There are three drinks that shape my day. I use them to provide a sense of pacing and inevitability to my schedule that lets me balance all the curve balls life sends my way.
My alarm goes off at 4:30 each morning and I stumble reluctantly out a bed and walk my soon-to-be fiance out to her car as she goes to work. We live downtown in a large city, so she appreciates having a guy walk with her in the dark. I come back in and drink my first glass of water before falling back asleep at 5:00.
Every morning I drink that first glass of water, and there’s no better way of starting your day than with water. Staying properly hydrated is a big part of my writing routine.
At 9:00 my other alarm goes off and I re-stumble out of bed and put on coffee.
This is important. Coffee in the morning is like prayer, or meditation. The steady sound of the drip as I boot up the computer, the smell that slowly spreads throughout the apartment, and the ritual of pouring the first cup all allow me to focus my thoughts.
I pour the coffee slowly and carefully into a white mug and add just a hint of sugar. Too much sugar curbs the acidic bite. This whole time I’m thinking through the tasks I want to accomplish that day, and organizing my to-do list.
I don’t really go to coffee houses. First, it rough on the budget, but also I dislike the early morning bustle in cafes. As an introvert, I prefer my own private routine.
As I drink the first of my two cups, I scan my social media sites and clear my inbox. Takes me all of five minutes, since I’m a firm believer in using social media as little as possible. I then get to work writing as I finish up the first cup and start on the second. By this time the caffeine starts to kick in and I hit my writing stride.
I make phone calls and write until lunch, and then keep working til 1:00, at which point I put on the kettle for tea.
I don’t use teabags for afternoon tea. I’m looking for a tea I can focus on, not an easy-to-drink tea. To this end, I use loose tea leaves, and make the tea quite weak with no sugar. I take my time and simply savor the flavor of tea. It’s a rejuvenating and re-focusing moment.
I get back to work and drink at least two cups, if not more. The lady of the house comes home and I make her tea as well, and we drink together.
After work is over, with dinner and dishes finished, we make tea using teabags and sugar. My preference right now is Cinnamon Apple Spice from Celestial Seasonings. It’s a warming, relaxing winter tea that’s perfect for quiet nights spent reading.
Before bed, I drink another glass of just water.
Water to start my day off right. Coffee to focus and jump start my day. Tea to re-focus and relax.
Pillars and caissons to my day, they allow me to create a schedule and use externals to keep my writing and working on pace. Water gives me energy all day long. Coffee is the perfect beginning, but if I have a rough start, I can pull back and re-start with afternoon tea. If it’s been a tough day all around, tea creates a relaxing end.
It’s the daily rituals you create that give you balance in this unbalanced world.