15 February 2012


Ah, coffee. What a wonderful creation. I love the smell of coffee so much I get excited with the first sniff. Coffee could solve almost any of the world’s problems, in my opinion, and I think the great Dr. Steve Iseman would agree.

Coffee can be enjoyed hot, frothy, foamy, filled with sugary confections, blended with ice, blended with gelato, room temperature, on ice, fully loaded, decaffeinated, topped with spices, skinny, grande, venti, cappucinoey, frappy, macchiatoey or just inhaled via the nostrils for full effect.

Coffee helps me be me, and by that I mean coffee helps me be amiable, be awake and be focused. If I do not have coffee in my system, I cannot guarantee that I will be amiable, alert or focused on anything anyone would be saying.

I thought coffee would be necessary for my first official day on the payroll, so I made sure to set my alarm in enough time to ensure I could make myself a frappuccino.before heading to the bus stop. I went to bed a little later than I had planned and I awoke every single hour throughout the night because I feared that my alarm would fail to sound at 5:30.

Frappuccino in hand, I was on a bus before 6:30 and on my way. I arrived 10 minutes early, always a bonus, and started off by reviewing medical and riding forms for each of our morning session riders. Thank God I came prepared.

Growing up, my mom always warned me that if I decided to give birth, all of my kids could turn out like my brother – hyperactive and all. She also stated that, in her opinion, having one kid felt like she had one kid; having two kids made her feel like she had 10. Well mom, I had 12 kids and they were all like Josh.

Before the session even started, I was pinched incredibly hard by a child throwing a tantrum because I tried to tighten his helmet strap. I have bruises.

Though somewhat challenging, the kids were great. They all had something about them that reminded me of my brother and none of those things made me frustrated or angry or anxious. I thought back on a time when I was 12, my brother 10.

My parents had just finalized a nasty divorce and we were staying with a friend from church while my dad was off somewhere else. My brother drove me to the edge of insanity that day and I was screaming. The woman came over to me and very calmly asked me why I thought God would give me Josh as a brother. I had asked myself that question a million times before and I never really thought about the answer, but she immediately followed with another question.

“What is God trying to teach you?” I remember just blurting out, “Patience,” without even thinking. In that moment, something in my brain changed. I will not say that my brother and I never fought again. I will not say that my brother never annoyed me again. But I will say that I had a new perspective moving forward.

I can say that patience is one of my strongest qualities and I feel that I can put up with almost anything. Patience is certainly needed in my new position and it was certainly necessary in my first official session.

For my mandated two-hour lunch break, I headed north to MacRitchie Park, a recreational area I had not yet visited. I discovered that the park is actually within walking distance and would be a great workout choice. I happened upon a press conference where musicians were singing Chinese music. I parked myself on a bench outside the café and enjoyed my homemade hoagie while people played and sang around me.

I headed back to the stables, propped myself onto a wooden love seat and read a chapter in my latest book by Diane Keaton. I enjoyed the tranquil time before the afternoon session.

Once back in the office, I apparently donned the title of IT specialist since I figured out how to set up my e-mail account and reviewed the paperwork for the afternoon riders.

My first day was great. I was able to shadow the other two instructors, ask questions I had previously wondered and spend some time with the various riders.

This morning I decided not to make coffee. What was I thinking? I certainly needed the fix. I awoke only half the times as the night before but my eyes were a bit sore. Since the bus was crazy late this morning, I did not have time to stop at Starbucks on the way.

Surprisingly, I survived the morning session but I definitely needed the caffeine for the afternoon session. While at the malls in search of a watch store, I stopped for a super small Spinelli coffee drink with hazelnuts and chocolate. Mmmm.

I am quite surprised at the size of the drinks in Singapore. It shouldn’t surprise me that the drink sizes are smaller because all portion sizes are smaller. I remember ordering some beef tenderloin at the butcher one day. I was unsure of the grams so I just went by sight. I told the butcher enough for two and he measured out what 200 grams would be. I had him double it – 200 grams each, not 200 grams total. The guy looked at me like I was nuts. Two hundred grams, by the way, is seven ounces.

Venti coffees are the size of U.S. grande coffees, so I don’t think we will get the ultimate venti, trenta, anytime soon.

Paul recently put us on a no-sugar diet, so I cannot have coffee every day. Instead of eliminating sugary products altogether, I have decided to drastically decrease my sugar intake because, let’s be honest, I cannot go a lifetime without coffee. Peace. 

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