My first job out of college was as an assistant to some guys at Columbia TriStar Television Distribution. I worked for David Ozer and Jeff Wolf. (Shout out!- I can’t remember their bosses name.) I learned to sign their names and I taped their receipts to pieces of paper for expenses. My computer was an IBM with a Pentium 75 mhtz chip. My previous chip was a 486, so the Pentium was a major step up. One of the perks of working there was a fully stocked refrigerator filled with soft drinks. Another perk was the in-building gym.
When I joined the gym, I had to take a physical. The guy listened to my heart and immediately got concerned. Conversation:
Gym Guy: Do you fell allright?
Me: Yes. I feel fine.
Gym Guy: Your heart is beating like a drumroll! Do you drink coffee?
Me: No, yuck.
Gym Guy: What about tea?
Me: Does Snapple count? Or like tea-bags?
Gym Guy: Yes, how much Snapple do you drink?
Remember, I mentioned it was free. Anyone who has ever shared a meal with me notices how thirsty I am all the time. I drink ALOT of fluids. My answer to the guy was between 10-20 Snapple’s per day.
That day I cut my tea intake down to 1 per month and sometimes less. I have mostly avoided caffeine for the past 24 years.
Fast-forward to this month. They have Honest Tea here in the fridge. And shame shame shame I drank some of it recently. Not too much. Like 1 per day usually before noon.
Well, possibly needless to say, my sleep schedule is all fucked up. I keep waking up at 3am. I keep getting exhausted at my desk. I almost fell asleep twice this week while working!
Caffeine is a drug. It messes with my brain. When I drink it, I get energy. I can design for a little while without losing focus. I am focused and aware. When I stop drinking it, I literally feel the opposite. I feel dull and hazy. I can’t focus and have low energy.
Some people just get used to a steady diet of caffeine, usually from coffee. They have regulated their lives so that they can function with it. Basically, you either have to be ON the drug or OFF the drug. There is no middle ground.
I think I need to stop drinking it and let my body get back to normal. I can get focus in other ways. Usually, interacting with people on a project keeps me focused. It’s one of the reasons I like Pair Designing. Hmm, I don’t think I have blogged about Pair Designing. I should do that soon.