My morning tea is the most tranquil time of my day. Green tea with jasmine, plantation mint, or English Breakfast; no matter the flavor, tea time is my time. No lemon, nor cream, or even sugar, but a small spoonful of delicious local honey and the rest of the world fades away.
Most people dislike Mondays, but I have always loved fresh starts. It is the Tuesday blues that can bring me down. Monday starts the week, Wednesday is the mid-week marker, Thursday means it is almost Friday, and everyone cherishes Friday through Sunday. But Tuesday is a lonely and uncelebrated weekday. I want to use this weekly downtime to cherish simplicity, wellness, good news, and positive psychology.
So on Tuesdays, brew yourself a cup of tea (or coffee or hot cocoa), take a deep breath, relax, and appreciate the good things in life with me. It is time for some Tuesday tea.
Our first Tuesday Tea starts with thankfulness. It is perfect that our November starts with Tuesday because I have been giving a lot of thought to thankfulness lately. Last week as I was driving to the office my power steering kept turning off and on. Then the car started stalling every time I had to stop for a stop sign or red light. I ended up driving right past work and into the Firestone parking lot just in time for opening. Expecting the worst, I was so thankful to discover that my car was not actually dying. Instead, there was a corroded ground wire in my electrical panel. An affordable and easy fix. Phew! I drove home in my car feeling so appreciative to all that I have. Although eleven years old and missing a lot of paint on the hood, my car drives like a dream and will hopefully last a long time more. It gives me the freedom and independence to go wherever I need to go. I was overwhelmed with gratitude.
I don’t own a house, but I enjoy my apartment. I am so fortunate to have a roof over my head and the opportunity to work in order to keep it there. When the weather turned chilly I was able to buy myself some warm sweaters and pants. Something that a few years ago I would have struggled to purchase and would have skipped to make sure I could afford groceries or rent. It is so easy to want more, especially this time of year when advertising becomes more aggressive over the holidays.
Stores are open later and black Friday looms ahead. Instead of being with their families, people are out consuming or working so people can buy, buy, buy. It never sat well with me that the most thankful day of the year is so quickly followed by the greediest day of the year. I refuse to participate.
Feeling gratitude for the wonderful gifts (people, experiences, and creature comforts) in our lives is so important for our happiness and wellbeing all year long, but this month in particular I want to steal back from the retail industry. I am officially declaring all of November thankfulness month. This October I took inventory of my closet to make sure I had enough warm clothes to last me through a full week of work and picked up a couple more sweaters. But my promise for November is to only spend money on necessities and to distinguish between wants and needs. It is going to be a no-spend November.
In addition to growing my savings account and decreasing what I spend, I will be practicing gratitude. Instead of wasting time desiring new trendy winter boots, I will be thankful for the warm and comfortable boots that I already have. Instead of buying a new winter coat I can easily resew the buttons on my old one and have it freshened up at the local dry cleaners. Instead of buying a new book I can read an unread book from my home book case or reread an old favorite. After all, thats why I kept it, right? Instead of going out to the movies I can watch a favorite DVD that I already own. Instead of going out to eat, I can make a home cooked meal from ingredients that have been sitting in my kitchen cabinets.
Instead of going out to run useless errands I will have more time to appreciate the life I have right now and the people that make it worth while. Perhaps with all this extra time you will be able to remove all the clutter of the things that you don’t need or want anymore, giving yourself more space and peace of mind.
What are you thankful for? Instead of wishing for more, what do you have right now that you are taking for granted? Do you have credit card debt for items that don’t add value to your life? Is that debt making you have to work and stress more? What else can you be doing with that time and money?
I hope that this inspires you practice thankfulness all throughout November. Maybe you’ll even take the pledge to take back your life and happiness this month by only spending money and time on necessities instead of desiring more things. I hope you start your day on a positive note. It is Tuesday. Let’s enjoy it!
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