I should have cleaned my espresso machine this weekend. I normally do without fail every other weekend, but I got wrapped up in this Hackathon and failed to prioritize it. Result: my espresso this week doesn’t taste as good as usual. It’s not that big a deal, but it builds up, and as stale flavors increase in the coffee it becomes more and more noticeable — and makes me more and more annoyed with myself for not following my usual routine.
My dad used to quote famous pianist Artur Rubinstein on this — it went something like
If I miss a day of practice, I know it.
If I miss two days, the critics know it.
If I miss three days, my audience knows it(Turns out this was probably either Franz Liszt or Anton Rubinstein, hilariously, and is nowhere attributed to Artur Rubinstein who was not related to Anton. Dad was not one to let silly facts get in the way of a good story.)
Anyway something similar applies to the coffee machine: The longer I go past the regular cleaning date, the more people can tell the coffee has nasty stale overtones.
Unsurprisingly, I am going to use this as a metaphor for life. People require regular maintenance, cleaning, and refreshing. If they don’t get it their work becomes stale and unpalatable. I’m pretty good about remembering to provide this kind of thing for the folks who work for me, but not so good about providing it for myself. Not that I don’t take plenty of vacations (I am famous for this), but between them I have a bad habit of just never stopping.
There are so many things to do, and so little time to do them in…