Holiday Weekends – Sober fun or regretfully drunk?
This 4th of July may feel different for a number of reasons given all that’s going on in the world, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t still going camping, throwing social distance barbeques, and drinking copious amounts of alcohol. As such, holiday weekends offer us the opportunity to get carried away by the miserable mistakes of our past or to try something new which could lead to lightness and freedom.
Perhaps you’re reading this blog because, while you want to have fun, you really don’t want to get drunk this weekend. Fuckin’ high five to that, yo! Stop reading for a second and actually physically pat yourself on the back. It’s awesome that you sought support and you freaking rock!
So here’s what I’ve got for you: it’s called Playing the Movie to the End. And it’s a really good exercise to help keep us from taking that first drink.
Basic human tendency is to rely on the nostalgia and memories of good times to dictate behavior in the present moment. The problem is it sells your experience short. Of course the first few drinks are always fun! Of course it’s fun to drink beer while playing corn hole! That’s why we go back again and again. Drinking is so much fun and everybody else is doing it so YAH!
But what about the rest of the experience? What about when the fun stops and you lose control? What happens to your resolve to drink in moderation when you forget to hydrate and reach for your third beer to chase a shot of tequila? What about when you’re on your fifth drink and you start to make bad or dangerous decisions? What about your seventh drink which causes you to face plant into your bed after getting sick? What about when you wake up the next day feeling like shit and vowing to never touch booze again?
It’s all part of the same experience. It makes sense that we don’t want to remember the ugly parts but there is so much value there. Because when we play the movie of our nostalgic memories to the end, we remember the full picture. The good, the bad, and the holy-shit-what-the-hell-was-I-thinking? Well you weren’t thinking. Alcohol robbed you of that ability and it started to go downhill with your very first drink.
Our best choices are made sober. So before you have your first drink ask yourself what is really going to happen if you do. This is a crucial time for quiet reflection and honesty. Are you going to drink in moderation like you’ve promised (and failed) yourself a thousand times before or is it more likely that you will accidentally get drunk and regret it? Replay the movies of your past experiences from the first drink all the way until your hangover finally subsided.
Now ask yourself How do I want to feel tomorrow morning? This doesn’t have to be extreme. There’s no plan to rise with the sun and run a half marathon, OK? Just How do I want to feel? This could be as simple as refreshed or as good as you felt when you woke up today.
Now look yourself in the mirror with love and compassion. Tell yourself you rock and you’ve got this. And commit to the decisions and behavior that will get you to where you want to be.
Go camping. Go to the barbeque. Laugh with your friends while playing corn hole with a seltzer in your hand. Apply sunscreen. Hydrate. Tell stories around the campfire with s’mores. Then go to bed at a reasonable hour so you can sleep well, wake up rested, and make everybody pancakes. Or not. You do you.
No judgment. Just fun.
Why not give it a shot?
Live in love 💛 and light 💡
P.S. That gorgeous pink flower comes courtesy of the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden on the Big Island. It’s on the ocean and it’s so beautiful and I kind of wish I could live there, like right inside the garden.