You definitely do. It’s why you’re reading this. And you don’t do it intentionally, it’s not an abusive relationship or anything… although there is an element of neglect involved. Don’t worry, no accusations here. Just narrowed eyes.
So, it got to a point where I could no longer justify ignoring certain truths. One specific truth was my spiraling sugar consumption. Our brains are wired to like sweet things and like them I did. I get wistful just thinking about my former buzzed-out self munching on the sweetest, milkiest breads and biscuits and guzzling it all down with even sweeter milky teas. And Boba. Pupils dilating, heart rate soaring, I would then talk in my outside voice for hours before crashing on the sofa, crying and clawing at my bemused spouse to fix me.
How dare you judge me.
After much soul-searching to overcome this… admittedly embarrassing state of being, I am now left with the singular daily sugary pleasure of my life being a cup of tea with a single teaspoon of sugar. And I take this tea very seriously. Its preparation is a simple but essential ritual of boiling water, pouring water, steeping teabag and adding milk. And then, when it is time, I add the sugar. I first delicately hover the spoon above the tea and gently dip it in, allowing the sugar to slowly soak into the tea. I like to watch the white sugar turn brown and dissolve into my brew. There is a purpose to this. It is the reclamation of whatever the day has taken from me. It is recompense for my toils and a place for rebalance and reconnection. A post-dinner treat to soothe the mind. I take my first sip right there in the kitchen. Just to check. Yes… I am transported.
I bring my reward to the coffee table, switch on a YouTube video I’ve already seen a dozen times* and sink deeply into my lumpy sofa. By my third sip, I have switched off from the world and entered my television. I feel the shackles of the world leave me and sink deeper into the sofa. I become one with it.
I check the tea and there is still some left. Another joyous slurp? Don’t mind if I-NOOO! Cold, alien liquid slides down my throat. The bitter aftertaste of failure.
I am plunged into a familiar well of despair.
My tea is cold.
A ritual wasted, a chance at reconnection lost.
My first feeling is, indeed, one of loss. Loss at my chance of returning to my true state of being. Yet another thing the day has taken from me. The china mug clasped in my hands feels cold. I look down – it’s still half full – and feel the weight of my neglect. Death is right. I have killed this tea. I look towards the microwave. Reheated tea is soulless. It is the reanimated corpse of what was the true, living tea. I won’t do it. Not for tea this cold… it’s too late.
I need more tea… but only half a cup left. How do I proceed? Make another cup, half of which will meet the same fate? Or a bitter half cup? Perhaps I deserve bitterness. All choices lead to waste and haven’t I wasted enough? Haven’t I robbed myself of enough today? No. I will live with this.
I place the mug back on the coffee table with a sad *clink*, hang my head in my hands and stick my bottom lip out in a pure expression of sorrow.
I need sugar…
Do you sugar? Do you tea? Do you sugar in tea? Do you drink the cold tea like an animal?
Do you use a microwave to become a necromancer of tea?
*Currently, it’s this video by Jenny Nicholson. It’s my self-care.
If you’re more an email person, join my mailing list. I post weekly-ish. I promise I won’t spam you.
Or read some recent posts that I am quite proud of:
- Do you ignore your tea until it gets cold?3 min quickie about when your tea goes cold. Heavy journalistic stuff. Proceed with caution.
- I took a week off work, but it didn’t change my life.5 min read about expecting too much from yourself because #alwaysbehustlin’
- My Sunday evening: doomscrolling, taking offense and yogaQuickie 2 min read about that dread you feel every Sunday evening.
- Was Valentine’s Day even relevant in the pandemic?Defending Valentine’s Day for 7 minutes straight. 7 mins of reading I mean.
- What school assignment still haunts you? Mine is the Tiger EssayGorgeous 10 min read about a formative childhood experience. With #siblinggoals