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Life Without Coffee

Life Without Coffee, ink & watercolor in sketchbook
Life Without Coffee, ink & watercolor in sketchbook

This is what I look like far too often these days as I’ve gradually been reducing my caffeine intake. I’m down to one cup of 25% caf & 75% decaf in the morning and then nothing but decaf after that.

My painting ritual had been to make a cup of coffee before heading into the studio and bringing an entire vacuum pot of the stuff when I went out plein air painting. The extra energy from caffeine not only kept me painting when I should have been sleeping, but it also fueled my late night blog visiting and email answering.

It was fun having that artificial boost, but burning the candle at both ends was doing bad things to my health. While I miss the energy, I am sleeping at night now and waking up feeling alive and ready to go instead of feeling like my head is full of mashed potatoes.

It reminds me of something Maya Angelou said her grandmother told her:

“You don’t always get what you pay for, but you always pay for what you get.”

Yes I was squeezing extra hours out of the day but I was paying for them with being constantly sleep-deprived.

I asked a friend who doesn’t use caffeine what you’re supposed to do when you’re tired if you can’t drink coffee, thinking she’d have some other trick for keeping going. She looked at me perplexed at what seemed like a silly question.

“You rest!” she said. What a novel concept!

8 replies on “Life Without Coffee”

Jana – you do make me laugh! Well done though for making a serious point – caffeine is a very powerful stimulant! I gave it up completely once for months and then found that it had a massive impact on my system (in more ways than one!) the next time I had a drink of the proper stuff. That was when I realised just how powerful it really was.

I think I want one of your chairs – that looks soooooo comfortable.


Thanks Katherine for the reminder about how powerful it can be. You’re right that this chair is soooo comfortable. I bought it through Craigslist from someone who was moving. It’s got an electric motor which glides you back into recline position. I didn’t need that feature but the chair was so
outrageously comfortable and 1/8 the original price so I couldn’t resist. Jana


Lovely sketch Jana! I didn’t realise that was the reason you were packing so much into your day and night! I haven’t drunk a full cup of coffee in decades as I associate it with my first migraine but also my Mum was addicted to it and that put me off too.

That is a great quote – I think it’s true, when you read about people who achieve fame or fortune so often they have suffered some sort of loss to match the highs. There is always a balance of both sides.


Thanks Felicity. Actually migraines were a major reason for getting off the caffeine. Although it can serve as a cure for a headache if used occasionally, the more regularly I consumed it the more commonly I woke up with a headache and the more often I was starting to get migraines. The year I gave up caffeine entirely (and many other food triggers) I had zero migraines. Jana


I love the “happy face” on your slipper! (I have reduced my coffee intake, but would hate to give up entirely!)


I love your sketch, Jana. You look so peaceful with your kitties around you while you’re napping. I had to cut back on caffeine because of heart palpitations. I got used to the de-caff. 🙂


Oh Jana, I know just how you feel. I, too, fuel my late nights with caffeine. Perhaps I should cut down on my tea intake. Although, the thought of that fills me with dread.

Cute sketch. And, I’m sure you’ll be feeling a huge amount better soon.


I complain all the time about not being able to sleep well, it’s usually 3 am before I get to sleep, and then I only sleep for maybe an hour and I’m back up for awhile etc. I guess I should cut out the mountain dew, especially at night!! I have tried it before but not for very long-but I’m sick of that mashed potato feeling(never thought of it like that before)-I always feel as if I am in some kind of daze…….thanks for your post!!


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