#pinterest #goodthings #fail

I have a Pinterest account, but I’m rarely on it. I should be. I own a photography business, so I really should be. . . but I’m not. I mean, who needs it? I am that person who made post-worthy birthday parties before there was a way to “post” anything at all. Hell, Hedwig (a Harry Potter reference) levitated in my dining room during a wand-choosing wherein party guests had to find the wand for them (“…the wand chooses the wizard, Harry…”). Sometimes Hedwig levitated, sometimes she didn’t…and that bunch of 6-year-olds were awestruck! Yeah, I do pretty all-right without Pinterest. Yet sometimes . . . sometimes I venture onto the site and use an idea.

If you and I are connected via social media, you may have seen this photo on New Year’s Day:

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along with the accompanying text: “On 1-1-2017, we put this container in our kitchen and encouraged everyone to write down something good they experienced at least once a week. Today, I have emptied that jar and we will read them together. I can’t wait!”

This sounds great, right? I thought so, too. I thought this would be a great way to gain insight into my family. . . to learn what’s important to each of them. I envisioned going through, each of us choosing a square, unfolding it, and wistfully sharing the Good Things we’ve written. Yeah, well, so much for that. Let’s start with some immediate observations:

  • I seemed to be the one who actually stuck to the practice most faithfully
  • I really love camera club
  • I really love my French conversation groups
  • my spouse’s ‘good things’ mostly centered around only things that I did (this might be for another post–or for therapy, I’m not sure)
  • it appears I favor my eldest kid

Yeah. So, let’s take a look at that last one. Let me just say: my eldest lives away from home (he wasn’t around for the reading) and every time I saw him was, indeed, treasured time. But here’s the thing: it isn’t as though moments with my other kids weren’t mentioned or equally treasured, it’s just for some reason, they were written in more general terms, like “A house full of teenagers!” or “Seeing siblings engaged in meaningful conversation.” Now, had we had the session I envisioned–you know, the one where we share the story behind each thing written–the trio would have learned that they, too, had a fair amount of mentions. But no. Mentioning my eldest by name seemed disproportionate, even to my own ears. I noticed the kids’ enthusiasm quickly subside, and their exit was swift after the last paper square was read. #awkward #fail #mykidswillneedtherapy

Well, we put that jar back on the counter with the intention of doing it again this year. My spouse and I both proclaimed lessons learned and vowed to be particularly aware of what we write. That seems odd, though, doesn’t it? Does monitoring what I write change the intent of the practice? Shouldn’t I just write what genuinely made the day or week good? By changing my thought, I change what I write. By changing what I write, I change the authenticity of the sentiment . . . and then, somehow, it’s no longer “real.” And NOT being real . . . well . . . that’s just not a Good Thing.

meditation on espresso

Every day I get up and make my coffee…only this isn’t just any coffee. Each day for 24 years, I have made my coffee in a little Bialetti* espresso maker. Alongside that, I have a tiny pot of milk simmering, and what I end up with is a triple-shot latte. Every. Day. Most mornings, this is completely functional; caffeine to get me through the day, and a little indulgence to make me feel special. The routine is the same: Grind the coffee. Grab the powerful, yet diminutive, espresso maker. Unscrew the top from the bottom. Take out the filter basket. Fill the bottom with water. Insert basket. Fill basket with grounds. Screw the top back on. Put on the stove and turn on the burner. This is repeated daily, usually without thought. But today…today this routine became a ritualistic ceremony. That ceremony became an epiphany, and that epiphany became the seed for this blog.

After filling the bottom of the pot with water, putting the grounds in the filter basket, and fastening the top, I put the espresso pot on the stove and opened the lid so that I could watch the first of the dark elixir bubble up the center. This process always fascinates me. I know, I know…it’s just a mini-pressure cooker, and as the liquid heats up it’s sent out the only way it can go: up the tube in the center. But, as I stood watching, I thought about how pressure cookers are analogous to stress and negativity, and an eventual burst of negative energy . But not my little pot. It is different. It is full of goodness–my magic black-brown elixir–waiting to come out and fill the top well generously and fully. And that, my friends, was my epiphany.  I…we…all of us, are full of pent-up goodness waiting to burst out and fill the world.

As I sipped this morning’s latte, the taste was deeper, richer, and more complex with all the intentions I have set for myself. And you? What do you intend to put into the world this year? Find your magic elixir, drink it, and go!

*I have absolutely no affiliation with, nor advantage as a result of mentioning, this company.