PSLs and an Election Year

One a road trip last weekend we stopped by a Starbucks on our way out of town, where I sampled a pumpkin spice latte, seeing as the weather has finally decided to cool.

I found, to my quiet horror, that I do not really like pumpkin spice lattes much.

Gasp. I know, I’m a traitor to fall.

Here’s the thing that makes it even worse: knowing that pumpkin spice lattes are so sweet and syrupy, I asked for half the flavor pumps (1 1/2 pumps of flavor instead of 3) so I could taste the actual coffee in the drink.

It was still too sweet and left a strange aftertaste that I didn’t much care for.

Apparently I’ve become a coffee snob, and I’ve become more sensitive to sweet drinks. While this is probably good for my overall health, it is a little sad that I don’t get excited about the fall-in-a-cup treat that makes the social media rounds. I do, however, still like anything with salted caramel in it, so all is not lost.

Just make the drink with half the normal sugar and it will be fine.

single leaf

It feels so frivolous to think about the relative merits of sugary flavored coffee when the world is in such turmoil. Natural disasters, wars, violence, racial tensions, an especially acrimonious political season, not to mention smaller disappointments, personal failings, and suffering of people I care about – these are all present.

Thinking about all the problems in the world is too much. Thinking about politics alone is sometimes too much, makes me too angry. Larger movements in the world — I have no control over these. Not that this means I should ignore them or disclaim any responsibility to make the world a better place in small ways, but I need not bear the weight of the world on my shoulders.

It’s better some days to focus on small moments of joy:

  • passing a test (after many, many attempts…)
  • friends who are learning to be new parents
  • friends whose child came home after a successful surgery
  • leaves that are just beginning to turn lovely colors
  • coming home to the smell of soup in a crockpot wafting through the house
  • time with my parents and my in-laws over delicious food

The world may be tired and dangerous, torn apart with strife, but the seasons continue, and the leaves will be beautiful no matter who wins the presidential election.

Photo from Unsplash.

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