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Good words for a Monday

quick curious playful strong card

This card came in the mail a few weeks ago with a pair of flats I ordered.

I returned the flats, but kept the card. I like the idea of being all these things – in addition to brave, which I wear around my neck, and gentle, which I chose as my word for this year.

Good words to keep in mind on a Monday. Or any day, really. (With chai, of course.)

Hope you have a lovely start to your week, friends. xo

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Confession: I’ve sort of developed a Starbucks habit.

As a former barista at a beloved independent (now defunct), I once swore up and down that Starbucks was the enemy. I refused to order anything, out of principle, when my family stopped there on our way out of town. I turned my nose up at all their products (I still don’t love their teas), and I was basically quite pompous and self-righteous about the whole thing.

This began to change when I lived in Oxford. My housemate Lizzie worked at Starbucks, and would occasionally phone down to the house on her long shifts, begging one of us to come up and see her. I’d hop on my green bike, glad for a break from schoolwork, and pedal and pant my way up steep Headington Hill, then breeze up a few blocks to her Starbucks and order a peppermint hot chocolate or a chai latte. Sometimes I perched at a table across from the register, so she could talk to me; sometimes I’d make myself less conspicuous, curling up in a soft green chair and reading or writing, and Lizzie would toss me a remark or two as she wiped tables nearby. I still spent more time and money at my other beloved Oxford cafes, but I didn’t mind Starbucks quite so much any more.

There are a couple of great indie cafes near my current workplace – I love Thinking Cup and Boston Common Coffee House, and I make frequent visits for lunch or other treats. But there’s a Starbucks right in my building, and on mornings when I’ve had too little sleep and not enough caffeine, or when the temperature in my office is colder than the rainy day outside, or when I just need a treat to warm me and cheer me, I head downstairs and order a tall chai latte. I watch the baristas joke with each other and chat with their customers; I sneak glances at my fellow customers, observe what they’re wearing and reading, wonder about their lives. And then I walk back up to my office with a warm cup of creamy chai goodness.

I’m still a staunch supporter of all things indie, and I’ll keep buying books at the Booksmith and yarn at the Windsor Button and produce at the farmer’s market. But I’m shelving my pride and admitting that, as far as chai lattes and convenience are concerned, there’s also room for Starbucks in my life.

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