Lessons learned from a coffeemaker

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There’s a question going around on Facebook this week about the amount of cups of coffee a person drinks in a month. My number is 60 — two cups a day.

I make a cup when I wake up in the morning, hopefully before I have to speak to anyone or do things like cover a story or write. If I somehow end up doing work before coffee, well, I’ll just take this moment to apologize for anything I may have said with my mouth or facial expressions.

The second cup comes in the afternoon, and it’s equally important. So important, in fact, that I persuaded one of my colleagues at the paper to join forces with me in creating a coffee station in the office. There was no coffeemaker here before we stepped in. I almost quit.

Given the almost familial place coffee has in my life, it should come as no shock that when my home coffeemaker started brewing slowly, I was ready to throw it away. I began pricing new machines, and considered an upgrade to a much fancier model that would allow me to create coffehouse concoctions at home (because this level of addiction pretty much requires a monthly budget line item for Starbucks).

However, because I am as frugal as I am caffeinated, I decided to Google solutions to fix my coffeemaker. Turns out I only needed to take out the components and clean it out. I’m happy to announce that I’ve had terrific cups of coffee all week!

This whole ordeal actually taught me something. In our lives, we often discard things at the first sign that they may be broken. It might be actual things, like my coffeemaker, but it’s also situations, jobs or relationships. We start thinking about what we could do with something new and shiny that doesn’t have the wear-and-tear of our use and its service. It’s nice to think about; however, many times that old, tried-and-true thing is not actually broken. It just needs a little maintenance.

What if we took the time to find out what was going on when things aren’t working as well as they once did? What if we “Googled” in real life by asking hard questions and finding reasonable solutions? It may not change the world, but it might change our lives.

I’m working on doing some maintenance in my own life. I’m checking in on some things that seem like they may have stalled and figuring out what I can do to get them back on track. What about you? Feel free to leave me a comment or email me at lhbarnes@wilsontimes.com. I’m here to cheer you on, with my coffee mug in hand.

LaMonique Hamilton Barnes is a reporter and copy editor for The Wilson Times. She blogs about arts and culture at iamlamonique.com.