Dec 29- Approaching Destination

Meditation: Calm, Calm Light
Length: 3 minutes
Where: Bedroom, Michigan
How It Felt: Like a visit with a comfortable friend

I’m on a plane now. We miraculously managed to get out of the Midwest on a flight only slightly delayed, a real feat lately with Covid and weather and employee shortages and all that. Not to jinx anything, but I’m constantly amazed at how seldom we deal with delayed or canceled flights, considering that, between the two of us, we’ve flown an average of three or four round trips per month for ten years.

Maybe it’s a testament to Delta, but before I was with Steve my Delta flights were famously riddled with problems, and I always hear friends complain about them… so maybe I’m just absorbing Steve’s natural luck, a Janisse quality all around. Or maybe they got better.

Either way, I’m flying back west, sans cat (heartbreak), plus husband (yay!), exhausted from a packed two weeks, especially the past few days.

I’m ready for our vacation, and then I am ready for five silent days at home. So, so ready.

I’m nursing a hangover that is proportionate to the fun we had last night, but still not an enjoyable state of being. I am almost never hungover, but this is my second time in two weeks. Something happens in the Midwest…. and I’m currently including Windsor in that geographic designation, only because of proximity and amount of alcohol consumed. I am not really a drinker, especially not anymore. At first, I stayed far away from it all, traumatized by all the alcoholism in my family. Then, I tried it on for size, but I hadn’t dealt with all my issues yet, so I was less of a fun drinker and more of a “here comes drama” drinker. Then, I wised up and dealt with a lot of my baggage, at which point I became a sensible consumer of alcohol. The kind who has to throw out half bottles of wine because they sit so long unfinished that they go bad, even with those little stopper things that pull out the oxygen. I have a crystal decanter of scotch out at all times, which I barely touch unless I’m extremely cold or having a drink with a guest. Alcohol has become more “decor,” less “something to consume.” I like knowing I can always grab a bottle of wine out of the fully stocked bar for a host gift, but I don’t drink it myself a whole lot.

Unless I come home. I think the problem is drinking a lot is so normal there, so people are always making sure you have a drink. I’m a thirsty human. I drink like a gallon and a half of water a day. I’m constantly sipping. Keep a drink in my hand, and it’s going down.

Then, add the thrill of seeing people and a dash of social anxiety and how great it feels to just stop thinking constantly and have some good, clean fun, and suddenly I’m the one who never wants the night to stop. Wooo! Let’s keep this up! The thought of the next day doesn’t even begin to occur to me, as happens to so many of us. Drinking is crazy. It’s like putting something on a credit card- buy the thrills now, pay later.

But, honestly, I’m not sure how to be in these situations without a drink or two. Not as in- I can’t figure it out. I can. I could simply not drink, it isn’t hard for me to say no. It’s more like… then what do I do? With myself? Opt out? Be awkward? Leave? Try to enjoy myself even though I’m tragically aware of all the tragic things that made my life somewhat tragic when I lived here? Why do that when there are so many fun and wonderful people I could be having an amazing time with? And we do have amazing times. The kind of nights everyone texts each other the next day and can’t help but express over and over just what an absolutely epic night that was!

I want to live my life and enjoy it, and sometimes you have to trade comfort for fun. For me, I would rather be uncomfortable the next day than during the time I could be actually having fun. That’s it, right there. I’m willing to trade in the day after for the night at hand.

I have plenty of fun without drinking many other places, but I’m not coming home to go to a play or visit an art museum or travel to an incredible tourist destination in a far away land. I’m not coming to a family member’s home to talk about books we’ve read recently or dissect someone’s incredible performance in a film that is nominated for everything. There are so many things I do for fun that won’t give me a hangover the next day, but those things aren’t what we came together to do. And, since I only get to have these nights a few times a year- these boozy, hilarious, card playing nights full of old stories and new stories and stories we are making now that we will tell later- I cherish them deeply.

Still- my shoulders/head/stomach/brain/entire body are all very excited to get back to California.

I didn’t get to bed until very late last night, so I did a super short “Calm Light” meditation. I love this little guy, which I always have ready to go when I’m in a hurry. It’s a lot of great, deep breathing, and it does the trick.

I’m so close to the end of this blog, but I have so many ideas of things to write next. I’m excited. I’m so excited for 2022. It’s amazing.

I just can’t wait.