We’re heading down to my parents’ house for ten days. Holiday time! And we all know what holidays mean – time to drink away your cares! Time to celebrate with wine and beer, and lunch drinks and breakfast cocktails and anything else that comes to mind.
Visiting my parents’ house is a bit of a trigger for me even if we weren’t going on an extended holiday break. They are very interested in wine and port and brandy and other alcohols and make trips to France to bring back new and exciting wines. There’s also a really big pub and music culture around where they live. Wine always accompanies dinner. I find it really hard to imagine a visit without partaking of some kind of alcohol consumption.
But that’s just what I’m going to do.
It’s going to be hard – not because of some stress-triggered desire to drink (although travelling with two small children and two not-so-small dogs will undoubtedly bring up some stress feelings) – but because of habit. I habitually drink when I get down there. My parents are going away after the first evening and we are house-sitting for them. But that won’t remove my desire to drink. There will be drives through the mountains and lunches out and walks past quaint pubs and fun on the beach and dinners in beach bars. And all the time, alcohol will be a strong and familiar presence.
But here’s the thing.
I don’t want to drink.
If I were to drink, it would only be out of habit. It would not add to the joy I feel in our holiday and in spending time with my family. If anything it would only fog it up and make the whole thing a little more blurry and uncomfortable. And possibly make me tired and cranky and unable to enjoy the time fully – either looking for more drinks to escalate the “fun” – or looking for a bed to switch off and tune out.
I want to live my life in sharp focus. I want to live my life being present and aware.
So I’m going to remember this one fact: I actually don’t want it.