How do you handle holiday expectations?
Since I’ve been sober, I’ve struggled with holidays. I accept and welcome that they won’t look how they did when I was drinking. BUT, I still want each and every holiday to be memorable. Special. And because most organized holiday events tend to include booze, we have to get creative if we want to celebrate in a way that we feel 100% comfortable.
Here are my tips for making the most of the holidays sober:
I’ll start here because it’s coming up next. I don’t like to drive anywhere on July 4 because the traffic is crazy and I assume everyone has been day drinking. I do love wearing red, white and blue, and I love when everyone around me is, too. Sparklers are pretty key. And I like to see the fireworks. To me, unique things like fireworks help serve to mark time and make memories. I like recalling that last year, my boyfriend and I rode bikes into town to hear the boom-boom-pow and enjoy the light show. We’d agreed to do that, and then we came home and made it a low-key night with barbecue and homemade ice cream.
For me, I know I will have total jealousy when I see on Tuesday that everyone else went to the beach, rented a beach house or did something else fabulous. Because I know I feel this way, I make plans to do something special. I define special as anything I wouldn’t do on a typical weekday. If I don’t have beach plans, I can at least take myself on a date and do something I have always wanted to do, like visit a local attraction, park or museum. It’s a bonus day off, so it feels like a good day to get in a bonus activity, or practice self-care and have a quiet day outside. Long hikes or renting a hotel room just so you can enjoy the pool are all great options, too. (As I was writing this, I couldn’t remember what I did last year … and wondered why I didn’t have a picture of Labor Day 2017. Then I checked my Gcal and remembered that those of us in Florida were prepping for Hurricane Irma. Dang! I definitely need to do Labor Day right this year to make up for that!! Photo to come!)
I’ve always thought staying home and handing out candy lacks the excitement that I prefer to have on Halloween. There aren’t really any surprises … it’s no different than a typical night in, only you’re interrupted every 10 minutes by the doorbell. Granted, I love carving pumpkins. Always have, always will.
Also on Halloween, I know that there are dances for people in sobriety. I have never been to one. They might be awesome?! I’ll have to try that next year.
For me, dressing up and being with people is key. I want to go OUT. But it seems like there are few places to go aside from the bars if you want to be with other people in costumes, celebrating.
And thus I created a Sober Outside trip to Savannah, Georgia, to celebrate Halloween weekend. We’ll go on a ghost tour (it’s not that scary) on Saturday night so we’re out and about, exploring a city and making memories. It’s a way to be with a group of friends, go out and wear costumes, stay entertained and do something outside of our everyday norm. Space is still available, so feel free to apply for the trip or email me if you have any questions.
As for the rest of the holidays, I’ll blog about them later on this year. My friends and I call Thanksgiving through New Year’s the Red Zone. There’s lots to talk about there, so stay tuned.