22 ways I’m becoming more crunchy, the older I get (and four ways I’m not)

My brother-and-sister-in-law think I’m a bit of a hippie: in a style sense anyway. They always have. I lean towards the bohemian, I don’t keep up with fashion trends, I’m more likely to sport a number 2 shave than a $300 hair cut and I prefer birkenstocks to ballet flats. I’ve never had a problem with the title; at least I know I’ve never had to impress.

By the contrary, however, I have a fairly solid history of non-hippie like behaviours. I used to dream of driving a sports car and living in a million dollar mansion (back when a million dollars actually got you a mansion, as opposed to these days where you’d be lucky to get a recently renovated, 3 bedroom home on a decent sized, flat block within 40 minutes of the city). I spent my money on expensive underwear, jewellery, clothes and shoes. So many pairs of shoes.

I’m pretty sure that said in-laws think I corrupted T and turned him a bit feral, because since we’ve been together he’s said goodbye to the over-groomed, $75 t-shirt-wearing metrosexual and welcomed his scruffier, less concerned with appearance – and other people’s opinions – cardigan wearing self. This is hilarious because he thinks spending money on jewellery is ridiculous, he hates earrings, make up and nail polish, he prefers me with either a shaved head or natural looking hair, to highlights/lowlights and layers, and his influence on me has washed away any previous love I had for high gloss and brightly coloured feature walls, in favour of rustic, natural materials and authentic wear and tear.

My dear friend Sara visited the other day and within a three hour window made 3 or 4 references to my being a hippie. It got me thinking about the ways that I have become more free-spirited as I get older. So, a little listicle for your Tuesday.

22 ways I’m becoming more crunchy

1. We’ve predominantly used cloth nappies for both munchkins.

cloth bum

2. When we don’t, we use eco-friendly disposables.

3. I do No Poo. Have only recently started this, but I love it! My hair felt incredible the first time I did the bicarb vinegar wash and apple cider vinegar rinse and each time I go a day longer between ‘washes’. I’m up to 9 days now.

4. I wear my babies. To date I’ve owned six different types of baby carriers, though I only use two these days.

This was the first and last time I tandem wore my babies! Clearly needed more practice...

This was the first and last time I tandem wore my babies! Clearly needed more practice…

5. We’re sorta kinda co-sleep. As in, the kids start in their beds, but more often than not, one of both of them end up in our bed by morning.

6. We believe in gentle parenting.

7. We grown our own herbs – and attempt to grow our own veg.

garden loving

8. I eat paleo. Most of the time.

9. I’m not very good at body-hair removal.

10. I had a ‘pet’ spider. Sadly after about 6 months in her web on our deck, she vanished a few days ago. Suspect a bird. Circle of Life and all that, but I’m pretty sad about it, if I’m honest.

11. We’re going to send our kids to Steiner School even though it means moving house to do so.

12. We make our own cards and wrapping paper.

13. Nearly everything we own comes from op-shops, antique stores, hand-me-downs or from the side of the road.

14. We store our food in – and at times eat from – glass jars. Mostly Pics Peanut Butter jars actually. T really REALLY likes Pics.

15. Our kids are free range, bare footed, crazy haired, rosy-cheeked little cherubs.

16. I make and use bees wax coated fabric food covers.

17. I just bought my first oracle deck. It arrived yesterday… I’m can’t wait to get to know it – and myself – a little better!

Connected & Free Inner Hue Oracle Cards

18. I believe in the universe.

19. Our kids wear Amber necklaces

20. My idea of the perfect house is old, well built, character-filled, sunlit, warm, open, filled with love and memories, with chickens and dogs, veggie gardens and fruit trees and delicious smells. It’s on a big, flat block, in a safe and close-knit community where the kids can run free… and it’s probably on Dangar Island.

21. My ‘beauty routine’ = both cleanse and moisturise with a castor oil/olive oil blend and slap on some naturally tinted lip balm. If my skin is really dry, I add sukin night moisturiser. If I’m feeling adventurous, or heading out I’ll add eyebrow pencil, mascara and a little shlook of red lippie. Also, I find people’s social media posts highlighting their thirty-seven product ‘natural look’ to be simultaneously hilarious and utterly boring.

