I gave up coffee for Lent. That’s coffee as in drip coffee, cappuccinos, lattes, and anything of the sort—both caffeinated and decaf. It’s been horrible. I mean, I must have been addicted to coffee or something, because it has been a struggle everyday these past few weeks to not drink it. One major problem is that my office is right outside the department’s coffee machine, so I smell it wafting in every morning, like one of those vintage “Peter comes home for Christmas” Folgers commercials. And it doesn’t help that I spend many of my weeknights writing at various coffeeshops, where variations on tea or chai can only go so far to filling that “keep me awake and vibrant” need…
It’s like the feeling of being outside of some circle, of looking in on a world of pleasantness and pleasure and not being able to participate. But I guess this is the point of giving something up for Lent. It’s supposed to help us identify with the 40-day period in which Jesus retreated to the wilderness and fasted—eating nothing and praying constantly. Next to that, my giving up coffee seems terribly insignificant.
The amazing upside to the whole “no coffee” tragedy is that during Lent, Sundays don’t count. Because it is the day of Resurrection—the day death was conquered—it is a “free” day from our wanting. The forty days of Lent from Ash Wednesday to Easter do not include Sundays, thanks be to God.
It makes coffee taste all the more magnificent on Sundays.
To lack a beautiful pleasure like coffee for six out of seven days is actually not the worst thing in life. Having six days of missing goodness is always better than six days full of heartbreak or sadness. I’d rather be without a good than with a bad. But in life there’s always a mix.
All I know is that coffee tastes great on Sunday mornings. Also, mountain forests smells divine after an afternoon rainstorm. And doesn’t the sun seems to shine brighter on the day classes let out for summer break? And sleeping in on a day when you have nothing to get up for. Don’t even get me started.