Press the start button

I sat, pen poised, and awaited the first creative thought of the day. And waited. And waited.

Then I looked across the living room into the kitchen and saw the coffee maker, sitting silently.

“This sit-down was premature,” I wrote in my journal.

I got up and fed the dogs. I started a load of laundry. I took my medicine. I set the coffee grounds in the basket and filled the reservoir with water. I collected two days worth of recyclables and put yesterday’s dishes in the dishwasher. I pre-ordered the new Cormoran Strike novel on my Audible app, and I listened to the morning summary on my weather app. 

“Now, finally, I can sit down and journal,” I said.

I sat and opened the book and took a deep breath and listened for the Muse to start whispering in my ear. But the house was quiet — in fact, it was more quiet than it should have been.

“The coffee should be ready soon; in fact, I don’t hear it gurgling, maybe it’s done,” I said, and then it hit me: The coffee pot had never gurgled.

I laughed and got up to go back to the kitchen.

“It helps to push the start button,” I said, walking over to the coffee maker and doing what I should have done after I set the coffee grounds in the basket and filled the reservoir with water: I pressed the start button. By the time I got back to my chair, the coffee maker was starting to gurgle.

What a metaphor for how we live our lives sometimes: You make all the preparations, put everything in place to brew what will probably give your life a jolt of energy, and then you go on with your life without taking the most crucial step — getting started.

Press the start button! You know what you want to do, you’ve done all the preparatory work, the ingredients are all in place to make yourself what you want to make, but you’re so distracted by everyday life that you forget to execute the plan.

Press the start button!

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