I’m going to start a small series of blog entries of questions I pose myself regarding drinking/sobriety. My own sort of “alcohol experiment,” or maybe more appropriately, my own “alcohol workbook.”
For today’s first question, I’m going to ask:
What do I love about NOT drinking on the weekends?
To answer this, I must go day-by-day. Starting off with Friday…
Friday is hard around 3:00 or 4:00 PM, while I’m at work and thinking of the upcoming Happy Hour that most of the world is going to partake in. And yeah, it’s hard for the first few minutes if we’ve gone out to dinner (and am getting ready to order off the menu). But, if I can just resist ordering that FIRST drink, then I find that as the meal is served, I no longer hanker for an alcoholic beverage. I eat my dinner, feeling pretty good, pretty content in my choice. I’m not worried about the calories in my entree for I know I’ve saved A LOT of them by choosing not to imbibe. I don’t need to linger after the meal, hoping to order and finish a second cocktail. My Diet Coke or my Cranberry and Club Soda is fine being just the one. The kids are relieved that we get to leave once we’re done eating, and when we get home, they’re even happier about how we still have time to watch a movie. I feel even better about my decision not to drink when we settle in on the couch. I may or may not fix a hot cocoa, or another Cranberry and Club Soda, but then I’m invested in the show. I’m present with the kids, the dogs, I’m able to plan ahead (and remember these plans) for the rest of our weekend. When Rob and I do retire to our bedroom, I’m in a good place for having sex. I’m not feeling sluggish/tired from all the booze; I’m not irritated or emotional, I’m not dehydrated and already dealing with the beginnings of an upset stomach or a mild headache. I don’t feel bloated (and unsexy). I know that I’ll remember whatever Rob and I do between the sheets and that I’ll feel my orgasm more strongly than if I were drinking. But the best part of a Friday night? It’s going to sleep. It’s knowing that I won’t wake up around 3:00 AM, hating myself and struggling with a hangover. It’s knowing that when I do get out of bed the next morning, I will have energy for my day, will be in a good mood. I will whisk open the curtains and greet the sun!
Saturday. The morning is great! I have pep. I have plans. I have a good outlook for the day ahead. Rob is not so much fun to deal with (because of his hangover), but I am raring to go. A solid workout starts my day off perfectly. I’m able to get in the grocery store right afterwards, do some house cleaning, some laundry, and then because alcohol will not play a role in my day, I’m able to do something fun with the kids. Now that Summer is here (for the most part), and the pools are opening, my next Saturdays are going to be filled spending time poolside with them. We also have tennis tournaments, traveling, and outings to the zoo or parks. Just like Friday late afternoons, the hours around 3 – 5 are hard, but if I can again just make it through them–whether it’s at a restaurant and I order a Diet Coke, or hanging with friends and I bring my own mocktail–then the rest of the night plays out like Friday night. Before I know it, I’m slipping in between the sheets, I’m having great sex, and I’m going to bed knowing that I won’t deal with the middle-of-the-night hangover and lack of sleep. I get to look forward to my Sunday morning, to another full day off work.
And now for Sunday. Again, waking up with energy! Having a good breakfast. Going to church. Working out. Feeling healthy!
The day is spent much like Saturday. Whatever that needs left to get done in the house I have the zeal to finish. We either go out and do something or I let the kids have friends over (and I read a book in the sun). The afternoons I might have a slight craving, but it’s not as bad when I’ve been able to abstain all weekend. I let the feeling pass, and I am grateful that I’ve stuck to my guns. Come Sunday evening when Rob has prepared us a really nice meal, I don’t feel gross or fat in eating it b/c I’ve successfully managed to not put any empty calories in my body all weekend. And I’ve been active. I’ve worked out, done stuff with the kids, completed house projects. I haven’t taken a nap or laid around on the sofa, watching Netflix all day, hitting up the pantry for snacks.
I’ve been healthy!