I began writing this post in Edinburgh while delighting in the tea time I manufactured for myself on the train back to London. That morning, I bought a spelt scone at Loudon’s, a truly incredibly bakery / eatery with the sweetest staff in the university neighborhood. Now, I’m at Le Pain Quotidien before a Soul Cycle class + grad school + after my first day back at work after spring break. Needless to say, this feels as different from lounging on a train for four hours as possible. I am enjoying a different kind of spelt scone just because it looked the best, and I am sipping Earl Grey tea that is not nearly as good as the Yorkshire tea I got on the train, but it is Earl Grey and it is 4pm and my body now craves tea time for its calming and re-setting properties more than anything else.
Upon returning from the U.K., I started reading Choosing the Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman’s Guide by Sharon Ables. The nature of the book is permission-giving. Where Ables identifies herself as a Francophile, I now absolutely identify myself as an Anglophile. Judging from her book, one thing the French and English seem to have in common is the enjoyment of simple pleasures / luxuries as a way of resetting the day. And, in order to preserve those simple luxuries, boundaries are necessary. And, oh, how much easier boundaries are when there is nothing pushing against them! And, oh, how vital they are when there is.
Once you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you can more easily establish the areas in which you are willing to be a bit more flexible and those on which you need to stand firm.
Establishing your boundaries in life is one of the healthiest and simplest things you can do to prevent frustration. And the only way to truly know where your boundaries are is to take time to be by yourself. What are you unwilling to compromise on because it is at the core of your values and beliefs? What can you give a little on and not feel as though you have lost a piece of yourself?
What do boundaries have to do with tea time, you might ask? Everything! Healthy boundaries have everything to do with tea time! Tea time – taking 15 minutes, a half hour, 45 minutes, whatever as long as it is something – to stop what you are doing, pour a cup of tea and bite into some fuel while the day still is, believe it or not, young, is totally revolutionary. The experience requires a thoughtful pause to luxuriate in the sensuous.
So take this post as permission because sometimes, even though we don’t, a busy society tricks us into thinking that we need it. Relax. Grab a cup of tea. Blissfully luxuriate in your own company, and see where the pause leads you.