I love to post gratuitous pictures of Ava, but truly she does relate to my post tonight. The topic of Mindfulness. Lately I have been thinking a lot about being mindful in my actions, and much of that has related to my interactions with Ava. I am mindful of my tone with her, try to anticipate what she is telling me with her burgeoning vocabulary, and have really been mindful of being really present when I am spending time with her. That means iPhone away, books away, Nook away when I am sitting on the floor playing with her. I try to take in all of the things that make her special, and commit them to memory for those days when I need a mental picture of her to bring my day up.
Mindfulness also came up the other night when I was watching The Weight of the Nation on HBO, and a group of people were talking about mindful eating. It sort of stuck with me, because so often I am shoveling food in my face when I am bored, or annoyed, or when I am trying to eat while balancing a squirmy toddler in my lap. I thought about how nice it was that these people take time to think about their food before eating it. The look at it, smell it, notice its qualities, how it has been prepared... and then take their first bite, noticing the taste, texture, etc. before taking another one. They talked about how they notice they are full much more easily, notice when they aren't actually hungry, or don't want a particular food that they had been about to eat. And I thought to myself, "Boy do I need to slow down!"
And so I have been. Well, at least I have been trying to. A few weeks ago I had a great afternoon with a few of my girlfriends when we went to The Drake in Chicago for their High Tea service. As I sat there, I kept thinking about how much I truly enjoy tea. I always have, but as I sat there sipping my tea (I had a splash of milk in it for the first time-- yum!) I really felt quite content.
I then of course forgot about the tea for a few weeks, until The Amateur Gourmet featured his morning tea ritual on his blog using PG Tips tea. I had to restrain myself from running to the store that minute, but I managed to wait until the following morning. Don't ask me why I HAD to have PG Tips, since a) I have never had it before, and b) I have about 10 different types of tea in my pantry already, but I think it is because I don't have any teas that I could put a splash of milk in... and I really liked doing that when I was at the Drake.
And so here it is. PG Tips, brewing in my favorite mug. I love red, I love flowery designs... I love this mug. Plus one of my best friends gave it to me, so I like it even more.
Ahhhh... and to brew a nice cup of tea in it is just wonderful. I do 2 minutes, add a splash of milk, and then Stevia for a sweetener. I am mindful of how I am content, how I don't need to snack because this is warm and comforting and just a little sweet, and how I could be happy with this as an evening "snack"... and it is a heck of a lot less calories than a cup of ice cream!