Skipping Starbucks.

Starbucks is a worldwide company that sells not only products with an addictive element (caffeine)–they also sell happiness.

A week ago I told myself, I’m not going to go to Starbucks anymore. There were a lot of good reasons to stick to this…

It’s expensive. Let’s say you had one $6 frappuchino every day of the week (and this is not unheard of). That’s $42 a week… $168 a month… $2,016 a year. Sounds unheard of, right? I can’t possibly spend that much, you might say. I don’t go every day. Well, do you and your spouse go? Right… well chalk that up to the days that you don’t go… and there you are, right back at two grand a year.

It’s caffeine. You don’t need caffeine. You shouldn’t have caffeine (at least not a lot of it). It makes you go potty more often. It dehydrates you. It can make your heart flutter. I don’t think I have to continue on that vein.

The food. Morsels at Starbucks are very yummy; but don’t look at the price tag, and for Heaven’s sake please don’t look at the calorie count.

With all of this said, there are two reasons that people go to Starbucks that have nothing to do with all of the things above.

Starbucks is a routine. If you live in a life of chaos, Starbucks can be your anchor. You go every day, at the same time, with the same barista, and around the same customers. You might even make friends with these people, which leads me to the next point…

Starbucks sells happiness. If you stop going to Starbucks you not only upend a routine you’ve had for a long time, but you also have to essentially “break up” with at least a half-dozen people. That hurts. The barista hollers out hello with a smile as you walk in the door, and whatever kind of dumpy morning you’ve had up to that point is gone for the next five minutes because of this wonderful green-frocked elf of happiness. If you remove that from your routine and go straight to work, you seemingly miss out on this candle in the darkness of morning. My barista knew me really well. On mornings that I looked like I needed it, she would give me whatever was left over in the blender, in a second cup… as if one whole cup wasn’t enough… but who says no to something free like that? I didn’t. It was like a couple more sips of happiness.

So… how do you fix this?

This is a hard one, because I have this problem myself; so I’m going to brainstorm a little here, and I’m going to ask you to add your own ideas to the comments below…

  • Leave a piece of paper by the front door, adding up the math I mentioned above, showing how much money you have spent over the last year. Make sure the final number is in really big print.
  • Is your house quiet in the morning? Maybe you can wake up to your favorite playlist with an app like Nightstand Central. This page has some great suggestions for morning playlist songs. I love Norah Jones’s “Sunrise.” Pick songs that have happy memories wrapped around them.
  • Fill up a water bottle or Tervis tumbler with ice and water. You’ll have it to sip on as you walk around the house in the morning, and then walk out the door with it when you leave. Water is a whole other post for another Wellness Wednesday. 🙂

What suggestions do you have for things to add to your morning that can fill it with a little bit of happiness for you?

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Author: Susan Pitman

Susan is an artist who grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Texas. She writes songs, short stories, and books. You can follow @kitykity on Twitter.

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