Basically amazing

Last week I reached out to a friend who I hadn’t connected with in quite a while. Just your basic “Hey, how are you doing?” message. His response has stuck with me since it popped up on my screen.

“I’m basically amazing.”

Honestly, I was surprised by his answer. I hate to say it, but I’m more accustomed to the “I’m fine,” “Doing Ok,” or “Eh, you know… ” Our go-to, default response to the “how are you” question is typically pretty lackluster, when you really think about it. We probably don’t even truly take in the question before responding with a cookie-cutter (blah, blah) response. We aren’t taking a beat to dig deep for the answer. We’re not stopping before answering to really consider how we really are doing.

My son, Nick, I’ve noticed, is also unique in his responses. He is also a glass half-full kind of guy, so that probably explains it. When I ask him how he’s doing, his response to this generic question is rarely mindless, and is 99% of the time, it’s a positive or upbeat response. “I’m doing great!” (Yes, even with the exclamation points!) or “Awesome! How are you?” It’s funny how that has stuck with me, how different his responses are over others, and how different they are even to my own. His positivity is inspiring.

So, I’ve decided that I just want to be “basically amazing,” just like my pal Rob. Because, well, I am. Feeling basically amazing, I mean.

I have family and friends to love, who love me back. (Basically amazing.)

I live in a beautiful mountain home with the love of my life, where I work and create art and am so at peace. (Basically amazing.)

I am healthy. I am happy. I live life on my own terms. (Basically amazing. )

Why wouldn’t I be amazing?

When people ask me why I quit drinking, I think I’ll just tell them that it’s because I feel basically amazing when I’m not drinking. That might shut down the conversation, as there’s no room for negative feedback to that answer.

I had a pretty big health scare this week with my husband this week. He’s fine, but the big takeaway for me was the reminder that time is ticking. There is a before and an after. I’m happy that my “after” was that my husband is fine. I’m grateful that we can continue our journey together. This is what I have. These days and hours. To love and be loved. To laugh and play and take care of each other. There isn’t going to be a better time to make the best of life.

So, how am I, you ask? I. Am. Basically amazing.

Why, oh why?

Today is Day 83 of this alcohol-free journey. Honestly, I had no idea how many days it’s been since that last sip of wine. I had to look it up on the phone app I downloaded on or about Day 3. The app keeps track of the number of days, as well as how much money I’ve saved. So, to date, it’s 83 days and 581 dollars.

Having that 581 dollars in my bank account seems like a pretty good answer to the question I get every time I take a pass on an alcoholic beverage.

But, why?

During the last 83 days, we have been pretty isolated from people. We’ve seen a few friends in the last month or so, but, for the most part, I haven’t had to answer the why question too many times. But, the thing is: I’ve had to answer it every time.

And I wonder, why? Why do I have to offer a reason for quitting? Like what I’m doing is just so crazy that there just has to be a logical reason for doing it? Why do people need to know?

And, more incredulously, why, when I give a reason, do some feel the need to question my reason? Wonder about my true intent. They do, and they have. And…likely…more will. They want to know why, and then if it’s not a reason that they’re expecting or that works for them, they dismiss it.

Which is why… you really don’t need to know why. My why is my own.

I have several friends who are vegetarians, and when they made that choice, I never asked them why. It’s really none of my business why. It’s a decision they made for their own personal reasons. I would never say to them “Oh come on, just one bite of steak. One bite won’t hurt you.” I would never challenge their lifestyle decision. And I support them when they visit my home — ensuring I have meat-free options. I would also never say “Oh, you’re still doing that?”

I know that as we venture back out into our social circles, I will attract curious looks and unsettled reactions when I pass the wine bottle to the left or the right without pouring a glass for myself. I’ve already experienced the negative comments when I gave up beer last year. I heard the “Oh, come on, don’t be a party-pooper,” and have had to explain, to incredulous listeners, that I was doing “no beer for a year.” And even then, I had to explain why I would do that. It got old. Very quickly.

Here’s a why question: Why is it socially acceptable to put someone on the spot for not drinking? I’ve never heard anyone say (out loud) “Why are you drinking?”

But here’s the thing: I don’t care if you drink. I really and truly don’t. No judgements. It’s not my business. So why should you care if I don’t? And why does the WHY matter?