One More Cup of Good Coffee Before I Go


Have you ever heard that song by Bob Dylan–one more cup of coffee before I go? Is that about unrequited love or is it about him not settling? Maybe it is about the struggle of enjoying the moment but not wanting to put up with something less? You can read so much in to a song but what I have learned in my life is that I truly want to enjoy life much as possible and that includes tasting as much good coffee as I can–while I still have time.

I appreciate getting older and enjoy the discernment that comes with living life fully. I am less inclined these days to waste time and even less motivated to give up so readily what I worked hard to earn. I do not shop where stores focus more on their profit margin rather than genuine service to the customer. I have increasingly excused myself from conversations where meaningless dialogue persists or gossip proliferates. Time is important to me. I do not watch mindless television that perpetuates demeaning cultural stereotypes and have zero tolerance for advertisements that minimize the value of women. I have the power to choose.

I just do not have time for hyperbole or baloney nor do I want to support inferior products manufactured to deceive me out of my hard earned money. Time is of essence. I cannot spend precious time on anything that minimizes me or others. I am not wired that way and regret putting up with nonsense simply because as a woman, as a woman of color, as the first woman blazing many trials—I was expected to endure nonsense.

Some may conclude—I have become less patient but in all reality I have become more patient by waiting for what is meant to be. I am a better person now that I am following my heart as much as possible. There is something so empowering about knowing who you are and reassuring about what you will and will not tolerate. I truly know in this season of my life who I want to be. I know what I enjoy and I fully discern through prayer what is not acceptable or allowable in my life. Knowing who you are and what you want in life frees you from all of the insecurity of knowing how to open this amazing gift we call life. Spending time dismantling the annoying bubble wrapping of mediocre merchandise or plastic coating of disingenuous relationships is not worth the time spent.

I had a bit of an epiphany this morning but first it is important to understand—I have a morning routine. I wake up happy because I appreciate life—every single moment. I make the pups (rescue Yoshistune and Rez pup George) toast, fill their food bowls and top off their water dishes. I let the pups out to do their personal business and then I brew myself a cup of coffee in a special ceramic cup of choice before I sit down to review my daily schedule. Anyone who knows me well knows that I enjoy a decent cup of coffee. I don’t drink a lot—most days just two cups but those two cups of coffee are an important part of my morning ritual—it sets my day straight. It is important to have something you look forward to and enjoy each day.

This morning I was trying out a new brand. The first sip was awful, the second sip was worse. No matter how much my glass half full attitude tried to enjoy it—it was truly awful. If you grew up economically poor like me there is a voice that lingers in your head that beckons you to finish everything on your plate. It does not matter how bad something tastes (burnt toast, moldy bread, weak coffee) you just endure and finish it as a sign of appreciation. I thought it was me, maybe my taste buds were off kilter but no the second cup was worse than the first. (Yeah– can you believe I actually tried to give the brand a second chance?) I realized that the manufacturer had cut corners and measured less ground coffee in the pod (and before my contentious environmental loving friends flip out– I do recycle every bit of the pods’ –allow me the pleasure of enjoying the coffeemaker my sons got for me as a gift.) So– as I was sipping the second cup of coffee I realized, I don’t have to finish this—yes it may be wasteful but it is awful and the company that makes it and the stores that sell it needs to know– it is unacceptable. I poured out the coffee and brewed myself a second cup from the brand I consistently enjoy and can trust. A smile returned to my face as I realized—I am done with settling. I am taking the terrible brand back to the store for a refund.

Whether it is coffee, the toilet paper or paper towel rolls that seem to be shrinking but sold at a higher cost, the outrageous pharmaceuticals that are pushed at us for ridiculous corporate profit or even (yes even) a business or personal relationship that minimizes your gifts or strengths—don’t allow yourself to be cheated or deceived by anything that diminishes you and shorts you on enjoying fully what life has to offer.

I wonder sometimes what would happen if we spoke up more than we do about mediocre or inferior stuff or walk away more readily from situations that demean us as human beings? Perhaps as consumers– if we universally spoke up and protested at declining product value or excessive pricing—the corporate profit mongers would listen? I wonder if– as colleagues we stand up and walk out of conversations that are less than what they can be (lukewarm or bitter) or as human beings we speak up and let friends or family know that being an unkind, unloving or cruel person is just not ok—would circumstances change? There are a lot of possibilities here beloved—think about it or better yet contemplate it over a really tasty cup of coffee.

I am a genuine-kind and loving human being and being true to myself is so much more important to me than fitting in, being accepted in to a group or succumbing. Our life individually and our lives collectively will improve for the better when we do not settle for less than what it could be or should be.

It may seem a bit silly to you that I learned all of this from a lousy cup of coffee but this morning I realized—I have had enough. I have had enough of putting up with, enduring, settling for and making excuses for others. It is perfectly fine for me to not ingest the watered down or bitter version of another whether product or person. I know who I am and what I am about. I know what I want and what I want is to live a life that is genuine and loving. I also know I want to live in a world where people are not afraid to be kind and finally dammit I want to enjoy a decent cup of coffee every morning especially when I work hard for that cup.

Genuinely and always lovingly, Elizabeth Asahi Rising Sun Sato


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