My heart raced, and my body felt like it was in constant motion even when I was sitting; I was seriously starting to wonder if you could OD from caffeine!
Coffee has always been the elixir from the gods, in my house. If I do not have my morning Joe, the world as I know and understand it fails to fall into harmony and the day has always descended into total chaos. This ritual of the perfect blend of cream and sweet concoctions of flavorings like chocolate chip cookie dough, s’mores, or chocolate with caramel has always provided the ideal kick-start to my day.
When my daughter was just a little thing, she wanted to learn how to make coffee, so I taught my daughter how many scoops were necessary to make the perfect brew. She would slide the kitchen chair over to the counter and begin the process. Before she would start her morning task, she would always call out, “Full octane or decaf?” Depending on my answer, she would always have a comeback. If I ordered decaf, she would mumble and reply, “Well today’s gonna be boring.” If I asked for the real deal, she would laugh and remark, “Yes, today’s gonna be fun.”
Caffeine really has been my drug of choice if indeed the old ads were true. It has always awakened my soul and delivered blessed energy to complete the many tasks that I must finish, especially since I work as a middle school teacher. Even at school, my students have quickly discovered the importance of a wonderful cup of coffee. When I am hyped up on too much caffeine, my kids laugh and hang on for a wild ride of fun and classroom tales as we start our morning routine.
Still, I recently discovered too much of a good thing can bring unexpected consequences. This year, a fellow colleague was promoted to assistant principal, and my dear friend gave me a lift to work one morning because my ride was in the shop. Since I had to leave a lot earlier than usual, I decided to snag a cup of coffee from the office pot. After one cup of his creation, I finally understood where this crazy man found all of his energy and his crazy antics. I went into overdrive! I talked a mile a minute, and I teased and laughed and told jokes. My class and I had fun working on the parts of speech and the rap song that went along with our morning lesson. When the tune queued up, I sang, and I danced until one girl shook her head and whispered that I should never dance again in class..like ever. And I had so much fun until the shakes arrived. I never had a single cup of coffee that gave me the jitters until that day.
After my caffeine high, I now have looked at my morning brew differently. Too much of a good thing brought unexpected consequences. While I did indeed have fun at the beginning, those caffeine jitters were a strange walk on the wild side. As the morning progressed, I just wanted to crawl into a corner and curl up in a fetal position. My nerves were fried, and every little noise made me shutter. While my students silently worked on an assignment, a dog at the neighboring bark begin to yip, and I seriously wanted to find some duct tape to silence the little ankle biter. My heart raced, and my body felt like it was in constant motion even when I was sitting; I was seriously starting to wonder if you could OD from caffeine!
After lunch, I was ready for a nap. The day dragged in slow motion, and I couldn’t wait for the bell to ring! Once I arrived home, I threw on an old pair of jeans and walked my dogs, hoping the fresh air would calm my nerves and help slow my thoughts. It was like I had a movie recording that continuously played in my head of all the work I needed to accomplish. When my bedtime rolled around I was tired, and I usually do not have trouble falling asleep, but that night, sleep stayed out of reach.
The next morning, I had my usual cup and prepared for my day. Once I arrived at school, my friend told me, “You look tired. Want some coffee?” He looked at me like I had lost my marbles when I told him, his coffee was one weird drug, and that I had learned my lesson. He gave me a strange look, and I continued, “Your coffee, or whatever the hell it is, needs to come with a warning label, and after watching all the after-school specials as a kid, I have learned to just say ‘no’ to drugs!” And with that I stomped out of the office and made a beeline for the safety of my classroom. Someday, I suppose, I should really explain to him what happened.