Taking Joy Where You Find It

A friend forwarded this, from The Guardian:

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Click image to read the article

Yes! I’ve been preaching this message, more or less quietly, for years. I decided, for my own good, to quit drinking in March, 2007. I didn’t expect it to be fun. Popular culture — literature, TV, movies — dead on in depicting the ravages of alcoholism, at the same time paints quitting as a sacrifice, a grim decision leading to a gray, monk-like existence.

I quickly learned, as did the writer in The Guardian, that quitting is anything but that. I love life more than ever. I feel good, not just physically good but good about myself. There have been no negatives; it’s been the most positive thing I’ve done (although giving up smoking ranks right up there as well).

The writer says, at the top of her article, that after quitting she mostly kept it to herself, feeling others wouldn’t want to hear about it. She got over that, obviously, but I’m still wary of talking it up lest it come across as bragging or proselytizing.

Still, I know some of you, likely older but not necessarily so, want to quit drinking but keep putting it off because of the negative way sobriety is depicted in popular culture. I’m here to tell you, along with the writer of The Guardian article, that going sober can be a happy and liberating experience, and that you may find yourself taking more pleasure in life than you’ve been led to expect.

Now that you’ve endured that message, may I have a few minutes of your time to tell you about our lord and savior Jesus Christ?


Donna’s away with her friend Millie, spending a night at Millie’s son’s ranch north of Phoenix. I’m on my own but there are leftovers in the fridge and I shan’t want for entertainment. Amazon still has all three Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies and I’m going through them one by one. Hard to believe they were originally made for Swedish TV … or maybe not so hard, given the quality of Scandinavian TV in general.

I’m having trouble with my eyes. They feel gritty and gum up if I don’t take a damp washcloth to them several times a day. It’s worse when I read. I stopped at the corner drugstore this morning for moisturizing eye drops and a tube of lubricating ointment. I’ll use the drops during the day and apply the ointment with a Q-tip before going to bed. A smart person would take a hint and give up reading and computer work for a day or two. I don’t know if I can do that.

I canceled tomorrow’s haircut appointment. Our governor hasn’t ordered barbershops and nail salons to close down again, but it seems wise to me to continue avoiding exposure and stay home as much as possible for at least another month. If things don’t get worse, I’ll keep my August appointment. My son Gregory is talking up a motorcycle trip in mid-September, and I might just risk it. The rough plan is to meet up in Flagstaff, then ride north through the Navajo Nation to southern Utah, then west to his home in Las Vegas. As with a similar ride last year, I’ll make my own way back to Tucson afterward. First, I guess, we need to see if motels in Flagstaff and southern Utah are still open.

My eyes are doing better with the moisturizing drops, so I’ll take another shot at the book club selection I’m trying to finish, LaRose by Louise Erdrich, then, tonight, The Girl Who Played with Fire on Amazon.

© 2020, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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