Caffeine altar: creating special space for your rough mornings

By on Nov 1st

Caffeine Altar

My caffeine altar

Back in my wild-partying days, I used to do this thing for myself: before I went out, I'd get my bedroom all set up to be the perfect come-down/hangover den. I'd make the bed and fold back the blanket. I'd leave the twinkly lights on. I'd set a glass of water on the bedside with a couple Advil, right next to the stereo remote. Basically, I got really good at anticipating my compromised mental/emotional state, and pre-creating a space to make it a little easier.

In my kitchen now, I've used the same idea to create the perfect caffeine altar. After too many years of stumbling around in the morning slopping my tea around in an exhausted haze, I decided that I could do better. It's not like it's unexpected — every morning I wake up, stumble into the kitchen, and switch on the kettle. Sometimes I'm so tired that I literally just stand there, dazed in my bathrobe, waiting for the water to boil. Why shouldn't I anticipate this morning moment and make it a little easier on myself? Why not do what I'd done back in my early 20s, but instead of anticipating a post-party come-down, I could just anticipate a sleepy morning?

Here are the ingredients of my caffeine altar:

  • Placemat to hold the space (somehow, this is very important)
  • Electric kettle
  • Teapot
  • Spoon rest (most recent addition, after too many honey-slicked spoons made a mess on the place mat)
  • Tea Timer
  • Notepad for the daily To Do list
  • "Gay Peary" painting for the gazing uponst

None of these items are particularly special, but combined they create a morning moment, as it were. By anticipating my compromised morning mental state, I'm able to make the whole process go a little bit smoother, and a little bit more pleasantly. No more honey glooped off my spoon (there's the spoon rest). No more wondering if the tea is ready yet (there's the timer). No more hunting around for a pen when I think of something I need to do (there it is!).

In some ways, I feel like this is what really makes me a bonafide grown up: I'm able to anticipate my own comprised states, and make plans to compensate for them. GO ADULTHOOD!