Historically speaking, I think this is a holdover from my university cafeteria days. I continued writing in the coffee shop when a hundred years ago I had the idea of writing a book. Really this consisted almost entirely of journal entries, with a few poems interspersed. I did, however, have what I considered to be an excellent title: Kitchen Tales and Coffee Shop Talk – The Wild Ramblings and Mundane Musings of an Ordinary Woman.
And let me reassure you, as a wry smile cracks my otherwise business-like facade, the current irony of this imagined title does not escape me.
That title comes from a time when I could envision my life unfolding before me with a predictable certainty that there was not much unexpected on the horizon. I guess that is the thing about the unexpected: it is just that. The writing from that time represents an early-thirties-me working to find meaning in the little things and writing about the sometimes hilarious noticings and escapades of a relatively ordinary existence. In fact, I suspect I was working to come to terms with the fact that my life was far more ordinary than my childhood imaginings would have predicted.
So now… although my life is far, far less ordinary than anticipated, I continue to write and reflect upon my experiences. It is a habit fueled by caffeine and the desire to write… and for both of these I must admit I have a shameful addiction.
Tuesday night is mine. It is a night which I have claimed for myself. On Tuesday night I don’t go home after work: instead I go to Starbucks. I have a favourite table. The chair in that spot is perfect! It has excellent lumbar support and is like an old friend on the odd occasion when my lower back is bothering me. It is under the speaker, which ideally means I can listen to the music, and most of the time I can block out the noise of others. I can happily be in my own head. I know the names of the baristas and they know me. Although, they seem to know the names of most everyone, which gives this location a lovely neighbourhood feel. I don’t drink fancy coffee – just make it as dark as possible and add a little cream. Admittedly, I wrote much of my Masters in this very spot. Refills are free, so is the wireless, and procrastination is near impossible!!
Tuesday night is the night the amazing Craig takes H to Cub Scouts. He wrestles up dinner, somehow does the dishes, walks the dog, gets the boy suited up (sash and all), attends Scouts, returns home to oversee bath and bedtime, and is usually just finishing the day with a story by the time I get home. Sometimes he is beaming and he is dying to tell another adult about something fabulous and exciting. Sometimes his eyes have a bit of a wild look to them. On those days I look at him and say, “Honey, GO!” and he takes his turn to get out of the house for some time alone to reflect.
This morning as I left for work I quipped, “If it’s Tuesday… this must be Starbucks…” and Craig responded, “That is the perfect title for a post!” I mention this because it is symbolic of the kind of support he invariably gives me and my latest sometimes-harebrained-antics or more serious projects. As parents, we are often complemented on the work we are doing to support our son – but I feel we have the energy and stamina to do what we need for him because we know that as partners, we are on the same team and we are almost always each others’ greatest support.
So… here it is: I look at my far from ordinary life and find myself grateful for the wonderful father of H, who is so loving, hardworking, and dedicated to his family.
Tonight, on this Tuesday night, in the time when I have the space, place and pace to be in my own head, I find myself appreciating Craig…
I’d be interested in other tricks or methods for finding or carving out your own space or place to have a moment to yourself! Please comment and share…
30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.
© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism, (2011)