Saturday, June 14, 2008

Declaring Prohibition

I'm 38 now. There, I admit it. My birthday was Thursday, June 12. I decided to celebrate it with a little one-on-one time with my oldest girl, a little me time with a massage and a little we time with girlfriends.

It was a female bonding day.

But I learned something big about myself while enjoying dinner with about five or six lovely women. A martini and a glass of wine on an empty stomach are not what they appear to be. They are not an innocent way for me to socialize. They are, in fact, the tool of my inner devil.

Yes, in the last year I have made friends with my physical, indulgent, passionate self. But the truth is, alcohol seems not to bring out my true self, but my worst self. It's one thing to be with your women friends and vent about your spouses, but it's another to do it loudly and obnoxiously...and rag on the spouses of your women friends.

I have realized that if I don't like myself the next day because of what I recall saying or doing while influenced by alcohol, it probably isn't the wisest choice to try again. Now my friends may say that it wasn't as bad as I'm making it out to be. Two drinks doesn't mean I have a problem. Still...

Living with patience, with mindfulness, is my vision for myself and the world. If I truly want to be the role model for this value and skill, to be present and of service to others, it makes no sense to muddle up my head...even if I'm celebrating, especially if I'm celebrating.

So I am declaring to the world on this evening, June 14, that alcohol is no longer a part of my life. Help me to keep this vow. I want to be a solution to the world. I want to be present to my friends. I want to speak of others kindly. I want to use my passions and physical, indulgent self for good. In the presense of chaos, numbness, resentment or despair, I want to be awake.

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