Wednesday, June 8, 2011


My sleep schedule has been severely whacked by my coffee intake.
It started with a messy apartment. I kept looking up from my computer in between copy writing bursts, thinking about the gazillion things I have to do. Piles of paperwork to file; clips to scan so I can stow my piles of magazines away; mice to escort out of my apartment; sorry geraniums to water (or do yellow leaves mean I'm watering them too much?); and piles of laundry.

So after much procrastination and frustration about not having enough hours in the day, I decided to pack it in every morning after the school bus pulls away to hit a cafe for a few hours. It helps me concentrate, and I've found several places that I seem to be welcome to hang out in for more than one cup of coffee, not to mention an endless stream of free electricity and Wi Fi, if I'm lucky.

My psychiatrist reminds me that I do better with half-caff. He's right, of course. After moving back in that direction, I found in just two days that I was able to sleep straight for 6 hours, rather than wake up at 3:30 or 4 in the morning, unable to get back to sleep for an hour or two. Just a few cups a day and it seems I wake myself up with caffeine withdrawal; most coffee drinkers underestimate the withdrawal and don't realize that it's not morning coffee that wakes you up and makes you feel better; it's the fact that you're not in withdrawal anymore. I learned that 40 mg of caffeine has the same benefit to those symptoms as 100 mg, so it's okay to cut in half. I won't feel better from drinking more caffeine; it's the same as half.

In the wee hours of the morning, I'm worried about a lot of things that add up to feel big. Packing for another summer away, going once again to a place where I don't speak the language, having a kid who's growing up so quickly, stories that needs to be written, including a huge feature that I need a solid chunk of time to devote to. Leaving my apartment in the hands of a family who I've yet to meet. In the daytime, these worries become tiny microcosms of themselves, and everything is solvable. I can chip away at work. I'm raising the white flag and getting some help around the apartment. I know Paris now so much better than I did last year, and we're going to the same neighborhood. We're choosing to keep things far more simple this time around by doing much less traveling, and far more exploring the strange-to-us urban backdrop.

I'll be blogging about our trip for several different places, wearing several different hats. My teacher hat will blog on occasion for Parsons. My creative and entrepreneur hat will blog at, a new blog I've begun with my New School colleague Kathleen Sweeney about creativity, using New York City as a creative backdrop (and Paris, of course). I'll probably be picking up where I left off for PublishingPerspectives, and blogging about fun bookstores and book-themed ephemera. Finally, dear handful of readers, I'll be blogging here. Somewhere I'll find time to sleep, but whether I'll stick to half caff in Paris remains to be seen.

1 comment:

  1. Sleep is incredibly crucial. I like how you write about your woes and hopes. It makes your writing relatable and warming. I hope this trip to Paris is more awesome than the last. Eat plenty of meringue cookies for me.