Edited/Updated @ 6:27pm
Earlier today, I had a yummy, idea-filled lunch with Sister T and my brilliant friend Kelly Hoey of Women Innovate Mobile. It was one of those meetings where there was not a single pocket of silence, when we all had something to say, to contribute. I walked away from the restaurant smiling and buzzing, inspired for sure.
And then I settled in at my second Starbucks of the day, this time on the Upper East. And somehow I snagged a table. One with an outlet. Good luck indeed. And I had my coffee and my water and I published a few new comments on my To Drink or Not to Drink post from yesterday. One comment was from a good friend of mine. It was honest and real and felt harsh in the moment even though I know she didn't mean it to be.
Anyway, I read her words as I waited in line for my afternoon fix and I cringed. Even though the overall gist of her comment was clearly positive and congratulatory, I fixated on the following: she mentioned that when we would drink together with our other friends, I was often the most affected. Reading this, I got an icky feeling, a feeling of shame. And this was silly perhaps because here I am almost a year into this experiment of not drinking at all and clearly I am figuring things out. But still. It stings to be reminded. Of who I was. Of who I was seen to be.
I had a mini-light bulb moment when reading my friend's words, particularly her observation that I seem to handle alcohol differently. The reality is that I used to be able to drink a fair bit (in college, in law school) and I would be fine, or more fine at least. But something happened. And I think that something was motherhood. People might hate me for saying this, but after I welcomed my first girl, I didn't just lose the baby weight, but more. Today I am probably twenty pounds lighter than I was in my school days when I could kick up my heels a bit more.
So, my body is smaller, my systems different. And the simple fact is that I can't handle alcohol in the way I once did. I think I refused to believe this and hated the idea of getting older and more responsible, so I chose to sip swiftly, to be young and lively and fun, to keep up. But keeping up got me into trouble sometimes. There is also something more ineffable, elusive about motherhood that has changed the game. Now that I have these creatures, I have more responsibility and more stress. The hard thing, the thing I have realized, is that it is often these very things that often push us parents toward the wine in the first place. I can't tell you how many moms I know who have embraced wine, and wildly, since having children. There is something important here worth exploring.
Anyway, I wrote an off-the-cuff, unplanned post which I didn't exactly think through enough. Originally, I posted my friend's comment. And I am realizing that wasn't right to do, wasn't fair... So, I edited the post, removed her words, and we talked on the phone about it all.
Guys, it was the most wonderful and real conversation. She was upset about my original post (which, again, I have since edited significantly and appropriately, I think); concerned that I and some of you who had a chance to read the original post had misinterpreted what she had to say. She reiterated that she is proud of me and that it was actually her intention to underscore for all of you reading that I was never a huge drinker, but that the drinks I did imbibe really affected me. This is true and I appreciate her saying this.
Anyway, talking to her, I realized that it really wasn't my place to re-purpose her comment as its own post even though my intentions were positive in nature. I explained to her that I was so struck by her comment, that she cared to write it, that I wanted to thank her for being real with me. But, I am realizing, it didn't come across that way. After speaking with her, I decided to leave some iteration of this post up but to remove the comments that had come in. I still have them, and appreciate them, but don't think they should be visible here.
Anyway, and I told my friend this, I am so lucky to have people in my life who really truly care about me and this thing I am doing. My friend is the perfect example of this. She took time from her busy day and busy life to say something. And not just something, but something real. I told her that the friends I value most are those who can look me in the eye and say true things. And she is one of those friends. I knew that, but today confirmed it. She was not trying to be harsh, but congratulating me on the distance I have traveled. And it has been a distance.
Before we hung up, I said something to her about our friendship: "This is the real deal."
And it is. From here on out, I vow to be more careful when I decide to whip up impromptu afternoon posts!! Apologies for the appearing and disappearing posts and appearing and disappearing comments; Clearly, ADR is a lovely little work-in-progress even after almost four years in this bloggy world. Okay, off to have some nibbles of peppermint bark and tickle my silly girls before heading out to dinner with high school friends.
Oh, and I just received the most wonderful email from one of you who plans to give up wine for a year. Know that I am thinking about your story, your words, and am humbled that my story has inspired you to make a change in your own life. This? This is why I am doing this thing, this messy and incredible thing I am doing.
Thanks for putting up with me, peeps :)