For the majority of each workday, I am constantly imbibing three things: cola, music, and e-mail.
Most mornings, I stop and get a 32-ounce Coke for breakfast, filling the cup about half full of ice because I like the drink really cold and it makes me feel better than I’m drinking less sugar, since the ice takes up room. Then I usually drink a Coke at lunch and leave the restaurant with a refill. I’m pretty good about not drinking a Coke in the evening, unless we go out to dinner. But still, that’s a lot of Coke to be sipping every day, and I’m sure it’s the main reason why I had highly elevated triglycerides a few years back, the last time they were checked. Since then, I’ve gotten better about exercising consistently and taking fish oil supplements, but I haven’t really cut back on the soda. Occasionally I try to limit myself to every other morning or to not getting refills at lunch, but it never sticks. I don’t worry about the caffeine or notice any side effects when I don’t get it, but I think I’m addicted to the sugar and the hydration, and I hope it doesn’t catch up with me in a more serious way later. (Watching the documentary “Super Size Me” recently didn’t help with my fears, since I eat fast food for lunch most days too.)
I’ve always loved music, and now iTunes is making it easier than ever to keep my entire collection constantly circulating through my ears. I loaded all my CDs onto my Mac at work, which totals 3,454 songs, 12.62 gigabytes, and 9.5 days worth of listening time. It takes me about two months to cycle through all those while I work (instead of using the shuffle function, I sort by song title and just let it rip through those, so I hear my whole collection in seemingly random order). I also have all my CDs loaded onto my laptop at home, so I can listen whenever I use that computer. And to fill in the gaps, I use a little iPod Shuffle. Plus, I rotate my CDs through my car stereo whenever I drive (and I do methodically listen to them in order, turning over the whole collection before going back to the beginning). This means I’m probably listening to music about 80 percent of my waking hours. I have two concerns about music: 1) Do my worldly, sometimes hard-edged tastes in music dull my spirituality at all? 2) Does listening to headphones affect my hearing? I do think my hearing is getting worse, because I notice myself asking people to repeat themselves and I sometimes can’t hear well in noisy environments. Still, I can’t stop myself from turning up a favorite song when it comes around.
Finally, e-mail. I’m one of these people who compulsively checks e-mail numerous times during the day. In the past, I’ve been involved in several creative projects conducted primarily by e-mail, so frequently checking it usually yielded worthwhile results. Now, I’m not doing much with anyone via e-mail, but I still keep checking at least every hour and sometimes much oftener. It gives me such pleasure when there is e-mail that I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some actual addiction involved.
Anyway, take away my soda, music, and e-mail, and I’d be only half the person I am now.
Currently sipping: Pepsi from Taco Bell (I can live with Pepsi, but it’s too sweet)
Currently listening: “All Mine,” by Portishead
Current e-mail status: Just barely checked it, and there was nothing