My Apology to Booze

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how alcohol and I could no longer be friends – it just pissed me off too much. Well, I owe alcohol an apology. My foul mood had nothing to do with alcohol and everything to do with me.

How do I know this? This past weekend, English friends who live in my old village in France came to visit. Over dinner we chatted and drank a couple of bottles of Lambrusco between the four of us – to no ill effect. No bad mood, no paranoia, no desire to run and hide from the world.

So what changed from the almost identical situation in June? Only the language. In June, the dinner guests spoke Spanish. This past weekend, English.

And what has that got to do with anything? Well, I’m a bit of a control freak and when I drink I work at not appearing tipsy. Doing so in English is easy because I’m already relaxed. In Spanish, however, I’m tense because I know I don’t understand everything and that frustrates me.

The solution? Get over myself. I spend my days writing in English. I speak Spanish a few hours a day. The language has been the number one stress in my Spanish life and it’s time to let it go. I’m here for the long haul. I’m doing what I love. The language will come and in the meantime, if I don’t understand, I don’t understand. No. Big. Deal.

Let’s just see how long I can remember that.

Someday Lessons:

  • Most of our perceptions are based on assumptions – be willing to change perceptions when assumptions prove false.
  • We are ever-evolving creatures – stay open for opportunities to learn something new about yourself.
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5 thoughts on “My Apology to Booze

  1. Cate says:

    Well I’m glad you can drink because I’m coming to town tomorrow and you know I like to be a bad influence!

  2. I am very excited. Saturday night we were at a dinner party with both English and French speaking people there, but the language being spoken was predominantly English. However, when one of the English people handed me my coffee, I automatically responded, merci bien. Soooo…that means I am starting to think in French first, English second. Baby steps. Teeny tiny baby steps.

  3. Vered says:

    Sounds like a great plan.

    I tend to be a control freak too. I’ve been trying to let go and relax more.

  4. Most of our perceptions are based on assumptions – be willing to change perceptions when assumptions prove false.

    There’s my problem right there. My perceptions (which are of course everyone’s perception, right?) and my assumptions (assumptions that are a bit of self-fulfilling prophecy). It’s *damned* hard not to make assumptions, and it’s *damned* hard to change perceptions.

    ARGH! No subscribe to comments!!

  5. Alex Fayle says:

    @Urban Panther – I mentioned to Raul your “merci bien” and he asked “Isn’t it merci beaucoup?” to which I answered “If you were French yes, but my sister is learning Quebecois.”

    @Vered – good luck with the relaxing. And BTW, congrats on all the exposure I’ve seen for you recently, especially the Zen Habits guest post. Have you read the Men with Pens series on guest-posting? (link to MWP from James’ comment).

    @James – just last night I made an assumption when I mentioned to the bf that friends could maybe pick him up on their way past when going out for dinner – the assumption being that he would call them right away, not at 7:30 when they’d already arrived. Ooops! As I was taught in grade-school, assuming makes an ASS out of U and ME.

    As for the subscribe to comments, we’re working on that!

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