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Cutting Down



“No, thanks. I’m cutting down on coffee.”

“Are you serious?” 

She asked me that as if that was the last thing she would hear from me. And she’s not the first to sound that way when I explain my ridiculous-but-true effort to reduce my coffee intake.

Some, though, are slightly more curious.

“But why?”

I must admit, having a dose of caffeine to kick start the day is very nice. But not having to rely on coffee, is actually even nicer. Pure energy, recharged after a good night’s sleep, all on my own. Coffee, I have decided, will be for pure indulgence (ie. treats, good company, etc.) and emergencies (ie. when staying awake is impossible but absolutely crucial moments) only. In fact, I now prefer my coffee (and tea) black – but that’s another story.

Coffee is just a start. I’m working on cutting down on many other unnecessary items.

I won’t call myself a minimalist just yet, but I find that clearing out my closet, giving away clothes that I don’t fit in wear anymore, selling off usable gadgets that could be put to better use by others, digitize as many things as I can (except for certain books, which I would still love to keep), and cooking my own fresh meals instead of always eating out – they’re all very therapeutic.

Saving money is one thing, but cutting down actually helps me get to know myself better – instead of having unnecessary clutter giving me the illusion of who I think I am. Cutting down does not make more space for stuff – but it makes more space for yourself, and the people around you – and maybe even God.That extra computer does not tell me that I’m a geek, that extra book does not tell me that I’m very intellectual, all those old clothes won’t make me move on, and eating out prevents me from knowing what actually goes into making my food. Or how.

It’s nice to indulge, and it’s good too – but what is indulgence if not for the scarcity of it?

I still find joy in spending extra for coffee and food to give myself and others a treat, buying a pair of expensive shoes once in awhile because I know I will be walking a hundred miles in them, or even get that hardcover book just so I could put my Kindle down and know that it will be a nice collection to my bookshelf.

But on most days, I have learned to find joy in making myself a better person. To eat slower, to forgive quicker, to learn more, to judge less, to swallow my pride, to run an extra mile (figuratively and literally – exercise is not a want, it’s a need), and to be around things and people who make me want to be a better version of me.

So why am I cutting down on coffee?

Because plain water is much, much better for you.

NOTE: The author is going through a quarter-life crisis, in case this post hasn't given enough of a hint. Cutting down is just another way of coping with one of 
life's tragedies of growing up - and therefore does not necessarily hold true for everyone. If you are one who likes your mountain of 'stuff' and have way better 
things to do than reducing it - by all means, ignore all the philosophical fluff 
in this post. Whatever rocks your boat. =)

About the author


Fueled by coffee and thrives on kindness. Generally pleasant.


    • Haha, I think I hit it since I started working last year. I don’t think it’s something to shout or exaggerate about – everyone copes with growing up differently. Plus I don’t think this term was even used by people from our parents’ generation. I do think that it’s particularly due to the fast-paced society we live in and the pressures we get from all around that gives us the illusion that it is very important to define who we are right here, right now. I don’t even dare imagine what we’ll all be like when mid-life comes along.

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