As many of you know, I have a book coming out in a few months. It has been a labor of love for a few years now, and I am excited to share it, as it encompasses the philosophies that I hold dear and am passionate about as a dietitian.
For the past eight months I have spent the first hour and a half of my day writing at a table in our local Starbucks. It has been the most successful tactic that I have employed to making consistent progress on this book. Outside of that huge benefit to my forward momentum, these mornings have given me a multitude of other immeasurable gifts that have boldly enriched my life.
At the top of this list is a valued new friendship, one that was certainly no accident, but a connection provided for a greater purpose. This friendship has helped to inspire my continued efforts in completing this book not only from the standpoint of having an added supporter and friend, but from his first insight in response to my explanation of the topic. He immediately saw the bigger picture of the message I was hoping to portray, yet one that I myself had not put into words. He validated my efforts outside of the topics scientific base, and gave it the more accurate description as a message of love. He listened to my ideas, and recognized my intent as one of love and compassion. I had not specifically thought of it in those terms yet I knew he was right, and it helped me to move forward during a trying time when all I really wanted to do was quit.
During these hours at Starbucks I have also discovered a bolstered sense of community with these strangers whose faces I see many mornings. There is a comfort in the familiar faces, even those whose names I do not know. We smile, sometimes exchange pleasantries, and then carry on with our tasks. There is no expectation of conversation or rules about where to sit, just a warm smile and nod, or no contact whatsoever. I like it. I like the hum of conversations I cannot hear, and the opportunity to zone out as I concentrate on the words and concepts that I am trying to pull together.
The quick hugs and bright smiles that I get from a sweet friend or family member as they buzz in to grab a to go cup of Joe is priceless. It fills my heart with joy, and gives me a lift in spirit that propels me forward. It’s true. It has a profound positive impact on my ability to concentrate. I think that a familiar face of a loved one reduces stress and lingering anxiety, giving my frontal lobe just the boost it needs.
I love seeing the mamas and the papas coming in with babies and toddlers. And I remember with more fondness now than when I was personally experiencing it… as they try to break up the day, and get a caffeine boost to feel like they are still part of the world outside of diapers and sleepless nights.
As I see teenagers with brand new drivers licenses’ exercising their autonomy by getting a frappuccino to take to school with them, it reminds me of that new found feeling of joyful freedom.
I appreciate the familiar faces of the employees at my Starbucks working hard to make sure everyone gets what they need and maybe just what they want! Of course I recognize all of them, but never thought they knew me from day to day…until after about 6 months when someone had my coffee poured up before I ordered. Wow, I had a Cheers moment.
Maybe it’s the anonymity that is provided by strangers, or maybe I look like I want to chat! Either way, I have had multiple conversations with complete strangers about surprisingly personal subjects. I guess I was just there when they needed someone to confide in. But after these random chats I have always felt as if we both walked away with something of value that day.
Sometimes when I’m feeling low it’s pretty tempting to hole up in my office or house and brood about how much I am not getting done. And sometimes I do that. But I have found that when I step out, into my community, they always give back in ways I could never anticipate.
Thank you Governors Drive Starbucks for being just what I needed!
If you are interested in a peek into my book, you can check out a quick overview at this link, and also sign up for an alert when it is available for purchase. http://www.ditchthedietnow.com