Tonight, I got my hair cut. They say that people who get a drastic haircut are going through big shifts in their lives.
I got a drastic haircut. I felt, and continue to feel, marvelous about it.
Then, I had a glass of sparkling wine to celebrate. I enjoyed the wine, but not to the level of marvelous. It was fine. But nothing all that special, though I had it in a fancy bar on a fancy coaster.
My tastes have changed.
Recently, I decided to swear off ordering cocktails out in bars. I make them better at home, myself (the old gig does have its lingering perks) and it’s much more cost-effective that way, as well. But even a glass of wine out has lost its sense of intrigue. And really, why else would I have a drink, if not for the intrigue? Time for a break.
Starting now, I’m taking a month (or maybe more) off alcohol. I have done this before, not too long ago, a few times. The last time, back in February, my boyfriend, Jorge, and I went off booze for three months running. I ended up extremely pleased and kind of dumbfounded by what I gained from the experience. It may have been the single biggest factor in my giving up working as a bartender. I just didn’t want to sell people alcohol anymore.
Giving up alcohol is not really an exercise in frugality (though, lord, I saved some money). Anybody can “save” money by getting other people to buy them drinks. No, no. This is intended to be an exercise in listening to yourself. Tuning in instead of out. That’s what I noticed most during my three month stint of booze-lessness. You have lots of uninterrupted time to think. (In fact, I’d bet that’s why most people opt for the not-giving-up-booze, because thoughts can prick, sometimes.)
By the way: what did you do before you drank? Did you read? Did you draw? Did you run?
Did you write stories? Dance? Climb trees? Tinker? Sing? Play frisbee? Play the xylophone? What did you do?
It’s important that we connect with those things. Not with nurturing a nightly alcohol consumption ritual. No one really needs more practice drinking alcohol, do they? There are other, more satisfying, things that we could practice every day. Try returning to the activities you loved once, even as a youngster, the things that bring a smile to your face just reminiscing about them. What activities, when you were a kid, required the adults in your life to call you several times in order to snap you out of your trance while you were doing them? Do them.
Ah, booze, it’s “cheaper than therapy.” I’ve heard that many a time. Doing the stuff you love doing, even if you’re not getting any monetary gain or public approval out of it, or even if it is (ahem) a little silly, is EVEN BETTER. And, also cheaper than therapy.
And, a form of therapy, in and of itself.
I’m going for it, again. Try it with me if you like.