Key words and phrases:
Intangible: unable to be touched, having no physical presence
infancy: the state or period of babyhood or early childhood
trivial: of little value or importance
per capita: the average per person
go-to: a person or thing that may be relied on or is regularly referred to in a particular situation
per se: by or in itself, strictly speaking
brew: a casual word for beer or coffee
slit: a narrow cut or opening
silky smooth: very smooth
rim: the upper outer edge of something, especially something round
unravel: undo, untwist tangled treads
craving: a strong desire for something, especially food or drink
savour/savor: to enjoy the taste of something, or a moment in time, to the fullest
Happy Canada Day everyone. Canada was founded as a country 156 years ago today, just one year before the Meiji period, so it’s still in its infancy. Another trivial fact about Canada is that it consumes more coffee per capita than any country outside of Europe.
As mentioned in a previous installment, I try to start each English class with positive stories to bring some good energy to the group. My go-to line is, “Tell me something good about this week.” People often hesitate to respond because they may feel their story is not a big event. However, they are encouraged to share even the smallest thing that brought them happiness. Last week, a new member asked me to give an example by telling the group about my happy story.
I decided to tell a story about a very simple pleasure in life, also a daily essential for me, that is coffee. The story was not about coffee per se, it was more about the steps I enjoyed preparing the coffee. Let me set the scene. It was early in the morning and everything was quiet. The sun was shining and I was looking forward to a cup of morning brew. Normally, I make a pot of coffee, but on that day I decided to try a new kind of single cup drip coffee.
Surprisingly, the pleasure began even before the coffee was made. Let me explain. The packaging, made in Japan, had a small slit to make opening easier. With a gentle pull, the package opened silky smooth. Then, another tear was needed to open the coffee filter. Like the exterior package, this also opened with ease, and not a single bit of coffee was lost. Next, the paper arms needed to be extended, the ones that support the filter as it sits on the rim of the cup. The designers obviously put some thought into this. It was a complex origami design that was not only easy to unravel but its edges were made to allow it to sit securely on a cup of any design. I was so happy by the end of this process that the coffee was just a bonus. And, it too, was excellent.
The key takeaway from this story is that we don’t have to travel far, in this case no farther than the kitchen, to have a positive experience that can bring us pleasure. The trick to happiness is not to go looking for it, but making sure that we’re paying attention to the smallest events that happen to us every day.
That’s it for this month. Now that I have shared this story with you, I’m definitely craving a cup of coffee. Stay safe in the summer heat and remember to savor some moments of each and every day.
Wishing you health and happiness, always.
Tailor Made Inc.
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