Say Cheers

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A Big Girls Solution to Change
Are we changing the world or is the world changing us? I am bothered by the personal social and global changes happening to me and around me. A Daliesque world were my actions are fueled by a morbid fascination of the present and fears for the future. Daily frustrations are now more than putting my shirt on backwards or being unable to squeeze the toothpaste out. Long hours at home are getting the better of me so I have been drinking more. To say this was unexpected is a lie as I have been here before however my swift weight gain was a little shocking for someone who has been a size 10 all her life. I dress from the second wardrobe which is a pile of loose fitting clothes strategically located on the floor next to my Ugg boots. Happy to bye pass the angst of deciding what to wear in the morning I embrace the opportunity to be lazy. On days when the computer camera is reluctantly switched on I opt for knit dresses that cover up growing curves, or drawstring pants paired with stretchy T shirts and cardigan that masks my fulsome body. Every day as I get dressed for work during this extended lockdown, I thank god for our school’s sports uniform. Oh how I love how the purple and gold tracksuit pants which seems to pair well with everything.

Finding Comfort
Apart from my expanded waistline and mermaid thighs the other tell-tale sign of changed behaviour is enjoying date night with partner Will and mystery man Dan. Now there are three Dan’s in my life, a son, a Victorian Premier who I grudgingly cant ignore and Dan Murphy who has become like a favourite uncle. He welcomes me every Friday with a cheerful smile and a list of specials.

Dan is a man who passes the pub test of friendly banter and tasty beverages for us to buy. Escaping COVID statistics and endless conversations about vaccinations I am momentarily happy. Content to pretend I am sailing on the bay glass in hand or imagining a luxury weekend escape into the city. Present international experiences come from inside a bottle courtesy of uncle Dan. Here our choices seem endless and within our travel budget.

Admittedly I worry that Dan Murphy’s face had become more familiar than my children’s. On this realization I take swift action deciding not wait until freedom day to celebrate family milestones. Thank goodness for zoom!

At the beating heart of our dinky die Australian culture is drinking. It is such a big part of socialising with friends, doing business or humbly winding down at the end of busy day. Stress tension and chronic fatigue are miraculously relieved by slamming down a couple of beers, sipping a chilled white wine or exquisite cocktail. The power to relax firmly grasped in our own hands.

Our normal tradition of getting together in bars, clubs, restaurants, and pubs to catch up on gossip, talk politics, watch sport, and celebrate friends and families’ successes and anniversaries has been stripped away with COVID lock down. Now drinking happens any time of day, usually in isolation, although I have spotted some cheeky catch ups. Millennials on bikes, masks down with a beer balanced in one hand or family groups walking with an Esky backpack reinventing the pub crawl and cold one to go.

Back to me and my drinking habits. I am no Sigmund Freud but my lack of self-control is probably caused by institutional abuse working long hour on the computer during these lock downs. This overindulgence in comfort eating and drinking is by design to create pleasant distractions and remove the discomfort of my day. But I know deep down under my fat roll that this is not the way to good health and suave de vive’.

Say Cheers
We have the Greeks and Romans to thank for fermenting grapes to create refreshing spirits. For teaching us to raise our glasses to the ‘heavens’ and for thanking the gods for Life’s bounties. Like the British, Germans and Russians who are all famous for drinking and toasting. I have resolved to regain my mojo by replacing some cocktails with mocktails and set limits on happy hour to “one hour” Time to tame the wild horse within. A toast to desire and restraint where ever you are. Cheers prost, salud, skol, slainte, chin chin, and good health to you all.

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