Among all of the iconic muppet skits from my childhood in the 1970s, none sticks with me more than Kermit’s existential solo about the challenges of his bright green fur. By the end of the tune, though, he comes full circle. Green is the color of spring! It can be big and important like a mountain, or tall like a tree—it’s what he wants to be! Part story of self-acceptance, part ode to the poster-chroma of nature, it’s no surprise that this sweet tune popped into my head while preparing a beautiful bowl of sweet matcha on my holiday-vacation lunch hour. (Yes!!!!! Time off!!!!!) In addition to being an amazing and uplifting treat, it really is the most glorious shade of green. I feel energized and positive just looking at it.
I’ve flirted with various forms of matcha over the years, but it’s always been a passing fancy. This time feels different. I actually find myself craving it and wondering if it might even become a replacement for my morning coffee. (If you know how much I love coffee, then you’ll know what a dramatic idea that is for me!) Now granted, I’m projecting quite a lot onto green tea. Maybe it’s just a passing crush, but I don’t think so. It just feels so right for the times we’re living in—these crazy, scary, humbling days of the Covid pandemic.
I know I’m one of the lucky ones with my remote job and my life in the country. It feels shameful to even complain, so I’ll refrain as best I can. I will admit, though, to it being very easy to feel stagnant without making some real effort. Being sequestered for months on end, with very few social diversions and a pretty consistent routine can be stifling. Where am I, Punxsutawney, PA? It can sure seem like it. But eventually, just like Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day, you start to realize that there just might be the tiniest of silver linings: You can relive your experience until you eventually get it right.
So, yeah. A daily dose of matcha green tea is one of the practices I’ll be adopting in 2021 to encourage positive thinking and mental/emotional growth. While this Covid era isn’t a fun time, and I wish things could just go back to “the way they were,” they aren’t going to. The only way to transcend stagnation seems to be acceptance. This is reality. We are stuck inside. We can’t socialize as we’d like. But with practice, I can try to get it right and thrive to the best of my ability. And, I’m not totally stuck. I can celebrate small joys and retain my sanity in these dark winter months. Maybe I can even embrace self-improvement and move forward with small, realistic and attainable goals.
Speaking of sanity, the editors over at Bloomberg put together a truly great list of pleasures that have been getting them through the tough times in 2020. If you’re looking for some inspiration beyond a delicious cup of green tea, their suggestions are a great place to start. The two things from their list that speak to me are a recommitment to snail mail and Hoka shoes (which are supposed to be super comfy and great for walking).
Regular texts and Zooms with dear friends have been a godsend over this last year, but much like my recent preference for green tea over coffee, I’m looking for an expansion of good habits. I’d like to rediscover the pleasure of long-form correspondence. In part, this desire was sparked by this year’s influx of deeply meaningful Christmas cards. I received fewer cards than I have in years past, but the ones that did land in my mailbox were filled with sentiments that truly touched my heart—and inspired me to be a more effusive communicator in the year ahead.
The receipt of so many wonderful cards almost made me want to be a sender of greeting cards myself, but that is likely to be a resolution left unrealized. I’m just not a merry Christmas kind of person. I’m a thank-god-Christmas-is-over kind of person. Try as I might to create new and joyful traditions, this season sparks my deepest resentments and regrets, and I’m honestly baffled at how to change that. For now, the best I can do is just accept it (and start making my Valentine’s Day cards, because that is a holiday that I absolutely do love).
Here’s to you 2021. I suspect you won’t be a perfect year. But for a brief, beautiful moment, you will give us all a much needed sense of a new beginning and the chance for things to improve. And, the opportunity to drink a lot more green tea. Because it’s easy being green. More than ever, I need my resolutions to be attainable. If green tea is the gateway to a right state of mind, that’s a habit I can get behind.