Life after coffee

coffee

The person who wrote multiple posts in the same day for this blog seems to have disappeared over the past month. I like getting sleep, it turns out, and the price I pay to write here is giving up sleep in order to get my thoughts out. It seemed like a fair trade for a long time, but now I’m starting to question it. The thoughts keep coming, but the willingness to commit them to anything permanent seems to have waned a little bit.

A related development, I think, has been that I weaned myself off of coffee for the first time since the late 1980s. On New Year’s day, I wrote a post singing the praises of coffee, and savoring my need for it. In the post-alcohol world that I’m living in (and post-many other things, too), coffee seemed to be my last remaining indulgence.

When I returned from Spring break at the beginning of April, I was as sick as I can remember being in a very long time. I felt so bad that I couldn’t make coffee in the morning. And making coffee in the morning was a ritual for me, over the past quarter-century. But all I needed was a few days away from it to realize that it was something I wanted to do, and certainly¬†liked to do, but never really had to do. So I gave it up, just like that.

Now I drink less coffee, and I sleep more at night. Is there a correlation between them? It seems pretty clear to me. Instead of drinking cup after cup of coffee, I’ve started to drink water instead. I’ve heard that hydration is a good thing, and I’m starting to see that this is correct. Unlearning old habits isn’t such a bad thing.

I’d like to think this is doing my body some favors, but that isn’t the real motivation for doing this. It’s more to prove to myself that change is always possible, and that it can be made without upending anything important. Or as Van Halen once put it, “Change–nothing stays the same. Unchained–and ya hit the ground running.” Based on my relationship with coffee this year, I wouldn’t dispute that one bit.