questioning our realities

Great idea...great coffee!

A couple of months ago, my son Tom was visiting with his girlfriend Lindsay, and as we were standing around in the kitchen talking, she said (laughing a little),  “I don’t understand why you have such a crappy coffee maker when you and Jack love coffee so much.” It was true. We spent at least $11 a pound for organic french roast coffee beans, ground them ourselves and made really strong coffee, but for some odd reason, it never penetrated my consciousness that a better coffee maker would make better coffee!? We had a $20 Proctor Silex.

I started doing some research and ended up getting this Melita which makes such great coffee…I can hardly wait to get up in the morning. Lindsay’s question/comment changed my life for the better. It made me question something that wasn’t working well in my life. It was a little thing; a coffee maker, but it is sort of bigger too.

I grew up in a home where these kinds of questions were always met with defense. Saying anything  that was not  “a compliment” was taken as a personal attack, especially by my mother, and my “offerings” were often met by the words, “What I have now is good enough.” She felt so insecure that any question, to her plans or life, seemed like a threat. I can see this in my own life too. The times that I have felt the least secure, were the times that I rigidly clung to my little plans (although I didn’t think that they were little at the time!). Why defend our limitations?

Life is a great teacher but in order to learn, we have to give up the belief that we know it all, or always know the best way to go forward.

22 thoughts on “questioning our realities

  1. I also buy organic coffee and grind my beans for the perfect cup of coffee each morning. And I have a cheap little coffee maker! All my life I’ve wanted more but a part of me said I had enough and I was being greedy. I’ve finally come to realize that there is enough for everybody! God is not stingy, nor is he poor. And as a loving father…he keeps on giving!
    I so enjoyed my coffee this morning reading your thoughts again. Have a terrific day!

  2. ‘Why defend our limitations?” That’s a really good question!
    A friend offered to go shopping with me to some wonderful consignment shops that she knows and the plan is to go later this morning. I really like the friend and she has excellent taste, but I’m terrified. I’m having flashbacks about back to school shopping with my mother that involved endlessly trying on clothes I hated which she would buy and make me wear. I’d come home from school and tear them off so I could put on my comfortable jeans and teeshirts.
    I’m sitting here in comfortable jeans and a sweatshirt wondering how I got myself into this…but…What if I could find attractive things for work that I love and feel so good in that I’d wear them a while after I got home? Why defend my limitations? Scared, but I’m going shopping.

    • This reminds me also of my mother picking out all my clothes. Besides my paternal grandmother sending me the most hideous clothing from a Louisville KY department store. Always something itchy and uncomfortable.

  3. I love a good cup of organic coffee. I don’t grind the beans, just get the store brand ground organic. The one think I have missed for years is a good cup of perfectly brewed percolator coffee.

    There seems to be a lot of fractured people who are defensive about everything. My SIL is like that.

  4. ahh, mary, how i like you and jack. one of my last thoughts before i drift off to sleep———-i get to have a good strong cup of coffee first thing in the morning; one of the simplist gestures of self-love for me.

    after several serious-esque posts, how nice to wake up to great coffee! we can drink to that. do have an expansive saturday and thanx for your generosity. much love

  5. I love the last line of your post, “Life is a great teacher but in order to learn, we have to give up the belief that we know it all, or always know the best way to go forward”. Ever since I started living by this simple philosophy myself, life has opened up to me in so many wonderful ways. The people I have met and relationships formed over fascinating conversations of differing perspectives has been life changing. As a parent I think it is also important to let go of thinking we know what is best for our children as they get older and allow them to live their own lives.

  6. Your title got me. I was just asking myself the question this morning – “whose definition of reality am I living by?” My own, of course, but we all have different definitions. And I say “my own”, but really, I often hear my mother’s reality or my ex-husband’s or some unknown person talking back to me that such and such is not realistic. It is somehow comforting to know that I am really the only one who can define my reality and it may change from moment to moment and that’s ok too! And thanks for the company along this journey. Sometimes I read these posts and think how lovely it would be to meet everyone here! I guess that is what we are doing….:)

  7. It came as quite a relief to me the day I finally realized I didn’t have to know everything about everything and everybody! I hadn’t realized how exhausting it was. ;-}

  8. I love my morning cup of coffee, enjoyed with all of you here. I agree with you Diana, it would be nice if we could meet and have face time. Mary, I love the way yesterday’s post dovetails with today. Going with the flow and letting go of knoallogist thinking…what a concept!

