A dilemma

I have a dilemma. It arises from a personal problem. The problem is coffee.

I have always been proud of the fact that “I don’t need coffee”. It was a part of my character and my personality, you know, crazy ol‘ Alice hasn’t been hitting the coffee again, she’s just like that. Well, that was high school.

College was interesting and varied enough that I didn’t start to think I needed coffee then, either.

Besides, coffee tastes nasty and it is an extra expense. Why would I want to drink it unless I need it?

Then, in the summer of 2006, after a long weekend during a heat wave which left me weak and ill, I needed coffee. I got a cafe latte at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. And it was…

It was good!

It was delicious! I like this! How come I never tried it before? And I continued to drink cafe latte weekly.

Fast-forward a couple years to a few months ago, when I started drinking coffee at work in the morning, just because I liked it. It was cheap because I had my own coffee maker and everything. Then I decided to take the thing home because I was pouring out too much coffee at the end of the day. So I quit coffee, sortof by accident.

The next three workdays saw me nearly unconscious at my desk all day, and cranky and headache-y in the afternoons. How could I have done this to myself? I have become that which I scorned and swore to never be! I like my job; I don’t need coffee just to get myself here every morning! Etc, etc, etc.

And now I am long over my withdrawal, but this brings me to my logic thinking problem. I have let go the idea that I have to hold the same opinions and have the same tastes as I did when I was in high school. That’s a little embarrassing, to have taken so long to realize that, I mean, but it feels like a big step toward maturity.

I still don’t want to be addicted to anything. But it is just that the word addiction has overly-negative connotations in this case? I mean, I like coffee, with a little bit of cream, and one 8-ounce cup per day is hardly the sort of behaviour that will hasten my demise.

Most of all, I don’t want the sort of job where I feel I need some artificial stimulant to do my work. That just seems too sad. But whether I want to have that sort of job or not, apparently, I have that sort of job. I spend around eight hours a day in a 6×6 cubical, so it’s no wonder I need a little pick-me-up. Not that it’s boring; I like what I do. I went to grad school for this, for crying out loud. I guess it just gets a little old every day, and the environment isn’t helping, either.

So I guess my primary problem is this:

Faced with the fact that
1. I don’t want a job where I have to drink coffee
2. I have a job where I need coffee

Which should I do? Drop the coffee or the job? I can’t quit my job, and I’m under-productive without coffee. Should I simply resign myself and drink the coffee? It seems like the right thing to do. Or maybe the righter thing to do is to simply have a little discipline and just do what I know needs to be done; you know, do work, earn my paycheck.

Am I being unreasonable if I keep resisting the coffee? Is some ideal about what I think I should be like more important than my actual, physical need for chemical motivation? I mean I’m having a little trouble motivating myself through this blog entry, and I like writing.

This brings me to another idea, too. Why is it that people are proud of themselves for their preferences? I mean, for your accomplishments, sure. But your taste in music? “I don’t listen to the radio” …So? I mean fine, know what you like and maybe even why you like it, but I don’t see what the point is of getting all smug about it. Do I drink coffee because I enjoy it? Do I drink it (or not) to for the express purpose of being counter-culture? Should I avoid it because it’s unhealthy despite the fact that I just long and long to have a nice hot cuppa when I get to my cubical?

I guess what I’m getting at is this. Where’s the line between doing what I want and doing what I should? How can we even define what a person should do, anyways, and how much of that is only based on opinion? What if my opinion changes?

Should I apply the scientific method to my coffee dilemma??

Hey… that might be kinda fun.

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