2017-01-06 / Columns

Perfect time to try something new

Single Files
Ela Lindsay

Just recently, I ran out of milk for my morning coffee. Who cares? you might ask. I do, because I’ve been drinking the hot brew with some version of white stuff in it since around age 18.

Over the years, I’ve gone through a gamut of additions, from milk — whole, 2 percent, 1 percent and skim — as well as powdered fake creamer, oil-based stuff and half-and-half, until not long ago when I found that dairy products were among a long list of food items that really don’t agree with me.

It›s always amazed me how humans can adapt to their circumstances. For instance, throughout my university days, when the white powder was cheap and easy to keep fresh, my taste buds adjusted to it. Or when I thought skim milk was better for its lower fat content, I was OK with that product as well.

More recently, I even got used to rice- and soy-based milks before I settled on drinking coffee with organic almond milk.

So, as I mentioned earlier, I recently found myself without almond milk for my coffee. Who cares? you might still be wondering. Trust me, there really is a point to all this.

Anyway, it’s not like this hadn’t happened before. Generally I’d just put off having coffee until I managed to get some of the white stuff.

Alas, I’ve become somewhat of a Keurig snob since I discovered the joys of drinking overly priced but yummy individual cups of java squeezed through a system that seems to produce the perfect-for-me cup of coffee. So going a day without the stuff is like “a day without sunshine,” as a TV ad proclaimed back in the day, although I think they were selling orange juice then.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not a caffeine junkie. I really just enjoy starting off a day with one cup of perfectly brewed coffee. And when I ran out of almond milk, I did something totally radical — at least for me. I drank a cup without the stuff!

Guess what? I totally enjoyed the taste of the hot brew. Who knew that without any creamer or milk of any kind, a cup of coffee actually stays hot for a while. What a revelation!

And guess what else? It’s been several weeks now since this epiphany and I haven’t gone back to drinking coffee with milk. It›s really very freeing: No longer do I have to worry about running out of milk, and every day I get to drink a hot cup of coffee.

So here it is, the bottom-line point of it all: In just one day I was able to change a lifelong habit that I never realized was such a limiting belief: that I had to have coffee with something in it. If this is the case, then how many other habits and limiting beliefs am I — are we — operating under, often without even knowing it?

Imagine what we could do if we challenged ourselves to examine things we might do automatically, out of habit, that might be useless or even bad for us. Sure, we all know that smoking, drinking or overdoing a myriad of other things we may have picked up over the years for whatever reasons can be bad for us.

But I think what may even be worse is not taking the time at some point to examine how we live our lives without questioning these things — or anything for that matter. For instance, as a single person, do you really know if you like being on your own? Is it a choice or chance? Do you even know what you do want? Have you taken the time to figure out if you’d want to live your life with someone else again, or are you perfectly happy on your own?

Sometimes we operate on autopilot and assume that our lives, as they are, are what they will always be. However, deep down we also know that the only thing that’s constant is change.

So, although this column is not meant to be about New Year’s resolutions, it is about stopping to consider some of the beliefs and limitations we’ve become used to over the years. Let’s make 2017 about challenging ourselves, reaching out and trying new things so we can be the best we can be, whether we’re single or not. Let’s choose to choose how we live our lives. Happy New Year, everyone!

Ela Lindsay is a single writer in Ventura County. To catch up on her bimonthly columns, visit theacornonline.com. For comments or suggestions, email eLindsay@theAcorn.com.

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