on the wagon again

On the Wagon (again)

Here’s a post you’ll either be inspired by or decidedly feel uncomfortable with. Or, both. In any case, it’s brutally honest, so buckle up.

Even if I’ve never been fanatical, there has always been some kind of regular sport activity in my life. When I was young, I swam competitively, and later in life, I played squash, jogged, and boxed. Nowadays, I mostly work out at the gym and when my body permits, I’ll go for a long run.

As an oxymoronic contrast to the above, I’ve also never, ever shied away from partaking in oftentimes excessive indulgence.

These days, as I get older, taking better care of myself by living healthier is clearly gaining traction. And now, after 18 days of 100% sobriety, I can feel tangible evidence of mental and physical benefits.

I’m not talking about visible proof, mind you. It’s more related to sailing through life on a more even keel and being better at discerning and circumnavigating headwinds and identifying storms.

Living in Sweden for the better part of my life has undoubtedly been fantastic in many, many ways. The role alcohol plays in Swedish society is not one of them. And at 60, I’m finally realizing how much better I am without having booze as a crutch or a cushion.

Yes, it’s most certainly boring to not sip on a glass of chilled white wine or drink a cold beer during dinner. And do I miss my daily pour of cheap bourbon while preparing meals in our kitchen.

Thankfully, just like the ridiculous glorification of this ritualistic, masochistic behavior, the buzz I had become so pathetically addicted to is both paling and slowly sliding into my increasingly dusty archives of faded memories.

I moved to Sweden when I was 15 and, as one does, started drinking more or less regularly on weekends when I was about 16. So, that’s what, 45 years, give or take?

I don’t know for how long I’ll be on the wagon this time around. As they say, one day at a time. But so far, so good.

The old wagon is from a visit to Bodie, the famous ghost town in central California. I don’t think there could be a more fitting illustration for this post.