Coffee rituals

I grew up in a household where my parents thrived on a routine of sorts. My dad would be up at 5 a.m., make himself a coffee, dust the house, then head to clean his car. My mum would wake up an hour or so after him, have a coffee, commence lunch preparations, then head for a morning walk. Depending on the stages of our lives, my sister and I would be woken up for school or college in between their daily tasks.

As a teenager, I thought my parents and their routines were weird.

Now, as an adult, still younger than what my parents were, I realise I am not too dissimilar. The first thing I do every morning is to go to the bathroom after which I head to my kitchen to make a cup of coffee. Some days I change into my gym gear before coffee. On other days – usually weekends – it’s just straight to the coffee. Most days, I’ll have my cup of liquid gold standing at the kitchen counter. On weekends, I’ll take my cup with me to the couch. I drink it quickly but not without savouring every last drop.

This ritual of mine follows me on holidays too. Be it camping, weekend getaways or entire weeks away, nothing beats that morning cup of coffee. Sure, sometimes it’s an instant coffee. But at other times, it’s the strong espresso or filter coffee brewed just right. The aroma alone can start to work its magic in waking me from my stupor.

I didn’t realise just how important that cup of coffee was to start my day until a couple of months ago. I had to get some blood work done and another time, an ultrasound of my stomach for some health issues. I was asked to fast for twelve hours both times. I got out of bed. Went to the bathroom. Headed to the kitchen and stood there feeling lost. I sat on the couch without a sense of purpose. I tried to make a decision about going to the gym before the blood test. A few seconds later, I wondered if it was better to go after. But try as I might, I couldn’t make that decision. In the end, I went for the blood test and figured I’d have my coffee and then decide.

While it could be the caffeine itself, I wonder if it has to do with those moments of feeling grounded; where I just stay, observe my surroundings and let my mind start ticking about the day ahead. When it’s a ritual you do every day, your brain gets conditioned to knowing what comes next. My brain knows once that coffee cup is in my hands, the next step is to feed the cats, pick up my bags and head to the gym. It starts to go through what I have on for that workday or weekend.

I guess it’s the same for my parents. My dad’s car cleaning ritual. My mum’s morning walks. And both their cups of coffee. It’s all about planning and preparing for the next step in their day.

Maybe rituals aren’t so bad after all. They give our busy minds a diving board to jump off from. And without them, we’d probably be flailing around trying to stay afloat. That morning cup of coffee is my one ritual to help me leap forward and seize the day. Of course, the caffeine in it is a bonus.

Featured Image: Pexels

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  • Parul Thakur
    30 May 2019 at 2:46 am

    I know what you mean and I can relate to your post. I have a similar relationship with my ginger tea in the morning and the routines that follow. Life seems to wrap itself around those little routines. Enjoyed reading your post! Did I not offer you filter coffee when you were home? I keep the decoction ready. 🙂
    Parul Thakur recently posted…Wall ArtMy Profile

  • Reema D'souza
    30 May 2019 at 4:38 am

    I definitely agree. I too like doing things in a certain order and certain way after I wake. These little rituals make me feel better.
    Reema D’souza recently posted…#WednesdayVerses : EmptyMy Profile

  • Kirsten Britt Baltz
    30 May 2019 at 1:47 pm

    I just want to say that this post made my day. I woke up this morning at 4 am, because the universe hates me this week, and the first thing I did was turn to my phone to see if anyone else had submitted to the grid this week. And low-and-behold, here was this post. So this morning, instead of laying in bed fuming about the situation I found myself in, got up and made myself a pot of coffee and sat on my porch to watch the sunrise. It was glorious. So thank you for the inspiration to make today just a little bit special.

  • MM Schreier
    30 May 2019 at 9:42 pm

    I love this nod to rituals. I think you are definitely right that they are important and keep us on track, in the right head space. So often we don’t realize how important they are until things go off tracks!

  • Michelle Hanley
    31 May 2019 at 12:12 am

    Focusing on the specific ritual of coffee really worked. It was simple but it worked to pull me into your family connection/tradition and grounded me in that moment of quiet each morning. You really took me there with you and gave me a feeling of piece for that instant. My only constructive feedback is – I wonder what happens if you delete the “maybe” at the beginning of the last paragraph. To me, you’ve proven that rituals DO have their place and I’m already thinking of how to anchor my day like you do with your coffee.

  • Heidi Lobecker
    31 May 2019 at 9:50 am

    I liked how this piece quietly tells the reader about your family, what’s important to them. Habits reflect what’s important to people. Nicely written.
    I would consider making the language stronger in places, removing the “maybes” and “I guess”. For example, instead of “I didn’t realize” try : “I realized” This will give the ideas more weight and authority.
    Thanks for sharing your work.

  • Shilpa Gupte
    31 May 2019 at 8:37 pm

    I have stopped drinking coffee and my day begins with a visit to the bathroom and then cleaning the cages of my babies and feeding them their fav fruits.
    I don’t miss my coffee anymore.
    I so enjoyed going through every word here….especially since I have met you, I was visualising you sitting there and talking to me about your daily rituals! <3
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