retraction: staying positive

Okay, okay, staying positive is a good thing I suppose.

But I had one hell of a night.

I arrive at work for what should be a pretty casual shift, Sunday and all.  Only to watch the Gates of Hades open up and swallow the restaurant whole.  An unprecedented 50 rude, foul-mouthed 12-year-olds showed up for dinner.  Turns out they were a “church youth group” (please note the heavy emphasis with which I use the quotation marks) who had free reign to do what they wanted for dinner.  That’s what happens when your chaperons hit up the neighboring bar for happy hour.  Nice life.

Anyway, we pushed the little hoodlums out within a couple hours and preceded to flip the dining room for dinner as usual.  All those large parties we initially had to turn away came back.  Hallelujah.

All of that was pretty annoying, but not really life-ruining.  Even being hungry from my spiritual fasting/dieting wasn’t that big of an issue.

No the straw that broke the camels back was when the chef bought everyone a pizza.  The whole staff ordered celebratory cocktails.  Everyone made plans to head over to the local party house for late night cards and drinks.

And I vacuumed the fucking carpet with a shitty, out-of-date vacuum.

It’s high school all over again.  My no-drinking policy once again sets me apart from people my age and isolates me from society.

And the thing I really struggle with is why?  Not Why do I do this to myself?  That’s a whole other topic.  No, I wonder why exactly am I not drinking?  Is it more because of the fast, or because I consciously gave up alcohol for the new year?

Yeah, that’s right, you heard me:  I can’t decide which reason I have for becoming a social martyr.

My brain is constantly battling with “You’re too young to quit.  Enjoy life and friends and socializing.  Quit when you have to” versus “Stop now and you’ll live so much longer and healthier and you’ll get so much done.”

But will I?  Is it worth doing nothing but shower, eat, library, write, work, sleep alone in your sleeping bag, repeat until…well, I was going to say until I die, but that’s a little dramatic even for me.

It all comes back to What is living?  Is living making all these good choices and keeping your nose to the grindstone and then waking up on your 83rd birthday, taking a leak, and asking what you did with your life?  Or is it never turning down a cocktail and a free slice of ‘za when you’re buddy’s buying?  Is it getting 9 solid hours of sleep and then hashing out a manuscript?  Or is it having some laughs in between hands of Hearts?

I think this is the part of the fast where you’re supposed to pray for help.  But I guess the hunger and dissatisfaction with my meals was planned for, but this social suicide wasn’t.

Admittedly, part of the reason for moving back to the North Shore was all the fun I was missing with the people I was missing.  A glass of wine with Karel.  Hiking with Doug.  Cosmos with Steph.

But, what, a week after I got up here I decided to cut myself off from all of it?  I didn’t see this one coming and I’m not sure if Jesus did either.  Truthfully, I haven’t been doing the ‘spiritual’ part of this spiritual fast, so maybe it’s my own damn fault.  But, for the most part, am I doing this right?  If this gets a random hit for “The Daniel Fast,” go ahead and sound off in my comments section.  I would love to know if anyone else is experiencing this.  Or if this is part of the trial.  Maybe turning up my nose at things I used to love is what Jesus wants me to do.  He wants me to feel lonely and isolated in the midst of everybody bonding, partying, and ultimately having a good time.

Is that it?  Because it sounds like a pretty shitty deal.

I was hoping for some sort of epiphany from this whole thing, but all I’m ending up is feeling hungry and like I wasted my time.  Is it wrong to want some sort of reward for this?  I highly doubt I’m going to score some Celestial Street Cred from saying no to pizza and rum for a night and going home pouting-yet-sober.

Just struggling tonight is all.  We all have our breaking points.  And while I haven’t broken exactly, I definitely feel bent over backwards.  Like I’ll snap back.  But at what cost?  Four days from the end of the fast and I miss out on a lifetime of house party invites because “Mr. Churchy McFaster is too good to slum with us sinners?”

To be fair, nobody said that.  Again, this is probably all the hungry talking.

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2 thoughts on “retraction: staying positive

  1. Sometimes reason enough is just knowing you’re capable of doing it. (Also, never ever underestimate the value of discipline. It’s not easily achieved and must be practiced.) You’re doing great! I once fasted for 36 hours – and only through continuous napping did I survive that long.

  2. You don’t have to drink to be social!!! You can be social with ice tea or pop or coffee. Giving up alcohol does not mean giving up socializing with friends. Fasting is great, but why now?

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