Living a Theoretical Life vs. Just Doing It: Caffeine

It occurred to me recently that I am living a largely theoretical life.

I may have clever or even divine inspirations, but I hesitate to act on them. I think of doing amazing, life-changing, progress-oriented things, but it seems that too often, I don’t follow through, or external things get in the way and for whatever reason, the progress is stunted.
For example, I have sworn off caffeine more times than I can count, yet at this very moment there is a half-empty bottle of soda nearby. I think about how other people do not need caffeine to function throughout the day, or how lovely it would be to start the day with a cup o’this instead of nasty, tooth-yellowing coffee. On a deeper level, I think about how the pathology of addiction is present, about how dangerous chemicals like phosphoric acid and HFCS are, and so on until it would be absolutely ludicrous for me to imagine touching another drop of any caffeine-containing beverage, for any reason. And then…inexplicably, I end up with coffee or soda in hand.
Now, I am also old enough to be able to look back at my adult life and realize that were it not for this unfortunate tendency, I would be happier and better off, all around. This problem goes far deeper than just beating the caffeine addiction. It’s really about how to Just Do It instead of forever languishing in the realm of theory and probability.
By nature, I am an analyst–I must dissect and cross-examine nearly every bit of relevant information that I come across. While this is generally a good habit to have, I am starting to recognize that this tendency is no longer as helpful as it once was in my life. I am no longer swimming (drowning?) in the vast seas of possible life-options–I have lived in this world long enough to be fairly sure of who I am, what I believe, and what I want to achieve. I don’t need to shuffle along the walls of every maze of information I come across, for fear of missing some crucial piece of information that might unlock the puzzle of my life’s purpose.
To move forward, from the realm of theory into actualization, I need to shift away from my tendency to over-think my actions and inactions. Instead of imagining how good it would feel to be caffeine-free, I need to just face facts: Namely, that it’s hard to go through withdrawal symptoms, that caffeine is everywhere and I should be forewarned and forearmed to deal with this fact, and that it might never be easy to live a caffeine-free life. But–and here’s the kicker–if I value being caffeine-free as a worthy life goal, as a positive thing to align my life with, then I have to Just Do It. No excuses, no rationalization, no backtracking or coddling myself mentally. If I absentmindedly spend my last few dollars in change on a delicious soy caramel macchiato (and yes, they are delicious), I should pour it out as soon as I catch myself–even if it’s before leaving the counter.
Better to berate myself for money wasted than for money wasted AND for allowing a goal to slip out of my reach yet again.

One thought on “Living a Theoretical Life vs. Just Doing It: Caffeine

  1. You and me both! I have to admit, I've gotten pretty good with that battle. Rarely do I reach for caffeine as more than an emergency-pick-me-up anymore, but there are still weeks when I slip and find myself buying a soda. I'm not so much of a coffee drinker, which comes with it's own benefits and set-backs versus coffee, but I still find myself doing it.You know what I found largely helpful? Find a caffeine-free soda that you like, or if you need to have caffeine in the morning, why not opt for a naturally caffeinated tea instead? It's much healthier and the caffeine is in significantly lesser quantities. And just remember, this battle of action versus idea is something you're not going through alone. There's a lot of us out there who dream big, but act small, if they act at all! That doesn't make it any better to do, but you have friends out there who will support you, because they've gone through it, or are going through it themselves. Trust me, I may not be one to over-analyze, but I'm a dreamer. I get all these brilliant ideas and theories, but never follow through to the stage of assessing practicality or the reality of them. Then I take, maybe, the first couple of steps and call it a day, figuring it's always something I can pick up later.Hmm…speaking of things I can pick up later…I need to stop procrastinating and get those longies finished! After I finish the last leg of mine, there's two pair that need to come your way!

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