Oh right- I should back up- they didn’t find out the official sex of my younger sibling because it was the 80’s and that wasn’t really a popular practice yet. My parents were nonetheless convinced she was to be a boy because every midwife and doula and knowing mother of 4 looked at her and ‘just knew.’ My mum was carrying the baby low, the baby was incredibly active in utero, kicking and punching into my poor mum pretty much constantly, she craved ‘boy’ foods, the baby made pendulums swing certain ways… I’m not sure all the old world mojo they based this on, but suffice to say, the evidence was very convincing.
But I didn’t ask for a brother. I asked for a sister, and young Finn was completely unphased by all these claims. I knew. I knew Megan was coming, my 4 year old mind never even questioned it. I was getting a sister and it was like I knew her already.
So, on one sunny April morning, my mother got ready to leave for the hospital to give birth to my soulmate and, a very short few hours later, my little sister entered the world, just like I knew she would.
Megan and I are often referred to as “opposite sides of the same coin.” We are incredibly similar in so many ways- we like the same things, have the same sense of humour, have the same mannerisms. We speak in tongues no one else can understand, even, often, our own parents. But where I am cool and aloof, Megan is fiery and fierce. I am responsible, sometimes to the fault of being boring. Megan is impulsive, often to the fault of being reckless. Black and white. I mean, when you think about it, black and white still have more in common with each other than they do with any other colours in the spectrum, despite being complete opposites… As are Meggy and I.
2015 has had a stressful start for our family, everyone seems to be going through their own trials right now. Bizarrely, this actually gives me really high hopes for the year. When things are uncertain, you know what happens? Change. Big change. Big change for the better, I think. When I look back at my life thus far, all my best years started out just like this one. So it’s good, but in the middle, in the fray, it’s tiring. What did Winston Churchill once say? If you’re going through hell, KEEP GOING.
So, we keep going.
When Megan gets stressed out, she sleeps. That girl becomes a cat, she can sleep up to 15 hours a day. I’m so jealous of her hypersomnia, because when I get stressed out, I never sleep. I become immune to sleep. Insomiacs of the world, how are we all doing today? (Everybody: “ugggghhhhhhh….”)
Enter: Alpine Tea.
My mum picked up a bunch of tea when she was in Switzerland over the summertime. I’m not a huge fan of chamomile or mint teas but, as a post-dinner digestif, I’m never going to say no to a warm cuppa. One evening, when the family was all together we made a post-dinner pot of “Alpine Tea” (which was really called something very, very long in Swiss German… I love their compound words).
And… we all slept a solid 8 hours of very restful sleep. Glorious sleep. Megan didn’t oversleep, but felt more rested than ever. I actually slept through the night and woke up feeling refreshed and balanced. It was wonderful.
When anxiety levels are high, people often feel compelled to indulge in vice- whatever your vice of choice may be. It could be coffee, alcohol, marijuana- any number of stimulants or depressants. Why do you think people do drugs? Escape! The problem with these is that they seem to work so well in the short term, but then a couple hours later… the crash. The hangover. The return of anxiety, stronger than it was before.
Yes, maybe a cup of tea isn’t as flashy as two fingers of scotch when you’re feeling panicked, but I can guarantee it does you better in the long run.
Of course, Vancouver and Zurich are pretty far apart so when we used all the original tea bags up, we couldn’t exactly run to the closest Migros and pick up a batch. Time to reverse engineer it and made our own version! I can’t believe I never thought to make my own tea- it’s really just a bunch of dried herbs. Some of the dried herbs listed below are tougher to track down than others, but I was able to find all of them online for quite cheap, and/or at my local herbalist.
So, this tea is not only delicious, but it will calm and balance you no matter what your day looks like or what your typical stress reaction is. Zen out, readers… zen out.
|Alpine Tea|| |
- 60 g dried peppermint
- 30 g dried melissa (lemon balm)
- 30 g dried verbena (verveine)
- 20 g lady’s mantle (alchemilla)
- 20 g chamomile
- 12 g dried sage
- 8 g dried thyme
- 20 g dried nettles
- In a food processor, pulse all ingredients quickly once or twice- we want the leaves roughly uniform, but not too fine so as to run through a strainer. Store tea in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
- To brew a pot of tea, combine 2-3 tsp of dried tea for every pot of boiling water (~1 tsp of tea for just a cup). Steep for 3-5 minutes.