New Seasons, Letting Go, and Coffee

Latte

New beginnings are full of promise, but I’ve had enough of them to know that a promising feeling is a guarantor of nothing.

It’s a new season in my life, one whose boundaries have something to do with a self-imposed sabbatical from church life, a brief stint of anti-depressants, a sickness in the middle of a show that required powerful steroids to jump start my voice enough to get through it, and a number of other convergences and goodbyes that tell me life moves on, that it must, and that new actions are required.

Let’s start with the letting go of one thing…just one.

Coffee.

Coffee is going. I’d like to say it’s gone, but it’s not quite. It’s a small thing, but then, addictions aren’t really small things.   A good friend once told me he always tried to pull away from anything that felt like it was beginning to grip him in an addictive pattern.   (Mark, I heard you.)  Well, that’s not been me.   Perhaps everything anyone likes and holds onto could be classified as an addiction, as suggested by Gerald May in his breathtaking book Addiction and Grace.  (Stop whatever you’re doing and get this book and read it.  You have no addictions?  Sure you do…probably.   It’s now #2 or #3 on my five-books-I’d-take-to-a-desert-island list.)

But my identity has been wrapped up in coffee for most of my life. I drank it chock full of milk and sugar for the first time when I was in elementary school.  Now I drink it black, or with half-n-half, or with nonfat milk, or with milk and sugar, or in its various espresso forms.  I drank my coffee in china cups (carrying them around on matching saucers) for years, and I always have a particular cup that better not be missing.  I pride myself in being a “coffee drinker”…I even put it on my business card years ago, as if it was a distinction worthy of mention, as in “I know you drink coffee, but not like me.”   Silly.

So, for now, and with no great intentions to never have a cup again, I’m simply letting it go.   I’ll sip my green tea instead in the morning, and try hard not be “a tea drinker.”

Maybe I’ll blog a bit more about the changes to come. The letting go’s and the picking up’s.   The new actions, new goals, new gatherings, and new visions.   To blog consistently would certainly be a change.

We’ll see. But for now, help keep me honest about my coffee life.   Ask me how it’s going. It’ll help me if I know you’re coming…

I used to say I love change…

6 Comments

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  1. Only recently started following your blog – I enjoy every post. Indeed, I do hope you post more often. I’d be interested to hear more on your self-imposed sabbatical from church life. I’ve felt the need to go there, too, at times. And thanks for the suggestion of May’s book.

    Ah, yes! The coffee addiction. I always think I can just quit whenever I want to, but when I try, oh so difficult! Will be interesting to follow your journey……

    • Thanks for reading, Ann, and thanks for following the blog. Yes, more to come about the church life. And yes, read May’s book. It’s remarkably wise…grace and peace…

  2. I have struggled for years with the idea that when “things” start to grip you it’s time to evaluate their place in your life. One person said that you have to let something go in order to pick another thing up; the idea of making room for things by way of removing others. My “thing” was always work. Creating new ventures. However, the idea that I don’t know as much about fostering relationships, settling instead for said “things” or work, has become very apparent to me these last years. (Sigh). And, coffee… oh, yes. And 85% dark chocolate from Green and Black. Silly, but, addictions are powerful and distracting. Even if they seem to most so trivial. Why is self-control so hard?

  3. I have struggled for years with the idea that when “things” start to grip you it’s time to evaluate. One person said that you have to let something go in order to pick another thing up. The idea of making room for things by way of removing others. My “thing” was always work. Creating new ventures. However, the idea that I don’t know as much about fostering relationships, settling instead for things or work, has become very apparent to me these last years. (Sigh). And, coffee… oh, yes. And 85% dark chocolate from Green and Black. Silly, but, addictions are powerful and distracting. Even if they seem to most so trivial.

  4. Good to hear from you again, Jeff. I hope to have good conversation with you again some time soon! Your note is thought provoking and brings up the awareness that life is about letting go. It is also about embracing (the prerequisite). You are a master at both, I think. My struggle has been about the temptation to give up on “the world” – it’s tragic and sorry state. My other voice says: “Get busy! You have work to do!” Best to you and Angie. Ruth

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