Have you ever noticed how society tends to glorify things that are bad for us? I mean, you don’t see ads for produce or walking in the woods. Why? Because they are good for us and we don’t really need to be convinced. But candy bars? Smoking? Drinking? Shopping for therapy? Those things are absolutely glorified.
This brings me to a topic that has been on my mind for the last year: The mom/wine culture.
Just check Instagram and you’ll find all sorts of posts from glamorous looking mothers (clearly filtered, but whatever) who are bragging about their wine habit and how their beautiful children (often clearly posed and more like props than kids) basically cause them to drink each night. This is alternated with a coffee addiction and funny images of coffee mugs with messages that say: This may be wine.
I remember making one that said, This may be vodka.
Hey, it’s kinda funny, until you realize you actually are drinking every single night, or more nights per week than you aren’t. (guilty!) It’s also not funny when you realize that your $12 a night wine habit adds up to a whopping: $4368 a year. My brain is on fire calculating the amazing shoes I could buy on our next trip to Vegas with that…even if I split it with my husband! Seriously, shoes have taken me further in life than a glass of wine has – ever.
When I have wine, I’m sitting on my ass in front of the television. As a matter of fact, I never watch television until my husband comes home. Then, he eats his dinner and we have a bottle of wine together, on the couch, in front of whatever we are binge watching on Netflix at the time. We don’t get a buzz. We don’t even care to try to get a buzz. It’s purely habit. Having wine is part of our winding down time.
When I think about it, over the course of fourteen years (minus the three years when I was pregnant and nursing), my wine habit has cost: $48048. Holy shit.
Super glamorous, right?
What a waste of money.
Further, I’ve been doing my research and did you know that a woman’s body lacks the enzyme required to effectively break down alcohol and therefore that makes women more susceptible to the dangers of alcohol? I had no idea of this. No one ever mentions things like this in the glamorous advertisements on television. Of course they warn about drinking while pregnant and nursing or operating a motor vehicle, but to let women know that they might be especially at risk of the dangers. Not a peep. thanks, media.
What are the risks of chronic heavy drinking?
It’s the fourth leading cause of preventable death in America. It damages the brain and may even shrink the brain. It can cause memory loss. It can lead to some cancers and immune system dysfunction. Read more here.
I consider myself a pretty healthy person. I eat organic, I exercise, I limit processed foods and sugars. I didn’t think I was a heavy drinker. I just had two glasses of wine a night and that was my limit, except for the very rare night out with my husband when I’d have several drinks with our friends. “It’s just two glasses of wine.” I’d tell myself, but when I did the research and realized that “heavy drinking” for women is more than 8 drinks per week. If you’re drinking wine, that’s a 5 ounce glass, not the typical pour, which is usually more. If you keep it right at 5 ounces a night, per week, you’re a moderate drinker. Anymore and you’re a heavy drinker like me.
Based on that, I came to the realization that I was a heavy drinker and was at risk for too many health problems for me to justify it anymore.
I had to really figure it out. Was my wine habit worth it?
I decided it wasn’t.
My life is worth more to me than a habit that includes sitting on my ass for a few hours a night, waking in the middle of the night for a few hours, and waking up feeling exhausted from lack of sleep. Not to mention the heart palpitations, night sweats, and the ridiculous notion that I needed to have wine at night. It irritates me to have a crutch and this one was one I brought on myself.
That said, my decision to stop isn’t meant to be a reflection of anyone else. I’m not here to tell you that you shouldn’t drink. I’m doing my thing for myself. It’s what I want. If you drink, cool. There are no rules to life. We can live as we please. That’s the beauty of it.
We can live our lives and flip the script and live it completely different later if we want.
The thing is to live intentionally. When I drink wine, I’m living by default and that’s not living at all, in my opinion. This is my way of living more intentionally and being more present, and hopefully getting more out of my amazing life each day.
How can you live more intentionally? How can you get the most out of your life? What’s the script of your life reading like today? If it were a book, would you keep reading, or would you want to change the story?
You’re the author of your life. Write a damn good story you’re excited to sit down and read. That’s my new motto.