The Coffee Motif Returns


I write about coffee, or mention it in some way, an awful lot. My apologies go out to those of you who actually read this blog and get sick of hearing about my caffeine addiction.

This time, though, it represents something larger in my life.

Last night I was writing a research paper for my Mass Media Law class about invasion of privacy and the landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases that supported or denied an individual’s claim to the right of seclusion.

Papers with heavy topics like those always get me thinking and searching. I dislike the initial research process to some extent, but I enjoy analyzing and dissecting what I’ve found after it’s all gathered.

And last night I discovered a continuous, seven-step motif running through my late-night paper sessions. I call it “the coffee motif.”


1. Procrastination
2. Writer’s block
3. Reluctant digging in
4. Inspiration
5. Success
6. Insomnia
7. “Morning after” caffeine overdoses

Can anyone else relate to this process? If so, I’d encourage you to embrace the motif instead of fleeing from it. You might lose some sleep, but you might also find your best ideas come to you in the wake of an exhausting project you didn’t particularly enjoy.

The reason? You’ll experience a sense of completion having done something you didn’t want to do, and then you get to treat yourself with some much-deserved “me time.” For me, that “me time” lasted from approximately 2 to 3 a.m. this morning.

I snuck into my bedroom, careful not to wake my two snoring roommates, and slipped out with my journal, returning to my “big comfy couch” to write. (Side note: Did any of you watch this show on PBS when you were a kid?)

I wrote about the things I found to be grateful for this week. Even in the midst of hectic weeks of working 30-40 hours plus 15 credits and multiple class projects, I find there are always things that happen to make me say, “Praise God."

This week, three things topped my list.

1. Tuesday night I roamed around downtown GR with my roommate Emma looking for a coffee shop (surprise!) at which to do our homework. Our favorite, The Bitter End, was full, so we ended up at The Pavilion for an hour and left when we found ourselves in the middle of an increasingly awkward conversation two of the other customers decided to start in our space. We left with very little homework done, but a good story to pass on to Amanda once we got home.

2. Yesterday afternoon I enjoyed my Herald office time with my fellow editor, David Duhon. Throughout this year he has become a close friend to me as we edit and design pages together several days a week. We find ourselves talking about politics (yesterday our topic was the flaws of the two-party system); music (yesterday: Elton John, the Beatles, blues progressions, and indie Christian alternative band En Gedi); ministry (Mission Year in Atlanta and Urban Transformation here in inner city GR); family, our job, and relationships. By the end of a couple hours, we usually find ourselves back at square one, not really having solved any of the world’s problems, but at least thankful for the process. Everyone needs a friend like David.

3. While I was in the office with David, my sister Marissa called to ask if we could hang out after she finished staffing WCSG’s Spring Sharathon (she is a web content manager at Cornerstone’s radio station). I initially deflected because I figured it would be a crazy night finishing my paper, but after about two hours of frustrating library time I called her up and asked for a break spent in her refreshing presence. So we went out to dinner at Noodles & Co. and caught up on each other’s lives over pasta fresco and Jones soda. How wonderful it is to realize that some things are more important than carefully laid plans.

Here comes the end of my post (finally, you say.) If you’ve made it this far, congrats to you. I’d like to leave you with one last thought.

If you don’t drink coffee, that’s fine. Not everyone has the stomach for it. But I would encourage you to find your “coffee motif” in life and pursue it wholeheartedly.

As the saying goes, sometimes the best things in life aren’t things.

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Rachel Monfette said...

Love the motif.... it's so accurate. I'm not a student anymore so I feel a little removed from that cycle but I love it and had alot of good memories reading your post. :)

Faith W said...

I commented to my husband yesterday..."I miss Rachel." And he responded, "My sister??" And I said with a sigh, "Yeah." ~ Faith

Rachel E. Watson said...

lol... oh. my. word. You make me smile, Faith. :)

And thanks to both of you for reading!