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Shannon Brady

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Thoughts on Joe and Vino

Man I love a bold, bitter mug of fine Joe (Pete’s or Starbucks Italian roast, please) upon waking up. So much, I want it brewed and ready before my head leaves the pillow. And deliver it with a dash of almond milk please.

Come 7 or 8pm, after 8+ hours of hard cube time, a good swirl, swig and swallow from a stemglass of pinot feels about right.

Lately, though, I’ve cut out both pleasures most days (with an occasional slip). Why the abstinence? I mean, most of the ‘expert’ advice I come across tells me that Joe and Vino are both fine in moderation. All just fine, until I try to define moderation. If I compare myself to others (another major trigger sending the monkey mind into overdrive, but more on that in another post), I suppose I’d be considered a moderate Joe and Vino consumer. But in the quest to savor the moment I’m in, I wonder – is there such thing as moderation? Here’s what I’m noticing, and why I’m questioning it:

Breaking up with Joe. First time I tried it, I turned into a human Sleestack (for those of you my age and older, take a brief trip down afterschool TV Land of the Lost memory lane) with a massive headache and high risk of concussion caused by forehead crashing to keyboard. After a few days on ‘Revive’ herbal tea with a slice of lemon, however, I got in the moment. Big time. Actually slept a full 7 hours every night. Focused on one project at a time and managed to keep the number of pages and documents open on my computer screen to fewer than 10. Listened. Really listened to everything everyone said to me without rehearsing my response in my head before they were finished. Yoga felt truer – I wasn’t three asanas ahead. Alas, my relationship with Joe isn’t over. I had a cup this morning, and the monkey mind came roaring back. But that’s ok. I’ll just sum it up to ‘moderation’ and reach for the ‘Revive’ tomorrow instead.

The French love it. And I love France. Everything about it. Especially the carafe of beaujolais on every table with every meal. Beer left my palate after the crazy college kegger days, and my brief experiments with liquor always ended poorly. But wine. J’adore. I’ve enjoyed a glass (or two) a few times a week for the past few decades of life. Lately, though, I’ve noticed a dullness that creeps in after just one glass. I used to love this effect (and I love France!), mistaking it for relaxation, but now I’m not so sure. Whereas coffee sends too many thoughts racing through my head at once, wine takes whatever thoughts are in there and fogs them up.

For now, I’ll just continue observing the effects of both, and cutting back or cutting out altogether when it feels appropriate. Salut!

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