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Posts Tagged ‘tea’

Waking up when I wanted to, not when the alarm clock told me it was time.

A good morning hug and the sound of an egg cooking in the pan.

A trip to the grocery store with a hot cup of tea and a list; no rush, no panic, just a relaxing spin up and down the aisles.

All of my chores done by 2:00 and a day sunny and warm enough to finally head outside.

A walk around the block with my daughter, just far enough ahead of me on her scooter to pretend she’s on her own, but still stopping every now and then to turn around and make sure I was there.

scooter

A day warm enough to take a deep breath and fill my lungs with fresh air.

A sky blue enough to look up and appreciate what is yet to come.  The trees are still bare but they hold in them the hope of more warm days to come.  After so much cold and grey and dark, spring may finally be here.

blue sky and tree

Home for a cup of tea in a fancy cup and saucer, with nothing more to celebrate than making it through another week, and learning to appreciate a good day, however and whenever it comes.

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‎My kids are safe, and for at least the next half an hour, not my responsibility at all.

There is no where else I’m supposed to be. No errands, no meetings, nothing on my calendar except this.

There is nothing else I’m supposed to be doing. No chores, no Christmas things, no wrapping, no list making.

So I will just be.

I will just sit here on this bench and drink my tea all the way to the bottom while it’s still hot enough to burn my tongue.

In a little while there will be kids to watch and places to go and things to do. But that’s for later.

Not now. All I have to do right now is be.

Just be.

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A big thank you to Leslie for sending along this idea!

“List ten things you love and ten things you hate. Celebrate the former and ‘kill’ the latter by writing about them.”

It probably says something about my personality that when I first read this suggestion I wondered how I would only come up with ten things that I hate.  I am the kind of person for whom a lot of things rub me the wrong way.  Maybe I’ll have to do that part of the writing prompt more than one time!

Okay, so here it goes!

I love

1) I love the smell in the air after it rains.  Sometimes I stand outside my front door and just inhale.  I try not to think to much about what my neighbours must think of me.

2) I love getting mail from friends.  I have a couple of great people in my life who send me cards sometimes and I hope they know how much I love them.  I love to see my name hand written on the outside of an envelope when I open my mail box.  I love that someone took the time to pick out a card they thought I would like, write something sweet inside, riffle through their purse to find a stamp, and walk to the mail box to send it off to me.  That says love to me.

3) I love watching the previews in the movie theatre.  I love getting lost in the little stories and picking out which ones I want to see next.  I can’t be friends with anyone who doesn’t want to be there in time to watch the previews.  Sorry.  Deal breaker.

4) I love walking through the office supply aisle at Target.  I love looking at all of the different colour Post-It notes and thinking about all the places I would post them.  I love flipping through the journals, running my hands over the untouched pages and hearing the crack of the unopened spine.  I imagine all of the things I would write in there.

5) I love when my hubby or one of my kids reaches out to hold my hand, all on their own, just because they want to.  The way they do it without even looking because they know that my hand will be there, just where they expect it to be, whenever they need it.

6) I love being in the car by myself on a warm Spring day, the windows cracked, the radio just a little bit louder than necessary, singing off-key to some cheesy boy-band song.  I love feeling grown-up enough to have a car that I can drive and somewhere to go, without having to be an adult, shushing the kids in the back so I can hear the latest traffic report.

7) I love the first sip of a cup of tea.  No matter if it’s first thing on a cold morning, driving to the train station, or last thing on a summer night, listening to the rain bounce off the roof.  The first sip always makes me stop, close my eyes, and just enjoy.  Suddenly I’m eight years old again, home sick from school with my mom and sharing a cup while she lets me watch As The World Turns, feeling so special and loved.

8) I love bubble baths, the hotter and bubblier the better.  There’s just something about sliding down into that hot water and feeling the worries and tension just soak from my body that makes everything seem easier.  I’m sure none of the world’s problems have ever been solved in a bubble bath, but I’m just as sure that none of them were made any worse.

9) I love the feeling when I finish an amazing book and I just want to tell everyone I know to go and read it.  And then I want to sit in a room filled with those people and talk about all the things we loved about it.  I love getting to the last page and being glad to have reached the end but also totally devastated because it means I can no longer live in the world the book created for me and have to, instead, return to real life.

10) I love candles.  I used to buy them and then leave them in my closet to collect dust because I thought it was decadent to burn them.  I don’t think that anymore.  I light a candle almost every night after dinner, whenever I have a bubble bath, and some nights while I read a few pages before I go to sleep.  Something about the smell – I especially love any of the scented ones that smell like baked goods – just relaxes me and forces me to take a moment just to breath and quiet the commentary in my head.  I burn them all the time and when it has been burned all it can, I don’t feel guilty about having used it up, instead I celebrate the fact that it means I get to go pick out a new one.

