I had a reason to celebrate. On this particular day, I'd received news that the editor job I'd applied for was mine for the taking. Truly, a dream job. I'd been writing for a local newspaper for a couple of years and my contract was ending. I had no job lined up and, skill-wise, I was best suited for a writing or editing gig. unless I wanted to die a slow and painful death as someone's admin assistant. Knowing how rare editor jobs were, I was preparing myself for the possibility of taking a job as someone's admin assistant (which, for me, was akin to dying a slow and painful death).
When the editor position popped up in the company I worked at, I was cautiously optimistic. I knew there were worthy candidates applying along with me. So, it was with elation that I received the news that I would be working as editor-in-chief for a local magazine that I knew and respected.
The news was fantastic on various levels. I could continue to pay my mortgage, feed my kids and get my hair highlighted (yes, that is a necessity, ladies). Even better, I would be getting paid doing something I loved -- writing and editing for a lifestyle magazine.
I also knew that something this big necessitated a glass of wine. Oh, how I would enjoy one that night. The need to celebrate is a substantial trigger for drinking alcohol -- for me, anyways. And, really, just one glass wasn't so bad, right? The old me would have bee-lined to the liquor store to pick a lovely bottle of red (break the bank and spend $20). Then I'd drink until I was emotionally satiated, or at least until there was enough left in the bottle to stem my guilt the next morning. (As long as I saw an inch or two of wine in the bottom of the bottle, I wouldn't feel too bad.)
So, did I have the wine that night? No. The reality is that I've learned to understand my triggers and ride them through. I've learned a trigger is just that. It's short, impulsive and arises from behaviours that are as deep as those laugh lines on my 46-year-old face that are really just lines now whether I'm frowning or smiling. The point is, even though I no longer drink alcohol, the mind has not yet clued into that fact. It's been HARD WIRED (even in this age of digital, so damn analog) to want that glass of wine. Funny how thirty years of habits does that. Imagine if I'd spent thirty years doing ab crunches every time I had a reason to celebrate. Hmmm.
I was happy, no... thrilled, about the job offer. Why did I need a buzz to confirm that feeling? I came home from work to an empty house, save my cat. With my sons at their dad's house, it was quiet. Maybe even a bit lonely. Also fodder for turning to the bottle. Instead, I turned on spotify and blasted music while preparing my dinner, busting out a few moves between vegetable chops. I pulled out a wine glass and filled it with sparkling water and grape juice and drank it at about the same pace I would a glass of wine. I drank three of those over the course of a couple hours. And you know what? I felt amazing. It was confirmation of what I've been slowly learning over time. THIS is how you savour a good feeling. You don't bury it in a buzz that'll have you passed out on the sofa by 7p.m. You feel it. Absorb it. You stay awake for it.