I’d Rather Be Home with My Dog

It’s kinda weird being in a pub on a Saturday night watching people drink and having a hot pink non alcoholic drink.  That’s what happened this last weekend when I decided to go with my SO to watch his soccer team play a friendly.  The Spurs supporters group always meet up at the same pub to watch the games.  Now most of the time, when it’s football (soccer) season, because of the time difference the games are usually early on Saturday or Sunday mornings-they can be as early as 6:00 a.m.  There’s no way I’m going to get dressed and sit in that place at 6 a.m.  Besides, I’m a die hard Chelsea fan and that group meets up in another pub.  Anyway, because it’s off season and Spurs are traveling and playing in the US the timeline fits and they were playing Juventus-my fav Italian team, so I agreed to go.  WHAT a bore! First of all, the game itself was boring.-Well, not for the Spurs fans, because they won, but even so, it was a boring game.  We sat at the bar and I told the cute, barely dressed bar-maid that I wanted something limey and non- alcoholic.  So she concocted something and it was really good.  I actually noticed her making herself one and then saw about 4 or 5 more being ordered from around the bar-so no feelings about missing out whatsoever.  As a matter of fact, after watching several people just order shot after shot, and drink after drink, coupled with the boring game, I told my SO I’d rather be with Bentley-my Doxie- and that I’d come back and pick him up later.  Which I did-and Bentley got lots of compliments.

What’s interesting is that if I’d been drinking, I would have been knocking them back too- and the game might-maybe-have been better for me.  When I lived in Mexico and I’d go out at night-which was a a lot when I first moved there, I had a little rule that I complied with.  If I had the thought, “I’d rather be home with my dogs” 3 times, I’d leave and go home. 3 times! The first time should have been enough but, no, I’d keep on drinking just to see if it all got better-or whatever it was I was looking/hoping for.

Why is it that we/I will keep on doing something when we know it’s not working for us?  Not just drinking-but staying in a relationship, staying in a job that we don’t like, whatever-there are tons of things that can fit that bill.  I get that there are times when it’s necessary to do something that we don’t like-say attending your SO’s award luncheon-which I do every year.  BORING!!! But that’s like 2 hours so I can just about stand it.  And, I can chit chat when I need to.  I think some of it is about a disconnectedness from our spirit.. I really believe that whatever it is you want to call it, our highest Self wants all the best for us.. Our highest Self doesn’t want us to abuse food, or booze or drugs or other people. For me at least, my highest Self scared the shit out of me!  So I did my best to squash it-drown it out.  But then, around 2:30-3:00 a.m. She’d show up.  Wake me up.  Whisper in my deepest part that I shouldn’t be drinking like I did.  Screaming at me to quit.  Telling me how much damage I was doing to both my physical and my mental state.  And, I’d promise Her that I’d quit. That day-or after my vacation or at the beginning of the New Year.  Over and over and over again.  She and I would go round and round and round.  I was always letting Her down.  Lying to Her.  Well, it wasn’t really lying, because by 4:00 in the afternoon, I’d forget that I’d ever made Her a promise. By the time I’d remember-about 3/4 of a bottle down, I’d remember. And we’d start all over again-doing our dance.  She trying to get me to be my best, purest Self.  And me being scared shitless of it all and wanting to numb it out.

She won.  And you know one way that was again confirmed to me?  Because the other night, the first time I thought,”I’d rather be home with my dog,” I got up and left.

With love

That Fleeting Moment

You know, once in a while I get this flash of desire to drink.  It happened the other day when I was on a walk.  It was a beautiful day about 70 degrees out. And this desire came over me.  Not exceptionally strong, but it came.  So, I let myself go into it and picture what I was missing.  I could picture myself sitting on my balcony overlooking the Canyon that we live on.  I could see the glass of ice cold Sauvignon Blanc or Sancerre on the arm of my chair.  I recalled how the part I liked was when I first started to feel the wine and my  mind would roam-drift. God! I spent who knows how many hours of my life doing that.  And, to be honest, I could take myself great places.  Come up with some really good ideas.  Visualize past experiences and future goals.  Drifting.  But, as I went into it, I realized that that feeling of floating mindlessness was fake.  Because while part of me was drifting, another part of me was constantly aware of how much wine was left in my glass.  Aware of how much wine was left in the bottle.  How much time it was taking me to drink it.  Calculating the amount of time it was taking me to drink it and how much time was left in relation to the amount of wine in the bottle and the time I wanted to stretch it out.  For instance, I would normally only buy one bottle at a time-guess why?  Yep, that way I could control it!  Yeah, right.  But, if I had more than one bottle on hand, the chance was that I would open a second one.  The other component was that I usually timed my drinking with prepping dinner and eating said meal.  So, I would want to maybe have a glass left for my dinner-but would have gone through most of the bottle by the time the food was ready. Of course then things became more complicated as I had to be conscious of the the amount of time needed to prep the food and then the amount of time it actually needed to cook.  Of course I was a pro at saying dinner was taking much longer than it actually was.  Eeking it out so I could drink and keep to that schedule.  Getting the right amount of “buzz”!

Jeez Louise! How complicated is all of that!?? What a lot of work that was!  And, I wasn’t totally drifing and relaxed because another part of my brain was always aware of and calculating the amount of wine versus time.  Oh how we deceive ourselves!!!  Yes, I’ll admit, I did come up with some great ideas during that “drifting” time. And then, I’d be pleasantly sloshed.  Then I’d be drunk.  I’d try to remind myself that even after a glass-or a bottle- of wine was finished, the effects continued to grow.  Of course that never stopped me from pouring more or opening that second bottle if I had it.

As I’m writing, I’m thinking about how at times, I would buy a big bottle.  To save money..(she snickers)!  But then I would think-“well, one bottle!”  So that wasn’t good.  Then I started thinking that maybe I should try some of these wines in a box.  Some of them get really high ratings and they’re cheaper and last longer. As if that was ever an issue!  The problem with that was that I never had any idea of how much I drank. And boy!  Was that easy, just turing that spigot! So, I went back to a normal bottle of wine every night.  Continuing to fool myself that I was in control.  Fooling myself that it was helping me not only to relax but to create. So what if I didn’t remember the last episode from a series that we’d watched the night before?  So what if I got grumpy in a restaurant because my SO was having half a glass of wine which would deprive me of my bottle? Not taking into consideration that I’d probably had a glass or two before we’d even left the house!

WELL! After mulling all of that over, I decided that I really didn’t miss that wine time. It took too much work under the guise of relaxing!

Learning to “relax” without the wine can be a challenge.  To be honest, I’m not sure I really knew what relaxing was without wine! What I do know now is what it’s not-it’s not getting numbed out.  It’s not getting blotto.  It’s simply enjoying a moment or a period of time.  It’s letting myself breathe.  Letting myself “be”.  And guess what?  I can still be creative in that time!  So, go ahead!  Put your feet up for awhile.  Let yourself “Be”!