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ESSAY: I Can Always Rely on Three Things

By Barbara Irvin


It is 6:30 in the morning. Only minutes earlier, I arrived at my job, which is that of a packer of CDs and printable labels. I am now seated in the break room. My tablet is with me. It is turned on. I am either listening to music or responding to E-mails I did not have a chance to read the night before. Sometimes, if the mood presents itself, the music is playing as I check my mail. In between this activity, I take sips of my hot tea. The sweetened liquid warms me, like a fleece blanket would on a cold day. It also gives me the energy I need to get my work done more effectively.
This is a ritual I go through every Monday through Friday. The work bell rings at seven, and I am grateful for the half hour of relaxation I have before submitting myself to eight hours of stuffing products into boxes. During those thirty minutes, I put my headphones on and allow myself to block out all of the mundane chatter surrounding me. Through music, I am able to retreat into a world where everything is tranquil. Interacting with friends online provides me with the stimulating conversation I am unable to find among my coworkers. Those who do not have access to the Internet or have mobile devices think people who are constantly using their phones or tablets during breaks in the workday spend far too much time around electronics. What these individuals do not take into consideration is technology is a part of life. It is all around us. Why not embrace it? As long as we get our work done to the best of our ability, there isn't any harm in indulging in a bit of recreational computer time. That is how I see it, anyway.
But getting back to the tea. Once I take that first sip, I immediately feel the rush of caffeine. By the end of the workday, I will have consumed enough to keep me going another few hours.
There are times when I will drink tea on the weekends. This is especially true during the winter months. There is nothing like sitting in your favorite chair, holding a steaming mug in your hand, and looking out the window on a snowy morning. The view outside is so spectacular that it could provide inspiration for an artist.
Just as listening to music or using a tablet has other advantages, drinking tea does as well. Sometimes I will find myself facing a dilemma that seems impossible to solve. I will ponder my situation and the various options I can choose. Tea tends to help me think better. Music provides a means of escape. It allows me to forget about what has been troubling me for a bit. Because I communicate more efficiently in writing, I reach out to friends through correspondence. If I am seeking advice from a friend, I will send her an E-mail. It might take a day or so for the person to reply, but I know she will eventually.
I am a firm believer in the power of friendship. I think it's important for women to cultivate friendships with one another. There is nothing more comforting than being there for someone during a difficult hurdle and knowing that you have friends you can count on when faced with a challenge. If more women confided in each other, I think there would be less of a need for therapists. I have never been a supporter of psychiatry. If you feel speaking to someone will aid you in solving a problem, there isn't any reason you should rule out trusting those you care about for advice. I am sure they would be glad to offer whatever assistance they could.
The wonderful thing about music is that different styles can evoke certain moods. Hearing a special song has the power to bring back so many cherished memories. I will play something I really enjoy whenever I've had an extremely busy day and need to unwind. The pleasure I derive from doing this is as strong as the feeling I experience after having a cup of tea.
To continue discussing the subject of my favorite beverage, I must not forget to include the wide assortment of flavored brews. If I'm in the mood for something with a kick to it, I will have either lemon or mint. Peach, raspberry, and apple are also favorites of mine. The aroma of the tea is as pleasing as the taste itself.
Without having access to music, the Internet, or tea, I would not be at my most productive. All of these luxuries have become such a significant part of my life that I cannot imagine ever being without them. I couldn't even go without one, unless I absolutely had to. It is amazing how many little things on which we depend.


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