I don’t know about you, but I feel like everyone around me is getting busier these days. The traffic conditions in Jakarta doesn’t help either. You feel stressed out all the time, as you seem to be doing a thousand different things at any given moment. But at the end of the day, you feel like you’re still levels behind everyone else in terms of getting things done. So much to do, so little time.
When I was still working full-time a few years ago, my schedule was 80% completely in the hands of my subjects. Even though I love what I do, I was miserable most of the time. Even so, I still made time every single day to prepare, smell, and enjoy my tea. Even on the sleepless nights when I was in college, I also managed to have at least 2-3 cups of instant matcha teas by my side, just to let out a large and fulfilling exhale as I drew my pigs and other humans to the finish line. For as long as I can remember, I have not went by a single day without tea. So much so that whenever dusk falls and I’m still guzzling pure agua, I feel something’s missing in my life.
I have come to the conclusion that when you don’t have time for tea, your life is way too busy. You’ve got your plates full, your priorities are all over the place, you’re mentally and emotionally drained, and you haven’t left even a tiny little moment to spare for yourself. Even that little devil in your head that makes you feel guilty whenever you’re about to have your tea is already tell-tale sign that you’ve spread yourself too thin. It’s like cutting a delicious pie into so many pieces that guests only remember you as a stingy pie-maker than the baker of that delicious pie. Good intentions don’t always turn out as they were intended to be, don’t they?
So, just as you have 3 easy-to-remember R’s to serve as a guideline to protect the environment (reduce, reuse, recycle), I’d like to share my personal 3 R’s to serve as a guideline for guarding my time:
REST – Any professional athlete would tell you that chunks of time reserved for rest is their recipe for success. This is because all those time they’ve spent training and tearing muscle fibers apart are essentially a form of stress. And if you’re stressed out 100% of the time, you don’t get stronger. In fact, you’re more prone to inflammatory diseases. So even if you’ve got a hardcore training schedule, be it at work or at the gym, you’ve got to save at least a quarter of your day, week, or month, depending on how you add them up, to just chill. These moments you spend chilling is when the teared-up fibers grow thicker, recover completely, and become stronger and more effective than ever.12
REFLECT – I’m fascinated whenever I learn somebody who’s enjoyed worldly success have this one thing in common: Reflection3. No matter how busy they are, they still find time to review their work regularly, to get perspective of all they’ve done, to examine their beliefs before deciding on something important, and then change and adjust themselves accordingly4. The key here is consistency. Be it in the form of vlogging or journaling, taking the time to reflect on your personal path keeps you from straying away too far along the way.
RESET – Have you fallen out of love? Drifting apart from your relationships? Where did all the time go? Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that grace is within reach if they only ask5. The reset button is given every single morning, and you’re the only one who’s too busy to notice the sun rising for you and bringing new hope. So many of us have collected our own secret habits and hangups for ourselves so that we don’t have to burden others with the load of dealing with these demons. So instead of being available for others, you close yourself up even more and get busy at punishing yourself. Well … the longer you let it fester you, the more you end up hurting others as well. I learned this lesson the hard way personally. See, you’re not perfect and you will never be, and there’s no point in endlessly keeping old wrongs6. If anything that needs to be vintaged, it’s raw pu-erh, not our transgressions. Taking the time to hit the ‘reset’ button is your ticket to liberation from your own prison cell7. You have to get out there again in spite of the past, because the people who do love you need you so.
Now my question for you is this: Have you had your tea today?