What Could Possibly Go Right?

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Are you a catastrophizer?

I’m not usually one, but I can go there if everything else seems to be going wrong.

Like you, I was taught to anticipate problems as part of growing up. This system causes our brains to immediately anticipate what could go wrong, causing unnecessary worry. Add in the whole law of attraction angle, and we’re drawing towards us exactly what we don’t want.  

This short post from Gabrielle Bernstein reminded me to start asking myself, “What could right?”

From Gabrielle:

One morning recently I was future tripping about a very stupid issue. (Though there are really no stupid issues because there’s always something bigger under the surface.) Nevertheless, I was sweating the small stuff.

But all I needed to do was a shift my focus. I needed to see what was right about the situation rather than focus on what I perceived to be wrong.

In any moment we can transform our experience by shifting our perspective. Now it’s your turn. Take an issue you’ve been afraid of and spend a few minutes thinking about all that could go right. Let go of every “but” and the whole concept of “cautious optimism.” It’s safe to think about all that can go right. By doing this you move into a higher vibrational state and begin to attract the very things you need in order for things to go right! Try it now.

— Gabrielle Bernstein

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NO AMOUNT of Alcohol is Good for You

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Does anyone else have friends that say they’re drinking red wine for their heart while downing an entire bottle?

Here is more proof that drinking alcohol is not “healthy.”

No Alcohol is the Only Safe Amount of Alcohol

Drinking Friends

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I’m posting this excerpt from the memoir I’m writing because it sums up what happened to me again and again when hanging out with drinking friends. (I was 23 days’ sober at the time.)

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That evening, I sat on a friend’s back porch, watching her smoke and drink the wine she’d poured from a bottle chilling in a bucket of ice. She’d bought my favorite kind, though I’d told her I wasn’t drinking.

She was completely at ease, stretched out in her chair, swirling her wine in the glass. In contrast, I was restless and jittery, as if I’d had way too much coffee. Even the cicadas’ insane trilling jarred my nerves.

Our conversation, so effortless while drinking, was now stilted, full of fits and starts, as if we’d just met, though we’d been friends for years. Drinking buddies, actually. Hours could pass and we’d barely notice, laughing and drinking under the huge oaks trees in her backyard. But now, I didn’t find her stories nearly as funny, and she could feel my impatience to leave.

Sober, it turns out, I couldn’t sit for hours, doing nothing but talking and watching her smoke. Wine was the glue that held us together, and we became strangers without it.

She went to top off her wine, and then reached across to fill the empty glass in front of me, as if by habit.

“No thanks,” I said.

She swatting at a cloud of gnats. “Why not just one glass?”

Eve, in the Garden of Eden.

I didn’t answer her. I just stared off into the trees, wondering why this was so hard.

I shouldn’t be here.

In the silence, I could sense her frustration with me for not being what she wanted … for not playing my role. I felt a flash of anger.

But you’re free to leave,I reminded myself.

Years later, I could recognize when a friendship faltered without the wine, and I’d have no trouble walking away the minute I felt like it. But on Day 23, I could only watch her drink — gesturing with the glass, refilling it again. I saw only that a drink could solve everything that was wrong in this moment — the discomfort and loneliness and anger.

As I sat across from her, my resolve melting like the ice cubes in the bucket, I felt just a whisper of pain —familiar and heart breaking. Betrayal.

Not hers, but mine.

As I reached across the table for the wine bottle, sweaty and slick with condensation, she took a long drag on her cigarette, eyeing me appraisingly. She blew out the smoke, snuffed out her cigarette, and smiled.

“Welcome back,” she said.

Wanted: One Good Bartender

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My husband and I were driving through town the other day, and we passed a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called “Ham’s.” He said, “Remember you got mad at the bartender there? What’d she do wrong again?”

I had just an inkling of a memory, as so often is the case.

I vaguely remembered having to tell her how to make an Irish coffee. Their drink list said it contained Irish whiskey and spiced rum. I wanted to make sure that I was getting a full shot of each liquor, and that she wasn’t just pouring a little of each, for flavor. I wanted the Bailey’s on the side. (So often they skimp on the Bailey’s!) Also, I wanted a very small amount of coffee, because some bartenders give you a huge cup of coffee, which dilutes the liquor and is not good for you. (Too much caffeine.)

My little bit of bartending knowledge was a dangerous thing.

The bartender then said loudly to the other bartender, and to the whole restaurant: “She wants two full shots in her coffee and another shot on the side! She would up-charge her?”

No discretion. Whatever happened to bartenders who took orders and delivered them without comment?

When she finally got my drink together, she said loudly, “That drink is burning the hairs of my nose! It would knock me flat. Better not light a match! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”

Needless to say, we never went back there, unless every other bar in town was closed. (Somehow this place stayed open late, even when we were under travel advisories, like tornados or snow storms.)

My husband and I laughed about that absurd scene, and then went on to other bartenders and wait staff that had failed to meet my very high expectations.

Actually, my expectations weren’t all that high. All I just wanted strong drinks delivered fast. Is that too much to ask?

You who are still lingering in the wine and beer category of drinking can’t relate to this, but I’m telling you, once you throw a leg over that wobbly fence to liquor, you’ll want to get your money’s worth.

Here’s another scene we thought was funny: At a nice restaurant in the city, I asked the bartender for a diet coke and rum in a short glass. He delivered a diet coke and rum in a large glass. That meant that I would have to drink that whole diet coke for just one shot of rum. All that caffeine, right before bedtime, and no liquor to balance it out. How was I  supposed to sleep?

“I wanted a short glass,” I told him, handing back the drink. (I often found my ability to speak up strengthened with a drink, and I’m sure I’d had one before I got to the bar.)

He stared at me, so I pointed helpfully to the short glass that my husband had. He raised an eyebrow, but then POURED HALF OF THE DRINK I’D GIVEN HIM INTO A SHORT GLASS! That meant I was getting half a shot! Did he not understand that he had just halved the liquor in the drink? DID HE NOT GET IT ?!!

My husband, sensing a scene of some type, came to my rescue by saying, “She wants a full shot of rum in a small amount of coke. In fact, why don’t you just make it a double.”

Something clicked for the bartender, and he gave me a quick once over. He hadn’t pegged me as a serious drinker, what with my delicate features and pink cardigan. (Joking here: I actually had a puffy face and watery eyes. Signs that a good bartender would have recognized.)

And that’s just two fun drinking stories! There are so many more, even though I’ve only lived in this state for a short time.

Odd, but I have no new stories. Not since I stopped drinking. The service around here has improved dramatically. They are so much better at serving decaf coffee and creme brûlée.

Cheers!