Today I am heading to Miami and reality hits me pretty early this morning. Alcohol is everywhere. Even at 8 am in the airport and then the plane, I am surrounded by reminders that I don’t drink and the rest of the culture seemingly does. In the airport sundries shop, I am startled by odd, crumpled-looking shot glasses that say “I got smashed in North Carolina.” Then on the plane they offer us cocktails – at 8 in the morning. Why none of this ever bothered me before I don’t know but I am definitely feeling edgy about it.
When I get to my hotel in Miami to check in, I immediately notice the Happy Hour flyer by the desk and make a mental note to check it out – until I remember I’m not drinking. %(*&#$@@! I go up to my room to unpack and take a few deep breaths.
After I get settled, I go downstairs to eat lunch on the outdoor patio and am stared down by a table tent offering refreshing alcoholic libations – all of which sound perfect for a sunny outdoor lunch. But I abstain – even from the pricey flavored waters and juices to have a delightful glass…of tap water. It is really not what I want but I cannot bring myself for some reason to pay $4 for a non-alcoholic beverage.
If it were a glass of wine I was choosing, I have no doubt I’d spend would or triple that because today I am “on vacation” today and would treat myself. Odd, I know, but it’s true. I guess not drinking is going to save me a bit of money on this trip – if I don’t end up spending it on other ways to amuse myself such as shopping or getting massages.
My big indulgences today are actually getting a manicure and then taking a yoga class at a studio not too far from my hotel. The owners of the nail studio were celebrating their one year anniversary for being in business today and offered me a glass of champagne during my manicure. They were from France – the owners – and I almost felt like I was insulting by refusing the libation. When I explained I was not drinking “for Lent” I got absolutely no response as if I had spoken a totally foreign language that they could not comprehend in the slightest. As I said they were French so the concept of giving up alcohol must seem absurd to them.
The yoga was fantastic – just what I needed – although I know I’ll be feeling it tomorrow. In the class we were offered the opportunity to dedicate our practice to a particular intention. For mine, I decided to focus on not just giving up drinking but also detoxifying my body and life. I want to let go of those things that are weighing me down from being the best I can be and/oror tying me to my past with alcohol so that I may let it go more easily. It was pretty interesting the thoughts and emotions that surfaced as the class wore on and helped me to get some intense clarity.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring in Miami but am so grateful for the chance to have a day to myself to reflect, heal and process all that is happening with/from/because of the simple choice to not drink today.