Well, hello there and welcome to the first day of the year 2021! I know there are quite literally millions of us who were so ready to see 2020 finally come to an end, me being one of them. I had no interest in getting out and doing anything to celebrate it because I was already worn out from a long day at work Wednesday, watching some of the Florida/Oklahoma game and only getting a few hours sleep before having to wake up at 5:30 yesterday morning. And even though I was already in bed by midnight last night, I did technically ring in the New Year with my good friends in the UK last night at 6pm via Zoom. It was really great to see them all again.
I had also made a personal commitment to myself to not drink last night and, as of this entry, I haven’t had anything since last Saturday night. That is particularly significant since, for the most part, I’d gotten in the habit of drinking something nearly every day, and then eventually every day. After all, I had money, couldn’t get out much except to play golf, and couldn’t find the right fit for a job. What else is there to do during a lockdown, right? And there were plenty of others I hung out with last year who were doing the same thing, so I didn’t really give it much thought.
And just as 2020 has taught most of us, it was easy and even acceptable to drink every day because, hell, why not? But I have so many things I’m planning on doing during this new year, especially regarding my creative passions, that I decided last week that it’s time to close up the liquor cabinet, put the cork back in the bottle, and get back on the right track, both physically and mentally. It wasn’t going to be a resolution, either. After all, a new goal is a new goal and doesn’t really need a start date - just the willingness to shake off the cobwebs and do something that you know you need to be doing, but can’t seem to find the motivation to do it. Mine was finally having enough of tossing and turning during the night, and getting virtually no sleep on evenings when I didn’t have anything to sedate me into falling asleep and staying that way during the night.
It certainly has helped that I have a regular schedule now and expect to put my best effort into the job, but the feeling of clarity and lack of brain fog has motivated me to want to keep that trend going, perhaps even longer after the ‘Dry January’ that I volunteered to do with some of my friends I play golf with regularly. Back in 2019, I did the same thing while I was back in Colorado and ended up not having anything to drink for about 45 days, and I felt really good. During this past week already, even after a couple of days of sobriety, my creativity was starting to generate some new ideas, and 2 nights ago, despite wanting to watch my Longhorns play their final bowl game, I turned it off when it was a clear win, and slept through the night with no issues. And even funnier still, as I was putting some things together yesterday, I found myself bobbing my head, headphones in my ears and smiling as I was listening to KNBT playing a favorite Mavericks tune “Back In My Arms Again”, and then immediately followed by Asleep at The Wheel’s cover of “Take Me Back to Tulsa”. And if you know me, and how much I’ve never really considered myself as a dancer, then the image of me grooving should make you smile, too. :)
Having to move back to Austin with my folks, and also during a pandemic has obviously forced me to adapt to doing things differently again. Even as I’m writing this, from my perspective, it still doesn’t feel like it’s a new year, since 1 day of 2020 was equivalent to 34 days in dog years. But now that I’m more focused, motivated and driven to shake off the wounds and thoughts that took their toll on me in one of the worst years ever, I’m pretty optimistic about how this year is going to shape itself together for all of us.
Happy New Year to one and all, my friends! Let’s make this one to remember!