about and enjoy? Because I should probably try to do more of those things and thereby increase my overall energy and happiness levels.

I confess that I have not yet fleshed out either of those lists — on paper or in my head — but that is my next action item.

And the moral of the story is not that I will never again drink another white mocha.  For me the whole incident was more of a wake-up call to be conscious about my choices each day. For those choices, as much as is possible, to reflect on my truest self and move me in a positive direction.

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