If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Back on track

Maybe that should be back on the trail. Last March I started a virtual hike of the Appalachian Trail with some on-line friends. I got sidetracked sometime during the summer, and I managed at some point to wash my pedometer. Needless to say, I'm so far behind the others at this point that I'm not sure I really want to know. However, I'm not getting any younger or thinner, so tonight I took an hour by myself and went to buy a new pedometer. I splurged and bought one the size of a credit card that goes in your pocket, and I think it will live on the bathroom vanity. I just have to get in the habit of putting it in my pocket when I get dressed and taking it out when I get undressed. That could be a challenge in itself; I've always been far better at forming bad habits than good ones.

I have big, exciting plans for this weekend. We WERE going to go camping again at Rockome, but circumstances conspired against us. Instead, I'm going to collect a big pile of stuff for Goodwill and make the guys take it down there for me. They don't know that yet, of course. I did solicit suggestions from each of my family members for something fun to do this weekend, and no one had any bright ideas. Maybe this will teach them to be a little more creative. Or not. I also plan to crochet for a while and go to the local farmers market, where I will buy fresh produce of some sort and maybe talk with the Alpaca lady. I may even spend a few hours studying and/or writing. Really, weekends aren't very much different for me than weekdays now. Each day is equally enthralling.


Monday, August 25, 2008


I just got this e-mail:

Just read the blog. For the sake of Eric and the kids PLEASE don't kick the caffeine to quickly. You're not really fun to be around when you're jonesing for caffeine.
Talk to you later,
I sent virtual raspberries back to him. I maybe have been cutting back a little too fast, though. I've been scaring the kids. Ever live with someone who's trying to quit smoking? Ever put a cigarette in their hands? Vicky has known how to turn on the coffee maker since she was 2. I wouldn't be surprised to see her brewing coffee in the near future. Shoot, just the fact that I'm snarky enough to put Paco's e-mail on the WWW should be telling me something!


Backing down

I've been a caffeine junkie for a long time. I started drinking coffee in 1986, when I was in technical training and had to form up at 6:00 a.m. to march to class. My addiction really took hold after Vicky was born. I had two babies, a full time job, and all the little details that come with them. Sometimes just getting everyone out of the house in clean clothes was a challenge. When I worked in the investment industry, I was drinking a pot of coffee a day.

Don't think that I only drink coffee for the caffeine. I like coffee, the stronger, the better. I've been known to challenge baristas to make a cappuccino too strong for me. Only one has come close.

I've known for a long time that caffeine isn't doing me many favors. Every book I've read for school has said that caffeine is fine to a point, but that too much can overtax the adrenal glands and raise blood pressure and heart rate. That should be reason enough for me to want to back down on the amount of caffeine I drink, but there's more to it than that. I'm a hardcore addict. Coffee is my crack. The irony comes from the part of my nature that rebels when I *have* to do something. Even if it's right, even if it's good, it chaps my hide to do something because I *have* to. Addiction is a *have* to, but it's not usually a big deal--coffee and sodas are so readily available that at most it takes a quick stop at a gas station. It's an inconvenience when I'm camping. I'm not too much fun to be around when we're waiting for coffee to boil, but I always make sure to make a pot after breakfast which doesn't get emptied until dark. I'm not above drinking cold coffee over ice.

A few years ago, someone classified me as a catastrophist. I think of worst case scenarios, make contingency plans, compulsively plan for the worst. I stay well-stocked on paper towels, toilet paper, and first aid supplies. If the bird flu comes to the Midwest, I'm just about ready for several weeks of quarantine. That's the biggest reason I'm breaking my addiction. I don't want to be doing withdrawl during a national emergency or natural disaster. I'm lucky that caffeine is one of those substances that is best not done cold turkey. I'm blending my coffee with decaf, chicory, and dandelion, and I can feel caffeine losing its grip. I've learned that it's easier to get through the day if I keep my blood sugar level, so I'm eating more fruit and snacking through the day. I've discovered that hummus is good on lots of different things.

Of course, my friends think the world is coming to an end! I just smile and order decaf.