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She was a tall, slender brunette. She carried a Gucci bag and sported Prada shoes. Her sultry voice could be heard all over the coffee shop. "I’ll have a grande, non-fat latte, no whip, with an extra shot." She had all her specifications. Relayed them to the barrista, and waited for her cup. She sat down, sipped from the plastic lid and smiled. Obviously her cup of coffee was just the way she liked it.

Fequently if I’m in a restaurant, or at a coffee bar, when the barrista/waitress asks, "what would you like? – I often respond "a day off with pay" or " a paid trip to Hawaii."

I started thinking about what it would be like to be able to step up to a counter and order: "I’d like a grande luxury life-style with extra good looks." Or, Give me a vente unlimited income, with two shots of good health, and room for self-esteem."

But that’s not how it is. We get our cup of life filled with whatever is in it. And if we don’t like it, often we can drink and think – "well I guess this is it. This is what I’m supposed to get."

Or our thought might be to dump it out and start over. We could try. Some of us would not only dump it; we’d stomp the cup.

I was recently at a restaurant having breakfast. The waitress brought my coffee. It was too hot to drink even with the addition of cream, so I waited a minute, stirring it briefly, blowing on it. I took a sip – it was perfect! So I took three healthy swallows. It tasted so good. The first cup of the morning. Nutty, just a bit sweet from the half-and-half. I was really enjoying my java. I glanced down at my book and before I could say "no thank you," the waitress topped off my coffee! Now it was too dark – and hot again. I had to wait and reconfigure my coffee to enjoy it. It was no longer just the way I like it.

Maybe just when you thought life was they way it should be, where it seemed you could relax and taste the rich goodness, someone topped it off. Someone added something that completely changed the way your life looked, or felt.

Maybe you’ve experienced divorce, or death, or loss of income. Maybe you’ve been rejected and cast aside. Maybe the business failed…the lawyers won.

What does it all mean? Does it have to mean something? Uh-huh…you can’t order a perfect life the way you can order a cup of coffee. And even if it seems that way, there’s a good chance someone or something is going to add to it, and change it. And it won’t be just the way you like it.

How do we change that? How do we get it back to "just the way we like it."

It can be done. We can lighten it with the milk of human kindness. Doing something nice for someone else is an amazing catalyst. Even if it’s being nice to the bitchy clerk, or the rude person in the bank line. Then we can add in the super sweetener of forgiveness. Forgive the other guy – and then forgive yourself. We often forget that we need to forgive ourselves for the mistake, the error in judgement, the dumb thing we said, the bad choice. Forgive. We say, "I shouldn’t have said…I shouldn’t have done…I shouldn’t." Quit "shouldn’t" on yourself.

Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Don’t give way.

Lighten and sweeten. Sit back, sip slowly, and smell the aroma It’s the aroma of promise.




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A wonderful metaphor.

A wonderful metaphor, Sharon. How many of us struggle to regain that perfectly temperate cup after another hand has, however well intentioned, fudged it up!
An enjoyable and refreshing piece.

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Thank you for your comment, Mara. I'm glad you enjoyed it.  I appreciate your comments.