Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Changing Coffee Makers, Changing My Life

I am looking for a coffeemaker that will change my life.

I'd like to say that I start every day with a cup of coffee. But in fact, I start every day wrestling with the paraphernalia necessary to make a cup of coffee.

It goes something like this: grind the beans. Go to put fresh grounds in the pot but find that yesterday's are still in there. Clean filter basked. Rinse yesterday's burnt coffee from pot. Go to fill pot. Find that Britta is empty. Fill Britta. Wait for Britta to slooooowwwwwly filter water. Fill pot. Fill water reservoir. Push button. Wait for coffee. Wipe grounds off counter while waiting.

It's a discouraging start to the day, especially since I have to do it all pre-caffeination. So when my mom gave me a new auto-start programmable coffee maker for Christmas, I was thrilled. But not so thrilled that I didn't try to exchange it. I went and upgraded it for an auto-start plus auto grind version. One less step in the morning! Then I got it home and realized I would have to clean out the auto grinder every day. So I went back and exchanged it again.

But you know what I discovered? Now I just do all the coffee paraphernalia wrestling at night instead of in the morning. There are still old grounds to be cleaned and a pot to be scrubbed and water to filtered. To say nothing of the fact that the first two nights I set the timer wrong so it didn't even brew in the morning.

It's been a "wherever you go there you are" kind of revelatory experience for me. The problem is not the coffee maker. The problem is me. Listen to my husband laugh as I reveal to you this obvious fact: I hate dealing with mundane details. And because I hate it, I don't do it. And because I don't do it, chaos reigns -- in small ways -- throughout my life.

Hubby and I had an illuminating discussion about these things over the weekend. I've been laboring under the delusion that Jeff has a better memory than me and is also someone who just gets everything done right the first time. But in fact, he says he double and triple checks almost everything he does. He doesn't leave the house without going over a checklist two or three times to make sure he has everything he needs. He reads e-mails three times before he sends them.

All this time I've been thinking that my husband is incredibly smart but inefficient (it takes him much longer to do things than I).

Now I realize, he's just living by the old carpenter's axiom, "Measure twice and cut once." I'm too busy moving on to the next thing to measure twice, rinse out the coffee pot, or put the grocery list in my purse. And I pay for my haste by having to do lots of things twice, step over piles of dirty clothes, and scrubbing lots of old coffee stains out of things.

The reason I forget things is not because I don't have the right calendar or organizer. Another old carpenter's saying, "A good carpenter never blames his tools." In modern terms: A good housewife doesn't blame her coffee maker or her smart phone.

So, in order to have a wonderful 2012, I am going to become enormously attentive to details, or more importantly, slow down long enough to pay attention to details.

Here are all the things I am going to do from now on:

Rinse the coffee pot and basket when I drink my last cup.
Close the cereal bag and put the box away before I eat my cereal.
Hang up my wet towel right after I shower.
Put my clothes away right after I take them off.
Bring my coupon to Joann's.
Bring my grocery list to the grocery store (instead of leaving it on the kitchen table).
Actually buy everything that is on my grocery list.
Bring the things I need to return to Target to Target.
Write down people's addresses in the address book instead of on an envelope that I then mail, and then have to ask for their address again the next time I mail them something.
Bring my daughters' immunization cards to the doctor's office.

Sound doable? No, not really. But how wonderful would life be if I actually did do them?

I think I'll go slooowwwly double check my list, pick my top three new behaviors, and give that a try. Check in with me later, and I'll let you know how it's going.


  1. curses to both the joann's coupons and the immunization cards!! ugh. when i told the dr. i no longer knew where that yellow thing went, she looked at me like i confessed a major crime. your list is awesome. in theory.

  2. Love it! And, this is why I love my nespresso machine. Truely the lazy girls latte! :)

  3. As I read this, I thought to myself 'how does she know me so we'll....your list was me to a T!!!! Thanks as always for helping me feel normal. M Sparks

  4. I go through the grounds dumping and basket rinsing part, but we got a potless coffeemaker now and I love it. I hear ya. Some mornings I have even though of microwaving yesterday's leftovers, ha!

  5. Nice...I hate cleaning soggy grounds...