I thought St. Patrick’s Day was my favorite holiday.
I look good in green. I like corned beef. I was raised on beer.
One look at me and you would swear I was a jolly Irish soul.
I am 5 years sober.
After decades of drunken shenanigans involving day drinking and green beer, it turns out St. Patrick’s Day is not my favorite holiday. It never was. It was just an excuse to drink.
As a drinker, the rest of this story might sound sad to you. If you are craving an excuse to crowd into a dark pub during the day and fight a rowdy crowd for a cheap green beer, this will not be the happy ending you are seeking.
For me, today is Friday. I had a full day off yesterday to catch up on Spring Cleaning. It felt so good to get away from my computer and run errands, clean out drawers, and tidy up my space. Tis the season for cleaning! I have professional window washers coming today for the first time ever! What a treat! I am thrilled. Getting my house and life in order has a lasting joy that can’t be found in a beer mug or a plastic cup. My spaces are now fresh. I have home projects in the works and new plants inhabiting many rooms. I smile everytime I walk into my new space.
I have a full schedule of clients today. This might not seem like an ideal Friday, to you, but it sure is to me. You see, I started my own coaching business. At first, I just waited for the phone to ring once the “store” opened. To have a full roster of beautiful people that have chosen me as their coach feels like a blessing. It is the most meaningful work I could do. It fulfills a deeper purpose for me. To do this work has been my dream come true. In the past, I shape shifted and shrunk myself to fit into so many jobs that I dreaded. Today, I wake up excited every single day to run my business and help my clients. This is the exact job I dreamed of myself as a young girl many moons ago. I am making a 3rd grade me so proud right now. This is so fulfilling.
My husband will be watching basketball at the sportsbook tonight. I will provide a safe ride for him and his buddies. Since I'll be flying solo, I will use the opportunity to go to the gym after work this evening. I will workout and then enjoy a long leisurely time in the steamroom and sauna before showering and heading home. New episodes of my new favorite show Daisy Jones and the Six will be coming out. I will snuggle up with my dog and watch them before a restful sleep. I love a Friday Night date with myself.
I will eat a green salad. I don’t have a taste for corned beef, Lucky Charms, or Shamrock Shakes (I had one this season and that’s enough for me). I have been trying to eat more plant points and March 17th isn’t going to take me away from that. I have bigger goals for my health and fitness. I now have the discipline and self control to accomplish them. As a drinker, I acted on every impulse. I am no longer like that. I am able to practice a pause. It feels better this way.
Tomorrow I have a birthday brunch celebration in the city with friends. It’s a Lizzo Drag Brunch and I have been wanting to go for years. Finally, we got it on the calendar. I can’t wait for a fun afternoon in the city with friends. I am looking forward to a morning birthday party. What are the chances? After decades of waking up hungover, and missing out, I will ring in my 47th year with coffee, omelets, music, dancing, and friendship.
Maybe it’s sad to you that St. Paddy’s Day isn’t what it used to be for me. It’s definitely a change and something to get used to. Last night after dinner with friends I was starting to seek out things to do. FOMO creeps in sometimes. I was feeling slightly frantic that I hadn’t properly celebrated St. Paddys’ in any way.
This morning I woke up relieved to forget about it. To recognize that my life has changed. To see that St. Paddy’s is not my priority anymore. My house, my health, my career, my relationships, my happiness, and my sobriety are. This is not a punishment. This is how I choose to live my life.
Yes, I have let go of old thoughts, old behaviors, old values, and old traditions.
This has made way for new. We are meant to change. It’s ok to grieve what you are leaving behind. It was a gradual shift each year in sobriety to me of letting St. Paddy’s Day go.
Happy Day to All of you and little Luck too.
As for green drinks, you can blame it on my juice. See what I did there?