I bet when Sharon Draper, a writer and educator, wrote “joy comes in sips”, she was oblivious to a world where coffee is served sip by sip! Alright, maybe 3 sips at a time. Well, I happen to come from that world. Even when Starbucks took Kuwait by storm sometime in the 1990s, with people walking around with their tall paper cups, somehow, turned into a familiar sight, this new way of enjoying coffee never did succeed in replacing the old tradition of serving Arabic coffee sip by sip. Instead, it was simply perceived as just another way to enjoy coffee.
I moved to Seattle in 2012 to pursue my graduate studies in electrical engineering at the beautiful University of Washington (UW). The love for coffee permeated the whole city, and there was a Starbucks in every corner—that was something Kuwait and Seattle had in common. But, one thing was different. Seattleites always seemed to be on the go, running around with their cups of coffee, heading somewhere. Driven by fancy, I followed some of them to find them eating their sandwiches in front of their computers while engaged in some work during their lunch break. I couldn’t comprehend that sense of urgency that drove one to inhale a sandwich in front their computer, not leaving their systems even for a short break!
While I used to complain about how the pace in Kuwait was very slow, and that time didn’t seem to mean anything to anyone, the pace in Seattle was all too fast to me. I’ve heard that things move faster in New York. This observation was quite funny to me because I could still hear the voice of my dad in my head, reminding me to slow down every once in a while. I think it will come as a surprise to him that I am slower than everyone in this new world.
I certainly don’t suggest that one should religiously practice “Hanami“, or wander aimlessly through parks. If so, I wouldn’t have been left with enough time to graduate with an engineering degree, let alone work on my Ph.D. But I believe there’s always time to appreciate the blooming flowers on my way to school, or take a scenic route to the gym to get a glimpse of Mountain Rainier on a beautiful sunny day. What I’m trying to say is there’s always time in a day to spend reflecting on the little things we come across.
This blog is about taking joy in reflecting on the little details in life as those little details, in my humble opinion, are what make up the beautiful painting we call life.