I hate

1) I hate folding laundry.  I don’t mind putting the stuff in the washing machine and can usually remember to move it from the washer to the dryer but when I hear the buzzer go to tell me it’s time to fold, I can’t help but say a few bad words.  How does everything that goes into the machine right-side out come out of the dryer inside out?  Why are there always socks missing?  I mean seriously, where do they go???  And perhaps the worse part is that I know, as I stand there folding shirt after shirt, I know it’s not the end.  I still have to put them all away.  Hatred, pure hatred.

2) I hate people who walk slowly.  I am a fast walker and I’m not saying that everyone needs to walk as quickly as I do but really, if you can’t keep up can you at least move over to the side??  I don’t care if I don’t even have anywhere to go, I still need to get there quickly!

3) I hate french toast.  I hate that everyone acts surprised when I say I hate french toast, like I just said I hate babies or sunshine.  I don’t like bread dipped in egg okay?  If I wanted eggs and toast I would cook them separately, not together in the same pan, smushed together.  Get over it.

4) I hate the way people order non-fat lattes at Starbucks and then ask for whipped cream.  Really??  You didn’t want all of the fat in your latte, you’d prefer to just add it on top?  Give yourself (and all of us) a break and just treat yourself.  Go full fat once in awhile and don’t make apologies.  It will stop those of us in line behind you from having to roll our eyes at you.

5) I hate fake.  I hate people who hide behind fake instead of letting the rest of us see what’s really going on with them.  If you want to pretend you’re happy all the time, loving every minute of being a wife, being a mother, being a friend, being a daughter, then that’s your own business but I don’t have to go along with it.  Fake is boring.  Fake isn’t even worth commenting on.  If you want to be real, if you want to share what’s really going on and what you’re really feeling then I will be here, every minute of the day, 2 in the morning, whatever.  I have all the time in the world if you want to be real; but I don’t have time for fake.

6) I hate feeling out of place.  I hate not knowing where to stand or what to wear or which words to say.  I hate feeling like I don’t know what’s going on, or wondering if I’m doing it all wrong.  I realize this is a horrible thing to hate because consistent with trying anything new is the idea that there is going to be a period of time when I don’t know what I’m doing, but I hate it nonetheless.

7) I hate being late.  I can literally feel the tension in my body as the clock ticks closer and closer to the time I’m supposed to be somewhere.  I usually end up feeling slightly ill if I end up arriving after the time I’m supposed to.  In conjunction with this, I hate it when other people are late.  I know there are justifiable and unavoidable reasons why people are sometimes delayed but it still completely irks me.

8) I hate feeling like I have let someone down.  I hate thinking that somewhere out there might be a friend who wonders if I care for them, or a loved one who wonders if I think of them at all.  I hate knowing that I can’t be there for someone when they need me, or that there’s something about me that makes others not want to share what they’re feeling.  Because sometimes I feel all of those things and I know it’s not a nice way to feel.

9) I hate pants that gape at the back.  I hate the fact that people who make pants can’t grasp the fact that 99% if women’s waists are smaller than their hips, whether the woman is a size 5 or a size 15.  Why can’t they get that?  Why can’t they make pants that fit?  If it’s a physical impossibility then why don’t they put those elastics in the waists of women’s pants that you can adjust, like they do with kids pants?  We can put people on the moon and make chewing gum that tastes like key lime pie but this, this we can’t do??

10) I hate radio call-in shows.  They physically make my skin crawl.  As soon as I hear the words “Dave from Oakville, you’re in the air” my throat starts to close up and my arms start to itch.  I don’t know why.  I don’t know what it is about them that I hate so much but I do.  And now they even have call-in shows on tv, as if just listening to them wasn’t enough, now we get to see them.  There’s one on tv now where people call in and ask a guy about buying a car.  So now Dave from Oakville wants to buy a 2005 Honda Civic and wants to know how much he should pay.  Oh the agony.

I have to say, this exercise was quite an eye-opener.  I thought it would be easy to come up with ten things I hate but it actually took me way more time than the ten things I love.  It was also interesting to actually sit for a minute and ask myself what I love.  No one ever really asks that, do they?  And yet is there really anything that says more about us as people than what we love.

Maybe next time I’m having tea with a friend I’ll ask them, and actually sit back and listen because if we really love someone, shouldn’t we also care about and nurture the things they love?  I mean people are usually more than willing to volunteer to tell us about the things they hate, I for one know that I share that information more than others probably wish I would, but how often do we talk about what we love?

Thanks again for sending this along Leslie, this was a great one!

