I read an article from The Art of Manliness that my brother posted on FB, about being caffeine-free and the health benefits that come from it. (Caffeine is BAD, don’tcha know?) As someone who consumes beverages with caffeine on a regular basis, this article gave me pause. While I was reading, I could think of actual research that pointed to the opposite of what the writer was saying. It really got me irritated for a moment, and I began to furiously Swype out a blog post on my phone in response (we upgraded to Windows 10 last weekend, and there was an… issue… that has since resolved itself, but for the duration I was unable to access the internet thru my laptop and had only my phone to get online!). Luckily, I was passing out tired while writing so I emailed it to myself to finish this morning. Now that I’ve had overnight to marinate about it and put some more coherent thought into it, I’ve examined my reasons for reacting the way I did. I’ve completed my morning routine, which included (wait for it) COFFEE and some time out in naturehood, and now I’m sitting down at the kitchen table in my sunshiny kitchen ready to give a more mature response.
At first, the article felt like a personal attack. I love me some beverages with varying amounts of caffeine in them. Coke, diet Coke, Coke Zero, Mexican Coke, Mtn. Dew, Diet Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and last and best… COFFEE!!!! I hadn’t experienced any of the adverse effects the “manly” article cited. In fact, I had experienced quite the opposite! (I would like to add at this point that I am neither pro- nor anti-caffeine; I am, however, pro- you-do-you-and-I’ll-do-me.) It takes a lot to get a person through the day. Millions of choices that can make your day go either way, and you never know which direction any one thing’ll go. What works for one is an unmitigated disaster for another. It was at this point that I dialed the interior drama down a notch and reminded myself that my brother sharing this article was not a commentary on my choices; it was not him being passive aggressive or looking down his nose saying “hey, look at how much healthier I am than you”, it was just him sharing something with people he cares about. Something he’s done (or doing?) that makes sense/is working for him, and he wants us to know so we can benefit from this knowledge. That’s what you do when you gain knowledge, you share it with others so you can all be smart!
(See how mature that was? I just adulted! I have just given you a premium example of how to adult, and well. You are welcome. Now go forth and do likewise.)
Now that I am inspired by my brother sharing something that works for him instead of feeling like a rejected loser; I would like to share how I feel about something that is the opposite of what works for him, but works incredibly well for me, and is about coffee (which has caffeine) instead of just straight up caffeine consumption. In other words, my opinions do not include sodas or energy drinks; which are bad for you for numerous reasons, the least of which is the amount of caffeine in them. (Except Coke, of course.)
It is SO important to have things in life that give us joy! We all need a reason to wake up each day. Something to look forward to. A raison d’etre. One of those things, for me, is coffee.
I. LOVE. COFFEE!!!
I love it sooooooooo hard!! It has been recommended to me by my doctor for reasons. I jumped at this news with great joy; as I have always felt euphoric at the scent of freshly brewed coffee (at any time of day!) and coffee-flavored treats all my life. Here are a few articles* that disprove some of the negative effects of coffee and share some of the positive benefits, of which I am a benefactor:
The Case for Drinking As Much Coffee As You Like from the Atlantic
6 Healthy Reasons to Keep Loving Coffee from Health Magazine
11 Reasons You Should Drink Coffee Every Day from the Huffington Post (my favorite being number five)
and just for funsies, an article published by the Harvard School of Public Health about how people who drink two to four cups of java each day are less likely to commit suicide than those who don’t drink coffee.
You’re all more or less familiar with how my life goes. It is HARD. It is beyond comprehension for the average bear to know how hard it is for me to wake up every day and not want to die for one irrational reason or another. Since I started drinking coffee, my mornings have changed dramatically. One of my very favorite times of day is when I get home from doing the drop off at school. I brew myself a cup or three in my French press (or more in my new Mr COFFEE!) and sit down at the table to open up my laptop and start the day; while I sip this amazingly rich and velvety smooth beverage from one of my ultra special, use-it-and-die coffee mugs.
Or same scenario, except for instead of sitting down to do internets I go outside and sit in my Adirondack chair with my sea turtle pillow on my incredibly awesome (but fake) lawn; the smallest of breezes stirring in the trees, and the birds taking attendance of who survived the night and didn’t get eaten by feral cats. I take in a deep breath and contemplate the universe, or what I’m going to do that day… I just sit and marinate and enjoy the good feelings until my drink is gone; and then I putter inside and get to going.
The steam will be rising as I bring it in close for a sip; and as the warmth glides down my throat and into my chest, my heart feels a spark of life. All of a sudden, I feel smitten with everything I see! This best-feeling-ever permeates my morning and colors everything I do with a rosy tint. The corners of my mouth slowly turn into a most contented smile, and a song starts in my head about sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.
I drink coffee to feel great. I do it because it makes me feel happy inside (as well as doctor reasons). It gives me the courage and strength I need to face another day of living with oversensitivity in a world full of hyperactivity. That might seem incredibly shallow or silly to you, but it works for me and that’s all that matters. I hope with all my heart that you have something in your life that gives you this feeling because we all deserve to feel good and capable, even if it’s only for the 30 minutes it takes to drink a steaming cup of joe.
It’s easy to do, to find articles and blog posts that validate your point of view no matter what it is. There is research, both real and fake, that promotes or shuns just about everything you could ever think about! EVER. That’s just something to think about whenever you read anything written by anyone that either supports or destroys your POV on the subject.