Copy for Content ‘22

I call for an End to Coffee Dependence!

In my case, it was those $5 iced coffees I once needed to start the day.

It’s a bad habit I’ve kicked since the onset of 2022, a year I envision to unfold as one of sustained resilience. If these past two years have been an exercise in attempting solidarity while in solitude, my habits, then, are everyone’s habits. I urge you to join me in Fighting the Old Drug.

In the spirit of finding mechanisms to cope with the prolonged haul ahead, Just Say No to that perpetual $5 average deposit you’ve placed into a bottomless pit every morning since you came home from Texas in late August. It has yielded only a sluggish-jittery default disposition, half-nocturnal sleep cycles, and perpetual tardiness that undermined the modest supply of goodwill accumulated in your burgeoning Air Force career. Not to mention those love handles.

You were swayed by the contrived but admirable charm of Good Grove’s “Historic” district when you came across the Vietnamese coffee at Phinite. Its dark, dense yet milky smooth incarnation of cà phê sữa đá was a nod to hometown pride. It was an exquisite contribution from the young and clever to the Vietnamese-American’s canon, concocted via tradition from the phin filter as a work of analog coffee.

As enticing as its flavor was the promise of a daily ritual.

Outside the apartment was a walk to your brother’s hand-me-down ’98 Honda Civic, parked at either the mouth of the cul-de-sac or the side street; the lost memory of where it was parked the night before providing the day its first dose of variety. From there was a mile-and-a-half drive south, turning onto the 600-foot long stretch of Americana peeking away from Euclean Avenue’s unglamorous suburbia-as-usual expressway.

Easy parallel parking was an undertaking more encouraging to the day’s promise than attempting 75 push-ups at the wake-up alarm. A leafy Main Street and its gentle Autumn morning sunlight would fill the Vitamin D and fresh air quota needed on days landlocked at home in front of too many blue screens.

Through the doors was a wait in line in which you prayed you wouldn’t have to avoid eye contact with the barista you went to high school with. You’d encountered him before at another coffee joint, but at the drive-thru in your post-shift Popeye’s uniform behind sunglasses, there could at least be a mutual game of plausibly deniable recognition. Of course, you never did bother to track his off days at Phinite.

Morning routine provided structure for a twenty-something crossroads as muddled in definition as the cultural moment serving as its backdrop.

Now, 8:15am is open-ended like so many things these days. 2022 calls on me, on us, to find ways to function without external crutches. In lieu of a daily $4.75 plus CA sales tax large iced cà phê sữa đá plastic straw no sleeve please coffee, I’ve input $5 daily into my savings account. That’s $35 weekly, $140 monthly, and enough for a used sedan come next January.

Quarantine living has been an exercise in monk-like living, downsizing us to the point of being attuned to those finer, discrete pleasures. The lesson of this era is that the emotional, social, and spiritual reset button must always be in reach in order for us to be truly independent.

That starts with the physiological.

A decaffeinated life is one that rejects the false momentum of a productive day. Use the downtime to weaponize the creativity that will flourish in its absence, and better articulate one’s priorities to be more effective when things do get moving someday. From here I find improved finances, cold showers, cooking more of my own meals, being nicer to my parents, and so forth.

Reduce your reliance on overpriced coffee! Go down a size, get the decaf, make it at home for cheap, or go cold turkey entirely! Put those savings, literal or otherwise, elsewhere!

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