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I stood in line, slightly overwhelmed by the fact that everyone around me seemed to know exactly what they were doing. I scanned the wall with the seemingly-endless array of selections and I wondered again what I was doing there.

I looked down and saw the coupon clutched in my hand. That’s what I was doing there. They sucked me in with a coupon for a free cup of tea so here I was, feeling overwhelmed and also feeling ridiculous about the fact that I was feeling overwhelmed.

I like the idea of drinking fancy tea. And by fancy tea I mean loose tea with those ridiculous sounding names that are made up of rose petals and wood pieces that look surprisingly similar to the chips that line hamster cages.

I like the idea of being the kind of person who drinks fancy tea. Row after row of neat metal tins lined up on a shelf in my kitchen. I don’t have a shelf in my kitchen for tea but I like the idea of having the shelf. I like the idea of choosing a different one each day depending on my mood, scooping a scented spoonful into one of those mesh balls and bobbing it up and down rhythmically in a steaming cup of hot (but not too hot) water.

I like the idea of carrying around a clear glass travel mug that shows off the colour of my fancy tea to the whole world so they can know that I’m the kind of person who drinks loose tea and all of the things that go with it.
But, as I quickly discovered as I went through the agonizing process of ordering a simple cup of tea, although I like the idea of it, the reality is something very different.

I finally selected a tea from the wall of jars based only on the fact that it was one of the few names I recognized. I told the friendly girl behind the counter that ‘no’ I didn’t want anything in it because I thought that’s what I was supposed to say when really I wanted it loaded full of milk and sugar.

I handed over my coupon and slunk out of the store, in such a hurry that I forgot to grab a sleeve for the cup and realized too late that it was actually too hot to carry without one. So there I was, walking through a busy shopping area holding my fancy tea by the lid and balancing it with one finger on the bottom.

It was not at all what I thought it would be.

When it finally cooled a bit I took it to the kitchen area at work and filled it up with four of those little milk containers and two heaping teaspoons of sugar.

Better.

I managed to drink it all, but it was not nearly as good as the idea I had of it had been. It’s just not for me. I guess I’m the kind of person who likes my tea in bags, that come from boxes marked with names like “Tetley” and “Red Rose.” Nothing fancy, and without a single rose petal or hamster shaving in sight.

Now that’s my idea of a good cup of tea.

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“Do one thing a day that scares you.”  For some reason this quote has been following me around.  Every where I look I see those black and red lululemon bags and that one statement seems to catch my eye each and every time.

Then today, I finally took a few minutes to think about what it means.  I wondered when the last time was that I did something that scared me.

Then I realized I did something today that scares me, and yesterday, and the day before that.

On the surface, when I thought about doing something that scares me I would think of rock climbing or scuba diving or holding a snake.  Something big; something I would never normally consider doing.  And then when I thought about it for another minute, I realized that since becoming a parent, fear is a constant in my life, every day, every minute of every day.

Today I did something that scares me.  Today I kissed my kids goodbye and sent them out into the world; I sent them off to school and hoped that they wouldn’t be bullied or teased or hurt.  I put them in a car and said a small prayer that they would be safe, that the person driving on the road with them wouldn’t be texting or talking or falling asleep.

I yelled goodbye to my husband on my way out the door, trying not to think about what would happen if he didn’t come home that night.  Because if I did, if I actually thought about all of the things that I do everyday that scare me, I wouldn’t be able to function.  I would surround myself with my loved ones and forbid them from going outside, from answering the door, from doing anything.  And we all know that’s not any way to live.

Doing something that scares me is not the issue.  For me, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, the difficulty is doing something each day that I enjoy, something that allows me to forget about the fear and the responsibilities and the “what-ifs” that are my near-constant companions.

As a parent, a wife, a daughter, a friend, I feel like some days I spend every minute of every day doing something for someone else; thinking about other people; doing things to make someone else happy.  Coupled with all of the time I spend trying to avoid the bad things, there is rarely any time left for the good things, even one little good thing just for me.

Enough.

Here and now I am making a promise to myself that I will do something each day that I enjoy.

I will sit and have a cup of tea and drink it all the way to the bottom before it gets cold.  I will curl up in a cozy chair and read 15 pages of my book, uninterrupted.  I will paint my nails.  I will paint them once and if I change my mind about the colour I will start over and paint them a different colour.  I will laugh out loud at a joke, even if it’s maybe a little bit inappropriate and probably a lot offensive.  I will go for a walk – not to the store to get milk because we’re running low – but just a walk, without any destination in mind.  I will talk on the phone with a friend, hear a kind voice and the miraculous sound of someone laughing at my ridiculous jokes.  I will write – not necessarily anything good – but words on a page that make me feel good.

Do one thing each day that you enjoy.

Now there’s a quote I’d put on a tote bag.

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