After all the ways Highlands Ranch, CO designed itself around my convenience, I guess my mind was just not calibrated to appreciate the charms of North Eugene. Oh, I like the second-hand stores, the cheap places to shop, and the trails along the river. It's easy to get on the freeway from here, or up to the mountains, or over to the coast. There are a couple of farm stands nearby where Lane County turns rural... North Eugene is a little bit country (and a little bit rock and roll?)
What I have trouble forgiving, though, is the lack of places on this side of town where you (read: I) can go with a laptop, get on the internet, and work for a few hours away from the house.
Stop me if I've mentioned this before. I have? Oh, I guess I have!
For some reason my narcissistic mind still finds this unforgivable. Libraries, coffee shops, bookstores, where are you? There were six of you within one mile of my house in Highlands Ranch!
Sheesh, guess I've become pretty high maintenance. What happened to the girl who went to Central Asia in the early 90's and shared a dusty house with seven others for several hot summer months with no running water? When did I become so impossible to please?
I was feeling all grumbly about the no-coffeeshop situation again on Monday while driving to one of the places I've sort of settled on when I don't just stay in the house and work at home. Unlike other options, "Vectors Espresso" has free parking, a fairly pleasant ambiance, and plenty of tables, chairs, and power outlets. They don't mind if you stay for a couple hours. They staff are friendly and serve beverages in real cups, not disposable ones. On the other hand, the place is often over air-conditioned, the hours are rather limited, prices are too high, and the shop is a full seven miles from my house (though closer than other comparable places).
On the way there I remembered the area's one-and-only Starbucks. Just as pricy and often crowded, but at five miles off, a little closer to home. It was almost like the Holy Spirit was trying to say something to me... especially when I had no trouble finding a place to sit and plug in, with no one pressuring me to leave, and even discovered funds on an old Starbucks card that reduced the cost of my $3.00 12-oz coffee to only $.57. Took the wind out of my sails - I had to stop my self-righteous internal rant and just send up a humble "thank you." Also got a lot of writing done that day. Which was really the point.
Doing whatever I can to stay motivated, organized, and productive is going to be pretty important this year. I'm still working full-time for the agency ( though I need to give as much of that as I can to support raising) - still managing the ezine (and now with less help than in the past) - and still taking grad school classes (one at a time). Now I've got a second job on top of that. There didn't seem any way around it.
But the new job is such a blessing! I'm doing web-content creation for another ministry that serves the missions community, and it's all right up my alley. Not only will the additional projects help pay our bills, but it forces me to work hard every day. The busy schedule is pushing all those petty complaints like the one about the high price of coffee off my radar screen! Crazy, huh? Knowing there's more expected of me helps me rise to the occasion... brings out the best in me and pushes away the worst. Thank you Lord, for meeting us and providing for us in this new season!