27 April 2009

(Experi)Mental Divergence

For those of you who don't know me, I'm an avid coffee drinker. Tea, too. I used to drink lots of sodas, energy drinks, and other sugar-caffeine concoctions, but at this point, I'm mostly down to the two main vices: straight black coffee (4-6 cups per day) and iced tea with a hint of lemon, no sugar (2-4 20oz. glasses per day). On a whim, though, today I've decided to launch an experiment. A test of my willpower, and a measurement of my ability to function without the benefits (and drawbacks) of caffeine in my system at all times, with more along the way as the day goes on.

Today is day one. I promised some folks that I'd try to post the results of my first day; so, without further ado ...

I notice first and foremost that I make more typoes that I have to correct as I go along. My fingers are slower to react, my brain just a little bit more behind itself, making it more difficult to get everything down the way I'd like it. Not too impairing, really, but a little annoying. I also feel pretty tired, but I suppose that's how you're supposed to feel after 10 hours at the office. On the whole, my body feels pretty good; to replace my normal coffee-and-tea regimen, I've been drinking water all day, and I expect this is going to help clean me out a bit, get my body more "in tune" with the way that it's supposed to be according to nature and/or hippies, whichever is more correct. While my mind is a bit dulled, it's also pretty focused; I'm finding it easier to focus on a single task, though more difficult to process that task efficiently. Overall effect on my efficiency in regards to work is minimal to nonpresent. More on that as the week drags on.

So, why would I put this up here, post about how I'm cutting some certain beverages from my life for a short period? Because I use this digital soapbox as a means to chronicle my endeavors, as discussed before, and to push myself to do it. I don't care if anyone's reading this, the fact is that the chance that there are people who might be means that I've got some obligation, self-invented though it may be, to stick to my game plan, if only so that I can accurately and truthfully report the results to whoever might be interested. Most people who know me haven't seen me after I've gone a week -- or, in many cases, even a day -- without caffeine. It's an exploration of myself in a way that is generally unseen and unknowable even to me.

The other reason is that because this record of my thoughts and journies is, in fact, another similar test. I've historically been a pretty closed-down person, keeping most things to myself and sharing only when I felt it was truly necessary. Now, though, it seems that more and more people expect, or desire, me to share more, to put thoughts into words, to put words into blogs, to put blogs into cyberspace, and so on. It's not just me, either; it's a whole global cultural revolution. Watching the page-view analysis of these few pages over the course of the last several months has been an interesting look into just how that works. The way that I "advertise" my blog is purely social; I don't pay for endorsements or advertisements, I just spread the word to my family, my friends, my coworkers, and urge them to do the same. The more I push that, the more I see an increased number of viewers; I know I've gone well above the relatively small number that I first informed about my encroaching endeavor to write.

So, experiments in mind, we travel into a new week. I will chronicle the progress of my decaffeination as they arise, probably two more posts this week to analyze and finally form some conclusions before diving back into the energetic (and delicious) pool of caffeinated beverages.

I'm thirsty already.


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