Being Present for Life

action alcohol art beverage
Photo by Posawee Suwannaphati on Pexels.com

In this unusual microcosm that is quarantine, we have the experience of things moving fast and moving slow all at the same time. When we considered 2020 and our Being 365 Project this was certainly never what we expected. However, each month the Being states we pondered and selected in late 2019 have arrived at just the right moment. April is here and it’s no different. We are focusing on Being Present. Possibly never in our lives has the call to Be Present ever been louder or more necessary. The reality of our life is pushing right up front for a closer view. And we cannot look away. We must learn to be with it and our thoughts and feelings about it. Growing our capacity for presence is becoming a necessity in order to thrive. And with that, here’s where 2020 and Being Present brought me to the morning of Wednesday, April 1:

I sit here today realizing I need to give up alcohol for 30 days at least. Maybe all 90 days of our #next90dayschallenge. This has been on my mind the last several days. I went through a period around our last 90-day challenge and well into the new year, where I hardly drank at all. I would maybe have a drink once or twice a week.

But lately I wake up in the morning and I just don’t feel good. I don’t feel bad either. I look tired. I feel tired. And the last few mornings, what I think is — no alcohol tonight. I need good sleep and to stay hydrated. And then 8 pm, 9 pm rolls around and I give myself a pass for one drink and that becomes two — rarely more than that but not really the point. What could I be doing with that time?

Rachel Hollis posted over the weekend about waking up in the morning and already wanting a cocktail. She asked the question: if I start now when will I stop?

And at the time, I appreciated her honesty and I felt the sting of truth in it. I felt it but I wanted to ignore it. I wanted to keep this vice on the table, you know, just in case.

Then when the Hollis Co opted to reinvent the Last 90 Days into the Next 90 Days challenge, it came to mind again: I should give up alcohol — that would be good for me. That would keep me really focused on healthy habits, I thought.

And then again, I pushed that thought away. But I woke up this morning on Wednesday, April 1 and I am remembering when I finally relinquished Diet Pepsi on October 1, 2019. It’s been six months and a few days since I have had a Diet Pepsi and that feels amazing. Even in the last two weeks, because it’s in my house and life is wonky, I have had moments when I have seriously pondered drinking it. And then I remembered, I have almost gone 6 months, why break it now?

Much like Diet Pepsi — a drink or two here or there isn’t “hurting me”– but I also know it isn’t helping me either. It takes just the right edge off so I can ignore the things I could be focusing on or resolving in my life. Instead I could be meditating a little longer, taking a little longer walk but I am hitting the “easy button.” This morning I wondered, what if those rough edges I am muting are the traction for my growth?

I already know looking back that I made the decision to give up alcohol for this challenge and maybe even beyond before my feet ever grazed the carpet today but I thought hard about sharing this with all of you because I wondered what people, like you, would think.

Would you think because I am “giving up alcohol” that I have been day drinking and storing wine in my desk drawer?

And then I thought — oh my gosh, you are 45 years old, who cares anymore what everyone else thinks? You are either going to share truth on this blog or you’re going to play.

I once heard Jen Pastiloff share advice she was given when her book was first launched. And that was, once it was published she could no longer attempt or pretend to control how it was received or interpreted no matter how clear her language.

And so with that advice, I bravely, or rebelliously, hit publish. At this point in life, maybe well before now, I need to stop caring so much about what you think of me and be more thoughtful and interested about what I think of me.

So here’s to giving up alcohol (and the need for others approval). We’ll see what it opens up space for. I know I will be present for it.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

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