Day 16: 40 Day Experiment Update

16, it’s such an off number, and Tuesday isn’t a day I normally post on but I felt the need to update about how the experiment is going so far and I got occupied this weekend (read I caved and watched Narcos, 4 episodes in to season 2).
So one of the big things about this experiment is getting off caffeine. You would think I would have experienced a huge deficit in energy. I stopped drinking coffee a week before I started the experiment and those first few days were a bit of a struggle. But by the end of the 2nd week without any coffee or soda I was actually feeling less tired. The coffee was keeping me up late, even if the only cup I had was at 8am. Now without the coffee I fall asleep without any problems and I’m able to wake up (although I’ll admit I still struggle a little) on time. That’s the main change I’ve noticed, that I’m sleeping better which in turn is leading me to be less tired throughout the day and have more energy than I would have had when I was drinking coffee. Huh!
The other big change is starting and ending my day with prayer as well as daily bible reading. Morning prayer is just about things I’m thankful for. This was intentional. I have a hard time with anxiety and depression. A lot of it stems from ruminating on the past, and overwhelmed by the inability to change my environment. By starting with giving thanks, it allows me to remember all the things in my life I have to be grateful for. Things that I sometimes take for granted. Like having a roof over my head, a job so I can pay for my bills, and a car to get me to it. It makes getting through the day easier. It’s such a simple change but it’s made a huge difference. And feeling connected spiritually, well it feels like home.
Secondly on the night prayer and bible readings. I don’t have a method to what I read. Besides that I’m just continuing from a long ago project to read the bible start to finish. So I just pick up where I left off and read until my brain can’t focus on the scripture anymore. I only read a few passages a night. I want to make sure I’m understanding what I’m reading, not just reading for reading sake. Then I pray about all the things that worry me and ask for guidance, ask for help, ask for strength. This is intentional too. I might be able to wake up with a clean slate but by nightfall I’m usually a ball of nerves worrying about things needed to be done or things I’m not doing well enough. Intentionally asking for guidance each night helps me go to sleep. Simple as that.
It’s not all perfect though. The weekends I struggle to remember to keep up with all the facets of the experiment. I also REALLY miss the taste of coffee. And drinking decaffeinated coffee misses the point. This is about having the discipline to stay away from something when you know it’s not good for you.
However 16 days in I’ve already realized some major changes. Remember how I said I get anxious about not being able to change my environment? I feel stuck a lot. But the experiment has allowed me to regain clarity and come up with ways I can improve my life. One of those ideas start tonight.
This experiment is allowing me to remove some of the mental road blocks I created for myself. Many times throughout the past few years I’ve felt stuck in my career, stuck in my ability to contribute to society, stuck about my personal well being. There’s still a lot I can’t change, but 16 days I’ve already gained some peace. Enough to get creative about what I do have to work with. 

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