I've alluded to the fact that alcohol features in my thoughts less and less these days. My habits have changed and, rather than continually avoiding alcohol, I find it is simply not there. A non event that doesn't register in my conscious mind; most of the time anyway.
Last night I was preparing the dining room for the painter to come and decorate. (I always add this kind of unnecessary stress to the household shortly before Christmas.) To move the furniture into the middle of the room meant emptying the (drinks) cabinet and sideboard.
I found several old photo albums which I flicked through, remembering. Next I emptied the drinks cabinet. Out came champagne from my 40 th birthday, old forgotten spirits and special white wine that I had previously removed from the fridge, then removed from the kitchen altogether into the remote safety of the drinks cabinet. I stood staring at it as if it was a long lost friend and it evoked as many memories and feelings as the photo albums, if not more. Particularly
when next I unloaded my beautiful crystal glasses. I had coveted these before treating myself to them many years ago. They were the icing on the cake, maximising the joy of drinking wine. I held the heavy glass in my hand. By now it was 9pm. All the chores were done and the kids were in bed.
'If I still drank, tonight would be a night where I would relax after this job with a large glass of wine, well deserved wine, to mark my status of being officially off duty', I thought to myself, awash with nostalgia.
Then reality kicked back in. If I still drank, I would have started an hour ago and would be annoyed I still had to sort out the furniture. I would be irritated that I had drank too much too soon and would now need to make the rest of the bottle last a while longer if I was to retain a flicker of acceptability to my average drinking speed. On further thought, had I continued to drink, I would not have been motivated to organise such redecoration in the first place. I would 'not have been bothered' to go choose paint, book the painter, take down curtains, empty cupboards etc. The mere thought of so much activity would overwhelm the old me and I would sigh, and plan to do it when I had more time, was less tired, anytime in fact except right now, because right now I was drinking wine.
So with a smile I fought off the romantic idyll I'd conjured up and accepted the reality that my no nonsense self thrust forwards. Of course it was right. When had I ever been satisfied with one glass?
Before long it was time for a cup of tea, bowl of cereal and bed. It meant I was able to bounce up early this morning and be ready for the painter arriving at 8 am, without bemoaning a hangover!
We all need to keep the bad memories alive and remind ourselves why we stopped drinking alcohol as December gets underway and the crazy continual drinking begins because, hey! it's Christmas time when all excesses are excused.