22. I’m embracing my greys. I last had my hair dyed back in April when I asked the colourist to match my dye to my natural colour, thus minimising regrowth. And now I try and own those pesky little silverfish that have been populating my head for over a decade.

And 4 ways I’m not crunchy at all…

1. I’d totally get laser hair removal if I could justify the cost.

2. We’ve owned eight prams in the three and a half years that we’ve had little people.

3. We drive a shitty commodore wagon on our 60km and 120km round trips to work – often both in one day, averaging around 500km per week for work alone…

4. I’m addicted to my iPhone. And I hate it. I need a brick, stat.

Jenn xx

ps, I’m linking up with Jess for IBOT. Head over for some more great reads x

today I chose awesome

I work on the casual nursing pool within my local health district. Although I originally applied for the job because it was the first in 6 months or so of looking that came up, it is actually perfect for us at this stage of our lives. My shifts are usually only 7 hours, which means that T can work the same evenings that I work days (saving us from working 7 days a week). I can work at any of four hospitals in the district, meaning that there’s no shortage of work. I can be explicit about only working early shifts while MasterL is still breastfeeding in the evenings. I get casual loading on my hourly rate. And I can cancel shifts whenever I need to. Like last week when T got a late-notice acting gig that required him to work massive days for a week or so, in return for a generous sum of money. Or when he had several hundred auditions to get said part. Or when we really just need to get away for a few days. You can’t do that when you’re employed in a permanent position.

Image via Les Vregens

Image via Les Vregens

On my first day on the casual pool I wandered down the corridors of the hospital and calculated that I had not worked as a ward nurse since late 2008. My days in between had been spent in clinical facilitation, project management, GP practice nursing and the emergency department. I was sent to a geriatric medical ward and, along with an AIN, had nine patients under my care. Most of the patients had dementia and incontinence. They all had very complex medical conditions. I was TOTALLY out of my depth. I ran from start to finish, I had super short meal breaks, and I honestly had no idea who I was looking after. I couldn’t tell you what was wrong with them, why they were there, what the plans were for their ongoing care. Between meds, showers, toileting, redirecting, re-washing, redirecting, toileting, obs and meds, the first time I had a chance to look at their medical records was when I was writing progress notes 15 minutes after my shift was supposed to finish. I spent the day working my butt off, yet felt as though I’d accomplished very little. It was awful. I did not provide good nursing care, and I was extremely unsatisfied professionally.

I haven’t been back to that ward. Maybe they begged management to keep me away (I honestly felt like such a crap nurse that day). Maybe I’ve just been lucky. Since then I’ve worked in both medical and surgical wards, in pre-admission clinics, in day therapy areas, in endoscopy and in emergency departments and thankfully have not had such a sense of professional shittiness since.

Walking in to work this morning I knew that I was going to have a heavy shift. Although working on the casual pool means being sent here there and everywhere, lately I’ve been lucky enough to be spending my days in familiar places like ED, which has been a bit lovely. This morning I had a sense. The sense that niggles away at you and says ‘it’s been ages since you’ve been in a heavy geriatric medical ward… today is it’. And it was.

I had a pang of anxiety. And then I thought bugger that…

awesome

And I did!

The ward was a shambles. Honestly, my first thought was ‘you guys couldn’t organise a shag in a brothel’… but I chose awesome. I was working with a scattered-and-extremely-whingey nurse… and I chose awesome. I had a really busy day. I accepted offered help and returned the favour when I could. I smiled and laughed my way through the shift. I nursed with compassion and whole-heartedness. I did what I could and didn’t stress when I couldn’t. In the end I got everything done, and then some… and it was awesome.

When did you last choose awesome?

