After my New Year’s Day mimosa in 2016, I decided to abstain from alcohol until New Year’s Eve. My motivation wasn’t due to excess consumption or dependence on alcohol, it was more about what I was drinking and why. Unlike a lot of people, I’ve never much cared for the taste of beer or wine. Liquor, on the other hand, can be mixed with so many things that it’s palatable! There’s no way I could drink it straight, though, no bourbon or scotch on the rocks for me, thank you!
In recent years I reasoned that perhaps I just hadn’t found the right kind of beer or wine so I tried some of the new options out there, like Abita’s Strawberry Lager or Purple Haze or various white wines. They were okay, but they were never something that I looked forward to or really enjoyed. Even so, I persisted until one day I was in the liquor store perusing varieties of pinot grigio and had the thought that I’m spending time reading wine labels and spending money on stuff I don’t really like while ten percent of the population doesn’t have clean, safe water. That’s almost seven million people.
Why did I put so much time and effort into finding an adult beverage I like? Maybe because I wanted to fit in, wanted to be cool (let’s be real, that’s never going to happen), because sitting down with a glass of wine at dinner seems so sophisticated. It’s a little embarrassing to admit that my pursuit of whatever it was didn’t add value to anyone’s life, including my own.
It would have been good to take the money I didn’t spend this year and send it to a non-profit organization but I didn’t do that, mainly because it didn’t occur to me until the year was half over and also because I didn’t know how much that would be. Despite my meticulous tracking of all money I spend, I’ve never spent enough on alcohol to give it a separate category so it was lumped in with the rest of my groceries.
There will be champagne on New Year’s Eve and a mimosa on New Year’s Day (because I actually do like champagne, but that will probably be it for 2017. As I strive to be intentional about the way I spend my time and money and more mindful about how my actions affect others, there’s no space in my life for drinking.
Have you ever spent time and money pursuing something for all the wrong reasons? Please leave a comment at the top of this post or on Facebook.