Alcohol abuse is frequently the result of exceeding our carrying capacity. When we do this long enough, we eventually need some respite and alcohol provides a degree of numbness, insulation, or oblivion that allows us to escape an unsustainable load.
It depends on the nature of the overload. Is it personal? Professional? Marital? Medical? Familial?
Often we take on “obligations” that aren’t necessarily actual obligations.
Sometimes we endure abusing relationships.
Perhaps we fall victim to our self-image and what others might think.
Often we succumb to the demands of others – or ourselves.
But time itself is finite and there are limits to what we can actually accomplish in any given day, week, month, or year.
What’s your choice? Step up and actively manage your life in all of it’s facets in a fair, assertive, and productive manner? Or passively and passive-aggressively drink to ease the pain?
Again – it really is your life, your choice, your responsibility, and your opportunity. Why not make the most of it?
“I’m getting older, and I plan on continuing to get older for a very long time, so I better get good at it.”
Often, on Monday evenings, I get together with a couple of other “older” men for dinner as I celebrate another week successfully begun.
The other day I mentioned that managing our aging, especially after 50, means paying attention.
As my friends and I joked about what all we needed to pay attention to, a younger man from a nearby booth approached me and said, “My mother would like a moment of your time, if you don’t mind?”
I looked across to where an “older” woman smiled and waved and, of course, I followed her son back to their booth, slowed just a bit by the cane I still occasionally use after severing a tendon 6 months ago.
“Thank you,” she said, as I slid into the booth.
“I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation, and as I have a decade or two’s more experience in aging, I thought I would let you know that, from my perspective, you are doing very well.”
“And you would know this how?” I asked, smiling.
“It’s easy, really,” she said. “From your conversation you’re obviously smart, which is the first prerequisite; you have a very good sense of humor, which is next, and then you adhere to my third recommendation.”
“Which is?” I said.
Reaching under the table she retrieved a cane, comparable to my thick oak one, and added, “always carry a club!”
We laughed, shook hands, and I returned to my friends, sharing her insights. I didn’t have anything to add – nor did I need to.
So that sums it up, I think, for all of us with changes to make, whether voluntarily giving up our alcohol abuse, or just successfully navigating what growing older will require:
- Pay attention;
- Be smart;
- Keep you sense of humor;
- And always carry a club….
Need some help with the first 3? That’s what we’re here to help you figure out and do.
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