Well, my little universe is in balance again. And by that, I mean, the scale has been tipped to the other side entirely, the side in which discipline wins and self control reigns and I’ve been eating raw carrots for lunch.
I have always lived in a world of extremes. Ken calls me ‘All or nothing,’ and he says it with a smile unless we’re arguing, and then he says it with a sigh. But he’s right – I am so very all or nothing. In my own life, it’s black or white. In or out. Yes or no.
Coffee or tea.
This is how I’m wired, how I’ve always been wired. As a child, if I couldn’t find the yellow crayon in which to draw a rainbow, well then – no rainbow. I’ll draw the frog, please. Or perhaps a rose.
It’s a system that I’ve learned to master. I can beat myself at my own game, vacillating between extreme practices any month of the year.
December was a month for letting go of myself. For relaxation, of indulgence, of celebration and Yes! Sure! I’ll bring mimosas!
January is a month for taking care of myself. For doing the hard things I’m out of the habit of doing: 5am alarms, long mornings spent in book edits, clean eating, No thanks on the wine.
But there’s always a gray area, isn’t there? An in between?
I happen to have two gray areas, of course:
In December, letting go of myself meant a yoga indulgence in the morning; a reading siesta in the afternoon.
In January, taking care of myself means the same.
I have since, just last week, added a third:
I have not been in the practice of drinking tea, not entirely. I’ll have it if it’s served, if it’s offered, if I have a cold. But it’s January, and I’m taking care of myself. I know of the immense health benefits tea holds, and I know it’s a wise replacement for my evening wine ritual. And so, I heat the kettle.
I have heard before that the best way to begin a new ritual, to replace an old habit, is to introduce novelty. Want to start writing? Visit a new coffee shop to plug in. Feel like waking up an hour earlier? Change your alarm’s ringtone. Trying to kick the habit of turning on the TV to entertain your kid? Move the TV to a different room.
And, as it turns out, if you want to become a tea lover, try a different way.
No messy loose leaves. No tea bags to steep. Just hot water and organic tea crystals and a strong, intense flavor handcrafted by renowned tea master Roy Fong.
It is, in short, delicious. You can try it here if you’d like (a week’s supply for free!).
There is only a week left in January. My “nothing” month of self discipline, of boundaries, of intense focus is ending, and I’m thinking ahead. Which habits might I fall out of, and which might I fall into?
Will it be an “all” month? A “nothing” month?
Both, I’ve decided.
Neither, I’ve decided.
There will be yoga, there will be reading. There will be writing to do, adoption progress to make, laundry to fold. There will be toddler stories to listen to, stories of hedgehogs and trees and rowboats.
There will be focus and not, relaxation and not.
Tea and not.
But there will be tea.
I suppose I don’t have to label it anything at all. It will be life. A spilled-out life of all and none; a filled-up life of nothing and everything.
All and nothing.