As if paper weren't enough, I also collect coffee mugs. I buy one from each place I visit, generally. And my boyfriend and I have an agreement. When he goes somewhere, he'll get me one, and vice versa. Not always, but generally. And that means I have way more cups than my cupboards will bear. Luckily, when he comes over to my house for coffee after a run, he takes one home with him -- coffee for the road. Eventually, he'll return them. But it helps keep my cupboards clean. Otherwise, the extras stay stored in the dishwasher.
Once, I interviewed a man who also collects coffee mugs. A school administrator, he had his stored in his office, on hooks that covered the perimeter of the room. They were on the wall, above his head, so it's not likely he actually used any of them. But I use mine.
In fact, I use them to play a game. Every morning before I make the coffee, I choose a mug. Since they're from the many places I've been (many small towns in Arizona, hotels, big cities, various attractions) I ask myself, "Where do I want to go today?" If it's Hawaii, I choose the mug I got for free after spending more than $100 at a souvenir shop in Waikiki. I love that mug. It was free. And it fits my hand so well. If I want to spend the night at a B&B, I mght pick the mug featured in the photo above. That one was from the weekend I spent at Casa de San Pedro, a bed & breakfast located in the Arizona border town called Hereford, just south of Sierra Vista. Sometimes I want to spend imaginary time in the Grand Canyon, so I grab the mug my boyfriend bought for me there when he visited. And some mornings, I want to head back to Greer, a lovely forested village in Arizona's White Mountains. I have a few mugs from my visits there.
I enjoy playing this game. It's something I started when I moved into my house in 2004. I'm not sure why. I just started asking myself that question and have never stopped. Each morning here, it's the same question. The only time I drop the ritual is if I drink tea or am having coffee elsewhere.
For me, a ritual like this one helps start my day off in a positive light. To head off someplace I've been to before -- even if only in my mind this time -- reminds me that I live a full live, that I have many things to be grateful for, and that I like to enjoy my coffee in other ways than just taste. The question always puts a smile on my face: Where do I want to go to today? So many places. So many mugs. So many opportunities. And I'm sure I'll make room for more.
Do you have a morning ritual you entertain? If so, post a comment below telling us what it is.
**EXTRA!** A list of other people online who collect coffee mugs:
_This guy is into Starbucks mugs. If you like them and want to buy, he'll sell.
_A woman after my own heart--her spontaneous mug collection.
_And this woman weaned her collection down to 25.
_This so-called boring site is really fascinating, and so is the coffee mug post.
_Of course, you can get a little quirky and collect the lids, instead.
Enjoy the rest of your day!