Stop to Smell the Coffee

Earlier this week, I wrote a bit about all the projects bouncing around in my head, and the system I’ve developed to help me work through them efficiently. There’s always more to be done on any given project, and I’m excited and motivated to make progress—sounds great, right? And it is!


If I’m not careful, my days—weeks—months—have the potential to turn into an efficiency machine. I could look up, one day, only to find that time has just completely evaporated.

I’ve been making plans lately. A conference in April, a friend coming to visit in May, a family reunion in June, writer retreats in June and August and October. 2016 feels full already, and it’s, what—end-of-March right now? Not to mention that my book, THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE, will hit shelves in the summer of 2017, and I’ve joined a group full of other authors who’ll debut in 2017, and we’re signing up on spreadsheets to read each other’s books…

It feels like I could easily be so efficient I end up missing the next year and a half. Which seems…not ideal.

So, what to do about this? Simply ‘doing less’ doesn’t feel like the best solution, because I take so much joy in the actual creation of these projects. And it’s definitely not possible to stop time from going so fast—I do wonder, though, if it’s possible to stop it from feeling like it’s going so fast.

Here’s what I’m trying: mindfulness.

Smelling the coffee as I put the grounds in the French press, as I pour water over it. Tasting the arrabbiata sauce—or the honey and ginger and cayenne in my oatmeal—or my go-to snack of chocolate chips/spoonful of almond butter—instead of just inhaling my food. Looking out the window to see the leaves coming in on the branches of our trees. Going on walks and looking at the sky, or the landscaping in our neighbors’ yards, instead of the sidewalk.

Things like that.

I think it’s possible to be completely efficient and functional, yet effectively turn into some sort of sleepwalker. I don’t want to sleepwalk. I want to be awake. So here’s to paying attention, to making a conscious decision to notice things as they’re happening, to taking joy in all the little pieces that add up to a day in the life.




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