Be the Change You Want to See in the World: Practical Things to Do

42. Breath Meme

Let’s Be the Change….or at Least Be Part of the Solution!

I head somebody once say that if you planted a rose bush every year, your life would not have been in vain. Well, yes, but I would suggest choosing something that doesn’t have thorns. Also, take a little care to insure you are not planting an invasive non-native when you plant something to beautify your little corner. Which brings us to the question at hand….

Just what can I do practically to “be the change I want to see in the world”?

I’ve pondered this question, and for me, I’ve decided to rephrase it as “how can I be part of the solution instead of part of the problem?”

Our world has some serious problems. It needs some big changes. We’re destroying the planet with our hyper-consumption of goods and resources. We allow and support businesses that exploit the weakest and poorest of our fellow-humans. And we’re just plain mean to each other a good bit of the time!

The internet has brought us all so much closer to each other that we no longer have the excuse that we just didn’t know.

I have made some commitments and changes in my life that, perhaps, will be little seeds sown toward making a better, cleaner, safer world, but my little changes don’t look like much when compared to how much needs to change. Still, perhaps my little practices, if I keep them up and keep adding new positive practices, will at least put me in the category of being part of the solution.

And so here are some of my attempts to better the world….

–I have become pretty faithful about some basic eco-living habits. For instance, I make a real effort to use reusable bags, to recycle, to buy local. Those things aren’t trendy here in the heartland and I feel like I’m swimming upstream sometimes just doing these small right things.

–I am looking into ways to be more intentional about how I spend my money in regards to how it affects others. For instance, I’m pretty consistent about buying fair trade coffee. I’m looking into fair trade and eco-friendly fashion and textiles. A good source of education on this area is the documentary “The True Cost.” It’s on Netflix right now. It’s an expose’ about “fast fashion.”

–I sponsor a couple of children. One is in Uganda and the other in the Philippines. I feel like I fall down when it comes to writing letters to them, but I have their pictures posted to remind me to send my prayers and positive thoughts on their behalf. Sponsorship seems to make a big difference for children, their families, and their communities.

Sometimes I worry that I can’t “be the change” as well as I “should” because quite frankly, I am a very solitary person. I’m an introvert and pretty satisfied with my own company. I see people doing great things, organizing grass-roots efforts, teaching groups of youth, volunteering in community feeding programs, educating others about injustice, counseling addicts and trauma victims, and simply being a part of it all. I admire these people so much!

But frankly, at the end of the day, I want to retreat into my comfortable little home with my internet, my books, and my little extended family, and just be. I want to cook a tasty meal and laugh with my kids. I want to take my husband out for a milkshake. I want to sit on the porch and listen to the cicadas.

I spent some time last night just rocking the grandbaby and singing old hymns to him. He just chilled out sucking on a pacifier and seemed to enjoy it. And in my own small way I feel connected to the current of life, the grand flow of time, as I offer my little gifts to the earth and to the individuals I love.

I don’t know that I’m “being the change” yet, but maybe these little gifts are at least part of the solution.


Journaling, Positive Thinking, and Inspiration

37. Meditate Meme

I am a firm believer in the value of journal writing as therapy and a source of inspiration. I wrote this acrostic poem for the word “Inspiration” and wanted to share it.

New awareness
Settles down on my
Perception, so that my perspective is
Illuminated to a view of a
Rosier reality
Arising from the constant din of
Terror-laden opinions and
Information, bringing hope that we can
Overcome this ever-present
Negativity with a nicer now!

Personally, I think acrostic poems are a wonderful way to flesh out one’s thoughts on a topic. (In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a poem where each line starts with a letter in the word, so that you can see the word written up and down.) I also like other poetry formats, such as the traditional 5-7-5 haiku. When I think about what my “calling” in life is, I often arrive at the idea that I am first and foremost a poet. Poetry just happens for me. When I write in my journals, my words just naturally fall into poems and songs. Often they fall into prayers, too.

The Psalms in the Bible are poems that I think might have started in someone’s prayer journal! Many were written by King David, of course, but not all of them. Anyway, I have noticed a pattern in many of the Psalms that the writer begins with lamenting a situation in her life and then gathers her courage for a last few lines of hope. (I know the writers were probably all male, but there may have been a woman. You never know.)

I think there was only one psalm I found that ended on a sour note.

