One of the things that strikes me, viewing American culture as an "Italian", is how obsessed with self-improvement is this culture, and how self-improvement is always equated with denying pleasure.
Pleasure is un-virtuous. We are serious catz. Srsly.
Now, I know I am far from the first to make this observation about America, but it becomes more striking when, as an "erstwhile" American, an expat living right in the Lower 48, one excuses herself from the mindset. You begin seeing the madness everywhere.
I drink tea because I like it. I really like it. I would be very unhappy cat if you took my tea away.
Did you know that tea is good for you? It's really good that you drink tea. I should drink tea, too.
For a while, I tried out green teas, because they were better for me and all that nonsense. I didn't like them as much, though, so after a brief dalliance, I returned to yummy black tea: Prince Vladimir, chai from the local bakery that does chai really well (NO Dunkinbucks chai! You hear me?), English breakfast, Irish breakfast, Russian breakfast, anon. Sometimes I drink a green tea for pleasure/variety, but I relinquished my obligation to antioxidizing some time ago.
And then what happened? Oh look, black tea has health benefits, too! But that's beside the point.
Here is my question, Italia to America: What if tea (wine, greens, exercise) only benefits you if you enjoy it? Interesting premise, isn't it? Keep tweaking what you do until you find the joy.
PS And maybe if one can be less rigid about, Not Doing/Consuming X, one can find a way to do/consume X in moderation.
6 hours ago