I had another piece prepared. It was seventy-five percent done and I was struggling; trying to find the perfect combination of sage wisdom and wide-eyed naivety that only a third-year entrepreneur can muster.

I awoke this morning determined to finish the blog and send it on its way, going as far as to tell Alex to work from home. That would do the trick. A little solitude and determination.

I got to the office at 7:15am.

It was quiet. It was the kind of quiet that sounded like productivity. My desk was clean and orderly, having been straightened and wiped down the night before.

I pulled out my ergonomically engineered desk chair and sat down. A squeak greeted me as I leaned back. Exhaling deeply, I felt relaxed. Everything was just right; clean, orderly and quiet. But, still there was something missing.

Coffee! Coffee was the missing ingredient, and the perfect primer to get my creative engine to turn over.

The last drops dripped into the coffee pot at 7:35am.

I approached my computer like I was defusing a bomb, careful not to disturb the simple order of everything. For once, things seemed perfect and easy. And, there’s nothing like writing and drinking a little coffee in the early morning. I felt like a writer.

I picked up my Styrofoam cup and filled my mouth with the strong, black coffee inside. I felt like I finally rolled up to the pumps after driving on ‘E’ for miles and miles. Just as I was registering the deep, rich coffee flavor…

…I coughed. It was 7:37am.

Seconds later, seething with anger and full of rage, I sat frozen in my chair watching a mouthful of coffee drip ever-so-slowly off my monitors, quietly pooling on my formerly pristine desk, soaking into my papers and flowing in and around the keys on my keyboard. Even my wall calendar had Jackson Pollack-like brown speckles distributed at random on the paper.

A low groan escaped my throat as coughs simultaneously sputtered out of my mouth.

My desk lay in waste. My morning and all its promise of productivity torn asunder; drowning in Folgers.

A deep resignation overtook me.

We are not in total control. We cannot curate the perfect environment. We certainly cannot control the involuntary action of a cough. And yet, we still must work. For, work done within the imperfections of the current circumstances is often of greater value, and certainly more well-earned.

With sticky keys and dripping screens, I banged this out, scrapping the previous blog in the process.

It’s 7:56am.