Do you really believe it?

Do you live like this is true?

My Personal Battle for Simplicity: One of my biggest struggles as a parent is to balance my children’s youthful energy with my older needs. (Almost) everyday my children hit the ground running, full of anticipation with what the day will bring. The last question one of my children in particular asks me before he says good night is, “What are we doing tomorrow?” Sometimes they appreciate a quiet day, but never as many as I do (or would if I could). And as a parent, I often need to say and teach them to appreciate that today is going to be a simple day.

What is it about getting older that helps me appreciate simpler days? I think it’s because of the level of responsibility I now manage. After all, who stands at the altar, or graduates from college and really understands parenting, mortgages, and health challenges? I vaguely remember days when I watched three movies in a row (I needed some downtime!) or spent my evenings however I wanted. But those days are long gone as I now teach children to accept responsibility. (“No! Shut the glass shower doors BEFORE you practice your swimming kicks in the bathtub!” “You mean you lost your dental appliance, AGAIN!?” “Good job, Boy Scout, holding the door open for that lady.”).

I know we all remember things our mothers said in exasperation. My children will take a couple phrases with them including, “Why do simple things have to be so complicated?!” Yes, I do say this quite often, especially with my highly creative 9yo who lives in a different dimension. “What do you mean you forgot to put on your shoes?”

I am a woman who craves simplicity.

Some of us may be able to manipulate our lives in order to manage the chaos from taking over. But often life takes us for a ride and many choices are taken away from us, for whatever reason. A family member faces serious illness. A financial decision turns sour. A spouse makes decisions that affect you, but you have little control over. You’re diagnosed with clinical depression. The simple becomes complicated. What can you do?

One of the criticisms I receive as a fan of the tea party is that tea is stuffy and not for today, filled with etiquette rules and stiff conversation. This is despite the fact that men and women alike in all kinds of cultures take breaks for tea regularly. And I can’t help but wonder where tea received its bad-rap. Because the truth is, tea’s reputation instead should be seen as the stress reducer many cultures, whatever struggles their daily lives faced, understood.

” The first cup moistens my lips and throat; The second cup breaks my loneliness..”–Lu Tung, Chinese poet during T’Ang dynasty (618-907 A.D.)

“If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you.” ~William Gladstone, British Prime Minister, 1865

More of us face life with stress than without. Some of it is under our control, some of it is not. But choosing to take moments to step back, and appreciate the simple gifts IS in our control. And my heart, as Tea Party Girl, is to help people appreciate the simple gift of taking tea. If you haven’t yet brought the simple gift of a tea ritual into your day, what’s stopping you? It’s time to get started. Incorporate the daily tea ritual into your life, today! Some key articles to help you get started are:

The Beginner’s Quick and Simple Guide to Brewing Looseleaf Tea

The Top Ten Reasons a Daily Cup of Tea is Essential to Living

The Secret to the Simple and Quick Tea Party