In 2017, I came up with Coffee Thoughts Shop, which I then explained as:
“Going to cute cafés to get work done + My thoughts = Coffee Thoughts Shop. Nope, not coffee shop thoughts. Join me on the road to caffeine poisoning and success (hopefully not both).”
Since then, I’ve written in many coffee shops, for work and for The Inner Dolphin, but despite what the name would have you believe, the most important prerequisite for Coffee Thoughts Shop pieces aren’t geographical coordinates. It’s the fact that they’re all spontaneous, inspired by the here and now, just my thoughts and my coffee.
- Espresso, Good News, Kids Coffee Thoughts Shop 1
- Things to Stop Doing Coffee Thoughts Shop 2
- Animals and Heartbreak Coffee Thoughts Shop 3
- Why Trump Sucks Coffee Thoughts Shop 4
In Covid times, I’ve heard of countless people relying on coffee shop sounds to feel some kind of human connection. There’s nothing like a coffee shop to people watch and there’s nothing like people watching to make you feel sonder.
Sonder: the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own
Earlier this week, I started thinking about the concept of enough, which I’ve written about extensively last November in The “Never Enough” Neon Sign and Borrowed Goals.
More specifically, I started thinking about the day when, like Paul Jarvis in Never Enough, I will feel like I’ve said enough and will stop writing every Sunday.
It took Paul eight years to get there, so I still have at least seven years to go.
“You sometimes begin to converse on a subject thinking you have very little to say, but one idea gives birth to another, and you are surprised to learn that the more you give the more you have to give.”The Art of Public Speaking, Dale Carnegie
The Evernote document with my writing ideas is still dominated by black (ideas I brought to life and wrote are in baby blue, ones I have yet to write are in black). The list is ever-growing. I should be fine.
So, enough-ness, Paul, sonder, Coffee Thoughts Shop. What else? I told you these lack structure so don’t shake your head.
In today’s guided meditation, the teacher mentioned a quote from Julia Cameron:
“The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.”
How funny is this: Join me on the road to caffeine poisoning and success (hopefully not both).
I’m sure 2017 Delfina would say the road did lead us to success.
“Ec e ec e ha nga i spec.”
That’s an Albanian saying, literal translation: walk and walk and eat a pepper. Metaphorical translation: go slow and steady… I think?
How funny is “a little kid“? It’s a common phrase in Albanian that cracks me up. Aren’t all kids little by definition? So, a little kid (I crack myself up) at the coffee shop I’m in was trying to get his parent and sibling to pay attention to him.
Being a kid is hard, it seems like the easier thing in the world, but imagine not being able to fully make your own decisions, and depending on someone else for your livelihood and who you become when you grow up. And these people are twice your size! It’s hard.
Whenever I get a chance to make a kid smile, I’ll take it. The kid was playing with two balloons he’d blown up himself, both of which were huge. I said: “Wow your balloons are so big!!!” and his face lit up.
Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. Whatever time frame you give yourself to do something, that’s how long it will take.
On Sunday, I came here, ordered an espresso, and got to work. There was no WiFi and the waiter mentioned sitting at another table to get better reception, but I politely declined. I wrote almost all of it in one go. You loved it. We lived happily ever after. As Marie Forleo said:
“Commit to creating joyfully, not stressfully.”
Sonder, Paul Jarvis, enough, the kid with the balloons, Parkinson’s Law, WiFi, what else?
Here’s a message I got that made my day.
Someone told me that whenever they’re not rushing and take the time to mindfully read my articles, they always enjoy them a lot. Someone else mentioned opening my latest article on their computer, turning off mobile WiFi so they wouldn’t be distracted, and even pausing the music, and they’d enjoyed it so much.
A friend mentioned Googling “psychologists in Tirana” and the first result that came up was by yours truly, Delfina Hoxha (an article I wrote for work, covering different types of therapies and Albanian therapists who did them). They chose one of the therapists and were super pleased with her. I mean, 2017 Delfina would looove this!
These past two weeks, I’ve heard good things about what I’m doing from so many people. I’ve tried (and succeeded, no caffeine poisoning!) to really hear their compliments and kind words. I’ve been able to hear what people were telling me because I wasn’t worried about what to say next to not sound cocky or ungrateful. I wanted to hear what they had to say.
When I came here today, I asked the waiter for the WiFi-friendly table and despite being busy, I realized that he immediately remembered two weeks ago, pointed me to the table, and got my order, all while smiling because #HumanConnection, you know?
They’re giving out free decorated Easter eggs here. Chocolate eggs too, I think. Everyone’s stopping by the door where the table with flowers and beautiful eggs is, whether they get one or not.
The cutest baby walked in.
Whether free Easter eggs, huge balloons, remembering the person who wanted the WiFi-friendly table, encouraging mindful online reading, or inspiring people to create and share their own corner of the internet with the world, like I inspired the person who sent me that message, who in return inspired me to do something else on my own, and then said this gem that I’ll end with: “You never know who you’re inspiring.”
The cute baby walked out. Still as cute as ever.