Luxuriously lazy. That was the theme of my Thanksgiving break. A little bit of family and a lot of laying about. A little bit of holiday shopping, short bouts of working out those delicious meal carbs, and a lot more reading; almost completed a 600 page book!
Even though I rarely veg out, there’s always a bit of guilt when I do, as if it’s too glutinous, as if I should be gallivanting about town and socializing. It’s almost as if there’s a comic strip cloud hovering above me, watching me do nothing. Aren’t you bored yet? I ask it.
Speaking of social, as of today, I am five weeks completely sober. No alcohol. It wasn’t like I was drinking too much, but too consistently. I just wanted to break the habit of a cocktail or glass of wine everyday after work. It wasn’t the addiction, but the routine. I’ve toyed with idea of a sober month for over a year. When I took honest inventory of the situation, I realized there have been very few days in the last seven years in which I didn’t have alcohol. This was startling to me. As this desire to not drink was building, I kept reminding myself of the entire decade+ I went not doing so. During my high-fitness days, I scoffed at the mere suggestion. I would order a vodka soda in any social setting only to proceed pouring it out little by little in the ladies restroom sink. Drinking a whole kombucha made me feel tipsy back then.
It’s easy for me to recall when I really started drinking consistently. At the time, I was working past 7pm. I would take a break around 5pm and have a glass of red to pacify my hunger, so I could soldier on, till I got home to eat. I quickly noticed that alcohol suppressed my appetite. How could this not excite me?! I like to stay lean. It’s even easier to drink in relationships because it’s a part of fixing dinner together or going out for drinks before dinner or apertif hour when traveling through every Western European country or Eastern European country or all places in the world or every.single.social.event. except yoga retreats maybe. I mean, come on!
And this doesn’t scratch the surface on what it does for initial creativity. I did a lot of what I thought was great music writing or blog writing or story writing or any kind of off-the-cuff stuff. Truthfully, all good only halfway. Because I’d quickly hit a wall, and there was no more I could pull out of me. Because alcohol is like sugar, you get the rush and then the crash. So these items were marked down as incomplete.
I’ll barely scratch the surface on what it does to your liver and your pancreas and how this jacks with your body’s metabolism of both fat and sugar. And whatever appetite suppressing benefits come, they’re by way of the jokes on you, because most people overeat on the other side of that drink or in the least, drastically slow down their metabolism. So then, I ended up switching to vodka and soda because the wine has too many calories.
I’m certainly not saying I will never drink again, and I’m also cognizant of the celebratory season, the increased social settings and the like. I know a lot of people who don’t drink alcohol, so it’s easy to be around my people. I’m grateful neither of parents really drank with any consistency; much can be tied to our rearing.
My predominant reason for sharing is personal exaltation and joy. I don’t want to come across as preachy. But if drinking has become so routine, you don’t even register the act, maybe it’s time to take inventory. After all, we’re coming upon a new year and there happens to be no better time for reflection on behaviors. What does it do for you really?