Life In The Fast Lane [The Eagles]

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I feel like I've just woken up from a coma that was induced by massive amounts of schoolwork. Well, maybe woken up is not the exact term I'm looking for since I feel more like a zombie, walking around and making all the motions of a living, breathing student (and even managing to make some intelligent sentences come forth from my vocal chords).

All I know is that I'm really, really, really tired. The past three nights I've been up until near 2am working on putting together some journals for my class on the East Central European Renaissance. Interesting class, interesting books read for said journals, even interesting thoughts that I wrote down. But so bloody time consuming! I actually think I ended up doing a lot more work than I needed to (near 6,000 words - 14 pages 1.5 spaced), but hopefully that will be reflected in my grade and will also grant me some leniency in the second round of journals due at the end of March.

I have my Thesis outline presentation next week Tuesday, which is frightening. Why? I have very little of it figured out. However, this is not that bad of a thing as most people still have more unanswered questions about their thesis than I do. Is it bad that their shortcomings make me feel better because they make my shortcomings seem more slight? The books I'm skimming reading right now for it are all incredibly interesting - medieval medicine, leprosy, witchcraft, IV Lateran, women's health and sexuality in the Middle Ages. So, at least my reading material
is not putting me to sleep.

I gave up soda for Lent. Lent, for me, is a time of year where I get to see which of my addictions I still have control over. I get to see just how strong I really am. Last year it was tough - being at a desk all day I normally had a glass or two of soda with me to help me make it 'till the end of the day. Cutting it out meant completely changing my daily habits. And soda was cheap and in places, like at the UNC baseball stadium Boshamer, there were really no non-soda options (okay, you could get sweat tea, but in 6 years I was never converted; nor was I going to pay $4 for a bottle of water!). I got better at carrying around a water bottle with me wherever I went and slowly as the caffeine headaches faded I sunk into my no-soda routine. And at the end of Lent I found that that first sip of my long awaited Dr. Pepper tasted not as glorious as I remembered. When did soda start tasting like syrup?

However, that soon faded and my taste for the stuff came back along with my need for the caffeine. So, I gave it up again this year and let me tell you, it hasn't been even half as hard. Partially because soda is not as big of a consumer item here. People drink it, but let me put it into some perspective: the size of their extra large drinks at fast food places (McD's, BK) is smaller than our small drink back in the States. Think about that for a moment. As they slowly make the sizes get bigger in the US - a medium drink (which is what they consider to be a "regular" with a combo) at Wendy's today was the size of a large about 5 years ago. Today at most Fast food places they have to give you those crazy tapered cups when you order even a large because they won't fit in the cup-holders of any cars! Don't even get me started on the XL drinks - I could fit my head in one of them, I swear! (That being said, when I drive between NC & NH I get the biggest ones I can find, but that's for not having to stop and get new drinks all the time. Granted, that probably means more bathroom stops, but whatever).

So, with such a culture where soda isn't offered to you at every turn I don't think about soda that often (except for right at the moment of writing this!) and I drink closer to the amount of water one ought to drink in a day. I feel fabulous. And it's not a battle not to drink it this year, I don't even find myself reminding myself to get water or juice and to bypass the soda: I just do it. This is not to say either that I haven't probably upped my coffee intake - but that I blame more on the culture and less on the lack of soda. Every other minute you're being asked to accompany someone to get an espresso or a coffee. It's just the way of life here.

What addiction are you battling this Lent season, if any? What has been the hardest thing you've given up? What's the strangest thing you've heard of someone giving up (I've had friends give up facebook for Lent before, they say it was liberating but difficult)?


  1. I can identify with your thoughts about soda, as I've given it up for Lent before with a little difficulty. But interestingly enough, I find myself in the opposite situation as you with soda culture. In Korea, soda is an encouraged drink option (along with beer/soju), and not much else. You can get fruit "juices", but most of these have been infused with a soda base to make it more fizzy and attractive to the taste buds. If you ask for just water to drink at a restaurant, people look at you funny. Many times I'll go for whatever tea option they have, as they are less caffeinated than soda. They have awesome peach tea here, I'll say that!

  2. I totally feel ya on the walking zombie and lack of sleep thing. We are getting snow here right now, just in time for my two midterms tomorrow and thursday!! Fingers crossed for school to be cancelled!


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