Of course when journaling, you can end upbeat or sour according to your own wishes, but I like to bring things up, with a prayer for miraculous intervention and provision and a hope that all will turn out well.

I’ve been accused of being a pollyanna, head-in-the-sand type of person. But to me, that’s what faith is. When you gather your courage and decide that even in the face of all the bad news, you’re going to hope that there is a good God out there, that the universe is, after all, a friendly one.

Years ago a co-worker made the comment to me, “You’re so negative.” I didn’t believe it, but it stuck in my brain, and I wondered what made her say that. Later on, the year I turned 40, I was dealing with some depression. I think it was actually what writer and psychologist Jean Lush called “mid-life malaise.” Anyway, as I was praying about what to do, I felt like the Lord said to me, “Go down there to the library and check out a book on positive thinking.” I put off the urge for a couple of months as I recall, but I eventually did check out The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. That book changed my life. I made a list of concepts that resonated with me, and I still have that original list 18 years later.

I may share more about that in the future, but for now, chin up, think positive, and write in your journals, folks!

Vegetarian Cooking: Dusting Off an Old Love

Veg cooking

Sometime last week I felt a decision in me that it was time. Time to give up meat for the good of my fellow earth creatures. I was vegetarian several times in the past, lasting anywhere from three months to a year. The end of the resolve usually happened when a man entered my life. Somehow I never met up with a veggie man. And at that stage of my life, any man was, you know, more desirable than my commitment to vegetarianism. For some reason.

So when the man suggested a bucket of KFC….who was I to say no? Especially if he was paying.

Please be patient with my lack of conscience as I tell my story.

The plain truth is that I like chicken. But the real question is, do I love chickens?

Anyway, I have always admired vegetarians. Not quite sure I understand the rage for vegan diets these days. I’ve seen some pretty happy milk cows in my day, and if you stick with free range local eggs, seems like you can avoid a lot of animal cruelty and still eat ovo-lacto. So for now, I’m not worried about cheese and eggs. Just renewing a desire to not nourish my body on the flesh of another’s body.

I recently watched a video from Carol Tuttle in which she does an energy healing with a woman who was born during the era when most moms were drugged during the process. That session really resonated with me, and I have felt more freedom to pursue the disciplines I have always loved but never been able to keep going (including blogging.)

So I don’t know if that’s why the hen’s plaintive look and gasping breath, as she rode in the truck going to market, made such an impact on me, but they did, and I felt a sorrow that I have overeaten chicken so many times in my life.

Back in 1984, I was living in upstate New York and the going popular cookbook where I worked (staff in a group home, just like now) was The Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen. I found a copy at a thrift shop a year or two back and felt like I’d struck gold!

So today I thought I would cook ahead a couple of casserole dishes to portion out into individual servings to keep in the freezer for the days ahead. I have a tendency to just want to grab what’s easy, like a Lean Gourmet, or ramen noodles, and I want to provide an alternative. So I made….

Cauliflower Marranca from page 117 in the old original Moosewood Cookbook. I didn’t follow the directions exactly, and didn’t have much cheese on hand. I wound up combining mozzarella, parmesan, sliced Swiss, and sliced cheddar for the cheese. And I used white rice because it was all I had. At the end, I thought it looked like it needed liquid before popping it into the oven, so I opened a can of diced tomatoes and strained the juice off and drizzled it on.

Since I already had the tomatoes open, I used the rest of the rice I had to make a Spanish rice. I added the tomatoes, a rinsed can of pinto beans, some salsa, chili powder, cumin, 1/3 cup chopped black olives, and about a half cup of onion sauted in butter. Put that in a dish and topped with three slices of Cheddar and popped that in the oven.

And that’s what you see in the pic! Bon Appetit!

Final Thoughts on Thriving While Working Overnights

Fortunately, I only live about 5 minutes from work. I used to live in the country about 45 minutes from my job. The drive really complicated getting enough sleep. I sort of enjoyed the drive home, listening to music and watching the scenery, but I didn’t like a rush to work in the evening, because it felt too risky, trying to get to work in the dark with only 45 minutes or an hour, and so I took to leaving at around 6 or 7pm and then sleeping either in the car or stopping to see my husband and sleeping in the recliner in his room. Less than ideal, although he liked my visits. The move to town has been wonderful, really.

black eyes

Anyway, these past few posts describe my way of coping with staying awake and getting enough sleep during the work week. I work 3 long overnights and then hours at various times of day of my choosing during the rest of the week. Here is my advice for dealing with a varied schedule like mine.

