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Dry months provide some new perspectives

If you've noticed that the price of Budweiser stock has dipped dramatically these past few months, it just might be because I quit drinking.

It's been exactly six months since I fell over dead, had to be revived and thus the long healing process began. I will say that I am doing fine and probably stronger than ever, partly because I've now given up every vice known to man (and woman), except maybe that I might mutter a swear word once in a while when I stub my toe.

Other than that, I am ready for saint status, because all the fun is over. Nothing more to do than knit sweaters and walk the dog. Just like real life.

Yes, the sober life is surreal compared to the rowdy, redneck trouble you can get into if you like to drink beer. My first test was the rodeo last summer, which was always a good rip-roarin' time for me and my friends. This year it was still party time for my friends  and snow cone time for me. I pushed the limits and ordered a Tiger's Blood.

Boy, was my tongue red.

After that it was a rock concert. I admit to being a little anxious about this one. How can you have rock and roll without beer? Well, the answer is you can if you have to. The music was still great, and the outdoor concert still offered a starry night and a warm summer wind. The earth continued to spin and life went on without a beer in my hand.

The latest challenge was a Christmas party. While it was entertaining being the observer and not the participant, I've noticed that nights out are shorter when you're sober, which is probably a good thing because you get home before those rowdy folks hit the road.

Finally, a night out with my girlfriends has taken a different angle as well. We used to sit for hours talking, and now, without beer, I turn into a pumpkin after maybe two hours and have to go home. And, though I say this with love, my friends aren't near as much fun since I quit drinking.

Eh. Just kidding. No, my friends are true, and we have adjusted to hiking at the refuge, walks in the park, and meeting for ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream.

Vanilla milkshakes are my crack. I will soon be seeking my own self-help group to break me of the hold that vanilla milkshakes have on my mind and on my body.

And not surprisingly, earlier bedtimes mean earlier rising. I am pleased to report that the sun comes up every morning over here on the east side and it is quite glorious. I had heard rumors of such; now I can confirm they are true.

Before sobriety I occasionally needed a sleep aid, and now I drift off naturally and wake up more refreshed than I used to. You know those times when you sleep fitfully and wake up feeling fuzzy and tired? Know what that's called?

A hangover.

While it is quite possible that I could have an occasional social drink and be perfectly fine, I am really an All Or Nothing Girl, so I will continue to walk the line, stay off the beer and be better off for it. Someday, maybe, I might evolve into that woman who enjoys a nice glass of wine over dinner, but not now. I am still getting used to the way the world looks from here.

And it's looking pretty good. Once more, I am so thankful for my blessings, and your prayers. From the bottom of my heart, thank you and Merry Christmas.

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