So, today? I didn’t drink any coffee. None. Not a drop. Which, if you know me, you know that that’s quite something. I am a coffee fiend. I drink coffee like water. I drink buckets of coffee. If coffee were an ocean, I’d be making a serious contribution to reversing the rise of global sea levels.
But I gave it up. Because ONE asked me to. Not because ONE thinks that giving up coffee is a useful way to change the world – it’s not, actually – think of all those coffee farmers! THEY NEED MY BUSINESS – but because ONE wants us all to be thinking very seriously this month about how we can all make a difference. And giving up a luxury for a day – any luxury, any day – can make a difference. Maybe it’s giving up driving to work and taking the bus instead, the better to reduce carbon emissions. Maybe it’s foregoing the latte and putting that money aside to donate to a good cause. Maybe it’s just giving up something, anything, just to show that you can, just to remind yourself that whatever that luxury is, it’s still just a luxury. It’s not something you need. We all probably have a lot of those of things in our lives: things that we really don’t need, but that we have and that we take for granted. It’s kind of a useful exercise to identify one of those things – maybe even more than one – and see what it feels like to go without. Because, you know, a lot of people go without, and they go without things are lot more important than coffee or chocolate or the Internet or driving to work.
Emilia noticed immediately this morning that I did not have coffee. She usually wakes to the sound of the espresso machine going, and I think that it’s very possible that she has never seen me in the morning without a cup of coffee in or near my hand. So she noticed that I was without coffee, and she asked about it, and I explained that I’d promised some very nice people that I was going to give up something that I loved today, and she got it immediately.
“Mommy, that would be like if I gave up treats.”
“Do I have to give up treats?”
– “Well, no, but maybe that’s something that you want to think about, whether you could give up treats, to remind yourself that not everyone gets treats.”
“Can I give up Jasper’s treats?”
Which misses the point, granted, but you have to admire her cunning. I might have considered taking inspiration from her and declaring today a day for my husband to give up a luxury, but he’s a stay-at-home-dad now, and has no luxuries, other than the occasional break from children, and he would probably actually die if he lost those, so. It was all me today – all me with no coffee – and so far, I’ve managed okay. Sure, I’ve been grouchy, but not homicidal, as I feared.
So if I can give up coffee, you can give up something. What’s it going to be? Tell me in comments and I’ll share my secret ‘we are awesome’ gang sign with you.