I blogged about a 30-day pause in June. This specific step in my (and my husband, Rob’s) resolve to continually evolve was successful. When Rob and I reached the 30-day mark, we found ourselves contemplative and contented that we had completed our goal.
Whether or not to share the specifics was up in the air, but this morning it makes sense to do so.
Our pause was a month-long break from alcohol.
Living in the resort-like area of North Padre Island, where a cocktail here or a craft beer there easily cools down a sweltering summer day and often is glue that cements friends’ bonding, we knew the experiment would have its challenges.
However, as we both strive to move ahead to the next phase of our life–aging not only gracefully, but also with strength and vigor–it is important to review certain habits.
Adjusting our behavioral sails, tweaking certain habits, exploring new, better and different ways to live our moments, days, weeks and years imbues us with renewed buoyancy and a particular robustness.
This 30-day pause is not something so unique, as we’ve listened to stories of others who’ve experimented similarly, each with their unique and varying results. In fact, it’s been something we’ve considered for awhile now, as a way to further cleanse our bodies and minds of the toxins that can impede hope, clarity of thought and overall health.
For us, success meant re-thinking how we relax, how we breathe-in contentment, how we look at an unfiltered sunrise to achieve more visual acuity–how we reduce artificial dependencies.
In the early phase of our 30-day time-out, we shared a day-long journey to Big Shell Beach – a 2.5+ hour drive in our Ford Bronco that netted new friendship conversations and very large shells.
It was a joyful, relaxing day, and whilst the heat of summer and a full day of traversing the National Seashore naturally wore us out, we didn’t have the added layer of alcohol lethargy draining our reserves. This was a good feeling.
Throughout the rest of the 30 days, our bodies and minds remained clear, focused and I would imagine, a bit healthier. There were occasions where admittedly, a cold beer would have hit the spot on these 100+ degree sweltering Texas summer days, but we were delighted not to submit to those urges.
As we emerged from the experimental pause, we found that our desires for such imbibing indeed had waned. In fact, while we do look forward to an occasional adult beverage from time to time–as we sit on the font porch, pondering our existence, or relax at the beach at the end of a productive week, celebrating hope and joy–we have reduced any dependencies we may have had on such indulgences.
Add to this a recent 18-month fitness journey involving (for me) a 25-lb weight loss and a reacquaintance with the gym that encourages me to eat and drink healthier. Rob’s relationship with the gym over the years has been more consistent; thus, the reference to ‘me’ in this particular regard.
Additionally, the natural joy we both glean from dwelling in our environment: strolls or drives along the luxurious seashore, scenic bicycle rides around our neighborhood and canals, tinkering in our colorfully tropical garden and evolving our home’s landscape and much more, is palpable.
It is these healthy initiatives that immerse our minds and bodies with the endorphins that nature supplies so readily and abundantly.
I’m so happy we are working together both individually and as a couple to engage in more fluid and calming habits. I’m encouraged that our lives are moving ahead with such potency and vividness. I’m glad simply to be alive in a world often hamstrung by the noise of politics and confusion.
I awaken each day in prayer, seeking mental nourishment. Even though I am not in ultimate control, I daily desire and actively reach for the solace of calm, peace and hope.
By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter
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