The contentment of rituals; such as, methodically preparing my beloved cup of tea each morning, or routinely getting to my exercise sessions, or scheduling our recurring journeys to Carmel and Napa Valleys bring me joy, relaxation, and serenity; however, challenging that routine is something I force myself to do now and then…comfort is good, ruts are not.
At a recent book group discussion, one member’s comment smacked me across the side of my head like being hit by a 2 x 4. We were having an insightful discussion about the short novel, The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes…a tale of memory and missed opportunities. My friend said that she thought “her life was settled, that nothing new was really going to happen anymore, she was content, she had traveled the world, and that was fine.” I ruminated over her comment for a few days, the Peggy Lee song, Is That All There Is? kept running through my head. For some reason her comment unleashed a determination in me to NOT stagnate or be so predictable, (I am just a little bit predictable 🙂 ). While thrilled with my daily life, I lay awake thinking about what I wanted to do to shake things up.
An evening later, my first opportunity arrived – my brother texted me after 8 p.m. to ask if we wanted to meet him for drinks and oysters – right then – I texted back… “yes” … scurried to change clothes as I was in casual attire and sped down to the harbor to meet him…he was gone – when I called to ask where he was, he was home and said “I never thought you would actually say yes” … (I shocked him 🙂 ) — Next… the feeling of empowerment from that little experience motivated me to give the thumbs up to my husband to book our flights to see my beloved nephew in Portland…( I rather detest flying and had been stalling about going – now that the trip is booked I am so excited and can’t wait to have N. show me his town…there are some great tea shops in Portland too!); and lastly, while online checking out my favorite tea sites, I saw Tea Forte’s Coconut teas…well, I LOVE coconut but normally do not love flavored teas. In the spirit of “going for it” and changing things up a bit, I went for the coconut. The teas arrived … the fragrance is “really” powerful…after steeping a few cups, I will give you my verdict…it may not seem like much, but a small change can go a long way to opening doors…or even just opening one’s own mind a bit more.
Normally I am a pure tea fanatic…meaning that I primarily consume “unflavored, unadulterated, unmanipulated” loose leaf teas which are most often organically grown and hail from respected and renowned tea farms purchased from purveyors I’ve come to trust ( Harney & Sons and Mighty Leaf Teas are two of my favorites).
On this occasion I also ordered my own Kati cup from Tea Forte …I had ordered many but kept giving them away…now I have my own…and even went for their new pan roasted black tea flavored selection.
While I highly doubt that any of these will take over my morning pure black tea steeping ritual…they are fun for the afternoon and can’t wait to try them with my favorite little macaroon recipe using Bob’s Red Mill unsweetened coconut.
Enjoy…and drink tea…even a new variety now and then can be a good thing.