I have one coffee per day, usually. It begins in my thermal mug around 7a.m., fresh from our metal cafetiere (I haven’t been able to break it. Yet.) I carry the mug down the communal stairs of our flat, along the road, onto the bus to work, and onto my desk, where, over the course of the morning, I will either finish it, or it will be too tepid to enjoy finishing.
Because this is my only coffee of the day, albeit somewhat extended, I exist in a sort of denial about the advice against drinking coffee given to me by my physiotherapist. The lady currently trying to help me regain some control of my bladder. The lady currently trying to ensure that I don’t wet myself again in public. As I did recently. Because of drinking a mug of coffee and a glass of coke in close succession.
I get it. I really do. Coffee is an irritant and a diuretic, and messes up very effectively all the drinking-more-water improvements that I have made. But, beyond the kick it gives physically, is the psychological, ritualistic element it has in terms of starting my day. What else do I drink that isn’t going to be a poor cousin of that morning mug? Decaf? Dandelion?! Even tea is off limits. Given that I drink tea at navvy strength, this is probably a good thing.
Giving up coffee also means having to acknowledge that I can no longer treat my body in ways that have hitherto been entirely irrelevant to its capacity to function. It means accepting that I am middle-aged, no matter how poorly that sits with me. It means, possibly, probably, having to address other “denial” areas. Like the fact that alcohol makes me cranky the following morning. Not, “I have to get up and look after my child and I feel like warmed-over crap” cranky. More hormonal-and-hangry cranky. Like the fact that if I don’t start weaning myself off chocolate and cakes, I will share my late father’s Type 2 diabetes.
Like my hearing loss. My hearing is going and it is never coming back. I have to think seriously about lip reading, possibly sign language. I try not to think about the impact possibly on my family over the next 5, 10, 20 years. My uncle is almost completely deaf now, and his hearing loss came much later in his life than mine has.
This getting old thing is getting old. And I haven’t even reached 50 yet.