It can be so easy to buy a cup of coffee and enjoy is caffeiney goodness without giving it a second thought. But one mum sees it as a practice of mindfulness and gratitude, after going through a period when she couldn't afford to buy herself a cup.
January Harshe shared a photo of herself holding a coffee with a massive grin on her face on Instagram. At first glance, it looked like thousands of other women happily imbibing their morning cup, but the caption gave me chills.
"There was a time where I could not afford coffee," January wrote. "Like literally, even a $4 small can of cheap coffee would have taken away from the food budget we had for the week and could have been four cheap loaves of bread to feed my children, and I could not justify that," she wrote.
January, a mum of six, went on to explain that it took some time for the family's chiropractic business to make enough money to support them. They went through some tough times, but finally, after they opened a second office in Texas, USA, they started to get back on their feet.
January said it was during that time, when they were living in a tiny town with one coffee shop, that she started to buy coffee regularly again. She said she became a regular and would chat to the ladies who worked there – and when she paid $4 or $5 for a cup of coffee, she felt a wave of gratitude that she could do so, every time.
"When you go from having nothing to being able to have these small luxuries again, the humility of the hardships give you a new perspective," she wrote. "Now, even four or five years later, every single time I have a coffee…I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude flow through me."
There are many reasons that I love coffee, but today I would like to share a special one with you. ☕ There was a time where I could not afford coffee. Like literally, even a $4 small can of cheap coffee would have taken away from the food budget we had for the week and could have been four cheap loaves of bread to feed my children and I could not justify that. _ ☕When we moved to a small drive-through town in the pan handle of Texas and opened our chiropractic office, this was actually our second office we opened, we were finally able to get on our feet. It was a wonderful thing for our family. There was one boutique style coffee shop in this small town that had the only espresso machine within a 2-hour driving radius. Let's just say, this place saved my sanity while living there! _ ☕I would go in and chat with the ladies who worked there and order a latte and every single time I paid for a coffee I was overwhelmed with gratitude that I simply could do so. I could not believe that I could actually spend 4-5 $ on a #coffee. When you go from having nothing to being able to have these small luxuries again the humility of the hardships give you a new perspective. _ ☕Now even four or five years later every single time I have a coffee, even if it's a cup I make at home (which really are the best), or this cheap hotel coffee, I have an overwhelming sense of #gratitude flow through me. _ 🌟 I love you. May your coffee or tea or whatever you love be abundant and yummy today. 🦄☕❤️ #loveismyfilter #appreciatethelittlethings
January's story has sparked a flood of "me too" responses from followers, with many sharing their own stories of hardship.
And gosh, I get it too. When I became a single mum of three kids a while back, I had no idea how I was going to make rent or be able to pay for groceries. There were no coffees – there was just survival. But as parents, we do what we need to do. The fact that we are able to find ways to change our situation makes us some of the lucky ones.
January told Babble she couldn't be happier about the response to her post. She also said cutting coffee wasn't the only sacrifice the family made when times were tough. For a while, the family's breakfast every day was the free muffins and bagels in the motel they were staying in.
"I felt so much shame," she said. "I actually didn't eat muffins for a few years after this time in our lives and still cannot look at one without being reminded of walking my children to the tiny lobby to feed them breakfast."
January says that although things are much easier financially for her family now, she hasn't forgotten the tough times, and she makes it a point to be grateful for all they have now.
"It's easy for us to say on social media to 'stay positive!' and 'choose happy!'" January said. "But many people are in a place where getting out of bed and taking care of their minimal responsibilities is all the energy they can manage. It's okay to not be okay."
And even if money is super tight, January says it's important to remember that the best moments in parenting are generally free.
"Remember when you were a child and you just wanted your parent to listen and validate you?" she said. "You can do that and it's free. Even if it's mentally exhausting, keep showing up. And remember, things never stay the same. Change is coming because it's inevitable."
And for now, January is enjoying every single cup of coffee. "Coffee is my sister wife," she joked.
Me too, January.