Jenn xx

the first and last day

Open your eyes

“You think this is just another day in your life? It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you today. It’s given to you. It’s a gift. It’s the only gift that you have right now, and the only appropriate response is gratefulness. If you do nothing else but to cultivate that response to the great gift that this unique day is, if you learn to respond as if it were the first day in your life and the very last day, then you will have spent this day very well. Begin by opening your eyes and be surprised that you have eyes you can open, that incredible array of colors that is constantly offered to us for pure enjoyment. Look at the sky. We so rarely look at the sky. We so rarely note how different it is from moment to moment, with clouds coming and going. We just think of the weather, and even with the weather, we don’t think of all the many nuances of weather. We just think of good weather and bad weather. This day, right now, has unique weather, maybe a kind that will never exactly in that form come again. That formation of clouds in the sky will never be the same as it is right now. Open your eyes. Look at that.” – Louie Schwartzberg

This quote appeared on my instagram feed this morning, right when I needed it the most. I am in a constant fluctuation between past and future these days; rarely focusing on the gifts of present and presence. Rarely stopping to indulge my senses. Rarely noticing the details that make up the rich embroidery of this life. My life.

And so today we watch the sunrise and give thanks for our spidery friend.
We relish in squishy cuddles that I know won’t be around forever.
We notice each other from different angles.
We dig in the dirt.
We explore texture.
We laugh and hug as though today is both the first and last day.
And we give thanks.

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She Let Go

A wee poem share today. That’s all.

xx

She Let Go by Rev Safire Rose

Image via Elephant Journal

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

thirty five

It’s my birthday tomorrow. Happy birthday to meee!!

floating-women-in-air-and-balloons

I’ve been in a real state of reflection lately; searching for my path, wondering why I’m here, what my skills are, what my Why is, how to be professionally and personally fulfilled. Thinking about what makes me tick, why I do what I do, why I like what I like, why I want what I want – and what even do I want?

Reflection. Contemplation. Meditation.

Searching for the age-old question:

What do I want to be when I grow up?

I requested, and was thrilled to receive Leonie Dawson’s Life + Biz Planner for mother’s day. I’ve only had it for a couple of weeks but already I have started to see things more clearly. I’ve also been listening to the Happier podcast, by Gretchen Rubin (of The Happiness Project fame). Things are becoming more shiny. I feel like I have a purpose. Some direction. A little bit of a plan. And it’s exciting!

Thought it might be timely on this birthday eve to do a little stocktake, a la, Meet Me At Mikes. I’ve done it a few times now and it’s lovely to look back and see where my mind and heart were sitting at a particular time.

♥ Taking Stock ♥

Making :: a food baby. I’m starting Whole30 officially on June 1st and plan to unofficially start tomorrow. The last few days I’ve been enjoying foodstuffs that I know will be off the menu for the next 30 days. Not all bad. A little too much chocolate perhaps, but mostly yummies like sourdough with butter and raw honey, or spiced cinnamon. And port. As a result, I’m a little squidgey around the middle, my new work uniforms are a little snug and I don’t think we have any cacao or cocoa powder left in the house. I’ll call that one Taking It For The Team.

Cooking :: porridge, chocolate, veggie hash meals, lots of eggs.

Drinking :: not enough water. A little too much milk and port. Separately.

Reading :: The Happiness Project.

Wanting: a week-full of wake-less nights and 7am sleep-ins. Scratch that. I’d be happy with JUST ONE night without being woken by one or both kids, and one morning where I sleep until at least 7 o’clock. I’ve put in a request with hubby for tonight. Fingers crossed, eh?

Looking :: forward a little too much. Trying to embrace mindfulness.

Playing :: dress the dolls with Miss3. Every day. She loves it. Dolls of mine that were never undressed have been disrobed, teddybears squeeze into baby doll clothes like The Only Gay in the Village.

Deciding :: that I think I might finally be grown up enough to just fucking do it. Whatever that may be.

Wishing :: that the TVC fairy waves her wand over Hubby’s head tonight.

Enjoying :: Roobios tea and coconut milk. Several times a day.

Waiting :: to see if we’re moving to the country.

Liking :: how I’ve started to make some leeway in my quest for the meaning of (my) life.

Wondering :: if I’ll sleep through tonight.