  9. I so remember some of my parents’ ‘quirks’ about money, but then again, they grew up in the Depression and like many of their generation, learning to make do, re-use, and/or simply go without was just a way of life. I remember even as a child, wondering why my Dad would deny himself just a few simple pleasures – he actually got angry with my mother for buying a fresh lemon for iced tea because it cost all of 30 cents. Such extravagance! And to the day she died, she never replaced the same old 1950’s red dish drainer that was in the sink – never got a dishwasher either. Makes me sad to remember, but it also makes me happy that I allow myself to enjoy life’s bounty. There is much to admire in being frugal, and certainly living within one’s budget, buy my gosh, a lemon? So glad you had your little splurge Mary, and got yourselves a new coffee maker. The simple joys of life! Recently, I visited Teavana, a very ‘upscale’ tea store. Some teas sell for as much as $20 for two ounces! But then again, two ounces yields 25 cups of tea, still a far cry from the price of a Starbucks coffee or tea, less than a dollar a cup. I think the small indulgences are every bit as fun as any big purchase so have fun friends, and treat yourself to a little cup of something somewhere soon! Love to all.

    • I grew up during the Depression, too. The mantra was, “Don’t throw anything away. You might need it sometime.” Frugal? You bet! But they had to be, just as some people today have to be because there’s a family to feed and no work. But when you come out of that background, you learn to appreciate the small–some would say “guilty”–pleasures and I think it makes you more generous to others.

  10. Woo hoo! A flashback of epic proportions regarding back-to-school shopping: a hopeless tomboy (tees and jeans) being stuffed in plaid shirtwaist dresses, with SASHES at the back, for added insult! YIKES.

    @Diana and Terri—I too imagine how lovely it would be to meet everyone for some ‘face time’ with Mary’s Feathered Flock; perhaps in the poultry capital of the country?? (If it ever manifests, I have a heart-shaped rock I’m saving for you, JoAnne.)
    Why defend our limitations when clearly our imaginations and motivations know no bounds. Blessings be to all.

  11. Hey, Cheryl by-the-sea, you remembered I collect heart shapped rocks! That makes me smile, I just found a great one the other day — a flaming heart rock!! Such fun. I love reading all the in-put here. Such wonderful contributions. Wouldn’t it be fun if we could all meet someday?? I envision a table with name tags on it and we all pick one and try to figure out who looks like that name! Anyway . . . after reading todays contributions I want to go out and buy some coffee beans and a new maker! I have never ground my own beans — sounds so good! My folks never drank coffee it was only a few years ago that I got the habit.

  12. Just checking back in and couldn’t help leaving another comment, it seems a seed has been planted about meeting face to face. It would be fun! Who knows, it could happen… Got myself a new grinder today, now that yummy hazelnut coffee that has been in my freezer can come out for sunday morning, mmmm!

    • Jack and I had a conversation about this very thing on our trip to Maine…thinking how fun it would be to meet everyone who has come to be a part of this White Feather Farm community! You never know….

  13. Mary, look what you’ve started! We’re already imagining (and we know how powerful imagination is! Sister to Intention!) a Feathered Flock Reunion – well, I guess you have to meet first before you can say you’re having a reunion – but we really are meeting here on a mostly daily basis, and the genuineness of those who ‘stop by’ and add to the treasure of your offerings, Mary, why, it’s just too good! We are all so blessed to have this medium of communication to affirm our common ground, beliefs, hopes, and maybe above all, encouragement. We are not on this path alone. Thank you everyone for reaching out! I know my life has been immeasurably enriched!

  14. Mary, look what you’ve started! We’re already imagining (and we know how powerful imagination is! Sister to Intention!) a Feathered Flock Reunion – well, I guess you have to meet first before you can say you’re having a reunion – but we really are meeting here on a mostly daily basis, and the genuineness of those who ‘stop by’ and add to the treasure of your offerings, Mary, why, it’s just too good! We are all so blessed to have this medium of communication to affirm our common ground, beliefs, hopes, and maybe above all, encouragement. We are not on this path alone. Thank you everyone for reaching out! I know my life has been immeasurably enriched!

  15. All your wisdom filled comments got my mind to percolating this morning…
    an extra loud gong sounded with Diana and Jill’s comments, thank you…

    through the years I realized I can carry “people” in my heart and in the
    attic of my mind…. it’s the treble of those attic voices that I really need
    to pay close attention to … old unhelpful phrases may be flung in my
    direction at anytime …

    a Wayne Dyer quote …”I release the need for this in my life” helps…

    It is such fun to connect with like souls….I don’t think I’d have enough
    heart stones to give all the Birds of a feather out there, but I would
    love to share the ones I have…

  16. It is extremely liberating to be able to confess that you don’t know everything and therefore are very open to new school’s of thought. Sometimes my kids look at me as thought I’m a little nuts but I can certainly live with that if it possibly demonstrates to them that an old dog can learn new tricks.

    I adore that final quote, Mary. Thank you.

    • Thank you Susan…how wonderful it must be to have a parent who admits that they are still learning too! What a gift.

      10:56 AM,

  17. I now know the perfect gift for a friend who is difficult to honor with a present.
    He loves good coffee and would never splurge foe a “fancy” coffee maker.
    Thanks Mary, I always gain a choice bit of wisdom when I enjoy your blog.

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