So my wife tells me she is going to make the coffee. It is Dunkin’ Donuts brand- my favorite. She will make this coffee in our new coffee maker we got that is thermal. This means it is in a stainless steel casing to ensure the coffee stays hot hours after you make it. You can’t see the coffee in it, but you don’t really need to see it – so long as you make sure it is empty before you make any.
Amanda goes into the kitchen. She changes the filter and fills it up with fresh Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. She fills up the water reservoir then pushes the brew button. Coffee should be ready very soon.
Moments later – my beloved Amanda yells out for me to hurry to the kitchen. I rush quickly to her aid to see what is wrong. With great distress in her voice Amanda looks at me and says, “Our coffee maker is broken!”
Hot brewed coffee is everywhere. On the counters, on the floor, on the rug – everywhere but where it should be: in my favorite mug.
I quickly begin to clean up the coffee. All the while I am doing so I am thinking how awful it is that our new thermal coffee maker is broken.
I decide to check it out. I figure such an expensive coffee make shouldn’t have broken so quickly. The first thing I do is check the filter. No problem there. Then I check the reservoir but no issue was there. Finally, I grab the thermal pot and coffee comes rushing off the top. Then it hit me.
“Amanda darling?” I asked.
“Yes babe?” She responded.
I continued, “Did you empty the coffee from this morning before you made this pot tonight?”
“No. What did I do?” She asked innocently.
“Sweetheart, the pot was already almost full of coffee from this morning, and the brew you made caused it to overflow. The coffee pot isn’t broken. You just needed to empty the pot before you made it.”
“Oops.” She said. Then we laughed and kissed…. and cleaned up our mess. Afterwards, we sipped on the coffee that survived.
Just like a coffee maker, in life we can only handle so much at a time. When we take on more than we can handle, it ends up creating a big mess that we will have to clean up. There is no shame in telling someone that you can only take on so many things at a time.
Often times, the mess of telling someone “no” when you cannot handle anymore is far more manageable than the mess that occurs when you become overwhelmed by all the responsibility you have taken upon yourself.