the whipped cream conundrum

"would you like whipped cream with that? hell yeah!"


November 2017

Starbucks Does it Again

It’s that time of year…yes, the White Chocolate Mocha with whipped cream is prominently displayed on the Starbuck’s holiday menu.  There’s even the option to add a shot of peppermint with peppermint sprinkles.  I should be thrilled, right?  But to my surprise there’s a new drink on the menu – the Maple Pecan Latte (with whipped cream and maple sprinkles).  I do love maple.  Thus, I am faced with yet another beverage-related conundrum.

As I stand in the line waiting to make the ultimate decision – which overpriced caffeinated delight will be going home with me – I think about choices.  I struggle with choices.  I am a sucky decider.  Do not ask me to choose the restaurant or the movie.  You certainly don’t want to be the salesperson waiting on me when choosing between the boots in black or brown…but these are little choices that aren’t necessarily going to change the trajectory of my life.  They are small conundrums.

When it comes to those life-altering choices, I haven’t exactly had the opportunity to make those in the last several years.  For so long, I didn’t feel like I had options. There was really only one kind of coffee, one restaurant, one pair of boots – and each was for survival.  Things have changed.  One year in remission.  Tests and scans are clear – every three weeks I get the #merckmiracle, and I go about my scheduled programming.

The thought of having to make decisions scares the crap out of me – it’s like turning on the tv with 1,000 channels and you end up watching the home shopping show (what, that doesn’t happen to you?), or, in Whipped Cream Conundrum speak, you go to Starbucks and walk out with a bottle of water.  Now I have the opportunity to make real choices.  I’m not sure what they are, but I know I have them.  Some may surprise me,  like the Maple Pecan Latte, others may be self-initiated.   Some may require courage, while others could come with ease.  Whatever the option, it still comes with whipped cream.




Use Your Time Wisely

WARNING: Under no circumstances should you say “yes” to coffee at 8:30 pm, especially when the cable is out. It seemed like a good idea at the time, the taste of a strong cup of coffee to cap off a delightful Asian-fusion meal with good company.  It looked appealing in the glass carafe, brewed to order just for me.   It was a superb cup of coffee, but now at 12:20 am on a school night, I am regretting every last drop.

I generally don’t suffer from insomnia, and if I can’t fall asleep from time to time, I find watching mindless television lulls me into slumber.  So filled with caffeine and without cable, I have “found time”  –  a concept new to me. Honestly, it makes me a little uncomfortable.  I have things I need time to do, but I don’t think moving my bedroom furniture around is the smartest idea.  Then I have things I want time to do, like writing, which is a perfectly appropriate post-midnight activity.

It is challenging to discern my needs and wants when it comes to time.  After all, I have a complicated relationship with time – I am grateful to have it, while at the same time I mourn the loss of it. I always seem to want more of it, but there just never seems to be enough.  But when it comes to needs and wants, I struggle to find a balance.

While my cancer is in remission, I am still in treatment.  This means I suffer from immunotherapy-induced fatigue, along with the general fatigue that comes from everyday life.  As a result, I need to get sleep and make time for rest.  I am very conscientious about time, and try to hold fast to a 5:30 am wake up and 7:30 pm lights out.

Yes, I often go to bed earlier than a 5th grader, but this is what I need to do to maintain my rigorous schedule.  I wake up, turn on Morning Joe, grab a cup of coffee, walk Sadie, and prepare for the day.  My “school day” kicks off around 7:30 am and runs until late afternoon. I then enter the twilight zone when I begin to wind down – make dinner, prep for the next day of classes, take Sadie out, and hop in bed between 7:30-8:00 pm. I’m very conscientious about time; I need to make every minute count so my stamina stays in check.

But, I want to have fun.  “Use your time wisely,” isn’t that what your teacher told you?  That means I make choices, and sometimes the wisest use of my time is for fun, contentment, relaxation…sometimes it’s dinner with friends, a movie night, getting caught up in a good book, writing, even a concert here or there.  I let go of my rigid, self-imposed schedule, and indeed use my time in the wisest of ways by finding joy.

The clock keeps ticking…12:45 am now…I wonder what tomorrow will bring without my usual nine to ten hours of sleep – a hot mess is the likely result. But, I think I’ve used my time wisely because writing brings me joy, and so did that cup of coffee.



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