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!