Thursday, October 15, 2009
Chaos, Cleansing and Coffee
This semester has been utterly chaotic. What makes it weirder than weird is the fact that I've been hyper-organized. I have all the readings done, the questions developed, the activities mapped out, the rubrics, the websites -- done. But somehow, I find myself redoing it all and often on short notice. Guess I really am a Virgo; organization is my "specialty" and also the bane of my existence.
Additionally, this cleanse has really been kicking it up a notch in the emotional intensity department. The other cleansers in my group have been experiencing the same thing. We're calling this one "the angry cleanse." For the past two weeks, I have felt as though I have "no time" to do anything that I "really must do." I feel impatient, worried, hounded. And I feel rather trapped by my thinking. I can't seem to get anything done fast enough, which just feeds the fears and frustrations I have about not being good enough. I feel as though I need to sacrifice my yoga practice, visits to the gym, walks in the Arboretum -- all things that would help me feel more grounded and sane -- in order to just chug away at my work. Add to this a cold and a few days of migraines and I am in need of some serious TLC.
One of the things I am just missing like crazy is coffee. Or, no, not the coffee per se, but the experience of coffee. I love to stop at the Starbucks on the way to work. The one in Brookline is a good one. As soon as I open the door, I'm greeted by that warm, pungent and dark smell. Even if I'm not going to eat them, I like to peer at the goodies in the case. I always tell myself, "Someday, I'm going to get the cheese plate." I never do. But, I wait there, somewhat patiently. Can't hurry coffee. When I get it, it's always good, always just what I want. Sipping a hot coffee fills me with richness and pleasure. It's like liquid gold.
I don't give a rat's ass about caffeine. The withdrawal headaches I get when I stop caffeine before doing a cleanse are not really worth it. If I can get a great tasting decaf, I get it. I know, sometimes the decaf is terrible, but I find that at Starbucks, it tastes pretty much the same. I don't drink coffee for the buzz, anyway. Coffee is more personal, less pharmaceutical than that.
(And tea just isn't the same, although Chai comes pretty close to meeting the same emotional needs as coffee. Coffee is not just more substantial in taste; it also seems to penetrate deeper into me. I know that sounds weird.)
I think I miss the comfort and leisure that coffee signifies for me. Even if I'm stopping before work, it's nice to be able to do that, to have the time to stop. I'm also reminded of how I used to haunt the coffee shop in grad school as I worked on my thesis or graded papers for hours on end, sucking down a Caramel Macchiato (when I was feeling indulgent) or an Americano (when I wasn't). That time, that spaciousness -- I miss it.
I'm also noticing that due to the restrictions on the cleanse, I feel a bit isolated for the social experience of food most of the time. Even though I don't usually hang out in groups when I eat and even though the school cafeterias are full of gluttonous sins, I don't really enjoy eating my weird little concoctions in my cube at work. Can it be that I actually miss a cafeteria?
What is wrong with me?!