This year has been all about challenging myself. A few weeks ago, my band played out. I wanted my vocals to be in tip-top shape so I decided to take some drastic measures-- I went without coffee for a week. Hear me out. I'm not some "one cup every couple of days" kind of girl. I drink at least three or four cups a day. Coffee can be very dehydrating and in my mind, that's simply a no-go for my delicate voice. Winter wreaks havoc on my vocal cords and my lips. I have to defend those precious commodities at all costs and (added bonus!) I also need to learn how to live without my daily indulgences. So, despite my intermittent overnight work schedule and my general inability to function without caffeine of some sort, I set out on my week-long coffee-free existence.
DAY ONE: I woke up and immediately forgot that I was doing the "no coffee" thing. Really strong start, I know. I brewed up some La Colombe in the French Press and didn't realize my screw-up until I was halfway done my first cup. Whoops? Oddly enough though, it's not usually the morning in which I get my coffee craving. It's usually around 3PM. On this day, 3PM came and went. I was busy so I didn't think much of it. Coffee? Never heard of it.
DAY TWO: Another seemingly normal day. I packed myself some raw almonds and a tiny square of dark chocolate in anticipation for some grand 3PM crash. The clock chimed thrice and there was nary a sign of mental or physical breakdown. Then came 4:30. The pounding headache caused me to wonder, "is this what withdrawal feels like?" I may have vowed from that point on to never get addicted to any drugs. Well, any drugs harder than caffeine. I learned how truly wimpy I am on day two. But it got better.
DAY THREE: I started to adjust on day three. However, when it came time to hang out with B, I was a little confused as to what to do. We thrive on coffee shop dates. Could I step foot into a coffee shop without giving up my quest? Am I capable of withstanding such a temptation? What IS coffee? Why is it so good? I survived our date with some hot water, honey, and a handful of raw almonds. Seriously, whatever you're trying to give up, raw almonds are the cure. (Because that's how solutions work, right? Trading one addiction for another?)
DAY FOUR: Literally nothing of note happened on day four. I was coffee-free, I was happy, and my voice was doing great. Bonus? I slept better this night than I had in a while. I think I have no coffee to thank for that. (Just ignore the strange grammar in that sentence and accept the truthfulness of that statement.)
DAY FIVE: Yikes. My first coffee-free overnight and I was unable to take a proper nap beforehand. Such is life, no? I find that in these situations, it's all mind over matter. If you think that you're going to fall asleep sprawled out on the assignment desk, drooling all over the keyboards, the police scanner will become a lullaby and you'll absolutely succumb to sweet, sweet, slumber. You have to be above it. I cranked up that police scanner, went downstairs and grabbed a San Pellegrino, and got to work. Luckily it was a busy night with lots and lots of news, so that kept me awake not only until 8AM, but through noon when I fell asleep after successfully completing all of my chores. Willpower.
DAY SIX: Almost show time. Definitely a little groggy and trying to adjust from the day before but I was able to bounce back suspiciously quickly. It kind of made me think that coffee was messing with my sleep schedules more than these overnights were. Interesting development.
DAY SEVEN: I killed it at my show. I drank coffee after and I had trouble sleeping afterwards.
Moral of the story? I didn't give up coffee for good, in fact I'm on my second cup right now. However, I now know that I can live without it. Isn't that half of the battle? Sometimes little challenges like this teach us just that. I'm already thinking of what I'm going to give up next... hmm. It should probably be Instagram.