Autumn Coffee.

Ah, fall weather at last. I like this photo because you can smell the cool air. That’s an especially beautiful thing here in mostly muggy Florida.

The coffee’s good too. And somehow I need to work smarter at being able to have more morning coffees and fewer stressful work mornings. One thing in my favour is that I do have a pretty good picture of what that future looks like – coffee, newspapers, room to think. Of course the reality will always be different, but the general direction is clear.

Occupying my mind of late is the thought of how to reduce monthly outgoings forever. First is accommodation. There must be a way to get someone else to pay for my mortgage or rent AND the associated bits and bobs. You know, house maintenance if you own, utilities, cleaning, repairs, upkeep. All the stuff that no-one bothers to think about when they buy a place can cost a lot more than renting a similar place. But I’m over-detailing.

Imagine this: reducing your budget by the entire amount of your housing cost. That leaves a lot of room for morning coffee.

Denial and Admission

A friend decided to eschew coffee for three months. He’s been in a stressful zone recently, mostly frustration at his (behind schedule) Sarasota condo renovation. A diet professional suggested a caffeine-ectomy, as simple a calming remedy imaginable.

Commiserating with him this morning – over my delicious double-shot latte, just enough milk to taste, a macchiato really – we decided that denying ones-self a pleasure is a good thing. The pleasure is so often in the anticipation, not the having.

I like this way of thinking. It nicely melds with the philosophy that if you can enjoy the process, the end almost doesn’t matter. The outcome is so often affected by randomness and stuff outside our control anyway, letting go and focusing on what’s right here and now makes for a less bumpy life.


Friends don't let friends drink bad coffee.
Friends don’t let friends drink bad coffee.

The smallest discoveries make a difference if you view them in the right way. From an article about a friend of mine, Heather, when asked about advice she lives by:

I receive a lot of advice, and I am blessed with many mentors, but the first statement to come to mind is “Treat everyone like they’re your best friend.”

If you are in any kind of sales this is not merely an aphorism: it could be the key that unlocks your success.

To become my friend, try @riffingtim at the Twitter.



Happy Mother's Day, Carol.
Happy Mother’s Day, Carol.

Sundays have a specific feel to me, perhaps for you too. This Sunday, yesterday, was my first without work for weeks, and so it felt particularly special.

After some breakfast at The Coffee Loft (living the dream with coffee, panino, newspaper and Sunday Baroque) I tootled off to Barnes and Noble. They’ve changed B & N around since last I was there, it’s different and roomier. Hopefully bookshops will survive the Amazon onslaught.

Then to Best Buy. Best Buy can make me feel inadequate. Odd, I know, but it’s the combination of all that wonderful stuff that I can’t afford, and all that wonderful stuff that I don’t quite understand. The technology on sale is brilliant, but I have a need for only a tiny fraction of what’s available. Despite that, I would still like to have it all – ridiculous as that is.

Sunday was restful, a rejuvenation day. This morning I was at Lido Key at sunup, reveling in the absence of people and the quiet. At the beach, there’s space to think, to get calm, to find perspective. It made me happy that someone remembered to give Carol some flowers. That’s what’s important. And I’m glad that someone knows it.