Based in Los Angeles, December Tea is a blog by Lauren Bailey. Her posts explore the world around her, through words, pictures, and constant cups of tea.

The Balance of it All


There are times when it seems like my level of balance is directly connected to how many scoops of tea I place in my teapot. Stay with me for a moment, while I explain. There are days when my mind drifts, or remains preoccupied -- those are two scoop days. These are days when the tea sits for too long, growing bitter, eventually getting pushed aside as I wait for the next brew because that one will certainly be better. There are other days when it's a half a spoon full, dropped in without realizing, and then covered with too hot of water. Days when everything is go, go, go and there's no time to catch up or have a moment to sit -- stretched too thin; resulting in a weak cup of tea that does no one any good. Then there are those days where everything goes just right. When the proportions are correct, the water is just the right temperature, and there's a moment to sit and put all my thoughts together before having to walk out the door.

The ways I actually approach a day aren't defined by my cup of tea, but it makes for a good metaphor for my energy level and my mindset each day. Lately I've been pulled down by all the outside forces; sometimes even pulled by the internal forces -- those are more dangerous days. So much of my time feels like I'm oversteeped or under. The weekends are a haven for those mystical perfect days. Often because of this mindset there is too much pressure placed on the weekend and it always disappears too quickly. There are too many things to accomplish that couldn't get done during the week. Pulled in too many directions of to-do lists and social events and the desire to stay in bed all morning catching up on a weeks worth of sleep. Sometimes the feeling of guilt creeps in when I don't accomplish enough of what I set out to do or if I stayed in bed until 11am, when what I should be focused on is not what I didn't too but instead how I choose to spend the time I have. There is a saying that goes something like: we try to accomplish too much in a day and not enough in a month or a lifetime. I tend to load my days with things that should be done over a series of days or weeks not a single day, and when I fail to complete the 20 item list, which I set myself up to fail, I feel guilty and inadequate. 

On Monday morning, people ask "how was your weekend?" We often shake our heads as we fill up on our daily cup, walking out the door before the other person answers. The answer is always the same: where did the time go, why am I so tired again? We then go back to the grind of lists and spin and spin and spin until we topple over. As I sit at my desk every week, I wonder how to make this constant tired spinning end and how to focus more on the present and the possibilities. How to not only dream of weekends and when the weekend arrives, not dream of the next weekend down the line. There are many options out there that could potentially help: seek therapy, exercise, meditation, sleep more, find hobbies, find a new job, eat different foods, the list goes on and on. I need to try a combination of these - all of them, maybe none of them - with the goal that I'll focus on my mental health and try to gain more balance.

Things I've Been Enjoying Lately

December Tea