Loving :: the ‎2015 Create Your Shining Year In Life + Biz Workbookers! Facebook group. And my workbook. And my ubercircles.

Pondering :: about how I can use all of my skills and passions to create an abundant life.

Considering :: where we should buy a house.

Watching :: The Code. Have you seen it? Do yourself a favour and check it out. It’s incredible.

Hoping :: to sleep through the night tonight.

Marvelling :: at Miss 3’s ability to draw.

Needing :: a week of uninterrupted sleep. There seems to be a bit of a theme here.

Smelling :: roobios tea and coconut milk. Wishing I was smelling chai, but I cannot (easily) find one that I like at the moment.

Wearing :: T’s Commonwealth Lighthouse Services hoodie. 

Following :: Sacred Earth on Spotify.

Noticing :: that I’m a little sniffly. And my back has been really sore recently.

Knowing :: that I’ve had enough last hurrahs to see me through the month of June and beyond. 

Thinking :: about things to add to my 100 things to do in 2015 list.

Feeling :: tired. Bone tired.

Admiring :: how free my kids are. 

Sorting :: always. Washing, toys, stuff.

Buying :: a little more than we should, but less than we have in the past.

Getting :: tired.

Bookmarking :: images for my online dreamboard.

Disliking :: how much I vague out into iphone land again.

Opening :: birthday cards tomorrow.

Giggling :: infrequently. I need a good giggle.

Feeling :: positive.

Snacking :: on toast with butter and honey. 

Coveting :: nothing. I don’t covet anymore. Stuff is a little less attractive to me these days.

Wishing :: I could see just a few days into the future.

Helping :: patients. And mostly enjoying it.

Hearing :: my inner voice tell me to go and have a bath. Sounds like a plan to me.

January goals and a ramble about my child who’s actually trying to kill me.

23 days into January and I gotta say I think I’m doing alright. My goals for this month were pretty simple: ditch coffee, go to bed before 10pm, drink 2L water daily, do 3km or 30 minutes a day and commence another Whole30.

I haven’t been able to tick off every goal every day though, and do you know something? I honestly feel rubbish for it. A couple of days I’ve missed my water intake, which usually coincides with not doing any exercise, which usually comes as a result of a late night. There have been a few times that 10pm has gone by like a whisper and I’ve found myself on the other side of 11pm. Once due to birthday prep for MissC and the other times thanks to MasterL.

Leelo

His sleeping SUCKS by the way. For a kid who used to sleep from 7-4 in his infancy, he’s taken the 4 month sleep regression and pretty well hung on to it now for the last TWELVE MONTHS. Ok, maybe that’s a bit unfair. He did manage to let me resettle him without the boob at about 10 1/2 months of age, and then slept through for a few weeks before his 1st birthday. Then shortly after he turned one he started waking overnight and not simply wanting a feed but DEMANDING a feed before he would settle back to sleep. And before you get all ‘he’s one, be the parent’ on me, this boy can tantrum. He is Captain Cruisy 98% of the time, until he’s not, and then he lets loose like I have never seen before. It’s actually kinda impressive. And before you get all ‘he’s one, be the parent’ on me again, over his  tantruming, the kid would literally wail, non-stop, full-volume, for as long as it took me to renig and just bloody feed him – usually about 45 minutes. Which is definitely pushing boundaries when you have another sleeping toddler in the house.

He’s settled back into a manageable pattern of 2-3 feeds during the day (depending on whether or not i’m at work) and one overnight, but I am well and truly ready for this night waking to be over. It’s killing me. It’d be ok if day sleeps were a relatively pleasant experience, but they’re not. We’ve moved him off the mattress on our floor, back into the cot in his own room and once he falls asleep he’s ok, but getting to sleep has turned into another drama. Unless he is absolutely completely knackered and falls asleep on the boob he Will. Not. fall asleep for me. Day or night, he just won’t.

