W hile riding my new bike at dawn with my red footie pajamas on two weekends ago, I fell sideways and bonked into a bush.
By some miracle, I remember those few seconds so clearly: One second I'm going forward and the next, I'm tipping sideways in slow motion, saying, "I'm falling! I'm falling! I'm falling!"
Then, as if an invisible force had pushed me, I keeled over off to the left into an evergreen bush, presumably filled with spiders. If someone had yelled, "timber!" at that exact moment, I can say I'd have hated and respected them at the same time.
It shouldn't surprise you to hear whiskey was involved.
The night had started out innocently enough: A quick little one-drink meeting at the Boulder Café to discuss our Boulder Outdoor Cinema venture. This turned into a martini party, which was soon relocated to an art show with wine at Tee & Cakes. After all that hard work, we rewarded ourselves with a beer stop at Conor O'Neill's and two hours later, as we all stumbled towards home, it seemed like a good idea to have a nightcap at a friend's house.
And then a shot of whiskey when we all got back to my place.
Spread out over a week (Spring Break, perhaps) this would have been a perfectly fine amount of revelry. Crammed into a single night, on the other hand, all that liquor resulted in footie pajamas -- complete with foxes on the feet -- bike rides at dawn and falling into spider bushes.
That's too much drinking in too little time. I know this is true, because I met my new doctor a couple of days later and by the time she asked me about my drinking habits, we'd already had the Why-Haven't-You-Quit-Smoking-You-Idiot stare down and the Signing-Up-for-a-Gym-Doesn't-Count-as-Excercise lecture.
I told the truth: I'm pretty good during the week and pretty bad Friday night. "One to two drinks per day is the recommended max for women," she said. (And as it turns out, saving them all up so you can have 14 in one night is a no-go.)
By the time the doctor check-up was over, I was feeling a little embarrassed and a lot stupid.
Fun: Yelling the Friday night battle cry, "I WILL DRINK ALL THE BEERS!"
Less fun: Whispering to yourself Saturday morning, "I will eat all the ibuprofen..."
I felt I'd been out of control, and I felt it wasn't the first time this'd happened recently. But I didn't need to keep beating myself up, I just needed to get it together.
As one of my besties recently pointed out, while quoting Indian yoga guru Bikram Choudhury, "You're never too old, never too bad, never too late, and never too sick to start from the scratch once again." And I've been thinking about that a lot lately, wondering what those words mean to me. It's not about being hopeful, or about being optimistic -- it's about not letting excuses prevent you from taking action. Just let it go, and have a do-over.
I knew I wasn't alone. Fellow columnist and weekend troublemaker, Christy Fantz, had also been a bit of a shitshow the previous weekend; and I could spend the rest of this column listing the people I know who've vowed to quit smoking, make friends with the gym, stop interrupting people, get to work on time, cook healthier meals, and create a zillion other little modifications to their lives to some positive end.
And so I made a pact not to drink that week, which lasted until Friday when -- while with an entirely different group of people in an entirely different environment drinking entirely different drinks -- we stayed up all night getting hammered again.
"Drink 'til dawn once, shame on me. Drink 'til dawn twice, where are my house keys?"
So I guess it's time to start from the scratch once again. I wish us all lots of luck.