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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Take a Moment to Enjoy Your Tea. (BTW a moment is exactly a minute and a half...in case you were wondering)

La vie est trop courte...life is too short. That's what it says on the frame around my license plate. Maybe you've wondered. It's French. I love all things French. Yes, even the people. Funny thing about French people, they can sit at a cafe for hours sipping the same cup of coffee. The French have a certain joie de vivre: joy of life. They relax and enjoy the fresh air while they sip their coffee. They chat with friends and really enjoy their time at that cafe. I find this inspiring. As an American, I don't have time to do this. We never have time for anything do we? To read a book, cook a healthy dinner, call our friends, exercise....the list goes on and on. We just don't have time. How come the French have the time, but we don't? Don't they have children and schedules and meetings? We need to learn how to stop and sip our coffee. To smell the aroma before we take a sip. Hold it in our mouths. Let the flavors linger over our taste buds. Take a moment to think about where that coffee came from. Lets say it's free trade, shade grown organic coffee. Imagine the little coffee plants, absorbing the energy from the sun to make the sugars that allow its flowers to grow and bloom. Imagine the beautiful butterflies that drink the nectar of its tiny white flowers carrying the pollen to fertilize the plant. Imagine the fertilized flower shriveling up and giving way to the beans that will soon be harvested and ground up to make the flavorful mixture that is currently dancing over your taste buds. Imagine how the water that is absorbed through the roots has been cycled around by nature for the 4+ billion years of Earth's existence. You could go on to think about where the cream and sugar originated. Think about how you came to be at this moment with all the elements and people around you. Take stock and be grateful. Take a deep breathe. Inhale the aroma again. Hold it. Release all the tension of your body as your exhale.  THIS... C'est la joie de vivre.

I don't drink coffee. That's a lie actually. I will drink it if it has enough sugar, milk and flavoring to drown out the taste of the coffee. I prefer tea. All kinds of tea. I'm not talking about infusions like peppermint and chamomile. They have their place, but I LOVE real tea: green tea, white tea, or black tea. So instead of sipping coffee, I sip tea. After my kids go to bed, I sit on my worn out couch with my amazing husband. I feel a calm come over me. I let the tea take over and the tension of the day melts away. Granted, I don't spend hours sipping. Not sure how the French get past the fact that hot beverages get cold. And I need to get to bed by 10 if I am going to of any use to anyone the next day. But these are the moments of joy that give life color. Taking time to really be in the moment, revelling in the pleasure of a simple gift of nature. This is the secret to happiness. It's the accumulation of joyful moments that make a person's life fulfilling. It's up to you to find the simple pleasures and take advantage of them. Life IS short, but if we can grab hold of a moment here and there, it can be short but full.

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