The person who conquers herself.

Books and Tea The Dhammapada ThousandsTea and books have a very good habit of getting me through bad days. So do deep breaths and chocolate.

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Lack of Sleep

Being awake at two a.m. is not something I make a habit of, but sometimes – when life is overwhelming and insomnia sets in – I find myself laying awake in bed pondering the meaning of life, or wondering about human existence. During those times all I can do is wait for the thoughts to run out and for my mind to shut off. Chances are sunlight will start leaking through my curtains before that happens and I’ll start thinking about how much caffeine I’ll need to make it through the day.  Looking like a raccoon’s cousin should be a new type of fashion statement, at least on the days when I feel that I look like one.

My brain-to-mouth filter is pretty decent on a good day, especially in my line of work, but when I suffer from sleep deprivation it tends to verge on non-existent and the edge of hysteria will break through. Like a miniature tidal wave. My co-workers are very good at feeding me Starbucks during those days and covering for my verbal diarrhea. They are wonderful and I’m pretty sure that I amuse them immensely. I figure if I can make people laugh while I’m feeling loopy, then that’s a small point towards a slightly better world.

The insomnia only ever lasts a few days, but it can be brutal. No amount of warm milk, calming tea, or sleep aids can help me. Well, nothing short of a brick to my head anyway, and even that’s a bit questionable.

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but Autumn has definitely arrived in Canada, and something about this time of year always seems to bring out the tea lover in me. I love tea year round but there’s something about the oncoming cold weather, the smell of wood smoke in the air, and the morning chill that makes me enjoy the warmth of a cup of tea a lot more than I normally would. I am truly passionate about few things and tea is one of those things.

 

 

 

My mother would call this obsessive compulsive tea drinking, although she shouldn’t talk since she has her own ‘Tim Horton’s coffee drinking issues’.

This is my brilliant, handmade Tea Basket. The basket was a gift from my best friend in support of my tea addiction obsession habit and it is somehow big enough to hold all of my loose tea.

 

 

Lets take a look inside. None of you are allowed to judge my tea obsession, because tea is my comfort drink. This is also unashamed Davids Tea promotion.

 Look at all the glorious loose tea, and before you ask – yes I drink ALL of them on a semi-regular basis. For the record: I drink, on average, five to seven cups of tea a day and some of those envelopes don’t have more than a few teaspoons worth of tea left in them, because sometimes a tea gets discontinued before I can stock up on it, so I save what’s left for special occasions or really bad days.

This is my Tea Shelf and YES those ARE rubber ducky tea infusers that make me irrationally happy every time I use them. Also – the wooden box is FULL of prepackaged tea and those boxes of Lipton tea are the only ones I could actually fit on the shelf. Some people think I have a problem. I think I am keen on keeping myself sane and happy through sheer force of will and lots of tea.

Here are some of my absolute favorite teas to drink during Autumn.

Pumpkin Chai is my ALL TIME FAVORITE Autumn tea and makes me feel like a fuzzy ball of warmth. How can you resist the delicious pumpkin taste and tiny adorable pumpkin sprinkles? This tea is seasonal and I have a feeling that if David’s Tea DID discontinue it, there would be a rebellion.

 

 

Mulberry Magic comes as a close second. There’s something about the macadamia nuts and the overall sweet taste of the mulberry leaves that I really like.

 

 

Buttered Rum also makes the list because of the coconut and the fact that if I’m having a super bad day I can have the good taste of rum without somehow becoming a raging alcoholic.

 

 

Everyone should try each of those tea’s at least once. I understand that there are a lot of people who are NOT tea drinkers, but I like to think that’s because they haven’t found the right tea yet. (If someone offers you a cup of King Cole tea – you should RUN AWAY.) Tea makes me happy and I want to share my happiness with everyone. I really should be a Tea Dealer; not to be confused with a drug dealer. Drugs are bad.

You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.

Lets talk about health.

I have an average body with a few extra pounds; I am not overweight but I’m not healthy. I don’t shy away from physical activity but I don’t exactly push myself either. I have a passionate relationship with junk food and crave take-out like a crack addict craves a hit. Essentially, what I’m trying to say is: I’ve decided to make a lifestyle change.

Last Monday I was talking to my mother and I can’t exactly remember how the conversation came up, but I found out that there are a lot of bad things running in my family genetics; cancer, diabetes and lung disease, to name a few. I won’t say that it scared me, but it did put a few things into perspective for me. If I were to change and become a healthier person; thirty years from now, if I develop a dangerous disease, I would have much better chances of fighting it off than I would if I stayed the same as I am now.

Changing my eating habits was the hard part. I cut junk food (ie: candy, ice cream, chips, pop, desserts, etc) out of my system. I will admit it was like overcoming a drug addiction for a while there. I also stopped eating after 8pm. These are apparently two very good steps towards living healthier, so I was happy to be heading in the right direction.

The next step was digging my (slightly old) exercise bike out of the closet, cleaning it off, and setting it up in my living room. Once that was done, I managed fifteen minutes of cardio before I felt like my legs were going to fall off, and then did ten minutes of muscle-building. I survived my first work-out and did it all inside the comfort of my own home. I’m also going to say that I’ve only been at this for a week and I can now do thirty minutes of heavy cardio and twenty minutes of muscle-building. Improvements are important and they’re going to be super small at first, I know, but they’re so nice to see.

Food is important. I love food, so I made a list of healthy things that I like and some healthy things that I should try. I found out that I DO like caesar salad, despite hating it for years, and that hard-boiled eggs are actually quite good. My fridge is now full of fruits and some veggies, as well as some soy milk that I haven’t tried yet.

Working out is something that’s coming easier to me than I thought it would. I feel really good after a work out, despite my aching muscles; I suppose that’s the endorphins talking. It’s the ‘not eating junk food’ bit that’s pushing my self-control, however, every time I get a craving for something sweet I eat an apple or drink a glass of water. It seems to be working very well so far.

Winning the little battles feels good. Like, turning down the cookie a co-worker offered me despite the fact that I was staring at it with open lust, and pushing myself to pedal that bike as hard and fast as I can for the last five minutes of my cardio despite the ache and heavy breathing. I may just be starting to change my life style and it’s sometimes so very difficult, but those little accomplishments keep me going because they mean I’m improving. That little voice in my head that says I can’t do this, is a liar.