Ever want to just sit down and have a quiet moment with a cuppa tea but there’s one more task to do before you can? Yes? Good — I thought it might just be me and my tendency toward perfectionism.
Of course, those of you with kids, especially young ones who only recently discovered that all those interesting objects are now within reach since they can walk (or waddle?) over and grab them, already know about “one more task syndrome.” The winter holiday season tends to make this syndrome even worse (even among those of us with no small children around), since there seem to be a million-and-one things to do to prepare to enjoy ourselves.
The condition is definitely inherited. I know because I got it from my mother, who always groaned about having one more task before she could sit down and enjoy her favorite TV program or listen to her favorite Hank Williams or Burl Ives record. For me, it’s one more task before I can sit down to enjoy that cuppa tea I just steeped.
Depending on the tea you’re having, delaying your tea enjoyment to do that “one more task” can result in oversteeped tea. I had a Tie Guan Yin that was supposed to be steeped for only 30 seconds. Right in the middle, the washing machine started making a sound like it was full of ball bearings. Something was off balance, that was for sure. By the time I had shut off the machine, readjusted the load, and restarted it, about ten minutes had passed. So much for a nice, delicate tea taste. (In case you’re wondering, hubby wasn’t home then and I don’t have kids, a maid, housekeeper, etc. This was a task that couldn’t wait and that I had to do. And, quite frankly, I forgot about the tea steeping as soon as that horrid rattling sound had started.)
Another time, I had a perfectly prepared cuppa Assam all ready, steeped just right and with just the right amount of milk and sweetener, and had taken in the first gloriously rich and malty mouthful when the timer for the oven dinged. That meant the tea had to wait while I took the pie out of the oven, checked to see if it was done, put it back in when the knife blade I had stuck in the middle had pulled out clean, closed the oven, and reset the timer. Then, I had to take care of something, uh, personal and, uh, urgent and very un-put-off-able, all the while thinking of that cuppa tea getting colder.
Life can be like that: one more task, and then one more before we get to what we want to be doing. Sure, we can skip those tasks and get straight to the good stuff. I could let the washing machine stay off balance and the oven timer keep dinging. Unfortunately, I would have to accept the consequences: the cost of a repairman for the washing machine and my hubby being disappointed at me throwing away a burnt-to-a-cinder pie.
The bottom line seems to be timing my tea moment for when other tasks are either done or can wait. This can be really difficult during the holidays or with the pitter patter of little feet a constant reminder of the need for parental vigilance. You can manage, however, even if you have to set a time on your daily schedule just for tea. Enjoy!
Make sure to stop by A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!