Crawls up to Grandma, sits on her lap and sings in her ear while she sings back to him and cuddles him to sleep. Has a brief whinge when Daddyo lies in the cot beside him, holding his arms by his side, then falls asleep. Wriggles and giggles and carries on sticking his fingers up my nose and in my eyes when I hold him and sing. Whinges and wriggles and kicks and fights and spits his dummy and cries cuz he doesn’t have it and flips his body over and tries to sit up and tantrums lying down and basically does anything he can to fight sleep when I jump in the cot and hold him close.

So I’ve taken to getting all hardcore on him. I get out of the cot and sit beside it on the floor. He stands up, I take out his dummy until he lies down, then I give it back. If he doesn’t lie down, I lie him down. Again and again and again. He crawls around the cot, reaches through the bars, grabs what he can, throws his dummy away, cries cuz it’s gone. etc etc etc.

I try ignoring him, just sitting beside him.

I try the pat pat pat on the mattress.

I am at my wits end trying to put him to bloody bed.

Did I  mention that I think he’s actually trying to kill me?

This month has made me so acutely aware of how important sleep is. On the odd occasion that I go to sleep at 930 I am in a much better position to deal with interrupted sleep and early mornings (oh yes, they both wake before 6am most days). On the more routine 10pm nights with only one feed and a seamless transition back to bed, I feel like I’m able to stay afloat. Every other night I feel my patience, my mood, my nice-to-be-around-ness all falling deeper and deeper into a hole of unpleasantness.

I’m not going to get all Tizzie Hall on MasterL but I think Robin Baker might be getting dusted off for a bit of hard-core mummy routine. Something’s gotta change.

Focus on Health :: half way check-in

Can’t believe we’re halfway through January already! MissC turns 3 next week and I haven’t even thought about her birthday (let alone started making her birthday crown…). My studies are still on there back burner and, well you can see how regularly in managing to blog.

I have, however been pretty successful in the health stakes.

Month one of my Focus on Life project is Focus on Health, and I feel like I’ve managed to do that without making major sacrifices. This pleases me, because I think what I’m doing may just be sustainable.

So what does Focus on Health look like for me?

2015/01/img_1030-0.jpg
Glad to say that 15 days in and I’m doing really well! Tuesday was the first day all month that I didn’t do 3km or 30 minutes; in fact, I’ve been running more consistently than I ever have before. I’m going gang busters without coffee (though yesterday morning in the city was a bit if a challenge… It’s part of my city ritual to get a coffee before work). I’m in bed at 10 pm every night and most days have my 2L water. Admittedly that’s been pretty easy with this heat!

And… I’m day 8 of my #Whole30. It’s been fun this time around to try and keep it as cheap and easy as possible. I’ll post more about how that’s going soon.

Did you set any goals for the new year? How are you traveling?

January :: focus on health

So 2015 is my year to Focus on Life. Every month I will choose a different area of life to focus on, with a list of things of like to achieve.

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January is Focus on Health month.

Here are my commitments:

Ditch coffee. I haven’t had one for a few days now and they were intermittent before that. I don’t like how coffee makes me feel like such a slave to it. I hate how addictive it is, I worry about the chemical load (coffee has one of the highest pesticide doses of all crops) and I don’t think it does good things to my sleep.

Do another Whole30. I’m starting on Jan 8th after our family holiday, but have already cut down on snacking and increased the nutrient density of my meals. I felt ah-amazing during and after my last Whole30 but Christmas kinda got in the way. It was by far my least “treat”-filed Christmas but I’ve still managed to put on a couple of kg and definitely feel more sluggish.

Drink 2L water a day. This may just be my most difficult commitment. I really struggle to drink enough fluids, even when it’s hot.

3km or 30 minutes every day. I saw this on Pinterest the other day and think is a great way to ensure that I just do SOMETHING each day. The 30 minutes can be anything: yoga, Pilates, strength training, jumping on the trampoline, kayaking, whatever; it just has to be some kind of movement. And the loop from our house around the bay and back again is 3km so that’s convenient. Over the month I plan to increase my running distance to 5km a few times a week but I love that 3km is an achievable minimum.

