She of the pert bottom and the birthday glass of prosecco asked me the only question that was pert-inent: 'Why do you want to stop it?' It's only one glass; it won't kill me - why is it so important to me? Randomly saying I want to stop and feeling guilty won't help me along. What do I want? And is it more important than the relaxation I get now during peak household chore times? That's something to weigh up, too: for years, during that damn witching hour when they start bickering and moaning and are too tired to just do what I ask them, that glass of wine or beer has helped me immensely. But Charlie is four, and he now gets in his pajamas by himself (after being told only seven times), and Marie is seven and will set the table (excruciatingly slowly) when asked, and Jack is ten and does (with a sigh of despair) empty the dishwasher when prompted with firm insistence. So technically I can do without my beer of delight now. My wine of sparkly soothing. Yes, I can.
What I don't like about having my daily glass, is that I will be a little more sluggish the rest of the evening. That I will happily sit in front of the TV instead of reading a book. That I will sleep slightly worse, and that I will feel like the lights are a little dimmer the next morning. And the calories, of course, which are pretty empty ones. I'd be better having a piece of fruit or some vegetables or even some meat - something with more useful nutrients.
Turning all these negative effects around, there's what I want from this change: I want to have more productive evenings. I want to sleep better. I want to feel brighter in the morning. I want to eat better things. (And it would be nice to be fully present around my children when they are tired and going to sleep. It's only one glass, but I wouldn't be having it if it didn't make a difference.)
I felt very optimistic after this conversation that this was going to be my day of change (it could have been the prosecco making me feel like that). When I got home, I drew my reminder person on my hand:
She reminds me to live life the way I want it. To make choices that would make me happier and fitter. I accidentally got her left leg wrong to start with, but that's okay because I do actually wear a small skirt over my leggings when running. (No one needs to see my bum wobble.) When I got the children from school, they were worried I'd gone out and got tattooed on my hand.
Stick runner worked her magic, and I did not have any alcohol last night. I had a handful of cherry tomatoes to stop me feeling peckish while cooking. I knitted a couple of squares for my blanket after dinner, so I was more productive than I have been in a while. Then I continued some research I'd been doing and I still ended up going to sleep too late, but I'm being kind to myself about that. At least I slept through until about five o'clock. That's not bad for me. Baby steps. This morning, I went straight out for a run and felt quite light. I call that a brilliant result.
I'm keeping my lovely stick runner on my hand for a few days, I think. To help me when it gets harder. She has lost her skirt already, being redrawn after my shower and random hand washes. I have a reception tomorrow morning, after music school graduation, and one on Monday night, after Jack's school graduation, but I may not have a drink there. I'm not going teetotal at all (holidays in Spain coming up - one has to be realistic), but wouldn't it be lovely to show to myself that I can make my own healthy and considered choices, instead of reacting like Pavlov's dog to alcohol being offered?