Break All the Tea Cups and Coffee Mugs

I was drinking tea from my beer mug as I worked late into this evening.

It’s a mug that I purchased when I spent a January session at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter Minnesota back in 1986. That was the January the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded during take off. “Life in a Northern Town” was the popular song of that time.


Over the years, that mug has been filled with Diet Coke, water, coffee, tea and even, on occasion beer. It’s an excellent device for mikifying Nilla Wafers. Lots and lots of Nilla Wafers. When I had next to nothing, I had that mug.

That mug finished college with me and moved to Boston. It came back to California and lived in apartments, condos and houses with me. It was a constant companion each night and weekend that I worked on my MBA.

Over the years, there has always been that fear that one day it would break.

My thing. My precious old thing.

As I rinsed by tea-bearing beer mug in the sink tonight I wondered what I would do if I lost it or it broke. What if they all broke. One good earthquake, it could happen.

What would I do? Answer: I would buy a replacement. Would I order a new one from Gustavus? Probably not.

But if all the coffee cups and glasses in the cupboard, there would be so much room. There would be so much room for new stuff. Or maybe there would just be a void.

The things we hold on to take up space. They diminish our capacity. People, resentments and memories diminish our capacity too. They take their place on the shelves our minds and sometimes they suck up the real estate in our hearts, limiting us.

So break all the glasses and the coffee and beer mugs. Consider retaining the ones most dear and them smash them to pieces…

And be free. Be free for anything else that comes along.

Break All the Tea Cups and Coffee Mugs

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