Dec 22, 2012

Slowing down, but won't stop

Can you guess what tea this is? :-D
(Many apologies for not "showing up" for a long time! I started writing this piece before the summer, and left it unfinished. Now I don't remember what else I had planned to write :-p But it seems what I wrote earlier already includes most of what I wanted to say. I've had a bitter-sweet, busy, dizzy time in the past several months. I'm proud to say, I made a lot of "useful" achievements and I enjoyed it. But meantime, I have to say, I've always equally enjoy "useless" things such as tea drinking and tea writing!)

For a long time, I have been thinking what "tea" should be in my life. Obviously, it's a beverage. It has also been adopted as the central subject of my free writing (I mean blog haha...). It's a source of explorations in history, culture and science. It's a hub to connect with friends. It's a subject of business (I'm not only buying, but also selling it). It could also be a subject of academic work (by the way, my partner and I are looking for an interested publisher to work together on an English translation of a great tea book, full of information and pictures, written by Dr. Wan Xiaochun, a leading tea scientist in China. I've planned to write something to introduce the book.).

To me, the question is, how should "tea" be ranked in the priority list of my life, and how should different aspect of "tea" be prioritized? And here are some of my thoughts.

1. Tea is not the most important thing in my life. I am crazy about tea. That's bad enough already, and I'm kind of glad that I'm not dependent on tea. I don't feel every day of my life has to include tea. Whenever I can have tea, I'm happy. But there were many times that I had to give up tea for days, or many consecutive days, for family, for work, or for back country camping - I naturally don't think much of tea when I don't even have a proper toilet :-p

2. Tea is fairly important in my life. Tea study is one of the major entertainments in my life (I hope this doesn't sound too nerdy...). Tea blogging and a series of activities affiliated to it are a lot of fun that I don't want to give up easily.

3. Tea business could be a little more complicated. But as long as I control it instead of letting it control me, I believe I can maintain a tea business in an enjoyable way.

4. A puerh producer I like very much often says his philosophy is, "Action comes prior to perfection." I like it very much. There are a lot things that we want to do but keep postponing, partially because "we are not ready yet", "it's not the best time yet", or "it's not good enough yet." But "doing" itself is an approach to get closer to good, better and perfect. A Tang dynasty art collector once said, "If we don't do fruitless things, how could we fill our life anyway?" So, although I feel I wouldn't have as much free time to do my tea stuff, and wouldn't be able to get closer to perfection in foreseeable time, I would keep going anyway. I will have to slow it down a bit, and have yet to figure out some practical solutions for my tea life, but it's not time to stop, yet!