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Tea bag tag lines strike a chord.

Byline: Marie Wyman

COLUMN: From the Heart

It all started innocently enough. A couple of weeks ago, sick of decaffeinated coffee, I opted for a cup of tea instead. Everyone knows that tea leaves have been read to foretell the future for eons, but who knew tea bags fell into that category?

We've all had a chuckle or two reading those silly tags on the tea bags. You know the amusing ones that say things like, "Wind is air in a hurry," or "Saps: Found in a lot of family trees," or "Old age is always 15 years from now."

We laugh because in the silliness there is a small nugget of truth we can relate to. Sometimes they are collectible and we hold onto to them for a while. I guess we put them up there with fortune cookie tag lines. It's a joke right?

I pretty much ignore most of this sort of nonsense, but lately, those little bits of fluff have been getting serious. Several pearls of wisdom hit me one right after another during one of those weeks that I would really rather forget.

Like most, I rush around trying to get everything I perceive that needs to get done, done. There seems to never be enough time and stress is part of life. Then come the roadblocks getting in the way of all you need to do. Someone is rude, someone you need to do something for you passes the buck, you get taken advantage of, you hate worrying about the economy, or the war in Iraq, or a myriad of other issues, you try like heck not to let anyone "push your buttons," and you try to keep it altogether. We've all been there and had weeks like that. You know the ones, where you feel like the world is out to get you.

Enter the tea bag lines. During that week, one particular day I got ranked on unfairly, the tag said, "Forgive everyone for everything," followed by "Life isn't fair, but it's still good," and then came, "Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does." I laughed in spite of the fact I was still hurting.

Another day, on a tight schedule, I was trying to clean out a closet, but kept getting interrupted. I have filled this closet with clothes I am waiting to fit back into and I promised my husband I would clean it many months ago so he could take his clothes out of a cardboard box. During a break, as I sipped my tea, I got, "Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful."

I sat down, in the middle of a bunch of useless clothes which would be better off on someone who could use them and thought, "Hey what's happening here?"

Then one of my best friends sent me a bunch of one-liners in an e-mail. There were several I just loved: "Dream more while you are awake."

"Try and make at least three people smile each day." "Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6." And a beauty, "No one is in charge of your happiness except you."

So, I guess from now on, I won't snicker at those tea bag tags when I'm drinking my tea because you never know, the universe might be trying to get your attention any way it can even if the message comes with a cup of tea.

Northboro resident Marie Wyman is a correspondent for The Record.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Apr 24, 2008
Words:591
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