First, I think ahead about how tired I am going to be before I volunteer for too many extra hours. I am very careful about volunteering for more overnight hours. I think ahead about what my duties will be, if I will be on my feet a lot or if it will be laid back. I think about whether I will be stressed by lots of people activity or if it will be quiet during the shift.

I also make sure I have at least one entire day off every week. That means if I get off, say, at 8am on Tuesday and I am scheduled to go in at 10pm on Thursday, I will not work on Wednesday. Even for an hour. I need that time to unplug from work, connect with family, play around on the computer or with other hobbies, etc. I shouldn’t have to even mention preserving time for yourself and your family, but I have met a LOT of coworkers who regularly work 7 days a week and burn the candle of both ends. I feel like if my bills are so great that I have to work that many hours, then I need to explore some frugal living tips! But I’m not judging. Just wondering how they do it and if they really would if they felt free to say no more often.

Bottom line: I don’t let GUILT make me say yes to working more hours than I can comfortably tolerate. I am a bona fide introvert and really need my down time. I get a certain amount of alone time at work, true, but it is not free alone time. It is a rare instance in which I feel like the needs of the company and the people we serve are so great that I need to sacrifice that time for the week, but I do give it up, maybe once in three months. Otherwise, I protect it. Also, I try to have at least one week a month in which I don’t work any extra and can have that whole stretch of 4 nights and their accompanying days free ahead of me.

A little spot of poetry here….An acrostic for the word “OPTIONS.”

Open schedule
Play before work (sometimes)
Time stretched out in long free blocks
Indifferent to the
Necessary is OK, but
Spontaneous? That’s better!

During my time off, I almost always take a nap during the daytime, and sometimes two. I also often get up during the night, perhaps at 2 or 3am and putter around a while. I might do laundry or housework at this time. I may stay up till sunrise and then go back to bed for a while. I think these naps and “anti-naps” as I call them keep my nocturnal circadian rhythm somewhat intact when I am not working.

Here’s another thing I do that may help someone. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to get more than 5 hours of sleep during the day, depending on a number of factors. When that happens, I try to keep a running total of how much sleep I get during a 7 day week. If you average 7-8 hours of sleep per day, you would get 49-56 hours in a week. I actually try to keep track of my weekly hours of sleep. I am off track right now, not writing them down, but I like keeping track.

A word about personality…I am the kind of person who thrives on variety. I chafe against routine. I feel like I never do anything the same way twice. I also thrive on lots of alone time and free time. I am almost never bored. If I do get bored, it will be a boring task that causes it and not an inability to find something to do, because there is always a lot going on in my inner world. If you are into Myers-Briggs types, I think I am an INFP. Graveyard shift offers some real benefits that day shift work doesn’t, especially for someone like me. Best of all, I think, is that I get a nice shift differential!

You know, these few posts have been a long, rambling piece of writing, and I don’t know if anyone would find anything in it helpful, but I think I am actually getting along pretty well living nocturnally and I know there are other people trying to find the ways to do that which work for them.

Here’s a recap:

Find the caffeine source that agrees with you, but try to get by on the bare minimum.
Stop the caffeine about 3 hours before your shift ends if you can.
Plan on needing something (pill, herb, etc.) to help you sleep.        Experiment with melatonin, herb teas, aromatherapy, darkened room, bathing, fans for noise, etc. Don’t give up until you’ve tried lots of things.
Prioritize sleep. Take naps.
Protect and treasure your time off.
Don’t get sidetracked during the day doing things and miss your needed sleep during the work week.
Don’t fret if you find your sleep broken into several sessions. It might work well that way.
Learn progressive relaxation/meditation in order to relax and sleep.

Don’t forget, there are some advantages to working graveyard…

Pay differential means you can work a few less hours for the same amount of pay, and that ultimately means more free time. Long shifts mean more hours in a short week, which means a longer “week-end” to do what you want.
Often lower stress, more laid back work.
Days off mean you can make it to appointments, events, etc., (but be careful not to sacrifice too much sleep living real life!)
Might get to work alone and plan how you’ll get your work done in a way that suits you instead of fitting it to someone else’s schedule. (Aka “autonomy.”)

