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Why I Drink Coffee Even Though It Makes Me Evil.


I had my first taste of coffee at school camp in 12th grade. I have many great memories from that camp. Watching the sunset out over the running track with kids I had grown up with. Teaching my friends the 3-step facial care routine of washing, cleansing and toning. And fighting with my best friend over who gets the window seat on the bus. Who knew the cries of “SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO COMPROMISE!” would be such a glance into the future. But the start of a love/ hate relationship with caffeine definitely stands out.

There was a little station set up on the side of the dining room for warm drinks.

I felt as if I had discovered America. Here was a way to have the best of both worlds: Stay out past curfew, re-writing the injustice of friends being placed in separate bunks, AND still have energy to get through the day.

I recall one of the Physical Education teachers remarking “starting the coffee diet, are we?” Which could well go down as the DUMBEST thing to ever have been said to a 16-year-old. If you do choose to embark upon the “I’ll drink coffee instead of eat,” path, just be prepared to succumb to eating double at some point. Many before you have tried and many before you have failed.

If mothering three children has taught me anything it’s that you definitely can’t have it all. You can have a blurry eyed, under slept, imperfect version of it all, but surely not all of it, all. Our mother’s generation was convinced they could.

They worked, mothered and smiled along the way. Theirs was the generation that had to show it deserved the changes feminism brought. Even if secretly they would have preferred continuing with tennis and sherry at noon.

This isn’t a post about working vs. staying home. We can definitely discuss that once we get to know each other a bit better. For now though, it’s really just a post about coffee.

Many of us fall into the category of people that should NOT be consuming the drink that 83% of adults in the United States rely on daily. The “stay far away from said person upon consumption of hazardous liquid,” category would be where the likes of us fit in.

When Whatsapp created the delete button they surely had such people in mind.

Under the influence, there is no limit to my transgressions. Scathing emails to the wrong people, irritable comments to the right people, over-tipping the simplest deeds. I have been known to clean the entire house in under an hour, a deed which usually leaves everyone searching for their belongings the entire week.

If you see me on any given day and I look like I’m in a rush. I’m not. I’m really on time and totally with the program, but need to channel the excessive energy coffee provides.

I have tried to abstain from the substance that makes me jittery. All that was left was a subdued version of myself that makes rational choices and doesn’t find people stubbing their toes funny.

I’ve tried it all:

-Decaf, as if that “little bit of caffeine” is going to go a long way.

-Tea: how many cups till one’s eyes stay open?

-Daily Naps: “Mor why is there no food in the house?”

-Going to bed early: Because feeling like you’re ten years old again is AWESOME.

It turns outs jittery jacked up me is much better (and more productive) then the tired angry version.

I am by no means a coffee connoisseur. You will always find milk in my mug and I have been known to sometimes add flavoring. But I’d like to think a day will come when a trip can be planned without basing the destination on it's proximity to a latte. “Oh, Hawaii! That’s America, there’s for sure a Starbucks there!!”

Over the years i've attempted many different gym classes and they all pretty much go the same way: Big room, lots of fit people, overly energetic instructor and…me. As the music comes on, I take my spot on the least conspicuous mat to be found. EVERY time without fail, my location somehow becomes the angle to which the class must turn. There I am, frailties exposed for the world at large to see.

So, I do my best and conjure up every fit bone in my body to make it look like I’m on par with everyone else, painfully awaiting that precious moment when schwarzenegger will yell at everyone to turn back to the front. It’s not perfect, but I do my best and get by.

Life as a parent sometimes feels like those few short moments extended over a very loooonggg period of time. Right now, the spotlight is shining, and all cards (coffee included) need to be placed on the table. Especially whilst the kids are young and sleep is as scarce as finding something in your size at a Zara sale.

Caffeinated me is probably not as composed and rationale as well fed, well slept, well cared for, me. But if I waited for that day, I would end up waiting a very long time. You’ll never get to the class if you wait to be fit beforehand.

There will never come a day when the perfect scenario to be a parent, teacher, spouse or all-round human arises. I’m sure we all sometimes feel a bit of “fake it till you make.” I know I do whenever girls call me for advice. But then I figure there must be a reason this incoming call found its way to my phone and not another. In such a case not picking up at all would probably be worse.

We do our best (most days), encounter some mishaps along the way and seek out whatever support it is we many need. Therapy, friends, down time, exercise and yes indeed a warm cup of coffee to start the day.

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