This week I became really sick and tired of the dry year. I started playing around with the title “Six Dry Months” thinking maybe I’ve had enough. These thoughts and a mood of displeasure and general grouchiness was brought on by the events that were planned for the weekend. It was my 10 year wedding anniversary with Philip, and we had some really fun stuff on the calendar; ballgames with family at Fenway Park, a fancy lunch in Boston and a couple of days in Maine. Partaking in beer at the Red Sox game and drinks at our anniversary lunch weighed heavily on my mind.
It is interesting to me to observe the justification for quitting this experiment that emerged as a result of the circumstances. I began to tell myself that I was really done, and there was nothing left to think about or explore in the blog. I questioned the value of my writing and decided that I would just be boring my readers (whom I can count on one hand) with my repetitive droning on about the same old thing. Although I know from experience that there is aways another way to look at things and plenty more to say, at that moment, the part of me that wanted to give up was speaking louder than the creative/inspired mind. I rode out this wave of negativity, temporarily.
Next up was the excuse, “I have learned everything I need to learn from this experience and it is unnecessary to go on with my vow of alcohol abstinence.” Speaking with my sister-in-law on the way to dinner in Boston, I expressed my feelings of being frustrated and bored with not drinking. I knew that the adults would be ordering some wine at the cute little bistro we had selected for a pre-game dinner, and I wanted to have some too. (Can you hear my foot stomping on the pavement?) I explained to anyone who would listen that I had started the blog/experiment because I was worried that I had a problem (addiction) and I have since come to terms with what was happening. Yes, I used alcohol as a coping mechanism (Don’t we all have something?) and I have realized that I am not an alcoholic…just someone who developed a habit of having a drink or two at night to help calm the day. So…end of story, right? I have my answer. I have made some changes to the stress levels in my life to better manage my habits. So why keep doing this?
Although I resisted having a drink that night at dinner or the game, I woke up with the notion that I’d give myself a pass at lunch and order wine or a martini. Thought: I won’t give this up completely. Surely, it is understandable that I could have a drink at this milestone anniversary. So I ran this idea passed Philip.
OK..so let me just give you a quick synopsis of my relationship with my husband. Over the last decade, Philip has supported me in every way possible and has, without a doubt, given me a world of space in which to figure out my “next move.” He has collaborated with me to determine the outcome of every significant decision from going back to school to closing my business to changing jobs. He has spent countless hours talking through all of the options that I might have and exploring every angle. So, what happened next on our 10 year anniversary, really and truly surprised me.
When I told Philip that I wanted to give myself a permission to have a drink on our special day, he just simply said, “No. I would be really disappointed if you did that.” Wow! Did that make my waining and questioning all disappear. I had no idea how much this experiment and my exploration of this idea meant to him and that he felt so strongly about what I am doing. What a relief to stop with all of the internal dialogue about whether or not to continue. Although I was stunned at his reaction, I was also incredibly grateful. In an instant, I was back on track. Any other person might feel like they wanted the chance to keep working out the questions and continue the conversation. For me, the powerful message that came through my husband to not quit and the peace of mind that followed was all that I needed.
Heading off to lunch, this episode in the grand adventure ends in a most delightful way. Picture this. We show up at a very fancy restaurant, L’espalier, to experience a five-course tasting menu. When deciding on what beverage to drink, I discover that the chef offers a juice pairing in leu of a wine pairing for people like me. What a gift! Well, hello…house-made ginger ale, lychee lemonade, kumquat colada and blood orange and rosemary puree. Come to Mama.