Go to bed by 10pm.
Did I say drinking enough water would be my biggest challenge? I think this might actually tie on first place for most difficult commitment to keep. The kids go to sleep so badly at the moment that those precious couple of hours after they finally go down are really hard to let go of. Still, as long as they’re waking at 530am, and as long as MasterL continues to wake overnight for a feed, the more important getting an early night is.

So there you go, my Focus on Health commitments. Have you made any health related goals this January?

new year, new focus

New Years Day. Don’t you just love it? A fresh start, an empty book, a whole lotta inspiration and potential. New goals, new habits, new opportunities. No excuses, no baggage, just a whole lot of magical new yearly focus.

focus

Every New Years Eve T and I write a list of goals for the year. We have a book especially for these yearly lists. We don’t open the book throughout the year, just crack it open on the 31st over a glass of wine and tick, cross or give half marks against each point. Then write another list. It’s amazing how many we ticked off this year without really thinking about it.

Still, I love a good challenge.

When skulking around the interwebs they other day, thinking about coffee, I discovered Leo Babauta’s A Year of Living Without. He cut out one thing a month for twelve months in a bid to make More Room for Life. At the end of each month he would evaluate how he went and whether or not he would continue with the omission.

I am a total challenge junkie AND am in the process of saying goodbye to coffee, so straight away this appealed to me. I told T about it and then spent the rest of the day thinking about things to give up, yelling out as they came to mind…

“A month without spending!”
“A month without nasty chemicals!”
“A month without iPhones!”
“A month without technology between 7pm and 7am! ”

With each exclamation T would chuckle/scoff at me. “Why can’t you just make changes?” He asked. “Why do you have to turn everything in to a thing?
“Where’s your sense of adventure Bootz?”

Despite my outer enthusiasm, by that stage I was internally clutching at straws trying to come up with twelve things to ditch. I’ve already quit sugar. I eat very few grains/legumes/dairy. I couldn’t manage a month without meat. Sex? I’m pretty sure I’d be disowned (although, let’s face it, we have been married seven years and had two kids under two… A month without is probably not unheard of).

I thought maybe I’ll just do six months, but that just seemed half arsed. Then I was trying to come up with clever opposites to things I wanted to do, for example a month with out sedentary-ness (exercise every day), a month without stress (meditate every day), etc… But it all started to feel a bit negative on it.

It was then that T suggested that I read The Happiness Project and maybe try and create something a little more tailored to me. I’m only a couple of chapters in though and somehow it’s already January 1st, so in the interest of beginning as I mean to go on, I’ve just planned a few months worth of focus points and i’ll create the rest as I go on.

focus on life 2015

Every month I’ll focus on a different aspect of my life, with specific tasks in each and at the end of the month I’ll consider the impact and make a decision about continuing on with the changes or reverting to how we did things before.

January = Focus on Health.

  • Ditch coffee
  • Do another Whole30 (I’m starting on Jan 8th after our family holiday)
  • Drink 2L water a day
  • 3km or 30 minutes every day
  • Go to bed by 10pm

 And with that, I must be off… It’s 9:42pm; I can’t break my own rules on day one!

Have you set any goals for the new year?

Happy New Year to you and yours. I hope your 2015 is a cracker. xx

 

Six reasons I’m giving up coffee in 2015

 ‘You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy coffee. Which is close.’

‘If you can’t say anything nice, you obviously haven’t had your coffee yet’

‘I am not addicted to coffee, we are in a committed relationship’

‘If someone tells you you drink too much coffee, ignore them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life’

addicted to coffee

Coffee has become SUCH a socially acceptable crutch. Many of us can’t get through the day without at least one cup, often in a takeaway vessel, which is usually single-use only and ends up in landfill. We start the day with coffee. We are nicer to be around after a cup of coffee. We make flippant sorry, very serious jokes statements about how coffee helps us to be better people.

Major presentation at work this morning? Scull a quick coffee before you go in.
Doing a long run this weekend? The caffeine will aid your performance.
Got a business meeting planned? Schedule it for the coffee shop down stairs.
3pm slump? No worries, grab another cuppa joe.

