Life Lessons From Spilt Coffee

A Messy Start ……  I saved this picture that was taken a little over 4 months ago because there were some life lessons in it for me and who knows maybe for you also.

Let me set the stage.  It was a good day – my grandson had arrived a few days earlier and later in the morning I would be heading over to my daughter and son-in-law’s home to drop off food and hold this precious baby. But before I left, I decided to make a cup of coffee. I went to the cupboard, chose a cup, placed a filter in the cone and set it atop the coffee cup.  Side note:  I even noticed that it didn’t fit snug but hey no worries right? – I cook all the time.  So I proceeded to fill the cone with hot water from our kettle.   I remember watching the full filter of coffee grounds slowly lean over until it toppled onto my counter.  When the counter area was used up it, the black sooty gunk made its way down towards the floor, catching the drawer and cupboard door.  What was I doing during all of this?  First – I used my graceful dancer abilities and moved away from the hot liquid.  Okay – maybe not gracefully but I did do a little dance.  Second – I just stared at the mess – in fact I was almost messmerized by all the tiny little coffee grounds clinging to so many surfaces of my kitchen.  When I finally came out of my stupor I realized that someone was going to have to clean this up.  After looking around, it became apparent that I was that someone.  Here are some of my takeaways from this experience which can definitely be applied to more than spilt coffee messes: 

1.  Messes can tempt us to stop moving.  When faced with a mess, ask what is the outcome I would like to see.  This question often frees us to start forming a plan.  For me I grabbed paper towels to stop the mess from further dripping towards the floor.  Containment is a good thing.

2.  Messes often need more than one action to get to where we want to go.  Be patient with yourself.  Every time a portion of the mess is cleaned up you are moving toward where you want to end up.

3.  Messes are frustrating and can easily color your day and mood.  Decide not to give it that much power.

4.  Remember everyone makes messes.  Take responsibility for what is yours, quit the negative self-talk and move on.  Focus on the positive – ie. no one was burned.

5.  Messes come in all shapes and sizes – some come from our actions – some from the actions of others and sometimes life just gets messy.  Often we don’t have control when life gets complicated but we do have control over our reactions, on whether we will seek help, or choose to practice a changed behavior.

Now I would be remiss not to add that before I made that first swipe with the paper towel a quick prayer for guidance breezed across my mind. You see it is easy for me to become a part of the mess which can reek havoc to the rest of my day.  To avoid that I need God’s perspective.

When all was said and done my kitchen counters and floor had a facelift and later I placed hot water into a fresh cup and settled down to enjoy a nice cup of mint tea.