The lyrics to a great song go, "There was so much work left to do, but so much you'd already done." There are times in life when I wake up and it seems as if my entire identity has become one long to-do list. The only desire in me is to take a pen to the list, marking off the reminders of what I have yet to tackle. But then when I think about all of the things I've already marked off and all of things that get added every day, it seems like an endless cycle. A constant adding and erasing of tasks.
At this very moment, I am thankful for the Starbucks in Beverly. I'm actually really not a big fan of Starbucks and wouldn't usually feel deep thankfulness for it, but right now I'm marooned while I wait for an eye appointment. The wireless is being wonky and so I'm forced to sit here, with my to-do list in limbo and no other work along with me. I'm being forced to just sit while the precious minutes of the day slip past.
There are a lot of things about modern life that get a bad rap, and deservedly so. The busyness, the commercialism, the consumerism, the anonymity. In a lot of ways, Starbucks epitomizes it all - a massive corporate conglomeration of mediocre coffee.
But for entirely subjective reasons, right now I'm finding everything about this Starbucks wonderful and life-giving. The busyness of it is creating the most soothing sounds as coffee grinds and milk steams. The commercialism of our culture ensures the perfect level of soothing, indie music is playing. And the anonymity is only mine. Most people in here are sitting and chatting with friends. The table behind me is full of people who haven't seen each other for a long time. Their smiles, hugs, and laughter whenever a new member of the group walks through the door is infectious.
So I find it ironic that this symbol of modern America is challenging my stress today. It might represent an attempt to accommodate people like me with our long to-do lists, but somehow at this exact moment, rather than accommodating me, it's helping me kick back and loosen my shoulders.