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Making the ordinary extraordinary

This morning, I had Starbucks Holiday blend. I had bought it back in November when it was stocked at my local supermarket. I’ve had Starbucks holiday blend over the festive period for the past couple of years, ever since I could buy it at my local supermarket. The house blend became my morning coffee of choice when it became regularly stocked at the supermarket. This would have been about 4 or 5 years ago. I tend not to go to actual Starbucks coffee shops even though there are plenty of them scattered about Scotland, but if I can buy the coffee as part of my weekly shop, I’ll do it. Notwithstanding any potential ethical arguments against this practice (of which I am aware there will be a few), I’m hopelessly sentimental and will buy most things that remind me of home, be that Starbucks coffee, Oreos or Reese’s Peanut butter cups. So my plan was to enjoy a special treat each morning over the festive break like I had done in the past.

Unfortunately, my coffee grinder broke in November and when I came to grind the coffee beans (the supermarket didn’t have the ground version of the coffee), it didn’t work. I was gutted that this year I’d miss my holiday coffee treat. But I did. While I really enjoyed the festive break, I did miss my special coffee. When I would have switched out my house blend for holiday blend just before Christmas arrived, I just stuck with the regular stuff. That refill lasted until the middle of last week. I had used up all the coffee so it was time to renew the coffee in the jar. My new coffee grinder had finally arrived, so I had a choice: I could stick with the regular Starbucks house blend because the festive season was over or I could grind the holiday blend beans out of sync, so to speak. I chose to grind the holiday blend, and that’s how I find myself on a normal day in January, drinking Starbucks holiday blend.

And I’m really enjoying it, having something special on a regular day. I think everyone should try it. Gretchen Rubin talks about celebrating ‘minor’ holidays, like leap day, to make time stand out, and what I’m finding is not that time is standing out, but this activity sure is. With one small change, I’ve made the ordinary extraordinary. My morning cup of coffee, that one hot drink of a day that I truly cherish, has become even more of an event, at least for the time being. For as long as the holiday blend lasts, I get to remember that I’m treating myself to something special. And that feels nice.

I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks this way. Recently, I’ve been talking to people about how anything we do can be an act of self-care if we do it with the intention of it being a self-care activity. For me, when I do the dishes because I acknowledge I will feel more better after getting them done, it becomes an act of self-care, a kindness I am offering to myself. It’s very different when I approach this task thinking it’s yet one more thing on my list of things to do. It seems a similar process when I think that I get to drink Starbucks holiday blend coffee on a regular day in January. It makes it an extraordinarily special cup of coffee. All of a sudden, my treasured cup of coffee becomes an extra special treat and I get an extra jolt of happiness to start my day.

My friend and I were talking about this the other day, how everyday tasks can be ‘blessed.’ How it can be a privilege to help your kids get their things together for school. How it can be an honour to make breakfast for the family. Anything we do can be sacred if we approach it as an esteemed task. And that might help make an ordinary task extraordinary. I’m pretty sure it’s unrealistic to expect ourselves to do this every day and with every task, but imagine how different our lives could be if we remember it from time-to-time. I’m enjoying my extra special holiday blend cups of coffee on ordinary days in January (soon to be February too!). And that is boosting my happiness, at least just now. What ordinary thing might you be able to make extraordinary, just for today? I think it’s worth giving that a bit of thought – you’re definitely worth it.


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