An Ode to my Favorite Mug
Written on June 29, 2015
If you clicked on this post... 1) I'm surprised and 2) I hope what I'm about to say will resonate with you even on the slightest level. Routinely, upon waking up, I head down to the kitchen to make myself either a cup of coffee or tea. I'm not going to explain the whole process in detail, as I'm sure you know how it goes: either turn on the stove or the coffee maker, shuffle around lazily until the whistle of the teapot commences or the machine's red light goes out, then grab your mug, fill it up, and enjoy. But, wait up—what about the "grab your mug" part? Why did we skip over that step so quickly and casually?
Yes, this "step" defines just one of the many, seemingly minimal choices an individual makes in a given day. However, I don't think it should be undermined. Choices are, simply, choices—big or small. We make each of these choices for a reason. Obviously, we aren't cognitively conscious of all the choices we make in a day. Nonetheless, I think the process we each undergo in making these daily choices and decisions tells us something about our individual character.
I have a favorite mug. It's blue and white, and it embodies an antique, decorative-porcelain flair. It has the silhouette of a teacup, but it's a bit larger. The size allows for just the right amount of coffee or tea (satisfying, reasonable, and no refill required). It's comfortable to hold; its rim is perfectly thin; it's elegant and whimsical; I notice something new about it every day. Although I know it seems like I'm going down this route, I can promise you that this is not a confession of my true love for a mug. Instead, let's view this mug as a motif or a metaphor.
Quite frequently, when I open up the kitchen cabinet in search of my favorite blue and white mug, I'm continually let down by its absence. Whether it's in the dish-washer or sitting in my room from the night before (tea-stained and half-full), I'm repeatedly saddened when I can't use it right then and there. I mean, it's never really that bad; all it often takes is a quick hand-wash and towel dry, then it's ready for use. But never, ever, do I simply settle and use a different mug. I'll either wash my mug, or I'll withhold from making myself a warm beverage altogether.
That's why I'm writing this post. I recently became conscious of this weird manner of mine. It occurred to me the other day that, even with a cabinet full of various mugs (of all shapes, sizes, colors, patterns, and so on), I continually refuse to use one different from the one designated as my favorite.
So, what's the essence or meaning of all this? To be honest, I'm not sure it's all that blatant. Does my mug represent materialism? Attachment? Inflexibility? Yes, yes, and yes—but MORE too. The blue and white mug is my favorite because it makes me happy. Despite the fact that it may sound ridiculous to some, this mug has become a constant in my life, as well as a repeated reason to smile each and every morning. It's my mug; something special to me that generates an inner emotion exclusive to me. It's a form of comfort.
As I'm typing up this post, I'm sipping on peppermint tea in—you guessed it—my favorite blue and white mug. One day, I will have to part ways with my mug. Maybe, it will be due to accident (such as the breaking of my mug). Maybe, it will be due to growth (I'll replace it with a new favorite mug). Either way, it won't last forever. No object does.
"It's the little things..."
In this moment, today, it's important to recognize this mug's prominence in my life. For me, choosing this mug out of the cabinet each morning is a choice that requires minimal contemplation. In advance, I know what my choice will be. I love this mug, and the amount of mornings in which it has been my only source of comfort (often due to a threatening series of obligations that laid ahead at school) is telling of just how much I love it.
In the future, when I open the cabinet and my mug is not there, I want to challenge myself. Upon its absence, I'll have to adapt. I'll have to remind myself that, while it's important to honor my feelings, it's also important to realize that dictation of happiness should not depend upon a material object. I'll have to remind myself that it's okay to switch things up. I'll have to remind myself to be more open-minded with regard to habitual variation.
Who knew a mug could be so deep? Maybe, I'm ridiculously over-analytical and philosophical. And maybe, I'm on my own in seeing the significance in such a trivial item. Nonetheless, I truly do love my mug. That has got to be worth something, right?