Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I gave up coffee for a week

Why in the world would you do
that?

Because it’s on my list

You’re crazy.

After 36 hours of caffeine deprivation, I think I may have gone a little co-co-for-coco-puffs. My head blazed, my throat closed up, and my linear thinking relaxed to ovaline proportions. The muscles in my body, confused regarding time zone location, shifted into jet lag mode, and I panted like an overzealous yet underqualified hiker.

So why do it? Why was it on my list? Honestly, because of peer pressure. When examining experiences I wanted to do, a really close friend (a coffee guru from the south who actually used her electric coffee mug warmer at work and whose husband fixed a fresh pot at 3pm) informed me that she had completely switched to decaf. I sat in reverence to her as she explained how doing so awakened her to her body more, and she felt more peaceful. This is a friend that engenders admiration…and so it went on the list.

I recently gave up something else precious to me, and so I threw in the caffeine thing at the same time out of a warped inention to 1) challenge/punish myself in matry like fashion 2) have something more physical to distract my feelings of loss towards.

The results are pretty but the process was messy.

Ah such is life. Here’s the thing. The Rolling Stones had it right: You don’t know what you got till it’s gone. The love gurus were accurate: Absence makes the heart grow fonder…I would have given a few eggs (I hear mine are worth like 25K because of the Harvard degree people, were talking golden eggs here) on Day 2 around 2:30pm for a sip of Diet Coke. Garnering pity or confusion from people around me, so many people advised (but not pressured) me to stop my abstinence and start a tapering off program. Apparently, denying yourself needs a treatment plan. “Everything in moderation” one person patted me on the back.

Day 3, no headaches, Day 4, no restlessness in the AM, but still dragging in the PM…but days 5-7, I didn’t feel any difference….except that I couldn’t take the free Diet Cokes during a research presentation like everyone else.

There is more resilience in ourselves to accommodate than we recognize. And giving something up, not during a time where you feel pressured or obligated, but because you chose to do it for x amount of time, feels incredibly empowering…now that it is over….but during it, you recognize the impact it has on you and you have on it.
Give up something. Just for a week (I am not enforcing any plan for rationing following this) What’s your coffee? Do so as a statement about you…something you want to recognize in your life. It’s a good social statement also. I walked around pointing out: there’s caffeine in that, there’s caffeine in that. Give up plastic bottles for a week due to a love of the environment. Give up high fructose corn syrup to battle the big corn business. Give up mirrors for a week…

Think of all the things you might see.

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4 thoughts on “Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

  1. I am always trying to give up sugar. But I need to give it up for good because otherwise I eat two tubs of cotton candy a day. I’m an addict.

  2. Way to go girl!
    I periodically give up desserts for a couple of weeks at a time. My objective is to not indulge and not make a big deal out of it. I watch my friends: he loves his desserts, she abstains and kind of lords it over him. He’s fighting weight; she’s got it down. It’s hard to be around. She had an accupuncturist treat her for sugar addiction 25 years ago when she was 80 pounds overweight (or more). It worked!

    Anyway, giving up something is good for us. How about consuming only food with health benefits? How about working it the other direction. Can you make yourself do something because it’s good for you?

  3. I gave up chocolate for New Year’s until the post-Valentine chocolate sales. It was a nice break, but I didn’t see the big deal or feel an immense sense of self-satisfaction. Hmmm, maybe I’m just rationalizing. In any case, the break made me realize that quality was more enjoyable than quantity so I go for the good stuff now!

  4. “not during a time where you feel pressured or obligated, but because you chose to do it for x amount of time”

    Bingo! And congrats on your accomplishment!

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