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Will the fun times end once I am alcohol free?

Updated: Jan 13

Bank Holiday by the pool

For the decades that I drank alcohol, I am sorry to say that I used to look upon non drinkers with suspicion and disregard, assuming them to be stick in the muds, or boring. What do they even DO with their time? What do they do for fun? I find myself thinking about that right now, after a blissful, alcohol-free Bank Holiday spent at the local leisure centre. Does this look as though I am missing out on life? No doubt the joke was on me all those years ago. I am sad I thought those things. Hell, I even encouraged non drinkers to join me. How bad is that?

A few years ago I would have used this extra day off for as an excuse to get hammered the night before. I would likely have either played games until midnight, with a glass or three of wine, or watched a movie, with a glass or three of wine. Or perhaps I would have gone to the pub, listened to a band, with a couple of gin and tonics. Nothing wrong with this, you say, until you realise you haven't had a drink-free evening for a long time. In fact, you cannot remember the last evening without a glass of wine. You deserve it, after all, it was a stressful day at work/ with the kids/ studying / [insert lame reason here.]

A few years ago I would have woken up around midday, wasting a lovely sunny day, taken a couple of paracetamol for the headache, and eaten something greasy and unhealthy to counter the hangover. Then I'd have sheltered on the armchair with the TV or laptop playing games for the rest of the day until it was time for bed. Not exactly living the dream, eh?

Today I woke at 7am, showered and got dressed, and the dog greeted me with a joyful happy smile and lots of wagging of the tail, like I was the best human being on this earth. Dog fed, walked and sorted, I relaxed with a big mug of tea in a sunny garden and a healthy breakfast, whilst listening to the birds and reading a new book on my Kindle. The wind rustling through the trees, beautiful blue sky above me, and a couple of ducks even joined me at the end of the garden. Clearly they like to live dangerously!

Later that morning I took a short drive to the local leisure centre. I could do this because I knew for sure I had no alcohol in me from the night before, being teetotal. I had been promoted at work recently, so bought myself a little treat of a massage and a beauty treatment. I had packed my Kindle for after the treatments, so I could relax by the outdoor pool.

One gorgeous, relaxing massage later, I strode over to the pool, found myself an empty sun chair, and lazed the rest of the afternoon away reading my book and sipping mocktails. It was like being on holiday, but much, much better, because this day I would remember, and it came without a hangover. Absolute heaven. I am very lucky to live on the South Coast of England.

Those people I had disregarded as boring, all those years ago... I wonder if this was the sort of day they enjoyed, too? What clever souls they were to have discovered this lifestyle so long ago.

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