1. TEA. And also coffee, but mostly tea. Tea is one of those too-rare rituals in my daily life that make me feel you, know, almost in control amidst the mountains of evidence to the contrary. And I’m not talking “Control” in the big sense, like Destiny and Fate and Fortune. I’m just talking about the piddly little things like, say, having children with free will. And cars with flat tires. And housework that never, ever, ever takes a break, even when you are sick or weary or whatever. These are all things that I am ultimately grateful for in their own right (I have healthy children! Who are growing into their own independent, willful people! I have a car! And a warranty on the tires! I have a warm, safe house! With lots of appliances!) but…But. All of those things, while ultimately blessings, are also the sorts of things that have a way of going Not As I Planned, which makes a person feel, maybe, a smidge out of control. So I wake up in the morning, and heat my water, and select a tea from my embarrassingly large stash, and brew a cup, and maybe add honey or milk or lemon, and…sigh. Getting things under control, one cup at a time. (Coffee is reserved for when no illusion of control will suffice, and I need to just muster the energy to muscle through it all.) My current faves:
a. Zhena’s Coconut Chai, from http://www.gypsytea.com/. Available in Black, Green, Red, bags, full leaf, caf and decaf versions. Buy a tin and a refill bag; it’s that good. Zhena’s also has chais in other flavors—cocoa, caramel, hazelnut…
b. Ginger Peach (black, green, or white; caf or decaf; bags or leaves), Milk Oolong, and Pineapple Lychee Hibiscus (naturally caffeine-free) from the Republic of Tea (www.republicoftea.com). ROT also does the refillable tins, when you start buying in bulk, it gets muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch cheaper.
2. TECHNOLOGY. Funny, coming from a late and mostly incompetent adopter such as myself, but oh, technology, how I love thee. The fact that I can have a question, walk over to the computer, and within seconds google or wiki or crowd-source and answer? Or that I can stay in touch with friends from across the entire country (or world)? Or that I can work for someone I might never even meet? Say what you must about all of the downsides—I will not contest them—but this is approximately 97% freaking brilliant. And all of you who, like me, grew up pre-internet, know what I mean. (And if you didn’t grow up pre-internet, you’re probably too young to read this blog. Or I’m getting really old.)
3. THERAPY. Yay for therapy. I have seen therapists who span the gamut—from freakshows who make you wonder if the real therapist is tied up in the basement to the merely mediocre to the profoundly gifted. And though the process of finding a decent therapist can be as labyrinthine and pleasant as finding a decent gynecologist, the outcome is even more worth it. The human psyche, my friends, is a complicated and shifting landscape, and so much easier to navigate with a good guide.