A while back, I heard someone say, “I don’t do down time well.” I’m glad there is a place in the world for all types! Some of the above “advantages” would seem like liabilities to some people.

Anyway, God bless and/or good luck as you get to know yourself and find ways to adjust to an irregular schedule and working nights!

Still More Graveyard Shift Survival Ideas

Getting Enough Rest and Sleep Between Shifts

getting to sleep

For our purposes, let’s just assume most people need an average of 7 or 8 hours of sleep per 24 hour period. If you work 12 hour shifts like I do, that means you only have 12 hours to do what you need to do at home, including any commute, as well as getting all your sleep. How that works for you will be individual to you, of course, but here’s some of how it seems to work best for me.

Some people need to unwind a little before going right to bed, and sometimes I do too. The problem is if you take too long, you might cut your sleeping time short. I work 12 hour shifts, so I don’t have all day to relax. I tend to think in terms of hours and calculate how many hours I have till I have to be back at work. I don’t do routine well. I wish I did, but I can’t ever remember what my routines are, and if I write them down, I find myself rebelling against them, so it helps me more to think in terms of goals. The goal of 7 or 8 hours in bed, eyes closed, hopefully sleeping most of that time, then time to get a shower and get dressed, pack my snacks and maybe run by a store before work. For best results, I try to be in bed with my Kindle no later than 1 hour from the time I got off, and earlier is better.

But that’s what is working for me.

Ok, I’d like to mention at this time that I am married, but living like a single person because my husband is in a nursing home. If he were here and functioning properly, my methods would be different. I do have family members I live with and like to visit with them at least a little most days. If one of them is up when I get home, I will sit and chat a few moments usually. But I don’t let myself take too long at that because I want to get to sleep.

If you had a spouse at home who was up and maybe home but on a different schedule, this would be a nice time to work in some marital fellowship, if you know what I mean. Good for the marriage and helpful for getting to sleep. Just a thought.

Now, to get to sleep. I personally like to go to sleep with my Kindle. Sleep experts tend to discourage reading yourself to sleep. I find it helpful. (My Kindle is an old one and I don’t use it real well as far as going online with it. If I had a newer one with colors and bells and whistles and touch screen, etc., I’d probably find a boring old paperback.) Everyone has to experiment and find what works. One thing I would discourage is reading a novel before sleeping. I read spiritual stuff, theology, philosophy, self-help, etc. If it is too well-written it can keep me up, like if it makes me laugh out loud. Some non-fiction is pretty well-written! Watch that. It’s best if it’s kinda dull, like St. Francis’ rules for his monks.

My theory is that a dull book engages your mind enough to keep it from over-thinking. If you get into the book, it’s going to stimulate your mind and it could be harder to drift off. Do remember at this time you are extremely tired, very comfortable, and have substances in your system designed to relax you. My little bit of reading is just to keep me from thinking.

I have another tip for falling asleep. If the book isn’t doing it, I do some progressive relaxation, yoga type stuff. I’ve played around with relaxation for most of my life. Here’s a mental exercise I think I invented that helps me a lot. It especially helps if I’m having trouble getting comfortable. I imagine my body as a group of individual cells, and imagine that there is a massive gravitational pull coming from the center of the earth, pulling on each of those cells. They, in turn, are shifting down into position, like grains of sand. This means that it doesn’t matter if a part of my body is uncomfortable, because the cells are just shifting down sitting on top of each other. I don’t know if I am explaining that well, but it helps me relax all those parts that are wanting to fuss about their position.

Now for staying asleep. That is easier said than done. I find that I usually wake up about two hours after I go to bed. I get up and go to the bathroom. Then back to bed on the other side, eyes closed, and the shifting sand thing if necessary. I usually go back to sleep for about three more hours.

Now, I’d like to offer my opinion that a session of 7 or 8 hours of broken up sleep can be just as restful as 7 or 8 straight hours. There has been some interesting research on this idea, and I think the evidence is that I am right. Anyway, that second time I get up, I may do a few things. I might eat a meal with my family and/or get my shower at that time. I often get the mail and look at it, and I might turn on the computer and check Facebook, but I don’t let myself get too active because I still need 2 or 3 hours more rest. I think usually I stay off the computer.

I like to be dressed and ready for work except for my shoes by 6 or 7pm. I go to work at 10pm. I like to lay down and either read myself to sleep again or do the sand-cell-gravity thing and get another nap. I have an alarm set for 9 or 9:15pm usually, and feel real refreshed when I wake up from that nap.


