Still here, still not drinking. I have begun looking forward to coming home after work. Not to open a bottle or can, but to be home, to relax, to be with my kids. Normally, I just drink a lot of water, but I have been making my first drink at home for the evening kind of ceremonial. I made some simple syrup infused with lemon, lime and basil. I pour a little into a nice glass and cut it with plain seltzer and ice. Last night I sat down to enjoy my drink in full before getting on with making dinner and the rest of it.
I am shocked at how calm and peaceful I am. Not flustered, not stressed, not cutting as many corners as possible so I can plop down and drink without the intrusion of so many household tasks.
I just make dinner. No big deal. I put things away as I go. I wash up as I go. By the time dinner is ready, the dishwasher is full, the counters are wiped, and the kitchen is a pleasant orderly place. Everything is easier. When my kids talk I can feel myself giving my full attention, not trying to skip ahead. I feel sorry about the many dinner times when I was seemingly lively, but somewhat distracted and checked out. Even one glass of wine would produce that effect.
My own parents gave me the gift of their full, unintoxicated attention at dinner time. We typically had good conversations. As a kid, I felt heard and included. I felt important, not like a secondary consideration. Alcohol gradually makes most things, even kids, a secondary consideration.
I believed alcohol was smoothing things out or at least harmless and neutral. To the contrary, my evenings at home are proving to be much smoother without it.
Sigh of Relief Soda
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar (could be 1 cup, but I’m trying to limit sugar)
- 2 lemons, quartered and smashed
- 1 lime, quartered and smashed
- 1 small bunch of basil
- pinch of salt
Combine water and sugar over medium heat until sugar has completely dissolved. Add lemons, lime, basil, and salt, and crush into water with a wooden spoon. Turn heat to low and steep for 10 minutes. Strain syrup and cool. To make soda, combine approximately 2 Tbs of syrup with as much plain seltzer and ice as you would like.