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March 13, 2013

To Drink in the Company of Others

Can you guess what this is?
It's a flask with a handmade cozy. Is it not the cutest thing you've EVER seen? My buddy Vickie gave it to me recently ... the cutest flask cozy she made just for me ... filled with the best Scotch I've ever tasted. What a gift.

Jenny Doh
I knew I wanted to blog about this gift as soon as I received it because it's a great opportunity to tell you a little bit about my relationship with alcohol. Where it's been and where I'm steering it.

So several years ago, I entered this artist's studio and observed that in the studio, there was a lot of magnificent art ... a space located where not a lot of people come through. A space with no TV. A quiet space. A bedroom with walls that had been written on with jet black ink ... haunting words ... perhaps words that came to her in the still of the night ... the dark, bleak, quiet, lonely night. With no one or nothing around except for her bottle of something that once was good and strong but likely now not as good and not strong enough.

I saw that bottle. And I knew it was her constant companion. And I knew she drank alone.

. . . . . . . .

I never drank in high school. And I hardly drank in college. I was busy doing other things ... like studying, practicing the piano and the cello, and studying more. It really wasn't until I was in my 30s that I learned to enjoy alcohol.

I especially love a good red wine and I adore a good Scotch.

With the intensity of work during these past several years, I found myself not just enjoying a good red or a Scotch with a meal in the company of friends, but reaching for it as a crutch at the end of the day. To unwind. To relax. And I found myself reaching for it more ane more when I was alone. Not in the company of others but when I was by myself. And there was something about that that started to bother me.

These last couple of years, as I've become so passionate about fitness and nutrition, I decided to really examine my relationship with alcohol. And when I did, my memory of visiting my artist friend's space came to my mind ... those haunting words written on her wall ... and her bottle ... her constant and likely only companion on many a nights.

So for the past several months, I challenged myself to see if I could just stop drinking altogether. I knew that if I couldn't, I had a bigger problem than I would care to admit. But you know what? I was able to go straight through two solid months without any alcohol at all. And it felt really good.

The mode that I'm now in is this. I will allow myself to enjoy a drink once in a while. But I'm not gonna drink alone. After all, how good can a Scotch or Napa Cabernet be if not enjoyed with someone, right?

Occaionally, and in the company of others, is my motto. I'll keep you updated as things evolve. Cause I know you want to be updated on things like that. :)

Thanks for letting me share. And thanks to Vickie for such a thoughtful, awesome gift. Cheers.

Jenny Doh and Vickie Orlando



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