Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Why I can’t give up coffee (but probably could)

A couple of years ago, I was meeting a business contact for lunch, and in our conversation I mentioned that I drink coffee more for the psychological aspects of it than the actual physical jumpstart.

“You don’t seem like you need coffee,” he said, not missing a beat.
Because I don’t. You’ve read this blog. If you’ve met me, then you know even further. My mind races, my mouth races, my feet can race on a treadmill and I can still struggle with insomnia.

Or, if I’m sleeping just fine – I can pretty much always welcome more rest come morning, hence the beauty and comfort of coffee – then when I get up I hit the ground running.

Even after nights of no or little sleep, I’ve been able to keep my mind and body racing at quite a clip.


Maybe I don’t need coffee.

If I’m being honest (and let’s keep this on the down low), I don’t really love coffee the way I used to. The taste doesn’t satisfy the way it once did. I used to be clearly a black, dark roast girl, now I try and mix it up – blonde roast, cream – to see if my mouth will respond with new fervor. Alas, not usually.

Yesterday morning I woke up and I want/needed coffee. I had gone on a seven mile hike the day before, had two (light) beers when I was done, and crashed. I woke up after a holiday weekend (so, essentially like waking up on a Monday after having extra time off) and was heading straight into a meeting. I even had to run an errand on the way to the meeting, to get bagels.

I want/needed coffee.

And the coffee helped. It snapped my brain out of the fog. It made me think I was a nicer person to deal with.

Right now I’m having an after-lunch cup. I enjoyed the bonding with my coworker to make it. I feel somewhat safe with it by my side.

Would I actually fall asleep at my desk without it? No. But it’s nice to have it there.

Do I wish, rather, that there was something else to snap me out of this post-lunch fatigue? Absolutely.

Because the reality is, while I wouldn’t fall asleep without the coffee, the coffee isn’t going to make me feel fully awake.

What made me feel best was when we were in the break room making the coffee. Why? Because I was on my feet.

I think I’m more physically active than I realize.

Years ago, when I started working at Starbucks, I feared that being on my feet all the time would make me so tired, with no energy left after a shift.

Not true at all.

The first week my feet and back hurt more than normal, sure, but I was an avid runner throughout my time at the ‘Bucks. In fact, after working my early morning shifts, I would make myself sit down before heading out for a four or five mile run simply because I thought it was a good idea to take a break.

So should I sign up for a construction job? Probably not. I like writing too much. I like sitting in front of a computer too much.

I just wish I had more control of when and how often I could get up. I’d more happily get up midday to work out and then sit down, sweaty, sans coffee, to get some work done, than to have a five minute break to make coffee and then sit back down in a stupor, only somewhat masking my lethargy.

Then there’s the teeth conundrum. My teeth are gross yellow. I’d like that to not be the case. I could drink tea. But tea tastes different. I welcome, with loving arms, tea, when I’m sick, or with the right kind of friend, when it’s rainy, etc. Sometimes tea cuts it where coffee can’t. But most of the time I find the opposite to be true.

So yellow teeth for me.

It also feels like you’re drinking dirt sometimes. It doesn’t sit well in the stomach or bowels.

Tea sits better. But it’s like drinking water.

Now I’m just whining.

I hope this waffling makes it clear to you why I’ve struggled for 10+ years now to kick this habit.

How about you? What are your thoughts on coffee? Is it feeding you the way it once did? How do you wake up, how do you keep from feeling mad at people, if you don’t drink it? How do you get through the TIREDNESS of life??? Inquiring, addicted minds want to know.

Maybe in 2016, New Year’s Resolution. Not this year, however. Don’t think it’s going to happen this year.

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