Written by Gregg Taylor

I haven’t been able to get to my coffee shop office this week, and may not, due to other work and life commitments. As I came to realize this, I felt sad, and a bit out of sorts, and decided to make those feeling the subject of this today’s post. What are these feelings? Are they normal? Am I just a coffee and coffee shop addict? Or is there something more to this, something of greater significance?

Part of what I’m feeling, I realize, is the disruption of my routine – and working at the coffee shop once or more per week has become just that. I like routine, and knowing I can get away from the office, and work near home, is quite comforting. It’s time carved out just for me; time to work quietly away on projects that are difficult to get done when competing with interruptions at the office and chores to be done at home.

Another dimension, I realize, is that I’ve made friends and business acquaintances with the people who frequent my coffee shop too, and I feel like I’m somehow missing out on connecting with my neighbourhood community. With some people, I have the simple and low key ‘friendly smile and nod’ relationship – we’ve seen each other often, we’ve perhaps traded brief pleasantries, but otherwise we leave each other to our work. Others I have spoken to about work, life, and of course, this blog, and each time we meet we trade a quick update about our work and progress, and feel good about connecting, even if only briefly. And then there are those few that I’ve had a chance to talk to on several occasions about work, life and challenges, people I feel an affinity with, perhaps even as casual friends.

In earlier posts, Lori and I have written about the social concept of Third Spaces, those places that are not home and not work, but other comfortable meeting places where you feel an affiliation, community connection and sense of belonging. It’s the bar on Cheers, the diner on Happy Days.

Life is made up of many social networks and relationships. Perhaps these are not as significant as those with my family, or as important to maintain as my long term colleagues and staff at work. None the less, I’m glad to have my coffee shop office and the people who hang out there as a component of my sense of belonging in a world where knowing your neighbours no longer happens as naturally or freely as in times gone by.

So – – somewhat addicted to coffee? Yes.  Am I normal? Yes, and happy to recognizeand appreciate  those little things that make life good.

Q: If you are away from your coffee shop office for a few days, do you suffer from withdrawl?

Thanks for dropping by and I’ll save your seat until next time!