Saturday, February 04, 2012

A proper break

Food and drink are off limits in the reading room where my carrel is situated. (Years ago this would have been a given, but you can bring a cup of coffee or tea to your carrel in the college library at Bryn Mawr, as long as it's in a travel mug — or you are not working in the Rare Book Room.) I'm finding it hard to adjust, a cup of tea has been at hand when I wrote as long as I can remember, from the handwritten reports laborious copied with a ball point pen onto loose leaf of my elementary school days to the typed versions put together at the dining room table after my brothers and sisters had gone to bed — cup after cup of tea poured into a stream of sentences.

When I admitted to my difficulties to an Irish colleague, he responded, "Now you have to take a proper break." Indeed. I'm finding it both difficult and delightful to stop for 20 minutes midmorning to make a cup of Assam and sit on the sofa in the alcove — which is perhaps why I so enjoyed this song in last night's choral concert!
The trouble with the helter-skelter life we lead
is coffee in a cardboard cup.
The trouble,
the psychologists have all agreed,
is coffee in a cardboard cup.


The trouble with the world is plain to see
is ev'rything is hurry up.
There's ready whip,
instant tea,
minute rice....
Listen to the whole thing here.

Tea. In a mug. Sitting down. Without multi-tasking. #lessonsfromsabbatical

Photo is from Wikimedia used under Creative Commons license.


  1. I am reminded of how "efficiency" leads to deficiencies in life itself, if we are not paying attention.

    To stop and have a coffee or tea break... Imagine?! So indulgent.

    So necessary.

  2. I drink my coffee in a travel mug, the better to keep it hot as I get interrupted. But I can't drink tea that way. I just can't. Tea begs to be sipped from a real mug or even a pretty teacup.
    Coffee might get me going, but tea is much more sustaining.
    I like what Fran said about "efficiency" as I am always looking to get things done efficiently. But some things are not worth sacrificing.