These days we are such coffee snobs! I don’t remember my first cafe cappuccino, but I do remember that back in the day it was most certainly a special treat and it’s froth was so thick it was akin to stiffly beaten egg whites. We moved away from Nescafe Blend 43 in the home, to Moccona or some other fancy brand, then plungers, stove top espresso machines and – if you were a real connoisseur- a nice Breville or Sunbeam bench top coffee maker in your home. Yee-ha.

These days there are domestic machines that will make a perfect cup with the touch of a button (or the puncture of a pod, don’t get me started on those). We walk around with paper cups (or stainless steel, BPA-free plastic or tempered glass reusable cups for us greenies) permanently attached to our hands. We buy 250gram packets of beans and grind them ourselves to ensure maximum freshness and flavour of our favourite brew. A quick yellow pages search revealed 993 cafes in Surry Hills. We know which do great coffee and which ones are rubbish, then plan our days and our routes around such venues. If we don’t know where to get ‘great’ coffee, there are apps to help us decide. Alternatively if you don’t have an iphone, just keep an eye out for a bunch of cyclists. They’re a pretty good indicator.

I’ve given it up so many times now; sometimes for a week, sometimes a month or two. Each time I do so well and then somehow I just get sucked back in to the warm and toasty coffee-haze.

Coffee is entwined in our social culture and it binds us together.
It makes us happier and less stressed.
It makes us feel human. Connected. Accepted. Normal.
Coffee is addictive.

It occurred to me recently (actually, a couple of years ago… this quitting business is a work in progress), if you need a substance to make you feel normal… It’s probably not that good for you.

Let’s for a moment consider the quotes I listed above, and then change them up a bit.

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy ecstasy. Which is close.

If you can’t say anything nice, you obviously haven’t had your valium yet.

I’m not addicted to pot, we’re in a committed relationship.

If someone tells you you drink too much alcohol, ignore them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

Coffee is a drug, man!

It produces feel-good hormones that tell your brain you are happy, and life is wonderful… Until you don’t drink it, then you suffer headaches, anxiety, stress, have difficulty concentrating and feel as though you are walking around in a fog…

Which is where I was a week or so ago (after 2 days with no caffeine), until MasterL woke up at 10pm and didn’t go back to sleep until 2am and then I was just. so. tired. that I couldn’t possibly get through that next morning without cawfeee. Oh, dear cawfee…

So here’s why I’m giving it up. Again.

1. It costs us a stack of money we don’t really have. I don’t even drink that much (1-3 cups a day) but at $35+/kg for a bag of beans for home use, and an average of $4 per takeaway, 3 days a week, we spend about a thousand bucks a year on coffee in our household. For those of you playing along at home that have a daily takeaway habit, it’s $1000 just on takeaways, plus the contribution to landfill and ingesting questionable chemicals as you go.

2. I don’t like the idea of being dependant on addictive substances. If I neeeeed coffee, I really don’t need coffee.

3. I need to sleep better. When I did the Whole30 (and gave up coffee) I felt clear in the head and slept so much better. I had more patience with MissC and was generally nicer to be around. I had no energy slumps and actually woke up feeling energised.

4. It’s full of crap. I’m actively taking steps to nurture my body and rid our environment of toxins, and coffee adds an unnecessary (and enormous) load pesticide load.

5. It isn’t a mindful habit. Often I don’t even enjoy the ritual, I simply buy, walk, scull, forget.

6. I’m a bit flighty at the moment. I’ve always been a bit of a scanner, but I am having so much trouble just stopping and being. Given that caffeine increases stress hormones, maybe removing it will help settle me.

I’m just about ready to let it go… It’s been a few days since I had one and whilst the headaches seem to have passed, I’m still rather foggy and (according to T) quite moody (read: not nice to be around). I’m planning a variation on A Year of Living Without and my first month will definitely be coffee, so that I can try and break this habit for good.

Have you ditched your coffee habit? Was it hard? Will you ever go back?

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Two Beautiful Bunnies

I'm a mama to two beautiful babies. I have started this blog to gather my thoughts and try to improve who I am as a person but particularly as a mother, wife, daughter and sister.