August 11, 2004

Is a pot of coffee a day too much?

I used to only drink a cup or two of coffee a day when I worked in the “traditional work place”.

Since I started telecommuting full-time a few years ago I have found that I now usually drink between 1/2 to a pot of coffee a day.  I think that the major reason for this is that I have learned to force myself to take a break every couple of hours. In the traditional work place there were plenty of distractions to create breaks here and there, but at home in a quiet corner of the basement, there are none other than the occasional Big Brown Truck delivery of some new treasure I acquired from some lost soul on Ebay.  I used to sit down to work at around 6-7:00 AM and then stop only when I felt hungry and I would be surprised that it was 2:00 or 3:00 PM already.  I guess that it is nice to get that deeply involved into a project, but I started feeling ill effects with my eyes and the beginnings of carpal tunnel from time to time.  So I learned to force myself to take 10-15 minute breaks every couple of hours.

Anyway, during my forced breaks I usually let the dogs outside to go potty, check to see the USPS/FedEx/UPS driver has dropped off anything to add to my collection of junk, and fill up my coffee cup. 

At first I didn't think that so much coffee a day could really bother me, but recently I get some nasty, nasty headaches on the weekends sometimes when I don't drink any coffee.  Some of the headaches can be contributed to sinus and allergy causes, but not the really bad ones.  I know from a previous experience with a co-worker trying to wean herself from caffeine that those headaches can be bad ones.  I have no other choice but to believe that I am now experiencing the same thing.  Sucks.

It appears I have two options: continue drinking the coffee and hope to cut back little by little or give up caffeine altogether.  My wife gave up caffeine about two years ago and she is doing fine, though a couple of times a year she will take a sip of my Coke - she really misses those.  But the problem is that I like caffeine, I work late hours at times where I need something to keep me going, and I've already quit all my other crutches/bad habits.  I quit smoking years ago and I gave up Copenhagen about a year ago. 

This is my dilemma.

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