New Year’s Resolutions, Month by Month: February

ICYMI: I decided to make my New Year’s resolutions last all year this year by working on 12 mini-resolutions instead of one big one. In January I gave up added sugar; for February, I decided to tackle something even more difficult: cutting out caffeine.

I really do love coffee, and when I was still teaching, I had quite a bit of the stuff — truly necessary fuel for someone who had to get out of bed at 5 a.m. every day and be stuck in traffic for close to 90 minutes each morning. 

It was not fun, but at least I always had a full — large! — travel mug of coffee in my hands to make the commute bearable.

Fast forward to this February, where I found myself six months into my new life working full time from home. I had somewhat cut back on the coffee just by using a regular mug instead of my double-sized travel cup, but now that I have been allowed to let my body decide when to wake up — emphatically not before the sun comes upI no longer actually need  caffeine.

But I do still like to sit and enjoy the slow coffee in the morning, usually while I watch Charlie Rose on CBS and generally behave like a retired person.

So for February I gave up caffeine. I did not go cold turkey, because I am not a person who enjoys caffeine headaches. Instead, I spent the month of February dialing down my usage. At first I just replaced one of my eight scoops of coffee grounds with decaf to make the morning pot. Every four days I would up the decaf by one scoop until by the first day of March my pot of coffee was all decaf.

And that was that. No headaches, no withdrawal. I don’t miss the caffeine at all — in fact, I had a cup of regular coffee one morning a week ago or so, and I was jittery as hell. It felt like poison, I tell ya. Poison!

So now I am an even more old lady-like, semi-retired person who orders decaf in restaurants. I’m going to assume that this is better for me, though it was so easy to do it doesn’t seem like it should make much of a difference. I definitely feel like my energy levels have evened out, though it’s hard to say if that’s because of cutting caffeine or living a life where I can go to bed and wake up when I please — which is nice work if you can get it, indeed.


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