Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Dangers of Self-Improvement

OK, so cutting down on caffeine may not fall under the heading of "self-improvement" for some, but it's a big deal to me, a daily drinker. The last time I gave up caffeine was 10 years ago, and I went cold turkey. Not because I'm a masochist, but because I was young and spry, optimistic and pregnant. I wanted the best for my little punkin, so I evaluated my diet, upped the produce and cut the coffee.

I like to think that this is why my firstborn was, and remains, such a great sleeper. This is also why I can forgive him for causing me a month-long headache and unending fatigue, the likes of which I've never experienced before or since.

It should be noted here that I love coffee. I drink it for the flavor, the warmth and the perk. I start my day with it. In summer, I drink it iced, frozen and spiked. In winter, I often drink it twice a day. But caffeine has a tendency to build up in the system over time, and lately I've been having trouble sleeping. So I started thinking that, despite the single-digit thermometer readings, I was in need of a purge.

This time, I decided to start slowly: one-third caffeinated grounds to two-thirds decaf. I'll wean myself, I thought. Eliminate headaches and still get a little eye-opener in the morning.

What happened was this: I made my coffee at the same time as my eggs. I dragged the sugar bowl over near the dishes and pulled the milk and salsa out of the fridge when everything was brewed and cooked. I proceeded to put salsa in my coffee.

This, to me, is not only wasteful, it's depressing. Had I been in a more alert state of mind, perhaps not getting lost in the rich, deep color of my coffee swirling and steaming in my mug, this would not have happened. I just thank goodness it wasn't a $4 cup of Starbucks.

What's worse, I'm not the only one to suffer from my addiction withdrawal. (I know, it's only the first day; bear with me here. I'm trying to make a point.) When I went to walk the dog this morning, I clipped the wrong ring on his collar, and he magaged to break free and get himself stuck in a bramble after chasing a squirrel that he was lucky enough to be able to follow. I contributed to the warming globe (no, it was not done selfishly or on purpose) by using an extra 1/2 gallon of gas to go back to the store when I forgot to get the one thing I had set out to buy there.

Finally, my first grader came off the bus and immediately pointed out that I had put two different shoes on him before sending him to school. At least they weren't on the wrong feet.

Some might be so discouraged by the blatant incompetence brought on by this mild shift in diet that they would throw up their hands, say, 'forget it. I cannot operate without coffee' and go back to their old ways. Personally, I think that sounds like a great idea. But I'm going to wait. I'm going to try to get a better night's sleep tonight, and maybe even try the partly-decaf route again tomorrow. But if the kitchen catches fire, the goldfish ends up in the refrigerator or my kid comes home in a bathing suit, I'm giving up. I may be addicted, but I'm not stupid.

1 comment:

Snowbrush said...

I don't know...I mean so what if you are addicted? It's coffee not bourbon. I gave up quitting. I've quit SO many times (for more than a year occasionally)! I finally just said, screw it. I'm going to have my coffee so I can do stupid things faster and with more energy.

Just one man's opinion...