I successfully went the entire month of September not being abducted by aliens not drinking. I’m not gonna lie, I feel goram good about it. (That’s my Firefly reference for the year btw). it was a personal goal that I successfully met. Like when I quit smoking cold turkey 13 years ago.
Being that the limitations I set out a month ago were personal ones, there was nothing stopping me from giving up and having just onedrink last month. No one else would’ve cared. But it mattered to me. A couple times I really wanted a beer to just “feel normal” after a tough day. I contemplated whether drinking makes me normal or if my indulgences make me more like Rick Sanchez. Thus making drinking a part of who I am.
Will I have a drink on “Day One” after my month of sobriety?
Will I refrain from ever drinking again? Doubtful. I’m just not planning on partaking in alcohol any time soon.
Previously I would look forward to my days off or vacation time by planning my drinking schedule. WOW that sounds bad. But when I’ve been drinking for 25 years, that’s kinda how I plan my life- it just became normal. What’s strange about that observation is that many people live like this. Planning to the end of the work week or the next social drink. This is totally acceptable.
I never let alcohol interfere with work or the obligations to my family. But when you train your kids how to serve a drink or fetch a beer- is that the role model I really want to be? Haha, maybe… it’s cute in a bizarre way to have a two year old hand you a beer, right?
I’ve always become more socially fun after a few drinks. It doesn’t mean I don’t have fun when not drinking. It’s just a different “let loose” fun.
When I examine my lifestyle- Staying alcohol free may be the best plan for at least a little while longer. My bank account is feeling relief. My body is doing great- I’m napping less and my allergies are calmer. But I don’t think it’s ever going to happen that I never touch a drop again. I am in no rush to grab a beer over the next while that’s for sure.
But I am starting vacation soon… and there’s this margarita stand that I like…
I started camping in my mid to late teens. Pretty much since driving became a regular pastime for my friends and I. Once or twice every summer, we would pack up for a weekend away.
My first time camping with friends, I drove a buddy’s car down some logging roads on our way to finding a campsite before I even had my drivers license. That was thrilling and nerve racking at the same time. But it was freedom.
Later that summer, my mother allowed me to go off with a friend by Greyhound bus to his hometown. Once we arrived, we were off to a huge camping experience titled “The Rebirth of Mother Earth”. It was a crazy weekend filled with a lot of firsts. I learned what a sweat lodge was and shared my first peace pipe with a bunch of First Nations and came away fairly high. Probably the tobacco and herbs in it, I dunno I had never smoked anything prior to that weekend.
I spent the majority of the weekend bombing down dirt roads in the box of my buddy’s “borrowed” Toyota pickup getting flung around as he fishtailed down the back roads… That scene in Toy Story where Woody gets nailed by a toolbox in the Pizza Planet truck? I swear someone at Pixar was completely inspired by my idiocy- that scene was happening to me over and over that weekend. You’d think we would’ve moved the toolbox at some point. Bruised and battered- it didn’t matter, it was fun. Later that trip, I learned how to make gun powder and we fired some home made cannons. “D” cell batteries can fly across a river pretty darn good. I also went cliff diving for the first time. Nothing says “Peer Pressure” than trying to show off to girls in bikinis at age 16.
As we got older, beer and girls would accompany us more often as well. There was always great stories to share after a trip. Some drunken escapade, someone deciding peeing on the fire was a good idea, some emotional dramatic break up, or some crazy scars and burns. Good times. Good times.
But that all suddenly ended. Friendships changed, summers were filled with working weekends, and the idea of being dirty for a couple of days wasn’t appealing any more. Years went by and the idea of “roughing it” went out the window. Marriage, mortgage, & monsters became a way of life for me.
Ah, responsibility. The realization that “I’m too old for this shit.” kicks in.
We had a little get together to celebrate our anniversary back in July. We were lucky that the weather held up and got to enjoy the backyard. There was good friends, good food and lots of laughs. With these get togethers there’s also some drinking involved.
That night I only had a couple drinks. But I kept feeding my wife and a few of our friends some pretty stiff drinks. Needless to say, there was some talk of being hungover the next day.
We aren’t getting any younger, so drinking in excess is not a good idea. It really hasn’t been a good idea since having children. Dealing with babies or toddlers while nursing a hangover is not an ideal way to adult.
Joining the world of “adulthood” at the legal drinking age is pretty much a rite of passage. You go out and party on a Friday, regret it Saturday morning, sleep the day away, and head out drinking on the Saturday night. Your mind and body can take the abuse. Pretty sure I’ve had weekend benders that killed my brain cells and lungs. Although remembering what I did wasn’t really important at the time. Thank goodness cellphone cameras and social media wasn’t around.
I’m not a big fan of getting myself into the hangover state any more, much less getting stupid drunk. A couple beverages after a rough day can take the edge off. No need to induce a hangover on my days off just because I can. I’m all growed up now. The best cure for a hangover is not to drink.
We were at a birthday party last night for a buddy of ours. It was a lovely evening spent outdoors- there was a BBQ, drinking and karaoke. Everyone was having a great time, which was really nice to see. I knew most of the people there, albeit only from other parties held at this home. They all know each other from the pub and the weekly karaoke nights that are held there. The reason there was karaoke at this party is because the host whose house we were at is also the regular DJ at the pub.
My little Jem!
I have to admit that there was some really great talent last night. There was also some bad singing. At one point early on in the evening, some of the kids got into it. I haven’t done karaoke in about fifteen or sixteen years. The extent of my singing is usually in the car belting out along with the radio. (If you have SiriusXM satellite radio- check out Road Trip Radio on channel 18). If I sing in the car, my kids hate it. I’m not very good and I know it. But I have fun regardless.
This morning my wife mentioned to me that it looked like I really wanted to sing last night. She asked why I didn’t. I responded that I simply didn’t want to. That’s partially true. They say that drinking gives you courage you don’t normally have. When it comes to karaoke, most people after a few drinks think they can sing. Not me. I become more closed off and silent. Everyone else is out there having fun. I would feel embarrassed performing a song. I don’t embarrass easily either- except when it comes to singing.
Last night was a group of friends who regularly sing together. They have a symbiotic relationship with each other & it shows. There were some amazing duets performed. As well, when one person was singing, the rest sang along and showed encouragement. There was no ridiculing or harassment, except when there was intentionally bad singing, then it was fair game.
I don’t think anyone will ever hear me sing into a microphone. That’s where I draw the line on public humiliation. To those that are courageous and talented enough to sing- keep it up. The ones, such as myself, really admire you for it.