Crisis blogger Maarten
This week I am experiencing one of the bigger challenges in the more than four months that I have not had any alcohol so far. Despite all the restrictions, we are on vacation for a week. Holiday in a narrow sense shall we say, because we are of course quite house-bound due to the corona measures. We are in a holiday home in Stavoren, in the beautiful water-rich province of Friesland. Our holiday home is a spacious thatched skipper's house. This means that we are right on the water and we do not have a garage under the house, but a boat house. The only thing that is missing is a nice boat. haha!
The fact that, despite everything, we are still out for a while is of course pure luxury if you compare it to all the people who have been inside for weeks and don't have that option. For example, people who live on a limited number of square meters, without outdoor space or only a small balcony, people who belong to a risk group with regard to the coronavirus and therefore live in uncertainty and fear or people who are completely alone. Each and every one of them in situations that have it a lot worse than us.
Staying at home with the kids could have been a lot worse in recent weeks, so I'm happy that we have a spacious house with our own play area for the kids, a large garden and mostly nice weather, so the kids have been able to play outside a lot. . In fact, the conditions at home are better than here on vacation. We therefore really doubted whether we would cancel this holiday that had been booked well before the corona crisis, but somehow we still had the feeling that it would be good to continue the holiday. So that said, that's done. For me, just like for so many people, holidays are inextricably linked to alcohol consumption. On holiday you feel legitimized in one way or another to have a nice drink at lunch or at least when the clock is four. And then of course it doesn't stop with one drink, because if you start early you can continue for longer. And therein lies the challenge, because not drinking means a sober holiday. This is actually one of the last hurdles I had to overcome and so far it's not too bad for me. Apart from one glass of wine on February 14th, my wife has had nothing to drink for the past few months either. So we talked about how we would proceed.
My wife has no qualms about not drinking at home, so that appointment is made, but when we go out for dinner, she does need a nice glass of wine. Totally fine as far as I'm concerned. I'm now leaning more and more towards not drinking at all, but haven't made a final decision on that yet. I weigh for myself in every new situation whether I think not drinking outweighs drinking. So far, the pointer has always turned to not drinking, but if a situation arises where this is not the case, then I won't make a big deal out of it for myself. The only person I have to answer to for my drinking is myself. I'm still having a bit of trouble with considering myself a teetotaler at this point. But if I haven't been drinking for a year, I think I've been through all the situations that are potentially difficult. That's my focus for now. I see it as a learning process. This first year I try to experience in which situations I might want to have a drink and in which situations I do not need it. If after that year it turns out that I have stopped drinking, then apparently there are no situations for me in which I felt the need to. So far I consider the possibility that that will happen greater than that I experience situations in which I nevertheless feel the need to drink.
My wife and I are celebrating our eight year wedding anniversary today. Normally we would do that with a nice bottle of bubbles or at least a glass of wine. Now it's just tea. But we do celebrate. It still has some feet in the ground, but I expect a beautiful bunch of flowers for my wife today. And this morning, when she went shopping for the next few days, she brought nice things for lunch and snacks for tea. I am so incredibly happy that my wife has no qualms about not drinking. That has made this whole alcohol-free period a lot easier for me. And if I were to decide not to drink at all, she's fully behind that decision. A woman to my heart. One you can build on. And if she would like to drink a nice glass of wine in my company from time to time, be it at home or elsewhere, I am now ready to handle that. She no longer has to stop drinking for me because I don't drink. I'm strong enough not to drink myself if she does.
Am I uncomfortable if I don't drink? No! Drinking and socializing are strongly associated, but it is also possible to have a good time when there is no drinking or if only one of us is drinking. And my wife is definitely not a big drinker. It can literally last an entire afternoon or evening with one glass of wine. Am I not missing drinking at all? I occasionally miss the relaxing feeling alcohol gives you. I now try to get my relaxation from other things. Enjoying sports, reading a good book or writing a blog about happiness, health, smart technology or sustainability for my website www.bamboebaartje.nl.
So, and now we're going to play a nice game of people-annoy-you-not with the children and then get our daily fresh air.