From Early Morning Stress to Early Morning Bliss

I used to make fun of my husband’s Starbucks Coffee habit. His daily scone and ice coffee before work translated into a $5 x 30 days = $150 per month waste in my mind. His precision of mixing the perfect amount of half & half cream into his ice coffee seemed absurd. The entire staff at his favorite Starbucks Coffee knew him by name, and I teased him when they had his favorite beverage ready as he walked up to the counter. He even had the Starbucks Coffee Gold Card! Who knew these things existed?

One day he coaxed me into trying his ice coffee. At first it tasted awful. I’ll stick to my black decaf coffee, thanks. But eventually ice coffee started to grow on me. I began taking sips off of hubby’s ice coffee on weekends and during vacations.

When my daughter started back to school a month ago I snuck over to Starbucks, after I dropped her off, and ordered my own ice coffee. After all, the first day of school is a special occasion, right? It’s not like I do this every day… Soon I developed my own $5 daily Starbuck’s habit. I had my own favorite Starbucks staff and I carefully mixed the perfect amount of half & half cream into my ice coffee, taking great pleasure in that first sip of the day.

To my surprise, this new daily ritual came with ancillary benefits. Before my Starbucks Coffee habit, I was in a stressful dither every morning, as I raced to get lunches made for my family and my daughter to school on time. Pre-Starbucks mornings consisted of drinking bland coffee, grouching at family members and stressing out at the thought my lengthy “to do” list. Now I enjoy a leisurely drive home from Starbucks while nursing the perfect ice coffee. My new ritual provides an inexplicable sense of early morning calm and creativity, something self help books and morning meditations were not able to provide.

Sometimes we get caught up in what the “experts” think we should be doing. Advice on giving up our daily latte to save $5 or making a morning “to do” list to enhance productivity may be well intentioned but not realistic if it comes at the cost of adding more stress in your life.

I think $150 per month is worth family harmony and inner peace. What do you think?

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