11:21 Yesterday I dragged the monkey circus all over the dang place with me. It was absolute hell, you know the kind you need to experience to get to nirvana in the end? The kids fought me (or each other) every step of the way. At the tax office. At the new tax office. At the recycling station. At the grocery store (I am the most embarrassed parent in this entire small town). At the post office. On the walk around the lake. And out for a swim at the other little lake. Of course all they wanted to do was sit in front of their devices… but this is how we teach our kids how to actually live.
Out at the grocery store, I saw my old friends. The ones I still love, whom I used to drink with… D insisted I come later to share in the cubit (3L box) of rosé they’d just bought. I told him I wasn’t drinking any rosé but I would bring something AF for myself… perhaps he may have been a tad disappointed… if he is anything like I was, he’d be worried about having non-drinking fuddy-duddies over… but I was thrilled for the invitation. It has been about a year I think. I’d had them over for dinner in February, at which all had gone well; but no invitation from them after that and I had given them space. I’m not much of a chaser by nature.
Last night, at their wonderful home, which I consider the living heart and center of this hamlet’s universe, it was like old times; like no bad feelings had ever come between us. Fellow Crazy Lady came too… her arrival was one of the only awkward moments. She regularly claims to be psychic but I feel she more often imprints her own version of reality on all she sees around her. When she was having regular parties and not inviting me (and yet, calling me her best friend, which I could not understand) I confronted her with that, and she said that the reason was because she could sense a tension between me and our mutual friends. However, at that time, I perceived no tension between me and the mutual friends. In my view it was all inside her. Pondering things later on my own, I understood that it must be difficult for her because when I am there, the others and I end up chattering away high speed in the local language (punctuated with many belly laughs). When she is on her own with them they instead commune in broken English. So I really do understand it. I do translate for her but of course that’s not the same.
I have stuck with my plan since she has been back in the neighbourhood. I still love her, yes, but I have not sought her out. I am happy when she comes to my place, I still am happy to see her. But I have learned to not “chase trouble”…
I have also not sought out my old friends, our joint neighbours. Let her have them all to herself, if she prefers that, and if they do too. But I still leave flowers and books for birthdays and bring home vacation gifts, even without reciprocation. I do it not out of a skewed sense of duty but out of genuine volition. Yesterday I brought them a fine bottle of rosé, alongside the remainder of my own Bonne Nouvelle AF wine, for myself… which, by the way, has been open for a week. S asked me how it was, I said well it was not bad though not like wine, but that the funniest thing was a bottle easily lasted a week, while with normal wine I’d be hard-pressed not to finish the bottle once it was open. Actually, I said the first part of that, and she finished for me, putting herself in the same position, and we laughed. She gets it. I am not the only one around here who prefers a bottle of wine to a single glass. But I feel that she handles wine (and moderating it) much better than I used to. Also, in my opinion, she is psychologically more fit at this particular stage in life.
I had not one craving for the booze last night… not even to fit in. I’d asked my eldest son to bring his VR headset, because D loves bonding with him over tech and toys. That was such a hit, with each person taking turns trying something they’d never experienced before. I think it really helps to have something to amuse the group besides booze.
None of my friends slurs as I used to when I drank, so any tipsyness they felt was not noticible to me, though they did partake well of the wine… also, the house of my hosts was, as always, perfectly arranged as can be. They continuously progress in their renovations and in getting things organized and done… I know that looks can be deceiving but this confirms the fact for me that I did have a problem with alcohol, or maybe just with life in general (and still do) which alcohol certainly acerbated at the psychological level.
It was a nice tame gathering with all the kids playing outside a lot.
They kept offering the rosé, but this was only to be polite, and because I’d made no sweeping statements of the type “never drinking again.” “Non merci” were the only words I needed. I am a thirsty girl by nature and it was really nice to feel I could pour my glass full over and over with soda water without asking; with wine I used to wait to be served (and constantly wish for more), even if I’d brought it myself, as in the local polite tradition.
There were some slightly awkward social moments, between me and another guest there, and my tendency would have in the past been to mentally beat myself up for my part in it, either in the morning, or perhaps even after going home that evening, seeking solace in more wine; however, this time I just let it go. Ah well, I thought, my manners were not perfect. I’m a boorish green ogre at heart, not a princess. My intentions are good though. So be it.
The point I actually wanted to make in this post, for any of you still reading, is that I felt I’d lost all my friends in the beginning; but the minute I began to consistently practice unanimous ethics, by accepting them for who they were without conceding who I was, and never talking about any of them to any other one of them, my little universe seemed to come harmoniously together.
I have more and more friends appearing… I have been making friends with some new folks as well, not only at the mindfulness camp, but also with my elder sons’ friends’ parents.
Feeling really grateful about this, and I want to share it with you because if you feel lonely on your journey, perhaps it will help you on your course to have this extra confirmation that if we stay the path, all will be well.
Keep walking, onwards and upwards, all will be well, all will be well.