No, we’re not talking about water. Though if you are drinking a lot, you really should stay hydrated.
Question: How do Red Sox fans and Yankee fans be friends?
Answer: They don’t. But sharing beer helps.
I graduated college almost four years ago. Translation: I don’t drink as much as I used to. Despite this, I challenged myself to give up drinking for the entire month of January. I was this close to finishing the month off, but a party came up on the 26th. I caved. Between the challenge and some trial and error over the past few years, I’ve learned two big things when it comes to alcohol:
1) We make up excuses for why we need to drink. Let’s play a game. Drink if you’ve ever said the following: “I had a bad day at work. I need a drink.” Or, “I had a really bad day at work. Boy, do I need a drink.” Or, “I’m so stressed out over this thing that’s coming up. I absolutely need a drink.” To one extent or another, I’ve said all of these phrases. And I honestly believed I needed a drink. What I learned during my no-drink-January was that these were merely excuses. There were many days after work this month where I was stressed and needed all the drinks. Yet I still managed without.
God, I sound like an alcoholic and we’re just getting started.
2) Only drink what you want, when you want. Drinking should be fun. It’s not fun if other people are dictating how much you should be drinking, or how you’re not drinking the right things. Tell them to shut up and do what you want to do.
Sometimes you’ll find yourself surrounded by drinkers when you’re not drinking. Others are going to inquire why you’ve made the incredible decision to be sober for the evening. For whatever reason, there will always be someone who challenges him/herself to get you to drink. You’ll likely hear one of the following phrases:
-“You have to do [something important] tomorrow? Oh please, I have [this thing that’s even more important] tomorrow! I’m still drinking.”
-“You have to get up at [very early time] tomorrow morning? Oh please, I have to get up at [even earlier time] tomorrow morning! I’m still drinking.”
-“But you can have one and still go to _______ tomorrow, can’t you?”
What the person asking fails to realize is that we all have our own process for whatever it is we have the next morning. Sometimes we’ll choose to drink the night before. Sometimes we’ll choose not to. Whatever our choice is, it’s literally our choice. We get to keep it. We don’t have to listen to the person who is comparing themselves to us.
Not only do we have our own process when it comes to getting ready for “that big thing” the next day (that’s what she said), but we also have our own bodies to consider. Some of us get hangovers. Some don’t. Some get hangovers very easily (which is so unfair). Others don’t. That person yelling to take another shot might not get hangovers as easily as you. Just make sure to know what your body can handle. No one else is going to say, “Oh hey! You get hangovers easily? Maybe you should just stick to beer and avoid that Malort shot, as well as the mixed drinks that are about to be passed out.”
(NOTE: If you have never had Malort, please see me after you read this for Malort shots).
I could keep going, but I have other things to do tonight…that unfortunately don’t include drinking. I’ll end with this: Do I miss being out late with my friends? Of course! But am I happy with the way things are going in my life right now? YES. Since I’ve started drinking less, I’ve been exercising more, eating better, and have (wait for it) experienced fewer hangovers. It makes me more productive. The more productive I am, the more work I get done. The more work I get done, the closer I am to not waiting tables ever again. That’s a dream for another day.
Now I’m done. But I’m serious about the Malort.