Spilled Coffee, The Forty-Seventh Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal

Janet Zinn
3 min readNov 26, 2023

I spilled my coffee earlier this week. And I then let out a loud string of expletives to vocalize my frustration. I cleaned up the mess and then rushed to work. Not the way I had wanted to start my day. My reaction, though provoked, made it clear that I need some down time. It may not be the vacation that I’ve fantasized, but even an evening in, or a task free afternoon will do at this point.

To that end, this will be a brief post. I will not be replying to comments. I will be choosing to do less. Since I have a history of blurry boundaries, stating this upfront may seem clumsy, but at least I’m stating what I need.

Too many of us, particularly women and marginalized populations, try to keep up, which can keep us down. I invite you to join me in taking time off, even a fifteen-minute break. Perhaps if enough of us did that we would see less negative reactivity in our worlds. Less acting out.

Taking a time out, which for this adult is a gift not a punishment, will allow me the space and time to regroup. So if I spill my coffee again, I may be able to offer one expletive, rather than an endless string. Then I hope to simply get a towel and soak up the liquid.

Self-Care Tips:

· Should you notice you’re more reactive, find time for a short break, or, if possible, take a longer period of time off.

· Before making more commitments, say, “I’ll think about it.” If you’d still like to do it, and it’s not an obligation, you can get back to them and say yes. However, if it doesn’t bring you joy when thinking of the potential commitment, see if you can abstain from saying yes.

· If someone reacts in an upsetting way, try not to join them. Wait until a later date to let them know how that reaction impacted you. This way you have a chance of being heard and understood.

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Janet Zinn

NYC Psychotherapist, writer, wife, mother, & more...