I'm at my favorite local coffee joint, Jittery Joe's (which is now opening franchises around, though the Five Points location in Athens shall never be beat!). Back when I used to visit Athens to see my sister or my friends, I'd come here. Once I moved here in 2004, I took up residence here a few nights a week to do research, to work on grad school papers, and to socialize.
Things are different now. I finished grad school two years ago and hardly visit cafes nowadays. I brought a bunch of books and references for the article I should* have done already, but instead I'm sitting here thinking of how things have changed.
1. I ordered a decaf coffee and didn't put any sugar in it. This is the new Janet who's trying to only have caffeine when she needs to kick a faint Migraine out of the picture.
2. I am google searching for information on Migraine and drug side effects instead of trying to surreptitiously visit social networking sites to waste time.
3. My forearms and hands feel numb from the Imitrex I had to take a couple of hours ago before my evening job began. I can't type as accurately or as quickly when my fingers feel drugged.
4. I'm afraid I don't have the concentration and procrastination-fueled fervor that once accompanied coffee shop trips and waiting 'til the last minute.
5. I'm stealing glances at the girls who are working behind the espresso machine. One has hair down past her butt. It's beautiful and shiny and it's a difficult hairdo to pull off, but she does it! I know I could never have this hair, as it would weigh on my head. The other girl has her blond hair in a high ponytail--this style, which took me quite a while to master when I was young, is now not in the realm of possibilities for me, as after ten minutes the scalp and head pain would drive me crazy. Even releasing my hair from such a constraining hairdo leads to aches when my hair suddenly bends in a different direction. This all leaves me wondering what I'll do when I have to put my hair up in an up 'do for my friend's wedding Saturday. Aah!
*A great post I read somewhere recently discussed the need to have fewer (if any) shoulds in your life. "Oh, I should be working. I should call my cousin. I should do the dishes." These seemingly obligatory duties weigh on us more and more when what we could be doing is focusing on what we have been able to do and what we have accomplished. The original piece I read was more eloquent, but I can't find it!