Lent began on Wednesday, February the 14th, Valentine’s day, but I didn’t really think about it given that I’m not Catholic and not a big fan of giving up things that I like, so I didn’t, but the next day at work, one of my coworkers, who also isn’t Catholic by the way, was talking about giving up something for lent. I was listening from the drive thru, set back in the corner away from everybody else, but I wasn’t participating in the conversation, mainly because of my previous stance on not giving up things I enjoy. Two of my coworkers decided they were going to give up all drinks except for water for the next month and a half, and another said she was going to give up drinking alcohol, and as much I wanted to avoid the conversation, it turned to me, and they asked if I was going to give up something for Lent. I decided I would since everyone else was doing it, because, you know, peer pressure, so I started contemplating what would be a good sacrifice I could make for the Easter season.
Since I was going to be giving something up, I wanted it to be something that would take a little bit of effort, because I could easily say that I’m going to give up cutting off my legs with a chainsaw and then cruise until Easter, but that would kind of defeat the purpose, but I wasn’t just going to mail it in, not on the Lord’s holiday. I chose to give up caffeine, which considering than water, I normally drink coffee and tea, was going to be a pretty big sacrifice. That night, I met my wife for dinner after work at a Mexican restaurant, and without thinking ordered unsweetened iced tea, because they have incredible tea there, and drank several glasses of it, so my Lenten season didn’t get off to the greatest start. I didn’t even realize what I’d done until I got to work the next day and was asked how I did without caffeine, but I vowed to try harder, and that’s exactly what I did.
I bought some caffeine free diet soda, and caffeine free tea, and discovered, that it actually wasn’t half bad, although I swear I could tell a difference in taste, but I suppose it could have been a placebo effect. When I went to the movies, instead of getting a giant soda, I got water, and even though it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as sipping on ice cold diet coke, at least I was sticking to what I’d committed to. Of all the people at work that had given up something for lent, with the exception of that first night at El Porton, I was the only one who had strictly stuck to it for a whole month, but then one day, I was craving a soda, and that’s when everything was starting to unravel. I was at sonic and I really wanted a diet dr. pepper with vanilla and lime, but I know that there was caffeine in it. I could have gone home where I had a bottle of the caffeine free stuff, but I decided, against my better judgement to order it anyway. It was delicious, but things haven’t been the same.
I haven’t even been thinking about avoiding caffeine the last week, drinking diet Pepsi and regular iced tea, completely ignoring the sacrifice I was supposed to be making. I’m not thrilled that I didn’t stick it out until the end, but what really bothers me is now that I’m drinking caffeine again, I’m having a lot of trouble falling asleep, tossing and turning for at least an hour before I’m able to doze off. That’s why I’m going to give up caffeine indefinitely. I’m going to completely cut it out of my life because apparently it has a massive effect on the way I sleep, and I’m tired of waking up and being tired. Since I didn’t stick to it initially I’m not expecting the Easter Bunny to leave me a basket full of candy and toys, but since I’m making the commitment to renew the no caffeine lifestyle, maybe he’ll leave me a Reese’s egg or two.