Every Tuesday J will write on a topic of her choice that I will respond to on Wednesday. Every Thursday, I will write on a topic of my choice that she will respond to on Friday. The goal of this little blog banter is to hopefully make the 3000 miles that exist between us feel shorter and keep up the spirit of our frequent tea time dates in San Francisco that I miss so dearly.
So it makes perfect sense that J’s first topic of choice would be tea. We can go into the 8 million reasons why we should all drink tea daily and how amazing it is for your skin, heart, immune system, mood etc… but the real reason I look forward to a cup of tea in the afternoon is because it feels good. When I sit down with a cup of tea it’s associated with either a good book, a good friend, or just a few moments of quiet.
I am and have always been a very anxious person. I’ve read my fair share of books on meditation while taking thorough notes trying desperately to de code the steps to quieting my mind of all the craziness – since I can only function if I have a to do list in front of me…1. Sit in a quiet space…ok…2. close your eyes…got it…3. breath…uh huh…4. keep breathing and focus only on your breath…ok. am I breathing too fast? or maybe too slow…how long have I been here. Probably 10 minutes about…what!? only 2 minutes you’ve got to be joking I could have sworn I have been breathing for 10 minutes…
These attempts consistently become counter productive and I inevitably shut the book in frustration, leave the quiet space I created with colorful pillows and incense I don’t particular like – that will now remind me of my failed attempt at calming myself for the next three days – decide I’ve failed and resign myself to being anxious and crazy forever.
That was until I realized that I do meditate…without even realizing it. Which I think is kind of the point anyway… At least that’s what my notes say. I am not talking about the traditional focus on my breathing kind…but instead the, remove yourself from the chaos of your day and enjoy a cup of tea kind. It’s much easier and to be quite honest no other part of my day allows me the permission to just stop thinking so hard. Whether I am completely enwrapped in the world and problems of another character in the newest novel I’m reading, deep into a nourishing conversation with a great friend that I know will leave me feeling lighter, or simply wrapping my cool hands around a warm mug and enjoying the fact that I am doing something nice for my body in these short moments – my mind is calm. Time seems to stand still for a few minutes and I am able to recharge my battery for the rest of the day. It’s a magical thing. And I am grateful for it.
Right now my favorite tea is the nutty genmaicha green tea J references in her post, or sometimes a simple black tea with lemon and honey is all I crave. I miss my tea time chats with J and look forward to showing her some NYC spots that I know she’ll love. In the mean time, it’s been great being back home, turning off for a few minutes when I can and enjoying afternoon tea with my wonderful mom.
Before I sign off I can’t possibly leave a tea post without mentioning LoveJoys Tea Room in Noe Valley SF. J and I had a very sophisticated, lady like tea date here with some girlfriends that I don’t think I will ever forget! Definitely a bit creepy and hilarious – but totally worth it if you want a REAL tea time experience in San Francisco! I’ll have to find something comparable here in NY before J’s visit.