August 15th: National Relaxation Day (for Coffee Lovers)

Go ahead, coffee snobs. Ease off the pedal. Begin your day of relaxation with a cup of coffee.

Wait a minute! Hold the French Presses.

Relax? With a caffeinated stimulant? Isn’t that a contradiction?  Doesn’t the idea of relaxation conjure up the impression of massages, the scent of lavender, and napping on a hammock?

It might if it weren’t for lawn mowers, bees, and $120.00 on next month’s credit card statement.  On the other hand, isn’t coffee by its very nature the opposite of relaxation? Hmm. Perhaps not, snobs. Perhaps not.

Let’s explore this paradox.

First, the morning cup of coffee is defined by some to be an “object of relaxation.” Case and point: According to high-profile, former Target businesswoman, Robyn Waters, “…A cup of coffee turns into a five minute vacation, a deep breath moment.”*  Hear that?  The cup is a vessel, a mode of transport to affordable respite. No cancelled flights. No lost luggage. No coach seats… just a deep breath moment, not unlike a free first-class upgrade.

Second, routines foster a sense of balance, of structure and stability. In that context, a morning cup of java savored alone in the early hours of daylight, or shared around a community table at the diner while tossing dice, or sipped with a co-worker during the 10:00am “coffee break,” reduces anxiety. Routine transcends into ritual. The bean, ground and brewed, filtered and poured then becomes, yes, Jungian.  Java consumer, heal thy self.

Lastly, the whole notion of National Relaxation Day is a British brainstorm called, National Slacker’s Day, or a.k.a.  Take-a-Day-Off-Work, Flop-on-the-Couch-Commando, Nurse-a-Hangover Day. Organizers did not have meditation and seaweed wraps in mind. Their event is dedicated to the UK’s overworked employees.  In truth, it’s like a daylong coffee break, for tea drinkers.

In the end, like every great novel and most Beatle songs, the theme of this self-indulgent holiday is love. Do what you love. Read what you love. Listen to what you love. Drink what you love. Snobs, let your coffee pot runneth over.

* www.tompeters.com

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