My Mummy-friends and I spent many years talking of how one day, when our kids were in school, we’d have…..wait for it…. a whole cup of hot tea. It was the symbol of spiritual wholeness almost – the point after which we’d realise we were an individual and not a bottom-wiping service. However, oddly enough, our youngest has hit Reception, and I still drink tepid tea…. and I hate it. I’ve come to the conclusion that many of us suffer from Tepid Tea Syndrome – the inability to manage our lives so that we can encounter tea as it’s meant to be.
Tepid Tea Syndrome
….or TTS – is really part of a bigger problem. And it’s not a ‘Mummy Problem’ and it’s not just about drinking a whole cup of tinglingly hot tea. It’s about your attitude towards yourself and the value you – in practice – place on focusing on things and completing them.
I’m not saying that I’m not good at getting things done and fitting things in and multi-tasking, but everything is done all at once in a great cloud of logistical smoke. It’s not that pleasant and it leaves you trying to get your breath, physically and emotionally.
I never walk anywhere without thinking about what I’m going to do as soon as my key goes into the front door. It goes something like this:
If I’m home by 915 I can put the washing out, clean last night’s casserole dish that I didn’t put in to soak, stick bleach in the loos and then by 925 I can start tonight’s meal and have it cooking while I clear up the lego before tonight’s play date………Oh good, there’s loads of time before the playgroup I’m volunteering with starts at 10.”
Crazy. And so I’m frazzled – although I don’t count it as such – before I’ve even got home. What a waste. It could have been wonderful walk, connecting with people, nature, history,……but it’s wasted time, all because of TTS. (And how many tepid cups of tea will I have half drunk by lunchtime? I wont have enjoyed one.)
What is Life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare,
No time to stand beneath the boughs.
And stare as long as sheep or cows (Leisure, William Henry Davies)
A poem that’s ended up in the Clinton’s cliché charts, but that sort of gets to the heart of it. I don’t actually want to stare, but I want to experience each part of my day without always planning the next ones. It devalues what I’m doing in the meantime and that sort of devalues me.
The Next Thing is the Next Thing
So, even if you’re a Mum with small kids…..even if on one day a month you have to put them in front of the TV, check there’s no sharp objects in the room…leave the room, sit on the hall floor if necessary, and drink one whole cup of hot tea – DO IT! As that dreadful advert would say...”Because you’re worth it!” In taking that time out, you are saying,“I need this time”. And it is important our kids, and all those making demands on our time, realise that we have our own needs….including an occasional HOT
cup MUG of tea.