For the last few weeks, I’ve been dealing with a weird eye twitch and an increase in anxious thoughts. Now, I thought probably this is stress that’s being poorly managed. We’ve been working hard on The Source 2023, our annual visitor’s guide.

John’s been updating the copy, Russell’s been out shooting fresh photos, and I’ve been writing little odds and ends to liven up the pages, updating directories, and laying out the pages. Then we’ve had sales reps in Albuquerque and Belen helping us fill the pages with excellent local ads, which is how we stay in business (and how we can afford to print a free publication on glossy paper).

For the last two weeks, the three of us in editorial have all been proofing and copyediting as the deadline for sending our 48 pages to the press approached. There’s nothing like a deadline to focus your energy and clear your social calendar.

I’ve been trying to manage the stress of a looming deadline with meditation, stretching, routine, good work music, and good done-with-work music, but it’s easy to let the workday get out of hand when you have a big project on the horizon.

Making a magazine is one of my favorite parts of this job.

Don’t get me wrong, I love covering local events, I love hearing stories from people, I love learning about new research at Tech or how local businesses run their operations, and more than anything else, I love writing. Put everything else away, forget the emails stacking up for an hour, and craft a story. That’s the best bit of this work for me.

But the magazine is a chance to work on a very different kind of project. The design requires more focus and creativity than the every-week newspaper layout. There’s a chance to reinvent a little what we did before. It’s play.

After those pages were sent, I took a bit of a rest. Reset the brain. Come back fresh, and ready to write again. Replenish all that writing energy, which is a renewable resource, but only if you give it time to renew.

Still, the eye twitch. Weird.

Unrelated to the magazine, I’ve been mostly making my own coffee in the big pot at the office for the last few weeks. Now, we have some excellent coffee spots in town. The Red Wagon coffee is fantastic, and the men who run it are great local business owners in that they tend to remember your name and order and will happily serve your dog with a pup cup. Just down the road, Que Suave has a friendly staff, a beautiful space, and is always coming up with exciting new seasonal drinks to try. If you’re trying to keep your coffee costs down, Circle K’s monthly coffee club is a decent deal.

However, it’s hard to beat the affordability of just making your own coffee, and it’s a nice start to the workday routine. Fire up the computer, check emails, make coffee, get going.

Well, on a day of post-press-day rest, I made someone else coffee in a pot. By the afternoon, they also had an eye twitch. Then they pointed out that I was doubling the number of scoops I needed per cup when I made the coffee. Something I’ve apparently been doing for almost a month … the same time frame as the mysterious eye twitch. Oops.

Excess caffeine can cause all kinds of nasty things: restlessness, insomnia, headaches, dizziness, fast heart rate, dehydration, anxiety and notably, eyelid twitches.

I have a suspicion that cutting down the caffeine will do me and my anxious thoughts more good than any of the meditation, stretching or soothing playlists.