More Thoughts on Adjusting to Night Shift

Becoming Nocturnal, Part Two: Ways to Stay Awake and Ways to Get to Sleep

monks 034

I think most of us gravitate toward some kind of snack to accompany the caffeine drink. I’ve worked with a number of candy eaters. I personally stay away from sugar as much as possible. I’m not self-righteous about it. I just don’t like the calories and my teeth are not in great shape. I do, however, take a selection of snacks to space through the night. When my self-control is working well, I take things like fresh grape tomatoes, grapes, oranges, blueberries, etc. I also like jerky, cracker/peanut butter packs, etc. If I take chips, I try to have them bagged into serving sizes or else I will eat way too much. My vices are ramen noodles and vienna sausages. Don’t tell anybody.

Depending on the type of work you do, I think a lot of night workers don’t have a whole lot to do. People who work in care-giving roles like I do have a certain amount of down time during the night when you must be awake in case someone needs you, but you might have finished all your cleaning, cooking ahead, or other tasks. That’s why sleep can be so hard to avoid. One tip I learned is to use the alarm on your phone to wake you back up if you are watching tv or something and feel like you might drift off. I set mine to go off in 10 or 15 minutes sometimes, and that has helped me avoid really falling to sleep. If you do drift off for 5 minutes and the alarm wakes you, it can feel really refreshing!

Now, for getting enough sleep during the daytime. I’m 58 years old, and the plain truth is that middle aged women often have troubles with insomnia. Before I started working, I found myself struggling with sleep and decided I would do what it took to learn to sleep and get enough sleep. I started by routinely taking diphenhydramine at night (aka Benadryl or Sominex, etc.) I decided sleep was important enough to take something. At the time, I was using supplements more than I do now, and found that certain herb teas were good, such as lemon balm and chamomile. Favorite helpful herbs vary from person to person. I didn’t care for melatonin at that time.

Over a year or two, I taught myself to sleep and weaned myself off the diphenhydramine so that I was sleeping adequately without helps every night. Of course, when I went to graveyard shift, all that went to blazes. But I did gain some skills in relaxation that help now, so here is a run down of some of what I do to get adequate sleep now.

First, I start trying to slow down on the caffeine about 2-4 hours before my shift ends. That’s usually around 5 or 6am. Like I said, I like morning, and even when I’ve been up all night, I still feel a refreshing blast if I experience sunrise. Plus the job duties start picking up then, so it’s easy to stay awake without more caffeine. Instead, I start drinking water.

Then, when I get home I change into sleeping clothes. I’m a night gown or soft shirt and pants type of person. Never did pajamas much, but it’s imperative to get the binding undergarments off, if you know what I mean. This would be a good time for a shower, but my feet hurt so bad at the end of a shift that I can’t stand the thought of being on them in the shower. Plus I don’t like going to bed with my head wet. But that’s just me. A shower or bath is definitely helpful for relaxing enough to sleep. And if you hate a wet head like I do, they do still make shower caps! I have one that I use from time to time when I just can’t face having my head wet. But I digress. (Do brush your teeth, though, and a little face cream is nice, too.)

Once in sleeping clothes, I take diphenhydramine and melatonin. I have experimented with dosages and forms. The best diphenhydramine source I’ve found is ZZZ-quel. The store brands are ok, but check the label and make sure it has the alcohol. Some of the knock-off brands don’t. Also, some of the knock-off brands taste absolutely terrible.

The melatonin dosage I’m doing right now is 3mg., only because that is the size of pills the kids bought and were sitting around. I really think that is kind of high. I was cutting them in half, but it got too tedious so I take a whole one.

I don’t like messing with making a cup of herb tea and I don’t like taking the time to drink it, so I don’t do that, but I would like to start leaning more on chamomile, passion flower, valerian, or lemon balm, and not so much on the diphenhydramine and melatonin. So that is a goal, but not happening now.

Aroma-therapy is a great adjunct to sleep promotion. Try neroli if you can find it. (It can be really expensive.) Lavender is good, too. Essential oil people have blends and products you might like. I like a little fresh twig of lavender if I can get it and a few drops of neroli just sprinkled on my pillow.

