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going sober

October 3, 2013














within minutes of landing in montreal last month, it became instantly clear that i am, without a shadow of a doubt, 100% canadian. i can’t even tell you why. it’s just a feeling of belonging.

and since my return to london, where it’s clear that i am not british, i’ve been pondering what sets me apart here. the accent? naturally. the fact that i say pants instead of trousers? a dead giveaway. my dislike of bovril? why in god’s name anyone would want to ingest fluid beef is beyond me. but one of the biggest differences is… the drinking. whilst all societies drink, i am here to tell you, dear friends, they doth not all drink the same.

you all know of my deep love for whiskey. it’s no secret. and though i may enjoy a glass of scotch (i love scotch, yum yum yum) on a tuesday night and though i quite fancy a glass of wine with dinner most evenings, i have no interest in getting pissed. the english, however, they love their drink to the point of besottedness. the last time i threw up saturday night’s beer and spent sunday in bed eating cold pizza from the box, horrified that i’d fallen off the chair i was dancing on the night before… was in the year 1997.

let me get off the high horse i’m sitting on for a moment and point out that this is not a judgment, merely an observation of our differences. and perhaps it’s more of a cross sectional view of my own private experience. but lord knows i’ve tried for the past 2 years to party like the brits and the truth is, i simply haven’t the stamina for binge drinking and recreational others. i’m neither cut out for it nor remotely interested. i never really was.

recently, my colleague nick tried to fix some code and things went wrong and he said: and then my hair caught on fire and i was a sad face. that pretty much sums up the past two years of me trying to be like everyone else here and realising that i am the only one in the group who has no desire to get shit faced. it can be pretty isolating, i’m not going to lie to you. it can leave you feeling like the old, boring woman who wouldn’t know a good time if it came and knocked her over the head with a forty-ounce bottle of vodka and a big ass bag of cocaine.

but the thing is this… i am no longer a spring chicken and i don’t feel the need to relive my spring chicken years. sex, drugs and rock n roll? been there. the truth is, i am now entering the autumn of my life. if my life were a season (and the cycle of life, by its very nature, is seasonal) then nearing 40 is the equivalent of turning the page of the calendar to august. i’m ripening, so to speak, and i am ok with that. i’m happy to enter this stage, to live a different, slower pace of life.

i used to equate simple with boring. i used to judge simple as being a way of life you lived if you were afraid of living. now, i want a simple life. i want a quiet life. a garden. a dog. a few good friends, not an entourage. a bottle of wine and a good meal, not getting pissed until the wee hours of the morning. a good book.

and so, i’ve decided to go sober for the month of october. and not just from booze. but from the frenzy.


1. not given to excessive indulgence in drink or any other activity
2. quiet in demeanor
3. devoid of frivolity, excess, exaggeration

i’ve decided to honour this next stage of my life and my need for quiet time. to be sober, awake in my own life, aware of my own self.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. jamie permalink
    October 3, 2013 9:58 am

    love this.
    heard every single word.
    blessings as you move towards simple…xoxo

  2. October 3, 2013 12:27 pm

    beautiful. enjoy the simple unfurling.

  3. October 3, 2013 2:28 pm

    I get that… (and I will never understand why people like Marmite.) I just moved to the UK couple of months ago, Italy seems like a distant memory now, Canada even more so. xox

  4. October 3, 2013 3:20 pm

    Good for you. Love the way your photos tell a story.

  5. October 3, 2013 3:50 pm

    I am ahead of you on this train. I decided long ago that it was perfectly fine to order a Dr. Pepper when everyone else is drinking various cocktails. It is absolutely AWESOME. And I am old enough to be okay with all that this entails.

    Congratulations on your quest to live YOUR life the way YOU want! Beautiful!

  6. October 4, 2013 8:04 am

    RIGHT?! It was the one part of London life that I *never* got used to. I think it’s all that awesome public transportation: knowing you’ll get home safely frees people up to party like rock stars, I think.

    Enjoy your sobriety, friend.


  7. Michelle permalink
    October 4, 2013 8:48 am

    Love the pictures, and love you!! xoxo

  8. October 5, 2013 3:54 am

    wow wow. amazing photos!

  9. Sherry Smyth permalink
    October 6, 2013 7:51 am

    This resonates…on so many levels…my own personal level and as a parent who has a son living south of London for a year, teaching high school..his first year of teaching, thrown into a different country, with different expectations…there is laughter in that (words for one — he told me his students called him a geezer…I thought “but he’s not an old man” and he laughed and told me geezer over there means “cool”!), a change of lifestyle to some degree, infinite learning and yet a longing to be on one’s own turf (he can’t wait for Christmas break to come home and play some hockey…though he’ splaying “footie” over there). Truly inspiring thoughts.

  10. Anonymous permalink
    October 7, 2013 8:15 am

    well played, you are you and the only one of you there is, be you in all your glory or the world will want for you forever. fell off the chair you were dancing on! sounds like my 1997.

  11. October 8, 2013 2:39 pm

    That was the same line of thinking that prompted a Whole 30 during August/September. Simplicity, removing the habit, the “just because” with no real thought process. Good luck for your October!

  12. hejmel permalink
    October 8, 2013 9:09 pm

    Totally get it. I’ve always felt like that too. I *love* a glass of red wine – and yeah, maybe a BIG glass of red wine – with dinner. But I really hate the feeling of having drunk too much. (Maybe I’m just a control freak ;).
    Also … as an Australian, I too say “pants”. In fact it’s one of my favourite words! I just love how it sounds.

  13. leonie permalink
    October 10, 2013 1:35 pm

    Lordy woman I love you. I hear you on this.

  14. Christina Rosalie permalink
    October 15, 2013 6:51 pm

    I so relate to this… and just today said to someone while we were standing at the peripheries of a press conference where I was supposed to be socializing: It is clear, I am deeply, truly an introvert.

    Also, they ARE pants.

  15. sophiemiaou permalink
    November 4, 2013 10:17 pm

    Hold on. Things are supposed to slow down past 40?

    I think I missed that milestone….. 😛

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