in Food

No time for making tea


It probably goes without saying that moving cross-country would change your routine substantially. Everything from how I travel to work to how my days flow is different. I used to think I was suited for city life, but it’s clear to me that country living has adapted me to particular habits that I’d rather have as a regular part of my life.

It’s not as if I’m not trying. I have a water kettle in my office for heating hot water for tea. I have my box of tea and everything. But the whole process of starting my day drinking tea comes with a certain kind of centering. The assumption that I know I’ll have a particular pace and control of my time, makes life more conducive for having tea and sinking into hours of whatever projects I’m working on.

These days, it doesn’t work as well. I find myself harried and hurried. The newness of relationships and environments don’t lend themselves well to creatures of habit. Too many things to digest and memorize. It’s not that you don’t pick these things up over time; it’s just the process and mental energy it takes to get there can be exhausting.

I used to think it was easy for people to move. I’m still a firm believer that kids who graduate shouldn’t waste their 20s in cities interning when they can’t find jobs, when there are lots of places off the beaten path that would give them real experience. But I now understand better why so many people opt not to leave the comforts of where they are. Support systems matter. Comforts matter. The time we spend trying to cultivate new connections and work through the unwritten rules of new environments are real things that take away time that we could be using more productively.

Meanwhile, I’ve had to remind myself to make time for tea. It’s not always my default posture. Sometimes, it’s just easier to grab something cold. Or to look for soda, even though I’d almost completely given it up months earlier. Changes are no excuse for losing the positive habits that we’ve acquired, even if it takes more work to adapt them into our new lives.