Today, I celebrate a milestone birthday. You know it’s a milestone when birthday cards emblazoned with 40 and Over-the-Hill blanket an entire section of the card aisle. The Big 4-0 is upon me and I am Over-the-Moon happy. There is no sadness or sense of regret in being four decades old. I may not have accomplished all that I wanted, but I have far more than I dreamed. My life is what I have made of it. So I celebrate with my version of an afternoon tea.
I love tea. Hot. Cold. Tangy. Creamy. Chai. Iced. Unsweet. Honeyed. Lemoned. Powdered. Bagged. Bagless. Morning. Noon. Night. On this late afternoon, I sit lazily on the sofa with a good book in my hand, an assortment of savory and sweet treats on a small tray, conversations in the background, and I drink my loose leaf tea from my Harry Potter mug with Mr Tea Pants perched on the side. Today is the day that I order myself a special treat, a tea set not unlike the tiny china ones I had as a child. I will pick some Over-the-Top, yet cheerfully beautiful mixed-matched set that delights me. One day, it will sit in my office. And, at 3:30 on each afternoon, I will celebrate with afternoon tea and remember this special day.
Here I dream of that languid lifestyle enjoyed by so few. I picture myself sitting in the comfortable Homes and Garden photographed and staged window seat (that I do not own, but have on my wish list) of my home office, lounging in my PJs, reading one of my thirty library books (that are due), drinking tea from a proper tea service (also on my wish list). There is no media, no phone, no computer, no connection to the outside world. For just a few hours, I enjoy life au naturale. The dishes are done. The laundry is done. The shopping is nicely put away and a crockpot is lovingly tending to a roast (which my husband does not eat) for Sunday dinner. It is sunny and cool like the autumn mornings you see in Stars Hollow. And most importantly, my agenda for the day is selfishly centered around me and my think time. Across the room, is a beautiful antique desk and built-ins that are organized by Martha. Because of the therapeutic joy my Happy Planner has bestowed upon me, I have begun scrapbooking. Once I finish reading this chapter, I will turn on Gilmore Girls or some Duke or Coltrane and begin setting my planner for the next couple of weeks. I will write a few blogs, check the roast, and maybe go for a bike ride. I will snack on cheese, crackers, and grapes (sometimes in the form of wine). Most importantly, I will be at peace with the beautiful stillness of time standing still.
My life is full of meetings, appointments, work, and volunteering. I love every minute of it. But, my lifestyle is a languid dream of peace, self-discovery, and comfort.