It’s the end of the world as we know it

All of these are signs of the end of the world as I know it…

I called Comcast and reduced our cable subscription to the lowest possible that still gives me access to “Defiance,” “The Strain,” and “The Walking Dead.” At the end of the call I’d reduced my monthly bill by $85.

I cancelled my Hulu subscription.

I decided to empty out my storage room, which means getting rid of accumulated items that have been sitting in that room for three years.

I am going to share my brother’s Netflix subscription, which means I am going to  cancel mine.

And, oh, by the way, I’m thinking of cutting back on coffee. No, I’m not talking about giving it up completely. My sleep patterns go wonky when I give up coffee. But I’m up to somewhere between 4-6 cups a day. I think I need to cut back a little.

And that’s just the beginning …


I want the things that are bad for me

I really only have two vices: Diet Coke and coffee. I don’t drink Diet Coke because of the “diet” part; I got stuck on the taste years ago and never got to switch back. I don’t even indulge in the fancy coffee; I go for the plain coffee with Sweet ‘n Low and creamer. No half-caff with a shot and extra foam for me; I’m a cup of Joe kind of girl. I like what I like.

I’ve been counting my cans, keeping track of how much of these two liquids I consume. It’s the very least I can do.

I’ve managed to keep my coffee intake down by sheer will, and shame. I don’t want to be that person who makes a second pot of coffee in the afternoon. And I don’t usually get to have more than two cups in the morning because I have to share the pot with others.

CoffeeThis is actually much better than I used to be. Once upon a time I used to brew a pot of coffee in the morning. I would drink a cup and pour the rest in a thermos to take to work. Then I slowly emptied out the thermos, once cup at a time throughout the day. The last cup of coffee usually was sometime around 4 pm. Then I drank black tea in the evening at home. And that was on top of the many Diet Cokes I had throughout the day.

I am blessed, or cursed, with that ADD quirk that makes coffee something to calm me. It doesn’t make me hyper, it makes me calm. The only reason that I start to cut back is because my stomach starts to complain. My body knows it’s bad for me, even if my brain doesn’t want to acknowledge it.

So, I really am doing much better than I used to… but, I know from experience, it’s really easy to work my way up to that again.

I’ve been going through twice as many Diet Coke cans as is normal for me these days. I can’t pretend that I’m not. I buy enough for the week and I’m finishing the stock halfway through the week. And, instead of switching to water or something else, just make a mid-week stop at the corner store and buy more. I pretend not to notice.

I have, however, decided that I can have all the coffee and Diet Coke I want. I’m not allowing myself the $400 purse, the new clothes, the trip to Las Vegas that my girlfriends are doing next Spring, or the many other things I want. I think overindulging on caffeinated drinks is okay for now.

Tomorrow, we may have another conversation about this. Maybe after I’ve given in and bought the $400 purse.

***** Written on my ipad. I promise to proof and edit it later (maybe). ******

Is coffee a sin?

brew precious drops
Today I had coffee. Since I gave up coffee for Lent, does that make drinking the coffee a sin?

I usually don’t have problems giving things up for Lent. I’ve chosen sweets, bread, meat, Diet Coke and many other things over the years. I always manage to make it to Easter without cheating.

This year is different.

I’ve been hyperventilating over money and it came down to a decision between breaking my diet, going on another spending spree, or having a pot of coffee. I had the coffee. And, yes, I literally mean that I drank an entire pot of coffee.

God will just have to forgive me. 

* * *


World beware, I gave up coffee

CoffeeI am a non-practicing Catholic. I don’t attend mass. I don’t belong to a church. Actually, I don’t even know where the closest Catholic church is. But I still consider myself to be Catholic; I guess I always will. And it’s more than just habit. I looked into other religions and decided that Catholicism suited me best, even in the nominal non-practicing way I I have it in my life.

Every year I observe Lent. I do this for two reasons: because, despite my shortcomings, I do still consider myself to be Catholic; and, because I join the rest of my family in this yearly ritual.

Every year I give up something for Lent. I put thought into what that “something” is because I want it to be an act that’s going to have an impact. It’s not something small that I won’t miss. It’s something I actually enjoy, crave, delight in on a regular basis. Something that’s going to make me suffer, even if a litte bit. For the period of Lent I deny myself something, and it’s a little bit of an act of faith in myself and in my religion.

Previous years have included giving up meat (I’m not a vegetarian), sweets, bread, Diet Coke and other things. Usually the first two or three weeks are the hardest. But by the time Easter rolls around, I’ve become accustomed to the deprivation.

This year, however, I’m giving up coffee. Coffee. My life’s blood. My most favorite beverage. The thing that keeps me sane. The thing that keeps my mood swings in check enough that I don’t cause damage to others.

I will miss it. I will suffer, more than just a little bit. It will have impact.

The world, however, should worry. I am not going to be pleasant for the next six weeks.

One cream and two Equal #smallvictories

McDonald's Coffee
My daily indulgence.

Every morning I stop for coffee at the local McDonald’s. It’s a few blocks from my house, on the way to the freeway, so it’s a convenient stop. The fact that the nice people in the drive-thru window will put in the right amount of cream and sugar, instead of giving me packets so I can try to prepare it myself while pulled over, well that helps a lot.

I adore coffee. I drink it in the morning, afternoon and evening. I order it with meals at restaurants. I brew it at home and at work.

One of the big shocks I had when I started counting points was how many points my coffee was costing me. I used to order a large coffee at McDonald’s with 4 cream and 7 equal. That’s 4 points. 4 points! If I just had one a day, that wouldn’t be so bad. But I had refill after refill throughout the day. I was literally consuming all my indulgence points one sip at a time.

I had to stop.

I started to cut back on my cream and sweetener one serving at a time. Today I am down to 1 creamer and 2 equal. Woo hoo!

Next stop: black coffee!