- Family and Parenting
The Unexpected Joy of Cold Tea
#9 in Reflections of Life's Unexpected Joys
The Unexpected Joy of Drinking Cold Tea.
I do not enjoy drinking cold tea that is meant to be hot. Iced tea on a hot day is a treat. Hot tea on a cold winter day is a treat. Hot tea that has become cold is not a treat. But that is exactly what I drank yesterday and truthfully, it was an unexpected joy. My afternoon ritual is to have a cup of tea and some time of silence while the children are resting. I anticipate this time of day. I plan what I will do with these moments of silence. There are always more activities that I desire to do than time to do them. Therefore somedays it is piano playing with sips between songs, sometimes it is reading, sometimes it is cleaning (which I actually enjoy doing). On this particular day it was an opportunity to sit at the computer and write a letter to my mom and sister. I was eagerly waiting for this time all morning. When the time arrived I settled into my chair with my mug of tea and got started. And then it happened. An interruption to "my time". These are hard to take.
A friend came to the door, we chatted, my daughter got out of bed and that was the end of my solitude. When my friend departed, I returned to the computer with my daughter. I finished the letter, sipping my cold tea and holding my daughter on my lap. For a few brief moments I was tempted to feel very put out that "my time" had been robbed from me. My tea was cold and my solitude destroyed. However, I was happy that my friend had dropped by and my daughter was so cute and so happy to spend time with me that I decided to enjoy having her squirm around on my lap, chattering to me while I attempted to concentrate on letter writing.
There is certainly much to be gained from solitude and having times that are simply for yourself. These times are refreshing and needed, but if you are like me it is easy to become very selfish about these times and the other tendency I have is to begin to feel like I need more and more. I tend to crave even more alone time and pretty soon I'm always trying to find ways to escape the company of my children or those who drain me. As with everything there needs to be balance and wisdom.
As I sipped my cold tea I pondered these things. I had a choice. I could have stomped upstairs, poured out my tea and grumpily went about spending time with my daughter, all the while feeling cheated and annoyed that my much anticipated alone time was interrupted. Or I could decide to cuddle my daughter, answer her chatter and enjoy the fact that she is still four and likes to be cuddled. I could finish my letter with company and consider that my "treat" for the day. I do not always choose the latter, but on this particular occasion I did and my day was much better because of it.
So while I do not wish to sip cold tea on a regular basis, there are things in life that are much more important than a steaming cup of tea during "alone time". Part of being loved and being loving is being interrupted at inconvenient times. There is joy in this, if we can move past the initial feeling of irritation.