My Best Meeting Ever

Doctor Coffee April 3rd

My best meeting ever is a meeting with myself at the cafe. This is where I get really productive. This is when I really enjoy my work, my thoughts, my time.

During the rest of the day I am surrounded by people that expect me to listen to them, to reply, to interact. At the cafe it is just me, my coffee and my laptop. Yes, there are people around me, but these people do not expect anything from me. They are just there living their lives. What an awesome feeling! Wondering if it would be ok to tell the old men on the table next to me that I love him just because he sits there and reads the newspaper? Nope, I probably should not do these things.

They also play music at the cafe. It is great, because otherwise I would never listen to any music at all. I am generally too busy even to think about music, let alone to spare one minute to decide what I feel like listening to, and to actually find that song and hit play. Too many actions and decisions for me, in reality it almost never happens. Apart from music, they bring me coffee. At this cafe, as I come here every day, I do not have even to ask for it. The waiters are my friends. I know their names, they know what I drink.

Here am I on my meeting with myself. Working. And taking ten minutes to type this. Those who think that creating and running their own company is fun… Well, they are right, it is fun. It is hard as hell too. You just do not stop to think how hard it is while you are doing it. It means that your family sees you mostly behind the laptop. And you do not see them. It means that you only play with your kids in between of the meetings, emails and skype calls. It means that your personal life is none existent. You lose your family, you barely keep up with your friends, and the only time you get to breath is when you are in the shower. You wake up and you think about this great idea, thought, feature, you eat breakfast and you think how to bring it to practice or something similar. Nope, you do not think about what you eat. This is why you eat the same breakfast for ten years in a row, you simplify your life to the maximum in anything that is not related to what you do.

You live under a constant pressure. You get used to it. It is the pressure that *you* always have to do something. If you do not do it, nobody will. Thus, you just do it. You get used to the fact that your free time is when you let yourself “relax” and read a chapter of that business book that you wanted to read. And not be productive for two hours. Just be passive and read. All those great books about how to relax and take one day at a time really do not work. Your passion is what creates the pressure. Your passion and the urge to make it real. It is not about money. Hell no! Hard to explain. Most of all it is about gaining back a piece of your own heart.

The cafe is closing. The meeting is over. Out on the street and what a night!

Note: After I hit publish on this post the WordPress suggested I should add “mental health” to the tags. Hmmm…. made me smile more than think.

With 6 Others

“The usual?” The question is done mostly with the eyes and a slight informal moving of the lips. I nod. I smile and instead of saying “yes”, I ask “Como va todo?”. “Todo bien” says the café owner.  He looks at the counter. He is busy pouring a cappuccino. I move on.

9:10am. I have dropped the kids at school. Now working from the café. I open my laptop.  Emails. I read the important ones,  check the news, and start with my agenda for the day. Xavier brings my coffee.  I thank him. I take a new breath and look around. The music is playing. And I smile.

The same people are around the café. The same people I see every morning at 9:10am. Men in suits, men in polos and women.

Back to my plan. Writing. Writing and humming the song that is playing. Sounds familiar. I probably have been humming it for a while now. Another sip of coffee. Somebody else is humming too.  The dark blue barn jacket is folded on the chair next to me. The man is reading the newspaper and humming the same song. He is here every morning.

Two men in suits discuss something over their iphones. They laugh and joke with the café owner. He jokes back. His joke is not directed towards anybody in particular, it is for all of us. To share.  And some people look up and smile lightly.

The girl with a bluish nail polish is reading a book. She is done with her breakfast; the croissant crust crumbs look messy on her plate. She is wearing a beige cardigan.  Skinny girl with long hair.

All our feet are reflected in the mirror in front. From left to right: a pair of white snickers, moccasins, wedges, ballerina shoes, two black business pairs and one brown.

Seven of us at the café. Every day the same people spend with me the first thirty minutes of the day.  If I ever decide to tweet about my 9:10am experience, I will say “at Doctor Coffee with 6 others”.

I get out of the door. The music is left behind. The morning air is fresh. The touch of sunlight is weightless.  And the next 15 busy hours of the day do not seem hard.

Barcelona, October 8th, 2012