AFOG: Another Effing Opportunity for Growth

I haven’t wanted to notice something, but I’m noticing it anyway. It’s not like it’s something very original or shocking. It’s kind of a “duh,” type of thing. Here it is: Drinking a huge amount of coffee every morning affects my state of being. Ewww. I don’t want to admit that, because I feel like I need my morning coffee ritual. I love it. But it’s starting to become obvious that the ritual does not love me back. It’s not part of the solution, at least not for my current lifestyle.

In the olden days, my younger years, I’d guzzle a bunch of coffee and then go to the gym and listen to dance music and basically burn it all off, exhaust myself. Nowadays though I drink a ton of coffee and then sit around writing before getting Ax prepped for and off to school.

I basically have to fight against the coffee effects to stay seated, to be gentle with my bleary-eyed early morning child. And then later in the morning there’s the crash. I don’t want to know this information. But I know it.

And now, knowing it, I can either think about it for a good long while, observe it, check it out, or decide I’m ready to give up the comfort of my known current drug of choice in favor of seeing what caffeine-clean looks like. What it feels like to be me without pumping myself full of jet fuel each morning. Without that manufactured burst of vitality and the corresponding post-crash low.

I’m scared. Not like, the tiger is going to eat me scared, but squirmy scared, like my brain is already scrolling through all the reasons why not to quit morning coffee, negotiating with myself, telling myself I need it for this, that, and the other reason. I don’t need it. It’s not helping more than it’s hurting at this point. I’m pretty sure. (That’s the squirm.)

And I’m not a natural middle-way-er, so I’m not going to take Sunshine’s suggestion to mix decaf and full caff. I’m not going to have “just one cup.” I’m not going to switch to green tea or matcha or any of the other wacky stuff that’s coffee in sheep’s clothing, coffee methadone, coffee-not-coffee. I’m going to cold turkey it and take Tylenol, yes Tylenol, for the headaches, maybe drink a lot of lemon water which people say is good for detox.

Yes, that’s what I’m going to do when I decide to do it. Maybe tomorrow. Or next week. Or next year. Oh man. Ok. I do believe that noticing is an important first step, and I’m going to give myself credit for noticing while I drink this nice fresh cup of french roast sitting here right now.

It’s funny how already it’s somewhat less appealing to keep doing the same thing now that I’ve acknowledged I’m curious to see what awaits if I don’t. There’s a lot of internal voices squawking right now. Evie: “Don’t be ridiculous, all the best writers drink coffee! You need it!” And Kind Auntie: “Perhaps your better self doesn’t want so much caffeine, dear.” And Coach Tommy: “You can do it. Go to the sink and pour it out, put the coffeemaker away, throw out all the coffee in the house. Breathe.” It’s gonna happen. But not today.