This year, I’m thankful for COVID-19. Not really, but kinda.
While I’m working to unpack a much more in-depth conversation that needs to be had about the glorification of drinking on “Hallmark holidays”, this is a bite-sized appetizer to nibble on before tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal.
It’s good for our mental health to practice gratitude. We’ve conditioned our muscle memory to react with knee-jerk emotion to anything unpleasant or (seemingly) offensive by swiftly going for the jugular with unjust or disproportionate vengeance. It’s easy to complain about what sucks, what we don’t like, or what we don’t have because pain, displeasure, and deficiencies sting with blaring, constant reminders.
I recently heard a meditation tip to help guide toward gratitude: Imagine that you don’t have a memory and that you have no concept of the future. What remains is the present. In this moment right now recognize that you’re alive and that your life, at its core, is something amazing with the potential of abundance.
And in walks COVID-19 without any regard for your feelings or well-being. Understandably, it’s made salvaging any semblance of gratitude challenging, to say the least. 2020 and all its heavy, depressing baggage has been a persistent, frustrating exception to every rule we’ve all ever played by. The game is now different, plain and simple. We’re forced to adapt or be at the mercy of its collateral damage.
With everything COVID-19 has robbed from us, it’s gifted a subtle, yet silver lining in exchange. On the surface, it feels like everything else: restrictions, limitations, and resentment. However, upon closer examination and after a few slow deep breaths, one could consider the perspective that C-19 has forced us to relinquish automatic reliance on going out the night before Thanksgiving.
Despite the onslaught of marketing that has and will continue to be force fed down our throats, the “Biggest Bar Night of the Year” is nothing more than a sham. They don’t want you to just party and have a good time. They want you to consume as much as possible; otherwise it wouldn’t be the “biggest”. You’re smart enough to realize that it’s no different than any other calendar Friday or Saturday night. But, as a culture—just like our muscle memory—we’ve tolerated being conditioned to think Black(out) Wednesday is a mandatory annual rite of passage.
So, heaven forbid, what are we doomed to tonight without the bar? Many of us will still drink. I already have a choice beer chillin’ in the fridge to enjoy with dinner, and a couple special bottles I’ve been saving to enjoy as I graze over my mom’s table of staple holiday snacks. The one thing I know I will be thankful for tomorrow, and the only thing I won’t miss, is waking up without feeling like… well, you know.
How has COVID impacted your drinking? Do you feel more (or less) pressure to drink during the holidays? How much are you really bummed out about missing the bar tonight? Let’s keep the convo going—comment below.
*Editor’s note: In no way, shape, or form is the commentary about imposed restrictions from going out an endorsement for businesses not being able to survive during the pandemic. So, when they are able and you’re comfortable, please support local.