My Morning Cup of Coffee

My right-hand holds the warm mug in my crossed-legged lap as I sit on the end of my partner’s twin bed. My back slightly hunched, sitting up straight when I remember, inhaling deeply, focusing on my breath, when I remember. 

Breathe in

smell the coffee

breathe out.

The clanking and banging sounds of constant construction come in with the breeze. 

It’s late February, the sun is out and the snow mounds are nearly gone, the largest of the piles holding on, covered in dirt. I gaze out the window, admiring the city I’ve lived in for the past three years and drinking my morning cup of coffee.

As I sat, watched, and sipped, I thought about all the other places that I had sat. watched. sipped. 

On the porch swing of my family home where I pour from the hefty, family-sized canister that my stepfather and I have no problem finishing on our own, mostly his own. 

In my dorm room, listening to my morning podcasts. Where I learned to use a French Press for smoother coffee, with whatever milk was on sale that week, usually almond, and a pinch of sugar. 

On the screened-in balcony, of the house we rented in South Carolina where my stepmother and I watch the water, hoping a dolphin will emerge if we’re lucky enough. 

On my grandparents’ leather couch, admiring the forest beyond the sliding glass doors, where we drink strictly Dunkin’. 

On the balcony of the apartment that we sublet for the summer during the pandemic, where the neighbors below sat and sipped their morning coffee at the same time. 

When I’m here, I drink Tim Horton’s Instant Dark Roast, with a splash of milk and sugar. 

When I have my coffee, I have no other responsibilities. Yes, sometimes the mornings are rushed and I take my coffee in the car or to class. But most days, I try to wake up early enough to have my coffee, a privilege, I know. I came to realize that my morning cup of coffee was my favorite part of the day because it was time I took to just be. I could read if I wanted to, scroll through my phone if I wanted to. But over time I stopped doing anything and just sat, watched, and sipped. Because I could. 

I’ve had coffee nearly every day since I was 17. When I think about it, there are few things that I’ve done every day for that long, that I choose to do. Most of the things we do every single day are things that we have to do or are expected of us. How many things do you do for yourself in a day? What would our lives be like if we spent more time in a day doing things for ourselves? 

Having my coffee can be almost like a meditation, or sometimes it can be a time to schedule my day, reflect on a situation I haven’t had time for, or set an intention for the day ahead. 

Whatever it is I choose to do during that time, it’s time I’ve allotted for myself and nothing else. 

It’s a time that makes me look forward to getting out of bed the next day.