Word of Intent: Joy


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The last memory I have of 2020 is Oliver kicking me in the back as he tried to keep himself from falling asleep. I don’t know who dozed off first– him or me– but when I woke up, it was 2:30 AM in 2021. I missed the opportunity to say “so long, sucker!” to 2020 and usher in the New Year with a strange sense of optimism.

Normally, I have a long list of resolutions that I post this time of year, and ultimately all are abandoned by the end of January, so this year I decided to forego that and instead adopt a word of intent. I tried to do this last year, but ironically, the word I chose for 2020 was “explore”.

In 2021, I am embracing the word “Joy”. Something I wish I would have done more in 2020, especially as the year dragged on and the negative echo chamber of the internet got louder. Moments of joy were always there. I just didn’t slow down and really appreciate them.

We are only a few weeks into 2021, but joy has filled my days in so many ways. Like, having actual time off from work, so I didn’t have to juggle that work-at-home-mom life again while Oliver was on Christmas vacation. Like adopting a new habit of drinking at least one cup of tea outdoors each day to enjoy a peaceful moment in the fresh air. Like finally having someone to sip tea with because as it turns out, my husband has a taste for sheng pu’erh.

On this day, I was going to take a moment to decompress with a cup of sencha because green teas embody those weightless, warm and sunshine days that I miss right now. But, I found joy in a cup of the Forest blend from Tea Spectral instead.

Forest is a blend of black tea, orange peel, cinnamon, sage, juniper berries, and natural and artificial flavor. The scent of juicy orange dominates the dry leaf, and it steeps up to a burnt orange or amber color.

The first infusion was sipped while Oliver and I worked on arts and crafts. The tea was tart and juicy orange against subtle earthy sage and cinnamon. Each sip was vibrant and matched the energy of a toddler armed with a paintbrush and a tube of gold glitter. The second infusion was softer. One where all the flavors were present, including refreshing pine from the juniper berries. It accompanied me as I cleaned up art supplies while Oliver settled quietly in the living room, filling me with false hope that he was getting ready to take a nap.

I find myself reaching for this blend on snow-quiet afternoons when the warmth and coziness of my home threatens to lull me into a nap. It also pairs nicely with fantasy novels with richly crafted worlds, like the Lord of the Rings.

Did you set any resolutions or words of intent for yourself this year? Tell me about them in the comments!

Thirsty? Why not try the Forest blend from Tea Spectral?

About Tea Spectral: Tea Spectral is an online tea shop launched by Stefanie Warner, a tea blender and sommelier, in Spring 2018. She draws inspiration from literature and history for her blends. Check out the Tea Spectral website for more whimsical blends.

Already tried the Forest Blend from Tea Spectral? Check out some of these tasTEA recommendations:

3 responses to “Word of Intent: Joy”

  1. Sharon Goodman Avatar
    Sharon Goodman

    So, how are you going to remember your joyful moments? Are you keeping a journal or do you have a monthly reminder set to go off in your email or on your phone? How do you give yourself time to remember when work, home, and Ollie demand so much of your time.


  2. Katie Avatar

    I love the idea of focusing on Joy in 2021! I’m also collecting moments of joy and using them to get through the difficult moments. My word this year is Stillness and it’s been serving me well so far 🙂


  3. Eustacia | Eustea Reads Avatar
    Eustacia | Eustea Reads

    What a wonderful word for 2021! 2020 was such a dreary and soul-sucking year that I think we all need to slow down and find joy right now.


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Hello, my name is Jackie. I’m a thirty-something mother of a rambunctious toddler from a small town in Michigan. When I’m not toddler-wrangling, I’m often seeking refuge from life’s most chaotic moments in a cup of hot tea. I also love getting lost in stories—both in books and virtually. I enjoy speculative fiction the most, and I am especially eager to read fantasy novels and horror novels. When I’m feeling especially indulgent (usually after everyone in the house has gone to sleep), I like to dive into video games and explore the sprawling worlds in Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect.

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