I’ve started rubbing my feet with a little essential oil or something. I used to “sell” (“buy” is more like it!) DoTerra and they have a product called Deep Blue Rub which is really helpful for aching muscles. I’m sure Young Living has something similar. I’ve started using a tiny bit of the Deep Blue on my feet and I think it helps. It’s also good on aching shoulders, neck, or low back.

Room darkening is really good. Probably essential. My room is not as dark as I’d like, but I do have solid fabric curtains up that block out quite a bit. An eye mask is good, too. I found mine at CVS, but don’t always use it because it is kind of a hassle, plus I like to read myself to sleep, but more of that in a minute. I also like a fan going to block out extraneous noise. I actually have three fans going in my room now.


Becoming Nocturnal: Adjusting to Night Shift Work

Becoming Nocturnal: Ideas for Surviving on Graveyard Shift

Part One: Some Thoughts on Caffeine

2015-07-08 09.24.14I’ve been working overnights as my primary shift for the past two and a half years. Several times I’ve googled how to adjust and function well and usually don’t find much helpful info, so I thought I’d share here some things I’ve gleaned on my own. I don’t necessarily advise what I have found to work for me. It just works for me, and I share it in hopes that someone else might be able to succeed in the rather challenging transition to being “nocturnal” as I like to call it.

First of all, before I went to this shift, when I was still trying to make up my mind if it was right for me, or even possible, a lot of people indicated that it was easier for a “night person” to adjust to graveyard shift than it was for a “morning person.” I am without a doubt a morning person. I love morning. I always feel better after waking up than I do before I go to bed. I wake up quick and if I have any energy, it will be in the morning. (I struggle with energy level—always have. But finding help for that will come in another blog post.)

So I wondered if I could adjust. But the truth is, when you work nights, you are awake during the morning. And I have found that I still enjoy morning, even when I am approaching it from the other end, if you know what I mean.

So Idea Number One is, if you can, when sunrise rolls around, see if you can take a break and step outside for a breath of fresh air and a infusion of birdsongs. If you are busy right then, maybe you can look out a window and take a deep breath and say, “Good Morning, Lord!”

That said, my biggest challenge has been staying awake with a nice attitude and then getting enough sleep during the day. I’m sure this is what’s hard for everyone who works graveyard, and of course the first solution to come to mind is….caffeine.

Yes, I cannot tell a lie. I could not work this shift without caffeine. I have read labels on a lot of diet sodas and coffees as well as those energy drops and packets you can add to water and here are my conclusions, based on how I feel, how much makes my heart start palpitating, what gives me a headache or relieves it, etc., etc.

I try to go for….

Drinks sweetened with sucralose rather than aspartame. Acelsulfame K and stevia seem OK too. I don’t do sugar, mainly for the calories, but also I feel like it has an aftertaste. But though I do drink diet Coke and diet Mountain Dew from time to time and they are sweetened with aspartame, I seem to feel better if at least some of my overnight drinks don’t contain aspartame. Hence….

Please don’t rail on me, but I love diet Monsters. I do try to limit them to no more than two 12-ounce cans per 24 hour period, though, just because they have such a bad reputation. To be honest, I think the bad reputation is part of their advertising campaign. That “tough” persona helps them sell to “tough” kids or whoever. (I don’t recommend them for kids, though! Oh, no!) I’ve researched amounts of caffeine, types of sweeteners, etc., in various drinks and have come to the conclusion that there is more caffeine in brewed coffee, ounce for ounce, than in a Monster. Also, the sweetener is sucralose—no aspartame. In addition, there are B vitamins and amino acids that augment the caffeine, and some of the caffeine itself is from guarana, a natural herb.

So after a lot of research and label reading, I have allowed myself to drink Monsters. I have read labels, etc., on other brands of energy drinks, and none of them feel as safe to me. But the Monsters do. If I am wrong about this, may God reveal it to me before I do myself too much damage! I like to pour it over ice and sip it through a straw to dilute it and make it last longer. Sometimes I alternate caffeine drinks with water.

I have worked with maybe one or two people who can do an overnight without any caffeine, but they are rare. Most people who adapt well to nights have their favorite drink. One girl uses that Pure Leaf tea in the bottles. One girl brings a two-liter of diet Pepsi or Dr. Pepper with her. One girl got one of those little 5-Hour Energy bottles and swigged tiny sips while snacking on a little pile of candy. Some put on a pot of coffee, of course.

I would like to experiment with green tea, but so far I can’t get past the taste. Yuck!