Our 30th wedding anniversary was on September 1st. So was my 2 month soberversary. It was a close competition which was the bigger achievement. 30 years of marriage has given us 2 beautiful, talented, intelligent, hardworking daughters, a couple of nice careers and the opportunity to travel when we are permitted. Our original plan for our 30th anniversary was to make our first trip abroad, to Portugal and Spain, to enjoy the beaches, some cycling and of course, the wine! Well COVID put a stop to those plans, and added the bonus of sobriety 2 months ago.
It’s really quite interesting: When I decide to share my alcohol free status with others, one of the first reactions is “wow, you quit drinking during a pandemic, good for you!”. Can we examine how ridiculous that statement is for a moment? What people seem to be saying is, “people are catching this crazy virus and sometimes getting sick and dying, so I think the best thing to do is drink to excess and bring your health to an all-time low so you have a harder time fighting the virus if and when you contract it”. I know, that’s silly. What people are really NOT saying, but saying is “wow – I have so much more spare time right now, what else would I do with that time but drink??” That was more who I was – my hubby and I started our happy hour a little earlier, and it lasted a little longer because our work days were far more flexible. Of course the added bonus of our youngest calling us out and saying she was concerned about our drinking was kind of the nail in the coffin as it were.
So yes, I stopped drinking during a pandemic; I also quit smoking at the start of 911 in 2001. I realized that there will never be a good time to start stopping. There will always be another ‘Monday’. There will always be the morning after headache, shame and loathing. The only way to make it all stop was to quit. So that was exactly what I did on July 1st. I decided I was #tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.
Instead of a boozy anniversary trip to Europe, we booked a few days in the mountains to celebrate our 30 years. We booked a little restaurant for our celebratory dinner where they knew about our anniversary. As soon as we sat down, the server brought us two tall glasses of Prosecco with raspberries in it. Oh my God! My husband and I looked at the Prosecco and then looked at each other and grinned. I don’t think there was a time in recent years where so many opposing thoughts came and went in my head in such a short period of time. “But it’s our anniversary “, “it’s just one...”, “we can’t be rude” (yes that was a thought). And then: “I do not want to have another day one” and “play this out to the end”..... So after what seemed like an eternity, I politely looked at the server and said “Oh how thoughtful but we are not drinking alcohol right now, how about some nice San Pellegrino?” Interesting: instead of the pretty tall flutes with raspberries, she brought short highball glasses with a lemon wedge stuck on the top. Anyway - perception is everything. We killed 2 bottles of San Pellegrino and enjoyed one of the best meals I can REMEMBER tasting. We even shared 2 desserts and went to bed so proud we made it through several “firsts” in our sober journey.
The rest of our week involved hiking, cycling, watching Netflix, playing cards and drinking.Drinking tonic and flavored soda water that is. Not much was different except we went to bed earlier, and woke up feeling energized for another day in the mountains.
So this 30 year anniversary is extra special topped up with a 2 month soberversary. Hubby and I are re-discovering each other through a sober lens and I am delighted that I actually do really enjoy his company even though it’s not blurred by boozy edges. Another day to be sober with gratitude.