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A new coffee shop experience

I’m at my favorite local coffee joint, Jittery Joe’s (which is now opening franchises around, though the Five Points location in Athens shall never be beat!). Back when I used to visit Athens to see my sister or my friends, I’d come here. Once I moved here in 2004, I took up residence here a few nights a week to do research, to work on grad school papers, and to socialize.

Things are different now. I finished grad school two years ago and hardly visit cafes nowadays. I brought a bunch of books and references for the article I should* have done already, but instead I’m sitting here thinking of how things have changed.

1. I ordered a decaf coffee and didn’t put any sugar in it. This is the new Janet who’s trying to only have caffeine when she needs to kick a faint Migraine out of the picture.

2. I am google searching for information on Migraine and drug side effects instead of trying to surreptitiously visit social networking sites to waste time.

3. My forearms and hands feel numb from the Imitrex I had to take a couple of hours ago before my evening job began. I can’t type as accurately or as quickly when my fingers feel drugged.

4. I’m afraid I don’t have the concentration and procrastination-fueled fervor that once accompanied coffee shop trips and waiting ’til the last minute.

5. I’m stealing glances at the girls who are working behind the espresso machine. One has hair down past her butt. It’s beautiful and shiny and it’s a difficult hairdo to pull off, but she does it! I know I could never have this hair, as it would weigh on my head. The other girl has her blond hair in a high ponytail–this style, which took me quite a while to master when I was young, is now not in the realm of possibilities for me, as after ten minutes the scalp and head pain would drive me crazy. Even releasing my hair from such a constraining hairdo leads to aches when my hair suddenly bends in a different direction. This all leaves me wondering what I’ll do when I have to put my hair up in an up ‘do for my friend’s wedding Saturday. Aah!

*A great post I read somewhere recently discussed the need to have fewer (if any) shoulds in your life. “Oh, I should be working. I should call my cousin. I should do the dishes.” These seemingly obligatory duties weigh on us more and more when what we could be doing is focusing on what we have been able to do and what we have accomplished. The original piece I read was more eloquent, but I can’t find it!

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  • themigrainegirl
    12 years ago

    Thanks for your heartfelt responses, Rachel & Amber. They cheered me. (And now I *could* start changing my vocabulary a bit!)


  • Amber
    12 years ago

    My migraines aren’t chronic, but I do get them a couple of times a month and they suck, so I can relate. Right now I am sitting in bed because my skin hurts. That used to happen only when I was recovering from a migraine, but lately it’s started to come on without a migraine at all. I just googled and found out that the allodynia can happen without a headache (good, because I thought maybe I was imagining it) and that it sometimes is a sign that your migraines will become more frequent or severe (not good, obviously). Great.

    Anyway, in response to what you said about “shoulds,” I read something that I liked in a new-agey book (the book was about feng shui, so I’m not sure what this advice had to do with rearraging my furniture). The author said that it’s good to replace “should” with “could” in your mind — so instead you’d say, “I *could* do some work,” “I *could* call my cousin,” “I *could* do the dishes.” It sounds kind of corny, but it does help me think of things as options instead of obligations to feel guilty about.

  • rachel
    12 years ago

    i can hear the sadness in your post, so thought i’d send you a note to cheer you up. i’ve had a migraine and has come and gone for the past week… i’ve cancelled plans and barely made it to work… i’ve hidden this from friends b/c i don’t want to annoy them with constant complaining.

    i started to go down that “look at everything i can’t do/look at everything that has changed in my life since migraines” path, and it really dragged me down.

    yes, this is cliche, but try to think of all you’ve accomplished and the problems you don’t have instead… so you have a grad degre! that’s great! i didn’t go to med school b/c of my migraines and dropped out of law school b/c of my migraines as well. sometimes that really gets me down… but i remind myself that i DID manage to get a masters, and i don’t know ONE of my friends that would have had the strength to get through grad school by themselves with a serious health condition. we ROCK! 🙂

    hang in there!

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