Campus Life, Lifestyle

An inspired coffee routine

I survived my freshman year of college without being swayed into a coffee craze. Truthfully, I may have even taken a slight pride in waking up and functioning without the assistance of caffeine. 

Coffee beans in a mug
Coffee beans. Bailey writes about how small routines like making coffee and writing letters have traces of the people she loves in them. COURTESY OF PIXEL2013 VIA PIXABAY

Upon returning home for summer break, the mid-morning kitchen-centered gathering of my family while they all brewed their first or second cup of coffee swiftly pulled me into being a frequent coffee drinker. And by frequent, I mean getting my cup of coffee is the top priority on my to-do list every morning now. 

I take my coffee black because that’s how my brother told me to drink it — and I know he will make fun of me if I don’t follow suit. I add a dash of cinnamon right after it brews because that was the part of my dad’s coffee routine that I contributed to growing up. 

I subsequently only finish half of my cup before the liquid gets too cold, so I typically throw the mug in the microwave for a few seconds. Although opening the door stops the timer, I always clear the seconds anyway because it drives my mom crazy when I don’t — she may live 300 miles away, but she would know. 

My coffee is made at home because I know the thought of buying a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks would invoke the biggest eye roll from my other brother. 

This is my morning routine every single day. Completely sculpted by my unknowing family’s words and actions. Such a concept goes beyond coffee — I see how my loved ones influence my choices and actions in so many aspects of my life. 

When I need to buy water, I will usually grab a LIFEWTR bottle because my friend Mary is very passionate about how lovely the different art they print on the container is.

I talk through every movie or TV show — I know, bad trait — because that is how my friend Brie and I watch them. Even if she isn’t there, I can’t stay quiet.

All of my cards are signed XXOO because that is how my grandmother signs her letters.

Seeing cat-themed merchandise gets me — a self-proclaimed dog-lover — unreasonably excited because of my roommate Emma’s undying obsession for anything feline-related. 

Every time I make peanut butter cookies, I leave a few Hershey kiss-less because that is how my grandfather liked them.

I could go on far too long listing my loved ones’ direct impacts on my life, but I will spare you any more of those niche details. 

More substantial portions of my life and personality are derived from my loved one’s habits. My work ethic can be chalked up to my dad, while my type-A tendencies — I have a passion for being on time and to-do lists — is all thanks to my mom. I didn’t choose to carry out these traits. But somewhere along the line, they just became who I am.

Every morning I choose to drink black coffee. I choose to put cinnamon in it. I choose to clear the seconds from the microwave. And I choose to make it at home. 

Such insignificant portions of my life are, in reality, simply displays of my love. The power of choice makes implementing little mannerisms or actions something more than just being influenced. I want and choose to replicate, accommodate or be inspired by my loved ones. I have found recognizing these behaviors and who they are attached to as a wonderful way to maintain a sense of closeness to said people.

 Is there a better way to show admiration? I don’t think so.

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