It’s that time of year already and we’re not even into July; I’m talking, of course, about patios, deck drinks and BBQing with a beer in hand. I can’t honestly say I’ve ever been refreshed by a cold beer after mowing the lawn. If anything, in my late 30s, it’s made me thirsty, then sleepy, then surly. And yet, when I’ve got the Weber fired up and the burgers on the burner, it’s a cold beer, not water, that I’ve most often chose as my watery wingman.
Why not water? My goodness, there is no greater marketing in the world than the cool, refreshing reality that is a tall glass of water. I sound absurd, right? But it’s true. I’ve become so conditioned to do things a certain way that I often lose sight of common sense.
Recently though, I switched the script. I still like my beer or wine here or there, but for the most part if I’m thirsty, I drink water! Holy shit, what a profound revelation! And for this lifer junkfood lover, my go to snacks are now mostly veg or something filling like plain yogurt. It’s so simple, yet so easy to overlook. And it’s a struggle every day to associate common sense health and “doing the right thing” not as some temporary path to something (weight loss, beach bod) but as a better way to live.
Mental complacency, over-stimulation, fatigue, environment, routine. These quiet forces gang up on us some times in life and lead us in the wrong direction. And if we’re lucky, all it takes is a switch in pattern, a change in thinking, a new routine or trend, to help get some us back on track.
And for those some, who are tired of doing the wrong thing, but who habitually do because it’s summer; it’s the weekend; it’s whatever, here’s an interesting trend happening with young folks in cities around the world: ditching alcohol, without ditching fun.
I think this is great. It reminds me of my U10 sons, who overcome shyness by slowly working up the gusto to talk to other kids; who run and move around until their legs tucker out; who laugh with each other and at one another. Who do all of these things without requiring any “nudge” from liquid courage or any other mode of inhibition killing.
What I’m trying to say is, I think if more people individually and collectively, got back to enjoying life by simply enjoying life, we might be able to help some people from choosing the path of insobriety. Life is tough on a continuum, and no people have the same experience or positive means of coping with those experiences. But, man, of all the interventions we can ponder — therapy, drugs to help us get off drugs, detox, rehab — doesn’t it make sense to court good, clean fun as a worthwhile complement?
I hope these kids doing late night juice crawls, or enjoying the odd mocktail at a dance party start a sweeping trend. And that the only thing they regret the next morning is that they didn’t think of this idea sooner.
Life is too short to be lived in a perpetual haze. Fight for your sobriety and for the life you deserve.